Adapted from The Jewish Secular Community Passover Haggadah

Reader: It saddens us that any struggle for freedom involves suffering. Generally, we drink wine to rejoice. Therefore, for each plague we take out a drop of wine from our cup. This way we do not rejoice over the suffering of others. The plagues that, we are told, afflicted the Egyptians caused great pain to many innocent people.  Whenever our cause ends in such pain, no matter how wrong the enemy, we are to balance any victory with an equal dose of empathy for the other side. 

We each take a drop of wine [or sweetness] out of our cups for each of the plagues the Egyptians had to suffer for our freedom.


1- blood 

2- frogs 

3- vermin 


5- boils  

6- cattle disease 

7- locusts 

8- hail 

9- darkness

10- slaying of the first born


Reader 26: Our world today is still greatly troubled. For these “plagues,” let us repeat the same ceremony.

(Take a drop of wine out of your cup for each )


1- hatred 

2- illiteracy 

3- hunger 

4- crimes toward humanity

5- prejudice

6- crimes toward the planet

7- loss of innocent lives 

8- oppression 

9- poverty 

10- ignorance  (the root cause for many of the above)

Reader: On Passover we are reminded that, although this is a story of our Jewish ancestors, the story is truly one of all people.  All people have been enslaved, whether by shackles or by ideas.  All people seek freedom, both in body and mind.  And all people experience both suffering and joy – both of which are part of being human.  As we face the coming year, let us remember what unites, rather than divides, us all. 


haggadah Section: -- Ten Plagues
Source: CSJO