Preview is being generated. Please wait .....
Introduction
Source : Original

In the absence of a stable homeland, Jews have made their home in books – a Jewish home without books is not a Jewish home – and the Haggadah – the core of which is the re-telling of the Exodus from Egypt – has been translated more widely, and revised more often, than any other Jewish book.  Everywhere Jews have wandered, they have produced Haggadot (plural: there are 7,000 known versions, not to mention the countless homemade editions like this one), including the most famous of all – the 14th-century Sarajevo Haggadah, which is said to have survived World War II under the floorboards of a mosque and the siege of Sarajevo in a bank vault (cf: 2008 novel People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks).

 Although it means “the telling,” the Haggadah does not merely tell a story: it is our book of living memory.  Because it is not enough to re-tell the story: we must make the leap of empathy into it. “In every generation a person is obligated to view himself as if she or he were the one who went out of Egypt,” the Haggadah tells us.  And, in the midst of this empathic exercise, it is our role to dissect, extrapolate and discuss its meanings for ourselves – now – in this contemporary world.  Those of us who are Jews, who are the Children of Israel, should know the origin of our name: we are named after Jacob (Ya’akov, variation: Akiva) who became Yisrael (Israel); which translates as: ‘he who wrestles with God.’  And, in keeping with our origins and our tradition, on Pesach the story of the Exodus is not meant to be merely recited, but wrestled with.

{with acknowledgement to Jonathan Foer}

So/Nu/Tak, as we enter the Haggadah and begin to tell the story and engage in the symbolic rituals that are part of this event, I invite you to loosen up, get your hands dirty and join with me in wrestling with the ideas, promises, challenges and contradictions of what lies therein.

Introduction
Source : Traditional


קַדֵּשׁ Kiddush (the blessing over wine) | kadeish |

וּרְחַץ Ritual hand-washing in preparation for the seder | urchatz |

כַּרְפַּס Dipping a green vegetable in salt water| karpas |

יַחַץ Breaking the middle matzah | yachatz |

מַגִּיד Telling the story of Passover | magid |

רָחְצָה Ritual hand-washing in preparation for the meal | rachtza |

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

מָרוֹר Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror |

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

שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ Eating the meal! | shulchan oreich |

צָפוּן Finding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon |

בָּרֵךְ Saying grace after the meal and inviting Elijah the Prophet | bareich |

הַלֵּל Singing songs that praise God | hallel |

נִרְצָה Ending the seder and thinking about the future | nirtzah |

Kadesh
Source : original

We begin by lighting the candles. 

barukh_atah.gif

lhadlik_shabbat.gif asher_kid.gif  

Baruch ata Adonai eleheinu melech haolam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Yom Tov.

shabbat-candles.jpg

Kadesh
Source : Unknown

Our first cup of wine (or grape juice) is for the physical spring that we see, hear, smell, touch. It is one of the many miracles we see every year. Green forces its way through the cracks of the hard earth. Birds begin to venture out and sing. The scent of flowers perfumes the air. Warmth begins to creep into our skin and make us feel alive again.

We raise our cups and recite:

Baruch atah adonai, elohaynu melech ha'olam, borei p'ri ha'gafen.

Urchatz
Source : http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/passover-haggadah-supplement-2011-2

We wash our hands, without saying the blessing. Each person washes the hand of the person next to her (pouring it over a bowl). Imagine that you are washing away all cynicism and despair, and allow yourself to be filled with the hope that the world could be really transformed in accord with our highest vision.

Karpas
Source : Original

Fresh, crisp greens remind us of spring, of new beginnings, of hope.  Salt water reminds us of the long, sad season of our slavery. As we mix the two together, we remember that we must work to bring the hope of spring to everyone enslaved everywhere.

Karpas
Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adamah.

Karpas
Source : Original
When we bless the green parsley and dip it in the salty water, we remember the spring, and we remember the long, sad years of our slavery.

When we left Egypt,

we bloomed and sprouted,

and songs dripped from our tongues

like shimmering threads of nectar.

All green with life we grew,

who had been buried,

under toil and sorrow,

dense as bricks.

All green in the desert we grew,

casting seeds at a promise.

All green we grew. 

Yachatz
Source : Original
Yachatz
Source : Miriam's Tapestry: Passover Seder Haggdah

Leader:

No prayer is recited before we break the middle matzah on our Seder plate. This is a silent, reflective act.

Reader:

For we recognize that, like the broken matzah, we are incomplete, with prayers yet to be fulfilled, promises still to be redeemed.

We hide part of this broken matzah and hope it will be found by the end our Seder meal.

For we recognize that parts of ourselves are yet unknown. We are still discovering what makes us whole.

We hide the larger of the two parts of the matzah.

For we recognize that more is hidden than revealed.

Group:

With the generations that have come before us, and with one another, our search begins.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

Ha lachma anya di achalu avhatana b’ara d’mitzrayim. Kol dichfin yeitei v’yeichol, kol ditzrich yeitei v’yifsach. Hashata hacha, l’shanah habaah b’ara d’Yisrael. Hashata avdei, l’shanah habaah b’nei chorin.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Unknown

This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry- let them come and eat: all who are needy- let them come and celebrate the Passover. Now we are here, but next year we shall be in the land of Israel. Now we are slaves, but next year we shall be free men and women.

-- Four Questions
Source : traditional

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 : A Humanist Modern Version of Haggadah, Eszter Hargittai

FOUR QUESTIONS

Traditionally, the youngest person present asks:

Why is this night different from all other nights?

1. On all other nights we eat either bread or matsah. Why, on this night, do we eat only matsah?

2. On all other nights we eat herbs of any kind. Why, on this night, do we eat only bitter herbs?

3. On all other nights, we do not dip our herbs even once. Why, on this night, do we dip them twice?

4. On all other nights, we eat either sitting or leaning. Why, on this night, do we eat while leaning?

A different guest readers each ANSWER:

1. MATZAH:

Matsah is the symbol of our affliction and our freedom.  Legend has it that when Moses and his followers fled Egypt, they moved so quickly that the bread they baked did not have time to rise.  However, scholars have noted that long before the Jews celebrated Passover, farmers of the Middle East celebrated Khag Ha-matsot, the festival of unleavened bread, at this time of year. This was a festival where unleavened bread was made from the new grain harvest that took place at this time of the year. The old fermented dough was thrown out so that last year's grain would not be mixed with this year's. Therefore, the new season began with the eating of unleavened bread--matsah. Later on, the Jewish people incorporated this agricultural festival into the celebration of freedom and renewal we now call Passover.  Let us all eat a piece of matzah.

2. BITTER HERBS

Tradition says that this root is to remind us of the time of our slavery. We force ourselves to taste pain so that we may more readily value pleasure. Scholars inform us that bitter herbs were eaten at the Spring festival in ancient times. The sharpness of the taste awakened the senses and made the people feel at one with nature's revival. Thus, the horseradish is the stimulus of life, reminding us that struggle is better than the complacent acceptance of injustice.  Let us all eat bitter herbs.

3. DIPPING

The first time, the salty taste reminds us of the tears we cried when we were slaves. The second time, the salt water and
the green help us to remember the ocean and green plants and the Earth, from which we get air and water and food that enable us to live.  Let us all dip the parsley in salt water twice.

4. RECLINING

This question goes back to ancient times in Rome, when it was the custom for rich people to eat while lying on a couch leaning on one elbow as slaves and servants fed them. The Jewish people thought of this relaxed type of eating as a sign of freedom and prosperity, so they would lean to one side eating at the Seder on Passover, the festival of freedom. Today, we who are free eat while sitting up, even at Passover, but the question remains in the service as a reminder of how it was when our people longed for freedom.

MORE QUESTIONS:

Reader: We have answered the four traditional questions, but there are still more questions to be answered. There are other special foods on our Seder plate: a sweet condiment (kharoset), a roasted shank bone (z'ro-ah), and a roasted egg (baytsa). Why are they here?

A different guest reads each answer:

Charoset: Apples, nuts, cinnamon, and wine are combined to make this sweet condiment. It is the color of clay or mortar. It reminds us of the bricks and mortar that the Israelites are said to have made when they built the Pharaohs' palaces and cities. At the same time, the taste of kharoset is sweet, and it reminds us of the sweetness
of freedom.  Let us now all eat kharoset on a piece of matsah.

Shank bone: The bone represents the lamb that was the special Paschal sacrifice on the eve of the exodus from Egypt, and annually, on the afternoon before Passover, in the Holy Temple. 

Egg: The egg represents life.  Each of us begins as an egg and grows to adulthood. The egg reminds us of our evolutionary past and the gifts of human inheritance. But the egg is fragile. It represents potential that can be destroyed. Left alone, it would perish. Growing life needs warmth and love and security, guidance, hope, and vision. To achieve their full potential, human beings need the support and encouragement of family and community.  The egg symbolizes the fragility and interdependence of life.

-- Four Questions
Source : A Growing Haggadah

Уем отличается эта ночь от других ночей?
Во все другие ночи мы едим либо хомец, либо мацу в эту ночьтоль ко мацу;
Во все другие ночи мы едим разную зелень, а в эту ночь-лтшь горькую;
Во все другие ночи мы ни разу не обмакиваем /пищу/, а в эту ночь-дважды;
Во все другие ночи мы едим сидяили возлегая, а в эту ночь-возлегая.

-- Four Questions
Source : Nicole

The Four Answers

 Answer 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.

Answer 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.

Answer 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.

Answer 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.

 

-- 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
Source : The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,some momentary awareness comesas an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,who violently sweep your houseempty of its furniture,still, treat each guest honorably.He may be clearing you outfor some new delight.The dark thought, the shame, the malice.meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.Be grateful for whatever comes.because each has been sentas a guide from beyond.

-- Exodus Story
Source : Original

Famine in Canaan.  Relocation to Egypt.  Joseph rules - things are good.  Time passes and memory fades.  Descendants of Jacob (Hebrews?) are enslaved.  Eventually, their numbers threaten one of the Pharaohs.  To send a message and control population growth, Hebrew boys are marked for slaughter.  One such boy (Moses) escapes and is adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter.  Moses eventually agrees to lead his people to freedom.  Moses makes demands of the reigning Pharaoh, who pays no heed.  Moses enlists God and (ten) plagues ensue.  The Pharaoh flip-flops nine times and then says 'get out of here'.  The Hebrews skidaddle, but Pharaoh changes his mind AGAIN and chases them into the Red Sea.  The sea parts (miracle or unique wind phenomenon?) and the Hebrews pass through unharmed while the Egyptian soldiers drown.  The Hebrews party (but with a touch of remorse).  FREEDOM.  The story continues.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Adapted from 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. 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:

דָּם Blood | dam |

צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ Frogs | tzfardeiya |

כִּנִּים Lice | kinim |

עָרוֹב Beasts | arov |

דֶּֽבֶר Cattle disease | dever |

שְׁחִין Boils | sh’chin |

בָּרָד Hail | barad |

אַרְבֶּה Locusts | arbeh |

חֹֽשֶׁךְ Darkness | choshech |

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

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? What are the plagues in your life? What are the plagues in our world today? What behaviors do we need to change to fix them? 

 
-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Various

Fun fact: Persian and Afghani Jews hit each other over the heads and shoulders with scallions every time they say Dayenu! They especially use the scallions in the ninth stanza which mentions the manna that the Israelites ate everyday in the desert, because Torah tells us that the Israelites began to complain about the manna and longed for onions, leeks and garlic. Feel free to be Persian/Afghani for the evening if you’d like.

If He had brought us out from Egypt אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם

and had not carried out judgments against them וְלֹא עָשָׂה בָּהֶם שְׁפָטִים

— Dayenu, it would have been enough דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had given us the Shabbat אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת

and had not brought us before Mount Sinai וְלֹא קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי

— Dayenu, it would have been enough דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had given us the Torah אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה

and had not brought us into the land of Israel וְלֹא הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל

 Dayenu, it would have been enough דַּיֵּנוּ

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, asher g’alanu v’ga’al et avoteinu mimitzrayim, v’higianu lalaylah hazeh le’echol bo matzah umaror. Kein Adonai Eloheinu vEilohei avoteinu yagi’einu l’mo’adim v’lirgalim acheirim haba’im likrateinu l’shalom, s’meichim b’vinyan irecha v’sasim ba’avodatecha. V’nochal sham min hazvachim umin hapsachim asher yagia damam al kir mizbachacha l’ratzon, v’nodeh l’cha shir chadash al g’ulateinu v’al p’dut nafsheinu. Baruch Atah Adonai, ga’al Yisrael.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen

Rachtzah
Source : Compiled

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. 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.

Anyone who wishes to is welcome to wash their hands.

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.

Blessed are you, spirit of the world, who made us holy through simple deeds like the washing of our hands.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Phil Neuman + Others

Time to eat matzah.  As each of you breaks off four pieces of matzah for your plate, ponder this:

Matzah is literally free of all additives, externalities and superficial good looks -- it is bread without the hot air. It represents the bare essentials.

Everything we pursue in life can be divided into necessities and luxuries. To the extent that a luxury becomes a necessity we lose an element of our freedom by being enslaved to a false need.

On Passover we can focus on the essence and leave the externalities behind.

Now, take one of the pieces of matzah and say:

Baruch ata Adonai Elohinu melech ha'olam hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz.

Which means:

We bless you, Lord our God, God of the world, who brings forth bread from the land.

And add:

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'ztivanu al achilat matzah.

Which means:

We bless you, Lord our God, God of the world, who has sanctified us with commandments and commanded us concerning the eating of matzah.

Eat the piece of matzah.

Maror
Source : Compiled

When most of us think of maror, or bitter herbs, we think of khreyn (Yiddish for horseradish). But when you think about it, horseradish is not really bitter… it is pungent and spicy. According to the Talmud, the correct vegetable to use is lettuce, probably a variety of Romaine lettuce. Indeed, this is what many Sephardi Jews use for maror. Of course, Romaine lettuce is not really bitter either. According to Dr. Joshua Kulp, “our pleasant tasting lettuce is the result of two thousand years of cultivation to improve its taste. In ancient times, it was probably far more bitter.”

{Take a piece of maror and put it on a piece of matzah and say {

ברוּךְאַתָּהיְיַָאֱלֹהֵֽינוּמֶֽלֶךְהָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁרקִדְּשָֽׁנוּבְּמִצְוֹתָיווְצִוָּֽנוּעַלאֲכִילַתמרוֹר

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

{Eat the maror and matzah together.}

Koreich
Source : Spencer Ruskin (modified)

Now we partake of the charoset, which symbolizes the mortar which our enslaved ancestors used for building. Though the labor was bitter, it was made bearable by the sweetness of hope. We combine some charoset with some maror between two pieces of matzoh to soften the bitterness of suffering.  This is known as the "Hillel sandwich" after one of the most famous of all Rabbis.

You may now eat everything in sight, but save room for dinner.

Shulchan Oreich
Source : Gerald Weiss (modified)

Gefilte Fish - A Mythical Midrash

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

Here is one answer:

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

Aha!

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

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

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

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

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

Now, how's THAT for a fish story?

Tzafun
Source : Compiled

At the conclusion of the meal, the children are given an opportunity to find the Aphikomon (Afikomen) that has been hidden earlier in the evening. The reader redeems it from the child who has found it and distributes pieces of it to all present.  The child gets a prize.

After partaking of the Aphikomon, it is customary to eat nothing else.  As for wine, though, we're only halfway through ...

Tzafun
Source : Original
Bareich
Source : Original

Bareich is when two things happen:

(1) We say the 'grace after meals' or 'birkat hamazon' (or not)

(2) We fill our glasses again, say the prayer and drink a third cup of wine to honour the joy of being together around this table on this festive evening.

Baruch atah adonai, elohaynu melech ha'olam, borei p'ri ha'gafen.

Hallel
Source : Compiled

The Fourth Cup of Wine

The Cup of Elijah, The Cup of Hope

Leader: Let us all fill our wine glasses.

{Picks up Elijah's cup for all to see.}

This is the cup of Elijah. According to tradition, we open the door to permit the possible entry of the prophet Elijah, who is, according to tradition, the herald of the Mashiach (Messiah) or (is there a difference?) an era of peace and freedom for all human beings.  If the weather is nice, we leave the door open; if not, then Elijah has to be quick about it. Wine waits for no man, even a prophet.

Reader: We, too, open the door to peace, knowing that Elijah's task is really our own. Only when we have made a world where nation shall not lift up sword against nation, where justice is universal, and where each person is free, will the age-old dream of peace be real.

{The door is opened.}

All sing: Eliyahu ha-navee, Eliyahu ha-Tish-bee Eliyahu, eliyahu, Eliyahu ha-Giladee Beem-hei-ra b'ya-mei-nu Yavo ei-leinu Eem ma-shee-ach ben David Eem ma-shee-ach ben David

Leader: We now bless our fourth cup of wine:

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


Miriam’s Cup

Reader: Although Miriam, a prophet and the sister of Moses, is never mentioned in the traditional Haggadah text, she is one of the central figures in the Exodus story.

According to Jewish feminist writer Tamara Cohen, the practice of filling a goblet with water to symbolize Miriam’s inclusion in the Seder originated in Boston in 1989. The idea resonated with many people and quickly spread.

Reader 2: The story has been told of a miraculous well of living water which had accompanied the Jewish people since the world was spoken into being. The well comes and goes, as it is needed, and as we remember, forget, and remember again how to call it to us. In the time of the exodus from Mitzrayim, Miriam called the well to her and stayed with the Jews as they wandered the desert. Upon Miriam’s death, the well again disappeared.

Reader 3: It is the women of our story who make its unfolding possible: Shifrah and Puah, the midwives who disobey Pharaoh's order to kill all newborn boys; Yocheved and Miriam, the mother and sister of Moses; Pharaoh's daughter who rescues Moses from the Nile. It is because of them that we are here tonight; it is because of them that we are able to celebrate our freedom.

{Whatever wine remains in the wine glasses is now emptied into a bowl. Water is then poured into everyone’s wine glass.}

Reader: We have escaped bondage and crossed the sea. We enter the arid land before us, made hesitant by generations of servitude; yet we are heady in our new freedom. We have thirsted for freedom, but now, in the desert, we thirst for water. Our Sages spoke of Miriam’s Well, created in the twilight of creation’s week. It now lies hidden in the Sea of Galilee, waiting to be restored to us. Its waters, we are told, taste of old wine and new wine, of milk and of honey. This is the well of the Ancestors of the world: the leaders of olden times searched for it; prophets and wizards of legend caused it to flow with their staves. But we have not been worthy of it. Now, as we begin a season of renewal, may cleansing, refreshing waters, reminiscent of Miriam’s well, recall for us a purity of purpose and help us focus on the tasks ahead to help bring freedom to all the peoples of the world.

{All drink the water from Miriam’s well.}

Nirtzah
Source : http://www.pictures19.com/wp-content/pictures/2011/10/baby-goat.jpg

Aramaic/Transliteration/English

 /גדיאGadya/ Baby goat

S / שונרא hoonra/ Cat

 /כלבאKalbah/ Dog

 /חוטראKhootra/ Stick

 /נוראNoora/ Fire

 /מיאMaya/ Water

 /תוראTora/ Ox

 /שוחטShokhate/ Butcher

 /מלאך המות Malakh hamavet/ Angel of Death

 /הקדוש ברוך הואHakadosh barukh hu/ God

 חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא שׁוּנְרָא, וְאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא כַלְבָּא, וְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא חוּטְרָא, וְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא נוּרָא, וְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא מַיָּא, וְכָבָא לְנוּרָא, דְּשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא תוֹרָא, וְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָא לְנוּרָא, דְּשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא שׁוֹחֵט, וְשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְּשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָא לְנוּרָא, דְּשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת, וְשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט, דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְּשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָא לְנוּרָא, דְּשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

וַאֲתָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וְשָׁחַט לְמַלְאָךְ הַמָּוֶת, דְּשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט, דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְּשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָא לְנוּרָא, דְּשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְּאָכְלָא לְגַדְיָא, דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

Nirtzah
Source : Original

Nirtzah is the conclusion of the Seder.  It is customary at this time to say the words "L'shanah haba'ah b'yerushalayim" which means "Next year in Jerusalem".  This was the dream of Jews all over the world for the last two thousand years.  It represented the idea that maybe, next year, we will make our pilgrimmage to Zion / Israel / the Promised Land / the land of milk and honey, with Jerusalem at its centre.  This pilgrimmage was also to a spiritual place of the same name.  In modern times, this isn't so difficult.  Any of us could jump on a plane and be there tomorrow for the Pesach holiday.  But, for some of us, there is a radical disconnect between Israel as a geographical and spiritual destination.  For some of us, Israel no longer represents a place to which, spiritually, we would want to go.

Thus, for anyone who wishes to be a contemporary Jew, it is that person's responsibility to add his or her voice to efforts to make of Israel a place to which all Jews would want to go and where all peoples would be welcome.  Perhaps, one day, that will be next year.

There is a well known story in the Talmud (Makkot 24b) featuring the famous Rabbi Akiva. He was traveling to Jerusalem with Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Eliezer ben Azariyah, two of his colleagues, when their pupils came and reminded them that it was time to say their prayers. Stopping on Mount Scopus, they looked towards the ruins of the Temple and saw foxes running around in the ruins. Rabbi Akiva's companions burst into tears at the sight, whereas he laughed with joy. “Why are you so happy?” asked his companions. Akiva replied that, just as the prophets foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, so had they foretold the rebuilding of it. The destruction has come to pass -- now it is time for the rebuilding.

Songs
by VBS
Source : Valley Beth Shalom Haggadah

When Israel was in Egypt land, "Let my people go!"

Oppressed so hard they could not stand. "Let my people go!"

Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt Land. Tell ol' Pharaoh: "Let my people go!"

The Lord told Moses what to do, "Let my people go!"

To lead the children of Israel through, "Let my people go!"

Songs
Source : The Jewish Secular Community Passover Hagada

Lo yi-sa- goy el goy cher-ev

Lo yil-m' du od mil-cha-ma.  (repeat 6 times)

And every one,

'Neath their vine and fig tree

Shall live in peace and unafraid  (repeat 2 times)

And into plowshares

Beat their swords,

Nations shall learn war no more.  (repeat 2 times)

And every one,

'Neath their vine and fig tree

Shall live in peace and unafraid. (2 times)

Songs
Source : Traditional Liturgy

Hine ma tov 
uma nayim 
shevet achim gam yachad. 
Hine ma tov 
uma nayim 
shevet achim gam yachad.

How good and pleasant it is when people live together in harmony

Cover
Source : Original, Acrylic Painting by Tuuli Levit