For many years I attended the community seder at my synagogue. It made it easier on families to just pay for a kosher catering company to make the food and make life a lot simpler. I think there was another reason why so many people wanted to attend. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan or can just imagine a feast for a king, then you will know the kind of politics and ass kicking I’m about to write.
After the prayer services, the families who payed to attend the seder line up at the door of the social hall where the list of names and table numbers is posted. Anyone who has been to a seder before knows that there is either one long table or connecting tables to each other. The tables were connected, but each seat had a number. Families were placed together, but once everyone took their seat, you could tell it was strategically planned.
The people who donate the most money to the synagogue are given the closest seats to the Rabbi. Then comes the respected elderly, new synagogue members, families, couples, singles, and finally visitors. Shouldn’t the visitors be given the seat closest to the Rabbi? Like at a baseball game, the visitors were given the bleacher seats, the least desirable, worst view, and last to be served place. I was never considered a visitor of the synagogue because I grew up there, and I felt bad getting my food first before someone new. Sometimes there would be too many seats that were needed, so the visitors would be sitting all by themselves.
The seder is a time for the Rabbi to shine in the spotlight. He gets to make the kids look like idiots when they’re forced to sing a song in Hebrew about the reasons Passover is different from all other nights. He gets the best wine, is served the food first, and is seated with the rich people who buy their way into his prayers. If it weren’t for the lack of brothels or someone dying, this would have been a scene straight out of Game of Thrones.