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Introduction

Welcome to our interfaith Passover Seder!

Some of us have been celebrating Passover every year and some have never attended a Passover Seder before. Tonight we are here together as one to both share and learn. We will experience some of the readings and rituals of the traditional Passover Haggadah, reflect on our own stories and struggles, and read other related passages.

Coming together as a global community is vital for building solidarity and working toward a just world. Thank you for challenging yourself and taking this step.

"Come, come, whoever you are.

Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.

It doesn't matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times

Come, yet again, come, come."

- Rumi

Introduction

Elijah's Cup- In Jewish tradition, Elijah is the harbinger of the Messiah, or the Messianic era, a time of peace, solidarity, friendship, and wholeness. Elijah's cup is filled and left untouched, waiting for his arrival.

Miriam's Cup- A recent addition to the Passover table, Miriam’s Cup is filled with water and serves as a symbol of Miriam’s Well, which was the source of water for the Israelites in the desert.

Matzah- The Israelites left Egypt in a haste and did not have time to let their bread dough rise, that is why during Passover we eat matzah, unleavened flatbread.

The Seder Plate

Maror and Bitter Herbs- Horseradish and lettuce. Their bitter taste reminds us of the bitterness of slavery and the life of hard labor the Israelites experienced in Egypt.

Karpas- Passover is also called Hag HaAviv, the Spring holiday. Karpas, from the Greek word Karpos, which means raw vegetable, is eaten to celebrate the newness, the hope, the possibility that spring brings. Many Jewish communities use parsley for Karpas.

Egg- The hard boiled egg is a symbol of the korban chagigah, festival sacrifice, that was offered in the Temple. It is also a symbol of rebirth and spring.

Shank bone- We use a lamb bone to represent the special sacrifice made in the days of the Temple for the Passover holiday, it is there as a reminder but does not play an active role during the seder.

Charoset- A sweet past made of fruit and nuts. It symbolizes the mortar that the Israelite slaves used to construct buildings for Pharaoh.

Kadesh

Jewish celebrations usually include wine as a symbol of joy.

Wine sanctifies an occasion and makes it holy.

During the Passover Seder we drink four cups of wine, why four?

In the Book of Exodus, God convinced the Jews to leave Egypt using four statements:

I shall take you out
I shall rescue you
I shall redeem you
I shall bring you

We toast each of these statements with a cup of wine.

Pour and raise your first cup of wine/grape juice. This cup is dedicated to the renewal of spring, to the renewal of ourselves.

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 your first cup of wine/grape juice!

Urchatz

Urchatz is rooted in the Hebrew word rachatz, meaning wash. In Aramaic, the language of the Talmud (an ancient collection of Jewish writings), the word for washing actually means 'trust'. We trust in the water, it purifies us. Traditionally now we wash our hands without blessing to prepare ourselves for the rituals.

Water is connected to women in both Islam and Judaism: to Hajjar and to Miriam. Jewish legend tells of Miriam's Well, a well filled with 'living waters,' waters of hope and trust, that accompanied the Israelites as they wandered as long as Miriam was alive. When Hajjar was left in the desert with her small son Ismail, they soon ran out of food and water. She went in search of water to save her son's life. She walked the path between Safa and Marwa again and again, trusting that she would find the help she sought. Due to her faith and dedication God granted her the gift she needed, the life-saving gift of water flowing from the well of Zam-Zam.

We fill a cup of water tonight and use it to wash our hands in honor of these matriarchs, who held strong to their faith and gave life to their people through the water. This time we wash but do not say a blessing.

Karpas

Passover is also called Hag HaAviv, the Spring holiday. We celebrate the newness, the hope, the possibility that spring brings. We pray for renewal, as our spring renews us and the world in which we live. We dip the Karpas in salt water to remember the tears that our ancestors shed as slaves.

Before eating dip the Karpas (we'll be using parsley) in salt water and recite:

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.

Yachatz

The Israelites left Egypt in a haste and did not have time to let their bread dough rise, that is why during Passover we eat matzah, unleavened flatbread.

Three matzahs are stacked on the seder table; the middle matzah of the three will now be broken in half. The larger piece is hidden somewhere in the house. Later, the children get to search for it, and whoever finds it gets a prize. The hidden broken piece is called the Afikoman, which is the Greek word for dessert and will be later eaten as the dessert. Why would we eat a broken matzah as our dessert? To represent that although we have become free, we must still remember the feeling of oppression and hope for full freedom and redemption to come.

MISHA'ROTAM

Many Sepharadi/Arabic Jewish communities practice the tradition of Mish’arotam where each person gets a chance to personally act out leaving Egypt. They play out the scene and say:

Misharotam ṣerourot BeSimlotam ʿal Shikhmam. U’ḇenei Yisra’el ʿasou Kiḏḇar Moshe

All that remained was bundled in their clothing on their backs, and the children of Israel did as Moshe said

Each person takes a turn placing a bag of matzah over their shoulder. They are asked questions in Arabic which they respond in Hebrew:

MinWen Jaye? Where are you coming from?

MiMiṣrayim -- From Egypt!

LaWeyin Rayeḥ? Where are you going?

LeYerushalayim -- To Jerusalem!

Ishu zawatak? What are you carrying?

Matzah u Maror -- Matzah and Bitter Herbs

This moment allows each person to place themselves back in time and replay a scene: The Jews are wandering the desert, they come upon some locals. The locals all speak Arabic but the Jews are speaking Hebrew, the language that they kept through generations of enslavement. It’s clear from the exchange that both groups can understand each other, but the Jews here choose to exert their Judaism proudly, for perhaps the first time in their lives, because they are free.

In many families, this tradition is also time to have fun and get creative. People will often make up their own crazy or funny answers to the questions while going around the table. Let’s try this out and come up with our own responses to learn about each other.

Table Activity

At each table, in turn, each guest should answer the following questions:

MinWen Jaye? Where are you coming from?

LaWeyin Rayeḥ? Where are you going/What is your hope?

Ishu Zawatak? What do you carry with you?

Maggid - Beginning

Raise the tray with Matzhas and recite:

הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא דִי אֲכָלוּ אַבְהָתָנָא בְּאַרְעָא דְמִצְרָיִם. כָּל דִכְפִין יֵיתֵי וְיֵיכֹל, כָּל דִצְרִיךְ יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח. הָשַׁתָּא הָכָא, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּאַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל. הָשַׁתָּא עַבְדֵי, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין

Ha lachma anya dee achalu avhatana b'ara d'meetzrayeem. Kol deechfeen yeitei v'yeichol, kol deetzreech yeitei v'yeefsach. Hashata hacha, l'shanah haba-ah b'ara d'yisra-el. Hashata avdei, l'shanah haba-ah b'nei 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 share the Pesach meal. This year, we are here. Next year, in the land of Israel. This year, we are slaves. Next year, we will be free.

In this paragraph, we remember the oppression of our ancestors, and by that obligate ourselves to face the oppression of others. As we recline and recall our ancestors’ movement from oppression to freedom, may we feel the obligation that comes with it. May we open our hearts and our homes to the need around us, and turn to create redemption in our own day.

-- Four Questions

The four questions are traditionally read by the youngest child and are meant to inspire us to pause, question, and reflect. We question our actions and hope to honor those who came before us by learning from their experiences.

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.

In the spirit of asking questions, consider:

How is THIS night different for you from all other nights?

What question or questions are you holding in your heart right now?

-- Four Questions

The Hagaddah answers the four questions with the reminder that we have passed from slavery to freedom. Today, we are free! Yet, as we sit here, we know so many others are still not free. We offer gratitude for redemption and pray for a day when all people can proclaim these words:

עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ הָיִינו. עַתָּה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין

Avadim hayinu hayinu. Ata b’nei chorin, b'nei chorin.

Avadim hayinu, ata ata b'nei chorin, b'nei chorin

We were slaves. Now we are free.

-- Four Children

Our tradition speaks of four different types of children who might react differently to the Passover seder. The Hagaddah teaches us that we should speak to each child in the language that they can understand. We speak of wise, wicked, simple and innocent children, knowing that each of us can be at times of our lives one of these children.

חָכָם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה הָעֵדוֹת וְהַחֻקִּים וְהַמִשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֶתְכֶם? וְאַף אַתָּה אֱמָר לוֹ כְּהִלְכוֹת הַפֶּסַח: אֵין מַפְטִירִין אַחַר הַפֶּסַח אֲפִיקוֹמָן

Chacham mah hu omeir? Mah ha-eidot v'hachukim v'hamishpatim, asher tzivah Adonai Eloheinu etchem? V'af atah emor lo k'hilchot hapesach. Ein maftirin achar hapesach afikoman.

The Wise One asks: "What is the meaning of the laws and traditions God has commanded?" (Deuteronomy 6:20) You should teach him all the traditions of Passover, even to the last detail.

רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת לָכֶם? לָכֶם - וְלֹא לוֹ. וּלְפִי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִן הַכְּלָל כָּפַר בְּעִקָּר. וְאַף אַתָּה הַקְהֵה אֶת שִנָּיו וֶאֱמֹר לוֹ: בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם. לִי - וְלֹא לוֹ. אִילּוּ הָיָה שָׁם, לֹא הָיָה נִגְאָל

Rasha, mah hu omer? Mah ha-avodah ha-zot lachem? Lachem v’lo lo. Ul'fi shehotzi et atzmo min hak'lal, kafar ba-ikar. V'af atah hakheih et shinav, ve-emor lo. Ba-avur zeh, asah Adonai li, b'tzeiti mimitzrayim, li v'lo lo. Ilu hayah sham, lo hayah nigal.

The Wicked One asks: "What does this ritual mean to you?" (Exodus 12:26) By using the expression "to you" he excludes himself from his people and denies God. Shake his arrogance and say to him: "It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt..." (Exodus 13:8) "For me" and not for him -- for had he been in Egypt, he would not have been freed.

תָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה זֹּאת? וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו: בְּחֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ יי מִמִּצְרָיִם, מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים

Tam mah hu omeir? Mah zot? V'amarta eilav. B'chozek yad hotzi-anu Adonai mimitzrayim mibeit avadim.

The Simple One asks: "What is all this?" You should tell him: "It was with a mighty hand that the Lord took us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

ושֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל - אַתְּ פְּתַח לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם

V'she-eino yodei-a lishol, at p'tach lo. Shene-emar. V'higadta l'vincha, bayom hahu leimor. Ba-avur zeh asah Adonai li, b'tzeiti mimitzrayim.

As for the One Who Does Not Know How To Ask, you should open the discussion for him, as it is written: "And you shall explain to your child on that day, 'It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:8)

-- Exodus Story

Telling our Stories:

Torah, Exodus 3:4,6,7,9,10

And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said: 'Moses, Moses.' And he said: 'Here am I...' God then said: 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.'And God said: 'I have surely seen the affliction of My people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their pains... And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me; moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you will bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt.'

Exodus 14:21-22

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Quran 2:47-50

"O children of Israel! Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favored you above all other people [for this Message]. And remain conscious of [the coming of] a Day when no one soul shall in the least avail another, nor shall intercession be accepted from any of them, nor shall compensation be taken from them, and none shall be succored [from outside].

“And [remember the time] when We saved you from Pharaoh’s people, who afflicted you with cruel suffering, slaughtering your sons and sparing your women; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord. and when We cleft the sea before you, and thus saved you and drowned Pharaoh's people before your very eyes."

Quran 5:20

And LO, Moses said unto his people:”O my people! Remember the blessings which God bestowed upon you when he raised up prophets among you, and made you your own masters, and granted unto you [favors] such as He had not granted to anyone else in the world.”

Table Activity:

Find a partner or two other people that you don't know, and take turns answering these questions:

What does the story of the liberation from Egypt mean to you? In your tradition and in your own life?

The Exodus story is communal and also personal. Share about an experience of overcoming a challenge, of moving from a "narrow place" to a place of expansiveness?

What are your hopes for liberation for yourself, your community, and your world right now?

-- Ten Plagues

Jewish tradition teaches us to rejoice at our liberation and to recognize that our liberation caused the pain and suffering of others. The rabbis taught that when the children of Israel sang songs of praise to God as the Egyptians drowned in the sea, the angels wished to join in these songs and were stopped by God: "These are my creatures who are drowning in the sea! For this you would sing songs of praise?". Thus we too lessen our joy at Passover time at the mention of these plagues, for there can be no rejoicing at the death or suffering of human beings, even our enemies.

We pour out a drop of wine (Grape juice) with a finger for each of the plagues as we recite them:

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

We consider: What are the plagues we face today? What is the suffering that at this moment we want to hold as we recognize both the joy and sorrow of the unfolding process of liberation? 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

אִלוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִצְרַים, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַׁבָּת, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ נַָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה, דַּיֵינוּ

Ilu hotzi’anu mimitzrayim, dayenu.

Ilu natan lanu et hashabbat, dayenu.

Ilu natan lanu et hatorah, dayenu.

Had God only brought us out of Egypt, It would have been enough – Dayenu

Had God only given us the Sabbath, It would have been enough – Dayenu

Had God only given us the Torah, , It would have been enough – Dayenu

--

The Seder reminds us that it was not only our ancestors whom God redeemed; God redeemed us too along with them. That is why we say:

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.

---

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 your second glass of wine/grape juice!

Rachtzah

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 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.

We now recite:

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

We recite the traditional blessing for bread, with an additional blessing for the matzah:

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.

Eat a piece of matzah!

Maror

We will now eat bitter herbs which represent the bitterness of slavery. We add sweetness to our sorrow by then eating a sandwich of bitter herbs and charoset. We recite:

ברוּךְ אַתָּה יְיַָ 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.

The hard boiled egg on the Seder plate reminds us of the wholeness of the earth and of springtime.

We now dip the egg in salt water.

Shulchan Oreich

We will now enjoy the festive meal. As you eat, remember that we came here to share, learn, and bond. Take the opportunity to discuss what we have done so far and feel free to ask questions. Approach anyone; no one here is a stranger. 

Please consider sharing with others some of the following: your favorite holiday and family traditions, the meaning of liberation in your tradition and in your lives, what gives you hope, and what your big dreams are for yourself and the world.

We will continue with the Seder after the meal!

Tzafun

Earlier, during the Yachatz section, we hid a piece of matzah called the afikoman. Now it is time for the children to find it. We remember that the children lead us on our way to redemption, to finding the hidden parts that make us whole again.

Bareich

We praise God, Spirit of the Universe, whose goodness sustains the world.

God, thank you for this bounty.

Thank you for this company.

Thank you for the blessing of life.

We praise you, God, may you live in us and through us.

We recite the blessing for the third cup of wine:

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 third glass of wine/grape juice!

Hallel

Hallel

We praise, glorify, extol the Holy of One of Blessings, through whom all things are possible.

We sing a song of praise and thanks, from the South African tradition:

Mamaliyeh, mamaliyeh (2x)
Sibonga, weh, na mamaliyeh (2x)

Halleluyah!
Alla- hu -Alla!

Elijah's Cup

Now that we have experienced freedom with our minds and our bodies, we are ready to consider the world as it may yet be. In Jewish tradition, Elijah is the harbinger of the Messiah, or the Messianic era, a time of peace, solidarity, friendship, and wholeness. It is traditional at this point to open the doors of our home for Elijah. When we do, we also open our hearts to the possibility to hope, to the possibility of a better world to come.

Fourth Cup of Wine

:בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

A toast: in the Presence of the Divine, we raise this cup of blessing, savoring the taste of transformation, from vine to wine.

Drink the fourth and final glass of wine/grape juice!

Nirtzah

חֲסַל סִדּוּר פֶּסַח כְּהִלְכָתוֹ, כְּכָל מִשְׁפָּטוֹ וְחֻקָתוֹ. כַּאֲשֶׁר זָכִינוּ לְסַדֵּר אוֹתוֹ. כֵּן נִזְכֶּה לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ. זָךְ שׁוֹכֵן מְעוֹנָה, קוֹמֵם קְהַל עֲדַת מִי מָנָה. בְּקָרוֹב נַהֵל נִטְעֵי כַנָּה. פְּדוּיִם לְצִיוֹן בְּרִנָּה

The seder is complete, we have participated in its rituals. We have expanded on the stories of our ancestors and shared holy moments. 

May our celebration of Passover enlighten and inspire us.

May our gathering promote peace and blessings, in our hearts and in the world. 

May our seder inspire us towards liberation, justice, renewal and hope,

Amen! 

Nirtzah

One love! One heart!
Let's get together and feel all right.
Hear the children cryin' (One love!)
Hear the children cryin' (One heart!),
Sayin' give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right,
Sayin' let's get together and feel all right.

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One love!)
There is one question I'd really love to ask (One heart!)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinners,
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

One love! What about the one heart? One heart!
What about, people? Let's get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One love!)
So shall it be in the end (One heart!),
All right! Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right,
Let's get together and feel all right, one more thing!

Let's get together to fight this Holy Armagiddyon (One love!),
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One song!).
Have pity on those whose chances grows t'inner;
There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation.

Sayin', One love! What about the one heart? (One heart!)
What about the ? Let's get together and feel all right.
I'm pleadin' to mankind! (One love!)
Oh, Lord! (One heart) Whoa!

Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right,
Let's get together and feel all right.
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right,
Let's get together and feel all right.

Conclusion

Thank you for taking part in our Passover Seder. By being here tonight you took a stand for solidarity, unity, and understanding. You made the effort to listen and learn, you stood up against hate. It might not be a long exodus journey but it is steps like this that will bring big change.

We stand up to hate by sharing our experiences, getting to know each other so we are not strangers to one another, and embracing diversity with love.

"You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

- Exodus 23:9

“Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler along a path.”

- Hadith 40, narrated by Bukhari

Commentary / Readings

The Sarajevo Haggadah

A remarkable story of interfaith solidarity and care:

The Sarajevo Haggadah is considered the most elaborately decorated codex remaining from Spanish Jewry’s Golden Age. It is named after the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo where it is kept in the National Museum.  

The 14th century text is remarkable not only for its exquisite design, master-craftsmanship and rare drawings from pre-Inquisition Spain, but also for its own exodus story. It traveled through many different cultures and different people took care of it and helped it survive. In the 14th-century, the Haggadah escaped the Spanish Inquisition together with Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula and was brought by refugees to Venice. It was again spared; this time from burning after it was labeled not heretical (17th century Latin inscription on its final page attests to its approval by the Church). In the next three centuries, it travelled from Venice to the crossroad city of Sarajevo, at that point a home to a thriving Jewish community since the Ottoman times.

During World War II and the Nazi occupation of Sarajevo, the Haggadah was again under threat. After Nazis unsuccessfully tried to take the Haggadah from the Sarajevo museum, the museum’s chief librarian, who was an Islamic scholar, tucked the Haggadah under his garb and took it to the Mosque on the outskirts of the city where it survived the war. Afterwards, the book was back in the museum by 1992 when the city came under heavy shelling during the Bosnian war. Another Muslim librarian risked his life to retrieve the manuscript from the burning building and put it in a bank vault.  Today, the Sarajevo Haggadah is back at the National Museum and represents a symbol of Exodus, survival and co-existence.