Invite non-Jews to your Seder!
Including non-Jews will help combat anti-Semitism!
The ground is lurching beneath the feet of European Jews, with anti-Semitism rising up around them. We American Jews are rightly concerned at this alarming turn of events. We fear the spread of this new, especially virulent form of anti-Semitism coming to our own shores. We feel disgusted but helpless. What can we do?
I believe that each of us has an obligation to fight anti-Semitism, just as we should stand up to any other deeply ingrained prejudice that we encounter. To do this, we must combat the ignorance that nourishes this disease. The task is not as daunting as it may seem. There is something simple each of us can do this Passover which commemorates the liberation of the Jews from Egyptian slavery. It won’t root out extremism instantly, but it will make a difference in the long term. Invite non-Jews to your Seder this year!— Nadine Epstein, editor & publisher of Moment Magazine
Read Nadine’s full column on this subject from the March/April 2015 issue of Moment here
For every Jewish family to invite an average of 2 non-Jews to a Seder
If as many Jewish families as possible invite an average of two non-Jews to a Seder this year, some six million non-Jews will be able to experience a Seder this year and at the very least taste traditional Passover foods and learn of their significance—not to mention gain invaluable insight— into Jewish values and understand the connection Jews feel to the land of Israel.
(Here’s how we calculated this number: With some 14 million Jews on the planet today, I estimate there could be two million Seders held on April 22, the first night of Passover, and another million for the second Seder the following evening.)
WHAT CAN I DO?
- Think of people you know of different faiths and backgrounds who you can invite… And invite them! The first night of Passover is April 22nd and the second is April 23rd.
- Tell us your story: Who have you invited in the past? Who are you thinking of inviting this year? Tell us below (we may publish some of this material).
- Send us a photo or video of a non-Jew breaking matzah with you for us to post on the web. Email these to email@example.com.
- SHARE THIS PASSOVER CALL TO ACTION #inviteanonjew2yourseder
Is this Kosher?
I know what I advocate is contrary to traditional Jewish law. Technically, Jews are not supposed to invite non-Jews to their Seder table. The primary reason for this prohibition stems from a ruling that only permits a Jew to cook for others who observe the laws of the holiday. The only exception to this is as if Passover falls on Shabbat, when one is not permitted to cook in any case. Moreover it can be deduced from Exodus 12:43 that the sacrificial lamb cannot be eaten by non-Jews. Some also believe it is inappropriate to share matzah with a non-Jew. But like many Jewish laws, these have been subject to a millennium of rabbinical interpretation. A majority of rabbis today would not censure a Jew who invites non-Jews to a Seder and have even drawn on other traditional sources to circumvent this prohibition.