rogercuk's Haggadah

By Rogerio Cukierman


Table of Contents

-- Four Children

The Four Children - An alternative version

The Four Children - GLBT


Glory, from the move 'Selma'

We Shall Overcome - Pete Seeger

A Contemporary Dayeinu

The haggadah speaks of 4 children asking about the seder[1]:

One child asks about the laws and all the details of halakhic observance. With this child, you can study all the laws related to Pesach and explain that they were designed to enable you to feel as someone who has personally experienced the Exodus, as taught in the Mishna: “In Every Generation, each person is obligated to see himself/herself as if he/she had personally left Mitzrayim” [2]. Remind this child that four times, it is repeated in Torah that you should not oppress the stranger, for strangers we were in the land of Egypt[3]; this is the founding theme of Judaism and this is where we should put the emphasis of our observance.

One child asks about what all these rituals mean to you. To this child, you can say, "what a great question! For me, one of the greatest aspects of the seder is that it has allowed me to experience liberation in many different forms. Sometimes, like Shmuel, I experience the seder as physical liberation; other times, like Rav, I experience it as  spiritual liberation; there are times I feel we are talking about civil rights in general and other times in which I am sure we are talking particularly about the Jewish condition throughout history. Every time, though, I experience the seder teaching me to fight oppression in all of its different forms. Now, tell me: what does this all mean to you?"

One child is naïve and has difficulty understanding why we are observing Passover if we are not slaves any more. To this child, you can explain that evil has existed in many different forms over time and our people has been a victim of evil several times in history. But evil also exists in ourselves, and sometimes we oppress others too, sometimes consciously, other unconsciously. Mitzrayim represents all these forms of oppression and the seder tells us to learn from the times we have been oppressed to understand how difficult it is to be in such a position. Our duty, therefore, is to fight oppression in all of its forms, including when we are the perpetrators.

One child does not know how to ask. You might start the conversation and make the story as interactive and interesting as you can to keep this child's attention. But  keep always in mind that oppression and liberation are serious themes, and that our redemption came at the price of human lives, both ours and of our adversaries. In your effort to make the story interesting, try not to make fun of people's suffering.

[1]   Four times Torah tells about teaching our children about the Exodus and the celebration of Passover: On Ex. 12:25-27; Ex. 13:14-16 and Deut. 6:20-25 we are instructed to tell the story of the Exodus in response to their questions. On Ex. 13: 5-8, we are instructed to tell them the story even though they don't ask (which the rabbis interpreted as the child who doesn't know how to ask.)

[2] Mishnah Pesahim 10:5.

[3]    Ex. 22:20, Ex. 23:9, Lev. 19:34, Deut. 10:19.

-- Four Children

The Four Children - GLBT

Contributed by JQ International
Source: JQ International GLBT Haggadah - Eric Rosoff and Asher Gellis

The Supportive/Open Minded Child

How do we make our GLBT Seder more inclusive?

We seek to ensure that everyone is included and that all of their needs are being met. For example, there is a movement to encourage the use of gender-neutral pronouns like ze for he/she and hir for him/her at inclusive Seders. We have incorporated many new traditions into our own Seder for example, the orange on our Seder plate, or the creation of a whole second Seder plate. 

While discussing the ancient oppression in Egypt, we should recognize today’s oppression and the struggles for women’s rights, GLBT rights, racial equality and the elimination of unfair discrimination and the assurance of equal rights for all.

The Hateful Child

Why must you have your own “Queer” (GLBT) Seder?

Judaism is about incorporating each individual’s needs into community and cultural celebrations. Very often, traditional Seders are not sufficiently inclusive of Queer people’s needs. A Seder is a moment to reflect upon the painful lessons of long ago. What better time is there to discuss how these barbaric practices of hate and discrimination still thrive today?

Let our Seder symbolize our (Queer) ability to overcome obstacles for a brighter future.

The Apathetic Child

Why should I participate?

It is in one’s best interest to recognize the world around him or her or hir and to become involved in making a better future for everyone. The following quote about the Holocaust by a contemporary social activist (Martin Niemöller) illustrates this point.

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

The Ignorant or Closeted Child

Does not know how to ask or perhaps is too afraid…

This child must receive support and guidance from the community. A community that fosters support, tolerance, and understanding is vital to creating an environment where one can explore one’s own identity and understand others’.

Rabbi Gamliel (Grandson of the great Sage Hillel) taught; one who has not explained the following three symbols of the Seder has not fulfilled the Festival obligations:


Glory, from the move 'Selma'

Contributed by Haggadot
Source: Common & John Legend,


We Shall Overcome - Pete Seeger

Contributed by Haggadot
Source: Pete Seeger,

Had G-d upheld us throughout 2,000 years of Dispersion,

But not preserved our hope for return...

Had G-d preserved our hope for return,

But not sent us leaders to make the dream a reality...

Had G-d sent us leaders to make the dream a reality, 

But not given us success in the UN vote  in 1947...

Had G-d given us success in the UN vote  in 1947,

But not defeated our attackers in 1948...

Had G-d defeated our attackers in 1948,

But not unified Jerusalem...

Had G-d unified Jerusalem,

But not led us toward peace with Egypt and Jordan

Had G-d returned us to the land of our ancestors,

But not filled our land with our children...

Had G-d filled our land with our children,

But not caused the desert to bloom...

Had G-d caused the desert to bloom,

But not built for us cities and towns...

Had G-d rescued our remnants from the Holocaust,

But not brought our brothers from Arab lands...

Had G-d brought our brothers from Arab lands,

But not opened the gate for Russia's Jews...

Had G-d  opened the gate for Russia's Jews,

But not redeemed our people from Ethiopia...

Had G-d redeemed our people from Ethiopia,

But not strengthened the State of Israel...

Had G-d  strengthened the State of Israel,

But not planted in our hearts a covenant of one people...

Had G-d planted in our hearts a covenant of one people,

But not sustained in our souls a vision of a perfected world...

Peace, Dayeinu