Saturday, April 18, 2009

Santa Cruz Hagaddah

So, I'm sure you are wondering, what does a Hagaddah have to do with fibroids? Or, if you are not Jewish, you are more likely wondering, what the heck is a Haggadah?

The Haggadah is the book that is used for the meal/service called the Seder that Jews (and this year President Obama too!) participate in during the holiday of Passover. The Hagaddah tells the story of the Jews' liberation from Egypt.

To be honest, I always felt that the Haggadah was pretty dry and boring, and struggled to find its relevance for me.

Then this year I went to a seder in Santa Cruz, and my hosts were using a photocopied cobbled-together Haggadah. I was completely fascinated by it, it really spoke to me. It talked a lot about liberating yourself, asked thought-provoking questions and even quoted Martin Luther King Jr's Mountaintop speech which never fails to bring tears to my eyes and of course is so appropriate for Passover. I thought to myself, this reads a lot more like the various books I've been reading in my fibroid-shrinking quest than it does a typical Haggadah! I was actually disappointed that we went through it quickly (whereas normally I'm happy to rush through the service to get to the food.)

I asked my hosts about it and it turns out the parts that appealed to me were from the aptly named Santa Cruz Haggadah. For those of you who don't know Santa Cruz, it's the epitome of what people in the rest of the country think of when they think of California -- a town full of surfers, vegans, and spiritually aware folk.

I looked it up on the web, and here it is!I also found this description which I think describes it well: In addition to acknowledging the historical Exodus, The Santa Cruz Haggadah pays attention to the idea that it is up to us to heal the planet (Tikkun Olam) and free ourselves from whatever holds us back from being the best people we can be. In essence, it nurtures a very interactive seder that encourages personal liberation. Using this haggadah ensures a Seder that is deep, high and fun; meaningful, joyous and memorable for all who participate.

If you are looking for an alternative to the regular Haggadah that feels more integrated with the personal growth you have been trying to do, this is it. This would also be of interest as general reading for to those who are interested in tying their religious beliefs to the emotional work they are doing. (The Leader's Edition evidently has extra thought-provoking questions too)

No comments: