Kabbalat Panim

A Night of Questions

Leader: Blessed are you who come in God’s protective presence

All: On this evening we gather around Seder tables remembering our journey from slavery to freedom.

L: On this evening we journey from now to then, telling the story of our people’s birth.

A: On this evening we retrace our steps from then to now, reclaiming years of desert wandering.

L: On this evening we ask questions, ancient and new, speaking of servitude and freedom, service and joy.

A: On this evening we welcome each soul, sharing stories of courage, strength and faith.

L: On this evening we open doors long closed, lifting our voices in songs of praise.

A: On this evening we renew ancient hopes and dream of a future redeemed.


Leader: We welcome the festival of Pesach as darkness descends. As we kindle these lights, we remember that our ancestors discovered freedom in the midst of that dark, final evening in Egypt. Let the candles we now light be a reflection of the light that shines within each one of us and let that light radiate throughout our home. We praise the Source of Light that keeps the hope of freedom alive amidst the darkness of oppression.

Reader: May the light of the candles we kindle together tonight bring radiance to all who still live in darkness. May this season, marking the deliverance of our people from Pharaoh, rouse us against anyone who keeps others in servitude. In gratitude for the freedom we enjoy, may we strive to bring about our own liberation and the liberation of all people everywhere. Lighting these candles, we create the sacred space of the Festival of Freedom; we sanctify the coming-together of our community.

Light the candles

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav, l’hadlik ner shel (Shabbat v’shel) Yom Tov.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Open Source Haggadah