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Introduction
Happy Passover!

Tonight we gather together to celebrate Passover, our holiday of freedom. We will eat a great meal together, enjoy (at least!) four glasses of wine, and tell the story of our ancestors’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. We welcome our friends and family members from other backgrounds to reflect with us on the meaning of freedom in all our lives and histories. We will consider the blessings in our lives, pledge to work harder at freeing those who still suffer, and begin to cast off the things in our own lives that oppress us.

Introduction
Source : Added Hebrew from Haggadot.com

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 till the prophecy be fulfilled, ‘that wickedness vanish like smoke and the earth shall be filled with knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9)

,בָּרוּך אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם

.אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוׂתווְ וְצִוָּנוּ לְדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבַּת וְיוׂם טוׂב

Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynoo melech ha-olam, asher keedshanoo b’meetzvotav v’tzeevanoo l’hadleek ner shel yom tov.

Praised are You, Lord our God, Whose presence fills the universe, Who has sanctified our lives through Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the festival lights.

Kadesh
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

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 and friends to retell the events that led to our freedom, so may we be at one with Jews everywhere who perform this ancient ritual linking us with our historic past. As we relive each event in our people’s ancient struggle, and celebrate their emergence from slavery to freedom, we pray that all of us may keep alive in our hearts the love of liberty. May we dedicate our lives to the abolition of all forms of tyranny and injustice.

Reclining on our left side demonstrates our freedom from slavery. We hold our first cup of wine and we recite:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Borey P’ree Hagafen.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.

Urchatz
Source : original

By Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder  alternadox.net

Later on we will do ' rachtzah '─the washing over the matzah . Now we are doing ' urchatz ', which amounts to washing before eating a vegetable.  This is not something we do every day.

To explain, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, first chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, writes of dividing life into two categories: the goal, and everything else.  We set goals for ourselves and set out to reach them.  Everything we do that helps us reach that goal is worthwhile.  But how do we relate to all the other things we do?   This is an important question that addresses how we feel about the aspects of our lives that our not essential.  And this is one of the central points of the Seder.

What is the goal of the Seder?  The peak spiritual moment of the Seder is when we fully absorb the spiritual impact of the matzah when we eat it.  So why don't we cut to the chase?  Let's get that matzah inside of us as quickly as possible!  But the truth is, the Seder wants to help us experience every moment of our lives as an encounter with the Divine.  It demands that we let go of our usual distinctions -  important and unimportant, sacred and profane, good and bad, needs and wants.

Tonight, we are going to learn how to experience the Divine within all moments.  Not only prayers and mitzvot, but also eating and conversation.  Not only goals, but journeys.  Finally free to let go of the reins for a moment, we can celebrate every moment equally.  Not only will we recognize the holiness of the process, we will even sanctify ourselves toward this pursuit: urchatz.

R’ Kook deepens the concept for us: vegetables, in the Talmud, are thought to enhance hunger - 'appetizers'.  If eating is an unfortunate concession we make to our animal nature, then vegetables are antithetical to the goal of living life more spiritually. But if eating is another opportunity for encounter with the Divine - if pleasure is an encounter with the Divine ─ then the vegetable we are about to eat is a holy sacrament, drawing us in to a moment of Encounter.  So of course we should wash our hands to prepare ourselves.

Washing toward the matzah -goal and the vegetable-distractions represent two kinds of freedom: the first is freedom to live an intentional life.  We celebrate our right and capacity to point ourselves in a specific direction and actually follow through.  But there is another kind of freedom: freedom to let go, to know that wherever we go we will find Hashem and meaning and direction and connection. It is told that the Ba'al Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidut, when embarking on a journey, would have his coachman, Alexi, let go of the reins and sit backward, facing away from the horses. With the  freedom to let go of the reins, we allow our desires to guide us as much we allow the Torah to guide us.

Rebbe Natan of Brelsov writes that ' urchatz ' is from the root-word in Aramaic that means 'trust'.   At this moment in the Seder, pay closer attention to your capacity to trust and let go.  The goal is to trust enough to sanctify aspects of yourself and the life you live that you never allowed yourself to see as holy. Can you trust the holiness of the night, the 'night of protection', to guard you from any negative impact of what's inside of you?  Do you  trust the people around this table, each of them looking at you tonight with holy Pesach-eyes, to be with you in your search for true freedom?

We have nothing to fear except holding back. We will never reach true freedom if we do not free our desires and appetites to be in service of the Divine.

As you wash, consider that you are preparing yourself for an encounter with something holy – your own desires!  Use the washing as an opportunity to shift your perspective on those desires.

Karpas
Source : Adapted from Jewishboston.com
Passover combines the celebration of an event from Jewish memory with a recognition of the cycles of nature. As we remember the liberation from Egypt, we also recognize the stirrings of spring and rebirth happening in the world around us. The symbols on our table bring together elements of both kinds of celebration.

We now take a vegetable, in this case parsely, to represent our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold winter. Whatever symbol of spring and sustenance we’re using, we now dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. Before we eat it, we recite a short blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-adama. We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruits of the earth.

We look forward to spring and the reawakening of flowers and greenery. They haven’t been lost, just buried beneath the snow, getting ready for reappearance just when we most needed them.

We all have aspects of ourselves that sometimes get buried under the stresses of our busy lives. What has this winter taught us? What elements of our own lives do we hope to revive this spring?

Yachatz
Source : Traditional

Take the middle matzah and break it into two, one piece larger than the other.

The larger piece is set aside to serve as Afikoman. This is traditionally hidden, by the leader of the Seder for the children to “steal” or “find” and then ransom for a something at the end of the Seder.

The smaller piece is put back, between the two matzot. This smaller piece, along with the top matzah is what will be used for the “Motzi-Matzah” and “Korech”

Yachatz
Source : original

By Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder www.alternadox.net

We all know that we cannot rely on the holiness of our desires all the time.  Tonight is special, different. Tonight it is safe to let go.  But in a week or a month, who knows?  By breaking the middle matzah , we acknowledge that we are still split.  We still cannot ultimately trust that our desires and our necessities, our concerns and our impulses, our inner child and our responsible adult, have become one. There is brokenness here. 

The two pieces of matzah represent two kinds of eating: because we have to and because we want to. One half we will eat soon, in hunger. The other half we will hide─the half that represents desire, enjoyment, fulfillment, luxury.  It is supposed to be eaten on a full stomach, out of desire to eat rather than necessity.

We will hide it because our relationship to it is still uncharted - many of us haven't yet made peace with our desires as portals to the holy.  But we are also giving ourselves a goal. The hidden matzah represents our future, the ultimate future, where we are free to do as we wish, knowing that this is Hashem's wish as well. Our ultimate goal is to bring these two halves together.

This is a moment of brokenness, but it is also a moment of faith.  In allowing ourselves to break, to recognize the split, to admit unfamiliarity, to admit that we are not yet there, we are also expressing faith that the rift can be fixed.  After all, only people who do not believe in healing try to 'keep it together'.  Jews, however, believe in the 'healer of broken hearts'. We believe in the G-d who values nothing higher than a broken vessel. We believe that even when the broken matzah is two, it is one.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : VBS Haggadah
The central imperative of the Seder is to tell the story. The Bible instructs: “ You shall tell your child on that day, saying: ‘This is because of what Adonai did for me when I came out of Egypt.' ” (Exodus 13:8) We relate the story of our ancestors to regain the memories as our own. Elie Weisel writes: God created man because He loves stories. We each have a story to tell — a story of enslavement, struggle, liberation. Be sure to tell your story at the Seder table, for the Passover is offered not as a one-time event, but as a model for human experience in all generations. 

Ha lachma anya d’achaloo avhatana b’ara d’meetzrayeem. Kol dichfeen yay-tay vi’yachool, kol deetzreech yay-tay viyeesfsach. Hashata hach. Li’shana ha-ba-aa bi’arah di’yeesrael. Hashata av’day, li’shana ha-ba a bi’nay choreen.

This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need, come and celebrate Passover. Today, we are here. Next year, in the land of Israel. Today, we are slaves. Next year, we will be free.

Written in Aramaic, this statement begins the narration of the Seder by inviting the hungry to our table. Aramaic, Jewish legend has it, is the one language which the angels do not understand. Why then is Ha Lachma spoken in Aramaic? To teach us that where there is hunger, no one should rely upon the angels, no one should pray to the heavens for help. We know the language of the poor, for we were poor in the land of Egypt. We know that we are called to feed the poor and to call them to join our celebration of freedom. 

Maggid - Beginning
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As all good term papers do, we start with the main idea:

ּעֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ הָיִינו. עַתָּה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין  

Avadim hayinu hayinu. Ata b’nei chorin.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. Now we are free.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and God took us from there with a strong hand and outstretched arm. Had God not brought our ancestors out of Egypt, then even today we and our children and our grandchildren would still be slaves. Even if we were all wise, knowledgeable scholars and Torah experts, we would still be obligated to tell the story of the exodus from Egypt.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Adapted from Haggadot.com and Sam Glazer

בַּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין אֲנָשִׁים הִשְׁתַּדֵל לִהְיוֹתאִישׁ

Bah-ma-kom sheh-ayn ah-nah-sheem

Heesh-ta-dayl l'hee-yot eesh

In a place where there is no humanity, let us strive to be human

- Hillel

Hillel knew that it is not always easy to act as we should, so we continue to search for the answer inside ourselves.

-- Four Questions
Source : Rabbi Ed Feinstein

The Seder is all about answering questions. But one question remains unanswered, and that’s the most important question – Why? We are taught, “ In every generation, each person must see him/​herself as if s/​he were redeemed from Egypt.”  But why? Why return to Egypt year after year? Why re-taste the bitterness of slavery? Ask the Torah – What difference does this experience make for me? How am I shaped by the experience of slavery and liberation? Here is the Torah’s response…Out of Exodus comes a fully-formed social vision, an ethic, and way of looking at history. Read each verse, and ask how the experience of Egypt shapes us, shapes our behavior, our society, our expectations for the world. This is the missing page from the Haggadah, the answer to Why?

Exodus 22:20 -- You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  You shall not ill-treat any widow or orphan.

Exodus 23: 5 -- When you see your enemy’s mule lying under its burden and would refrain from raising it, you must nevertheless raise it with him. You shall not subvert the rights of your needy in their disputes. ... You shall not oppress a stranger for you know the soul of the stranger  having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:33 -- When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I the Lord am your God.

Leviticus 25:35 -- If your kinsman, becomes poor, and his means fail, then you shall uphold him, you shall hold him as though a resident alien, let him live by your side: do not exact from him advance or accrued interest, but fear your God. Let him live by your side as your kinsman. Do not lend him money at advance interest or give him your food at accrued interest. I the Lord am your God,  who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan,  to be your God.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 -- Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; you shall not do any work -- you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the stranger in your settlements so that your male and female slave may rest as you do.  Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt  and the Lord your God freed you from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

Deuteronomy 10:17 -- God shows no favor and takes no bribe but upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widow and befriends the stranger providing him with food and clothing. You too must befriend the stranger,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 24:17ff -- You shall not subvert the rights of the stranger or the fatherless; you shall not take a widow's garment in pawn.  Remember that you were a slave in Egypt  and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment.

            When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it; it shall go to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow -- in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings.          When you beat down the fruit of your olive trees, do not go over them again, this shall go to the stranger, the fatherless and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not pick it over again; that shall go to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.  Always remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt ; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment.

Exodus 20:1-2 -- I am the LORD your God who  brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage.  You shall have no other gods besides Me.

-- Four Questions
Source : JewishBoston.com

The formal telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with lots of questions and answers. The tradition that the youngest person asks the questions reflects the centrality of involving everyone in the seder. The rabbis who created the set format for the seder gave us the Four Questions to help break the ice in case no one had their own questions. Asking questions is a core tradition in Jewish life. If everyone at your seder is around the same age, perhaps the person with the least seder experience can ask them – or everyone can sing them all together.

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה  

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah. Halaila hazeh kulo matzah.

On all other nights we eat both leavened bread and matzah.
Tonight we only eat matzah.

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot haleila hazeh maror.

On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables,
but tonight we eat bitter herbs.

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָֽנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּֽעַם אחָת  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעמים

Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat. Halaila hazeh shtei fi-amim.

On all other nights we aren’t expected to dip our vegetables one time.
Tonight we do it twice.

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין.  :הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּֽנוּ מְסֻבין

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin. Halaila hazeh kulanu m’subin.

On all other nights we eat either sitting normally or reclining.
Tonight we recline.

-- Four Questions
Source : http://rac.org/_kd/CustomFields/actions.cfm?action=DownloadFile&file=item.pdf.22106.1076.pdf&name=INVISIBLE_-_A_Social_Justice_Haggadah.pdf

Where do we find the answers? The answers are in the story itself.

Avadim Hayinu. We were slaves in Mitzrayim. Our ancestors in their flight from bondage in Mitzrayim did not have time to let their dough rise. With not a moment to spare they snatched up the dough they had prepared and fled. But the hot sun beat as they carried the dough along with them and baked it into the flat unleavened bread we call matzah. In memory of this, we eat only matzah during Passover. This matzah represents our rush to freedom.

Avadim Hayinu. We were slaves. We eat maror to remind us how bitter our ancestors' lives were made by their enslavement in Mitzrayim.

Avadim hayinu. We were slaves. The first time we dip our greens to taste the brine of enslavement. We also dip to remind ourselves of all life and growth, of earth and sea, which gives us sustenance and comes to life again in the springtime. The second time we dip the maror into the charoset. The charoset reminds us of the mortar that our ancestors mixed as slaves in Mitzrayim. But our charoset is made of fruit and nuts, to show that our ancestors were able to withdstand the bitterness of slavery because it was sweetened by the hope of freedom.

Avadim hayunu. We were slaves. Long ago, the wealthy Romans reseted on couches during their feasts. Slaves were not allowed to rest, not even while they ate. Since our ancestors were freed from slavery, we recline to remind ourselves that we, like our ancestors, can overcome bondage in our own time. We also recline to remind ourselves that rest and rejuvination are vital to continuing our struggles. We should take pleasure in reclineing even as we share our difficult story.

And tonight we have a fifth question: Why is this night no different from all other nights? Because on this night, millions of human beings around the world still remain enslaved, just as they do on all other nights. 

-- Four Children
Source : Adapted from Peace and Justice Haggadah
My Angry Self – Violent and oppressive things are happening to me, the people I love and people I don’t even know. Why can’t we make the people in power hurt the way we are all hurting?

Expressing our anger, releasing our anger, knowing and claiming our anger is an important step in the process of liberation, but hatred and violence can never overcome hatred and violence. Only love and compassion can transform our world. 

My Ashamed Self – I’m so ashamed of what people are doing that I have no way of dealing with it!

We acknowledge our feelings of guilt, shame and disappointment in order to not be paralyzed by these strong emotions. We transmute these forces, using the fire of injustice to fuel us in working for change. We also remember and celebrate the amazing, ordinary people around the world who are working to dismantle oppression together everyday.

My Fearful Self – Why should I care about other people when they don’t care about me? If I share what I have, there won’t be enough and I will end up suffering.

We must challenge the sense of scarcity that we have learned from capitalism and our histories of oppression. If we change the way food, housing, education, and resources are distributed, we could all have enough. 

Martin Luther King said: It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.

My Compassionate Self – How can I struggle for justice with an open heart? How can we live in a way that builds the world we want to live in, without losing hope?

This is the question that we answer with our lives. Compassion is the foundation upon which we can build loving communities, dedicated to the lifelong journey toward liberation. We are all blind and constricted in certain areas, and we are all wise and liberated in others. Compassion allows us to forgive ourselves and each other for our imperfections, and to release the judgments that keep us from fully experiencing love.

Each of us contains the angry one, the ashamed one, the frightened one, the compassionate one. When we can acknowledge all four of them, we are able to stay on the long and winding path toward personal liberation.

-- Four Children
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we tell the story, we think about it from all angles. Our tradition speaks of four different types of children who might react differently to the Passover seder. It is our job to make our story accessible to all the members of our community, so we think about how we might best reach each type of child:

What does the wise child say?

The wise child asks, What are the testimonies and laws which God commanded you?

You must teach this child the rules of observing the holiday of Passover.

What does the wicked child say?

The wicked child asks, What does this service mean to you?

To you and not to himself! Because he takes himself out of the community and misses the point, set this child’s teeth on edge and say to him: “It is because of what God did for me in taking me out of Egypt.” Me, not him. Had that child been there, he would have been left behind.

What does the simple child say?

The simple child asks, What is this?

To this child, answer plainly: “With a strong hand God took us out of Egypt, where we were slaves.”

What about the child who doesn’t know how to ask a question?

Help this child ask.

Start telling the story:

“It is because of what God did for me in taking me out of Egypt.”

-

Do you see yourself in any of these children? At times we all approach different situations like each of these children. How do we relate to each of them?

-- Exodus Story
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

Our story starts in ancient times, with Abraham, the first person to have the idea that maybe all those little statues his contemporaries worshiped as gods were just statues. The idea of one God, invisible and all-powerful, inspired him to leave his family and begin a new people in Canaan, the land that would one day bear his grandson Jacob’s adopted name, Israel.

God had made a promise to Abraham that his family would become a great nation, but this promise came with a frightening vision of the troubles along the way: “Your descendants will dwell for a time in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and afflicted for four hundred years; however, I will punish the nation that enslaved them, and afterwards they shall leave with great wealth."

Raise the glass of wine and say:

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְלָֽנוּ

V’hi she-amda l’avoteinu v’lanu.

This promise has sustained our ancestors and us.

For not only one enemy has risen against us to annihilate us, but in every generation there are those who rise against us. But God saves us from those who seek to harm us.

The glass of wine is put down.

In the years our ancestors lived in Egypt, our numbers grew, and soon the family of Jacob became the People of Israel. Pharaoh and the leaders of Egypt grew alarmed by this great nation growing within their borders, so they enslaved us. We were forced to perform hard labor, perhaps even building pyramids. The Egyptians feared that even as slaves, the Israelites might grow strong and rebel. So Pharaoh decreed that Israelite baby boys should be drowned, to prevent the Israelites from overthrowing those who had enslaved them.

But God heard the cries of the Israelites. And God brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with great awe, miraculous signs and wonders. God brought us out not by angel or messenger, but through God’s own intervention. 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we rejoice at our deliverance from slavery, we acknowledge that our freedom was hard-earned. We regret that our freedom came at the cost of the Egyptians’ suffering, for we are all human beings made in the image of God. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them.

Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues which God brought down on the Egyptians:

Blood | dam | דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |  צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim | כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever | דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail | barad | בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech | חֹֽשֶׁךְ

Death of the Firstborn | makat b’chorot | מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

The Egyptians needed ten plagues because after each one they were able to come up with excuses and explanations rather than change their behavior. Could we be making the same mistakes? Make up your own list. What are the plagues in your life? What are the plagues in our world today? What behaviors do we need to change to fix them? 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

The plagues and our subsequent redemption from Egypt are but one example of the care God has shown for us in our history. Had God but done any one of these kindnesses, it would have been enough – dayeinu.

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָֽנוּ מִמִּצְרַֽיִם, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu hotzi- hotzianu, Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim, Dayeinu

If God had only taken us out of Egypt, that would have been enough!

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָֽנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha-Torah, Natan lanu et ha-Torah , Dayeinu

If God had only given us the Torah, that would have been enough.

 The complete lyrics to Dayeinu tell the entire story of the Exodus from Egypt as a series of miracles God performed for us. (See the Additional Readings if you want to read or sing them all.)

Dayeinu also reminds us that each of our lives is the cumulative result of many blessings, small and large. 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
From singing Dayenu we learn to celebrate each landmark on our people's journey. Yet we must never confuse these way stations with the goal. Because it is not yet Dayenu. There is still so much to do in our work of tikkun olam, repairing the world.

When governments end the escalating production of devastating weapons, secure in the knowledge that they will not be necessary, Dayenu.

When all women and men are allowed to make their own decisions on matters regarding their own bodies and personal relationships without discrimination or legal consequences, Dayenu.

When children grow up in freedom, without hunger, and with the love and support they need to realize their full potential, Dayenu.

When the air, water, fellow creatures and beautiful world are protected for the benefit and enjoyment of all and given priority over development for the sake of profit, Dayenu.

When people of all ages, sexes, races, religions, sexual orientations, cultures and nations respect and appreciate one another, Dayenu.

When each person can say, "This year, I worked as hard as I could toward improving the world so that all people can experience the joy and freedom I feel sitting here tonight at the seder table," Dayenu v'lo Dayenu - It will and will not be enough.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

We have now told the story of Passover…but wait! We’re not quite done. There are still some symbols on our seder plate we haven’t talked about yet. Rabban Gamliel would say that whoever didn’t explain the shank bone, matzah, and marror (or bitter herbs) hasn’t done Passover justice.

The shank bone represents the Pesach, the special lamb sacrifice made in the days of the Temple for the Passover holiday. It is called the pesach, from the Hebrew word meaning “to pass over,” because God passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt when visiting plagues upon our oppressors.

The matzah reminds us that when our ancestors were finally free to leave Egypt, there was no time to pack or prepare. Our ancestors grabbed whatever dough was made and set out on their journey, letting their dough bake into matzah as they fled.

The bitter herbs provide a visceral reminder of the bitterness of slavery, the life of hard labor our ancestors experienced in Egypt.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : humormatters.com

Our Passover Things (to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music)

Cleaning and cooking and so many dishes

Out  with the hametz, no pasta, no knishes

Fish that's gefiltered, horseradish that stings

These are a few of our Passover things

Matzoh and karpas and chopped up haroses

Shankbones and kiddush and Yiddish neuroses

Tante who kvetches and uncle who sings

These are a few of our Passover things

CHORUS

When the plagues strike

When the lice bite

When we're feeling sad

We simply remember our Passover things

And then we don't feel so bad

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עַצְמוֹ, כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרָֽיִם

B’chol dor vador chayav adam lirot et-atzmo, k’ilu hu yatzav mimitzrayim.

In every generation, everyone is obligated to see themselves as though they personally left Egypt.

The seder reminds us that it was not only our ancestors whom God redeemed; God redeemed us too along with them. That’s why the Torah says “God brought us out from there in order to lead us to and give us the land promised to our ancestors.”

---

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who redeemed us and our ancestors from Egypt, enabling us to reach this night and eat matzah and bitter herbs. May we continue to reach future holidays in peace and happiness.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p’ree hagafen.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the second glass of wine!

Rachtzah
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we now transition from the formal telling of the Passover story to the celebratory meal, we once again wash our hands to prepare ourselves. In Judaism, a good meal together with friends and family is itself a sacred act, so we prepare for it just as we prepared for our holiday ritual, recalling the way ancient priests once prepared for service in the Temple.

Some people distinguish between washing to prepare for prayer and washing to prepare for food by changing the way they pour water on their hands. For washing before food, pour water three times on your right hand and then three times on your left hand.

After you have poured the water over your hands, recite this short blessing.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ  עַל נְטִילַת יָדָֽיִם

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al n’tilat yadayim.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to wash our hands.

Motzi-Matzah

The blessing over the meal and matzah |  motzi matzah  | מוֹצִיא מַצָּה

The familiar 'motzi' blessing marks the formal start of the meal. Because we are using matzah instead of bread, we add a blessing celebrating this mitzvah, or commandment:

בְָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶֽחֶם מִן הָאָֽרֶץ:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who brings bread from the land.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתַָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al achilat matzah.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to eat matzah.

Distribute and eat the top and middle matzah for everyone to eat.

Maror
Source : JewishBoston.com

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror  |מָרוֹר   

  In creating a holiday about the joy of freedom, we turn the story of our bitter history into a sweet celebration. We recognize this by dipping our bitter herbs into the sweet charoset. We don’t totally eradicate the taste of the bitter with the taste of the sweet… but doesn’t the sweet mean more when it’s layered over the bitterness?

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מרוֹר

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al achilat maror.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to eat bitter herbs.

Koreich
Source : Wandering

Eating a sandwich of matzah and bitter herb | koreich | כּוֹרֵךְ

When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the biggest ritual of them all was eating the lamb offered as the pesach or Passover sacrifice. The great sage Hillel would put the meat in a sandwich made of matzah, along with some of the bitter herbs. While we do not make sacrifices any more – and, in fact, some Jews have a custom of purposely avoiding lamb during the seder so that it is not mistaken as a sacrifice – we honor this custom by eating a sandwich of the remaining matzah and bitter herbs. Some people will also include charoset in the sandwich to remind us that God’s kindness helped relieve the bitterness of slavery.

Shulchan Oreich
Source : Traditional

Shulchan Orech  שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

Now is time to enjoy the festival meal and participate in lively discussion. It is permitted to drink wine between the second and third cups.

Tzafun
Source : JewishBoston.com

Finding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon | צָפוּן

The playfulness of finding the afikomen reminds us that we balance our solemn memories of slavery with a joyous celebration of freedom. As we eat the afikomen, our last taste of matzah for the evening, we are grateful for moments of silliness and happiness in our lives.

Bareich

כּוֹס שְׁלִישִׁי The Third Cup

Refill your wine...

As the great “outstretched arm” is a manifestation of God’s power, we recall now the great leaders of our peoplewho used their power and strength to make real this Divine promise of redemption.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּֽפֶן

barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam borei p’ri ha-gafen

You are blessed, our God, Spirit of the World, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

Singing songs that praise God | hallel | הַלֵּל

This is the time set aside for singing. Some of us might sing traditional prayers from the Book of Psalms. Others take this moment for favorites like Chad Gadya & Who Knows One, which you can find in the appendix. To celebrate the theme of freedom, we might sing songs from the civil rights movement. Or perhaps your crazy Uncle Frank has some parody lyrics about Passover to the tunes from a musical. We’re at least three glasses of wine into the night, so just roll with it.

Fourth Glass of Wine

As we come to the end of the seder, we drink one more glass of wine. With this final cup, we give thanks for the experience of celebrating Passover together, for the traditions that help inform our daily lives and guide our actions and aspirations.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p’ree hagafen.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the fourth and final glass of wine! 

Hallel
Source : From Haggadot.com - added egalitarian

We now refill our wine glasses one last time and open the front door to invite the prophet Elijah to join our seder.

In the Bible, Elijah was a fierce defender of God to a disbelieving people. At the end of his life, rather than dying, he was whisked away to heaven. Tradition holds that he will return in advance of messianic days to herald a new era of peace, so we set a place for Elijah at many joyous, hopeful Jewish occasions, such as a baby’s bris and the Passover seder.

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי,

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ,אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי.

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד,

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בַּתּ שָּׂרָה,

Eliyahu hanavi Eliyahu hatishbi Eliyahu, Eliyahu, Eliyahu hagiladi Bimheirah b’yameinu, yavo eileinu Im mashiach ben-David, Im mashiach bat-Sarah

Elijah the prophet, the returning, the man of Gilad: return to us speedily, in our days with the messiah, son of David.

Nirtzah

In every generation, we all should feel as though we ourselves had gone forth from Egypt. We end our Passover Seder by saying in unison:

May slavery give way to freedom.
May hate give way to love.
May ignorance give way to wisdom.
May despair give way to hope.
Next year, at this time, may everyone, everywhere, be free!

We are, each of us, working to meet challenges in our lives, but we are grateful to be here together for tonight’s seder. Wherever the next year takes us, we look forward to celebrating Pesach again, together with the friends and family—new and long beloved. (Contributed by Dinah Winnick)

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

I want to make a good entrance. I never makes good entrances. Jerry: You have made some good exits. -  George Costanza.

Conclusion

Who knows one?

I know one.

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows two?

I know two.

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows two?

I know two.

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows four?

I know four.

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows five?

I know five.

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows six?

I know six.

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows seven?

I know seven.

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eight?

I know eight.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows nine?

I know nine.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows ten?

I know ten.

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eleven?

I know eleven.

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows twelve?

I know twelve.

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows thirteen?

I know thirteen

Thirteen are the attributes of God

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Conclusion
Source : Traditional song

One morning when Pharaoh woke in his bed

There were frogs in his bed and frogs on his head

Frogs on his nose and frogs on his toes

Frogs here. Frogs there. Frogs were jumping everywhere!

Conclusion
Source : Traditional song, abridged (first three verses)

Chad gadya, chad gadya.
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Va'ata shunra,
ve'achla legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Va'ata chalba,
venashach leshunra
de'achla legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya. [...]

One little goat, one little goat.
That Father bought for two zuzim,
one little goat, one little goat.

Then came a cat
and ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
one little goat, one little goat.

Then came a dog
and bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
one little goat, one little goat. [...]

Conclusion
Source : From: Sing a Song of Yom Tov in 1986 by Elissa Treuer

Don't sit on the Afikomen (To the tune of “Glory, Glory, Halleluyah”)

My Dad at every Seder breaks a Matza piece in two And hides the Afikomen half - A game for me and you Find it, hold it ransom for the Seder isn't through 'till the Afikomen's gone.

Chorus:

Don't sit on the Afikomen.
Don't sit on the Afikomen.
Don't sit on the Afikomen.
Or the Meal will last all night

One year Daddy hid it 'neath a pillow on a chair
But just as I raced over, my Aunt Sophie sat down there She threw herself upon it
Awful crunching filled the air 
And crumbs flew all around

Chorus

There were matza crumbs all over
Oh, it was a messy sight
We swept up all the pieces though it took us half the night
So, if you want your Seder ending sooner than dawn's light, 
Don't sit on the Afiko-o-men

Chorus

Conclusion

Kol od balevav penima
Nefesh Yehudi homiya,
Ulfa'atei mizrach kadima
Ayin l'Tziyon tzofiya.

Od lo avda tikvatenu,
Hatikva bat sh'not alpayim,
Lihyot am chofshi be'artzenu
Eretz Tziyon virushalayim.


THE HOPE 

As long as deep within the heart
A Jewish soul stirs,
And forward, to the ends of the East
An eye looks out, towards Zion.

Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Commentary / Readings
Source : http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread412917/pg1

The Plagues happened at the same time as a massive volcano eruption. The volcano Santorini sent ash in to the air effecting the surrounding area. The ash is found in Cairo and the Nile River, proven by testing the composition of the ash. This volcanic eruption happened between 1500-1650BC while the Plagues happened between 1400-1550BC. So it fits there. 

1st Plague. River ran red LIKE blood. But there is a common algae plume called the Red Tide. This makes the river, or any water, look red like blood. Why did this happen? The ash changes the PH level of the river allowing the algae to bloom. 

2nd Plague. Frogs. The algae is killing fish. Fish eat frog eggs. No fish, record number of frogs. Frogs can't live in polluted water and so leave the river. 

3rd and 4th Plague. Lice and flies. The translation can actually be lice, fleas, gnats, or midges. But you have riverfull of dead fish, and now dead frogs. This brings the insects of the 3rd and 4th Plague. 

5th Plague. Pestilence. Flies, dead frogs, dead fish, easy enough no? 

6th Plague. Boils. Certain types of flies that bite can leave behind boils. The bites get infected, they turn in to boils. 

7th Plague. Fire and Hail. Ash in the air causes a mixture of ash and water. The ash, very high in the air, causes the water to freeze so when it falls it is hail and not rain. The fire? I saw this amazing picture in Nat. Geo. of a volcanic eruption. There was red lightning. It was amazing to see bright red lightning. Why is it red? Chemicals in the ash makes red lightning. So fire in the sky, and hail. 

8th Plague. Locusts. Locusts come about when the ground is very damp. They bury their eggs in the sand about 4-6 inches. After record amount of hail the ground would be very wet allowing the locusts to form. 

9th Plague. Darkness. Ash in the air. After am eruption in 1815 there was darkness for 600 kilometers. After Krakatoa it was dark for even farther for days. 

10th Plague. Death of First born. In Egypt the first born was king. They would be the one to lead the family after the father died. When food was scarce the first born ate first and some times was the only one to eat. After locusts ate every thing there was only grain locked in vaults. The hail got it wet, locust feces, it made it moldy. And so when only the first born ate, they were the only ones killed by moldy grain. 

Commentary / Readings
Source : Monty Python Haggadah

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 particularly.

Bush: Moses! Moses, Leader of the Israelites! 

(Moses looks stunned, drops to his knees in awe and bows his head to the ground in front of the burning bush.)

Bush:  Oh, don't grovel! If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people groveling.

Moses: Sorry-- 

Bush: And don't apologize. Every time I try to talk to someone, it's "sorry this" and "forgive me that" and "I'm not worthy". What are you doing now!?

Moses: I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord.

Bush: Well, don't. It's like those miserable Psalms -- they're so depressing. Now knock it off.

Moses: Yes, Lord.

Bush: Right! Moses, leader of the Israelites your people shall have a task to make them an example in these dark times.

Moses: Good idea, Lord!

Bush: Of course it's a good idea! Behold! This is your task to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

Moses: A blessing! But are you sure I shouldn't deliver a pizza instead

Scene 2: In Egypt

Moses: I never wanted to do this job of deliverance in the first place. At least delivering pizzas pays good tips!  I wanted to be a lumberjack, even though its a bit hard doing that in the desert. 

(Israelites sing)    Oh, we're Egyptian slaves. It's not OK.    We work all night and we work all day.    We quarry blocks and make mud bricks    And want to run away!

Scene 3: Asking Pharaoh to leave

Moses approaches Pharaoh and his advisors to ask for permission for the Israelites to leave Egypt. 

Pharaoh and his advisors say, "Ni! We are the keepers of the sacred words: Ni, Ping, and Neeee-wommmm!  We want a shrubbery!!!" 

Moses says, "I already found a shrubbery in the desert. It told me it was God, and told me to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt." 

When Pharaoh asks for proof that Moses speaks for God, he shows Pharaoh the holy hand grenade and Aaron pulls the holy pin, making mincemeat of half the advisors.

Scene 4: The Ten Plagues

Killer rabbits. 

Dead parrots. 

The Spanish Inquisition.  

Silly walks. 

1000-ton weights. 

Plague six. There IS no plague six! 

Crunchy frogs. 

Spam. 

Giant badgers. 

The killing of the first born. 

The morning after the final plague, the Egyptian garbage collectors roam the streets calling, "Bring out your dead!"  People bring corpses of plague victims to the dead cart.  

When they start to pick up one body, one of the collectors says, "Wait a bit.  He's not dead.  He's just resting." A lightning bolt comes out of the sky, hitting the body and killing it.  The collectors smile and heave it onto the cart. 

Scene 5: The Exodus

Aaron (addressing the assembled Israelite multitude): We need to sneak out of Egypt quickly without Pharaoh's army noticing. In this demonstration, we hope to show how to leave Egypt without being seen. This is Miriam of the Tribe of Levi. She can not be seen. Now I am going to ask her to stand up. Sister Miriam, will you stand up please?  

In the distance Miriam stands up. There is a clap of thunder and Miriam crumples to the ground.

Aaron: This demonstrates the value of not being seen

Stop! This is getting too silly!

Scene 6: Arriving at the Red Sea.

The Red Sea guard challenges the fleeing Israelites as they arrive, saying, "None shall pass." 

Guard: What is your name?

Moses: Moses.

Guard: What is your quest?

Moses: To reach the Promised Land.

Guard: What are your favorite colors?

Moses: Blue and white.

Guard: You may pass.

The Israelites pass through the Red Sea.  Now Pharaoh's army approaches, led by Rameses.

   Guard:     What is your name?    Rameses: Rameses, Pharaoh of Egypt    Guard:     What is your quest?    Rameses: To bring back the fleeing Israelite slaves.

Guard:     What is the capital of modern-day Abyssinia

Rameses: I don't know that.

The guard unleashes a flood of water onto Rameses and the army, drowning them all. 

Rameses:  Auuugh!

Aaron watches awestruck, then asks Moses how he was able to answer the questions so well. Moses says, "You have to know these sorts of things when youre a leader of the Israelites, you know."

Narrator:  Forty years later, after wandering around in the desert searching for the Holy Grail, Moses and Joshua stumble across a dragon ship and sail across the river Jordan to swelling music, but just as everything looks like there will be a happy ending ....

Moses: No afikomen here. Let's head back.

And now for something completely different.

Scene 7: The seder plate

To help us remember the story of the first Passover, we have assembled various symbolic foods on a Seder plate. There's egg and spam; shankbone and spam; greens and spam, bitter herbs and spam, charoses and spam, and spam, and spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam matzoh and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam... Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! 

But I can't eat spam, it's not kosher! 

I'll eat yours, dear. I'm Reform

Scene 8: The Four Questions

Setting:  A dusty street in an small Egyptian city.  Moses:  It's time to ask the five questions.   Aaron:  Four, sir!  It's FOUR questions. Moses:  Right.  Thou shalt ask four. No more. No less. Four shall be the number thou shalt ask, and the number of the asking shall be four. Five shalt thou not ask, nor either ask thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to four.

Enter King Arthur and the Black Knight.   King Arthur fights the Black Knight. First King Arthur cuts off the Black Knight's right arm, but he keeps on fighting. Then Arthur cuts off the Black Knight's left arm, followed by his right leg, and then finally cuts off his left leg. The Black Knight keeps fighting. King Arthur turns toward the camera with a puzzled look and asks, "Why is this knight different from all other knights?"  

Pause.  Let the audience groan.  Then continue.  Yes, we know that's only one question, but who's counting?  

Scene 9:  Dinner

It's time to eat dinner before finishing the rest of the Haggadah.  While eating dinner, make sure to defend yourself against the possibility that the person to your right will attack you with a banana.  

Scene 10:  The Afikomen

The children are sent out of the room to find the Afikomen.  They return, shouting:

Children:  An afikomen! An afikomen! An afikomen! We've got an afikomen!: We have found an afikomen, may we eat it? 

Father:     Eat it! Eat! 

Mother:    How do you know it is an afikomen?

Children:  It looks like one. It has warts on it.  And it turned me into a newt!

Scene 11: Elijah's Cup

Well, it's just after eight o'clock, and time for to open the door for Elijah's penguin. (Participant opens the door and in comes a penguin. The penguin explodes.

Scene 12:  Conclusion Narrator:  We conclude tonight's program with the question, 'Is there life after death?'. And here to discuss this question are three dead people.  The late Pharaoh Ramses, former ruler of the kingdom of Egypt, circa 1400 BCE; the late Moshe ben Amram, tribal spokesperson and record holder for longest road trip across the wilderness; and putting forward the view of the Powers that Be, the prophet Elijah the Gileadite. Gentlemen, is there life after death or not? (Prolonged silence)

Well there we have it!  Three say "No". On next week's program we'll be discussing the question 'Does the state of France have a right to exist?. And until then, goodnight. 

THE END

Commentary / Readings
Source : Gerald Weiss (modified)

Gefilte Fish - A Mythical Midrash

According to Ashkenazi Jewish custom, we eat Gefilte fish on Passover. The question arose as to why Gefilte fish is so closely associated with Passover, and why it seems to appear on so many Seder tables.

Here is one answer:

When the Israelites found themselves trapped between the Sea of Reeds (sometimes mistakenly called the Red Sea) and the pursuing Egyptian chariots, they panicked. They cried to Moses, who cried to God who said: wait, let me think ...

Aha!

As it happens, in a quirky moment during the evolutionary process, God created an odd kind of sea creature. It was awkward looking and lumpy, with no fins, no scales, no eyes, no tail...and very, very pale. Yuch! So God stuck this evolutionary oddity in an out of the way place where it could live out its life-cycle in peace, unobserved. God put this wild Gefilte fish species in only one body of water on Earth -- somewhat off the beaten path -- in the Sea of Reeds (again, often mistakenly called the Red Sea) -- where the species lived and multiplied in obscurity for ages.

So anyway, suddenly, God, who has a really long memory, remembered the wild Gefilte fish and the unique capability they developed, namely, the ability to suck in and hold 40 times (400 times, according to Rabbi Akiva) their weight in water.

And God spoke to the wild Gefilte, numbering in the tens of thousands, saying, "OK, fellas, at the count of three, SUCK IN!"  All at once, tens of thousands of wild Gefilte fish made a whooshing, sucking sound, as they simultaneously sucked in so much water that the middle of the Sea of Reeds (yes, often mistakenly called the Red Sea) dried up and a path opened up for the Israelites, enabling them to cross to the other side. BUT, when the Egyptian chariots tried to follow them across the dry sea bed, the wild Gefilte fish, unable to HOLD 40 times their weight in water (or 400 times, according to Rabbi Akiva) any longer, let go, and the ensuing tsunami swept the Egyptian chariots away.

Israel was saved, and with tambourines and song, they praised God for God's foresight in creating the now heroic and celebrated, albeit rather unattractive, wild Gefilte fish.

So, from that day to this, in gratitude for the part they played in rescuing Israel at the Red Sea (oh, whatever), the wild Gefilte fish were domesticated and granted a place of honor on the Seder table. 

Now, how's THAT for a fish story?

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