Opening

Haggadah Section: Introduction

We gather on Passover to recall a moment of resistance and liberation in the history of the Jewish people. At the Seder we tell the story of the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago. Seder means “order” in Hebrew, which tells us that people all over the world tell the story in the same order on the very same evening. The special book that we read the Passover story from is called a “Haggadah”. This story is based on a section of the Bible called "Exodus" - some people believe everything really happened in the way the Bible says, other people believe some of it is true, and some of it is not. Other people may believe almost all of it is pretend. As we tell the story, you can think about what parts you think are true and what parts are just a good made up story. Whether we believe it really happened or not, it is an important part of history and Jewish culture and traditions. Telling stories are a good way to help us learn lessons and think about the world and people's actions.

We gather on Passover to recall a moment of resistance and liberation in the history of our people. The story of Exodus reminds us of the transformative power that our people wield when we confront oppression.The Passover story is about the relationship between the Jewish people of the Bible with God. Although each of us has our own beliefs and opinions about the existence and nature of God, we use the word “God" when telling this story, because it is consistent with Judaism, the tradition we honor today. We will also use some of the Hebrew blessings. Many people think about God in different ways - some do not believe in God at all, some believe in many Gods or Goddesses, others believe that God represents something. What does God mean to you, if anything? [ ask for volunteers to share what God means to them]

When we see the word God tonight, you can think of the word representing what it means to you. Or you can use a different word instead, like: The Universe, Goddess, Higher Power, Creator, Spirit, Allah, Source of Peace, Ancestral Spirits. Are there any other words you would like to use in place of God when you read tonight? Some of us might be using different words depending on who is reading, and that is okay! It is also okay to use the word God for tonight, even if you are not sure what you believe. [reader can share what they will saying for God if it is different]

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