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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Passover 2014

posted by Nell Minow
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Hag Sameach! Passover is not just about remembering the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is about telling the story.  The word “haggadah,” the name of the book we read aloud every year at the meal (seder) to remember what happened and help make it real to us, means “story.”

Thousands of years before people talked about “learning styles,” the seder included many different ways of telling the story, so that everyone would be included, and everyone would feel the power of the journey toward freedom. The Haggadah makes the story come alive through taste, smell, and touch as well as sight and hearing, and through the example of the four sons it presents the story to the wise, the simple, the skeptic, and most especially to the young — one of the highlights of each Seder is when the youngest person present asks the traditional four questions, beginning with “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

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If they had known about movies back in the time of Moses, they would have included that form of story-telling, too. For younger children, The Prince of Egypt and Joseph – King of Dreams are a very good introduction to the story of how the Jews came to live in Egypt and how Moses led them out of slavery. Shalom Sesame: It’s Passover, Grover! is a great introduction to the holiday for preschoolers.  Children may also enjoy Chanuka & Passover at Bubbe’sOut of Egypt – The Passover Story and The Passover, which explains all of the elements of the seder.

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Older children and adults will appreciate Charlton Heston’s The Ten Commandments and the more recent versions of the story, starring Burt Lancaster, and Ben Kingsley.

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