Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MOMBIAN Passover Questions for LGBTQ Families
by Dana Rudolph
2019-04-13

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Passover begins the evening of April 19, and although I'm somewhat casual in my observance, I love that the holiday, which commemorates Jewish people's journey out of slavery in Egypt, has become a time for reflection on freedom and social justice. This year, I've been thinking about how we LGBTQ parents might use the traditional "Four Questions" of Passover to guide our modern-day journeys.

During the Passover seder, a ritual meal, we use a book called a Haggadah to retell and symbolically relive the story. Some of the passages come from traditional texts and liturgy, but much of the Haggadah is open to creative input. Because of the theme of freedom from oppression, many Haggadot ( plural ) aim at exploring various areas of social justice and include readings from modern civil rights leaders, poets, and other thinkers.

A key part of the seder is the asking of the Four Questions, which explain the symbols and rituals and are traditionally asked by the youngest child at the table who is able to do so. Many modern Haggadot, however, add extra questions for personal reflection or to delve into a particular area of social justice. Here, therefore, are some additional questions queer families could ask at the seder or, if you do not observe Passover, any time your family gathers for a meal and discussion.

The Four Questions actually begin with a fifth overarching question, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" This prompts me to ask: How are we, as an LGBTQ family, different from all other families—and how are we the same? I believe that our similarities—in loving our children and helping them grow and learn—go deeper than our differences. At the same time, it can sometimes be useful to think about our differences as a way of finding pride in our identities. What can we learn from exploring points of connection and places of difference? How can we use our similarities to build bridges? Where, too, do our intersecting identities of ethnicity, race, geographic origin, gender, ability, religion, and more offer us connection with other people and families, LGBTQ and not?

We move on to the first of the four traditional Passover questions: "On all other nights, we eat leavened food or matzo [an unleavened cracker]. Why on this night, only matzo?" The usual answer is that when Pharaoh finally let the Jews leave Egypt, they went quickly, grabbing their bread dough before it could rise. They were willing to adapt to eating unleavened bread in order to gain their freedom. As an additional question, therefore, I would ask: How has your family adapted to any challenges you may have encountered, either in starting your family or afterwards, and what have you learned from that experience?

The second seder question is: "On all other nights, we eat various vegetables. Why, on this night do we eat only bitter herbs [represented by horseradish and romaine lettuce on the seder plate]?" The usual answer is that they remind us of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt. My new question, then, in this year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, is: How can we and our children be reminded of the lives and struggles of LGBTQ families before us, and how can the stories of their lives help us today? ( One answer is to look at the booklists I've compiled at mombian.com . )

The third Passover question is: "On all other nights, we don't dip [our food] even once. Why on this night do we dip twice?" This is a reference to the seder ritual of first dipping parsley in salt water to remind us of the tears of slavery and then dipping bitter herbs in charoset, a sweet paste of fruit and nuts that symbolizes the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves. I've heard it explained that dipping food in other food was something no slave had the wherewithal to do, and was therefore a sign of freedom. The second dip, into charoset, is to remind us there is sweetness even in bitter times. My question therefore is: How do we sweeten the bitterness of inequality for ourselves and our children? By finding community? Seeking allies? Taking action?

Finally, at a seder we ask, "On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. Why on this night do we all recline?" We are told that reclining while eating is a sign of luxury and freedom. I would ask, therefore, Even as we enjoy some freedoms for our families, how can we become better allies to other marginalized groups, both within and outside the LGBTQ community?

As we tell the story of the Exodus, we recall its message, "You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt." ( Exodus 23:9 ). Although I consider myself fairly secular, that message still resonates with me in this time of new pharaohs, new oppressions, and debates about how to treat strangers coming into our land. However and whatever we may each celebrate this season, may we find meaning in it to carry us through the days ahead. Pharaohs can be overcome and freedom gained.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( mombian.com ), a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

OutRight Report: Conversion therapy is global 2019-08-23 - The group OutRight Action International has released a report exposing the global reach of so-called conversion therapy. "Conversion therapy" is the most widely ...


Gay News

Goldie Goldbloom on new book, being a queer Chasidic Jew 2019-08-21 - Chicago author and queer Chasidic Jew Goldie Goldbloom's newest book is On Division. It centers on the life of Surie Eckstein in Brooklyn, ...


Gay News

Kinley Preston previews Lips Chicago dinner theater 2019-08-21 - Lips, billed as "the ultimate in drag dining," is locating its fifth location in Chicago. The South Loop venue, opening to the public ...


Gay News

Reports: Teen to testify against Aurora church employee 2019-08-20 - A minor alleging that an Aurora area church employee solicited nude photos from them via Snap Chat and text messages will be allowed ...


Gay News

Lighthouse plots continuing protest strategies 2019-08-18 - Community members, among them stakeholders from several Chicago-area religious organizations, gathered at Lighthouse Church in Lincoln Park the morning of Aug. 10, to ...


Gay News

We need to talk about the 'Pose' hospital episode right now 2019-08-07 - The TV show Pose, on FX, is nothing less than astounding to me. So much could have gone wrong, with the era, the ...


Gay News

EXCLUSIVE: Community activists launch focus on Center on Halsted 2019-08-06 - After several community conversations this summer about allegations of racism from some Boystown business owners and other organizations, a Chicago activist organization is ...


Gay News

OP-ED How 'Queen Sugar' increases Black LGBTQ visibility 2019-08-06 - In 2018, there were more LGBTQ people of color on TV than their white counterparts. OWN's Queen Sugar is part of a quiet ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Consent decree, Lyft, AOC, priest, Univ. of Michigan 2019-08-06 - After more than three years of litigating, a North Carolina federal judge approved a consent decree that would protect the rights of transgender ...


Gay News

Unity Chicago to temporaily move 2019-07-31 - Inclusive church Unity Chicago, 1925 W. Thome Ave., announced plans to move its offices, event space and sanctuary to a temporary location while ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.