A Kavannah, A Word of Intention: Thresholds

One of the first rites of the Seder is urhatz, the ritual washing of hands.

We stand at a threshold in the evening. We are about to tell the story that reignites our imagination that the world can look different than it does - that every single human being can live with dignity and honor, that peace, justice and freedom can be realized, that prayers can be heard and hearts healed. Before we can truly hear this story, we must transition from the mundane and the cynical of our work lives to the holy and the hopeful of the holiday. The signpost of our transition is a symbolic hand washing.

Unlike nearly every other element of the Seder, this washing is unaccompanied by a blessing, perhaps because the washing, itself, is a blessing.


haggadah Section: Urchatz