Monday, February 22, 2010

Celebrating Passover with Dr. Wilson

Under the tutelage of Dr. Marvin Wilson, professor of biblical and theological studies at Gordon, students are experiencing the history of their faith. And in March, while taking part in a Jewish Passover Seder meal, they will literally “eat history,” according to Wilson.

Wilson has broadened students’ religious education with over 400 interfaith field trips into the North Shore’s Jewish community during his time at Gordon. On March 18 students will take part in the yearly Passover meal at the Jewish Community Center in Marblehead, joined by both Christians and Jews from North Shore Community College, Salem State College and other North Shore organizations. In past years 400–500 have attended.

The Seder meal celebrates the Exodus from Egypt and slavery by retelling history to family and community. Through liturgy, a traditional meal, and song and dance, participants relive the deliverance, redemption and friendship experienced so long ago.

“The redemption from Egypt celebrates the greatest miracle in our Old Testament,” Wilson says. Every item on the table is a reminder of some aspect of life in Egypt. Salt water represents tears shed by Jewish slaves; matzah is to remember the quick departure from Egypt; charoset represents mortar for the making of bricks; and horseradish is to remember the bitterness of slavery.

Wilson hopes students will better understand the theme of redemption, will appreciate more about the Jewish background for Passover, and will learn about expanding Jewish-Christian relations. “We as Christians have the opportunity to relate to the Jewish community,” Wilson concludes, “and to articulate a personal sense of indebtedness, appreciation and thankfulness to them for bequeathing such a rich Hebraic heritage to us in the Church.”

1 comment:

Bob said...

Dr. Wilson does a great job with this. I took a modern Jewish culture course with him in the late 60's and it was very enriching. I still hold dear some of the experiences that he had us participate in. I know this will be a blessing for everyone who takes advantage of the opportunity.