I feel a little cheated by the coverage of the White House seder. I wish I’d been the proverbial fly on the wall.
We’ve been told about the matzoh ball soup, but what of the charoset? Sephardic or Ashkenazic? And that they used the Maxwell House Haggadah, but did they follow it all the way through? Did people ask questions, make comments, draw parallels, for example, between slavery in Egypt and American slavery, which seems a natural at a seder led by a black president? Did they discuss what it means to be a wise or foolish child? And who asked the four questions? Did someone steal the afikomen? If so, what was the ransom? Did they open the door for Elijah? And did some wine disappear from his cup? And did they sing afterward, as we do? (Although I must admit that we faded relatively early this year and did not sing a note.)
Soup does not make a seder; it’s the people spending a long night learning and rejoicing and experiencing the journey from slavery to freedom together.
So? Did they really have a seder, the real thing, in the White House?
And it’s really distasteful that so many “machers” reportedly were annoyed at not being invited. What did they want? To be guests of honor at a state dinner? I think this way was best – only family and a few friends, the kind of seder most of us had – not a photo op.
Dear readers, what do you think?