SCARSDALE, NY — You can find the secret to creating lively Passover seders in a surprising place — the 1,800-year-old law code, the Mishnah.
For starters, the Mishnah designed a careful balance between aspects of the seder evening that should be fixed and others that left room for spontaneity.
Fixed elements included drinking four cups of wine, eating matzah, explaining the meaning of the Passover sacrifice, eating matzah with bitter herbs, and reciting the six psalms of Hallel.
These would bind Jews together as a people wherever and whenever they live.
But when it came to telling the Passover story, the Mishnah encouraged creativity. This would prevent seders from becoming lifeless clones. Brilliant!