Organizing a communal Pesach seder requires advance coordination, kashering the kitchen and utensils, inviting guests, ordering the wine and matzah, preparing remarks and cooking the lavish meal.
In Glasgow, Scotland, they had another factor to consider: The late hour.
The earliest time to start the seder this year was 9:00 PM. “In view of this, the Seder schedule was adjusted to accommodate the late hour,” said Rabbi Chaim Jacobs, Director of Lubavitch of Scotland.
Rabbi Jacobs and his wife Sora Jacobs resorted to telling their 110 guests to come one hour before sundown and spend the evening in an unconventional manner for a seder night.
First, they were served a festive meal prepared under the supervision and guidance of Mrs. Jacobs. From sunset until nightfall there was a short interval which included Seder explanations, favorite songs and candle lighting.
The actual seder, led by the Jacobs, began at nightfall and ended just before 11:00 PM to the delight of all the men, women and children who participated.
Following reading the Hagaddah and eating Matzah, Maror and the Korech sandwich, there was Shulchan Orech which included the traditional egg in salt water, and a lavish dessert.
They then continued with Tzafun, Barech, Hallel and Nirtzah.
“The atmosphere was tremendous with many people already pre-booking for next year,” Rabbi Jacobs said even though next year the Seder will not be able to begin until 9.30pm.
Other Chabad Lubavitch Sedorim were held in Edinburgh, Scotland and organized by shluchim Rabbi Pinny and Gitty Weinman, who run Chabad on Campus in Edinburgh, with a large crowd of over 130 attending both nights.
“Communal Sedorim are a great asset in particular for people who live on their own or have no family living locally,” said Sora Jacobs. “It means that no person has to sit at home on their own on the night of the Pesach Seder. At Lubavitch in Scotland subsidies were given to enable those who could not afford the ticket price to still attend the Seder with dignity. This policy applies to all their activities and programs.”
Also planned for this Pesach in Glasgow is a large Moshiach’s Seudah with over 30 guests expected.