Walking to Freedom - A new ritual for Serach Bat Asher
Last year I wrote about Serach Bat Asher, a story which holds so much meaning for Pesach, and for women as important links in the chain of tradition. I was asked if I might suggest a ritual to bring her into Seder, so here is a suggestion - feel free to make your own and to share here!
This might be performed when you are focusing on Elijah's cup, as she is reported to have been among the 10 or 11 people who never died; you might add a cup for Serach next to Elijah’s cup, as he is also among this number, or you might introduce her right at the start of the Seder to encourage story telling and making the Seder relevant to today.
Through Rabbinic tradition, Serach Bat Asher [read more here] symbolises the importance of mesorah – oral tradition, a tradition we honour tonight at our Seder. Elijah represents our hope for the future, she the importance of remembering and learning from the past. She is even able to correct the ancient sages in their re-telling of the Exodus story:
Rabbi Yochanan was sitting and expounding, how the waters were made into a wall for
Rabbi Yochanan explained they were like opaque walls. Serach, the daughter of
Asher, grew angry and said ‘I was there, and they were like nets!’ Israel
Pesikta D’Rav Kahana 11:13
As you hold your cup of Serach aloft, or if you don’t have one, the Seder plate which encourages us to tell and to ask, read together:
We remember the lessons taught to us by those who wrote our stories, and those who passed them on by word of mouth. Those who have celebrated seder before us, and who in each generation made the Exodus, slavery and freedom come to life. May we be empowered to add life and new meaning to our Pesach Seder, remembering those who continue in slavery today, and be inspired to not just talk the talk, but to walk the walk of freedom, and to fight for others to enjoy this freedom too.