You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
For the chief musician, on common instrument: a song of rebellion.
Praise rising up. Praise unlawful assembly.
Praise the road of excess and the palace of wisdom.
Praise glass houses. Praise the hand that cradles the stone.
Praise refusal of obedience. Praise the young on Raamses Street.
Praise Galileo. Praise acceleration.
Praise bombshells and en masse.
Some parsley, lettuce or watercress is distributed to all present who dip it in salt water or in vinegar, and before partaking of it say in unison:
BORUCH ATTO ADONOI ELOHENU MELECH HO‘OLOM BORE P’RI HO’ADOMO.
Praised art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth.
It is a tradition at the Seder to include a section entitled “the Four Children.” We have turned it upside down, to remind us that as adults we have a lot to learn from youth. From the U.S. to South Africa to Palestine, young people have been, and are, at the forefront of most of the social justice movements on this planet. If there is a mix of ages of people at your seder, perhaps some of the older...
The master of the house lifts up the wine-cup and says:
Let us praise God and thank Him for all the blessings of the week that is gone; for life, health and strength; for home, love and friendship; for the discipline of our trials and temptations; for the happiness of our success and prosperity. Thou hast ennobled us, O God, by the blessings of work, and in love and grace sanctified us by the blessings of rest,...
The fourth cup of wine is poured
We now draw our attention to the two empty cups on the table--one of which is for Elijah the Prophet, and the other for Miriam the Prophetess. Tradition teaches us that each of these biblical characters plays an important task of bringing redemption.It is said that that Elijah the Prophet visits the homes of Jewish families on...
We begin the telling of our story by lifting up the matzah, opening wide the door to our seder and offering an invitation to anyone who can hear us to come join in our seder meal. The original version of this text is not in Hebrew, but in Aramaic, because it was the language that everyone would understand. As we say this, we imagine a time and place where this invitation could have actually brought in poor and hungry...
Let us say grace.
Let us bless Him of whose bounty we have partaken and through whose goodness we live.
Praised art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sustainest the world with goodness, with grace, and with infinite mercy. Thou givest food unto every creature, for Thy mercy endureth for...
Take less than a kezayit (the volume of one olive) of the karpas, dip it into salt-water or vinegar, and recite the following blessing:
Blessed are You, L-rd, our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.
When reciting this blessing, have in mind that it is also for the bitter herbs (of maror nad korech, to be eaten later on).
By a fitting answer to the questions of each of the four types of the sons of Israel, does the Torah explain the meaning of this night's celebration.
The wise son eager to learn asks earnestly: "What mean the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances, which the Lord our God hath commanded us?" To him thou shalt say: "This service is held in order to worship the Lord our God, that it may be...
- Passover is an ideal holiday to explore multi-sensory ways of reaching every type of learner at your Seder. We are ALL more engaged in the experience when we have various ways to access the information - whether or not we ha
EVERY JEWISH FAMILY produces a unique version of the Passover seder—the big ritual meal of traditional foods, served after and amid liturgy, storytelling, and song. We’re all surprised at each other’s customs: You eat lamb? You don’t sing “Chad Gad Ya”? And yet, virtually every seder does share a few common elements. Matzoh crumbs all over the floor. Wine stains on the tablecloth. A seder plate containing...
Helping Children Understand Slavery
-Tell a made-up story to the children geared to their age that will help them understand what a slave is. For example, for younger children, tell them about a father whose boss will not let him come home to see his son. Days, weeks, and months pass. Finally, the daddy calls and says he will be home on a certain day. The boy is so excited, he invites all...
The Passover seder traditionally concludes with the words “Next Year in Jerusalem,”
representing the age-old hope for the coming of the Messiah, the ingathering of the Jewish people in their homeland, and peace among the nations.
In this spirit, we conclude our seder with the words,
Next Year Without...
We encourage you to incorporate this reading into the Ha lachma anya section of your seder.
Ha lachma anya—this is the bread of affliction.
At the seder we begin as slaves. We eat matzah, the bread of affliction, which leaves us hungry and longing for redemption. It reminds us of a time when we couldn’t control what food was available to us, but ate what we could out...
We encourage you to incorporate this reading into your Seder as you drink the first glass of wine.
On Passover, we celebrate our redemption from slavery and revel in our freedom: we gather around the Seder table with our loved ones, telling stories of our people’s miraculous passage from Egypt, to Sinai, to the Promised Land. at this time of rejoicing, we also remember the great...
At Passover, we are confronted with the stories of our ancestors’ pursuit of liberation from oppression. Facing this mirror of history, how do we answer their challenge? How do we answer our children when they ask us how to pursue justice in our time?
What does the Activist Child ask?
“The Torah tells me, ‘Justice, justice shall you pursue,’ but how can I pursue justice?”
As we gather around the seder table, we recount our journey from slavery to freedom. we recognize that our people’s liberation was not achieved in the single moment of the exodus, but that it happened gradually over 40 years in the desert and continues to
unfold for each of us personally today.
A traveler once was stopped by a highway robber who demanded his moneybag at gunpoint. “I’ll give you my money!” said the traveler. “But please, if I come home emptyhanded, my wife will never believe that I was robbed, and will accuse me of having squandered the money on gambling or liquor, and she will beat me mercilessly. Please, do me the favor of firing several bullets through my hat, so I can prove to her...
Before the blessing over the first cup of wine, say:
We are gathered here tonight to affirm our continuity with the generations of Jews who kept alive the vision of freedom in the Passover story. For thousands of years, Jews have affirmed that by participating in the Passover Seder, we not only remember the Exodus, but actually relive it, bringing its transformative power into our own...
By Rabbi Daniel Brenner, Chief of Education and Program at Moving Traditions
A boy is tricked into being part of a game with other boys only to find out that he is the target of mockery and abuse. A girl is happy to be included as a “friend” at a lunch table until she finds it was only a ploy to get back at another girl. A boy is “hit on” as part of a practical joke. A girl is lured into an unwelcomed...
STANDING WITH FARMWORKERS
Supporting Those Working to End Modern-Day Slavery
PART 1 Please read this towards the beginning of the seder.
The seder begins: “Let all who are in need, come and share in the Passover meal.” In this year of struggle for workers’ rights, we want to symbolically welcome members of the...
THE ONE WHO IS CONTENT The one who is content asks: “What can I contribute?” This child lives the teaching of Ben Zoma (a second-century scholar), who answers the question “Who is rich?” with the response “The one who is content with her portion.” This child studies the teachings of tzedakah and understands the blessings and responsibilities of her privilege because she is part of an interrelated,...
The one who does not know how to ask said:
This time, too, my father, this time, too,
Deliver my soul, returned from Hell,
From wrath and indignation.
Because words are insufficient to depict the Hell
Because death has no idiom,
And I, who do not know how to ask,
Am tongue-tied sevenfold.
Because I was commanded to wander on long roads—
No joy, no...
An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion
And on the opposite hill I am searching for my little boy.
An Arab shepherd and a Jewish father
Both in their temporary failure.
Our two voices met above
The Sultan's Pool in the valley between us.
Neither of us wants the boy or the goat
To get caught in the wheels
Of the "Had Gadya" machine....
We’re so glad you can join us. The word “haggadah” means “telling”, and refers to the story of the Exodus that we read at Passover. As you may soon notice, there is a bit more in here than the traditional Passover story. There are stories from some of our friends about what Passover means to them. There is a glossary and a resource list, and lots of commentary. We aimed high and have pulled out quite a bit of...
Matzah is both a reminder of our past and a symbol of our future. It was first used to celebrate the spring festival when our farming ancestors threw out their sour dough — the leavening — and baked unleavened bread to welcome the New Year.
Later the Matzah became associated with the Exodus from Egypt. As the Torah says, “And they baked unleavened bread from the dough which they brought out of Egypt. There...
Moroccan Jews have a custom of passing the Matzah over everyone’s head to symbolize the angel of death that passed over the Jewish houses.
Once I had seder with a Yeminite family, and they had spray bottles of water on the table. They would spray the matzah with the water to make it softer, so they could wrap it around the charoset.
Let us all refill our cups.
[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]
Tonight we drink four cups of the fruit of the vine.
There are many explanations for this custom.
They may be seen as symbols of various things:
the four corners of the earth, for freedom must live everywhere;
the four seasons of the year,...
We sanctify the name of God and proclaim the holiness of this festival of Passover. With a blessing over wine, we lift our wine, our symbol of joy; let us welcome the festival of Passover.
In unison, we say…
Our God and God of our ancestors, we thank You for enabling us to gather in friendship, to observe the Festival of Freedom. Just as for many centuries the Passover Seder has brought together families...
The Hebrew word “Kiddush” means sanctification. But it is not the wine we sanctify. Instead, the wine is a symbol of the sanctity, the preciousness, and the sweetness of this moment. Held together by sacred bonds of family, friendship, peoplehood, we share this table tonight with one another and with all the generations who have come before us. Let us rise, and sanctify this singular moment.
Tonight we drink four cups of wine. Why four? Some say the cups represent our matriarchs—Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah—whose virtue caused God to liberate us from slavery. Another interpretation is that the cups represent the Four Worlds: physicality, emotions, thought, and essence. Still a third interpretation is that the cups represent the four promises of liberation God makes in the Torah: I will bring you...
SALT WATER - Why do we dip our food in salt water two times on this night?
The first time, the salty taste reminds us of the tears we cried when we were slaves.
[Greens held up for all to see.]
KARPAS - Parsley and celery are symbols of all kinds of spring greenery.
The second time, the salt water and the green can help us to remember
the ocean and green plants...
When we bless the green parsley and dip it in the salty water, we remember the spring, and we remember the long, sad years of our slavery.
When we left Egypt,
we bloomed and sprouted,
and songs dripped from our tongues
like shimmering threads of nectar.
All green with life we grew,
who had been buried,
under toil and sorrow,
dense as bricks.
All green in...
Korech: Mixing the Bitter and the Sweet
One of my favorite moments of the seder comes just before dinner is served. It is called Korech. It is also known as the Hillel sandwich. It is the moment when we eat maror (the bitter herbs) and the charoset (the sweet apple and nut mixture) on a piece of matzah. What a strange custom to eat something so bitter and something so sweet all in one...