When Israel went forth from Mitzrayim,
The house of Jacob from a people of strange speech,
Judah became God’s holy one,
Israel, God’s dominion.
The sea saw them and fled,
The Jordan ran backward,
Mountains skipped like rams,
Hills like sheep.
What alarmed you, O sea, that you fled,
Jordan, that you ran backward,
Mountains, that you skipped like rams,
Hills, like sheep?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of Adonai,
At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
The flinty rock into a fountain.
Adonai, remember us and bless: bless the house of Israel, bless the house of Aaron.
Bless those who fear Adonai, small ones and great ones.
May Adonai cause you to increase, you and your children
Be blessed of Adonai, maker of heaven and earth.
The heavens are the heavens of Adonai; the earth was given to humanity.
The dead cannot praise God, nor can those who descend into silence.
And we will praise God, from now and always: halleluyah!
Third Cup of Wine
הִנְנִי מוּכָן וּמְזֻמָּן לְקַיֵּם מִצְוַת כּוֹס שְׁלִישִׁית מֵאַרְבַּע כּוֹסוֹת לְשֵׁם
יִחוּד קוּדְשָא בְרִיךְ הוּא וּשְכִינְתֵיהּ.
Hin'hi muchan u-m'zuman l'kayem mitzvat kos shlishit m'arbah cosot
l'shem yichud kudsha brich hu u-schinteh.
I take upon myself the mitzvah of this third of four cups of wine, in the name of the unification of the Holy Blessed One with Shekhinah!
The third cup of wine represents God’s third declaration of redemption:
“I will liberate you with an outstretched arm…”
נְבָרֵךְ אֵת עֵין הָחַיִים, מָצְמִיחַת פְרִי הַגָפֶן.
N’varekh et ayn ha-chayyim, matzmichat pri hagafen.
Let us bless the source of life that ripens fruit on the vine.
May Our Anger Be Holy
Oppression breeds anger to which we must attend.
Once, we recited this text out of powerlessness. We asked God to pour forth wrath because we were unable to express our own. But in today's world, where we enjoy agency to an unprecedented degree, we must resist the temptations of perennial victimhood and yearning for revenge.
And yet we know that rage, unexpressed, will fester. Let us therefore acknowledge our communal pain. Let us recognize the intersecting systems of oppression which ensnare our world, from antisemitism to xenophobia, and feel appropriate anger in response. And let us recommit ourselves to honing our anger so that it might fuel us to create change, so that our wrath may lead us to redemption.
In the words of the poet Audre Lorde: Focused with precision, [anger] can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. And when I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile or feel good. I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration in those assumptions underlining our lives. And let us say: Amen.
Miriam and Elijah
Three thousand years ago, a farmer arose in the Middle East who challenged the ruling elite. In his passionate advocacy for common people, Elijah created a legend, which would inspire generations to come.
Elijah declared that he would return once each generation in the guise of someone poor or oppressed, coming to people's doors to see how he would be treated. Thus would he know whether or not humanity had become ready to participate in the dawn of the Messianic age. He is said to visit every seder, and sip there from his cup of wine.
Tonight we welcome two prophets: not only Elijah, but also Miriam, sister of Moses. Elijah is a symbol of messianic redemption at the end of time; Miriam, of redemption in our present lives.
Miriam’s cup is filled with water, evoking her Well which followed the Israelites in the
wilderness. After the crossing of the Red Sea, Miriam sang to the Israelites a song.
The words in the Torah are only the beginning:
Sing to God, for God has triumphed gloriously;
Horse and driver, God has hurled into the sea.
So the Rabbis asked: Why is the Song of Miriam only partially stated in the Torah? And in midrash is found the answer: the song is incomplete so that future generations will finish it.
That is our task.
Open the door for Elijah and Miriam; [rise.]
You abound in blessings, God, creator of the universe, Who sustains us with living water.
May we,like the children of Israel leaving Egypt, be guarded and nurtured & kept alive in the wilderness and may You give us eyes to see that the journey itself holds
the promise of redemption. Amen.
אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֵלִיָּהוּ הַתִשְׁבִּי
במְהֵרָה בְיָמֵנוּ יָבוא אֵלֵינוּ
עִם מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָוִד, עִם מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָוִד
Eliyahu ha-navi, Eliyahu ha-Tishbi,
Eliyahu (3x) ha-Giladi.
Bimheirah v'yameinu, yavo ei-leinu
im Mashiach ben David (2x)
Elijah, the prophet; Elijiah, the Tishbite; Elijah, of Gilead! Come quickly in our days with the Messiah from the line of David.
Miriam the prophet, strength and song in her hand; Miriam, dance with us in order to increase the song of the world! Miriam, dance with us in order to repair the world. Soon she will bring us to the waters of redemption!
[We close the door and are seated.]
Fourth Cup of Wine
הִנְנִי מוּכָן וּמְזוּמָן לְקַיֵם מִצְוַת כּוֹס ארבע מֵאַרְבַע כּוֹסוֹת לְשֵם יִחוּד
קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא וּשְׁכִינְתֵיהּ
Hin'hi muchan u-m'zuman l'kayem mitzvat kos arbah m'arbah cosot l'shem
yichud kudsha brich hu u-schinteh.
I take upon myself the mitzvah of this fourth of four cups of wine, in the name of the unification of the Holy Blessed One with Shekhinah!
The fourth cup of wine represents God’s fourth declaration of redemption: “I will claim you for me as a people, and I will be your God.” Choose one of the following variations to bless this fourth cup of wine:
בָרוּךְ אַתָה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְרִי הַגָפֶן:
Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei pri hagafen.
Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.
Prayer Closing the Hallel
All Your works shall praise You, our Creator; the righteous will praise You in joyous song. We will thank, exalt, revere and sanctify You. It is good to give thanks to You, and fitting to sing praises to Your name, for You are Eternal from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed are You, Adonai, sovereign who is praised in song!
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