In my own personal custom, I'm pretty committed to the idea of one Seder, on the first night of the holiday. A second seder has always felt, well, secondary. It lacks the excitement, the enthusiasm, the delight (albeit short-lived) of that first taste of matzah.
But I love a good party.
So I don't usually turn down the idea of a second-night-of-Passover Party.
Oh, and since I also love to teach and discuss and enjoy traditions, I don't mind throwing a few of the Seder customs into that second-night-of-Passover party.
Often, our second seder is somewhat experimental.
So this year, we tried a few new things.
First, we set up a tent in our living room. Our living room isn't very big, so the tent took up most of the space. But it did allow us to ask a fifth question - "what's with the tent!?"
I had hoped it would spark a discussion of what it would be like to wander in the desert, what we would pack if we had to leave on a moment's notice. Alas, it wasn't quite as sparky as I'd hoped. But the kids loved having a tent. And Big Bear loved having a room of his own.
The more successful innovation was this Make-Your-Own Charoset Oasis:
(As named by my friend Rabbi Anne Persin, who says, "we're traveling in the desert and we stopped at this oasis for some charoset!")
I put out bowls of chopped nuts, chopped apples, chopped pears, mandarin oranges, toasted coconut, and raisins. I pre-soaked the apples and pears in wine, and I left a little extra wine on the table for those who like it extra-mushy. We also put out honey and cinnamon (not pictured). Even my kids who don't usually like charoset got into the fun, and adults did too. (Bananas came up as a suggestion, and I waited to cut them until the last minute and then I forgot. Oops.)
I think it might be fun to ask people to suggest their own ingredients, or to ask them to bring a bowl filled with a charoset ingredient and its significance toward the lessons of Passover. Either way, I think I've created a hit with this one!
In case you're interested, we also watched some of our favorite Pesach videos and had a little discussion about freedom, slavery, and plagues. Yael said the four questions (even though she got both giggly and shy) and I quizzed all the kids about all that they knew about Passover. And of course, we ate a yummy meal! We celebrated with friends and family and I consider it to be a wonderful and fun success!
How were your Seder experiences?
Did you try anything new? Please share....I'd love to learn from you!