For many people all over the world who attend this ancient Jewish re-enactment, the most important and profound question they often ask is, “how long till we eat?” While some seders can go on for hours upon hours before ever sensing the first whiff of matzoh ball chicken soup or gefilte fish on a bed of crisp lettuce, this seder is designed to get to the meal in about one hour and 15 minutes.
For those who like to delay the meal even longer, feel free to improvise and take your chances with the rest of the people seated with you at the table. And for those who think this is too long, I remind you that the injunction during the seder is to participate as if we ourselves were there. So sit back, and participate in your moment of vicarious multi-generational suffering. For some this may seem like 40 years in the wilderness, but be assured that when you emerge from your suffering, and the meal is served, your appreciation for its taste, texture, and gastronomical satisfaction will soon be that much sweeter. Your momentary time of empathetic affliction will soon be forgotten and replaced with the joyous celebration of God’s deliverance power (and perhaps a satisfying belch or two).
For leaders who feel overwhelmed by those who complain all night, be encouraged by the example of Moses, who as a leader, patiently persevered through the same annoying people problems; Only remember, his complainers persisted for 40 years. Therefore, lead on! You only have them with you for one night.
One more added side dish side-bar: If there is any concern about the culinary capabilities of the people preparing the meal, remember, the Bible teaches, the longer it takes to get to the meal, the more delicious that meal will be. ‘To the hungry (famished) man every bitter thing is sweet’ — Proverbs 27:7.