Seder in Motion: A Haggadah to Move Body and Soul
A moving Passover experience using body and mind.
This family-friendly traditional Haggadah engages all five senses and weaves in activities to promote a full-body connection to the Passover story and rituals, all in 48 clear, concise, yet beautiful pages.
Mindfulness Moments throughout the haggadah encourage participants to pause and take in the full experience, from the taste, aroma, and feel of the wine in our mouths, to using a mirror to help visualize oneself as a slave in ancient Egypt.
This first-of-its-kind Haggadah can be used with model seders and intergenerational groups in a community celebration and at home, and includes tips and techniques for engaging those who may be attending remotely, including specific "Connection" opportunites through the haggadah. Gender-neutral language is used throughout, and the directions accommodate participants of all physical abilities.
Participation is further engouraged by the use of translation and transliteration of the Hebrew prayers, blessings, and songs, including Dayeinu, Echad Mi Yodea (Who Knows One), and Chad Gadya (One Little Goat).
Clear directions for putting together a seder plate include options such as making vegan/vegetarian substitutions, and including an orange to symbolize how fruitful it is to include those marginalized in our society.
Throughout the haggadah, motion icons encourage participants to experience the elements of the seder as physical manifestations as well as intellectual ideals.
Sidebar notes explain practices such as why we lean left while eating or drinking during the seder, why Maimonides instructed parents to allow mischievous behavior like snatching the matzah during the seder, and non-Ashkenazic Passover practices like the Moroccan practice of passing the matzah over the head of the participants.
The Four Children are expresed as people with different learning styles, each of which benefits from a parituclar kind of response, including the advice to remind a defiant child that they will share in the joy of freedom if they include themselves in the celebration.
The Plagues are included, and offered in Hebrew, translation, and transliteration, along with the practice of dipping out a drop of wine with a finger or a spoon as each plague is recited to recall that the plagues caused ancient Egyyptians to suffer, and so lessens our joy.
The clean, uncluttered presentation and colorful layout of the steps of the seder help participants find and keep their places effortlessly.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Rabbi Ron Isaacs, Ed.D
Rabbi Ron Isaacs is the rabbi of Beth Judah Temple in Wildwood New Jersey and the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Sholom in Bridgewater New Jersey. He also serves as a bedside musician for Stein Hospice. Author of more than 100 books, he was the recipient of the United Synagogue’s Keter Torah award for lifetime achievement and rabbinical excellence. His ordination is from the Jewish Theological Seminary and he holds a doctorate in education from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. Known as the teaching rabbi, he has taught at the Graduate Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary and at the Graduate Theological Seminary of Drew University, and has lectured throughout the United States.
Leora W. Isaacs, Ph.D.
Leora Isaacs has over four decades of experience as an educational practitioner, program developer and administrator, researcher and evaluator, and organizational and community consultant. After significant research and academic appointments, Leora was on the senior staff of the Jewish Education Service of North America for nearly three decades. Throughout her career she has gained a reputation as a master teacher at all levels of Jewish and secular education from early childhood through University graduate school, in virtually all forms and settings. Leora holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from CUNY Graduate Center and a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is accredited by the International Coach Federation as a Holistic Executive and Life Coach. Her firm, Isaacs Consulting LLC currently works with individuals, communities, national and local organizations and foundations throughout North America.
Rabbi Ron and Leora are nationally recognized as field leaders in Jewish Family Education and teen Jewish education, and have co-authored several seminal books and publications.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Martin Wickstrom has worked in commercial arts since 2003, mainly in publishing, with a focus on children’s illustration and vintage-styled travel posters in recent years. From 2013 to 2015 he worked as an in-house illustrator for the award-winning early literacy app Learn with Homer. https://www.wickillustration.com/
A seder is a joyful experience. In this haggadah, we invite you to fully engage yourself--body, mind, and soul-- in the miracle of redemption and freedom that is Passover.
Using this haggadah, we will connect with familiar rituals in a new way. By moving our bodies, expanding our minds, engaging our senses, and connecting with our spirits, we will feel the transition from slavery to freedom. We will explore traditions from around the world, from the Moroccan custom of passing a platter of matzah overhead to symbolize the "passing over," to the Bukharian reenactment of the flight from Egypt. We will consider how the familiar words and rituals of the seder resonate with the struggles of today's world.
We invite you to customize Seder in Motion to match participants' ages, comfort levels, and physical abilities. Challenge participants to be creative and come up with their own movements. Every year you may want to focus on different aspects of the seder, preserving what you most enjoy and experimenting with new ideas.
Your seder may include people who are physically distant, participating by phone or video link. Engage those participants by using the ideas from page 46, and look for the CONNECTION feature located at key points throughout the books.
Through activie participation Seder in Motion encourages all of us to feel a personal connection to the story of Exodus and the flight from slavery to freedom. We hope that through this haggadah you will experience the seder's eternal message of freedom and joy, and pass on this feeling from generation to generation.
Wishing you all the joys of freedom and redemption!
Ron and Leora Isaacs
Want to practice the Four Questions before Passover? You can do it on your mobile device with iMahNishtanah. Download from the App Store.