For Portland-based couple Roy and Claire Kaufmann, the standard Seder plate used during the Jewish holiday of Passover needs an extra space.
Ahead of the spring festival, which begins at sundown on April 22, the co-founders of Le'Or (Hebrew for “To Light”) have launched a cannabis-themed Haggadah encouraging “high-minded Jews to spark up Seder table conversations” at the ceremonial dinner to mark the beginning of the holiday.
Jews have made other forays into cannabis — “Pot Shabbats,” cannabis-infused lox and Kosher certified weed — and now, Le'Or is hoping to start a new tradition with the official #CannabisSeder.
The drug policy reform nonprofit was founded in 2014 and advocates for legalization with a Jewish perspective.
After hosting their first adults-only cannabis Seder in 2015 — sponsored by the organization's biggest backer, Dr. Bronner's — Le'Or set out to explore the spiritual connection to the plant, making it an accepted part of Jewish religious practice.
This year, the Kaufmanns modernized the text of the historical prayer book and have made it available for download to use at your own Seder.
“It was a collaborative writing experience between my husband and I. The idea came to us because we wanted to provide an avenue of approachability to discussing the Drug War and as an opportunity to spark real dialogue about all freedoms,” Claire Kaufmann tells The Cannabist.
Freedom is what we celebrate on Passover, so it was the perfect occasion to incorporate cannabis.
The 30-page text of the Official Cannabis Passover Seder was not endorsed by a rabbi, but it contains all of the elements found in a standard Haggadah that guides the order of the Seder. The rituals of the dinner commemorate the Jews' liberation from slavery in Egypt.
It was really important to us that it be a Kosher Seder with all of the traditional text intact. We just added the fun of cannabis. And just because you're adding fun, doesn't mean you're not taking it seriously.
An opening letter along with legal disclaimers (consume at your own risk, adults-only, drive sober) and tips for what type of music to play, how much cannabis to provide and social media sensitivity sets the tone.
And while a traditional Seder starts with the lighting of the candles, a group song and blessing of the first cup of wine, at this Seder it is only after the “B'samim: Blessing the First Bowl of Cannabis” when Passover truly begins.
Download the Official Cannabis Passover Seder for $4.20 here. Proceeds from the tax-deductible donation support Le'Or's engagement and education efforts.
Here's how you can add the fun of cannabis to your to traditional Seder dinner: