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Introduction

AS WE BEGIN TONIGHT’S SEDER, let’s take a moment to be thankful for being together. We make a small community of storytellers. But, why this story again? Most of us already know the story of Passover. The answer is that we are not merely telling, or in tonight’s case, singing a story. We are being called to the act of empathy. Not only to hear the story of the Exodus but to feel as if we too were being set free. Most if not all of us at our table observe this holiday every year  Passover is the most widely celebrated Jewish Holiday and is enjoyed by people of various faiths. Freedom is at the core of each of our stories. All who are in need, let them come celebrate Passover with us. Now we are here. Next year in the land of Israel.

Before we go on I'd like to note how good and pleasant it is when brothers sit together in perfect harmony.  I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am to have all of you here.  And so, we all say in Hebrew...

Introduction
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

On this night we retrace our steps from then to now, reclaiming years of desert wandering.

On this night we ask questions, ancient and new, speaking of servitude and liberation, service and joy.

On this night we welcome each soul, sharing stories of courage, strength, and faith.

On this night we open doors long closed, lifting our voices in songs of praise.

On this night we renew ancient hopes and dream of a future redeemed.

On this night we gather around Seder tables remembering our passage from bondage to freedom.

On this night we journey from now to then, telling the story of our people’s birth.

Introduction
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

Pack Nothing. Bring only your determination to serve and your willingness to be free.

Don’t wait for the bread to rise.
Take nourishment for the journey, but eat standing, be ready to move at a moment’s notice.

Do not hesitate to leave your old ways behind - fear, silence, submission.

Do not take time to explain to the neighbors.Tell only a few trusted friends and family members.

Then begin quickly, before you have time to sink back into the old slavery.

Set out in the dark. I will send fire to warm and encourage you. I will be with you in the fire and I will be with you in the cloud.

You will learn to eat new food and find refuge in new places.
I will give you dreams in the desert to guide you safely home to that place you have not yet seen.

The stories you tell one another around your fires in the dark will make you strong and wise.

Outsiders will attack you, some will follow you, and at times you will weary and turn on each other from fear and fatigue and blind forgetfulness.

You have been preparing for this for hundreds of years.
I am sending you into the wilderness to make a way and to learn my ways more deeply.

Those who fight you will teach you. Those who fear you will strengthen you. Those who follow you may forget you. Only be faithful. This alone matters.

Some of you will die in the desert, for the way is longer than anyone imagined. Some of you will give birth.

Some will join other tribes along the way,
and some will simply stop and create new families in a welcoming oasis.

Some of you will be so changed by weathers and wanderings that even your closest friends will have to learn your features as though for the first time.

Some of you will not change at all.
Sing songs as you go, and hold close together. You may, at times, grow confused and lose your way.

Continue to call each other by the names I’ve given you to help remember who you are. You will get where you are going by remembering who you are.

Tell your children lest they forget and fall into danger -
remind them even they were not born in freedom but under a bondage they no longer remember, which is still with them, if unseen.

So long ago you fell into slavery, slipped into it unaware, out of hunger and need.

Do not let your children sleep through the journey’s hardship.
Keep them awake and walking on their own feet so that you both remain strong and on course.

So you will be only the first of many waves of deliverance on these desert seas.

Do not go back. I am with you now and I am waiting for you.

Full PDF Here - http://www.jewbelong.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JewBelongHaggadah-1.pdf

Introduction
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

Cleaning and cooking and so many dishes
Out with the chametz, no pasta, no knishes
Fish that's gefillted, horseradish that stings
These are a few of our Passover things.

Matzo and karpas and chopped up charoset
Shankbones and kiddish and Yiddish neurosis
Tante who kvetches and uncle who sings
These are a few of our Passover things.
Motzi and maror and trouble with Pharaohs
Famines and locusts and slaves with wheelbarrows
Matzah balls floating and eggshell that cling
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.

Introduction
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

The day ends. The earth turns from sunshine to dusk and then to darkness. We assume for ourselves the task of kindling candles in the night, to enlighten the dark corners of our world. We still live in perilous times. Behind us, though receding into the memories of even the oldest among us, we can still sense the fires of Auschwitz and Hiroshima. Before us, the threat of acts of terrorism and gun violence. We gather tonight to create from fire, not the heat of destruction, but the light of instruction; indeed to see more clearly the wisdom, strength and caring that glows from within each of us.

TOGETHER: May these candles, lit on the Festival of Freedom, bring light into our hearts and minds. May they renew our courage to act for justice and freedom here and now. May they illumine the path to truth, justice and peace. And so we repeat the ancient blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו
וְצִוָּֽנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁלְ (שַבָת וְשֶל) יֹום טֹוב

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam,
asher kiddishanu b’mitzvotav,
v’tzivanu lehadlik neir shel [Shabbat v'shel] Yom Tov.

We praise God, spirit of everything,
who has made us distinct through Your directives
and has directed us to kindle [the Shabbat] and holiday lights.

Introduction
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

May you grant my family and all Israel a good and long life. Remember us with blessings and kindness. Give me the opportunity to raise my children and grandchildren to be truly wise and people of truth. Please hear my prayer at this time. Regard me as a worthy descendant of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, and let my candles never be extinguished. Let the light of Your face shine upon us. Amen.

Kadesh
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

THE BLESSING OVER THE WINE

Fill your cup with the first glass of wine, lift the cup, say the Kiddush, and drink, leaning to the left. All Jewish celebrations, from holidays to weddings, include wine as a symbol of our joy – not to mention a practical way to increase that joy. The Seder starts with first cup of wine and then gives us three more opportunities to refill our cup and drink.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

SHEHECHEYANU

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, she-hechiyanu v’key’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

We praise God, Spirit of Everything, who has kept us alive, raised us up, and brought us to this happy moment.

DRINK THE FIRST GLASS OF WINE

Kadesh
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

Nothing on the Seder table is selected randomly; each item has it’s purpose and often it’s specific place. The Seder plate holds at least six of the ritual items that are discussed during the Seder: the shankbone, maror, charoset, karpas, salt water, orange, roasted egg, and boiled egg.

PASSOVER ROUND
(to the tune of “Frère Jacques”)

Roasted Shankbone
Hard Boiled Egg
Karpas and Charoset
Bitter Herbs

ROASTED SHANKBONE
One of the most striking symbols of Passover is the roasted lamb shankbone (called zeroah), which commemorates the paschal (lamb) sacrifice made the night the ancient Hebrews fled Egypt. Some say it symbolizes the outstretched arm of God (the Hebrew word zeroah can mean “arm”). Many vegetarians use a roasted beet instead. This isn’t a new idea; the great Biblical commentator Rashi suggested it back in the eleventh century.

MAROR (BITTER HERB)
Bitter herbs (usually horseradish) bring tears to the eyes and recall the bitterness of slavery. The Seder refers to the slavery in Egypt, but people are called to look at their own bitter enslavements.

CHAROSET
There’s nothing further from maror than charoset (“cha-ROH-set”), the sweet salad of apples, nuts, wine, and cinnamon that represents the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to make bricks.

KARPAS
Karpas is a green vegetable, usually parsley (though any spring green will do). Karpas symbolizes the freshness of spring. Some families still use boiled potatoes for karpas, continuing a tradition from Eastern Europe where it was difficult to obtain fresh green vegetables.

SALT WATER
Salt water symbolizes the tears and sweat of enslavement, though paradoxically, it’s also a symbol for purity, springtime, and the sea.

ORANGE
The tradition of putting an orange on the seder plate in is a response to a less evolved rabbi who told a young girl that a woman belongs on a bimah as much as an orange on a Seder plate. The orange is now said to be a symbol of the fruitfulness of all Jews, whether they be gay, straight, male or female.

ROASTED EGG
The roasted egg (baytsah) is a symbol in many different cultures, usually signifying springtime and renewal. Here it stands in place of one of the sacrificial offerings which was performed in the days of the Second Temple. Another popular interpretation is that the egg is like the Jewish people: the hotter you make it for them, the tougher they get.

BOILED EGG (TO EAT)
May we reflect on our lives this year and soften our hearts to those around us. Another year has passed since we gathered at the Seder table and we are once again reminded that life is fleeting. We are reminded to use each precious moment wisely so that no day will pass without bringing us closer to some worthy achievement as we all take a moment to be aware of how truly blessed we are.

Our faith gives us many holidays to celebrate throughout the year and they are all times for self reflection, gently guiding us to a better path in life. We are each given a chance to reflect on our past year; to think about where we have been and how we will live our lives in the year to come. We reaffirm our commitment to lead good and meaningful lives, promoting peace wherever we go.

Kadesh
Source : Irena Klepsisz

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO DIED
Because they had no love and felt alone in the world
Because they were afraid to be alone and tried to stick it out
Because they could not ask
Because they were shunned
Because they were sick and their bodies could not resist the disease
Because they played it safe
Because they had no connection
Because they had no faith
Because they felt they did not belong and wanted to die

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO DIED
Because they were loners and liked it
Because they acquired friends and drew others to them
Because they drew attention to themselves and always got picked
Because they took risks
Because they were too stubborn and refused to give up
Because they asked for too much

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO DIED
Because a card was lost and a number was skipped
Because a bed was denied
Because a place was filled and no other was left

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO DIED
Because someone did not follow through
Because someone was overworked and forgot
Because someone left everything to God
Because someone was late
Because someone did not arrive at all
Because someone told them to wait and they just couldn’t any longer

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO DIED
Because death is a punishment
Because death is a reward
Because death is the final rest
Because death is eternal rage

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO DIED

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO SURVIVED
Because their second grade teacher gave them books
Because they did not draw attention to themselves and got lost in the shuffle
Because they knew someone who knew someone else who could help them
and bumped into them on a corner on a Thursday afternoon
Because they played it safe
Because they took risks
Because they were lucky

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO SURVIVED
Because they knew how to cut corners
Because they drew attention to themselves and always got picked
Because they had no principles and were hard

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO SURVIVED
Because they refused to give up and defied statistics
Because they had faith and trusted in God
Because they expected the worst and were always prepared
Because they were angry
Because they could ask
Because they mooched off others and saved their strength
Because they endured humiliation
Because they turned the other cheek
Because they looked the other way

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO SURVIVED
Because life is a wilderness and they were savage
Because life is an awakening and they were alert
Because life is a flowering and they blossomed
Because life is a struggle and they struggled
Because life is a gift and they were free to accept it.

THESE WORDS ARE DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO SURVIVED. BASHERT.

- IRENA KLEPSISZ

Kadesh
Source : MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND ABRAHAM J. HESCHEL

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND ABRAHAM J. HESCHEL

LEADER Prejudice is like a monster which has many heads, an evil which requires many efforts to overcome. One head sends forth poison against the people of a different race, another against the people of a different religion or culture. Thus the evil of prejudice is indivisible.

GROUP Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. Without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social stagnation.

LEADER What is called for is not a silent sigh but a voice of moral compassion and indignation, the sublime and inspired screaming of a prophet uttered by a whole community.

GROUP The voice of justice is stronger than bigotry and the hour calls for that voice as well as the concerted and incessant action.

LEADER I have personal faith. I believe firmly that in spite of the difficulties of these days, in spite of the struggles ahead, we will and we can solve this problem. I believe there will be a better world.

Kadesh

Just about everybody experiences the sense of being foreign sometime in their lives. Most of the adults at this table have immigrated from a foreign country. But even if you have lived in the same city your entire life, as an adult you no longer live in the same neighborhood you lived in when you were growing up. Your home is defined not only by place but also by time. People have changed; circumstances have changed. As a foreigner in that sense, you try to find a shared past with people. You may get excited to find that somebody you encounter grew up in the same city that you did, whereas, if you lived in the city where you grew up, you would probably not even stop to talk to that same person.

As a Jew, you have a built in sense of shared identity with other Jews. How does the fact that you are Jewish affect your self-identity in situations where you are a stranger? How important is being Jewish to you? What would the world be missing if there were no Jews any more? Tonight let's consider these questions and discuss our answers.

Urchatz
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com
Water is refreshing, cleansing, and clear, so it’s easy to understand why so many cultures and religions use water for symbolic purification. We will wash our hands twice during our seder: now, with no blessing, to get us ready for the rituals to come; and then again later, we’ll wash again with a blessing, preparing us for the meal, which Judaism thinks of as a ritual in itself. (The Jewish obsession with food is older than you thought!)

To wash your hands, you don’t need soap, but you do need a cup to pour water over your hands. Pour water on each of your hands three times, alternating between your hands. If the people around your table don’t want to get up to walk all the way over to the sink, you could pass a pitcher and a bowl around so everyone can wash at their seats… just be careful not to spill!

Too often during our daily lives we don’t stop and take the moment to prepare for whatever it is we’re about to do.

Let's pause to consider what we hope to get out of our evening together tonight. Go around the table and share one hope or expectation you have for tonight's seder.

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

Passover, like many of our holidays, combines the celebration of an event from our 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, representing our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold winter. Most families use a green vegetable, such as parsley or celery, but some families from Eastern Europe have a tradition of using a boiled potato since greens were hard to come by at Passover time. 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 : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

BREAKING THE MIDDLE MATZO

There are three pieces of matzo stacked on the table. We now break the middle matzo into two pieces. One piece is called the Afikomen, literally “dessert” in Greek. The Afikomen is hidden and must be found before the Seder can be finished.

We eat matzah in memory of the quick flight of our ancestors from Egypt. As slaves, they had faced many false starts before finally being let go. So when the word of their freedom came, they took whatever dough they had and ran before it had the chance to rise, leaving it looking something like matzo.

Uncover and hold up the three pieces of matzah and say together: This is the bread of poverty which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy, come and celebrate Passover with us. This year we are here; next year we will be in Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free.

-- Four Questions
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

The telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with questions and answers. The tradition that the youngest person asks the questions reflects the idea of involving everyone at the Seder.

מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?
Why is this night different from all other nights?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה - כּוּלוֹ מַצָּה

1) Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah. Halaila hazeh kulo matzah.
Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzo, but on this night we eat only matzo?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

2) Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot haleila hazeh maror.
Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אֶנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים

3) Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat. Halaila hazeh shtei fi-amim.
Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָנו מְסֻ

4) Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin. Halaila hazeh kulanu m’subin.
Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

-- Four Children
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

You can look at the four sons as four generations of Jews in America today. The first generation of eastern European Jewry who emigrated to America at the turn of the century are represented by

THE WISE SON. This is the Jew who grew up with a strong connection to the Jewish way of life. His commitment to Judaism is unshakable.

HIS SON, THE SECOND GENERATION, is represented in the Wicked Son. This is the rebel who wants to succeed in his new life and take on Western values. Although he has grown up in a home full of Jewish values and an integrated Jewish life, he rejects this in favor of integrating into Western society and becoming accepted as the new American.

HIS SON, THE THIRD GENERATION, is represented by the Simple Son. This child has spent Seder nights at his grandparents' table and has seen his grandmother light the Shabbat candles. He has a bit of knowledge picked up at Hebrew school, but he doesn't know the meaning behind any of the symbols and is not motivated to go beyond what he sees.

HIS SON, THE FOURTH GENERATION, is represented in the "One who doesn't know how to ask." This child does not have memories of his great grandparents. He celebrates the American holidays and other than knowing that he is a Jew, has no connection whatsoever to Judaism. He sits at a traditional Seder night and does not even know what to ask because it is all so foreign to him.

TODAY THERE IS A FIFTH SON, who is o_ in India or out at the movies on Seder night, not even aware that Passover exists. Anyone sitting at the Seder table is still connected to the Jewish people and heritage just by being there.

-- Four Children

For centuries Jewish identity was synonymous with the Jewish religion. This began to change starting in the mid-17th century as movements for political rights and equality moved across Europe. Jews had more opportunities to interact with other cultures and communities, and as a result, ideas about religion and identity changed. As Jonathan Sarna writes, what made modern democratic society unique is voluntaryism, “the principle that individuals are free to choose their religious beliefs and associations without political, ecclesiastical or communal coercion.”

Without the community telling Jews how to express their Judaism and with exposure to secular culture new forms of Jewish identity came about. These included a strictly cultural Jewish identity that removed religion from the equation and instead focused on the liberal and fine arts.

Today, many Jews around the world identify with Judaism solely through cultural means. Jewish educators and community leaders have found ways to communicate values, set agendas, and organize constituencies through cultural mechanisms, thus infusing the cultural Jewish community with a strong self-identity separate from the traditional Jewish theology.

Investing in Judaism’s rich cultural heritage doesn’t always mean a total divorce from religion. Many Jews are customizing their investment in Judaism, coming up with communities and organizations for everything from Jewish vegans, to Jewish pacifists, to Jewish parents with autistic children.

Even the appearance of Jews has changed, as multiracial families become a larger segment of the Jewish community, integrating Korean, Chinese, Ethiopian and many other backgrounds into the Jewish mix.

Life context has become a major factor in how people choose their communities and affiliations. Some single people may join communities in order to find partners. Young parents may decide they want to send their children to Jewish schools, and seniors may join synagogues or Jewish community centers in order to attend classes and activities with other retirees.

Israel and Zionism have added another spoke to the wheel of Jewish identity, with many Jews associating mainly or partially with Israel. Visiting Israel can elicit strong feelings of loyalty and obligation to the land of the Bible. Many Jews around the world see Israel as the ultimate guarantor of the Jewish people’s survival, and are driven by a deep commitment to the idea of Israel.

How do you define your Jewish identity? What do you accept of the traditional Jewish identity? What do you reject? How do you see yourself in terms of the five sons? How about your children? Your grandchildren? What is the value of diversity in Jewish practices and what is lost?  What will Judaism look like in 3 or 4 generations?  Will Judaism exist in 3 or 4 generations?  Why, or why not?

-- Exodus Story
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

NARRATOR 1 (10 LINES)
NARRATOR 2 (13 LINES)
PHARAOH (15 LINES)
SLAVE (2 LINES)
HERALD (1 LINE)
MOSES (8 LINES)
GOD (7 LINES)
PHARAOHS SON (2 LINES)
AARON (12 LINES)
SHEEP (2 LINES)
YOCHEVED (1 LINE)
PRINCESS (4 LINES)
PRINCESSS ATTENDANT (4 LINES)
MIRIAM (4 LINES)

NARRATOR 1: The story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt has been told thousands of times. It’s a reminder to the Jewish people that once we were slaves in Egypt, but now we are free. And so, this year, as in years before, generation upon generation, we tell the story of Passover. Now, I invite you to relax and listen to this tale. We begin in Pharaoh’s Palace.

PHARAOH: Yes, I’ll have more grapes. This morning I took a tour of all of my new pyramids and I’m totally exhausted.

SLAVE: Yes, your highness. I must tell you that as a slave, we are really doing a fine job at building those pyramids. Carrying bricks is just the discipline that my fourteen sons need.

PHARAOH: Fourteen? Did you say fourteen sons?

SLAVE: Indeed I did, your most fabulousness.

PHARAOH: Leave my quarters. I’ve gotta think. This could be bad...really bad. I mean, I love having these Hebrew slaves, but there are just SO many of them! They are not Egyptians, and as shocking as it might be, I don’t think they even like me. What if there’s a war and they join my enemies and fight against me? I am going to try to find a way to decrease this Jewish-Hebrew slave population.

HERALD: Hear ye, hear ye. It is hereby decreed by Pharaoh, ruler of the land of Egypt, that any son born to a Jew is to be drowned in the Sea of Reeds.

ALL: NOOOOOOO!!!!!

NARRATOR 2: Our story continues at the banks of the Nile River, where we meet Yocheved, a Jewish woman with a newborn son.

YOCHEVED: (distraught) Oh no! Did you hear about Pharaoh’s awful decree? I knew he was mean, but now he’s killing our babies?! I need to hide my beautiful baby boy.

NARRATOR 2: So Yocheved wove a basket of reeds, which is another word for long bamboo-like sticks, put her son into it and hid it in the tall grass by the river. She then sent her young daughter Miriam to hide nearby and keep watch. The Pharaoh’s daughter, who was a princess, eventually came down to the water to bathe and heard cries coming from the river.

PRINCESS: What is this?

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: It appears to be a baby, your highness.

PRINCESS: A baby?

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: Why, yes, your highness.

NARRATOR 2: She pulled the baby out of the water.

PRINCESS: Oh, it must be one of those Jewish babies that my dad, the Pharaoh, wants to kill. But look at this little guy. He seems so beautiful and innocent. I know, I’ll take him home and raise him as my son. He will love me and respect me as his mother.

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: As you wish.

MIRIAM: (as she comes out of her hiding place) Excuse me, your majesty, but would you like me to call a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby, so that your attendant can continue to tend to you instead of being distracted by the baby?

PRINCESS: Good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. All right, your Hebrew woman may nurse my child, and when he is old enough to walk, she shall bring him to the palace for me to raise. I am going to name him “Moses,” which means “drawn from the water.”

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: Whatever you say, your majesty.

NARRATOR 1: And so Yocheved’s son, Moses, grew up as the Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, with all the riches and prestige that such a position entailed. But when he was young, Yocheved told Moses that he was Jewish, so he always had great compassion for the Hebrew slaves. One day, he came upon an Egyptian guard beating an old Jewish slave. Moses got so angry that he killed the guard. Of course, by doing so he was breaking the law. He feared the consequences, so he ran away ran away from the palace into the desert, and became a shepherd. That where we pick up the story now.

SHEEP: Baaaa

NARRATOR 2: One fine morning, one of Moses’s sheep strayed a bit from the path.

SHEEP: I said, “Baaaa!”

NARRATOR 2: Moses followed the sheep and came across a burning bush. It was the craziest thing. This green bush was on fire, but instead of burning up and getting all crinkled and then black, it stayed green. This was, of course, a miracle. It was God, getting Moses’s attention so that he could talk to him. It worked.

GOD: Moses! Moses!

MOSES: Here I am.

GOD: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry. I have come to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that place unto a good land, flowing with milk and honey. Now, Moses, I need you to go back to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Jews go free and then you will need to lead the Jews out of Egypt.

NARRATOR 1: It’s important to know that Moses stuttered whenever he spoke, so he was always nervous to speak in public.

MOSES: B-b-but why should… I mean, why, why should I be the one t-t-to lead m-m-my people?

GOD: Fear not – I will be with you.

MOSES: Whah-what shhhould I t-t-t-ell the p-p-people?

GOD: Just tell the Children of Israel, also known as the Jews, also now known as the slaves, that they need to listen to you, because you speak for me. Tell them to leave their homes and everything they have always known and follow you to the wilderness.

MOSES: That is c-c-c-c-crazy. They’ll n-never l-listen and besides, I am s-s-s-s-s-low of s-s-s-p-p-peech and s-s-s-s-low of t-t-tongue.

GOD: You’re right, it will not be easy. I forgot to mention Pharaoh is not going to simply agree to let his slaves go free. He will take some convincing, and it will not be pretty.

MOSES: Puh-puh-puh-please send s-s-s-someone else…

GOD: Your brother Aaron speaks well, right? He will have to help. I will only speak to you, but you can tell Aaron what I said, and he can be the one who speaks to Pharaoh and the people.

NARRATOR 2: And so Moses and Aaron went to the people of Israel and convinced them that God had spoken to Moses. Then they went to see Pharaoh at the palace.

AARON: Pharaoh, we are here to demand, in the name of our all-powerful and all-knowing God, that you release the Hebrew people from bondage.

PHARAOH: LOL. That is really amusing, guys. So, Moses, back after all of these years to bring shame on your own house and your own grandfather?

AARON: You cared for my brother for many years. At one time, he loved you as a grandfather. But he is the son of a Hebrew slave. If you love him, you will let his people go.

PHARAOHS YOUNG SON: Moses! I missed you! (Looks at Aaron.) Hey, who are you?

AARON: I am Aaron, Moses’s brother.

PHARAOHS YOUNG SON: I thought I was his brother!

AARON: Pharaoh, if you do not release the Hebrews, Egypt will be smitten with a greater plague than it has ever before seen.

PHARAOH: There is no way I am going to do that! I don’t know this God you are talking about, and I will not let your people go. Now get out of my palace!

NARRATOR 1: To punish Pharaoh for his refusal to let the Jews go, God turned the water of the Nile to blood. It was horrible. Everyone needs fresh water to live, and instead of water, the entire river ran red with blood. Pharaoh was furious, and he called Moses and Aaron back to the palace.

PHARAOH: OK, this is horrible! The Nile River has turned to blood, and it’s your fault! Everyone is freaking out. Maybe your God is powerful after all. If I let your people go, will he turn the river back to water?

AARON: Yes, of course. We don’t want to harm your people, we just want to leave and be free.

PHARAOH: Fine, then go.

NARRATOR 2: So Aaron and Moses left the palace and told the Jewish people to start getting ready for their journey. But then…

PHARAOH: Get Moses and Aaron back here!

AARON: Yes, Pharaoh? We were just leaving.

PHARAOH: Not so fast. I realized that when you go I will have no one to build my pyramids. So I have hardened my heart and changed my mind. You need to stay.

MOSES: B-b-b-ut Pharaoh, m-m-m-ore terrible things will happen to the Egyptian people if you do not let us go!

PHARAOH: I will take my chances. Now get out of my palace, and tell the Jews to get back to work!

NARRATOR 2: Soon, Egypt was overrun with another of God’s plagues… frogs. Wherever you looked, there were frogs all over the land. As you can imagine, it was awful. So Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron back to the palace and told them he would now allow the Jews to leave Egypt. But when they were ready to leave, Pharaoh changed his mind again. This happened every time!

NARRATOR 1: The next plague God sent was lice....people and animals all got lice. Then flies everywhere. Then cattle disease...so all the cows got sick and died, then boils… terrible blisters on everyone… then hail fell from the sky – big pieces of hail, as big as ping-pong balls. Then locusts, which ate the plants, including all of the crops.

NARRATOR 2: So between the cattle disease, which ruined the meat, and the hail and locusts which wrecked the crops, Egypt was in bad shape. People were hungry. Then came the plague of darkness. The sun never rose, and people were frightened and cold. The plagues were spreading fear and sickness across Egypt.

NARRATOR 1: But the crazy thing was, after each plague, Pharaoh would call Moses and Aaron to the palace and tell them that if their God made the plague stop, the Jews could leave Egypt. So God would end the plague, and then Pharaoh would harden his heart and change his mind, keeping the Jews in bondage. It was a mess!

PHARAOH: Who is this God of yours? How is it that each of these plagues only affects the Egyptians and not the Hebrews!? Get out!

AARON: Pharaoh, our God is all-powerful! We don’t know what we can do to make you see thatyou must give in. We’re warning you now that God has told Moses what the next plague will be. He’s going to kill the firstborn of every Egyptian household, including your youngest son. Pharaoh, don’t let this happen! Let my people go!

PHARAOH: I do not know your God, and I will not let your people go. Get out of my house! GET OUT!

NARRATOR 2: God then came to Moses and instructed him to have all the Jewish people slay a lamb and smear some of its blood on the doorposts of their houses and gates. Then, when the Angel of Death flew over Egypt, he took the lives of all of the firstborn, except for those in the homes marked with blood. Pharaoh’s own son died. It was devastating. The people of Egypt were mourning. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh yet again.

AARON: Pharaoh, the grandfather my brother once loved, we are truly sorry for your loss.

PHARAOH: Go away! Go away and leave me to my grief!

AARON: But Pharaoh, now that you have seen how powerful God is, will you let my people go?

PHARAOH: Be gone already! You and your people! You have ruined my empire.

NARRATOR 1: So Aaron and Moses left Pharaoh and went to the Jews.

AARON: Listen to me everyone! Remember this day, when you were able to leave Egypt, we were slaves and now we are going to be free and God will guide us out of here to the Promised Land.

MOSES: We m-m-m-must go fast! We must m-m-m-make food, but… but… we must go before… before… Pharaoh changes his mind again.

AARON: He won’t change his mind. Not this time.

MIRIAM: Moses, if we leave right now, the bread won’t have time to rise.

MOSES: F-f-f-forget the bread, let’s go!

NARRATOR 2: Most of the Jews went with Moses and Aaron. But some felt the whole idea of leaving their homes and going some unknown land was crazy, so they stayed in Egypt. But meanwhile…

PHARAOH: I have just let my slaves all go. This is not good for the people of Egypt. All that my forefathers have worked for will vanish if I lose the Hebrew slaves. Who will build the cities? The entire economy of Egypt will collapse. It will be the end of an empire. I WANT THEM BACK!

NARRATOR 1: So once again, Pharaoh had hardened his heart. He got his army together and went after the Jews. Because they were walking and had a lot of kids with them who were slow walkers, the Jews had only gotten a few miles away from Egypt and they were really close to the Red Sea.

MIRIAM: Look! The Egyptians are coming! They will kill us all! They will work us to death! Moses, do something!

AARON: Don’t be afraid. God has handled things for us before, and I don’t think he would have made all those plagues just to have us die at the edge of the Red Sea now.

NARRATOR 2: Then God spoke to Moses.

GOD: Moses! Lift thy rod and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go across the sea safely.

NARRATOR 1: It was amazing. When Moses raised his rod, the water of the sea parted, and the children of Israel walked across on the ground at the bottom of the sea. They were totally fine. But when Pharaoh’s armies followed to catch them, the waters closed in and Pharaoh’s armies were drowned.

MIRIAM: That was a miracle! We made it across the Red Sea! I don’t know what God has in store for us next, but at last, we are free!

NARRATOR 2: And Miriam took a timbrel – which is another word for a tambourine – in her hand; and all of the women went out after her with their timbrels and danced and sang. This kicked off a trek of forty years through the desert.

NARRATOR 1: It was also when God starting sending manna, food from the sky that tasted like anything you wanted it to and sustained the Jews until they reached the Holy Land of Israel. But all of that is for another story. In the meantime, Happy Passover!

THE END!

-- Exodus Story
Source : BimBam

A music video about the Torah’s most famous siblings: Aaron, Miriam and Moses, and the many adventures and rivalries they share throughout the Torah.

This piece was created in four weeks by 6 families, brought together by Kevah. Since each of the families had varied backgrounds in studying Torah and were diverse in age, the group decided to take a creative approach to learning text together. The eleven kids aged 5 to 15 along with their parents – a speechwriter, studio painter, landscape architect, art photographer, museum curator, singer, programmer, professor, and several entrepreneurs – decided that they wanted to make an animated musical film about sibling relationships in the Torah.

BimBam developed several workshops for the families to learn text, write a script, paint characters, draw backgrounds, storyboard animations, and practice singing together. To cap the experience, the families lent their voices to the song at Fantasy Studios, a legendary professional recording studio.

Download the lyrics here: https://www.bimbam.com/studioberkeley/

-- Ten Plagues
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

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. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them to signify having a little less sweetness in our celebration. Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues:

BLOOD / dam
FROGS / tzfardeiya
LICE / kinim
BEASTS / arov
CATTLE DISEASE / dever
BOILS / sh’chin
HAIL / barad
LOCUSTS / arbeh
DARKNESS / choshech
DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN / makat b’chorot

Even though we are happy that the jews escaped slavery, let us once more take a drop of wine as we together recite the names of these modern plagues:

HUNGER
WAR
TERRORISM
GREED
BIGOTRY
INJUSTICE
POVERTY
IGNORANCE
POLLUTION OF THE EARTH
INDIFFERENCE TO SUFFERING

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH

One of most beloved songs in the Passover Seder is "Dayeinu". Dayeinu commemorates a long list of miraculous things God did, any one of which would have been pretty amazing just by itself. For example, “Had God only taken us out of Egypt but not punished the Egyptians – it would have been enough.” Dayeinu, translated liberally, means, “Thank you, God, for overdoing it.”

Dayeinu is a reminder to never forget all the miracles in our lives. When we stand and wait impatiently for the next one to appear, we are missing the point of life. Instead, we can actively seek a new reason to be grateful, a reason to say “Dayeinu.”

Ilu ho-tsi, Ho-tsi-a-nu, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Da-ye-nu!
If he had brought us all out of Egypt, it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat, Da-ye-nu!
If he had given us Shabbat it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah, Da-ye-nu!
If he had given us the Torah it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!
.. .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

So let’s bring Dayeinu into the present. We are grateful, and yet what miracles and accomplishments would be suffcient (Dayeinu) in today’s world for us to be truly satisfied?

1. When all workers of the world receive just compensation and respect for their labors, enjoy safe, healthy and secure working conditions and can take pride in their work. . . DAYEINU

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

3. When technology is for the production and conservation of energy and our other natural resources is developed so that we can maintain responsible and comfortable lifestyles and still assure a safe environment for our children. . . DAYEINU

4. When the air, water, fellow creatures and beautiful world are protected for the benefit and enjoyment of all. . . DAYEINU

5. When all politicians work honestly for the good of all. . . DAYEINU

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

7. When people of all ages, sexes, races, religions, cultures and nations respect and appreciate one another. . . DAYEINU

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

9. When all children, men and women are free of the threat of violence, abuse and domination; when personal power and strength are not used as weapons. . . DAYEINU

10. When all people have access to the information and care they need for their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. . . DAYEINU

11. When food and shelter are accepted as human rights, not as commodities, and are available to all . . . DAYEINU

12. When no elderly person in our society has to fear hunger, cold, or loneliness. . . DAYEINU

13. When the people of the Middle East, and all people living in strife, are able to create paths to just and lasting peace. . . DAYEINU

14. When people everywhere have the opportunities we have to celebrate our culture and use it as a basis for progressive change in the world. . . DAYEINU

All: If tonight each person could say this year I worked as hard as I could toward my goals for improving this world, so that one day all people can experience the joy and freedom I feel sitting with my family and friends at the Seder table. . . DAYEINU, DAYEINU

-- 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 : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

It’s time to wash hands again, but this time with the blessing. It’s customary not to speak at all between washing your hands and saying the blessings over the matzo:

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

We praise God, Spirit of Everything, who commands us to wash our hands.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : JewishBoston.com

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

The familiar hamotzi blessing marks the formal start of the meal. Because we are using matzah instead of bread, we add a blessing celebrating this mitzvah.

בָּרוּךְ 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 : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

MATZO SANDWICH OF BITTER HERB AND CHAROSET

While the English Earl of Sandwich is generally credited for inventing the snack of his namesake, Hillel may have originated it two thousand years ago by combining matzo, a slice of paschal lamb, and a bitter herb. Jews no longer sacrifice and eat the lamb, so now the Passover sandwich is only matzah, charoset, and a bitter herb.

Shulchan Oreich

The meal is served!

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
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam, hazan et ha’olam kulo b’tuvo b’chen b’chesed w’rachamin. Hu noten lechem l’chol basar ki l’olam chasdo. Uv’tuvo hagadol tamid lo chasar lanu v’al yech’sar lanu mason l’olam va’ed. Ba’avur sh’mo hagadol ki hu zan um’farnes lakol umetiv lakol umechin mazon l’chol b’riyotav asher bara. Baruch Atah Adonai hazan et hakol.

We praise God, Spirit of Everything, whose goodness sustains the world. You are the origin of love and compassion, the source of bread for all, food for everyone. As it says in the Torah: When you have eaten and are satisfied we thank you for the earth and for its sustenance. Renew our spiritual center in our time. May the source of peace grant peace to us, to the Jewish people, and to the entire world.

Amen.

Bareich
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

The blessing over the meal is immediately followed by another blessing over the wine:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Hallel

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 we get to sing only once a year. We're at least three glasses of wine into it so you get extra points for singing loud and enthusiastically. Please roll with it!

In Loving Memory to our Uncle Heinz Grunewald, who always tried singing this song (but nobody knew it), we will pretend to start Kee Lo Naeh -- It is Proper to Praise Him, by siniging the refrain once. Page 153.

In Loving Memory to our Grandfather and Great Grandfather, Ernst Wellisch, who died much too young, but who nevertheless managed to teach us among other things, how to be supremely irreverent to the notion of unnecessary law and order, in the manner in which he sang this song: The Jewish Trivia Song -- Echad Mi Yodeia-a -- Who Knows One? Page 155

The Thirteen Attributes of God in Alphabetical Order -- Adeer Hu, Mighty is God. Page 154

The Jewish "Old McDonald Had a Farm" -- Chad Gad-ya, Just One Kid. Page 160

Hallel
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

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.

The Cup of Elijah

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.

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

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

Everybody knows that we place a cup of wine for the prophet Elijah at the center of the Seder table. At a dramatic moment in the Seder, the door is opened to welcome this usually unseen guest into our homes in the hope that the final, messianic, redemption of all people is at hand. Our ancient traditions tell us that final redemption will come at the season of Israel's redemption from Egyptian bondage - on some Passover to come.

We sing Elijah's song, and watch expectantly and hopefully for the wine in the cup to diminish, a sure sign that Elijah has visited and the dawn of a new redemption is near. Of more recent origin is the custom of placing a second cup on the Seder table for a second unseen but deserving guest - the prophetess, Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron.

Why Miriam? Who was it who, disregarding her own safety, dared to approach the Pharaoh's daughter, Princess of Egypt, and offer to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for her? Who was it who led the redeemed Israelite women and men in song and dance to celebrate their salvation at the Sea?

It was Miriam, the Prophetess, symbol of all the courageous and worthy women who kept the home fires burning, even when the men became discouraged and despaired of redemption. Who then is more deserving to be "toasted" with wine and saluted for service "above and beyond" than she?

If the Cup of Elijah is one symbolizing hope for future redemption, Miriam's Cup symbolizes redemption realized through the tireless efforts of Israel's women. Let us honor her for her heroism, and through her, all the brave, capable, devoted, faithful and loyal women of Israel who have been, and continue to be, the ongoing source of Israel's strength.

For the sake of our righteous women were our ancestors redeemed from Egypt. L'Chaim!

DRINK THE FOURTH GLASS OF WINE

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

Nirtzah  marks the conclusion of the seder. Our bellies are full, we have had several glasses of wine, we have told stories and sung songs, and now it is time for the evening to come to a close. At the end of the seder, we honor the tradition of declaring, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

For some people, the recitation of this phrase expresses the anticipation of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and the return of the Messiah. For others, it is an affirmation of hope and of connectedness with  Klal Yisrael, the whole of the Jewish community. Still others yearn for peace in Israel and for all those living in the Diaspora.

Though it comes at the end of the seder, this moment also marks a beginning. We are beginning the next season with a renewed awareness of the freedoms we enjoy and the obstacles we must still confront. We are looking forward to the time that we gather together again. Having retold stories of the Jewish people, recalled historic movements of liberation, and reflected on the struggles people still face for freedom and equality, we are ready to embark on a year that we hope will bring positive change in the world and freedom to people everywhere.

In  The Leader's Guide to the Family Participation Haggadah: A Different Night, Rabbi David Hartman writes: “Passover is the night for reckless dreams; for visions about what a human being can be, what society can be, what people can be, what history may become.”

What can  we  do to fulfill our reckless dreams? What will be our legacy for future generations?

Our seder is over, according to Jewish tradition and law. As we had the pleasure to gather for a seder this year, we hope to once again have the opportunity in the years to come. We pray that God brings health and healing to Israel and all the people of the world, especially those impacted by natural tragedy and war. As we say…

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!