At sundown on Monday April 18th, the Obama family and friends will celebrate the third White House Seder, the Passover holiday dinner that commemorates freedom. There are ceremonial aspects to the meal, including four glasses of wine, but basically it’s a feast, a feature of any holiday worth observing.
There is one aspect that sets the Seder apart: storytelling. Guests read the Exodus story from slim booklets called Haggadahs which incorporate Biblical and non-canonical episodes, commentary, prayers, folktales, and folksongs. There are many versions of the story, like you get in any group of Jews; since parents are instructed to tell their kids the ancient story as if it personally happened to them, that’s entirely appropriate. Two new stories have emerged, one about the Obama Seder itself, and perhaps these should be added to American Passover lore: