The first words in the creation of the universe out of the unformed, void and dark earth were God’s “Let there be light." Therein lies the hope and faith of Judaism and the obligation of our people: to make the light of justice, compassion, and knowledge penetrate the darkness of our time

The seder officially begins with a physical act: lighting the candles. In Jewish tradition, lighting candles and saying a blessing over them marks a time of transition, from the day that is ending to the one that is beginning, from ordinary time to sacred time. Lighting the candles is an important part of our Passover celebration because their flickering light reminds us of the importance of keeping the fragile flame of freedom alive in the world.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Yom Tov.

Blessed is the spirit of freedom in whose honor we kindle the lights of the holiday, Passsover, the season of Freedom.

As we light the festival candles, we acknowledge that as they brighten our Passover table, good thoughts, good words, and good deeds brighten our days.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel [Shabbat v'shel] Yom Tov.

We praise You, Adonai our God, ruler of the Universe,

Who makes us holy by your mitzvot and commands us to light the [Sabbath and ]Festival lights.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam, shehecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higianu lazman hazeh.

We praise You, Adonai our God, ruler of the Universe, Who has kept us alive and well so that we can celebrate this special time.

haggadah Section: Introduction