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The Table Setting: Set the table in a festive manner.  Candles should be provided for the Seder.  In front of the leader a place a special Seder plate.  On this plate arrange the following:

 Three separate pieces of matzah.  Three whole pieces of matzah should pe blaced in either a special cloth matzah cover with three sections or in a napkin folded over twice.  These three matzot represent the two traditional loves set out in the ancient Temple during the festival day and the extra matzah symbolic of Passover.

A roasted shankbone:  Burned or scorched, representing the ancient Passover sacrifice.

Marror or bitter herbs:  usually horseradish or romaine lettuce.  Symbolic of the bitterness that our forefathers experienced in Egypt, and in a contemporary sense, the lot of all who are enslaved.

Parsley or any green herbs: the growth of springtime, the green of hope and renewal.

Charoset: representing the mortar which our ancestors used in doing Pharaoh’s labor.

A roasted Egg: representing the hagigah or festival offering, a symbol of life itself, a triumph of life over death.

The Cup For Elijah: A special and fine cup filled with wine is placed prominently on the table.  In parable, the Prophet Elijah at some time during the Seder visits every Jewish home and tastes the cup set aside for him.

Symbolic foods for the participants:  Either a setting for each person or in serving plates around the table, there should be a wine glass, Charoset, prepared horseradish, salt water for dipping the parsley or green herbs, and matzah.

The Empty Chair: It is customary to leave an extra chair at the table denoting those of our people who live in lands where they cannot celebrate the Passover as free men.  The are remembered in the Jewish household on this night.



Now in the presence of loved ones and friends,

Before us the emblems of festive rejoicing,

We gather for our sacred celebration.

With the household of Israel, our elders and young ones,

Linking and bonding the past with the future,

We heed once again the divine call

To service.

Living our story that is told for all peoples,

Whose shining conclusion is yet to unfold,

We gather to observe the Passover,

As it is written


You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of Egypt.  You shall observe this day throughout the generations as a practice for all times.


 We assemble in fulfillment of the mizvah


Remember the day on which you went forth from Egypt, from the house of bondage, and how the Lord freed you with a mighty hand



Happy are those of steadfast faith

Who still can bless the light of candles

Shining in the darkness…

Rejoice, O Earth, in those who keep the way,

For there is still song for them within you.

Candles are lit


ברוך אתה, יי, אלהינו, מלח העולם, אשר קדשנו במצותיו, וצונו להדליק נר של (שבת ושל) יום טוב

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel (Shabbat v’shel) yom tov.

Blessed are you, Adonai, our God, Sovereign of the universe, who has hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the light of (Shabbat and) the festival.



Our story tells that in diverse ways, with different words, God gave promises of freedom to our people.  With cups of wine we recall each one of them, as now, the first:


I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians.


We take up the Kiddush cup and proclaim the holiness of the Day of Deliverance!

We praise You, God, Sovereign of the universe!  You have called us for service from among the peoples, and have hallowed our lives with commandments.  In love, You have given us festivals for rejoicing, seasons of celebration, this Festival of Matzot, the time of our freedom, a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt.


ברוך אתה, יי, אלהינו, מלח העולם, בורא פרי הגפן

Baruch atah, Adonai, Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Sovereign of the universe, creator  of the fruit of the vine.



In the spring of the year, the season of rebirth and renewal, on the festival of Pesach, we read from the Song of Songs.  The poetry of nature and of love evokes, as well, the love between God and the people Israel, and their Covenant-betrothal.

Arise my beloved, my fair one,

And come away;

For lo, the winter is past.

Flowers appear on the earth,

The time of singing is here.

The song of the dove

Is heard in our land.

Let us go down to the vineyards

To see if the vines have budded.

There will I give you my love.

Group take less than a kezayit (the volume of one olive) of the karpas (parsley), dip it into salt-water, and recite the following blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

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

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.



Now I break the middle matzah and conceal one half as the afikoman.  Later we will share it, as in days of old the Passover offering itself was shared at this service in Jerusalem.  Among people everywhere, sharing of bread forms a bond of fellowship.  For the sake of our redemption, we say together the ancient words which join us with our own people and with all who are in need, with the wrongly imprisoned and the beggar in the street.  For our redemption is bound up with the deliverance from the bondage of people everywhere.


This is the bread of affliction,

The poor bread,

Which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.

Let all who are hungry come and eat.

Let all who are in want

Share the hope of Passover.

As we celebrate here,

We join with our people everywhere.

This year we celebrate here.

Next year in the land of Israel.

Now we are still bondmen.

Next year may all be free.

Maggid - Beginning

Leader raise the tray with the matzot and say:

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

Ha lachma anya dee achalu avhatana b'ara d'meetzrayeem. Kol deechfeen yeitei v'yeichol, kol deetzreech yeitei v'yeefsach. Hashata hacha, l'shanah haba-ah b'ara d'yisra-el. Hashata avdei, l'shanah haba-ah b'nei choreen.

This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need, come and share the Pesach meal. This year, we are here. Next year, in the land of Israel. This year, we are slaves. Next year, we will be free.

Refill the wine cups, but don’t drink yet.

-- Four Questions


The formal telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with lots of questions and answers. Asking questions is a core tradition in Jewish life. The rabbis who created the set format for the seder gave us this question with Four Answers to help break the ice in case no one had their own questions.

Youngest member of group:

Why is this night different from all other nights?


1. On all other nights we eat both leavened bread and matzah.
    Tonight we only eat matzah.

2. On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables,
    but tonight we eat bitter herbs.

3. On all other nights we aren’t expected to dip our vegetables one time.
    Tonight we do it twice.

4. On all other nights we eat either sitting normally or reclining.
    Tonight we recline.

-- Four Children

Leader and group take turns reading:

The Torah speaks of four types of children: one is wise, one is wicked, one is simple, and one does not know how to ask.

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

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

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

As for the One Who Does Not Know How To Ask, you should open the discussion for him, as it is written: “And you shall explain to your child on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did.’

-- Exodus Story


Go and learn what Laban the Aramean attempted to do to our father Jacob!  For Pharaoh decreed only against the males, Laban attempted to uproot everything, as it is said (Deuteronomy 26:5):


An Aaramean attempted to destroy my father.  Then he descended to Egypt and sojourned there, with few people; and there he became a nation-great, mighty, and numerous.

Then he descended to Egypt


Compelled by Divine decree


He sojourned there


This teaches that our father Jacob did not descend to Egypt to settle, but only to sojourn there temporarily


With few people


As it is written in Deuteronomy 10:22 “With seventy persons, your forefathers descended to Egypt, now Adonai, your God, has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.”


There he became a nation


This teaches that the Israelites were distinctive there.


Great, mighty, and numerous


As it says in Exodus 1:7, “And the children of Israel were fruitful, increased greatly, multiplied, and became very, very mighty; and the land was filled with them.”


The Egyptians did evil to us and afflicted us; and imposed hard labor upon us

The Egyptians did evil to us


As it says in Exodus 1:10, “Let us deal with them wisely lest they multiply and, if we happen to be at war, they may join our enemies and fight against us and then leave the country.”


And afflicted us


As it says in Exodus 1:11, “They set taskmasters over them in order to oppress them with their burdens; and they built Pithom and Raamses as treasure cities for Pharaoh.”


They imposed hard labor upon us


As it says in Exodus 1:13, “The Egyptians subjugated the children of Israel with hard labor


We cried out to Adonai, the God of our fathers; and Adonai heard our cry and saw our affliction,  our burden, and our oppression.

We cried out to Adonai, the God of our fathers


As it says in Exodus 2:23, “It happened in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel groaned because of the servitude and cried; their cry because of the servitude rose up to god.”


Adonai heard our cry


As it says in Exodus 2:24, “God heard their groaning, and God recalled His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and with Jacob.”


And saw our affliction


That is the disruption of family life, as it says in Exodus 2:25, “God saw the children of Israel and God took note.”


Our burden


Refers to the children as it says in Exodus 1:22, “Every son that is born you shall cast into the river, but every daughter you shall let live.”


Our oppression


 Refers to the pressure expressed in the words of Exodus 3:9, “I have also seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them


Adonai brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great awe, with sights and wonders

Adonai brought us out of Egypt


Not through an angel, not through a seraph, not through a messenger, but the Holy One, Blessed is He, in His glory, Himself, as it says in Exodus 12:12, “I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night; I will slay all the firstborn in the land of Egypt from man to beast; and upon all the gods of Egypt will I execute judgments; I, Adonai.


With a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm


Refers to the pestilence, as it says in Exodus 9:3, “Behold, the hand of Adonai shall strike your cattle which are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks – a very severe pestilence.”


With great awe, with signs, with wonders


Refers to the miracles performed with the staff as it says in Exodus 4:17, “Take this staff in your hand, that you may perform the miraculous signs with it.”

-- Ten Plagues


These are the Plagues that the Holy One, Blessed be He, brought upon Egypt.  As each plague is mentioned a small amount of wine is removed from the cup as one should never revel in the suffering of others.

Blood |  Dom | דָּם

Frogs |  Tzfardeyah | צְפֵרְדֵּע

Lice |  Kinim | כִּנִים

Beasts |  Arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle Plague |  Dever | דֶּבֶר

Boils |  Sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail |  Barad | בָּרד

Locusts |  Arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness |  Choshech | חשֶׁךְ

Slaying of First Born | Makat Bechorot | מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Artscroll Mesorah Family Haggadah


Rabban Gamliel used to say: Whoever has not explained the following three things on Passover has not fulfilled his duty, namely: Pesach - The Passover Offering; Matzah - The Unleavened Bread; Maror - The Bitter Herbs.


Pesach - Why did our fathers eat a Passover offering during the period when the Temple still stood?


Because the Holy One, Blessed is He, passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt, as it is written in Exodus 12:27, "You shall say" 'It is a Passover offering for Adonai, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and spared our houses; and the people bowed down and prostrated themselves'

The middle matzah is lifted and displayed while the following paragraph is recited.


Matzah - Why do we eat this unleavened bread?


Because the dough of our fathers did not have time to become leavened before Adonai revealed Himself to them and redeemed them, as it is written in Exodus 12:39, "They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into unleavened bread, for it had not fermented, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for the way.

The maror is lifted and displayed while the following paragraph is recited.


Maror - Why do we eat this bitter herb?


Because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our fathers in Egypt, as it says in Exodus 1:14, "They embittered their lives with hard labor, with mortar and brick, and with all matter of labor in the field: whatever service they made them perform was with hard labor.

In every generation it is one's duty to regard himself as though he personally had gone out from Egypt as it is written in Exodus 13:8, "You shall tell your son on that day: 'It was because of this that Adonai did for "me" when I went out of Egypt.'"

It was not only our fathers whom Adonai redeemed from slavery; we, too, were redeemed with them as it is written in Deuteronomy 6:23, "He brought 'us' out from there so that He might take us to a land which He had promised to our fathers"

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Traditional


Leader raises all the matzos on the Seder plate and recites the following blessing:


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.

The bottom matzah is put down and the following blessing is recited while the top (whole) matzah, and the middle (broken) piece are still raised:


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.

Source : Rabbi Benjamin Adler


Rabbi Benjamin Adler teaches us about Maror:

What is a Bitter Herb?  When most of us think of bitter herbs, that  maror, we think of  khreyn  (Yiddish for horseradish). But when you think about it, horseradish is not really bitter. It is pungent or 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 the time of the Mishnah, it was probably far more bitter.”

Maror (romain lettuce stalk) is dipped in Charoset, shaken off and eaten at the end of the blessing


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מָרוֹר.

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al achilat maror.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to eat the bitter herb.


The bottom (thus far unbroken) matzah is now taken.  From it, with addition of other matzos, each participant makes a sandwich with charoset, maror (lettuce and horseradish), karpas (parsley), and matzah.


Preserving a bond with the observance of our ancestors, we follow a practice of Hillil , from the time when the Temple stood.  He combined the matzah and maror and ate them together so that he might observe the precept handed down to him, exactly as his father before him. As it says in Numbers 9:11, “They shall eat it with matzos and bitter herbs.


Together they shall be: the matzah of freedom, the maror of slavery. For in the time of freedom, there is knowledge of servitude. And in the time of bondage, the hope of redemption.


The Z’roa (Roasted bone) and Beitzah (Roasted egg): On the eve of Passover in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, two sacrificed were offered and their meat roasted and eaten at the Seder feast.  To commemorate these two sacrifives we place a roasted bone, and a roasted egg on the Seder plate.  The egg, a symbol of mourning is used in place of a second piece of meat as a reminder of our mourning at the destruction of the Temple.

The sandwich and egg are eaten.

Shulchan Oreich


Shulchan Oreich


Dinner is served! Enjoy! 

Shulchan Oreich
Source : Hulu
Prince of Egypt

Movie Time!



After the meal, take the Afikoman and divide it among all the guests at the Seder table.

It is forbidden to drink or eat anything (except the remaining two ritual cups of wine) after eating  the Afikoman.


The third cup of wine is now poured, including the cup for Elijah, and Bircas HaMazon (Grace after meals) is recited.


A Song of Ascent:

When the Lord restores the exiled of Zion

We shall be as those who dream

Our mouths will be full of laughter then,

Our tongues with song.

Then will they say among the nations:

“The Lord has done great things for them.”

The Lord has done great things for us,

And so we rejoice.

Restore us once again, O God,

Like sudden floodstreams in the desert.

Then those who sow in tears,

Will reap in joy.

Though he go weeping,

As he carries the seed,

He will return bearing the sheaves,

With song and with laughter.


Friends, Let us say Grace.


The name of the Eternal be blessed from now unto eternity.


Let us praise God of Whose bounty we have partaken.


Let us praise Him of Whose bounty we have partaken and by Whose goodness we live.

Through His kindness, mercy, and compassion,

All existence is eternally sustained.

He is forever faithful.

His surpassing goodness fills all time and space.

Sustenance is there for all.

None need ever lack,

No being ever want for food.

We praise our God, the One, sustaining all.

And build Jerusalem, O God, speedily in our days.  We praise our God Whose compassion ever builds Jerusalem.


On this Festival of Matzot, inspire us to goodness.


On this Day of Liberation, make us a blessing.


On this Festival of Pesah, preserve us in life.


All Merciful, rule over us forever.


Sustain us with honorable work.


May He who blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Bless this house, this table, and all assembled here;

And so may all our loved ones share our blessing.


May he Who brings harmony

Into the spheres on high

Bring peace to earth

For all mankind.


The Lord will give strength unto

His people.

The Lord will bless His people

With peace.


The door is opened for Elijah.


May Adonai, blessed is He, send us abundant blessing to this house and upon this table at which we have eaten.  May He send us Elijah, the Prophet – may he be remembered for good – to proclaim to us good tidings, salvation, and consolations!

Together we take the cup of wine, now recalling the third divine promise:


As it is written: “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm”

ברוך אתה, יי, אלהינו, מלח העולם, בורא פרי הגפן

Baruch atah, Adonai, Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Sovereign of the universe, creator  of the fruit of the vine.

The door is closed.  The fourth cup of wine is poured.



Hallelujah.  We praise.  Our song is one with the chants of the Levites in the days of the Temple’s glory.  On this very festival, they sang their psalms of praise, the Hallel.

Our song is one with all the hymns of flesh and blood which sing the triumph of men together over the powers of destruction.


And will be one with the praise songs of all peoples:

Praise, for the earth restored to its goodness;

Praise for men restored to themselves;

Praise for life fulfilled in sacred celebration:

Praise God, all ye nations!

Sing praises unto Him, all ye peoples,

For the faithfulness of the Lord has been mighty with us,

And the truth of the Lord is forever.



I lift up the cup of deliverance

And call upon the name of the Lord.


We will praise the Lord forever.


Out of the depths, I call upon the Lord!

He answered me with deliverance.


We will not die but live.


 The dead praise not the Lord,

Nor any that go down into silence.


But we will praise the Lord forever.


I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living


We will not die, but live


God is my strength and my song,

And He has become my triumph.


And will praise the Lord Forever.


The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.


We will not die, but live,

Live to declare the works of the Lord

And we will praise the Lord forever.



As our Seder draws to an end, we take up our cups of wine.  The Redemption is not yet complete.  The fourth cup recalls us to our covenant with the Eternal One, to the tasks that still await us as a people called to the service of God, to a great purpose for which the people of Israel lives: The preservation and affirmation of hope.


As it is written: “And I will take you to be my people.”

ברוך אתה, יי, אלהינו, מלח העולם, בורא פרי הגפן

Baruch atah, Adonai, Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Sovereign of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.

Drink the fourth cup of wine


The Seder service now concludes:

Its rites observed in full,

Its purposes revealed.


This privilege we share will ever be renewed.

Until God’s plan is known in full,

His highest blessing sealed:




Peace for us! Peace for everyone!


לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשַָׁלָיִם

L'shana Haba'ah b'Y’rushalayim

Next Year in Jerusalem!