The RAVS Weekly Mushroom — Because We’re Growing

All week reservations came in for the final few spots at the April 11 fund raiser dinner at Vivie Bistro and Bakery. That event is now officially closed.

On Saturday at sundown, 26 people gathered at the Brighton Town Park Lodge to celebrate the 22nd Annual RAVS 2nd Night Seder. On Saturday, as we’ve done for several years now, we shared this event with the Rochester Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ). As many of you already know, a seder is a ceremonial service and meal to celebrate Passover, the liberation of the Jews from bondage in Egypt (“Let my people go”). The theme of liberation is a universal one which resonates in every time, including our own. It was used as a lodestone for the civil rights movement, and it can serve as well to express our desire to liberate animals from domination and exploitation by human beings. Our seder expressed solidarity with all social justice movements, bringing all who suffer within its circle of compassion. The service and dinner were vegan: the many ceremonial foods which traditionally come from animals found vegan substitutes that were especially significant, as they caused us to really think about the meaning of the symbol. Instead of an egg (as a source of life), an olive which contains a seed. Instead of a shank bone to represent sacrifice, a beet which contains a staining red liquid but no cruelty. Other items, not the traditional seder plate, were on our seder plate to lend the service further meaning: an orange which represents diversity, including women’s rights and gay rights; tomatoes which make us mindful of the migrant workers in Florida who pick our winter tomatoes and who are struggling for rights and for economic survival. Barry Swan led the service and we all participated in the readings. Thanks to all who shared in this event, with special thanks to Barry Swan for conducting the service, and to both Barry Swan and Ellie Cherin for organizing the event.

Carol Barnett, RAVS Co-coordinator