בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדלִיק נֵר שֶׁל יוֹם טוֹב.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kidishanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who sanctifies us with commandments, and commands us to light the candles on this holiday.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶה.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Sheche’hiyanu V’Keymanu V’Higiyanu Lazman Ha’Zeh.
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
Imagine you are a slave. And not only that--your parents were slaves, too. And their parents before them. And their parents, too. If there is one seemingly incontrovertible, self-evident truth in your life, it is this: you will always remain a slave. And so will your children. And their children after them. Nothing ever changes.
And then suddenly everything changes: one day God shows up and the unthinkable happens--you are freed. That which was literally unimaginable a short time ago has now become a reality, your reality. You will forever feel an immense debt of gratitude, and you hope your children will, too.
This is not just a story, it is THE story. You will remember the fact of your departure from Egypt every day, and once a year you will re-enact it in a carefully, detailed choreographed ritual.
Our goals are to live in a world that embodies dreams of justice, compassion, goodness, and holiness. Our means, at least for tonight: to build that world slowly, piece by piece, home by home, and table by table.
So there is a proper order for things. Our Passover meal is called a seder, which means “order” in Hebrew. Just as a tree must be a tiny seed, then a sapling, before it becomes a tree, we go through an order to grow and change. This is the order of the Seder: because we go through 14 specific steps as we retell the story of our ancestors’ liberation from slavery in Egypt.
קַדֵּשׁKiddush (the blessing over wine) | kadeish |
וּרְחַץRitual hand-washing in preparation for the seder | urchatz |
כַּרְפַּסDipping a green vegetable in salt water| karpas |
יַחַץBreaking the middle matzah | yachatz |
מַגִּידTelling the story of Passover | magid |
רָחְצָהRitual hand-washing in preparation for the meal | rachtza |
מוֹצִיאמַצָּהThe blessing over the meal and matzah | motzi matzah |
מָרוֹרDipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror |
כּוֹרֵךְEating a sandwich of matzah and bitter herb | koreich |
שֻׁלְחָןעוֹרֵךְEating the meal! | shulchan oreich |
צָפוּןFinding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon |
בָּרֵךְSaying grace after the meal and inviting Elijah the Prophet | bareich |
הַלֵּלSinging songs of praise | hallel |
נִרְצָהEnding the seder and thinking about the future | nirtzah |
This Pesach,let us dare to dream. May God grant us the vision and the insight, the heart and the passion, to help move the world from oppression and degradation to freedom and liberation. Next year in Jerusalem!
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