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

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 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, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who chose us from all peoples and languages, and sanctified us with commandments, and lovingly gave to us special times for happiness, holidays and this time of celebrating the Holiday of Matzah, the time of liberation, reading our sacred stories, and remembering the Exodus from Egypt. For you chose us and sanctified us among all peoples. And you have given us joyful holidays. We praise God, who sanctifies the people of Israel and the holidays.

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, Ruler of Everything,
who has kept us alive, raised us up, and brought us to this happy moment.

Drink the first glass of wine!

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 : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

There are three pieces of matzah stacked on the table. We now break the middle matzah into two pieces. The host should wrap up the larger of the pieces and, at some point between now and the end of dinner, hide it. This piece is called the afikomen, literally “dessert” in Greek. After dinner, the guests will have to hunt for the afikomen in order to wrap up the meal… and win a prize.

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 with it before it had the chance to rise, leaving it looking something like matzah.

Uncover and hold up the three pieces of matzah and say:

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.

These days, matzah is a special food and we look forward to eating it on Passover. Imagine eating only matzah, or being one of the countless people around the world who don’t have enough to eat.

What does the symbol of matzah say to us about oppression in the world, both people literally enslaved and the many ways in which each of us is held down by forces beyond our control? How does this resonate with events happening now?

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

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone.

The Haggadah doesn’t tell the story of Passover in a linear fashion. We don’t hear of Moses being found by the daughter of Pharaoh – actually, we don’t hear much of Moses at all. Instead, we get an impressionistic collection of songs, images, and stories of both the Exodus from Egypt and from Passover celebrations through the centuries. Some say that minimizing the role of Moses keeps us focused on the miracles God performed for us. Others insist that we keep the focus on the role that every member of the community has in bringing about positive change.

Maggid - Beginning

We approach the seder's core, telling the story of the exodus, and most of us grind our teeth, grimace, and prepare for an hour-long slog-through. Few would argue that this isn't the seder's most boring part. Mounds upon mounds of hebrew verses that pile up like a chore, rabinic teachings that shove you back into a school-kid's desk when all you want is to be outside; the entire thing feels rather tedious. Yet this is only because we have removed ourselves from the story, locked in our modern timezone where anything earlier than 1970 has been snipped off. We don't connect with our ancestors' struggle in Egypt, and why should we? After all, most of us are privileged Jews living in rich western countries where slavery is about as pertinent as a saxophone at a punk rock show. Which is to say very pertinent, just few people realize so. The idea of the Exodus from Egypt is often portrayed as a metaphor to be tacked onto whatever bonds we feel ourselves ensnared in today.

One of the chains that bonds us all, even in our aforementioned cushy, privileged lives, is homophobia. Whether it produces executions in the middle east or teasing in a middle school, the hate facing LGBT people threads itself throughout the world. It metaphorically binds us, whether or not you are queer. Intolerance holds us all back. What would have happened had people known Allen Turing's sexual identity and not let him research his prototypal computer? Think of all the potential benefits society lacks because of the ingrained hate we are raised on. The following maggid section will scrutinize oppression in the modern day, with a stress on homophobia. However will not be limited to rainbow flags and glitter; we will plumb other social justice depths to look at the world and decide what metaphorical "Egypts" are still holding us back. 

-- 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 : https://velveteenrabbi.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/vrhaggadah6.pdf

...and 5. In addition to the Four Questions, tonight we ask ourselves a fifth: We are commanded to celebrate as if each one of us were personally liberated from Egypt. In the next year, how do you hope to bring yourself closer to freedom? Anyone who wishes to may answer the Fifth Question.

-- Four Questions

The traditional four questions ask about the symbols of the seder: why do we eat matzah, why do we eat bitter herbs, why do we lean. But these are not all the symbols we can inquire about.

1. On all other nights we each eat off our own plate. Why on this night do we have one communal seder plate?

2. On all other nights we talk freely at the table. Why on this night do we have a discussion led by the haggadah?

3. On all other nights we eat alone, or with immediate family. Why on this night do we eat with a community?

4. On all other nights we tell stories from our day. Why on this night do we tell stories from an ancient, mythical past?

And the answers:

1. The seder plate: The original Seder had a definite Greco-Roman and Middle Eastern flavor, most notably a Greek style of dining with the participants actually reclining on low couches, pillows, or carpets around a central location. The various Seder items were placed on several low tables, which were carried in and out of the room at designated points in the ceremony and placed in front of the Seder leader. This practice is maintained today by many Yemenites and other Eastern Jews. A problem emerged in Europe, however, where during the early medieval period the practice developed to dine around a single large table while seated upright in chairs. At first, instead of bringing in and out the small tables, the various Seder items were merely arranged in a large wicker basket (around 1000 CE) and then later on a large platter, which could be moved at appropriate times. Eventually, craftsmen created a special plate (ke’arah) to hold the traditional foods. Whereas the original moveable tables contained all of the items to be consumed at the Seder, this was impractical for the relatively small Seder plate. Therefore, the custom developed among Sephardim and Ashkenazim (but not Mizrachim) of only putting a symbolic amount of food on the Seder plate and separately serving the bulk of it. In the 16th century, Italian Jews and Sephardim began making artistic Seder plates from brass, porcelain, and wood, a practice later adopted by Ashkenazim as well.

2. Haggadah: The word Haggadah comes from the Torah command - "And you shall tell ( v'Higadeta ) your children on that day..." It is believed that the obligation to tell the story of the Exodus was observed by Jews' ancestors ever since the actual Exodus itself. The scriptural command (Exodus 13:8) to tell the story of the exodus to our children is interpreted as a positive commandment. The creation of the haggadah happened over hundreds of years, with different components of ritual and story telling added by different scholars. We use the haggadah as a guide to the stories of our past as well as revaluing the symbols and traditions of Passover to be relevant to us in our time. We don't believe in any supernatural or external power to ourselves, so the power of the seder is what it evokes in us, not gathering mitzvah points to be tabulated in the afterlife.

3. Community: The Exodus from Egypt is the first experience of the Israelites as a distinct people from those around them. Interestingly, not only the "pure" Israelites, those descended from Joseph, came out of Egypt but an assorted group of people captured by war or imperial expansion who were inspired by the revolutionary fervor and decided to join in the revolt. The story of the exodus has been inspirational throughout the generations and for many more people than just the Jews! We want to invite as many people as possible to share in our vision of liberation so we can act collectively to bring about our freedom.

4. Ancient past: We view the stories of the Torah not as literal truth or lived history, but as mythical stories that our ancestors created to explain their origins as a people. Still, these stories have incredibly powerful messages that Jews have studied and revalued throughout the centuries. In our lives we often talk about what is happening here and now, and we live with our heads in the present and future, but we rarely get a chance to suspend our thoughts in our current time and look far back into the past. By reading and discussing ancient mythic stories we can learn about the societies of our ancestors and their worldview, and we can also gain insight into the universalities of human experience that have carried through subsequent modes of production. We see that the struggle between rich and poor, worker and owner is the same struggle we face today, and just as our ancestors had to escape and transform their society, so too must we.

Sources

http://ohr.edu/835

https://www.emunah.org/magazine_detail.php?id=101

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Passover/The_Seder.shtml

-- Four Questions
Source : Original

Early in the Seder we say, “All who are hungry, let them enter and eat.” We move ceremoniously through the Haggadah, reminding ourselves that we once were slaves in Egypt and explaining the meaning of each bite we eat. But millions of Americans and Israelis have only a few bites to eat, which has a very different meaning – it is a reminder that they are  still  enslaved.

This year, please join MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger as we again ask The Fifth Question

Why on this night are millions of people still going hungry?

After the youngest person reads the four questions from the Haggadah, ask The Fifth Question and reflect as a group upon the crisis of food insecurity, why it persists and what you individually and collectively could do to end it. Then share your ideas with MAZON by emailing outreach@mazon.org.

-- Four Questions
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

The MaNishtana traditionally asks us, “What is unique or different about tonight?” and, “Why do we eat Matzah, why do we dip and eat Bitter Herbs not just once, but twiceand why do we recline?” These elements are symbolic themes that mirror the reflection our ancestor’s liberation from slavery, the hardships they experienced and theoppression that infringed on their freedoms. Tonight at our GLBT Passover Seder we incorporate a fifth question and answer. “What is unique or different about tonight’s seder, why tonight do we have Pride?” Pride is a very symbolic word in the GLBT community. We use this word often and tonight we have the opportunity to demonstrate how proud we are of our sexual orientation and gender identity.

מַה נִשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָׇּל־הַלֵּילוֹת

שֶׁבְּכָׇל־הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה

שֶׁבְּכָׇל־הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

שֶׁבְּכָׇל־הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים

שֶׁבְּכָׇל־הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּנוּ מְסֻבִּין

Mah nish-ta-na ha-lai-lah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-lei-lot!
Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot a-nu och-lin ha-metz u-matzah. Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, ku-lo matzah?
Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot a-nu och-lin sh’ar y’ra-kot. Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, maror?
Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot ein a-nu mat-bi-lin a-fi-lu pa-am e-hat. Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, sh-tei fi-ah-mim?
Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot a-nu och-lin bayn yosh-vin ou-vein mis-u-bin. Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, ku-la-nu mis- u-bin?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights we eat either leavened bread or matzah. Why, on this night, do we eat only matzah?
On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs. Why, on this night, do we eat only bitter herbs?
On all other nights we do not dip herbs. Why, on this night, do we dip them twice?
On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining on pillows. Why, on this night, do we eat only reclining upon pillows?

The fifth question:

Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot sed-er a-nu o-seem sed-er ma-sar-ti. Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, ku-la-nu ga-im?
On all other Seder nights we do a traditional Seder. Why, on this night, do we have Pride?

The Five Answers

Speaker 1: We were slaves in Egypt. Our ancestor in flight from Egypt did not have time to let the 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.

Speaker 2: 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.

Speaker 3: The second time we dip the maror into the charoset. The charoset reminds us of the mortar that our ancestors mixed as slaves in Egypt. But our charoset is made of fruit and nuts, to show us that our ancestors were able to withstand the bitterness of slavery because it was sweetened by the hope of freedom.

Speaker 4: 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 rejuvenation are vital to continuing our struggles. We should take pleasure in reclining, even as we share our difficult history.

Speaker 5: We are proud to be gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer and everything else under the rainbow. And all of us together here, add meaning to an age old Jewish tradition and for that we have pride. As a community we have come far, and while we are not done with our struggle, we should reflect proudly on our accomplishments as we celebrate here tonight at our GLBT Passover Seder.

-- Four Questions

Questioning: For some, the process of exploring and discovering one's own sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Sometimes teens can find answers by asking themselves things like: Who do I usually have crushes on?  Is it mainly someone of the same gender?  Do I imagine relationships with someone of the same gender?  If I have dated or had a sexual experience with someone of the opposite gender, how did it make me feel?   If I dated or had a sexual experience with someone of the same gender, how did it make me feel?  Do I feel strongly attracted to people of both genders?  Do I think you could have a sexual or romantic relationship with either males or females?

-- 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?

-- Four Children
Source : Adapted from http://www.haggadot.com/clip/four-children-ajws

At Passover each year, we read the story of our ancestors’ pursuit of liberation from oppression. When confronting this history, how do we answer our children or our contacts when they ask us how to pursue justice in our time?

WHAT DOES THE REVOLUTIONARY CHILD ASK?

“The Torah tells me, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue,’ but how can I pursue justice?”

Empower him always to seek pathways to advocate for the vulnerable. As Proverbs teaches, “Speak up for the mute, for the rights of the unfortunate. Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.”

Give him readings, invite him to protests and public speeches, and encourage him to learn and to build the revolutionary organization.

WHAT DOES THE SKEPTICAL CHILD ASK?

“How can I solve problems of such enormity?”

Encourage her by explaining that she need not solve the problems, she must only do what she is capable of doing. As we read in Pirke Avot, “It is not your responsibility to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

Show her the long history of class struggle, the consistency of the working class rising up against the capitalist class and the few examples of success. Let her read about the Russian revolution and see the most backwards capitalist country in its time turn into the most progressive in just a few weeks of socialism. These examples are our guide.

WHAT DOES THE INDIFFERENT CHILD SAY?

“It’s not my responsibility.”

Persuade him that responsibility cannot be shirked. As Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, “The opposite of good is not evil, the opposite of good is indifference. In a free society where terrible wrongs exist, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”

Show how capitalism is destroying the earth so that none of us can live on it. Show how crisis affects people of all classes, not just the most oppressed. Finally, show how the failure to build leadership leads to confusion at best, and bloody reaction at worst.

AND THE UNINFORMED CHILD WHO DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO ASK...

Prompt her to see herself as an inheritor of our people’s legacy. As it says in Deuteronomy, “You must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Tell her about the infinite possibilities of socialism, the promises of the transitional program, and the joyous future we can build under socialism.

-- Four Children
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

The Supportive/Open Minded Child

How do we make our GLBT Seder more inclusive?

We seek to ensure that everyone is included and that all of their needs are being met. For example, there is a movement to encourage the use of gender-neutral pronouns like ze for he/she and hir for him/her at inclusive Seders. We have incorporated many new traditions into our own Seder for example, the orange on our Seder plate, or the creation of a whole second Seder plate.

While discussing the ancient oppression in Egypt, we should recognize today’s oppression and the struggles for women’s rights, GLBT rights, racial equality and the elimination of unfair discrimination and the assurance of equal rights for all.

The Hateful Child

Why must you have your own “Queer” (GLBT) Seder?

Judaism is about incorporating each individual’s needs into community and cultural celebrations. Very often, traditional Seders are not sufficiently inclusive of Queer people’s needs. A Seder is a moment to reflect upon the painful lessons of long ago. What better time is there to discuss how these barbaric practices of hate and discrimination still thrive today?

Let our Seder symbolize our (Queer) ability to overcome obstacles for a brighter future.

The Apathetic Child

Why should I participate?

It is in one’s best interest to recognize the world around him or her or hir and to become involved in making a better future for everyone. Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller, who was imprisoned by the Nazis, hauntingly reminds us of this imperative in his famous poem.

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—

because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—

because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me—

and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

The Child That Doesn’t Know or Closeted Child

Does not know how to ask or perhaps is too afraid…

This child must receive support and guidance from the community. A community that fosters support, tolerance, inclusion, and understanding is vital to creating an environment where one can explore one’s own identity and understand others’.

Rabbi Gamliel (Grandson of the great Sage Hillel) taught; one who has not explained the following three symbols of the Seder has not fulfilled the Festival obligations:

-- Four Children
Source : Original
Traditionally, The Four Sons (or Children) include a wise son, a wicked (or rebellious) son, a simple son and one who does not even know enough to ask.  Each of the first three ask questions about the Seder, essentially "Explain all this to me - what are my responsibilities?" "What has all this nonsense you are babbling about got to do with me?" and "What IS all this anyway?" while the fourth is silent - requiring the adults to be proactive in providing an explanation of the Seder proceedings.

Some say that The Four Children is a metaphor for four different attitudes toward tradition, toward belonging and toward being active or passive in the face of injustice.  Some say it is about stages of life, from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood (and, potentially, back again toward old age).

In the spirit of telling the story of Exodus and different attitudes that one might take to one's communal and global responsibilities, think about your relationship to your tradition, the people from whom or the place from which you come and the events taking place there.

- Do you understand what is going on?

- Do you feel any obligation to do anything about it?

- What would you do if you could?

- What should you tell your children about it?

-- Four Children

Lesbian: A woman who is primarily attracted to other women. 

Gay: A person who is attracted primarily to members of the same sex. Although it can be used for any sex (e.g. gay man, gay woman, gay person), “lesbian” is sometimes the preferred term for women who are attracted to women.

Bisexual: A person who is attracted to both people of their own gender and another gender. Also called “bi”.

Transgender: A frequently used umbrella term to refer to all people who do not identify with their assigned gender at birth or the binary gender system. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, genderqueer, drag kings, drag queens, two-spirit people, and others. Some transgender people feel they exist not within one of the two standard gender categories, but rather somewhere between, beyond, or outside of those two genders.

-- Four Children

It might not be noticeable on the surface, but it is possible to relate the traits of the original four children with those of people suffering in the LGBTQ community.

-The clever child exists because they want to educate themselves on the struggles of LGBTQ people and fight against the oppression they have come to realize in the world. 

-The wicked child breeds intolerance and does not feel empathy for the suffering of LGBTQ people. They feel no connection to the struggles of their brethren and do not attempt to educate themselves or see others' humanity.

-The innocent child is not knowledgable of the disputes in society regarding LGBTQ rights, but they should be educated so that they may realize the importance of standing against oppression

-The child who cannot ask represents the youth who are not yet old enough to understand the hate facing society. We must make a world free of hate for them to inherit, so when they are ready to ask a question, it will be "why WAS there oppression" and not "why does there continue to be."

-- 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. 

-- Exodus Story
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

During the time when Pharaoh issued his decree to kill Israelite males, Moses, who later was to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to freedom, was an infant. His concerned mother, Jochebed placed him in a basket of reeds in the Nile River while Moses’ sister Miriam watched from a distance to see who would come to find him. The basket was found by the Pharaoh’s daughter, who decided to raise the infant as her own son and named him Moses. She unknowingly hired Jochebed as a nurse to care for him, and Jochebed secretly taught Moses his Israelite heritage. At age 40, on a visit to see his fellow Israelites, Moses saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating an Israelite slave and in his rage, killed the Egyptian. Fearing for his life, Moses fled Egypt. He fled across the desert, for the roads were watched by Egyptian soldiers, and took refuge in Midian, an area in present-day northwestern Saudi Arabia along the eastern shores of the Red Sea.

While in Midian, Moses met a Midianite priest named Jethro and became a shepherd for the next 40 years, eventually marrying one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah. Then, when Moses was about 80 years of age, God spoke to him from a burning bush and said that he and his brother Aaron were selected by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to freedom. At first, Moses hesitated to take on such a huge task, but eventually Moses and his brother Aaron set about returning to Egypt, commencing what was to be the spectacular and dramatic events that are told in the story of Passover. It is said that the Israelites entered Egypt as a group of tribes and left Egypt as one nation. It has also been estimated that the Passover exodus population comprised about 3 million people, plus numerous flocks of sheep who all crossed over the border of Egypt to freedom in Canaan.

Under the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III in Egypt in 1476 BCE, the Israelite leader Moses (“Moshe” in Hebrew) – guided by God – led his people out of Egypt after a series of 10 plagues that were created by God and initiated by Moses. Prior to most of the plagues, Moses had warned the Pharaoh about each plague and that it would devastate his people, if he refused to let the Israelites go. After the first two plagues, the Pharaoh refused to let them go because his court magicians were able to re-create the same miracles, and so the Pharaoh thought: “This proves that the Israelite God is not stronger than I.” But when the third plague occurred, the Pharaoh’s magicians were not able to duplicate this miracle; however, that still did not change the Pharaoh’s mind about letting the Israelites leave Egypt. After each subsequent plague, the Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go, but the Pharaoh soon changed his mind and continued to hold the Israelites as slaves. Finally, after the 10th plague, the Pharaoh let the Israelites go for good.

When the Pharaoh finally agreed to free the Israelite slaves, they left their homes so quickly that there wasn’t even time to bake their breads. So they packed the raw dough to take with them on their journey. As they fled through the desert they would quickly bake the dough in the hot sun into hard crackers called matzah. Today to commemorate this event, Jews eat matzah in place of bread during Passover.

Though the Israelites were now free, their liberation was incomplete. The Pharaoh’s army chased them through the desert towards the Red Sea. When the Israelites reached the sea they were trapped, since the sea blocked their escape. When the Israelites saw the Egyptian army fast approaching toward them, they called out in despair to Moses. Fortunately, God intervened and commanded Moses to strike his staff on the waters of the Red Sea, creating a rift of land between the waves, enabling the Israelites to cross through the Red Sea to safety on the other side. Once the Israelites were safely across, God then commanded Moses to strike the waters of the Red Sea with his staff again, just as the Egyptian army followed them through the parted Red Sea. The waters came together again, drowning the entire Egyptian army and the Israelites were saved.

-- Exodus Story

3 Counterintuitive Lessons From Passover

A man in a desert alone is not free

1. You are an Egyptian. The Passover story is of a people liberated from slavery. When we celebrate Passover, we naturally identify with the Israelites, the oppressed, and not Pharaoh, the oppressor. But the Egyptians of the Bible also had to make ethical decisions. In our lives, we are constantly surrounded by those who serve us — waiters, clerks, housekeepers, hotel maids, bag boys, people who sling peanuts at the ballpark. Obviously they are not slaves, and we are not oppressors. But they are in our economic power for a moment, and how we treat people who serve us is a powerful indicator of our moral posture.

I counsel people who are dating to pay attention to how their date treats the waiter. Passover is a reminder: No amount of money entitles one to be a jerk. Don’t only identify with the oppressed. Remember what it is like to be an Egyptian in the Passover story.

2. Elijah isn’t here, so you have to be. Each year we open the door for Elijah, who in the Jewish tradition is the herald of redemption. Traditionally it is the youngest child who opens the door. As adults watch each year, an interesting transition takes place. At first, the child believes Elijah might walk in the door. Then year after year, the belief diminishes, and until a still younger child comes along, the tradition becomes rote. Children grow too old to believe redemption will walk in the door.

While that seems a sad coda to a beautiful dream, it has a powerful positive dimension as well. In the absence of supernatural redemption, we are responsible for the uplifting of those who are fallen, feeding those who are hungry, comforting those who are bereaved. Our responsibility is greater in the absence of a messianic presence. A Hasidic rabbi who once claimed that everything had a good dimension was asked: “What about atheism?” His response was that when someone approaches us for help, we should all be atheists — not believing there is any supernatural help. The burden and the privilege of helping is ours.

3. Freedom is not the absence of obligation. The famous Passover phrase, “let my people go,” is abbreviated. The full sentence is, “Let my people go that they may serve me.” Here we see Isaiah Berlin’s famous distinction between being “liberated from” and being “liberated to.” To be liberated from oppression is the beginning of freedom, not its end or aim. True freedom is abundance of opportunity, not absence of obligation. A man in a desert alone is not free. Standing in a developed society with a thousand obligations but also a million possibilities, that is freedom.

Passover encourages us to understand that our lives are not about sloughing off responsibilities. Service to God, to one another and to what is best in ourselves — those are freedoms. They enable us to maximize the capacities of our own souls.

Tomorrow, people will sit down to seders all across the world. There is a deep lessons in the ceremony: We are responsible for the choices of power. Until the day when redemption arrives, we have it in our hands to mend this broken world. And true freedom is also found in service, in uplifting obligations, and in celebrating together the gifts we have been given.

-- Exodus Story

If you search the traditional Haggadah, you won’t find the name of the man who led the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses is strangely absent, written out of the annual ritual of reenactment. The Torah tells us that Moses was the most humble of men, but surely this is taking humility too far! The message in Moses’s absence, though, is clear: we cannot wait for a Moses before tackling redemption in our time – whether saving the planet from the threat of climate disaster, or redeeming our brothers and sisters from modern slavery and trafficking.

There’s something else missing from the Haggadah – the great moral imperative of the Torah – YOU SHALL NOT OPPRESS THE STRANGER ... because you know what it’s like to be one. Over and over, the Torah tells us not to wrong the stranger – to take our experience of slavery and turn it into ethical action. It seems that themost important memory we are to take with us from our hundreds of years of oppression ... is what it feels like to be aliens. And not to inflict that experience on others.

So what happened? Here I think the rabbis of the Haggadah got a little off course when they arrived at the heart of Maggid. As a framework for telling the story of the Exodus, they selected the simple, proud paragraph in Deuteronomy that the free Israelite was supposed to proclaim when bringing a harvest basket of fruit to the Temple. It begins: “A wandering Aramean was my father....”

But then the rabbis of the Haggadah turned that straightforward recollection into a victim’s lament – “Go forth and inquire what the Aramean tried to do to my father.” Now the victimhood extends back to Jacob, who suffered at the hands of his father-in-law Laban the Aramean (although as I recall the story, Jacob gave as good as he got).

In any case, here’s how I'd like the Haggadah to remember the Torah's mandate at the beginning of the retelling of the Exodus story each year:

Tzei u-l’mad . .. Go forth and learn how the Torah teaches us to act upon our experience of slavery in Egypt. She-neemar, as it is said, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourself been strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 23:9). And when we came to the land of Israel, we recalled: "A wandering Aramean was my father and he went down to Egypt (in search of food) and sojourned there with only a few, and there he became a great and populous nation."

-- Exodus Story

Coming out is a unique process for every individual. It can be scary, overwhelming, and confusing, but it can also be happy, liberating, and empowering.

-- 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? 

-- Ten Plagues
1) 64% felt unsafe at school due to sexual orientation

2) 44% felt unsafe at school due to gender identification

3) 42% of LGBT youth have experienced cyber bullying

4) 42% of LBGT youth say the community in which they live in is not accepting of LGBT people

5) Only 77% of LGBT youth say they know things will get better

6) 60% LGBT students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation

7) LGBT youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers

8) LGBT students are twice as likely to say that they were not planning on completing high school or going on to college

9) LGBT youth who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence are three times more likely to use illegal drugs

10) Half of gay males experience a negative parental reaction when they come out and in 26% of those cases the youth was thrown out of the home

-- Ten Plagues
by L S
Source : Jewish Voice for Peace Haggadah 2015

The Ten Plagues (Adapted from Jewish Voice For Peace Haggadah 2015  and  Love+ Justice In Times of War Haggadah

The idea of justice embodied in our story is direct and unquestioned—suffering for suffering. The people of Mitzrayim suffered because of their own leader, who is in part set-up by an angry G-d eager to demonstrate his own superiority. In our story, all of this was necessary for freedom.

Jews have been troubled by this for generations, and so, before we drink to our liberation, we mark how the suffering diminishes our joy by taking a drop of wine out of our cup of joy for each of the ten plagues visited on the people of Mitzrayim. We are about to recite the ten plagues. As we call out the words, we remove ten drops from our overflowing cups with our fingers.

We will not partake of our seder feast until we undergo this symbolic purification, because our freedom was bought with the suffering of others. As we packed our bags that last night in Egypt, the darkness was pierced with screams. May the next sea-opening not also be a drowning; may our singing never again be their wailing. We shall all be free, or none of us shall be free because our liberations are intertwined.

For each plague, flick a drop of wine onto the plate with your finger as we recite the following together: 

Dam...Blood

Tzfardeyah...Frogs

Kinim...Lice

Arov...Wild Beasts

Dever...Blight

Shichin...Boils

Barad...Hail

Arbeh...Locusts

Choshech...Endless Night

Makat B’chorot...Slaying of the First-Born

The Pharaoh of the Passover story is not just a cruel king who happened to live in a certain country. The Pharaoh that our ancestors pictured, each and every year, for century after century was for them every tyrant, every cruel and heartless ruler who ever enslaved the people of his or another country. And this is why Passover means the emancipation of all people in the world from the tyranny of kings, oppressors and tyrants. The first emancipation was only a foreshadowing of all the emancipations to follow, and a reminder that the time will come when right will conquer might, and all people will live in trust and peace. 

Now, we commemorate some of the plagues that ravage our present-day societies. Everyone may call out current plagues and spill drops.

-- Ten Plagues

Leader:
Let us all refill our cups.

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

Tonight we drink four cups of the fruit of the vine.
There are many explanations for this custom.
They may be seen as symbols of various things:
the four corners of the earth, for freedom must live everywhere;
the four seasons of the year, for freedom's cycle must last through all the seasons;
or the four matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel.

A full cup of wine symbolizes complete happiness.
The triumph of Passover is diminished by the sacrifice of many human lives
when ten plagues were visited upon the people of Egypt.
In the story, the plagues that befell the Egyptians resulted from the decisions of tyrants,
but the greatest suffering occurred among those who had no choice but to follow.

It is fitting that we mourn their loss of life, and express our sorrow over their suffering.
For as Jews and as Humanists we cannot take joy in the suffering of others.
Therefore, let us diminish the wine in our cups
as we recall the ten plagues that befell the Egyptian people.

Leader:

As we recite the name of each plague, in English and then in Hebrew,
please dip a finger in your wine and then touch your plate to remove the drop.

Everyone:

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

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

In the same spirit, our celebration today also is shadowed
by our awareness of continuing sorrow and oppression in all parts of the world.
Ancient plagues are mirrored in modern tragedies.

In our own time, as in ancient Egypt, ordinary people suffer and die
as a result of the actions of the tyrants who rule over them.
While we may rejoice in the defeat of tyrants in our own time,
we must also express our sorrow at the suffering of the many innocent people
who had little or no choice but to follow.

Leader:

As the pain of others diminishes our joys,
let us once more diminish the ceremonial drink of our festival
as we together recite the names of these modern plagues:

Hunger

War

Tyranny

Greed

Bigotry

Injustice

Poverty

Ignorance

Pollution of the Earth

Indifference to Suffering

-- Ten Plagues
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

These events on our timeline reflect mostly accomplishments of the GLBT community in the face of adversity. Tonight we acknowledge and recognize the GLBT community’s endurance under ten additional plagues. For each of these plagues we continue our tradition of dipping our finger tip in our wine cups, and for each plague we place one drop of wine on our plates:

Blood: The blood shed in the Nazi death camps and in Queer-bashings.

Laughter: The laughter caused by our stereotyped representation in jokes and in the media.

Guilt:  The guilt we are told is inherent in our simple existence.

Shame: The shame we are made to feel when we share our lives and our bodies with someone of the same gender as ourselves.

Despair: The despair we feel when we are told that we are evil and monstrous, that AIDS is God's judgment upon us.

Fear: The fear caused by a hostile society that would cast us out if it knew what we are.

Pain: The physical pain of being attacked by homophobes, and the mental pain of being rejected by family and community. Loneliness: The loneliness of thinking that we are the only one of our kind.

Darkness: The darkness of our closets, and of where many of us are forced to spend our lives: the bars, the parks, the unsafe neighborhoods.

Silence: The hollow silence of when we do not speak out in our own defense, the silence from one generation to another.

In unison we say:

We may not have individually felt each plague, but since they afflict our community on a global level, they afflict us as well. Let us not become complacent.

And let us not become so involved with our own problems that we forget others who also suffer. The path out of Egypt is open to all who flee slavery and seek the Promised Land.

To cleanse ourselves and wash off these ten GLBT plagues that still exist in our world today we wash our hands and say the blessing.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
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.

-- 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
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 : 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!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

Dayenu! it would have been enough

We show our gratitude for each of the many ways God protected the Israelites as they journeyed from slavery to freedom. We acknowledge that each saving act would have been sufficient. Nevertheless, we are grateful for God’s manifold gifts and we sing Dayenu!

Had God brought us out of Egypt and not divided the sea for us, Dayenu!

Had God divided the sea and not permitted us to cross on dry land, Dayenu!

Had God kept us for forty years in the desert and not fed us with manna, Dayenu!

Had God fed us with manna and not given us the Sabbath, Dayenu!

Had God given us the Sabbath and not led us to Mount Sinai, Dayenu!

Had God led us to Mount Sinai and not given us the Torah, Dayenu!

Had God given us the Torah and not let us into the land of Israel, Dayenu!

Had God led us into the land of Israel and not built for us the temple, Dayenu!

Had God built for us the temple and not sent us prophets of truth, Dayenu!

Had God sent us prophets of truth and not made us a holy people, Dayenu!

I-looh ho-tzi-anu mih-mitz-rayim v’loh ah-sah bah-hem sheh-fah-team, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh ah-sah bah-hem sheh-fah-team, v’loh ah-sah beh-lo-hey-hem, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh ah-sah beh-lo-hey-hem, v’loh hah-rog eht beh-khor-hey-khem, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh hah-rog eht beh-khor-hey-khem, v’loh nah-tan lah-nu eht mah-moh-nom, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh nah-tan lah-nu eht mah-moh-nom, v’loh kah-rah lah-nu eht hah-yom, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh kah-rah lah-nu eht hah-yom, v’loh heh-eh-vey-rah-nu beh-toh-kho beh-kha-ra-vah, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh heh-eh-vey-rah-nu beh-toh-kho beh-kha-ra-vah, v’loh sheh-kah tsar-kay-nu beh-toh-kho, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh sheh-kah tsar-kay-nu beh-toh-kho, v’loh see-pek tsar-kay-nu bah-mid-bar ahr-bay-eem shanah, dayyeh- nu.

I-looh see-pek tsar-kay-nu bah-mid-bar ahr-bay-eem shanah, v’loh hah-ekh-hih-lah-nu eht hah-mon, dayyeh- nu.

I-looh hah-ekh-hih-lah-nu eht hah-mon, v’loh nah-tan lah-nu eht hah-shah-bot, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh nah-tan lah-nu eht hah-shah-bot, v’loh kehr-ba-nu lif-ney har see-nai, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh kehr-ba-nu lif-ney har see-nai, v’loh nah-tan lah-nu eht ha-tor-ah, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh nah-tan lah-nu eht ha-tor-ah, v’loh heekh-neeh-sah-nu leh-er-etz yis-rah-el, day-yeh-nu.

I-looh heekh-neeh-sah-nu leh-er-etz yis-rah-el, v’loh bah-na lah-nu eht bayt ha-beh-kheeh-rah, day-yeh-nu.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

It would be enough to be treated equally. It would be enough to not be disowned because I am proud of who I am. It would be enough if I was able to get married wherever I wanted. It would be enough if I wouldn't be fired because of who I am. It would be enough if people didn't stare at me when I'm out in public. It would be enough if I wasn't thought of as different.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

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
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.

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?

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.

Koreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

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 : JewishBoston.com

Eating the meal! | shulchan oreich | שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

Enjoy! But don’t forget when you’re done we’ve got a little more seder to go, including the final two cups of wine!

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 : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

Refill everyone’s wine glass.

We now say grace after the meal, thanking God for the food we’ve eaten. On Passover, this becomes something like an extended toast to God, culminating with drinking our third glass of wine for the evening:

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, whose goodness sustains the world. You are the origin of love and compassion, the source of bread for all. Thanks to You, we need never lack for food; You provide food enough for everyone. We praise God, source of food for everyone.

As it says in the Torah: When you have eaten and are satisfied, give praise to your God who has given you this good earth. We praise God for the earth and for its sustenance.

Renew our spiritual center in our time. We praise God, who centers us.

May the source of peace grant peace to us, to the Jewish people, and to the entire world. Amen.

The Third Glass of Wine

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, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the third glass of wine!

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 : JewishBoston.com

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, 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 בֶּן דָּוִד.

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.

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!

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com
Who knows one?

At some seders, people go around the table reading a question and the answers in one breath. Thirteen is hard!

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

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com

Chad Gadya

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי,

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Chad gadya, chad gadya

Dizabin abah bitrei zuzei

Chad gadya, chad gadya.

One little goat, one little goat:

Which my father brought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The cat came and ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The dog came and bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The stick came and beat the dog

That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The fire came and burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The water came and extinguished the

Fire that burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The ox came and drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The butcher came and killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The angle of death came and slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The Holy One, Blessed Be He came and

Smote the angle of death who slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.