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Why is this night different from all other nights?

Tonight we are gathered together as a community to learn and observe the jewish holiday of Passover. Passover (in Hebrew, Pesach) commemorates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The holiday originated in the Torah, where the word pesach refers to the ancient Passover sacrifice (known as the Paschal Lamb); it is also said to refer to the idea that God “passed over” (pasach) the houses of the Jews during the 10th plague on the Egyptians, the slaying of the first born. The holiday is ultimately a celebration of freedom, and the story of the exodus from Egypt is a powerful metaphor that is appreciated not only by Jews, but by people of other faiths as well.

What is a seder?

It is the passover meal in which the story is told in a set order.

What else should I know about passover?

During the entire duration of the holiday (8 days), it is forbidden to eat leavened food products (such as bread, pasta, etc.). The reason for this is that Jewish tradition states that in their haste to escape from Egypt the Jews did not have enough time to wait for bread to rise. Instead, they ate matzah, unleavened bread. 

The Chocolate Seder Plate

Before us tonight at our Chocolate Seder sits the festive Chocolate Seder Plate. Upon it are six symbols that capture the essence of the story of passover-in a melt -in-your-mouth sort of way.

  • Z'roa- Lollipop Representing the sacrificial lamb of Passover. The blood of the lamb was placed on the doorposts of the Jewish homes, so that God would "Pass over" those homes, sparing the children of the Jews from the tenth plague- the killing of the first born
  • Beytzah- Macaroons The roundness of the macaroon represents the continuous cycle of nature's seasons
  • Maror- Bitter Chocolate This bitter chocolate represents the bitterness of our ancestors' enslavement in Egypt. It helps us remember that although our ancestors were delivered from Egypt, we are all still enslaved in our own personal Egypt.
  • Karpas- Strawberries Symbolizes new growth and rebirth of the world
  • Charoset- Marshmallow Mixture A representation of the mortar that our ancestors used as slaves in Egypt.

We are about to drink the first of our four cups of chocolate milk.

Why do we drink 4 cups of chocolate milk?

God said to the nation of Israel using four different expressions that they would be taken out of slavery in Egypt. We therefore drink a cup of chocolate milk, on this night that we commemorate our redemption, for each expression of redemption that God uttered.

Now let us thank the cows that gave us their milk, and the trees that gave us their cocoa. Together raise your first cup of chocolate milk and say: "Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine and creator of the chocolate milk." 

"Baruch atah adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p'ree ha-gafen u'vorei ha-chalav ha shokalad.

(Drink the first cup of chocolate milk)

"Blessed are you, Adonai our God, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this chocolate day.

" Baruch atah adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehecheyanu, v'kiyemanu, v'higiyanu lazman hazeh."


Karpas, honoring the earth, which provides us with sustenance, nourishment and chocolate.

(Dip strawberries in chocolate and say together.)

"Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-adamah. "

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruits of the earth. 

(You may now eat the strawberry)


Before us we have three chocolate matzot. We now break the middle matzah and conceal the bigger half, this is called the Afikoman (dessert). 

During the seder the Afikoman is hidden, at the end of the seder all the children look for the Afikomen, the child that finds the Afikoman at the end of the night gets a prize!

Matzah is the bread of affliction that our forefathers ate in the land of Egypt. Say Together:

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 those who are needy let them come and celebrate Passover. Now we are here, next year may we be in Israel. Now we are slaves, next year may we all be free.


-- Four Questions
Source : Traditional

Maggid – Four Questions


מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת?

Mah nish-ta-na ha-lai-lah ha-zeh mikol ha-lei-lot?

Why is this night of Passover different from all other nights of the year?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה - כּוּלוֹ מַצָּה.

She-b'chol ha-lei-lot anu och'lin cha-meitz u-matzah. Ha-laylah hazeh kulo matzah.

On all other nights, we eat either leavened or unleavened bread, why on this night do we eat only matzah?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר.

Sheb'chol ha-lei-lot anu och'lin sh'ar y'rakot. Ha-lai-lah h-azeh maror.

On all other nights, we eat vegetables of all kinds, why on this night must we eat bitter herbs?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אֶנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים.

Sheb'chol ha-lei-lot ein anu mat-beelin afee-lu pa-am echat.Ha-lai-lah hazeh sh'tei p'ameem.

On all other nights, we do not dip vegetables even once, why on this night do we dip greens into salt water and bitter herbs into sweet haroset?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָנו מְסֻבִּין

Sheb’khol ha-lei-lot anu och-leem bein yo-shveen u-vein m’su-been, ha-lailah hazeh kulanu m’subeen.

On all other nights, everyone sits up straight at the table, why on this night do we recline and eat at leisure?

-- Exodus Story
-- Exodus Story

Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, had made a law that every boy baby of the Hebrew race should be killed, and there was great sorrow because of it. But when Moses was born, his mother managed to hide him for three months; then she made a cradle, or little ark, and putting him into it, carried him down to a river and hid the cradle among the reeds there.

Soon after this, Pharaoh's daughter came with her maidens to the river-side, and when she saw the beautiful child, she sent one of her maidens to bring it to her.

She took the little boy to the palace and named him Moses, and he became a great man among the Egyptians; he knew, however, that he belonged to the Hebrew race, and when he saw how badly his own people were treated, he tried to help them; but at last he was obliged to leave Egypt. 

After a time, God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush, and told him that he must go and rescue his people from the cruel Egyptians. Moses thought he could not do this; but God promised to help him, and to show him what he would be able to do with that help, God turned the rod which Moses carried into a serpent.

Moses went to pharaoh and said "Let my people go". Pharaoh would not let the Jewish people go. God released the ten plagues, after each plague Pharaoh was given a chance to let the Jewish people go but he refused.

Finally after the tenth plague Pharaoh let the people go, but it wasn't long before he changed his mind. The Israelites fled Egypt so quickly that they did not have time for their bread to rise, instead they put it on their backs and the sun baked it into what is now called Matzah. 

When the Israelites had reached the Red Sea, they found that Pharaoh was pursuing them with a large army. But God commanded Moses to stretch forth his rod over the sea; he did so, and the waters parted, making a high wall upon either side, so that the children of Israel passed through and reached the other side in safety. Pharaoh and his hosts followed and were all drowned.

When the children of Israel saw that they were safe, they sang a beautiful song of praise to God, and then they went on their way again.

-- Ten Plagues
Source :
The Ten Plagues

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 to signify having a little less sweetness in our celebration. Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues:

BLOOD / dam
FROGS / tzfardeiya
LICE / kinim
BEASTS / arov
BOILS / sh’chin
HAIL / barad
LOCUSTS / arbeh
DARKNESS / choshech
DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN / makat b’chorot

Even though we are happy that the jews escaped slavery, let us once more take a drop of wine as we together recite the names of these modern plagues:


-- Cup #2 & Dayenu


One of most beloved songs in the Passover Seder is "Dayeinu". Dayeinu commemorates a long list of miraculous things God did, any one of which would have been pretty amazing just by itself. For example, “Had God only taken us out of Egypt but not punished the Egyptians – it would have been enough.” Dayeinu, translated liberally, means, “Thank you, God, for overdoing it.”

Dayeinu is a reminder to never forget all the miracles in our lives. When we stand and wait impatiently for the next one to appear, we are missing the point of life. Instead, we can actively seek a new reason to be grateful, a reason to say “Dayeinu.”

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָֽנוּ מִמִּצְרַֽיִם, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu ho-tsi, Ho-tsi-a-nu, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Da-ye-nu!
If he had brought us all out of Egypt, it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָֽנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat, Da-ye-nu!
If he had given us Shabbat it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah, Da-ye-nu!
If he had given us the Torah it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!
.. .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

You may now drink your second cup of chocolate Milk.

Baruch atah adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p'ree ha-gafen

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

According to the sages, you can sit through a Chocolate Seder for six hours, but if you do not consider the meaning of the three Passover Symbols, you have not fulfilled the purpose of the Seder.

Pesach A “roasted” Shankbone: Symbol of the Passover sacrifice eaten during the days of the Temple in Jerusalem to honor the fact that God “passed over” the houses of the Israelites in Egypt while at the same time striking down the firstborn in the Egyptian houses.

Matzah This chocolate matzah, which did not have time to rise and become bread as we generally know it, is a symbol of not being ready, but being forced to proceed regardless.

Maror This bitter chocolate maror is the symbol of the bitterness of servitude. It serves as a perpetual reminder, from generation to generation, that it is the duty of Jews, as the descendants of slaves, to do whatever can be done to lighten the load of those less fortunate and to have sympathy for all living creatures who are enslaved. 


Now it is time to eat our first piece of Matzah:

Together we say:  "Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kidishanu b'mitzotav v'tzivanu al achilat matzah"

Blessed are you, eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe, who sanctified us with mitzvot and commanded us to eat Matzah.


The great sage Hillel provided us with the tradition of constructing the Hillel sandwich, combining the bitterness of the maror with the sweetness of the charoset between the fortitude of the two pieces of matzah--the symbol of freedom. Through this ritual, we think about mortar and brick our ancestors used in the land of Egypt.

(Combine Matzah, Marshmallow Mix and bittersweet chocolate and eat them).


Drink the third cup of chocolate milk and recite:

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-gafen u’vorei chalav shokolad. 


Take Us out of Egypt
(sung to the tune of Take me out to the ball game")

Take us out of Egpyt

Free us from slavery

Bake us some matzah in a haste

Don't worry 'bout flavor--

Give no thought to taste.

Oh it's rush, rush, rush, to the Red Sea

If we don't cross it's a shame

For it's ten plagues,

Down and you're out

At the Pessah history game.


Drink the fourth cup of milk!

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-gafen u’vorei chalav shokolad.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the Fruit of the Vine 


L'Shana Ha-Ba'ah b'Yerushalayim!

Next year in Jerusalem!

Chag Sameach!

On behalf of Hillel of Salisbury University we wanted to thank those who came out tonight. We hope that you learned a little bit about our culture/ religion.