The Test Tube

A Symbol of Knowledge and Power

This Passover, we add a new item to our Seder plate – a test tube. As we celebrate

our exodus from oppression, we are grateful for the advances that help free us from the plagues of our time. Scientific insights have led to life-saving technologies, improved health, and a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Yodeah’s mission is to educate the Jewish community about hereditary cancer genetic mutations, like those found on the BRCA gene, and provide access to affordable, clinical grade testing. Yodeah means TO KNOW in Hebrew and our goal is to save lives.

The test tube on our seder plate also represents the power of knowledge. When we are armed with understanding, we can break the shackles of disease and suffering and fulfill our human potential. Knowledge empowers us to make choices rooted in wisdom rather than assumptions or fear.

As we recount the story of our ancestors’ exodus from slavery, we remember the torments they faced and give thanks for our survival. Today, our people face another threat – the increased risk of genetic mutations that can cause cancer. But there are actions we can take now.

During the seder, we will sing the words: Echad, mi yodeah? Echad, ani yodeah! Who knows One? I know One! And we at Yodeah, add, “WE KNOW, 1 IN 40”!

1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews, men and women, regardless of family history, carries a mutation on a BRCA gene that can significantly increase their risk of cancer. Most don’t know but if you do KNOW you can take action to prevent cancer for you and your family.

BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 are genes that, when working normally, prevent cancer by repairing DNA. When there is a mutation, these genes don’t work, and cancer is more likely to develop. These mutations are inherited from a parent who carries this mutation—either the father or mother. What that means is that if either of your parents has a BRCA mutation, you have a 50% chance of inheriting this mutated gene and passing it on to each of your children. The incidence of carrying a BRCA mutation is the same for both men and women.

Each year we are commanded to come together around the seder table and retell our people’s story from bondage to freedom. In the spirit of sharing stories, we take time now to share our family’s health story to guide us in seeking screening and counseling to understand these risks and to take action.

Why a test tube? An easy, affordable saliva test is all that’s needed to learn if you are BRCA positive. We can prevent cancer, but to do so we must identify who carries a BRCA mutation before cancer develops.

Not only can this information save lives, but science has advanced so significantly that we can prevent BRCA mutations in future generations. If a couple knows one parent carries a BRCA mutation, they can choose to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) which allows the doctor to select embryos that don’t carry the BRCA mutation; avoiding passing the mutation on to their children.

This Passover, as we hand down our rich traditions, let us also hand down knowledge that can safeguard the health of future generations.
May we fulfill the seder’s wish — “Next year in good health!”

* If both parents test negative for inherited cancer genetic mutations, there is less than 1% chance their children will carry these mutations. We suggest parents be tested before children.
Unless there is a personal or family history of cancer, medical guidelines do not recommend testing until age 25.

Begin the journey:

  • 1
    Visit Yodeah’s website for more information, WWW.YODEAH.ORG
  • 2
    Scan the QR code to order a test kit today*. Color Health, a clinical lab, offers low cost genetic testing.
  • 3
    Type in the code KNOW30 when checking out to receive Yodeah’s discounted rate. Post testing genetic counseling is included in the cost of the test.
  • 4
    Share this information and your test results with all your family members.

Please scan the QR code for a printable version of this document.

Knowledge is Power.
Knowledge Saves Lives.

Click here to order a package of 30 test tubes for $9.99 on Amazon to include in your Seder. Please note, there are also many other options available, this is just one example.

Or simply cut out the attached picture of a test tube to use on your seder plate.