We start our Seder, as we start every holiday, with blessings and setting our intention. Who are we? Why are we here? Take a moment and consider one thing that you are bringing to this table.
One to three volunteers should read the blessings: the first sanctifying the wine, the second sanctifying the time, and the third thanking G-d for keeping us alive and bringing us to this table. This last blessing is usually only said on the first night of Pesach, but we think it is appropriate to use to mark our unique gathering.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p'ri hagafen.
Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ מִכָּל עָם וְרוֹמְמָנוּ מִכָּל לָשׁוֹן וְקִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו. וַתִּתֶּן לָנוּ יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּאַהֲבָה מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה, חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשׂוֹן, אֶת יוֹם חַג הַמַצוֹת הַזֶה, זְמַן חֵרוּתֵנוּ, מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ, זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים, וּמוֹעֲדֵי קָדְשֶךָ בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׂשׂוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, מְקַדֵּשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזְּמַנִּים.
Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has chosen us from among all people, and languages, and made us holy through Your mitzvot, giving us lovingly festivals for joy, and special times for celebration, this Passover, this sacred gathering to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. You have chosen us, You have shared Your holiness with us among all other peoples. For with festive revelations of Your holiness, happiness and joy You have granted us joyfully the holidays. Praised are you, Adonai, Who sanctifies Israel and the seasons.
It is customary to say the following blessing only on the first Seder night, but we will say it to celebrate the unique gathering we have put together this evening.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶה
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, she’hecheyanu v'ki'manu v'higi-anu laz'man hazeh.
Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has sustained us, maintained us and enabled us to reach this moment in life.
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