Crack Yourself Open this Passover
Here’s a creative activity to accompany a Lilith Passover classic, “Ode to the Passover,” by Rabbi Susan Schnur. Start by reading the piece out loud and move into the artmaking. You can also find this activity in the Jewish Zine Archive‘s “A Haggadah Zine: Passover 5782,” with Lilith, Judaism Unbound, and Torah Studio.
Ode to the Passover Egg
By Rabbi Susan Schnur, Lilith Spring 2003
There is nothing more private than you, Egg. You are pure secret, unbosoming not a thing. Who would guess that inside your smooth temple worlds queue up, chafing to be born through generations, to be birthed and birthed again? Who would guess that worlds queue up inside of me, too. Egg, for I am like you — inside, the life in me teems, unborn universes mutely jostling and pulsing; like you. Egg, I am pregnant with what might-be. On the outside. Egg, you are flawless — dumb Eden before the fall. But inside, in that wild oestrus un-eden place, you realize your prurient aptitude for Creation. In our hands. Egg, you have been a fragile womb. How absently we have dropped you, how readily broken our dreams, passed over our own disciplines and desires. How we fail to bring waiting worlds to birth! carrying you as on a spoon across our hearts’ lawn, cautiously, back and forth, back and forth, we ferry fevered plans, failing in execution. In the cove of my hand. Egg, I hear you whisper: “it is all within, it is all within.” And I bend and whisper back: “Then let me in!” “No,” you shout. “Be strong. Enter who you are, enter your own body. There you will find a fruitful place. Don’t go off somewhere else! Don’t wander forty years in a desert! Think about this carefully: Consider this hand that cradles me — it is yours. This palm in which I wait, winking: it is all within, it is all within. Acknowledge me,” you tell me. Egg, “birth me. Birth your worlds.”
All you need is a paper, pen, and tape (or glue)! But you’re welcome to use any additional art supplies that you have at home
On the seder plate, this single egg holds many different representations:
- The festival sacrificed offered on every major holiday in the Temple, in addition to the Passover lamb sacrifice.
- The cyclical nature of the seasons—the return of Spring and abundance
- The continuous cycle of life. Even in the midst of mourning, we will someday return to celebration.
Through the creative process, let’s explore the dualities contained with the sphere.
- Take a piece of paper and draw a big circle in the middle.
- Inside the circle, write, draw, or collage your response to the questions:
- What are you celebrating? What ideas, possibilities, hopes, and connections are you pregnant with?
- everything you’re celebrating
- Outside the circle, write, draw, or collage your response to the questions:
- What are you mourning? What has been broken?
- Now take that piece of paper and rip it into 4-10 pieces—the size and shape is up to you!
- Take those pieces and create something new.