A Prayer for the Seder Horseradish, A Hope for the Easter Ham: Conversation Starters for the Holy Holidays

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At tables, during holy days, occupy our hearts with something new:
Let us risk a conversation in which debt is not considered shameful.
Grant us mutual release of any embarrassment that we aren’t rich yet.
Release us from the nasty shame that says debt is our fault.
Remind us to keep our resumes at home.
Keep us from reporting only accomplishments to each other.
Help us forgive all our intimates for not winning the lottery.
Help us redefine what it means to win.
Grant us some generous forgiveness for not being wildly successful and limit our
bragging to one self-referential story per hour. Move us beyond shame for being “poor”
or understanding how you can have a lot of food and still feel poor. Remove internalized
poverty from our table, where it sits next to the egg, the root, the parsley, the shank.
Refuse to shame those unemployed or the underemployed. Refuse to give them advice.
Instead, warm them. Acknowledge that there is a hole in the boat of the current economy
and help people understand the truth of that hole.
Grant us an Exodus from the narrow way in to a wider path.
Liberate us from the illusion that we are powerless, and let our feet be our prayer, let our
prayers move to our feet, let us be Occupied with Occupy and its fertile power to allow us
to hope again.
May we leave Seder, different. May we leave Easter, Risen. May we forgive the systems
less than we forgive each other. Amuse us with how inept we are at not knowing how to
go along to get along. Bring us out of denial about the economic systems to which we give
passive assent. Remind us of the great activity in passivity. Refuse the clichés if people say,
“it’s all about the money” and don’t fight what it is all about.
Resist the illusion that we are powerless. Join up, table by table, family by family, friend by
friend, into a walk out of Pharaoh’s long reach. Live large in the narrow place.