Welcome to Haggadot.com (the "Site"). Haggadot.com, customandcraft.org, [email protected] and all future,
as-yet-to-be-created brands are projects of Custom & Craft Jewish Rituals, Inc., which is the legal name of this
California nonprofit organization (hereinafter referred to as “Haggadot.com”). All projects of Custom & Craft Jewish
Rituals are subject to the Terms of Service described below. This Terms of Service ("TOS") contain the terms and
conditions that govern your use of the Site, and the Haggadot.com Service (as defined below). This TOS describes your
rights and responsibilities and what you can expect from the Haggadot.com Service. Use of the Site constitutes your
acceptance of and agreement to this TOS.
Haggadot.com reserves the right to add, delete, and/or modify any of the terms and conditions contained in this TOS, at any time and in its sole discretion, by posting a change notice or a new agreement on the Haggadot.com Site. In the event of substantive changes to this TOS, you may be notified by email. If any modification is unacceptable to you, your only recourse is to not use the Site and the Haggadot.com Service. Your continued use of the Haggadot.com Site following posting of a change notice or new TOS on the Haggadot.com Site will constitute binding acceptance of the changes.
The Haggadot.com Service.
Haggadot.com provides a number of Internet-based services through the Site as well as any other Haggadot.com affiliate websites, digital content, mobile applications, online service or anywhere the TOS are shown (all such services, collectively, the "Haggadot.com Service"). One such service enables users to create customized products, including without limitation, merchandise and books (collectively, "Products"). Haggadot.com users may create and purchase individual Products for their own personal use. Haggadot.com may offer a number of other services on its Site, including without limitation, message boards, contests, and newsletters, which may change from time to time.
Use of the Web Site and Haggadot.com Service.
Eligibility. Haggadot.com will only knowingly provide the Haggadot.com Service to parties that can lawfully enter into and form contracts under applicable law. If you are under the age of 18, but at least 13 years of age, you may use the Haggadot.com Service only under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by this TOS. The Haggadot.com Service is not intended for children under the age of 13.
Compliance with TOS and Applicable Law. You must comply with all of the terms and conditions of this TOS, the applicable agreements and policies referred to below, and all applicable laws, regulations and rules when you use the Haggadot.com Service and the Site.
Your License to Use the Web Site and the Haggadot.com Service.
Haggadot.com solely and exclusively owns all intellectual property and other rights, title and interest in and to the Haggadot.com Service and Site, except as expressly provided for in these TOS. For example and without limitation, Haggadot.com owns the copyrights in and to the Site, and certain technology used in providing the Haggadot.com Service. You will not acquire any right, title or interest therein under this TOS or otherwise to any intellectual property owned by Haggadot.com.
Haggadot.com grants you a limited revocable license to access and use the Site and the Haggadot.com Service for your own personal purposes, subject to your compliance with this TOS. This license does not include the right to collect or use information contained on the Site for purposes prohibited by Haggadot.com; to compete with Haggadot.com; to create derivative works based on the content of the Site; or download or copy the Site (other than page caching). If you use the Site in a manner that exceeds the scope of this license or you breach this TOS, Haggadot.com may revoke the license granted to you.
This Section 2.3 does not pertain to your intellectual property rights. For information regarding your intellectual property rights, please see Section 4.
Third-Party Content: Wherever Haggadot.com websites, online services, and digital content make reference to third party organizations or include information, content, or graphics from third parties, Haggadot.com assumes third-party content is for general informational purposes only and displaying third-party content does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of the opinion, product or service. Haggadot.com makes no claim as to the accuracy or relevance of third-party content. If you decide to access any other websites linked to or from this website, you do so entirely at your own risk.
Prohibited Use. You may only use the Haggadot.com Service as expressly permitted by Haggadot.com. You may not cause harm to the Site or the Haggadot.com Service. Specifically, but not by way of limitation, you may not: (i) interfere with the Haggadot.com Service by using viruses or any other programs or technology designed to disrupt or damage any software or hardware; (ii) modify, create derivative works from, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any technology used to provide the Haggadot.com Service; (iii) use a robot, spider or other device or process to monitor the activity on or copy pages from the Site, except in the operation or use of an internet "search engine," hit counters or similar technology; (iv) collect electronic mail addresses or other information from third parties by using the Haggadot.com Service; (v) impersonate another person or entity; (vi) use any meta tags, search terms, key terms, or the like that contain Haggadot.com's name or trademarks; (vii) engage in spamming or any activity that interferes with another user's ability to use or enjoy the Haggadot.com Service; (viii) assist or encourage any third party in engaging in any activity prohibited by this TOS; (ix) upload to, transmit through, or display any material that is unlawful, fraudulent, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, or otherwise objectionable or that infringes any third party’s intellectual property rights or any confidential, proprietary, or trade secret information of any third party; (x) upload, transmit, or display any advertisements, solicitations, chain letters, pyramid schemes, investment opportunities, or other unsolicited commercial communications (unless expressly permitted); (xi) display adult nudity or inappropriate child nudity; (xii) use the Site for sale of goods or services; or (xiii) upload photographs or other content depicting images or people who have not given permission to have their photographs or images uploaded to a share site.
Password Security. You are solely responsible for protecting the security and confidentiality of the password and identification assigned to you. You shall immediately notify us of any unauthorized use of your password or identification or any other breach or threatened breach of this website’s security.
Ordering Policies. If you purchase Products, you agree to do so in accordance with Haggadot.com's ordering policies and instructions on the Site. Your order constitutes an obligation to pay, subject to acceptance by Haggadot.com at our sole discretion. Your order is accepted by us when we ship the goods to you. An order confirmation does not signify our acceptance of your order, but merely confirms receipt of your order. We will send you a shipment confirmation once your order is accepted. Haggadot.com reserves the right to cancel any order prior to delivery at our sole and absolute discretion, whether or not you have already been charged. If your order is canceled pursuant to this section, and you have already been charged, Haggadot.com will automatically issue a refund to you. As the products are individually produced, an approximate availability and delivery time are shown alongside the product description prior to order completion. The products will be delivered as soon as they are available. The times are estimates only and cannot be guaranteed. At the latest, delivery will occur within thirty (30) days from acceptance of your order by Haggadot.com. Please note that Haggadot.com is not able to deliver to all regions worldwide. All prices are subject to the delivery charges, as well as any applicable taxes, duties, fees, or levies. Haggadot.com reserves the right to change the prices published on the Services at any time. However, orders already submitted to us will not be affected by such changes. Title to the Products you purchase passes to you when the Products are delivered to the common carrier.
Create and Buy General Rules and License.
Description. As part of the Haggadot.com Service, Haggadot.com offers a service (the "Create & Buy Service") that allows you to upload images, video, audio, data, and other content as well as text, files, and works of authorship (collectively, "Content") to the Site to create, produce, and purchase Products featuring the uploaded Content for your own use. “Content” also includes without limitation, any Content that you contribute or share with other members through the Site.
Delivery of Content. You will upload or deliver to Haggadot.com all Content that you want to use with the Create & Buy Service in accordance with the applicable instructions on the Site. Haggadot.com may, in its sole and exclusive discretion, determine whether any Content complies with such instructions and is satisfactory for use with the Create & Buy Service.
Ownership of your Content. You represent and warrant that you own or otherwise possess all necessary rights with respect to the Content and that the Content does not and will not infringe, misappropriate, use, or disclose without authorization or otherwise violate any copyright, trademark, trade secret right, or other intellectual property or other property right of any third party.
Use of Likeness. You consent to the use of your likeness, and you have obtained the written consent, release, and/or permission of every identifiable individual who appears in the Content to use such individual’s likeness, for purposes of using and otherwise exploiting the Content in the manner contemplated by these TOS. If any such identifiable individual is under the age of eighteen (18), you have obtained such written consent, release, and/or permission from such individual’s parent or guardian. You agree to provide a copy of any such consents, releases, and/or permissions upon our request.
Licensing Your Content to Haggadot.com. You will retain ownership of the Content that you upload to the Site. You hereby grant to Haggadot.com a perpetual, irrevocable, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide, transferable, nonexclusive, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right and license to: (i) use such Content, in all media existing now or created in the future, as Haggadot.com deems necessary to enable you to use the Create & Buy Service to create, produce, and purchase Products; (ii) with respect to any Content that you expressly designate as being “public,” to link to, use, reproduce, create derivative works from, license, sublicense, distribute, print, publicly display, and otherwise utilize your Content including, without limitation, making your Content available to the Haggadot.com community. Please note that, while you retain ownership of your Content, any template or layout in which you arrange or organize your Content through tools and features made available through the Site or the Haggadot.com Service are not proprietary to you, and the rights to such template or layout are reserved to Haggadot.com.
Licensing Your Content to other Haggadot.com Members. Except for any of your Content that you specify as “private” during the submission process, you also hereby grant all other members of the Haggadot.com community a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable license to use, copy, publicly display, create derivative works from, and otherwise communicate and distribute your Content for any purpose on or through the Site or the Haggadot.com Service and/or in the Haggadot.com member’s own products. You acknowledge and agree that any such Haggadot.com member can exercise the foregoing rights without further notice, payment, or attribution to you. For avoidance of doubt, any of your Content that you designate as “public” will not be limited to any restricted purpose and is provided on a non-proprietary and non-confidential basis and will be generally accessible by other users of the Site and Haggadot.com Service.
Reservation of Rights.
Monitoring. Haggadot.com reserves the right, but does not assume the obligation, to monitor transactions and communications that occur through the Site. If Haggadot.com determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, that you or another Haggadot.com user will breach a term or condition of this TOS or that such transaction or communication is inappropriate, Haggadot.com may cancel such transaction or take any other action to restrict access to or the availability of any material that may be considered objectionable, without any liability to you or any third party.
Modification of the Service. Haggadot.com reserves the right to modify the organization, structure or "look and feel" of the Haggadot.com Service or the Site, and may change, suspend, or discontinue any aspect of the Haggadot.com Service at any time without any liability to you or any third party. Haggadot.com shall have complete discretion over the features, functions, prices and other terms and conditions on which the Haggadot.com Service is offered to Haggadot.com users.
You shall not upload, distribute, or otherwise publish through this website any content, information, or other material that (a) violates or infringes the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights of any person; (b) is libelous, threatening, defamatory, obscene, indecent, pornographic, or could give rise to any civil or criminal liability under U.S. or international law; or (c) includes any bugs, viruses, worms, trap doors, Trojan horses or other harmful code or properties.
Haggadot.com reserves the right to immediately remove any content it deems offensive, or in violation of these Terms and Conditions. Haggadot.com also reserves the right to remove a user account, without notice, if the user has been found to pose a threat to other users or has violated any rule laid out in the Terms and Conditions.
Copyright and Trademark Issues
While we are not obligated to review Content for copyright or trademark infringement, we are committed to protecting copyrights and trademarks and expect users of our Site and Haggadot.com Services to do the same. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the internet infringes their rights under U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that any material used or displayed on or through our Site or the Haggadot.com Services infringes your copyright, you (or your agent) may send us a notice requesting that the material be removed, or access to it blocked. The notice must include the following information:
a physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed (or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works); identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or the subject of infringing activity, and information reasonably sufficient to allow us to locate the material on our Site and/or the Haggadot.com Services; the name, address, telephone number and email address (if available) of the complaining party; a statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
If you believe in good faith that a notice of copyright infringement has been wrongly filed against you, the DMCA permits you to send us a counter-notice. Notices and counter-notices must meet the then-current statutory requirements imposed by the DMCA; see http://www.copyright.gov for details. DMCA notices and counter-notices regarding our Site and the Haggadot.com Services, or notices concerning trademark use in personalized products we make or in our Site and the Haggadot.com Services, should be sent to:
Haggadot.com PO Box 385 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 [email protected]
Upon receipt of a compliant DMCA Takedown Notice, Haggadot.com will investigate the claim, take appropriate action and serve the notice on our member. If a member submits a DMCA Counter-Notice, Haggadot.com will forward such notice to the party that submitted the relevant DMCA Takedown Notice and allow the member to repost the disputed content after 10 days, as provided by law. Haggadot.com reserves the right to terminate the account of any member who repeatedly infringes the copyright rights of others, as determined in Haggadot.com’s sole discretion.
Representations and Warranties.
Mutual Representations and Warranties. You represent and warrant to Haggadot.com and Haggadot.com represents and warrants to you: (i) that you or it has the full power and authority to enter into and perform under this TOS, (ii) the execution and performance of your or its obligations under this TOS does not constitute a breach of or conflict with any other agreement or arrangement by which you or it is bound, and (iii) this TOS is a legal, valid and binding obligation of the party entering into this TOS, enforceable in accordance with its terms and conditions.
By You. In addition to any other representations and warranties contained in this Agreement, You represent and warrant to Haggadot.com that, in your use of the Haggadot.com Service, you: (i) will not infringe the copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, right of privacy, right of publicity or other legal right of any third party, and (ii) will comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. You further represent and warrant to Haggadot.com that: (i) there are no claims, demands or any form of litigation pending, or to the best of your knowledge, threatened with respect to any of your Content; (ii) Haggadot.com will not be required to make any payments to any third party in connection with its use of your Content, except for the expenses that Haggadot.com incurs in providing the Haggadot.com Service; (iii) the use of any instructions, formulae, recommendations, or the like contained in your Content will not cause injury to any third party; and (iv) your Content does not contain viruses or any other programs or technology designed to disrupt or damage any software or hardware.
Disclaimers and Exclusions.
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES. Haggadot.com PROVIDES THE SITE AND Haggadot.com SERVICE ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. Haggadot.com DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT THE SITE, Haggadot.com SERVICE OR ITS USE: (i) WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, (ii) WILL BE FREE OF INACCURACIES OR ERRORS, (iii) WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, OR (iv) WILL OPERATE IN THE CONFIGURATION OR WITH THE HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE YOU USE. Haggadot.com MAKES NO WARRANTIES OTHER THAN THOSE MADE EXPRESSLY IN THESE TOS, AND HEREBY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF TITLE, ACCURACY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT AND ANY WARRANTIES THAT MAY ARISE FROM A COURSE OF DEALING, COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, OR USAGE OF TRADE.
Limitation of Liability.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY APPLICABLE LAW, NEITHER Haggadot.com, NOR ANY OF ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, SHAREHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES, CONTRACTORS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES, OR AFFILIATES (COLLECTIVELY, “THE HAGGADOT PARTIES”) SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE OR SPECIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DAMAGES RELATING TO LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOST PROFITS, LOST DATA, USE, OR LOSS OF GOODWILL) ARISING OUT OF, RELATING TO OR CONNECTED WITH THE USE OF THE Haggadot.com SERVICE OR THIS TOS, BASED ON ANY CAUSE OF ACTION, OR FROM UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR CONTENT OR DATA, EVEN IF A REMEDY SET FORTH HEREIN IS FOUND TO HAVE FAILED ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE AND EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. FURTHERMORE, THE HAGGADOT PARTIES WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY TO YOU OR TO ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY CONTENT UPLOADED. YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE SITE OR THE Haggadot.com SERVICE IS TO STOP USING THE SERVICES. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE MAXIMUM LIABILITY OF THE HAGGADOT PARTIES SHALL BE THE ACTUAL PRICE PAID THEREFORE BY YOU. NOTE: CERTAIN JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR CERTAIN OTHER TYPES OF DAMAGES, SO SOME OF THE ABOVE EXCLUSIONS OR LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
Term and Termination.
Term. This TOS shall remain in full force and effect while you use the Site and Services.
Termination. In its sole discretion, with or without notice to you, Haggadot.com may: (i) suspend, limit your access to or terminate your use of the Site and/or the Haggadot.com Service; (ii) suspend, limit your access to or terminate your account; (iii) remove any of your Content from Haggadot.com's servers and directories; and (iv) prohibit you from using the Haggadot.com Service and/or the Site. Upon termination for any reason, your right to access and/or use the Site and/or the Haggadot.com Service will immediately cease.
Survival. Notwithstanding Section 12.2 above, this TOS will survive indefinitely unless and until Haggadot.com chooses to terminate this TOS.
Effect of Termination. If you or Haggadot.com terminates your use of the Site or the Haggadot.com Service, Haggadot.com may delete any Content or other materials relating to your use of the Haggadot.com Service on Haggadot.com's servers or otherwise in its possession. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you understand that any Content you expressly designated as being “Public” and that Haggadot.com or other users of the Site made available in other areas of the Site other than your user profile (including, without limitation, in another user’s library) may not be deleted. Haggadot.com will have no liability to you or any third party for any termination of your use of the Site or Service or for any deletion of your Content or for any Content that was not deleted that remains on the Site.
All notices required or permitted to be given under these TOS (other than in connection with Section 7) will be in writing and delivered to the other party by any of the following methods: (i) U.S. mail, (ii) overnight courier, or (iii) electronic mail. If you give notice to Haggadot.com, you must use the following addresses: 19 Worth St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 [email protected] & [email protected]. If Haggadot.com provides notice to you, Haggadot.com will use the contact information provided by you to Haggadot.com. All notices will be deemed received as follows: (i) if by delivery by U.S. mail, seven (7) business days after dispatch, (ii) if by overnight courier, on the date receipt is confirmed by such courier service, or (iii) if by electronic mail, 24 hours after the message was sent, if no "system error" or other notice of non-delivery is generated. If applicable law requires that a given communication be "in writing," you agree that email communication will satisfy this requirement.
All disputes arising out of, relating to or connected with these TOS or your use of any part of the Haggadot.com Service will be exclusively resolved under confidential binding arbitration held in California, before and in accordance with the Rules of the American Arbitration Association, by a sole arbitrator applying California law (without regard for conflicts of law principles). The arbitrator's award will be binding and may be entered as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction. Any action to enforce an arbitrator's award will be brought in a federal or state court located in California. Each party hereby irrevocably submits to the personal jurisdiction of the Federal and California State courts. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section Can 14, Haggadot.com may seek equitable relief, including, without limitation, injunctive relief and specific performance, without the requirement of posting a bond or other security or proving money damages are insufficient, from a court of competent jurisdiction.
These TOS will be binding upon each party hereto and its successors and permitted assigns, and governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California without reference to conflict of law principles. This TOS is not assignable or transferable by you without the prior written consent of Haggadot.com. This TOS (including all of the policies and other Agreements described in this TOS, which are incorporated herein by this reference) contain the entire understanding of the parties regarding its subject matter, and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous agreements and understandings between the parties regarding its subject matter. No failure or delay by a party in exercising any right, power or privilege under this TOS will operate as a waiver thereof, nor will any single or partial exercise of any right, power or privilege preclude any other or further exercise thereof or the exercise of any other such right, power, or privilege. You and Haggadot.com are independent contractors, and no agency, partnership, joint venture, or employee-employer relationship is intended or created by this TOS.
Why is this Haggadah different?
More than any Jewish book of prayer or study written since the close of the Bible 2500
years ago, the Haggadah has resisted attempts to change its format or content.
The reasons are immediate and apparent to anyone who has enjoyed a Seder conducted
by someone who knew what they were doing. The impression that remains is indelible
and enriching beyond compare.
Seder night is a journey into another time and place. It is a swift glance at the darkest
night of the human soul and a lingering dance with liberty and freedom. It is a long play
with family and food and a short sharp reminder of the depths to which we may plummet
when the framework and fabric of our life decays.
The Journey, more a procession, wends its stately way through fifteen points of interest.
There are washing of hands and breaking of bread. There are stories and unfamiliar
foods. There are roles for children and playful songs for adults. There is wonder and
enchantment, heroes and wicked adversaries, stories of Revelation and Retribution. There
is even time to partake of a full Festival meal. There must be time, in my father's house;
the Seder took upwards of six hours.
If the Seder is an adventure, the Haggadah is Map, Guide, Directory and Vehicle.
What is it?
Well, the main event of Pesach (Passover) and Seder night is the Exodus from Egypt, the
miraculous birth and redemption of the Jewish People. One cannot be long in Recovery
without becoming increasingly aware how close are the ideas of Exodus and Recovery.
My understanding of the steps and process of Recovery has deepened my appreciation of
the Seder. Now my Seder blossoms in the light of Recovery.
The Seder is not simply a description of the Exodus. It is an opportunity to scrutinize the
real issue: Our slavery. We were slaves and now we are free.
So what then is freedom? Does it mean we may now do whatever we want?
If we try that route we will soon find ourselves back on the road into Egypt. Freedom is
not license. It is the absence of constraint and an awesome life-long struggle. We have
learned this lesson, painfully, again and again. For when we became habituated to any
self-destructive behavior we were no longer free. Furthermore, of all the destructive
patterns of behavior to seduce a person, a "bad habit" is the most difficult to kick.
Whether the habit is heroin, gambling or fixing people's lives. Whether it is self-denial,
fasting, smoking or looking through people's windows.
This then is what the Haggadah is about. Long before the 12 Steps were formalized,
enlightened people knew a Way. The Haggadah describes the Recovery process of an
entire people, hundreds of thousands, adults and children. The distilled essence of their
experience boils down to this:
They were powerless, they admitted it.
They came to believe in a Higher Power.
They turned their lives and will over to it.
EXODUS FROM SLAVERY
THE MEANING OF CHOMETZ
It is a very ancient custom (dating back to around 1300 B.C.E.) to begin preparing for
Pesach 30 days in advance.
We do this primarily by learning about Pesach and cleaning our dwelling houses and
other properties of all CHOMETZ (leavened foods).
On the evening before Pesach begins, we search by the light of a candle all the nooks and
crannies where conceivably Chometz may have been carried and forgotten. We remove
all cooking pots, crockery and cutlery that have been used throughout the year and
prepare food for Pesach using Pesach foodstuffs and utensils.
The climax of all this frenetic activity is the Seder Night when we join with our families
and enjoy the ritual and tradition of the festival itself.
For those of us familiar with the Twelve Steps and terminology of Recovery, the essence
of our preparations for Pesach are a thorough First Step. Wherein we examine in great
detail all the manifestations of the disease and all the forms which it may be taking
control of our lives.
What is Chometz (leavening)? Technically, it is the action of particular enzymes in the
flour which are activated only by the presence of water. It is what transforms a lump of
pasta into the fluffy aerated palatable staple we know as dough which bakes into bread
No one in their right mind would sit down to a meal of raw yeast. It may indeed be the
secret, the essence of the goodness of bread. The fact that yeast makes the dough rise and
taste good, is not a reason to make a meal of it. Gorging on yeast or sour dough would
make anyone very ill. This has been our experience who have gorged ourselves on
"yeast". We have been used to abuse something or someone in our lives. A relationship
that might have been nourishing in the right circumstances or proportions has turned
toxic because we are extreme. We have lost the balance of sufficiency and health. We are
incapable of controlling the manner or frequency of our obsession or the nature of our
The First Step is an admission of powerlessness and recognition of the unmanageability
of our lives. Strangely though, the longer we work at recovery the trickier and subtler
grow the craziness’s. Here is an example: Once there was a man who vowed to himself
that he would have the perfectly Pesach-cleaned house. Towards the end of the winter he
began in the attic, and working his way downwards, took the house apart stick by stick.
Three weeks before Pesach there was no bread or Chometz in the house. People entering
had to examine their clothing and pockets for crumbs, wiping their shoes on a special
mat. He was satisfied that the house was completely free of Chometz, he had so to speak
achieved a spiritual Asepsis. He sat down to enjoy his Seder with a clear mind.
Now a bird flew over the house with a biscuit in its mouth. The biscuit fell down the
chimney into the soup cooking over the fire and appeared in the man's plate as he was
about to eat. He was horrified and aghast. He looked for a reason to explain this obvious
We in the Program do not have to look far for an explanation. The man was obviously a
control freak. His whole Pesach was the antithesis of surrender. The reality is that we are
powerless even over such a relatively simple thing as cleaning for Pesach.
Unless we receive the help of a Higher Power we are doomed to struggle in vain. If we
find the task of cleaning for Pesach daunting it is because we are supposed to find it so.
None of us has achieved a clear picture of the nature of our disease without
simultaneously being overwhelmed at the task of Recovery. That is why the Second Step
follows the first full recognition: A power greater than ourselves.
In the history of the creation described in the Book of Genesis the unfolding of evolution
is depicted over a series of six days beginning with the creation of Light. Each days
progress is accompanied with the comment "And the Creator saw that it was good".
Upon completion of the sixth day of creation, it is observed "And behold it was very
good". The Talmud asks "What happened on the six day that merited the superlative
description Very good?"
The answer says the Talmud is this: There was an addition of a certain ingredient to the
stew of creation, meriting that title. A final magic ingredient, the yeast that makes the
dough rise. Sometimes we call it the Evil Inclination, sometimes we refer to it as Satan,
sometimes we refer to it as the Angel of Death. It makes the world "Very Good".
This concept that the impulse to indulge our desires for comfort, sex and prestige is the
source of all that is excellent in the Universe is thematic through Rabbinical literature.
The disease model of addiction simply examines the effects of these desires when they
have become ruling passions. Another theme that runs through the literature is the
reference to the Evil Inclination as the yeast in the dough.
The full realization of how we have turned our lives into problems through the
misappropriation, as it were, of funds must be clear to us before we can recover.
In order to keep it simple let us explore those three areas of lives where ancient sages and
modern scholars agree we need to look.
Step four in the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of AA" contains the following
"If men and women didn't exert themselves to be secure in their persons, made no effort
to harvest food or construct shelter there would be no survival. If they didn't reproduce,
the earth wouldn't be populated. If there were no social instinct, if men cared nothing for
the society of one another, there would be no society.
So these desires - for sex relations, for material and emotional security and for
companionship - are perfectly necessary and right, and surely G-D-given. Yet these
instincts, so necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions.
Powerfully, blindly, many times subtly, they drive us, dominate us, and insist upon ruling
our lives. Our desires for sex, for material and emotional security, and for an important
place in society often tyrannize us. When thus out of joint, man's natural desires cause
him great trouble, practically all the trouble there is".
Compare the above with a much older quote, dating back around 150 C.E. Rabbi Eliezer
is quoted in the Mishna as saying;
"Envy, greed and pride take a man out of the world".
It is clear that the Evil Inclination hasn't managed since the dawn of time to invent even
one simple human pleasure. This stands at the crux of our understanding. Good and Evil
are not the same as right and wrong.
Now can we apply all this knowledge to the cleaning of the house before Pesach?
Can we see it as the opportunity to survey our possessions and take stock of every single
item in our lives. Can we bear to scrutinize them clearly and plainly? Ask ourselves how
we are meeting our basic human needs? Are we obtaining our supplies in a spiritual way?
Are we now living the excellence?
We will be in difficulty if we try arriving at a clear consensus of the meaning of
Spirituality. Though there are no perfect definitions of the word, certain aspects though
are self-explanatory. Spirit means breath, the stuff of life. Whatever is dead cannot be
spiritual. The more we celebrate the life we enjoy, the more we live inside our bodies in
the here and now the more we are reaching towards a spiritual existence. For many of us,
simply dwelling inside our skin has been the most difficult task in Recovery.
Preparations for the Seder have two distinct parts:
I. CLEANING HOUSE
As with all the rituals of Pesach (Passover) and the Seder, every little detail can be
examined and worked until it blossoms and sparkles. And so we will see, even the
mundane task of ridding the house of Chometz (leavened food) brings us an acute
awareness of the following shortcomings.
A. Our Denial of the prevalence of Chometz.
B. Our Procrastination over the jobs that need tackling.
C. Our powerlessness over the final outcome.
D. Our Perfectionism in setting standards we can't meet.
In order to Clean House properly for Pesach we have in some way to take the following
A. Break through our denial and become aware.
B. Confront procrastination and take action.
C. Admit powerlessness and surrender.
D. Abandon perfectionism and humbly accept our limits.
II. CREATING ORDER
The Hebrew word "Seder" has only one translation. It means "ORDER". To celebrate the
festival properly a good deal of attention must be paid to PEOPLE, PLACES AND
THINGS and a definite framework built around them.
A. PEOPLE - No one celebrates Seder on their own voluntarily. But the Seder is not
an impromptu party. The Seder should be enjoyed with loved ones and shared
with guests. In preparing for the Seder it is important to know who will be joining
B. PLACES - The Seder requires a table, chairs, kitchen, space. In short, we need a
place to call home. For many of us, this Seder will be an opportunity to take a
fresh look at our environment and its ambiance. Most of us have a comfortable
dwelling place, perhaps even luxurious. The Seder, however, doesn't take place in
a garden or a bedroom or a study. It is a place for the gathering of family and
friends where other standards apply.
C. THINGS - The Seder is a pageant of music, stories and symbols. There are
symbols of all descriptions from white linen and candles to books and
pillowcases. The majority of "props" are the items of food eaten at the Seder. All
this requires logistics that may take weeks of organizing. The Seder is lavish and
rich in detail.
PREFACE AND ABOUT THIS ANONYMOUS HAGGADAH
Because of undeniable and inalienable Rights to a Higher Power of my own
Because the Right to a Higher Power of my own understanding is total and without any
exceptions, I have not used the word "G-D" in this Haggadah. For me it carries baggage,
has connotations and brings associations which would deny me the right of free
Instead I have used the Hebrew word (translit.) HASHEM which means "The Name". I
know of no one who has written explaining its meaning. It is strangely, without millennia
of Linguistic and Philosophical impedimenta. No one has written a scholarly treatise on
the meaning of the word HASHEM. You may use whatever name you have for your
Higher Power. For me the name changes as my knowledge changes, even as my mood
"Hashem" seems the least tyrannical of all choices in the circumstances.
If I have referred to Hashem as "Him" it is only because I find "Her" equally arbitrary,
"It" inappropriate, and I am still hopelessly bound by literary convention and too timid to
invent something new.
It is interesting to note that the Haggadah does not mention Moshe (Moses) who was
central in the dramatic events described in the Exodus from Egypt.
The reason is pointedly an application of the fundamental rule of "principles before
personalities". Whilst Moshe may have been the most important person to carry the
message to us, we slaves in Egypt were the real cause of events. We mattered in ways
that Moshe didn't.
We were the people in trouble, enslaved and in need. The Haggadah reminds us that we
did not embark upon the EXODUS brimming with goodwill and fellowship. We were
physically, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. All of us (excepting perhaps a few
women), were totally enmeshed in the spiraling insanity of life in Egypt. This then is the
story of our Recovery. The principles that become apparent through the story and rituals
of Seder Night are germane to our life tonight.
Moshe our teacher is not Author. Who then is the Author of the Haggadah?
There is another anonymous character whose presence pervades the Seder. If you both
should chance to meet, consider yourself fortunate. But remember what was said: “You
may say YOU were there, but you may not say whom you met there. You may repeat
what you heard there without attaching names to it. "
Knowing our selves as well as we do, and our penchant for evading the obvious
opportunity to self-examine. It is also fairly certain that any mention of Moshe would
have been the launching point for innumerable anecdotes and commentaries about his
role. We try and keep the focus on ourselves where it belongs.
THE FOUR CUPS OF WINE
One of the main symbols of the Seder, the four cups of wine, corresponds to the four
words for redemption mentioned in the Torah as it is written:
And I brought you out.
And I saved you.
And I redeemed you.
And I took you.
(There is a fifth term hence a fifth cup, but this by tradition refers to the future
And I brought you.
There are four characteristics we seem to have in common:
I think I'm bad, defective, worthless.
I'm afraid, should you ever discover who I really am, you must reject me.
No one but I myself can meet my needs.
My greatest need is for escape, ease, comfort, prestige, sex, etc.
To counter these delusions requires time and recovery. We allude to them in the process
of drinking the four cups.
1. The first we drink after Kiddush whose message is clear.
Hashem wanted us. He still wants us. He chose to bring us out of Egypt. We are
not bad or worthless.
2. The second cup we drink after telling the Haggadah which is the description of
the worst side of our character and personality. Even knowing that we were idol
worshipers, Hashem chose to embrace rather than reject us.
3. The third we drink after eating the holiday meal which symbolizes the satisfaction
of our needs, for companionship, food, for a place to belong, etc.
4. The fourth cup we drink after Hallel "Praise" when we sing Hashem's praises and
our wonderment at His unconditional love for us. It is this love which is our
So the four cups represent the four realities:
We are perfect just the way we are, and right where we're supposed to be.
We can be known intimately, totally and still be accepted.
We can and will have our needs met by others.
We are loved unconditionally, and this is our greatest need.
The fifth cup reminds us that we are never completely cured and we are always in the
process. Only after the end of time as we know it will we be recovered. So we pour it but
do not drink it. This is the cup of ELIYAHU the prophet whose arrival we anticipate.
There is a difference in custom as to when this fifth cup for ELIYAHU is poured. There
are those who pour it before the Ma-Nishtana when we pour the second cup. Indicating
that we feel secure knowing that no matter what we have done, at the end of time when a
final reckoning is made and all about ourselves is revealed, we will still not be rejected
by the Almighty.
The other custom is to pour this fifth cup before Hallel when we pour the fourth cup. This
reminds us that even when Recovery is achieved our greatest need will still be the need to
be loved unconditionally. Even when Moshiach comes it will be to teach us how to open
our hearts to those who are close to us and love them in the way that Hashem loves. As it
"Behold I send you Eliyahu the prophet before the coming of that Great and Awesome
day. And he will reconcile the hearts of fathers to sons and the hearts of sons to their
Before the Seder begins we prepare a dish of chopped fruit and nuts. (Symbolizing the
mortar we used building Pharaoh's cities in Egypt). This is the Charoses into which we
dip the bitter herb before eating it. Its main ingredients are Apple, Walnuts, Cinnamon
I. The Apple is our symbol for LOVE the main ingredient in the Charoses. When
Egyptians saw Jews multiplying, in spite of Draconian programs aimed at
controlling Jewish birth rate. They tried preventing men and women getting
together; by so arranging work-shifts and timetables that married couples would
never have time alone together. Jewish Women took the initiative. Acting in concert
they packed lunches for their husbands and went down to their work places on the
building sites. When the men were allowed to stop for a break, their wives led them
into nearby fields to enjoy privacy. When Hashem saw their intent, He caused apple
orchards to spring up wherever couples went to picnic. And in those orchards the
Jewish people was conceived as it is written (Song of Songs): "Beneath the Apple
tree I aroused you. There your mother birthed you, where she herself was born".
The playful nature of their lovemaking is also considered important by the Rabbis
in an appreciation of that epoch. A romantic interlude described in the Midrash
vignettes a scene:
The couples are seated beneath the apple tree, in the privacy afforded by its
drooping, blossom-laden branches. He has enjoyed the food she prepared. She takes
the cosmetics from her reticule and begins to "make" her face. Looking at herself in
the mirror she remarks to her husband: "Which of us is more beautiful, do you
think?" He leans closer to peer at his face beside her in the mirror....
(Those very mirrors the women used when applying cosmetics, were given an
elevated status in the Temple Building Fund towards which they were later donated.
Moses was instructed to take and cast them into the Great Copper Laver from which
the priests drew water to prepare their hands and feet before services in the
This little story has meanings on many levels of scholarship. In order to fully
appreciate its significance, know that the reference to the birth of the mother in the
verse from Song of Songs, alluded to a Cabalistic principle known as "The Field of
Holy Apples" or the Shechina, the dwelling presence of the Creator. That spot in the
Temple where the Presence of Hashem was seen in fire, crouching like a lion, was
known as the Apple.
When Hashem told Avraham our forefather that we his descendants would be
slaves in Egypt for 400 years, Hashem promised not to forsake us. Even assuring
Avraham that He Hashem would go into exile with us. This then was the Field of
Holy Apples where we were conceived, The Shechina.
The apple is bound up with the prime number 5 and the Hebrew letter HEH. The
number of seeds in the apple is 5. The number of bumps on the bottom of the apple
are 5. So its shape and associations, e.g. the way the seed is suspended in womblike
cells where decomposition must precede germination all have added to the layers of
meaning evoked by this symbol.
II. The walnut is notorious for its "Klipah", its shells. Before we can get at the kernel
we must strip away layer upon layer of defenses. The walnut symbolically is almost
an analogy of the world. It has four different layers of Protection:
(1) Dishonesty and self-deception,
(2) close-mindedness and blind prejudice,
(3) unwillingness and inertia,
(4) the fog and clouds of habit and history.
All of them have to go before we move forward. As we strive to change, the masks and
armor fall away and we reach a clear perception of ourselves. The walnut is a paradigm
of suppression, representing all the manifold efforts of dishonesty to prevent us seeing
ourselves as we really are. The walnut is bound up with the prime number 17 which is
also the value of the Hebrew word for SIN. It describes an arrow shot wide of the mark,
and represents the natural world severed from all its spiritual connections. The raw
material of our bodies, the tools with which we strive to serve the Spirit of Hashem's will
In the description of a soul surveying its body at the end of a lifetime, searching for assets
to salvage from the wreckage of the past, it is written (Song of Songs), "I went down to
the grove of walnuts to Look and See..." The Kabbalists saw in the shape of the walnut
many interesting things. The Kernel is reminiscent of the brain, with its convolutions and
striations. But whereas our brains have two lobes the walnut has four lobes. The universe,
according to the Kabbalists has four "lobes". The walnut has been used to imitate
symbols from the "Celestial Chariot" of Ezekiel, to the concept of Adam and Eve in the
Garden of Eden.
III. We add cinnamon to the Charoses. In its natural, stick form it resembles straw, which
was so necessary to the manufacture of bricks in ancient times. It is bound up with the
prime number seven, whose significance is a well known aspect of Judaism.
IV. The final ingredient is wine, the juice of the grape. (The ethyl alcohol manufactured
in the process of fermentation is but a tiny aspect of wine's multifaceted symbolism, and
its role in Judaism.) The grape has been chosen to represent the powers of the mind, the
capability for thought and faith, prayer and meditation. Wine represents the fulfillment of
that promise, the conscious contact with Hashem and the knowledge of His will for us.
Wine is a symbol for Prophecy which is the ultimate conscious contact where awareness
has been reciprocated.
The symbolism was acquired by the grape as a poetic expression of a mundane
phenomenon. The mysterious action (of airborne bacteria) which causes the fermentation
of the grape into wine, almost an analogy of the process of human thought. The
fermentation action with its vigorous bubbling, its transformation into "spirit" and its
spontaneous enhancement, simulates the thought process that occurs in our own mind
when ideas ferment, solidify and crystallize.
The Union of Man with Hashem was a state of mind, much sought by the prophets and
the school of Jewish Meditation. It was always preceded by joy and gratitude which were
prerequisites to the prophetic state. So the grape also came to symbolize joy and
gratitude. The only state that is elevated beyond the heights of prophetic communion are
those moments when we feel Love as it is written (Song of Songs): "But Your Love is
better than wine".
The Seder begins with a Benediction Sanctifying the Day. A declaration of a Yom Tov. It
has a standard form, Kiddush.
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