• AJT, a JDC program in affiliation with BBYO      
  • Russian

It Is Always Like the First Time!

Speaking about Jewish traditions, we most often imagine three festive images. The first is the image of a Shabbat table with a white tablecloth, the smell of fresh robe, just cooked and covered with a beautiful lace cover, and the familiar motives of songs and blessings.

The second and no less familiar is the image of Hanukkah candles burning on a beautiful candlestick, the taste of sweet, luscious donuts and the laugh of children playing with dreidels.

And the third is the image of the Passover Seder, which brought together all the closest and dearest people, telling everyone the well-known story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. We hear this story each and every year, but every time we get thrilled by it. This was the atmosphere that prevailed at the Seder in the youth club "Among Their Own" in Kazan.

The beginning was the same as at all Seders: following a certain sequence, the children read blessings and told the cherished story, walking this great path together with their ancestors. The participants also did not forget about the pleasant and very important tradition of the Seder: before reading the story of the exodus, one of the children asked 4 questions about the difference between Passover night and other nights. The guys tried to answer them, keeping the Passover commandment, in a way so that even a kid could understand.

Another interesting tradition is the Seder step called Tsafun. After the festive meal, adults hide an afikoman wrapped in a napkin - a piece of matzo from the table that children will search for. It is generally accepted that a child who finds an afikoman can ask his parents for whatever he wants and wishes, and the parents cannot refuse. However, the members of our club hid the afikoman in an unusual place - the Internet. It’s a well-known fact that today's youth is well-versed in virtual reality and social networks, so the teens had to look for the "Passover treasure" in a different way. To do so, the teenagers needed to be creative and to use wide knowledge in order to understand the prompts given to them. And theydid succeed in it!

At the end of the Seder, our teens asked themselves: what would the executions be like in our time? How would G-d punish the Egyptians if the events of Passover history took place in our time? The teenagers made their own list of punishments and simulated some of them, showing how it would actually look.

Apparently, the members of the youth club "Among Their Own" were able to fulfill the main commandment of the Passover Seder - to feel the history, to return to that time and live those moments again. In addition, they managed to show traditions in a modern way and by doing this, they preserve the history of the liberated Jewish people from slavery and oppression!