Why We Are Together Tonight
Please Donate to Haggadot.com
We rely on support from users just like you! Please donate
today to keep maintaining this free resource!
Customandcraft.org is a fiscally sponsored project of Jewish Jumpstart (EIN: 26-2173175) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt California public benefit corporation. Your gift is tax deductible to the
extent allowed by law.
Thank you for your donation.
Landscape / Booklet
Print Update coming in 2017
Share this Clip with your friends, family,
community and social networks with just one click.
Copy and paste the URL of this Clip to share or view.
Open in new window
Share This Clip on Social Networks
Why We Are Together Tonight
We have come together this evening for many reasons.
We are here because Spring is all around, the Earth is reborn,
and it is a good time to celebrate with family and friends.
We are here because we are Jews,
because we are members of the Jewish nation,
with its deep historic roots and its valuable old memories and stories.
We are here to remember the old story of the liberation of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt
- a great struggle for freedom and dignity.
We are here because the struggle for human freedom never stops.
We are here to remember all people - Jews and non-Jews - who are still struggling for their freedom.
As we feel how wonderful and important it is for diverse peoples to come together,
let us recite and then sing the words of HINNEH MAH TOV.
HINNEH, MAH TOV - BEHOLD, HOW GOOD! (Adaptation* of T'hillim / Psalms 133.1)
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
when peoples* dwell together in unity!
Hinneh, mah tov u-mah naim
shevet ammim* gam yahad!
(*originally "brothers", or "achim")
A Jewish community that has lived in Kochi, India for more than 2,000 years starts preparing for Passover right after Hanukkah. They believe that if a Jewish woman were to make even the slightest mistake in Passover preparation during the 100 days before the actual seder, then the lives of her husband and her children would be endangered. They keep special rooms that hold all of the Passover...
Scene 1: In the Desert Moses is galloping (skipping on foot while clopping coconuts together to sound like hoofbeats) across the desert. He comes to a burning bush.
Bush: Halt! Who goes there!
Moses: A shrubbery! A talking shrubbery! One that looks nice, but is not too expensive. It is a good shrubbery. I like the laurels...
The Leader of the Seder only, now washes his/her hands from an ewer into a bowl held
by another celebrant, wiping them dry on a hand towel. We have accepted the need for
leadership, we wash the leaders's hands. This small, formal act of service is a symbol of
our recognition of their leadership. This is an ancient Jewish...
Remember the days of old:consider the years of many generations (Deut. 32:7)
Every year, hundreds of giant sea turtles swim hundreds of miles from their homes near Brazil to a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean in order to find their mates. For years, scientists tried to understand how the turtles could find their way every time, from so far away. It was a tiny island, and even airplanes sometimes had trouble...
A Cup to our Teachers: To those we have known and those whose work has inspired us, and made space for our lives. We are grateful to you who did and said things for the first time, who claimed and reclaimed our traditions, who forged new tools. Thank you to the teachers around us of all ages-- the people we encounter everyday--who live out their values in small and simple ways, and who are our most regular and loving...
The olive branch is a universal symbol of peace, associated with the dove in the story of Noah's Ark and the Flood.
Olive trees mature slowly, so only when there was an extended time of peace, with agriculture left undisturbed, could the olive tree produce its fruit. In 2008, Jewish Voice for Peace promoted putting an olive on the seder plate as part of its Trees of Reconciliation project, which sought to donate...
As we wash our hands for the first time this evening, we remember that we have the freedom to access resources that many do not. Ask yourself these questions:
In what ways are we free today?
What does freedom mean for Jews in America? For Jews around the world?
What does freedom mean for people of all backgrounds around the world? Are there many who are not free?
More Clips from Machar Congregation
We have answered the four traditional questions, but there are still more questions to be answered.
There are other special foods on our Seder plate:
a bone (z'roa) or a beet,
a roasted egg (beitsah)
and, many people's favorite, the sweet condiment (haroset).
Why are they here?
Z'ROA - SHANKBONE OR BEET
Z'ROA can mean a shankbone - the bone...
[Announces the name of the child or children who found the `aphiqoman.]
Let us continue our seder by eating one last little piece of matsah to leave us with the taste of freedom's struggles.
[Everyone eat a last piece of matsah.]
Now, let us conclude our seder.
We have recalled struggles against slavery and injustice.
We have sung of...
We have drunk the wine and tasted the special foods of the Passover celebration. They symbolize our attachment to the traditions of our culture, to freedom, and to life. To remind us of these values as we go back out into the world, at the end of our festival meal, we shall return to have a final taste of matsah - our symbol of suffering and liberation, of renewal in nature and humanity.