Let Me Count the Ways: 5 Quickies for Your Seder

by Carol Starin

  1. Haroset Pyramids. I always make individual seder plates. It saves passing around a lot of stuff. This year, instead of the small scoop of haroset, I’m placing a haroset pyramid on each plate.

    To make the mold: You can make a 3 or 4-sided pyramid. I’m doing 3 sides. Cut three identical triangles from a piece of cardboard. I use isosceles triangles—27/8” on the sides, 4 inches on the bottom. Completely wrap each triangle with aluminum foil and tape the three pieces together—to form a cone. Spray the inside of the cone with kosher-for-Pesah non-stick spray. Fill the ‘pyramid’ with a heavy haroset. (Sephardic recipe or the traditional recipe with the addition of some dried fruits.) Refrigerate and unmold when time to serve.

  2. Questions at the Seder. One of the goals of the seder is to motivate questions. Sometimes people are a bit reluctant to ask.

    One way to get started is, in advance of the seder, to make a list of questions. Put each question on a separate card. Set a card under each person’s plate. At any point during the seder invite seder participants to ask “their” question.

  3. 15 Steps. Use your own foot to create a pattern of a foot. Make 15 “feet.” On each foot write the name of one step of the seder. Place the 15 steps in order on the floor beginning with the first step (kadesh) just as guests come through the door.

    I think of this as an organizing set for what is to come. Guests and family will already have “walked through the 15 steps” by the time they open the Haggadah.

  4. Seder Mad-libs. Check out the Babaganewz website. They have a storehouse of Pesah ideas.

    One of my favorites is their Pesah “mad-lib” called BabaMeisa. The madlib can be found here. If writing is part of your seder tradition, begin the seder by creating a group a mad-lib.

  5. Elijah’s Cup. When it’s time to fill Elijah’s cup, you might try one of the following*:
    • Invite guests to pour wine from their own cup into Elijah’s cup and express a personal wish for the future.
    • Pass out post-it notes and ask guests to write down the names of those people whom they wish could be present. Place the sticky notes on the plate that holds Elijah’s cup.
    • Ask each guest to share something that has given them joy this year.

[*With thanks to Rabbi Phil Warmflash and The Jewish Outreach Partnership]

Have a wonderful holiday.

Hag Pesah kasher v’same’ah.