“To ensure that the opening invitation of the Haggadah was understood by all, the text began not in Hebrew, but in Aramaic, the everyday language of our ancestors. Later, our medieval sages urged that the Seder be conducted in the language of the participants, since comprehension of the text is vital. The Seder is, above all, a story. Our story. It belongs to all of us. In New York and Paris, Casablanca and Jerusalem, wherever Jews are Jews, we perform the same rituals tonight.”

Aramaic, Jewish legend has it, is the one language which the angels do not understand. Why then is Ha Lachma spoken in Aramaic? To teach us that where there is hunger, no one should rely upon the angels, no one should pray to the heavens for help. We know the language of the poor, for we were poor in the land of Egypt. We know that we are called to feed the poor and to call them to join our celebration of freedom.

haggadah Section: Commentary / Readings