Pesach 2022 Additions to Honor Ukraine
Elliott batTzedek / Fringes: a feminist, non-zionist havurah
The Sunflower Seed on the Seder Plate
Reader: On our seder plate tonight is a new symbol, a sunflower seed. Why a sunflower seed?
Reader: Because, on February 22nd, the 2nd day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a woman confronted the armed Russian soldier standing on her street corner.*
Reader: “So what the fuck are you doing here?” she asked. “You’re occupants, you’re fascists! What the fuck are you doing on our land with all these guns?
Reader: Then she thrust a handfull of sunflower seeds at the soldier. “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here,” she ordered.
Reader: After he told her not to “escalate” the situation she tried to get him to accept the seeds again and said: “From this moment, you are cursed. I’m telling you.”
ALL: From this we learn three vital lessons – that when one practices resistance daily it can spring forth powerfully at any moment you need it, that our symbols and our foods nourish our practice of resistance, and that one ought never to cross a Ukrainian woman, for she DEFINITELY has the power to confront, totally destroy, and curse you.
*This confrontation was filmed – watch it with subtitled translations at The Guardian.
Zelenskyy Sandwich, to be eaten after Hillel Sandwich
Reader: Now we eat matzah and maror combined with charoset and sunflower seeds, a combination in honor of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Reader: As Ukraine has faced terror and violence and war, President Zelenskyy has been his nation’s anchor, holding resistance, resilience, and resolve, all while speaking truth to power. He has modeled what leadership can be when not rotted by ego, what masculinity can be when not tainted by toxic, and what true courage looks like when under actual fire.
All: To the people of Ukraine, this weekend of Pesach, Easter, and Ramadan, we say:
To you we dedicate this mix of history and hope, of bitter and of sweet, of mixed multitudes and mixed cultures. Many U.S. Jews celebrating tonight have direct ties to you, and we praise your courage in the face of what should never again be happening.