Inner focus to Passover meal

  • Sat Apr 26th, 2008 6:30am
  • Life

Cara and Phil Cohn, co-owners of erb’s Vegetarian Restaurant, will celebrate Passover with a Seder and full course vegetarian meal for 30 guests.

The dinner will take place Sunday, April 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. at their restaurant on A Street, across the street from the Eastsound Post Office. Reservations have all been filled.

In the new ceremony composed by Cara Cohn, guests will go through the various steps of the Seder as the different customs of the meal are explained, and the current-day relevance of the ceremony.

The Seder guests will be seated community style; they have been invited to bring percussion instruments.

Guests will be encouraged to change seats and move around the table during the dinner, which will be a melding of traditional and alternative components, Cara says.

Cara Cohn is a cantorial soloist; she has written and performed many Seders at synagogues and churches. She describes the Seder (literally “order”) meal as an experience of liberation.

“We’ll be encouraging our guests to look inward and ask, ‘What is enslaving us today?’ ‘How are we going to take steps to free ourselves from what enslaves us?’ That’s the prism we’re going to look through,” Cara Cohen says.

The dinner will “connect to what it felt like to be an oppressed person,” and commemorate the Hebrews, who were slaves to the Egyptians in ancient times, as the “first to have a socially conscious uprising and overthrow their oppressor,” said Cara.

The Seder will be strictly vegetarian, and will take on “an inner focus,” Cara said. “It’s all about spring and renewal and the circle of life.”

The Seder at erb’s will have a lot of alternative components to it, Cohen says, not all of any one tradition, but a melding.