The Passover Seder isn't only a meal. It's also a religious service and a celebration.

The text for the Seder is in this book, known as the haggadah . There's a traditional structure that most haggadot (that's the plural form) follow. Everyone changes it, though, adding new materials and leaving out others, while keeping to that structure. The Seder does include a meal, as well as more events, readings, and songs after it, which are as important and those that come before.

Much of the text in this haggadah was written specifically for this seder. Translations of texts from the Bible are either drawn or adapted from the New International Version. Other sections are drawn from the Reconstructionist movement's New Haggadah from 1941, which has been this family core haggadah for decades. Still others are drawn from the resources at, which also provided the tools and template used to put it together, and from the writings of Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (also known as The Velveteen Rabbi). And some resources and songs are from places that may come as a surprise. You can tell where each section came from by looking at the Source information under its title.

The texts are meant to encourage thought and conversation (though we'll also want to keep things moving, so extended conversations might work best during the meal itself or after the Seder).

There are a lot of Hebrew words in the haggadah , but don't worry: almost every word in Hebrew is transliterated into English letters and also translated into English. For pronouncing the Hebrew words, a good rule of thumb is to pronounce the vowels as in Italian and the consonants as in Klingon.

Here we go -- enjoy!

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Original