Making the most of our Seder: Interactive Sheets and Resources for the Whole Family

Written By: Shira Berkowitz, LCSW

Seder-Mental Health Resources

The major theme of the Pesach Seder is  “מתחיל בגנות ומסיים בשבח” – to “begin with the sorrows and conclude with the praise”. This teaches the range of emotions that we are to feel and experience throughout the night of the Pesach Seder. In particular this year we are home with just our own families and in addition to the feelings of the experiences, it is a useful opportunity to revisit some mental health principles through the lens of the Seder. It is for this reason that we would like to offer a few options as to how to use the night as a growth opportunity from the perspective of mental health.

Emotion Identification. As we go through the story and really try to put ourselves in the minds of the Jews in Mitzrayim through today- work together to try to articulate and experience the different emotions at different points of the story. The highs and lows make for a great opportunity to identify a range of emotions. Very often, it is the understanding and recognition of the emotions we are feeling that are the first step to properly engage those emotions. Below, find attached links to a list of emotions, discussion cards and emotion faces- be creative in how to use these resources!

Positive Psychology: A common theme during the current pandemic is to try to stay positive. This is an approach to Positive Psychology. This approach is of utmost importance during times of suffering and challenges. Just like the Jews in Slavery needed to overcome challenges, we are faced with our own set of challenges today- let?s try to remain positive! Use the resources below as activities during the meal or otherwise to exercise this trait of focusing on the positive!

One aspect that helps us maintain a positive attitude and has been shown to improve how we feel both emotionally as well as physically is recognizing the things in life we have to be grateful for and expressing gratitude for them. Pesach is a time we give thanks to Hashem for freeing us from slavery and is a terrific opportunity to notice all things in life we can be grateful for. Below is a link that can assist in sparking a conversation of gratitude at our Seder table (obviously this is meant as a conversation starter and not to be filled out on Yom Tov!)

Family Focus: Although the theme of the Seder every year is the concept of passing down the story of Mitzrayim to the next generation, this year it is particularly in the forefront as we are locked in with just our families. Maintaining that theme we have attached some activities that will help us use this time as an opportunity to get to know our families better, and deeper. Use these activities during the meal or otherwise to try to strengthen the bonds of our families and gain greater insight into the members of our families!