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    The case for the second Seder

    In Israel there is only one Seder, in the Diaspora there are two. Those who have made aliyah from the Diaspora appreciate the advantage of not having two days yom-tov (the sole exception is Rosh HaShanah).

    The Seder, a 19th century print from the Ukraine

    The Seder, a 19th century print from the Ukraine

    We do however sometimes yearn for the second Seder. When we were in the Diaspora we were rather sorry for those who made their own decision to keep only one Seder.

    The fact is that though the second Seder means extra work, there is an art in ensuring that the two nights each have a character and quality of their own and don’t become mere clones of one another.

    For our readers who live outside Israel, think of what you can do to make each Seder night special – a different menu, different guests, different tunes, different explanations, different emphases (one suggestion is to stress the first half of the Haggadah on the first night and the second half on the second night).

    Some people have a large Seder the first night, with a room-full of guests, but make the second night “family only”, so that apart from the religious side of the Seder the family gets a chance to bond together and develop their inner dynamic.

    On the first night some people run their Seder according to one commentator and on the second night they follow a quite different one.

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