THE BLOG
05/29/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

A Seder and Easter in 6 Words

Aren't we tired of 140 characters and tweeting pearls of wisdom (or dregs of meaningless chatter?)

Last year, around this time, I wrote about Passover: Why not a Haggadah in 140 Characters? (You can read it here.)

Positive feedback came in from all faiths: Jews (secular to Orthodox, and everything in between,) Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Buddhist, and non-believers. The emails and re-postings gave me pause...there might be a good market for the following in 140-character form:

The Torah
The Bible, Old and New Testament
The Koran
The Book of Common Tibetan Buddhist Prayers
and even Winnie the Pooh

I'm not being disrespectful here. Pooh offers great wisdom.

My family of mutts includes every faith and walk of life. Indie Jews, Orthodox, Reform, Ortho-Conservative, Christians of all kinds, Jews of Color -- you name it. If anything is worth reading (and these all are) then there's nothing wrong with simplicity. Why not distill these age-old Books of Wisdom down to key characters? (No, not Abraham and Esther, not these kinds of characters. I mean the Track Changes kind of characters.)

This year, though, I'm thinking 140 characters is excessive. That's old. Who's ready to move on?

Six words! Who needs 140-characters when we can get the message across in six words.

We've got the six-word memoir, which is a favorite of mine. (But something tells me my agent won't go for that. This doesn't mean I can't condense my life down to six-words without her permission, or anyone else's. I just have to figure out which six: does it include prison, or heroin, or foster care, adoption, gangs, guns, smuggling, crime? It has to include reconciliation and redemption...jeepers, I think I'm already way over six.)

Back to our Books of Wisdom. If you've ever sat through a two or three hour Seder the way I have, or for that matter, any service or gathering that long, then you'll know why I keep looking into how to distill things down. I continue to speculate that Catholics secretly dream of drive-through confession or Lessons and Carols, and Lutherans wish for fast food lemon and chocolate bars rather than their basement post-services social hour. More like hours.

Can every Resurrection Sunday prayer be condensed into one meaningful six-word sentence? If so, what would it be? (I won't venture there, since I don't know them all.)

I do know a six-word Haggadah is in order here, don't you think? If a 140 character Haggadah could get the Seder down to less than five minutes, as I suggested last year, then a six-word Haggadah - - well, that's not even enough time for Elijah to appear. A Seder in six words. What choice words should be chosen?

The plus side is there's extra time for:
Wiping up the spilled red wine, grape juice, and matzo ball soup
Dabbing tears from over-aged killer horseradish
Picking up matzo crumbs from our laps, and...

We'll have more time to talk about all the missed material that was skipped in the Haggadah. All the words left out besides the Six.

If those six words are to come from the Four Questions (questions that are a central theme of the Seder meal, and a highlight of the Passover festival) then we'd probably have to choose these six: Why bread, herbs, bitter herbs, reclining?

Any other six words you can think of that matter more? Please email or post them here.

Good thing we've got another twelve months to figure out how the next best approach to Passover and Easter.

This time. Next year. In five words?

* * *
This is another Musing for Mutts Like Me.

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Email: deborah.kjs [at] gmail [dot] com

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