Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am not a particularly religious Jew, though Passover was always my
favorite holiday growing up, for the familial get together, the food, and
the story. I have no particular interest in attending services or
becoming more observant. But I miss the rituals and the meaning that
Judaism provided when I was young. Is there a way that I can address
liberation themes in my own life, without the full bore ritual of a


Dear Lapsed:

Consider a Seder anyhow, because attending will have impacts you
cannot predict. It’s more than the historic story. So I would ask around
among your Jewish friends and see if you could get an invitation. It’s
pretty traditional, like Thanksgiving, not to let someone feel alone.
Either way, try asking these four non-traditional questions. You can
see if they work for you:


Question 1, Ask: What your special gifts are in this world. Why are you
here? What do you do for others? Is it your kindness, your intellect,
your willingness to help? Think about what makes you you. Write it
down. Name it and claim it.


Question 2, Ask: How could those gifts become a problem to you
through overuse? For example, if you’re a giver, have you failed to
learn about boundaries? Pay attention to when you use your gifts in
your daily life, and how you overuse them. Taking notes is good.


Question 3, Ask: How you resort to your gifts in time of stress and
difficulty. In a crisis, do you fall back on a core strength but fail to
energize other aspects of yourself? Do you always use your heart
when your head might be more appropriate to a given situation? Or is
it the other way round?


Question 4, Ask: How do you protect yourself with your gifts? For
example, if you’re always so smart and rational, do you forget to listen
to your heart when it might help more?



Get this far during Passover and see if you feel more liberated
afterwards. Change is hard and the spirit of the holiday is about
getting ourselves out of the narrow places and into a bigger world.