The Shavuot Seder – Experience Report

I finally was able to do my Shavuot Seder with a group of people.  An amazing thing is that it was done with people who were all over the world thanks to   I give the experience a pretty big thumbs up.  I think I’d give a good 1.5 hours in the future, and I’d want to have a little more time to prep the study sections.

Get the Text: Shavuot Seder Haggadah

This seder uses cheese, which is a traditional food for Shavuot.  For each of the prophetesses in the seder I picked out a special cheese.  Here’s my list of cheeses, prophetesses and why — other than it was available at the store.

Shavuot Seder Cheese Plate
Shavuot Seder Cheese Plate

Sarah:  Labne 
This is a middle eastern goat’s milk “spread.”  I chose this because it’s a simple cheese made from goat’s milk and it seemed it this case like the place to start and also the kind of food that Sarah might have actually eaten.

Miriam: Goat’s Milk Brie from Wellspring Creamery
The name is why I chose this one.  Miriam is deeply associated with water and wells, so it was a natural choice when I saw it.

Devorah (Deborah): Big John Cajun Cheese from Beehive Cheese
This one was chosen for the spicy nature of it, because there’s a line I use from Leah Novick in the seder, which refers to Devorah’s “fiery spirit.”  After I picked it up, I realized there was a bee aspect too — and since Devorah means bee — it couldn’t be more perfect!  In writing this post, I realized this creamery also makes one of my other favorite bee-themed cheeses called “Barely Buzzed” and “Sea Hive.”  So yummy!

Hannah: Vintage 5 Year Aged Gouda
Hannah’s life seemed dry and hard, but you never know what can come from truly heart-felt prayer.    Aged gouda looks dry and hard, but it’s so tasty and delicious — like Hannah’s child, it was something worth waiting for.

Abigail: Midnight Moon from Cypress Grove
How do you not choose a cheese called “Midnight Moon” for the prophetess who sees the future, even if she is just following the obvious signs?

Hulda: Mitica Raw Goat from Murcia Curado
Strong, simple, clear and biting.  That feels like the lesson of Hulda

Esther: Ash-coated Chèvre 
Esther was hidden away until it was time for her to be revealed.


Share your thoughts!

Passover Menu 5771

The theme for my 5771 seder was “Oasis at the Elim.”  I had written about this concept a couple of years back, but had gone in a different direction that year.  This year, I finally decided to do a menu with the “oasis” theme.

I hope this inspires your Pesach menu planning!



Charoset Sampler

Apple & Walnut, Ashkenazi-style

Date & Fig Sephardic-style

Fig & Port Wine


Avocado Soup with Herbs, Slivered Radishes, and Pistachios

Main Course

Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Spiced Pine Nuts

Oven Roasted Asparagus with Olives & Almonds

Herbed Quinoa


Oranges with Pomegranate Molasses



Coffee, Tea, Wine, Sparkling Water

Part IV – Adar I | Elements of Embodied Judaism

Ether - Photo by Kieran Huggins. Used by Creative Commons Attributions Permissions.
Ether – Photo by Kieran Huggins. Used by Creative Commons Attributions Permissions.

I started this series in  January 2010, with an Introduction to Embodied Judaism and  “ Part I: Elements.”   In the fall of 2010, I picked it back up in earnest with the first of four planned seasonal guides,  Part II – Autumn and Part III – Winter.  I started writing these in a fortuitous year, because it is a leap year.  We don’t move straight from Winter to Spring in leap years — we have a pause, a moment of liminal space, a moment to explore the element of Aether/Void.

Adar I, in a leap year, is the moment where the element of Aether/Void comes to the forefront.  Truthfully, this fifth element — like all elements is always present.  It is the element that transmits all other things.    While the other four elements are well founded in Jewish tradition, you may be asking if Aether is really Jewish.

I don’t know.

Continue reading “Part IV – Adar I | Elements of Embodied Judaism”

A More Magickal Pesach

Carly is Excited to have her Prophet's Cup
This is Joseph's cup that he used for divination. Look into my cup and I'll tell you the future.

There are so many amazing things you can do to add a little more magick to your Passover Seder. Needless to say, using the fabulous Peeling a Pomegranate Haggadah is an easy way to do this, but there are so many others that you can do (all of which work great with my haggadah and others, too).  Considering that so much of the Seder is about creating a sense of wonder to engage your body, mind, and spirit.  It’s intended to be experiential.   Here are a few ideas to bring a little more magick to your Pesach.

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