Make a Sephardic Seder, Whip Your Friends With Scallions



After sitting for hours—and hours and hours—around the seder table with your family, you may feel like hitting someone (looking at you, drunk Uncle Ivan). If your family is Sephardic and has some large onions on hand, you may just be in luck.

There is a tradition among Sephardic Jews to whip your seder-mates with oversized scallions during the singing of the Passover classic, “Dayenu.” Some families give each guest their own personal whipping scallion, while others have one that gets passed around the table for everyone to have a turn. Most believe this ritual is meant to mimic lashes from Egyptian slave drivers, which makes “Dayenu” the perfect background music as it recounts the number of miracles that helped set the Israelites free.

Other Sephardic Passover traditions include momentarily placing the seder plate on each guest’s head, dressing all in white, and pouring out wine in the farthest part of the yard while whispering, “May this go to all of our enemies and haters.”

Hopefully you won’t have too many enemies at your seder this year, but at least there’s a traditional way of taking out your anger—lightly of course.



Recommended from JTA