Tonight begins the eight day celebration of Passover.
Passover celebrates freedom by retelling the story of the exodus from Egypt. On the first night, it is celebrated at home with a dinner that includes special food and readings from the Haggadah. A Haggadah tells the Exodus story, lays out the traditional order of the Seder meal and explains the meaning of the symbolic foods included in the meal.
One tradition is to invite friends and family to share the Seder meal. This year my generous, and patient, father invited Our Cat – as told in these cartoons.
TOP, Four Questions One tradition of the Seder is to read the Four Questions, which explains some of the Seder symbols. They are traditionally read by the youngest person. This year that honor fell to Our Cat. It recently occurred to Our Cat, or at least to me, that there are really five questions, or one question and four answers, or one main question and four sub-questions. Here he asks my wise father for a little clarification.
MIDDLE, Bitter herbs One of the Passover traditions is to eat bitter herbs, as explained in the second (or is it the third?) question: Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on this night we eat bitter herbs? We eat only Maror, a bitter herb, to remind us of the bitterness of slavery that our ancestors endured while in Egypt.
BOTTOM, Reclining Another Passover tradition is to recline at the table, as explained in the fourth question Why is it that on all other nights we dine either sitting upright or reclining, but on this night we all recline? We recline at the Seder table because in ancient times, a person who reclined at a meal was a free person, while slaves and servants stood.