This evening after nightfall, people will be hosting or being a guest in a home observing Passover with a Seder (ceremonial dinner). Learning how to be a gracious Seder guest is not easy and involves a few rules, which we’ve curated for you. We will call it Passover Seder 101.
- Do not be late. Late means you are interrupting a ritual.
- If taking a host/hostess gift, then be certain that the gift is Kosher for Passover, which is different than everyday kosher. It can’t contain anything with yeast or wheat or be in a container that was used for anything unleavened. To be safe, send or take a pre-arranged bouquet of lilies or cherry blossoms or carnations or violets. Kosher wine is a good gift too.
- If asked to read from the Haggadah, be polite and do so. Do not decline. Passover is about community.
- If you do not drink or are sober, then it is best to tell your host/hostess in advance because four (4) glasses of wine are served with the dinner. Your host will make the substitution for you.
- Find something to nosh on before going, because the Seder is a ceremony and it could take a while before the meal is served.
- NEVER touch the Seder Plate. Your host could distribute something from it to you, offer you the opportunity to take something from the plate, but you’re to avoid touching it on your own.
- If time permits, ask your host/hostess or any Jewish friend to explain some of the symbolism to you. Understanding some of the details and symbols could make it a memorable event for now and later.
- Enjoy the fellowship of your host/hostess and other guests.
No doubt your host/hostess will be the perfect host/hostess and tell you how to dress for the occasion. It is a religious observance, so dress modestly.
And it is okay to say “Happy Passover” or “Chag Sameach” (Happy Holiday).
Lastly, don’t forget to send a thank-you note.