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Introduction

The seder officially begins with a physical act: lighting the candles.  In Jewish tradition, lighting candles and saying a blessing over them marks a time of transition, from the day that is ending to the one that is beginning, from ordinary time to sacred time.  Lighting the candles is an important part of our Passover celebration because their flickering light reminds us of the importance of keeping the fragile flame of freedom alive in the world.

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

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with laws and commanded us to light the festival lights.

As we light the festival candles, we acknowledge that as they brighten our Passover table, good thoughts, good words, and good deeds brighten our days.

Introduction
Tonight with the traditional candles we also light a Veladora with the Virgen De Guadalupe, who is the protector of all Mexican People and all of Latino America. Similar to a Yarzeit candle, a candle of remembrance, people all over Mexico light veladora's in their home with prayers for those in struggle, those lost, and those in need of protection. Tonight we also light a veladora for all those who still are in the bondages of modern slavery and are yet to break free and for all of us who are facing our own mitsrayim. 
Introduction
Bienvenido, shalom, welcome to Seder A La Mexicana: a journey from exilio (exile) to liberdad (freedom.) We start by setting intentions for the event with all of you here tonight. The first one is that of inclusión, Pesach is a time of inclusion.

Tonight we come together to recreate in story and espíritu (spirit) of Moses and the Israelites journey from Mitsrayim (Egypt or a "narrow bridge") to liberdad, the land of Israel. Tonight we honor our ancestors, the curanderas (healers,) rabbis (teachers,) and chingonas (bad ass warriors,) who took us from a narrow place to opportunity. The ancestors and elders who punched, swam, ran, picketed, protested, boycotted, sang, cooked and baila esta cumbia'd us to this table today. We invite them and the parts of us that carry their memories to our table tonight in a time of celebration and mourning in our collective journey for freedom. We honor that our liberty is tied together to the liberty of all peoples and we honer that because of structural racism and internalized oppression we have not reached liberdad yet.

On seder night, there are two moments where we metaphorically open our doors and invite others in. One is at the opening of the Magid portion of the seder, when we say, “All who are hungry come and eat.” There is a beautiful message here: we were all once slaves; poor and hungry, and we remember our redemption by sharing what we have with others.

The other, comes towards the end of the seder, when we have the custom of pouring a fifth cup of wine/grape juice, which we claim is for Elijah the Prophet. This is a statement of faith, a statement that says that although we are a freer people than those still in bondage in our country and world, our redemption is not yet complete until all are free, and we believe that it will come if we commit to fight for liberdad.

Everyone is welcome and everyone is necessary tonight. Why is it that we go out of our way to include all at our seder table? Perhaps it is because when we make room for others, we have the opportunity to make room for ourselves as well. In fact, the Mishnah (Pesahim 10:5) teaches us that:

בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים In every generation a person is obligated to see themselves as if they left Egypt

The seder presents us with the obligation of identifying with the generation that left Egypt and internalize that experience. And through that internalization, we come to feel the redemption as if it was our own as well to - לראות את עצמו. Further, the reliving of the story of the Exodus affords us the opportunity see one’s true self. It is only when we are able to see ourselves clearly, that we are able to be redeemed. But perhaps the only way we are able to see ourselves, is when we are truly able to see those around us and the struggles that they and their ancestors face and are facing. 

V'ahavta by Aurora Levins Morales

Say these words when you lie down and when you rise up, when you go out and when you return. In times of mourning and in times of joy. Inscribe them on your doorposts, embroider them on your garments, tattoo them on your shoulders, teach them to your children, your neighbors, your enemies, recite them in your sleep, here in the cruel shadow of empire: Another world is possible. Thus spoke the prophet Roque Dalton: All together they have more death than we, but all together, we have more life than they. There is more bloody death in their hands than we could ever wield, unless we lay down our souls to become them, and then we will lose everything. So instead, imagine winning. This is your sacred task. This is your power. Imagine every detail of winning, the exact smell of the summer streets in which no one has been shot, the muscles you have never unclenched from worry, gone soft as newborn skin, the sparkling taste of food when we know that no one on earth is hungry, that the beggars are fed, that the old man under the bridge and the woman wrapping herself in thin sheets in the back seat of a car, and the children who suck on stones, nest under a flock of roofs that keep multiplying their shelter. Lean with all your being towards that day when the poor of the world shake down a rain of good fortune out of the heavy clouds, and justice rolls down like waters. Defend the world in which we win as if it were your child. It is your child. Defend it as if it were your lover. It is your lover. When you inhale and when you exhale breathe the possibility of another world into the 37.2 trillion cells of your body until it shines with hope. Then imagine more. Imagine rape is unimaginable. Imagine war is a scarcely credible rumor That the crimes of our age, the grotesque inhumanities of greed, the sheer and astounding shamelessness of it, the vast fortunes made by stealing lives, the horrible normalcy it came to have, is unimaginable to our heirs, the generations of the free. Don’t waver. Don’t let despair sink its sharp teeth Into the throat with which you sing. Escalate your dreams. Make them burn so fiercely that you can follow them down any dark alleyway of history and not lose your way. Make them burn clear as a starry drinking gourd Over the grim fog of exhaustion, and keep walking. Hold hands. Share water. Keep imagining. So that we, and the children of our children’s children may live

Printed with permission from http://www.auroralevinsmorales.com/main-blog/vahavta

Introduction

The Seder Plate

We place a Seder Plate at our table as a reminder to discuss certain aspects of the Passover story. Each item has its own significance.

Maror – The bitter herb. This symbolizes the harshness of lives of the Jews in Egypt.

Charoset – A delicious mix of sweet wine, apples, cinnamon and nuts that resembles the mortar used as bricks of the many buildings the Jewish slaves built in Egypt

Karpas – A green vegetable, usually parsley, is a reminder of the green sprouting up all around us during spring and is used to dip into the saltwater

Zeroah – A roasted lamb or shank bone symbolizing the sacrifice made at the great temple on Passover (The Paschal Lamb)

Beitzah – The egg symbolizes a different holiday offering that was brought to the temple. Since eggs are the first item offered to a mourner after a funeral, some say it also evokes a sense of mourning for the destruction of the temple.

Orange - The orange on the seder plate has come to symbolize full inclusion in modern day Judaism: not only for women, but also for people with disabilities, intermarried couples, and the LGBT Community.

Matzah

Matzah is the unleavened bread we eat to remember that when the jews fled Egypt, they didn’t even have time to let the dough rise on their bread. We commemorate this by removing all bread and bread products from our home during Passover.

Elijah’s Cup

The fifth ceremonial cup of wine poured during the Seder. It is left untouched in honor of Elijah, who, according to tradition, will arrive one day as an unknown guest to herald the advent of the Messiah. During the Seder dinner, biblical verses are read while the door is briefly opened to welcome Elijah. In this way the Seder dinner not only commemorates the historical redemption from Egyptian bondage of the Jewish people but also calls to mind their future redemption when Elijah and the Messiah shall appear.

Miriam’s Cup

Another relatively new Passover tradition is that of Miriam’s cup. The cup is filled with water and placed next to Elijah’s cup. Miriam was the sister of Moses and a prophetess in her own right. After the exodus when the Israelites are wandering through the desert, just as Hashem gave them Manna to eat, legend says that a well of water followed Miriam and it was called ‘Miriam’s Well’. The tradition of Miriam’s cup is meant to honor Miriam’s role in the story of the Jewish people and the spirit of all women, who nurture their families just as Miriam helped sustain the Israelites.

Introduction

In our Jewish Mexican family, we honor more than just the struggle of our ancestors journey from mitsrayim to liberdad but also the gifts they gave us and the tools to survive any conditions and to always make it delicious.

We have a Chile on our seder plate to honor the abuelas, the bisabuelas, the chignonas, the curandras, and other femme Moshes, Miriams, Tziporahs and Aarons in our lives who taught us who we are, how to be, integridad (integrity) and did it all while raising families, working for opportunity, embodying hod (humility,) crying, embracing, celebrating, kicking ass and declaring "Huelga!" in the face of oppression.

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

All Jewish celebrations, from holidays to weddings, include wine as a symbol of our joy – not to mention a practical way to increase that joy. The seder starts with wine and then gives us three more opportunities to refill our cup and drink.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
 שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam,
she-hechiyanu v’key’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

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

Drink the first glass of wine!

Urchatz

Water is refreshing, cleansing, and clear, so it’s easy to understand why so many cultures and religions use water for symbolic purification. We will wash our hands twice during our seder: now, with no blessing, to get us ready for the rituals to come; and then again later, we’ll wash again with a blessing, preparing us for the meal, which Judaism thinks of as a ritual in itself. (The Jewish obsession with food is older than you thought!)

To wash your hands, you don’t need soap, but you do need a cup to pour water over your hands. Pour water on each of your hands three times, alternating between your hands with the pitcher on the table or our sink in the kitchen. If you like, you can turn to the person next to you and make a symbolic gesture with your hands to symbolize washing. 

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

Passover, like many of our holidays, combines the celebration of an event from our Jewish memory with a recognition of the cycles of nature. As we remember the liberation from Egypt, we also recognize the stirrings of spring and rebirth happening in the world around us. The symbols on our table bring together elements of both kinds of celebration.

We now take a vegetable, representing our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold winter. Most families use a green vegetable, such as parsley or celery, but some families from Eastern Europe have a tradition of using a boiled potato since greens were hard to come by at Passover time. Whatever symbol of spring and sustenance we’re using, we now dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. Before we eat it, we recite a short blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruits of the earth.

We look forward to spring and the reawakening of flowers and greenery. They haven’t been lost, just buried beneath the snow, getting ready for reappearance just when we most needed them.

-

We all have aspects of ourselves that sometimes get buried under the stresses of our busy lives. What has this winter taught us? What elements of our own lives do we hope to revive this spring?

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

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

We eat matzah in memory of the quick flight of our ancestors from Egypt. As slaves, they had faced many false starts before finally being let go. So when the word of their freedom came, they took whatever dough they had and ran with it before it had the chance to rise, leaving it looking something like matzah.

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

This is the bread of poverty which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy, come and celebrate Passover with us. This year we are here; next year we will be in Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free.

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

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

Yachatz

While in Ashkenazi culture the hiding of the Afikomen is a fun game oft remembered by anyone who was a child at the seder, tonight we also honor Jews of all color, background, culture and identity. We also don't have any children. So in honor of our Sephardic brothers and sisters we will have the person who is the youngest carry the afikomen in a bag and circle the table once. The point is to imagine being a slave exiting Mitsrayim with nothing but the bread of affliction, that did not even have time to rise, on our back. 

Maggid - Beginning

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone, do not drink it. 

ּעֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ הָיִינו. עַתָּה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין

Avadim hayinu hayinu. Ata b’nei chorin.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. Now we are free.

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone.

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

This too is in alignment with our celebration tonight of la cultura Mexicano y Latino Americano as many Mexican and latin American revolutionaries did not stand in isolation but instead worked as communities towards collective change and represented these stories in elaborate and beautiful collective ways. Examples include the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida who fought against slavery and for better working conditions for indigenous workers, the United Farm Workers Strike led by Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez and many others, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Chiapas, and the local latinx led Northwest Detention Center Resistance in Tacoma.

-- Four Questions
Source : JewishBoston.com

The formal telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with lots of questions and answers. The tradition that the youngest person asks the questions reflects the centrality of involving everyone in the seder. The rabbis who created the set format for the seder gave us the Four Questions to help break the ice in case no one had their own questions. Asking questions is a core tradition in Jewish life. If everyone at your seder is around the same age, perhaps the person with the least seder experience can ask them – or everyone can sing them all together.

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה  

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah. Halaila hazeh kulo matzah.

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

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot haleila hazeh maror.

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

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָֽנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּֽעַם אחָת  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעמים

Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat. Halaila hazeh shtei fi-amim.

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

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין.  :הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּֽנוּ מְסֻבין

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin. Halaila hazeh kulanu m’subin.

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

-- Four Questions

¿Qué hace diferente a esta noche de todas las [demás] noches? ¿Ma nishtaná haláila hazé micól haleilót?

1) En todas las noches no precisamos sumergir ni siquiera una vez, ¡y en esta noche lo hacemos dos veces? ...shebejól haleilót éin ánu matbilín afílu paám eját, haláila hazé shtéi peamím?

2) En todas las noches comemos jametz o matzá, ¡en esta noche solamente matzá? ...shebejól haleilót ánu ojlín jamétz umatzá, haláila hazé kuló matzá?

3) En todas las noches comemos cualquier clase de verdura, ¡esta noche maror? ...shebejól haleilót ánu ojlín sheár ieracót, haláila hazé marór?

4) En todas las noches comemos sentados erguidos o reclinados, ¡esta noche todos nos reclinamos!

-- Four Children
Source : BY JEWISH MULTIRACIAL NETWORK AND REPAIR THE WORLD

On Passover, the Haggadah speaks about four sons; one who is wise, one who is evil, one who is innocent and one who doesn’t know to ask.

Tonight, let’s speak about four people striving to engage in racial justice. They are a complicated constellation of identity and experience; they are not simply good or bad, guileless or silent. They are Jews of Color and white Jews. They are Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi; they are youth, middle-aged, and elders. They are a variety of people who are at different stages of their racial justice journey. Some of them have been on this journey for their entire lives, and for some, today is the first day. Some of them are a part of us, and others are quite unfamiliar.

What do they say? They ask questions about engaging with racial justice as people with a vested interest in Jewishness and Jewish community. How do we answer? We call them in with compassion, learning from those who came before us.

WHAT DOES A QUESTIONER SAY?

“I support equality, but the tactics and strategies used by current racial justice movements make me uncomfortable.”

Time and time again during the journey through the desert, the Israelites had to trust Moses and God’s vision of a more just future that the Israelites could not see themselves. As they wandered through the desert, eager to reach the Promised Land, they remained anxious about each step on their shared journey. They argued that there must be an easier way, a better leader, and a better God. They grumbled to Moses and Aaron in Exodus 16:3, “If only we had died by the hand of God in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the cooking pot, when we ate our fill of bread! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to starve this whole community to death.” Despite their deep misgivings, they continued onward.

As we learn in our Passover retelling, the journey toward liberation and equity can be difficult to map out. In the midst of our work, there are times when we struggle to truly identify our own promised land. We see this challenge in various movements, whether for civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, workers’ rights, and others. In our retelling of these struggles for justice, we often erase conflicts of leadership, strategy debates, or even the strong contemporaneous opposition to their successes. Only when we study these movements in depth do we appreciate that all pushes for progress and liberation endure similar struggles, indecision, and pushback.

WHAT DOES A NEWCOMER SAY?

“How do I reach out and engage with marginalized communities in an authentic and sustained way?”

We tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt year after year; it is a story not only about slavery and freedom, but also a story of transition. At its core, the Passover story is about the process of moving from oppression to liberation. It informs us that liberation is not easy or fast, but a process of engagement and relationship building.

As the Israelites wandered in the desert, they developed systems of accountability and leadership. Every person contributed what they could given their skills, passions, and capacity to create the mishkan, the Israelites’ spiritual sanctuary in the desert. As it says in Exodus 35:29, “[T]he Israelites, all the men and women whose hearts moved them to bring anything for the work that the LORD, through Moses, had commanded to be done, brought it as a freewill offering to the LORD.”

Those of us engaging or looking to engage in racial justice work can learn from that example. We need to show up, and keep showing up. We can spend time going to community meetings, trainings, marches, protests, and other actions while practicing active listening and self-education. Only by each person exploring their own privileges and oppressions, whatever they may be, can we show up fully and thoughtfully in this racial justice work.

WHAT DOES A JEW OF COLOR SAY?

“What if I have other interests? Am I obligated to make racial justice my only priority?”

The work of racial justice is not only for People of Color; it is something everyone must be engaged in. Most Jews of Color are happy to be engaged in racial justice, whether professionally, personally, or a mix of both. However, we nd too often the burden of the work falls on our shoulders. The work of racial justice cannot only fall to Jews of Color.

Instead, all Jews who are engaged in tikkun olam, repairing the world, should be engaged in the work of racial justice. Following the leadership of Jews of Color, white Jews must recognize their own personal interest in fighting to dismantle racist systems. When white Jews commit to racial justice work, it better allows Jews of Color to take time for self-care by stepping away from the work or focusing on a different issue. As Rabbi Tarfon writes in Pirke Avot 2:21, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.”

WHAT DOES AN AVOIDER SAY?

“I am so scared of being called a racist, I don’t want to engage in any conversations about race.”

Engaging in conversations about difficult and personal subjects takes time and practice. When Joseph first began having prophetic dreams as a young man, he insensitively told his brothers that despite his youth, they would eventually bow down to him. In Genesis 37:8, Joseph’s brothers respond by asking, ‘“Do you mean to rule over us?” And they hated him even more for his talk about his dreams.’ However, as he matured, his dreams became his method of survival. As Joseph learned how to share his dreams with people in power, he was able to reunite with his family and create a period of incredible prosperity in Egypt.

We will make mistakes when engaging in racial justice. It is part of the process. Engaging in racial justice conversations can be painful and uncomfortable; it is also absolutely essential. We must raise up the dignity and complexity in others that we see in ourselves and our loved ones. Empathy for people of different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and races moves us to have these difficult conversations. Compassion for ourselves allows us to keep engaging through any guilt or discomfort.

-

Download the Full PDF Here: http://rpr.world/the-four-people

-- Exodus Story
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

Our story starts in ancient times, with Abraham, the first person to have the idea that maybe all those little statues his contemporaries worshiped as gods were just statues. The idea of one God, invisible and all-powerful, inspired him to leave his family and begin a new people in Canaan, the land that would one day bear his grandson Jacob’s adopted name, Israel.

God had made a promise to Abraham that his family would become a great nation, but this promise came with a frightening vision of the troubles along the way: “Your descendants will dwell for a time in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and afflicted for four hundred years; however, I will punish the nation that enslaved them, and afterwards they shall leave with great wealth."

Raise the glass of wine and say:

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְלָֽנוּ

V’hi she-amda l’avoteinu v’lanu.

This promise has sustained our ancestors and us.

For not only one enemy has risen against us to annihilate us, but in every generation there are those who rise against us. But God saves us from those who seek to harm us.

The glass of wine is put down.

In the years our ancestors lived in Egypt, our numbers grew, and soon the family of Jacob became the People of Israel. Pharaoh and the leaders of Egypt grew alarmed by this great nation growing within their borders, so they enslaved us. We were forced to perform hard labor, perhaps even building pyramids. The Egyptians feared that even as slaves, the Israelites might grow strong and rebel. So Pharaoh decreed that Israelite baby boys should be drowned, to prevent the Israelites from overthrowing those who had enslaved them.

But God heard the cries of the Israelites. And God brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with great awe, miraculous signs and wonders. God brought us out not by angel or messenger, but through God’s own intervention. 

-- Exodus Story

Anybody who wants to tell more of the story of Exodus go for it. Highlights, miracles, important points, whatever you want to add to the collage of voices at our table. Viva la liberdad!

-- Ten Plagues
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we rejoice at our deliverance from slavery, we acknowledge that our freedom was hard-earned. We regret that our freedom came at the cost of the Egyptians’ suffering, for we are all human beings made in the image of God. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them.

Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues which God brought down on the Egyptians:

Blood | dam | דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |  צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim | כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever | דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail | barad | בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech | חֹֽשֶׁךְ

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

The Egyptians needed ten plagues because after each one they were able to come up with excuses and explanations rather than change their behavior. Could we be making the same mistakes? Make up your own list. What are the plagues in your life? What are the plagues in our world today? What behaviors do we need to change to fix them? 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

The plagues and our subsequent redemption from Egypt are but one example of the care God has shown for us in our history. Had God but done any one of these kindnesses, it would have been enough – dayeinu.

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָֽנוּ מִמִּצְרַֽיִם, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu hotzi- hotzianu, Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim, Dayeinu

If God had only taken us out of Egypt, that would have been enough!

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָֽנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha-Torah, Natan lanu et ha-Torah , Dayeinu

If God had only given us the Torah, that would have been enough.

 The complete lyrics to Dayeinu tell the entire story of the Exodus from Egypt as a series of miracles God performed for us. (See the Additional Readings if you want to read or sing them all.)

Dayeinu also reminds us that each of our lives is the cumulative result of many blessings, small and large. 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

The Passover Symbols

Contributed by Jewish Boston and Christie Santos

We have now told the story of Passover…but wait! We’re not quite done. There are still some symbols on our seder plate we haven’t talked about yet. Rabban Gamliel would say that whoever didn’t explain the shank bone, matzah, and marror (or bitter herbs) hasn’t done Passover justice.

Avocado Pit (Shank Bone) represents the Pesach, the special lamb sacrifice made in the days of the Temple for the Passover holiday. It is called the pesach, from the Hebrew word meaning “to pass over,” because God passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt when visiting plagues upon our oppressors. We picked an avocado pit, the seed of the fruit that the Mexican people have thrived off of for many generations and graciously shared with others to honor indigenous contributions to our passover meal, their sacrifice in the face of colonialism, and to respect that our seder is vegetarian. 

The matzah reminds us that when our ancestors were finally free to leave Egypt, there was no time to pack or prepare. Our ancestors grabbed whatever dough was made and set out on their journey, letting their dough bake into matzah as they fled.

The bitter herbs provide a visceral reminder of the bitterness of slavery, the life of hard labor our ancestors experienced in Egypt.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עַצְמוֹ, כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרָֽיִם

B’chol dor vador chayav adam lirot et-atzmo, k’ilu hu yatzav mimitzrayim.

In every generation, everyone is obligated to see themselves as though they personally left Egypt.

The seder reminds us that it was not only our ancestors whom God redeemed; God redeemed us too along with them. That’s why the Torah says “God brought us out from there in order to lead us to and give us the land promised to our ancestors.”

---

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who redeemed us and our ancestors from Egypt, enabling us to reach this night and eat matzah and bitter herbs. May we continue to reach future holidays in peace and happiness.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the second glass of wine!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

 America’s Forgotten History of Illegal Deportations - The Atlantic

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the country carried out a wave of unconstitutional raids that affected as many as 1.8 million people. Is it on the verge of doing so again?

ALEX WAGNER | MAR 6, 2017 | POLITICS

It was a time of economic struggle, racial resentment and increasing xenophobia. Installed in the White House was a president who had never before held elected office. A moderately successful businessman, he promised American jobs for Americans—and made good on that promise by slashing immigration by nearly 90 percent.

He wore his hair parted down the middle, rather than elaborately piled on top, and his name was Herbert Hoover, not Donald Trump. But in the late 1920s and early 1930s, under the president’s watch, a wave of illegal and unconstitutional raids and deportations would alter the lives of as many as 1.8 million men, women and children— a threat that would seem to loom just as large in 2017 as it did back in 1929.

What became colloquially known as the “Mexican repatriation” efforts of 1929 to 1936 are a shameful and profoundly illustrative chapter in American history, yet they remain largely unknown—despite their broad and devastating impact. So much so that today, a different president is edging towards similar solutions, with none of the hesitation or concern that basic consciousness would seem to require.

Indeed, in the last several weeks, President Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security to greatly increase not only the scope of potential deportees, but the speed at which they are being sent out of the country—a bid at “stabilization” borne of many of the same nationalist anxieties that plagued his predecessor nearly a century ago.

In his address to a joint session of Congress last week, the president painted a dark portrait of America’s immigrant population: “As we speak tonight,” he intoned, “we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our very innocent citizens.” It was the same foreboding message that Trump has espoused since he announced his candidacy, and yet there remains very little evidence to support it.

Several weeks ago, Trump’s White House circulated a draft executive order aimed at “protecting U.S. jobs,” one that would shut America’s doors to immigrants most likely to require public assistance (including reduced school lunches) as well as tightly control who is able to enter the American workforce. It was very nearly Hoover’s rallying cry—American jobs for Americans—heard once again.

In his speech on Tuesday, the president repeated this plan:

Protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration. The current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers and puts great pressure on taxpayers. Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others, have a merit-based immigration system. It’s a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet in America we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon.

Back in Hoover’s era, as America hung on the precipice of economic calamity—the Great Depression—the president was under enormous pressure to offer a solution for increasing unemployment, and to devise an emergency plan for the strained social safety net. Though he understood the pressing need to aid a crashing economy, Hoover resisted federal intervention, instead preferring a patchwork of piecemeal solutions, including the targeting of outsiders.

According to former California State Senator Joseph Dunn, who in 2004 began an investigation into the Hoover- era deportations, “the Republicans decided the way they were going to create jobs was by getting rid of anyone with a Mexican-sounding name.”

“Getting rid of” America’s Mexican population was a random, brutal effort. “For participating cities and counties, they would go through public employee rolls and look for Mexican-sounding names and then go and arrest and deport those people,” said Dunn. “And then there was a job opening!”

“We weren’t rounding up people who were Canadian,” he added. “It was an absolutely racially-motivated program to create jobs by getting rid of people.”

Why, specifically, men and women of Mexican heritage? Professor Francisco Balderrama, whose book, A Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s is the most definitive chronicle of the period (and, not coincidentally, one of the only ones), explained: “Mexican immigration was very recent. It goes back to that saying: Last hired, first fired. The attitude of many industrialists and agriculturalists was reflected in larger cities: A Mexican is a Mexican.” And that included even those citizens of Mexicans descent who were born in the U.S. “That is sort of key in understanding the psychic of the nation,” said Balderrama.

The so-called repatriation effort was, in large part, a misnomer, given the fact that as many as sixty percent of those sent to “home” Mexico were U.S. citizens: American-born children of Mexican-descent who had never before traveled south of the border. (Dunn noted, “I don’t know how you can repatriate someone to a country they’ve not been born or raised in.”)

“Individuals who left at 5, 6 and 7 years old found themselves in Mexico dealing with process of socialization, of learning the language, but they maintained an American identity,” said Balderrama. “And still had the dream to come back to ‘my country.’”

The raids, as detailed in Balderrama’s chronicle, were vicious. With national concerns over the supposed burden that outsiders were putting on social welfare agencies, authorities targeted those Mexicans utilizing public resources. “In Los Angeles,” explained Balderrama, “they had orderlies who gathered people [in the hospitals] and put them in stretchers on trucks and left them at the border.”

The efforts were equally chaotic. “The first raid in Los Angeles was in 1931—they surrounded La Placita Park near downtown L.A.,” Dunn recalled. “It was a heavily Latino area. They, literally, on a Sunday afternoon, rounded everyone up in park that day, took them to train station and put them on a train that they had leased. These people were taken to Central Mexico to minimize their chances of crossing the border and coming back to the U.S.”

Dunn continued, “It was not like there was a master committee mapping out blocks. It was more fly-by-the-seat- of-the-pants. As in, Here’s a park where Mexicans go, okay let’s go there.”

“We are who we are because of what people did in that moment.”

Mexicans in the United States—and Americans of Mexican descent—had little understanding of what was happening, and what their rights were. Elena Herrada, one of the founders of the oral history project, “Los Repatriados: Exiles from the Promised Land,” is the grandchild of Mexican-Americans who were targeted in the raids. Her grandparents, she recalled, lived in a “mostly Mexican neighborhood” in Detroit, known as Court Town.

“It was the welfare officials who were doing it. A worker came to the door,” Herrada said. “My father remembered his father being asked by the worker, Where are you from?”

“My dad was really puzzled,” she said. “Because his father didn’t want to say ‘Mexico’. My father was confused because he had always been a proud Mexican.”

The family, Herrada recounted, was “de-patriated” to Mexico.

“My grandfather didn’t have work at the time, and they were forcing them to leave. There was no gun put to his to head, but [they said he] wouldn’t be eligible to receive assistance—and he would starve.”

“Many people didn’t believe they had a choice,” Herrada explained, “so they didn’t resist. My family didn’t believe they had a choice.”

Herrada’s father and uncle would spend two years in Mexico before his parents were able to bring him back to the United States—after her grandfather, a veteran of the U.S. Army, returned to the country and once again found work.

If American deportees made it back to America, according to Dunn, it was often because a friend or family member back in the States managed to obtain a copy of their birth certificate, proof of citizenship. And if they weren’t U.S. citizens, by the onset of World War II and the departure of much of the able-bodied workforce to the front, Mexican labor was back in demand: bodies were needed for low-paying agricultural work, and the xenophobia subsided under the auspices of the Bracero Program (a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, the program brought Mexican workers to the states for short-term labor).

But some never made it back to America. “We are who we are because of what people did in that moment,” said Herrada.

Each state handled the raids differently—sometimes federal agents were involved, sometimes it was social workers and local law enforcement who targeted people for removal. Hoover’s precise role in directing the deportation efforts is unclear, but, according to Professor Kevin Johnson, Dean of the UC Davis School of Law, and a specialist in public interest law and Chicano studies, “There was a lot of correspondence between the different levels of government, and there was logistical support.” This support included reimbursing states for the chartering of busses and trains to transport people to Mexico.

Deportations took place across the country: Los Angeles had the largest concentration of Mexicans and Mexican- born Americans, but communities in Detroit were also targeted in large number. “America’s most industrial city was in many ways the promise of the age in terms of economic prosperity,” according to Balderrama, and because of this, its Mexicans and citizens of Mexicans-descent were not exempt from deportation. “The archival evidence points to a full map, across the nation,” said Balderrama. There were deportations in states as far flung as Alaska, Alabama and Mississippi.

And yet, confirming the precise number of people who were deported during this era is difficult, said Balderrama. “Both governments”—Mexico and the United States—“weren’t very interested in keeping records about what happened. It was a problem and they wanted to get rid of it. That’s why the numbers are very difficult.”

Trump is unlikely to willfully deport American citizens, but he appears perilously close to replicating many of the mistakes Hoover did as it concerned the undocumented.

Dunn, however, spent nearly three years doing archival research, enlisting his state senate staff to comb through federal, state and local records in a bid to reconcile California’s tortured legacy. He feels confident in his citation of 1.8 million people deported. “That number came out of several documents we got from the federal government,” he told me.

Beyond the travesty inflicted upon hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, the Mexican deportations of the 1920s and 1930s are also shocking—and at this moment, particularly enlightening—for the illegalities visited upon non- citizens. Trump is unlikely to willfully deport American citizens, but he appears perilously close to replicating many of the mistakes Hoover did as it concerned the undocumented. And given the number of mixed-status families in the U.S.—as of 2015, 16.6 million Americans lived in residences with at least one undocumented immigrant—these deportations will affect citizens and non-citizens alike.

Johnson said that in hindsight, it is clear Hoover’s deportations were a violation of “several constitutional rights,” including the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause and the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.

“Now it’s very clear that some of those provisions apply to immigrants in the U.S. The Supreme Court has made very clear that as long as you’re in the U.S., you have a right to due process and hearing. That doesn’t mean you can’t be removed,” said Johnson. “But you have the ability to retain counsel.”

Johnson said that many immigrants—especially those who have been here for any extended amount of time, may have “deep community ties—to citizens, churches, employers.” The longer someone is in the U.S., he explained, “the more of those ties you have, and the deeper your rights are.”

He pointed out that this legal reality, “is an issue right now because the White House is making efforts to expedite and expand deportations. But it means no hearing, no judicial review; it could be ready as a summary deportation.”

Further, the expedited deportations can now occur beyond one hundred miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, and can target people who have been here for as many as two years. “Imagine what can happen in two years,” said Johnson. “All kinds of relief you might be eligible for, but you might not even have a hearing. The reason you have hearings is to try and avoid mistakes: If you don’t ... you are probably going to have some mistakes tolerated and accepted.”

Perhaps more than anything, the humanitarian cost of the Hoover-era deportations are the specter that looms largest over Trump’s immigration policy of today. Given the burden mass deportations would have placed on the federal bureaucracy, Hoover’s administration outsourced the raids, targeting and deportation to local and state officials—persons not particularly well versed in constitutional law, nor the sensitivities surrounding deportation.

Trump appears ready to do the same: while the administration has directed the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to oversee the dramatic increase in deportations, the administration has also revived the controversial 287(g) program, which recruits local law enforcement and sheriff’s deputies to assist in deportations.

“It’s frightening and terrifying,” said Johnson. “We have a recent history—one not limited to the 1930s—of law enforcement engaging in excess in the name of law enforcement.”

“I may be suspicious of ICE officials and how they apply the law,” he added, “but I do think they are trained to enforce the laws. And it’s the job of state and local police to enforce criminal laws—they don’t have the training, expertise or sensitivity to enforce accurate immigration decisions.”

And yet it’s unclear if federal agents are the ones who intend on showing any particular restraint, given the new guidelines. According to the New York Times, ICE agents have already been targeting church shelters, airports and other areas where immigrants are known to convene.

Two officials in Washington said that the shift [in policy]— and the new enthusiasm that has come with it — seems to have encouraged pro-Trump political comments and banter that struck the officials as brazen or gung-ho, like remarks about their jobs becoming “fun.” Those who take less of a hard line on unauthorized immigrants feel silenced, the officials said.

Brazen behavior by those tasked with deportations, Johnson said, “is opening the door to the kinds of excesses that happened ... across the nation during the Depression—when state and local law enforcement made mistakes and rounded up brown people as their way of general relief reduction. I understand why immigrant communities are very frightened about what could happen.”

The only thing they knew was that they were Mexicans—and this only happened to Mexicans.”

In the meantime, only a limited number of Americans seem to even be aware of the gross mistakes their country made in the name of security. While still a state senator, Dunn successfully sponsored the Apology Act, an official mea culpa from the state of California to its Mexican residents—it passed in 2006. He also led efforts to have a memorial erected in La Placita park, the site of the first raids on L.A.’s Mexican community, where it now stands in memoriam.

And yet, when Dunn took his apology proposal to members of the U.S. Congress, no one was interested. “They would say, ‘Immigration is really volatile right now. We’re gonna look like we’re only fighting for Latinos.’ We couldn’t convince anyone to pick it up.”

As for all the records and material unearthed during his research? Dunn said, “Those documents are still sitting in my garage. Nobody really wanted them.”

Those whose families were affected by the deportations—in some cases forever changed—appear no more eager to delve into the sins of the past. “They never talked about it,” said Herrada, “there was a lot of shame associated with it ... They didn’t know why they got deported. They didn’t know what they did to bring that on. The only thing they knew was that they were Mexicans—and this only happened to Mexicans.”

She added, “My grandfather still didn’t want to say he was deported. And my father, on his deathbed, said to me, You know, I never liked that word. He was really angry that I had used it.”

ALEX WAGNER is a contributing editor at The Atlantic.  

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

In tonights Mexican Jewish Seder before we transition from the formal story telling, we want to honor the stories of all of our communities locked in the fight for freedom from slavery for all people across the world. Particularly we also don't want to only focus on the ancient story of Exodus, or just the struggles of the Jewish people, but the modern day communities suffering from systemic oppression whose liberty is bound with our own. Turn to the person next to you and share a story of your family's modern day exodus or a community you know that you think represents the spirit of Pesach in the quest for liberdad.

“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”
-- Dolores Huerta

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

As we now transition from the formal telling of the Passover story to the celebratory meal, we once again wash our hands to prepare ourselves. In Judaism, a good meal together with friends and family is itself a sacred act, so we prepare for it just as we prepared for our holiday ritual, recalling the way ancient priests once prepared for service in the Temple.

Some people distinguish between washing to prepare for prayer and washing to prepare for food by changing the way they pour water on their hands. For washing before food, pour water three times on your right hand and then three times on your left hand.

After you have poured the water over your hands, recite this short blessing.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ  עַל נְטִילַת יָדָֽיִם

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al n’tilat yadayim.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to wash our hands.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : JewishBoston.com

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

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

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
Source : JewishBoston.com

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror  |מָרוֹר   

  In creating a holiday about the joy of freedom, we turn the story of our bitter history into a sweet celebration. We recognize this by dipping our bitter herbs into the sweet charoset. We don’t totally eradicate the taste of the bitter with the taste of the sweet… but doesn’t the sweet mean more when it’s layered over the bitterness?

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מרוֹר

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

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

Koreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

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

When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the biggest ritual of them all was eating the lamb offered as the pesach or Passover sacrifice. The great sage Hillel would put the meat in a sandwich made of matzah, along with some of the bitter herbs. While we do not make sacrifices any more – and, in fact, some Jews have a custom of purposely avoiding lamb during the seder so that it is not mistaken as a sacrifice – we honor this custom by eating a sandwich of the remaining matzah and bitter herbs. Some people will also include charoset in the sandwich to remind us that God’s kindness helped relieve the bitterness of slavery.

Shulchan Oreich

Eating the meal! |   shulchan oreich  | שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ 

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

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

Refill everyone’s wine glass.

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

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

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

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

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

The Third Glass of Wine

The blessing over the meal is immediately followed by another blessing over the wine:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the third glass of wine!

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

Singing songs that praise God | hallel | הַלֵּל

This is the time set aside for singing. Some of us might sing traditional prayers from the Book of Psalms. Others take this moment for favorites like Chad Gadya & Who Knows One, which you can find in the appendix. To celebrate the theme of freedom, we might sing songs from the civil rights movement. Or perhaps your crazy Uncle Frank has some parody lyrics about Passover to the tunes from a musical. We’re at least three glasses of wine into the night, so just roll with it.

Fourth Glass of Wine

As we come to the end of the seder, we drink one more glass of wine. With this final cup, we give thanks for the experience of celebrating Passover together, for the traditions that help inform our daily lives and guide our actions and aspirations.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the fourth and final glass of wine! 

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

The Cup of Elijah

We now refill our wine glasses one last time and open the front door to invite the prophet Elijah to join our seder.

In the Bible, Elijah was a fierce defender of God to a disbelieving people. At the end of his life, rather than dying, he was whisked away to heaven. Tradition holds that he will return in advance of messianic days to herald a new era of peace, so we set a place for Elijah at many joyous, hopeful Jewish occasions, such as a baby’s bris and the Passover seder.

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּיאֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ,אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד

Eliyahu hanavi
Eliyahu hatishbi
Eliyahu, Eliyahu, Eliyahu hagiladi
Bimheirah b’yameinu, yavo eileinu
Im mashiach ben-David,
Im mashiach ben-David

Elijah the prophet, the returning, the man of Gilad:
return to us speedily,
in our days with the messiah,
son of David.

Nirtzah

Nirtzah marks the conclusion of the seder. Our bellies are full, we have had several glasses of wine, we have told stories and sung songs, and now it is time for the evening to come to a close. At the end of the seder, we honor the tradition of declaring, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Though it comes at the end of the seder, this moment also marks a beginning. We are beginning the next season with a renewed awareness of the liberdad we enjoy and the obstacles we must still confront. We are looking forward to the time that we gather together again. Having retold stories of the Jewish people, recalled historic movements of liberation, and reflected on the struggles people still face for liberdad, we are ready to embark on a year that we hope will bring positive change in the world and freedom to people everywhere. Tonight we started to do that together, en communidad, by highlighting and validating Jews and families of all colors, customs, and backgrounds not often centered in collective Jewish traditions.

Gloria E. Anzaldúa wrote in Borderlands, a seminal Chicana Feminist book:

“Caminante, no hay puentes. Se hace puentes al andar.

Voyager, there are no bridges. One builds them as one walks.”

Our seder is over, according to Jewish tradition and law. As we had the pleasure to gather for a seder this year, we hope to once again have the opportunity in the years to come. We pray that God brings health and healing a todo la gente (to all the people of the world,) especially those impacted by false walls, separation from their families, unfair immigration practices, and dangerous labor conditions. As we say…

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com

Chad Gadya

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

Chad gadya, chad gadya

Dizabin abah bitrei zuzei

Chad gadya, chad gadya.

One little goat, one little goat:

Which my father brought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The cat came and ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The dog came and bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The stick came and beat the dog

That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The fire came and burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The water came and extinguished the

Fire that burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The ox came and drank the water

That extinguished the fire

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

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The butcher came and killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

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

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The angle of death came and slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

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

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The Holy One, Blessed Be He came and

Smote the angle of death who slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

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

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

Songs

They say I’m a beast.
And feast on it. When all along
I thought that’s what a woman was.

They say I’m a bitch.
Or witch. I’ve claimed
the same and never winced.

They say I’m a macha, hell on wheels,
viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone,
man-hating, devastating,
boogey-woman lesbian.
Not necessarily,
but I like the compliment.

The mob arrives with stones and sticks
to maim and lame and do me in.
All the same, when I open my mouth,
they wobble like gin.

Diamonds and pearls
tumble from my tongue.
Or toads and serpents.
Depending on the mood I’m in.

I like the itch I provoke.
The rustle of rumor
like crinoline.

I am the woman of myth and bullshit.
(True. I authored some of it.)
I built my little house of ill repute.
Brick by brick. Labored,
loved and masoned it.

I live like so.
Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow.
Rowdy. Indulgent to excess.
My sin and success–
I think of me to gluttony.

By all accounts I am
a danger to society.
I’m Pancha Villa.
I break laws,
upset the natural order,
anguish the Pope and make fathers cry.
I am beyond the jaw of law.
I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy.
My happy picture grinning from the wall.

I strike terror among the men.
I can’t be bothered what they think.
¡Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!
For this, the cross, the calvary.
In other words, I’m anarchy.

I’m an aim-well,
shoot-sharp,
sharp-tongued,
sharp-thinking,
fast-speaking,
foot-loose,
loose-tongued,
let-loose,
woman-on-the-loose
loose woman.
Beware, honey.

I’m Bitch. Beast. Macha.
¡Wáchale!
Ping! Ping! Ping!
I break things.