March 23, 2013

The Final Countdown to the Seders

Posted by Haggadot

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In a day and a half we'll be gathered around the seder table with our families and friends, ready to begin telling the ancient story of freedom from the bonds of slavery, of our transition from slaves in Egypt to free people in a promised land. Do you have your Haggadah at the ready? If you're still looking for some last minute additions, here are some of our favorite suggestions, mostly from the Neverending Haggadah, a partnership this year between Haggadot.com and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network.

Cover -- we love this cartoon, submitted by Eitan Stieber. Don't miss the exodus because you were waiting for your bread to rise!

Introduction--A quick guide to your seder plate, brought to you by Moishe House and MyJewishLearning.com

Kadesh--This inspiring reflection on the four cups of wine comes from the Shalom Hartman Institute, and is sure to get your seder conversation flowing. 

Urchatz--Why do we wash our hands without a blessing, and then break bread without eating it? This ritualwell source, submitted by Lisa Friedman, helps us answer this puzzling question.

Karpas--JQ International GLBT Haggadah gives us this new take on karpas, suggesting we eat a fruit salad, instead of a sprig of parsley,  to recognize the different kinds of people in our lives, and their collective potential.

Yachatz--If you're looking to think deeply about matzah, and what it truly means, this reading from A Way In Jewish Mindfulness Program, uses the physicality of the matzah to open our minds to the pain of oppression.

 Maggid

Introduction--Reform CA and Rabbis Organizing Rabbis bring us this Immigration Seder Ritual that reminds us of the all the immigrants who make the food that is on our table available to us.

Four Questions-- Questions can lead to connection and learning, but they can also lead to disconnection and disintegration. Questions can be used to build up, but they can also be used to destroy, explains Rabbi Josh Feigelson

The Four Sons―Uri L'Tzedek provides a new take on the Four Children, who in this imagining, ask questions about the food on the table, and its origins.

Exodus Story-- BibleRaps provides an awesome and fun song called Moses Vs Pharoah (You Know My Name)

Ten Plagues―How can we rejoice in the suffering of the Egyptians? Calev Ben Dor reflects on this struggle in the Haggadah. 

Dayenu―This contribution from Danielle Selber reminds us to pause and notice that where we are is exactly where we ought to be, and that Dayenu is a reminder to never forget all the miracles in our lives.

Rachtzah-- Rabbi Ari Weiss from Uri L'Tzedek asks us to think about washing our hands as a metaphor for cleansing the world from evil. 

Motzi Matzah―OurJewishCommunity.org explains the ways that matzah has been understood through history. 

Maror-- Wesley Harris recounts a story of eating horseradish and using the breath of God to get past the spicy bitterness to freedom.  

Koreich―Ever wondered why, exactly, we make a sandwich with matzah and horseradish? This excerpt from Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained, gives the fascinating history of this ritual. 

Shulhan Orech―Where do gefilte fish come from? Gerald Weiss brings us this Mythical Midrash Concerning Gefilte Fish that also happens to be hilarious. 

Tzafun―When we eat the afikomen and unite the broken of pieces of matzah the Kalsman Institute reminds us that at the seder we have the opportunity to discover lost parts of ourselves, to become reconciled with relatives who have become distant and to find wholeness in aspects of Judaism which may not have been part of our lives.

Bareich-- As we say the Grace after Meals, JewishBoston.com reminds us to center ourselves for the rest of the seder journey.  

Hallel-- Gerald Weiss brings us this explanation for the cup of Miriama modern addition to the seder that honors Miriam's contributions to the Exodus. 

NirtzahAs we reach the end of the seder, this poem from Adrienne Rich helps us to imagine what Freedom feels like.