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Introduction

Leader: Welcome to our Passover Seder! Together with Jews everywhere, tonight we recount a story told for the last 3,000 years. It is a story about the community of Israel, and it is also a story of humanity's deep wish for justice and liberty. Tonight we remember the Exodus from Mitzrayim -- the escape from the "narrows" of the biblical land of Egypt. Tonight, we celebrate during a time of suffering -- a time when we ourselves are constrained and afraid in our homes, in our country, in the world. We remember our ancestors and we vow that we will not allow their stories, their wisdom to be taken from us. And in recalling the struggles of our ancestors we ask: how may we achieve freedom from suffering in our own time?

Participant: Our seder begins with the lighting of two candles and a blessing. As these candles are lit, we move from the routine of our daily lives into the special time of this festival.

If you have two candles in your home, please light them with us as we recite the prayer:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Yom Tov.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam shehechcheyanu v'kiyemanu v'higianu lazman hazeh.

We praise you, Adonai our God, for light in the darkness.

Kadesh

KIDDUSH

Participant:

The seder's four cups of wine carry many meanings. They symbolize the four promises God made to the people of Israel:

“I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will deliver you from slavery. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God." With the first cup we remember God's promise that He will bring His people out from under the cruel oppression of the Egyptians.

All:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha'olam borei p'ri hagafen.

ALL DRINK THE FIRST CUP OF WINE

Urchatz

Participant: The priests in the Temple washed their hands before all holy duties. In this time of our lives, we are all reminded to wash our hands repeatedly each day. Perhaps the priests understood that these twenty seconds of handwashing could be a time to reflect on our connection to others and our wish for health and safety for ourselvse and the world. In this difficult time, we can recite the following prayer together before the Urchatz:

With these hands, I commit to doing good for the world; to writing words of hope, to planting seeds that will grow in the future, to bringing help to those in need. S'eu yedeichem kodesh -- wash your hands in holiness.

(Pass pitcher of water to pour over hands)

Urchatz
Source : Original
Urchatz

Karpas

Participant: We each take a piece of parsley and dip it twice in salt water.  The salt water represents the tears of suffering, while the green vegetable is the promise of new life that will come with spring time.

[ Dip the green vegetable in salt water and pass it around. When everyone has a piece of it, all say: ]

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.

Barukh atah Adonai, eloheynu melekh ha'olam, borey pri ha'adamah.

Blessed art Thou, our God who rules the universe, creator of what grows from the earth.

Yachatz

(At each home, a leader uncovers a plate of three matzah and breaks the middle into two pieces)

Leader:

This matzah is the bread of affliction 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. Now we are slaves. Next year may we all be free.

Participant: We break the matzah as a symbol that our freedom is incomplete: none of us is truly free as long as there is suffering in the world. This year, we think of those who lives have been split asunder. We think of those who are sick; those who are quarantined and cannot visit their loved ones, those who have died without family present or without funerals.  We think of the ways all of our lives have been split apart this year.

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

We wrap and set aside the larger piece of matzah: this is the afikomen.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : J Groner, My Very Own Haggadah

Participant: Asking questions helps us to learn. There are four questions to ask at the seder. The youngest child often asks these questions, but the Talmud states that anyone may ask. \

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.

Along with these traditional questions, tonight we acknowledge that this Passover is very different from all others. On all Passovers, we tell the a story of a brave fight against a dangerous enemy. Tonight, we are all engaged in such a fight. On all Passovers, we gather around a crowded table to share together. Tonight, we celebrate from a distance. On all Passovers, we wash hands and eat special foods decreed kosher for the feast. Tonight, even these rituals are extended into cleaning and washing as protection against contagion. On all Passovers, we celebrate the arrival of Spring and new life. Tonight, we remain indoors even as Springtime comes. As we read the story of Passover, we will consider these differences, and we will see how the ancient wisdom can give us hope in our own struggles.

-- Four Children
In recounting our story, let us consider that we tell it to four children, one wise, one simple, one wicked and one innocent.

The wise child asks: How can I learn more about our people?  To that child you shall direct our wealth of literature so that they may seek out this knowledge for themself.

The simple child asks: What is this all about?  To that child you shall say simply , because we had faith we were redeemed from slavery.

The wicked child asks: What good is this to you?  To that child you shall say, do not exclude yourself by saying "to you" but say instead "to us", for only together can we succeed.

The innocent child does not know how to ask.  For this child you shall tell them that we were taken out of Egypt so that we could be free.

Say to all of the children, that you may know who you are, get wisdom, get understanding and it shall preserve you, love it and it shall keep you.

-- Four Children

Some scholars believe there are four kinds of parents as well. The Wise Parent is an utter bore.“Listen closely, because you are younger than I am,” says the Wise Parent, “and I will go on and on about Jewish history, based on some foggy memories of my own religious upbringing, as well as an article in a Jewish journal I have recently skimmed.” The Wise Parent must be faced with a small smile of dim interest.

The Wicked Parent tries to cram the story of our liberation into a set of narrow opinions about the world. “The Lord led us out of Egypt,” the Wicked Parent says, “which is why I support a bloodthirsty foreign policy and am tired of certain types of people causing problems.” The Wicked Parent should be told in a firm voice, “With a strong hand God rescued the Jews from bondage, but it was my own clumsy hand that spilled hot soup in your lap.”

The Simple Parent does not grasp the concept of freedom. “There will be no macaroons until you eat all of your brisket,” says the Simple Parent, at a dinner honoring the liberation of oppressed peoples. “Also, stop slouching at the table.” In answer to such statements, the Wise Child will roll his eyes in the direction of the ceiling and declare, “Let my people go!”

The Parent Who Is Unable to Inquire has had too much wine, and should be excused from the table.

-- Lemony Snicket, Commentary in The New American Haggadah 

-- Exodus Story
Source : Silberman, Family Haggadah

Abraham was the first Jew. He became a believer in the One God, who promised him and his wife Sarah that their descendants would become a great people, as numerous as the stars in the sky. God led Abraham and Sarah to the land of Israel (then called Canaan) but warned that their descendants would be strangers in a strange land, enslaved for 400 years.

Indeed, this prophecy came true. Joseph, the great-grandson of Abraham, and the son of Jacob and Rachel, came to live in Egypt after being sold by his jealous brothers to a caravan of merchants. Joseph had a gift: he was able to interpret dreams. Because of this, he rose in power as an advisor to Pharaoh. Joseph told Pharaoh to build storehouses and fill them with grain. When years of famine struck, there was still food to eat in Egypt. Pharaoh was so grateful that when Joseph's brothers came in search of food, he invited them to settle in the area. Jacob's descendants, known as the Israelites, multiplied greatly and lived peacefully in Egypt for many years.

Years later, though, a new Pharaoh came to rule, who did not remember Joseph and all he had done for the Egyptian people. This Pharaoh feared that the Israelites were becoming too numerous and too powerful and might side with the enemy if there should be war. This Pharaoh made the Israelites slaves. He forced them to do hard labor, building cities and palaces for Pharaoh. The people knew neither peace nor rest, only misery and pain. The cruelest decree of all was Pharaoh's order that every baby boy born to an Israelite must be drowned in the River Nile.

All sing (meaning: We were slaves in Egypt)

Avadim Hayinu Hayinu

Atah b'nai chorin b'nai chorin

Avadim hayinu

Atah Atah b'nai chorin b'nai chorin

One couple, Amram and Yocheved, hid their baby in a basket on the riverbank, so Pharaoh wouldn't find him. When Pharaoh's daughter, the princess, came down to the river, she found the baby and decided to take him home to the palace. She named the baby Moses. In Hebrew his name means, "Brought out of the water."

Miriam, the baby's sister, saw the princess come to rescue her baby brother and asked if she needed a helper to take care of the baby. The princess said yes, and Miriam went back to her mother and told her she could go to the palace and care for the baby. In this way, Yocheved was able to care for her son Moses, and teach him about his people.

Moses could have lived at the Pharaoh's palace forever, but he could not ignore the suffering of his people. One day, he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite slave, and he was unable to control his anger. He killed the Egyptian. Knowing his life would be in danger once the news of this deed spread, Moses fled to the land of Midian where he became a shepherd.

One day, while tending sheep on Mount Horeb, Moses saw a bush that seemed to be on fire but was not burning up. From the bush, he heard God's voice calling to him. The voice told Moses to go back to Egypt to free the Jewish slaves and lead them away from Pharaoh. So, with his older brother Aaron, Moses returned to Egypt.  

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 old Pharaoh
Let my people go!

-- Ten Plagues

Moses asked Pharaoh to release the slaves, and God brought signs and wonders to show Pharaoh his power. But Pharaoh said....No. He made the Israelites work even harder. Now God was angry with Pharaoh and punished him ten times with ten different plagues. One day swarms of insects covered the land. Another time there was a big thunderstorm. Later, the sun didn't shine for days and there was only darkness. And one day, Pharaoh woke up and there were frogs all over the palace. Each plague frightened Pharaoh, and each time he promised to free the slaves, but Pharaoh did not keep his word. It was only after the last, most terrible plague, the death of the firstborn of the Egyptians, that Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go.

We fill our wine cups to remember our joy in being able to leave Egypt. Yet our happiness is not complete, because it was achieved only through the suffering of the Egyptian people. Therefore, we spill a drop of wine from our cups as we say each plague:

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

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

The Israelites got ready very quickly. They didn't even have time to bake bread for their journey. Instead, they carried the raw dough on their backs, and the sun baked it into hard matzah crackers. The people followed their leader, Moses. When they got to the Red Sea, God told Moses to hold up his walking stick. As he did, a strong wind parted the sea and made a path for the Israelites to pass through. Thus Adonai our God brought us out of Egypt, not by an angel or a messenger, but alone -- with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror, and with signs and wonders. He did many things to help the slaves escape from Egypt, but even if he had done only one thing, that would have been enough for us to be grateful. And so we sing "Dayenu" -- "It would have been enough for us."

DAYENU

Ilu hotzi, hotzi anu

Hotzi anu mi mitzrayim

Hotzi anu mi mitzrayim

Dayenu

Refrain:

Da-Dayenu

Da-Dayenu

Da-Dayenu

Dayenu Dayenu

Ilu natan natan lanu

Natan lanu et haTorah

Natan lanu et haTorah Dayenu

(Refrain)

Ilu natan natan lanu

Natan lanu et haShabbat

natan lanu et haShabbat Dayenu

(Refrain)

PARTICIPANT: But wait a second. Had God brought us out of Egypt, but didn’t part the Red Sea, would that really have been enough? Or parted the Red Sea, but didn’t let us cross to safety, would that have been enough?

Dayenu reminds us that we should appreciate “incomplete blessings” -- that “in the face of uncertainty, we can cultivate gratitude for life’s small miracles, and can find abundance amidst brokenness.” (HAIS Haggadah, 2020). So this year, we add: For the delivery workers and the grocery store clerks who bring us food, for the first responders, doctors and nurses who keep us safe and risk their lives to heal the sick, for the teachers who work with us remotely, for the scientists whose research will bring us a cure, for the calls and email from friends near and far --

EVERYONE: Dayenu.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

We drink the second cup of wine and give thanks for freedom.  In this time of global crisis, we remember that the world's struggles are our struggles, and what God has done for us, we must do for others in need.  

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p'ri ha'gafen.  

(Drink the second cup)

Motzi-Matzah
Source : JewishBoston.com

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

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶֽחֶם מִן הָאָֽרֶץ

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maror

Participant: The bitter herbs, maror, recall the bitterness of slavery. We may eat the maror with haroset, because the trials of slavery were sweetened by the hope of freedom. We cannot forget either hardship or hope.  (all take some maror, and some haroset if you wish, and eat it on a piece of lettuce)

All: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al achilat maror.

Participant: On Passover, in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, Rabbi Hillel would eat a sandwich made of the lamb, matzah and maror. Today, we do not make sacrifices at the Temple, so our sandwich is made only with matzah and maror. (all make and eat a "sandwich" of matzah and maror)

Shulchan Oreich
Shulchan Orech - Let's Eat!

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

AFTER THE MEAL IS EATEN

Before we can continue our seder, we must have the Afikomen!  Whoever finds the afikomen is rewarded for bringing it back to the table.  We will break it in pieces and share it for dessert, and it will be the last food we eat at the seder.

Bareich

After the meal we drink the third cup of wine for the third promise of Adonai: I will redeem you... ...

Redemption means not only rescuing us from slavery into freedom, but protecting us and building our lives.

As God provided for our needs on the long journey from Egypt, let us work today to make sure our communities have what they need for protection and rebuilding. 

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, who gives us the opportunity to be your partner in ongoing redemption.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Hallel

We also set aside a special cup of wine: The Cup of Elijah. In these times, we are told not to open the door for anyone. Yet, there is one exception - the mystical figure of Elijah. As he enters our homes, he is our sole guest, reminding us that next year, or even sooner, we will be able to welcome him in together with our families and friends.  We will sing together, and then we will each open our doors for Elijah -- let's see whose home he visits first!

Eliahu hanavi, eliahu hatishbi

eliahu, eliahu, eliahu hagiladi

Bimhera b'yameinu yavo elenu

Im Mashiach ben David Im Mashiach ben David

Eliahu hanavi, eliahu hatishbi

eliahu, eliahu, eliahu hagiladi 

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי,

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ,אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי.

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד, 

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד.

(A PERSON FROM EACH HOUSE CAN OPEN THE DOOR FOR ELIJAH)

Hallel

ADIR HU (MIGHTY IS GOD)


Adir hu, adir hu
Yivneh veito bekarov,
Bimheirah, bimheirah,
Beyameinu beka'rov.

Ehl benei, Ehl benei
Benei veit-cha beka'arov.

Bachur hu, gadol hu, dagul hu 

Yivneh veito bekarov,
Bimheirah, bimheirah,
Beyameinu beka'rov.

Ehl benei, Ehl benei
Benei veit-cha beka'arov.

Hadur hu, vatik hu, zakai hu 

Bachur hu, gadol hu, dagul hu 

Yivneh veito bekarov,
Bimheirah, bimheirah,
Beyameinu beka'rov.

Ehl benei, Ehl benei
Benei veit-cha beka'arov.

Chassid hu, tahor hu, yachid hu 

Hadur hu, vatik hu, zakai hu 

Bachur hu, gadol hu, dagul hu 

Yivneh veito bekarov,
Bimheirah, bimheirah,
Beyameinu beka'rov.

Ehl benei, Ehl benei
Benei veit-cha beka'arov.

AND LET'S JUST JUMP TO THE END -- All together...

Kabir hu, lamud hu, melech hu 

Nora hu, sagiv hu, iizuz hu 

Podeh hu, tzadik hu, kadosh hu

Rachum hu, shaddai hu, takif hu

Chassid hu, tahor hu, yachid hu 

Hadur hu, vatik hu, zakai hu 

Bachur hu, gadol hu, dagul hu 

Yivneh veito bekarov,
Bimheirah, bimheirah,
Beyameinu beka'arov.
Ehl benei, Ehl benei
Benei veit-cha beka'arov!

Hallel

CHAD GADYA 

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

Vih-ah-tah shun-ra, 
vi-ah-hal li-gad-yah
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Vih-ah-tah chal-bah, 
vi-nah-shah leshunra
di-ah-hal legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Vi-ah-tah chu-trah
vi-hee-kah li-chalba,
di-nah-shah leshunra
di-ah-chah legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Vih-ah-tah nura,
vi-sah-raf lechutra,
dehikah lechalba,
di-nah-shah leshunra
di-ah-chah legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Vih-ah-tah maya,
Vi-kih-vah lenura,
desaraf lechutra,
dehikah lechalba,
denasha leshunra
di-ah-chah legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Vi-ah-tah tora,
Vi-shah-tah lemaya,
dekavah lenura,
desaraf lechutra,
dehikah lechalba,
de-na-sha leshunra
di-ah-chah legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.

Vah-ah-tah ha-sho-chet,
veh-sh- chat letora,
deshatah lemaya,
dekavah lenura,
desaraf lechutra,
dehikah lechalba,
denashach leshunra
di-ah-chah legadya
dizabin aba bitrei zuzei,
chad gadya, chad gadya.
 

Nirtzah

As our seder comes to an end, we fill the fourth cup of wine.  This year more than ever we see that this is not the end of a journey, but only a beginning.  Rabbi Tarfon teaches us: "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. "

Group: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha'olam borei p'ri hagafen.  (drink the fourth cup)

Song:

L'shanah ha-ba-ah

L'shanah ha-ba-ah

L'shanah ha-ba-ah

beyirushalayem

Our seder is now completed. For all of us, for all people, we say in hope:

Group: Next year may we all be free! Next year, may we all be healthy and at peace! Next year, in Jerusalem!