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Introduction
Source : https://jewishunpacked.com/how-to-say-happy-passover/
Passover greetings

Want to wish your friends and family a Happy Passover this year? Try one of these! 

Gut Yontif
(Yiddish; “Good holiday”)

Chag Sameach
(Hebrew; “Happy Holiday”)

Pesach Sameach
(Hebrew; “Happy Passover”)

Chag kasher v’sameach
(Hebrew; “Have a kosher and happy Passover”)

Kasher un Frielichen Pesach
(Yiddish; “Have a kosher and happy Passover”)

Introduction
Source : PJ Library

Jewish holidays begin at sunset with candle lighting. 

As darkness fills the evening sky, burning candles

spark brightness inside.  The candles’ warm light

stands for hope and freedom.  On the first night of

Passover, an extra blessing is added to remember

how special it is to celebrate a seder for the first

time in a year—or even for the first time ever.

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam,

asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik

ner shel (Shabbat veshel) yom tov.

Dear God, Creator of our world, thank You for giving

us rules that make our lives special and for teaching

us to light these holiday candles.

--From “In Every Generation”

A PJ Library Family Haggadah

Introduction

I breathe in and take in this light and its warmth and comfort. I breathe out and release the tension that has collected in my body and spirit. I acknowledge this transition into sacred time and the peace and rest it brings. I pray for that peace and rest to linger, past this moment, and to integrate itself into our daily lives. I am thankful for the presence of my loved ones, both those who are here physically and those who are here spiritually. May our hearts be open to recieve this light and may its warmth bring us closer. 

Introduction
Source : 9 Easy Seder Activities You Haven't Thought of Yet
9 Easy Seder Activities You Haven't Thought of Yet

9 Easy Seder Activities You Haven't Thought of Yet
 

by RABBI LEORA KAYE

Passover offers us the chance to learn in multiple ways and to think about some of the most important Jewish values. The ideas of moving from slavery to freedom, of welcoming the stranger because we were once strangers ourselves, and of thinking about how to pass on the story of our past to new generations – all are inherent in the celebration of the festival.

But how to pass on these ideas is almost as important as the messages themselves. Fortunately, our Talmudic rabbis gave us a roadmap for how to best do that.

One of the most important elements these rabbis included in the Passover seder is the asking of the Four Questions. The questions themselves are important, but we are also instructed specifically as to  who  should do the asking. The youngest person takes on the responsibility, not only to learn a sweet tune but also to remind our seder guests what freedom is all about. By encouraging our children to ask questions, we teach them – and ourselves at the same time – that the difference between being a slave and being free is rooted in the ability to ask “why.”

This is the message that should permeate our seders: connecting, conversing, and asking all kinds of questions. Here are a few ways to try this out at your own seder:

  1. Set up an hourglass timer at one end of your seder table. Don't let more than five minutes pass without someone asking a question.
  2. Have each person sign their Hagaddah. Each year, you can look back and see who has joined you in the past, offering an opportunity to recall funny stories and memories of past guests who can no longer be at your table. (If you’re not comfortable writing during the seder, ask people to sign them before the holiday festivities begin.)
  3. Make a Haggadah with your family. Assign everyone a page or section before the seder; adults and teenagers can be responsible for the text and children for the drawings. Then, collect and collate each section and make enough copies for all your participants.
  4. Bring in props. Buy them online or at your local Judaica store, or make your own with your family before the seder. Be creative, and remember: Props don't necessarily have to just be the plagues. Turn your whole house into a Jewish/Egyptian home!
  5. Personalize your seder experience. Assign everyone a section of the Haggadah to study before they arrive, and ask participants to bring readings or questions to the group – either factual or spiritual in nature – depending on which section of the Haggadah they were assigned.
  6. Think about incorporating new traditions. Plenty of new seder ideas have cropped up over the last few years, like these modern additions to the seder plate. Regardless of whether or not you decide to incorporate them, learning about them can open the door for questions and conversation.
  7. Enliven your seder experience with musical instruments. Encourage people to bring rhythm instruments such as tambourines or egg shakers. Communicate in ways other than through speech!
  8. Have more than one version of the Haggadah at your seder. While most Haggadot have the same essential elements, they may phrase sections differently, have specific themes, or include additional discussion questions. Looking at the differences can help bring out more questions. As the seder leader, encourage people to explain what strikes them about the differences.
  9. Make Passover “question cookies” for dessert. Create them by tying together two pieces of chocolate-covered matzah with a colorful ribbon. In between the matzah, include a note – a silly joke, a Jewish fact, or a wish for the coming year. Pass them out to your participants, and don't forget to have everyone read theirs aloud!

The Four Questions are a lesson for our families and children that questioning and connecting are at the heart of freedom. How will you incorporate them into your Passover observance? 

Introduction
Source : Image source: Marisa Elana James
Seder Plate and Ritual Items

Explanation of the Seder Plate and other symbolic items used during the Seder Ritual

Hard boiled eggs
Traditional and alternative uses: Eggs or another little round protein thing. Veggie burger? Bean balls? Whatever you want!
Explanation: Eggs are said to sympbolize the spring (because now is when birds start laying again in the northern hemisphere!) and their ovid/roundness represents the circles and cycles of the seasons. It's an ashkenazim tradition to have a bowl of them on the table. They don't have a spot in the seder/order, except to just snack on them whenever you want to keep you going through the order of things. Or pop one in your mouth whenever we use the salt water!

Karpas
Traditional use: parsley or a green vegetable 
Traditional explanation: representing Spring, to dip in salty water (Ashkenazi tradition) or vinegar (Sfardi tradition)
Alternative use: potato other root vegetable, wild herbs like sorrel
Alternative explanation: Some Ashkenazim use potatoes since green spring veggies weren’t available at Pesach time in Eastern Europe! If potatoes or other root vegetables are the only veggies you have access to at the moment, that’s not only valid under these circumstances, it’s built into the tradition! And it honours local growing seasons. :)

Haroset
Traditional use: sweet fruit paste (various traditional recipes)
Traditional explanation: representing mortar
Alternative use: Alternative: chopped fruits, and/or nuts, and/or wine
Alternative explanation: Basically what we're trying to achieve is something that looks kinda like a paste or lumpy oatmeal and tastes sweet. Maybe some apple sauce and a bit of wine? dried fruit and nuts chopped up or blended together?

Maror
Traditional use: bitter herbs (romaine lettuce or similar)
Traditional explanation: Representing the bitterness of slavery
Alternative use: horseradish, garlic mustard, dandelion, a food you don't like!
Alternative explanation: Horseradish also only makes sense in the context of an Ashkenazi tradition that was looking for a bitter herb that would be available in early Spring in Eastern Europe. Some even use pickled horseradish! This is interesting because Maror is not meant to be pickled in brine according to Jewish law. However, the widespread use of pickled horseradish seems to prove that we have long been adapting our religious practices for unique and diverse situations.
A fun tip: Add salad or veggie snacks to Maror because seders are long! This is a great spot to have a festive maror-themed snack of veggies or salad to make sure you aren't just chugging wine on an empty stomach.

Salt water
Traditional use: To represent our tears, then and now

Hazeret
Traditional use: second bitter herbs, usually horseradish
Alternative use: Wasabi, hot sauce, pepper on lettuce?
Explanations: used for the Hillel sandwich - matzah, horseradish, haroset.

Zeroah
Traditional use: roasted lamb shank bone
Traditional explanation: Representing the Passover lamb sacrifice
Alternative use: Roasted bone of any kind, roasted beet, a drawing of a lamb or a bone!
Alternative explanation: Vegetarians often substitute a beet because of the blood red colour!

Beitzah
Traditional use: roasted or hard boiled egg
Traditional explanation: represents the Hagigah sacrifice and the Circle of life
Alternative use: Another round food
Alternative explanation: Hagigah was a festive, edible, thanksgiving offering. I doubt that it was actually an egg? So I think it would be fairly simple to substitute another round food.

Orange
Use: LBGTQ+ inclusion, feminist addition
Explanation: maybe you will include an orange, or another fruit with seeds, or maybe you will feel called to include a crust of bread, that is also valid! Irreverance and discomfort with tradition are welcome, as well as choosing to stick more closely to the letter of the law! The cool thing about the Zoom seder is we don't have to worry about each others Kosher practice at all!

Olive
Use: peace, justice in Palestine and Israel
Explanation: The olive might be a symbol of peace or of justice (Palestinian self determination), depending on how parve (centrist/"neutral") your sources are... let me know if you can find BDS compliant Kosher for Pesach olives!

Matzah
Traditional use: Unleavened bread
Alternative use: something simple, rushed, something that isn't quite ready, something that is very unique and also very plain

4 cups of wine
Use: 1 nice or unique glass or cup wine or another nice drink for yourselves. Try lemon or cucumber water, or a tea you like, or anything that makes you feel relaxed or festive.

Miriam's cup
Use: extra glass filled with water

Elijah's cup
Use: extra glass with some juice or wine, extra chair, extra dishes if desired

Ten Plagues
Use: Wine or grape juice
Explanation: Hannah Simson's trans-centered interpretation of the ten plagues

Image source: Marisa Elana James

Introduction

Our own twist on the Seder plate:

A tangerine slice: LGBTQ+ equality 

Miriam's cup: in honor of women, and the power Miriam holds in the story of Passover 

Banana: refugees around the world 

Cashews: for our troops

Acorn: for indegenous land 

Olive: to symbolize peace in the Ukraine and Israel

sunflower: for our brother and sisters in Ukraine 

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Kadesh

There is a Sefardic Jewish (Iraqi or Afghani) custom of turning to the person beside you, asking these three questions, and offering the three brief answers. 

Who are you? (I am a Jew.)

Where are you coming from? (I am coming from Egypt.)

Where are you going? (I am going to Jerusalem.)

However, we know that this is not everyone's head-space tonight, and so we welcome everyone to ask these three questions and reply with their own answers. Your answers can be as literal or metaphorical as feels right tonight.

Kadesh
Source : Rabbi Danny Burkeman

This year, in addition to kindling the holiday lights, we light a yahrzeit candle to remember all that was lost this past year.

“A Light in the Darkness” by Rabbi Danny Burkeman. 

In the beginning, when there was just darkness, God declared, “Let there be light,” and there was light. In an instant the darkness disappeared, and that radiance spread throughout the world. God’s first act of creation was to bring light into the darkness, to illuminate the world. With this candle we follow God’s example, extinguishing the darkness and sharing the light. Over this past year we have lost so much. It has been a year in which we were forced to live apart from one another, maintaining a social distance to protect ourselves and those around us. It has been 12 months and we have missed so many moments—times of joy and sadness—when we could not gather together. For 365 days, we have woken up each morning with the threat of a pandemic hanging over our heads, fearing the news and saddened by the rising death toll.

Tonight, as we reflect on all that has been lost over this past year, we light this yahrzeit candle as a sign of our mourning and a commitment to the future. We light this candle and mourn for the moments that we missed: graduations that could not take place, vacations and summer camps we could not enjoy, lifecycle events that were unrecognizable. So many moments that were canceled, postponed or drastically different from what we had anticipated.

We light this candle and mourn for the everyday experiences that were lost: the meals we could not share, the hugs and embraces we could not give and receive, the moments of community and gathering that could not take place. We light this candle and mourn for all the lives that have been lost: the hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives to this dreadful disease, the countless front-line workers and caregivers who gave their lives so that others could live, all of those who have died in these last 12 months and for whom we could not mourn as we would have wanted.

But we also light this candle as a symbol of hope: despite the separation, we have found ways to come together; in the midst of suffering, we have cared for one another; in the shadow of death, we have found ways for life to continue. We take a moment now to name those moments and the people that we have lost, so we can remember. Share names of the people who have died and the moments that have been lost over this past year. Light the yahrzeit candle. With the candle lit, the light expels the darkness, and it joins with countless other candles being lit by our friends and family.

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Urchatz
Source : JIMENA Archives
Algerian Passover

In this image, an Algerian Jewish family celebrates a Passover seder in the city of Oran in 1930. 

Learn more about the Algerian Community here: 
Mouna Recipe
The Jewish Community of Algeria

Explore JIMENA's Sephardic and Mizrahi Passover and Mimouna Guide in more depth here: https://www.jimena.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/PassoverGuide-.pdf

Urchatz
Source : Rabbi Sandra Lawson
wade in the water https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PaZUEyWGruk/hqdefault.jpg

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Karpas
Source : Esther Kustanowitz
What Do You Use For Karpas?

Karpas, the green leafy vegetable that's meant to evoke spring, seems to mean different things in different homes: radishes (perhaps cut to resemble flowers), parsley sprigs (oh, how incredibly satisfying), carrots or celery (these appetizers are really filling)...and in some homes, this becomes a whole appetizer course, with additional salads and vegetables.

But in some homes, they use potatoes. That's right, PO-TAY-TOES. Starchy deliciousness that goes great with salt water and will tide you over through tonight's storytelling. There are even some rebels who share the sweetness of a yam or sweet potato during Karpas, and that salty sweet combination reminds us of why we're here, celebrating both the bitterness of slavery and the sweetness of freedom.

We'll say it: serving potatoes for Karpas is near-heroic. 

[Image source: GIPHY]

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Yachatz
Source : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Group_portrait_of_Passover_Seder,_Manila,_Philippines,_1925.jpg
Passover Seder in Manila, Philippines, 1925

Description: Group portrait of Passover Seder, Manila, Philippines, 1925

Creator/Photographer: Unidentified Photographer

Medium: Black and white photographic print

Date: 1925

Repository: American Jewish Historical Society

Parent Collection: National Jewish Welfare Board Records

Yachatz
Source : A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices Mishael Zion and Noam Zion

The Peach story begins in a broken

world, amidst slavery and oppression.

The sound of the breaking of the

matza sends us into that fractured

existence, only to become whole

again when we find the broken half,

the afikoman, at the end of the Seder.

This brokenness is not just a physical

or political situation.

In Hebrew, Egypt is called Mitzrayim,

reminding us of the word tzar, narrow.

Thus, in Hassidic thought, Mitzrayim

symbolizes the inner straits that trap

our souls. Yet even here we can find

a unique value, as the Hasidic saying

teaches us: "There is nothing more

whole - than a broken heart."

Or as Leonard Cohen wrote:

"There's a crack in everything /

That's where the light comes in"

Some families pass out a whole matza

to every Seder participant, inviting

them to take a moment to ponder this

entrance into a broken world, before

they each break the matza themselves.

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Maggid - Beginning
Source : Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/sunflowers-1322185/
Sunflower Seeds on My Seder Plate


This Passover, I’m placing a small dish of sunflower seeds on my seder plate to show my solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine, and have become a potent symbol of resistance to the recent Russian military invasion. They have been grown in Ukraine since the 18th Century and have been associated with Ukrainian national identity since the early 19th Century. They symbolize unity, life and well-being, and can be seen across the countryside. 

After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, sunflowers were widely grown in the area to help remove radiation contaminants from the soil. And in 1996, sunflowers were planted in celebration of Ukraine’s nuclear disarmament. 

Two of my great-grandparents were born in western Ukraine, in what was then known as the Pale of Settlement. Conjured in stories as the family patriarch, my Hebrew name (Moriah) is in memory of my great-grandfather, Max (Mordechai). He was born in 1886 in Husyatyn and emigrated to the Boston area in the early 1900s. 

In 2005, I made the journey to the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa as part of a community exchange trip for my graduate studies. At the time, I did not feel a strong connection to this area as the land of my ancestors. But the foreignness of the city was erased by the friendliness of the people we met. From orphanages to JCCs to the apartments of homebound elderly, everyone’s love of their city and their community overflowed. 

Though we did not remain in touch, I can easily imagine these people embodying the resistance to an authoritarian ruler that is at the core of the Passover story. I can picture them on the famous Potemkin Steps on the coast of the Black Sea. In their hands are sunflower seeds. 

And so, with a dish of these powerful seeds on my seder table, I will say a blessing of peace and protection for them, for my great-grandparents and for all the brave people of Ukraine. 

Rebecca Missel is the Director of Partnerships and Content at Haggadot.com 

Maggid - Beginning
Source : https://www.movingtraditions.org/never-again-this-passover-share-thoughts-on-the-war-in-ukraine/
Exodus 2022/5782: A Reading for the Seder

Exodus 2022/5782: A Reading for the Seder


By Rabbi Tamara Cohen


Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?

Because this Passover, Shifra and Puah, the midwives who defied Pharoah and saved the Israelite baby boys, are mothers and grandmothers, aunts and neighbors, saving children all over Ukraine; because this year everyone who gives a home to a refugee escaping war or totalitarianism is expanding our understanding of the way liberation happens.

Behold in all my years of studying the Exodus I have never understood why God rewarded Shifra and Puah's acts of bravery with houses, as it says, “and God established for them batim, houses” (Exodus 1:21).

Why is a house the reward for this resistance that began the Exodus from Egypt? This Passover, I understand.
What else could a brave woman working to save her children and the children of others — so many others whose names she doesn't yet know, and babies who don't even have names, want?

Not the temporary haven of an overcrowded underground subway.

Not the cold and soon to be destroyed theatre devoid of actors but not of tragedy or everyday heroes.

What else could Shifra and Puah, or a thousand Nadyas and Iryanas huddled in Polish and Ukrainian shelters distributing food and blankets want?

Just this — for God, and for each of us — to see the work of their hands and hearts, and to establish, re-establish — for them, with them, safety, security, peace.

And houses for them and their families. Homes


After this reading, invite seder participants to pledge to give tzedakah or otherwise engage in supporting refugees fleeing from Ukraine or those on the ground in Ukraine.
Maggid - Beginning
Source : Shoshannah Brombacher
Brombacher Haggadah Illustration



Cover image from the Brombacher Haggadah created by Shoshannah Brombacher 

© Shoshannah Brombacher, New York 2019 
No part of this work may be reproduced in part or whole in any form without written permission of the author ([email protected])

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Marge Piercy

The Seder's Order by Marge Piercy 


The songs we join in
are beeswax candles
burning with no smoke
a clean fire licking at the evening
 
our voices small flames quivering.
The songs string us like beads
on the hour. The ritual is
its own melody that leads us

where we have gone before
and hope to go again, the comfort
of year after year. Order:
we must touch each base

of the haggadah as we pass,
blessing, handwashing,
dipping this and that. Voices
half harmonize on the brukhahs.

Dear faces like a multitude
of moons hang over the table
and the truest brief blessing:
affection and peace that we make.

Marge Piercy, "The Seder’s Order" from The Crooked Inheritance. Copyright © 2006 by Marge Piercy.  

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-- Four Questions
Source : Translations by https://funtranslations.com/
Four Questions in Fictional Languages

Reading the Four Questions in a variety of languages has become a seder tradition for many people. And since this haggadah is all about larger than life characters, this is a great time to read the Mah Nishtanah in fictional languges. Get creative with reading these, try other fictional languages or make up your own language to read the Four Questions. (Got your own fictional language Four Questions? Why not share it here?)
 

Mandalorian (Star Wars): Tion'jor is ibic ca different teh an ashi nights? Bat an ashi nights vi epar bintar leavened shuner bal matzah. Tonight vi shi epar matzah. Bat an ashi nights vi epar an kinds be vegetables, al tonight vi epar bitter herbs. Bat an ashi nights vi aren’t expected brokar dip cuun vegetables solus ca'nara. Tonight vi vaabir bic twice. Bat an ashi nights vi epar ebin sitting normally ra reclining. Tonight vi recline.   
 

Elvish (Lord of the Rings): Whui na- hi dú different o all other nights? Bo all other nights mín medi- ui- leavened bas a matzah. Tonight mín onlui medi- matzah. Bo all other nights mín medi- all kinds -o vegetables, but tonight mín medi- saer herbs. Bo all other nights mín aren’t expected na dip mín vegetables er anand. Tonight mín ceri- ha twice. Bo all other nights mín medi- either sitting normallui ben reclining. Tonight mín recline.  
 

Dothraki (Game of Thrones): Kirekhdirgi is jinak night esina ha ei eshna nights? She ei eshna nights kisha eat akkate leavened havon ma matzah. Ajjalan kisha disse eat matzah. She ei eshna nights kisha eat ei kinds ki ilmeser, vosma ajjalan kisha eat bitter herbs. She ei eshna nights kisha aren’t expected to dip kishi ilmeser ato kashi. Ajjalan kisha hash anna twice. She ei eshna nights kisha eat che sitting normally che reclining. Ajjalan kisha recline.   
 

Klingon (Star Trek): Qatlh is this ram different from hoch other nights? On hoch other nights mah sop both leavened tir ngogh 'ej matzah. Tonight mah neh sop matzah. On hoch other nights mah sop hoch kinds of vegetables, 'ach tonight mah sop bitter herbs. On hoch other nights mah aren’t expected to dip our vegetables wa' poh. Tonight mah ruch cha'logh. On hoch other nights mah sop ghap sitting normally qoj reclining. Tonight mah qot.  

[Image Source: GIPHY]

-- Four Questions
Source : https://onetable.org/passover
4 Questions for Your Shabbat Table

On Passover there are four questions, usually asked by the youngest child. Here are four questions for your Shabbat table:

1. We eat matzah to remember that the Jews had no time to bake their bread before rushing to leave Egypt. What do you carry with you? What are you too rushed to do?

2. We eat bitter herbs to remind us of the bitter life the Jewish people experienced as slaves in Egypt. What’s a challenge you faced this year? What’s the greatest thing you learned from it?

3. We dip the parsley into salt water. The vegetables remind us of spring and new life. The salt water reminds us of the tears of the Jewish slaves. When we dip we remember the pain of the past and the hope of a new future simultaneously. How do you remember the past? What are you doing to change the future?

4. On all nights we eat sitting upright or reclining, and on this night we all recline. What makes you feel comfortable? When are you free to relax and recline?

-- Four Questions
Source : multiple sources

1. How was preparing for Passover different this year? How did it compare to last year, the second Passover of the Pandemic?

2. During Passover we tell stories both of freedom from and freedom to. Share a time you experienced a lack either or both of these types of freedom.

3. The Mishnah tells us that in every generation a person must view themselves as though they personally left Egypt. This directive is especially important this year – when we’re seeing the largest number of refugees in Europe since World War II – refugees whose travels are narrated in such detail on social media and by journalists. The phrase “never again” has recently appeared again and again across the internet, in connection with the war in Ukraine. What is happening in Ukraine is not the Holocaust as nothing can compare. But at a time when there will soon be no more Holocaust survivors and it will become the next generation’s responsibility to carry the narratives forward, what do you think "never again" means in practice?

4. What stories about survival, escape, discrimination, or oppression do you feel it is your responsibility to tell? What stories do you see as your responsibility to pass down to the next generation? Why are these stories important?

BONUS QUESTION: At all times, but especially in times of widespread hardship, people of marginalized identities and communities are often the most vulnerable. What kind of ally are you or would you like to be? What is at stake for you to act as an ally?

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-- Four Children
Source : https://thebluedovefoundation.org/passovers-connection-to-mental-health/
The Child Who Doesn’t Know How to Ask a Question

We are instructed to help this child by telling the story of when the Jews went forth from Egypt.An open and honest conversation about mental health starts with us. From the child who doesn't know how to ask, we learn accountability and our role in ending the cone of silence around mental health.

For those who don't know where to start, we can begin the conversation. Almost all of us are the child who does not know how to ask at some point in our lives. There are so many reasons we may not know how to ask a question: We don’t have the vocabulary, we don’t know there is a question to ask, or perhaps we aren’t feeling comfortable and safe enough yet.

Let's face it; we don't learn how to talk about mental health in school.

We live in a world with a lot of shame and stigma around mental health disorders, substance abuse and even things as "simple" as depression. The child who does not know how to ask doesn't yet have the language to share what's going on for them, because we have not provided it to them yet. And this is where every Jewish person can have a role.

When we are willing to stand up and share our experiences, to be open and vulnerable, and to start the conversation, we make space for everyone else to share. We send the clear message they are not alone and are supported by our communities. And they also give us the opportunity to enact the Jewish value of kol Yisrael arevim zeh la eh (All Jews are responsible for one another) and tikkim olam (repairing the world).

-- Four Children
Source : H. Alan Scott
Golden Girls Wise Child

First we have the wise kid, who of course is Mario, Dorothy’s prized pupil who wrote a prize-winning essay (“In America, you always felt that you were among friends.”) and then got deported because of it. But he’s back with his wise question!

On all other nights, we eat a herring salad sandwich on raisin bread. Why on this night, only matzah?

SOURCE: Golden Girls S2E21 “Dorothy’s Prized Pupil”
 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0589737/

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-- Exodus Story
Source : By Abby Stein

The Exodus: A Personal Coming Out, In Every Generation

“In our tradition leaving Egypt wasn’t an historical event alone. In our tradition, it was a personal and existential leaving as well.

"בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת עַצְמוֹ\עַצְמָהּ כְאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא\ה מִמִּצְרַיִם
(In every generation a person must regard themselves as though they personally had gone out of Egypt)

Whenever we leave a narrow place, a place of constriction, painful servitude, a place where we are not authentically who we are, that leap taking, that transitioning, is an exodus. A freedom walk.

Rabbi David Ingber, Romemu

The tradition teaches us, that not only is coming out something that is acceptable in our tradition, but it is something to admire, to strive for, and to some extend, we have an obligation in every generation to take that leap, and Come Out!

הִגָּלֶה נָא וּפְרוֹס חֲבִיבִי עָלַי אֶת סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ

Please, be revealed and spread the covering, beloved, Upon me, the shelter of your tranquility.

Yedid Nefesh - ידיד נפש

As we start the evening, let's keep this in mind. Let us understand that resistance in our tradition isn't merely acceptable, but an obligation. It is something that we have learned through thousands of years, and resistance is what gave us the power to overcome relentless oppression.

-- Exodus Story
Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcLEpFV7F0o
Lyric video: Wide as the Water (Mi Chamocha)

LYRICS:

In the moment of movement between shore and sea

Open to the holiness inside

Wide as the water before Moshe and Miriyam

Open to the holiness inside

Drum with the darkness

Dance with the light

We are free, we are free, we are free

Al s’fat ha-yam, yachad kulam

We are free, we are free

From the narrow places, embracing the expanse

In these waters we are renewed

We are the sea singing praises to the One

In these waters we are renewed

Drum with the darkness

Dance with the light

We are free, we are free, we are free

Al s’fat ha-yam, yachad kulam

We are free, we are free

Mi chamocha ba’eilim Adonai

Mi kamocha ne’dar ba-kodesh

Norah tehillot oseh feleh

Norah tehillot oseh feleh

Dance with the darkness

Drum with the light

We are free, we are free, we are free

Al s’fat ha-yam, yachad kulam

We are free, we are free

"Wide as the Water/Mi Chamocha" by Student Rabbi Heather Paul and Kohenet Batya Diamond is inspired by the words "Al S'fat Hayam, Yachad Kulam" from Mi Chamocha, meaning "at the shore of the sea, everyone together." Together they envisioned a song that encourages us to dance with both the darkness and the light, and that reminds us we don't have to face anything alone. Find more of Heather's offerings on her website. Find more of Batya's offerings here.

-- Exodus Story
Source : National Library of Israel
Dayenu "Moses in the Basket", The Sentinel, 1967, NLI

This Dayenu cartoon, published in the December 14, 1967 edition of  The Chicago Sentinel, depicts baby Moses floating down the Nile River in a basket, as described in Exodus (Shmot) chapter 2. The pyramids line the distant shore of the river, and Pharaoh’s daughter crouches on the river bank and seems surprised to see floating toward her a basket containing the baby Moses, who is wearing an eye patch like Moshe Dayan’s.

The cartoon was published six months after the Six-Day War, which had been led by Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan. Moshe Dayan was seen as a hero in Israel and around the world and was known for the eye patch covering a war injury from the 1930s. The American Jewish community felt great pride in the Israeli Army and its general. The cartoon compares the biblical Moses (Moshe) to Moshe Dayan and notes the connection between Moshe Dayan who defeated the Egyptian Army and the biblical Moses who was saved by Pharaoh’s daughter. 

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-- Ten Plagues
Source : National Library of Israel
10 Plagues, Amsterdam Haggadah, 1738, NLI

The Haggadah collection at the National Library of Israel is considered the most comprehensive in the world, and includes over 8,500 Haggadahs from all ages and throughout the world. This is an image of the 10 Plagues from the Amsterdam Haggadah from the 1738.

-- Ten Plagues

 Red Sea: April 2002

This Passover, who reclines?
Only the dead, their cupped hands filling slowly
with the red wine of war.  We are not free.

The blood on the doorposts does not protect anyone.
They say that other country over there
dim blue in the twilight
farther than the orange stars exploding over our roofs
is called peace.

The bread of affliction snaps in our hands like bones,
is dust in our mouths. This bitterness brings tears to our eyes.
The figs and apples are sour.  We have many more
than four questions.  We dip and dip,
salt stinging our fingers.  
Unbearable griefs braided into a rope so tight
we can hardly breathe,
Whether we bless or curse,
this is captivity.
We would cross the water if we knew how.
Everyone blames everyone else for barring the way.

Listen, they say there is honey swelling in golden combs, over there,
dates as sweet and brown as lovers' cheekbones,
bread as fragrant as rest,
but the turbulent water will not part for us.
We've lost the trick of it.

Back then, one man's faith opened the way.
He stepped in, we were released, our enemies drowned.

This time we're tied at the ankles.
We cannot cross until we carry each other,
all of us refugees, all of us prophets.
No more taking turns on history's wheel,
trying to collect old debts no-one can pay.
The sea will not open that way. 

This time that country
is what we promise each other,
our rage pressed cheek to cheek
until tears flood the space between,
until there are no enemies left,
because this time no one will be left to drown
and all of us must be chosen. 
This time it's all of us or none. 

-- Ten Plagues
-- Ten Plagues
Source : Adapted from Dayenu
Ten Plagues of Fossil Fuels

The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released less than two weeks ago, tells us what many of us already knew: that we have even less time than we thought—3 years—to transform our energy systems. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground and unburned is essential to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis. The report also had some good news: we already have the technology we need to make this transition.

Dayenu! We have had enough. Enough destruction and delay.

And, dayenu! We have enough: We have the technology, and will to change, and we can do it. 

A few things stand in our way: politicians in the pocket of Big Oil, Gas, and Coal, for one, and a seemingly endless supply of money flowing to fossil fuels, for another.

This spring, we’re taking on both, starting with the big banks and asset managers that fund fossil fuels. During Passover, grounded in our collective memory of liberation from Egypt, and the possibility of a better world for all, we will gather outside of these financial institutions in our communities, and call on them to move their dough.

Join us at 4pm on Wednesday, April 20 in Larchmont Village outside of branches of a Chase Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo to tell the fossil fuel financiers: Let our planet go!

Now, putting a drop of wine on our plates for each plague, let us recite the Ten Plagues of fossil fuels:

1. Wildfires
2. Sea-level rise
3. Species extinction
4. Drought
5. Weather chaos
6. Pollution
7. Forced migration
8. War
9. Famine
10. Pandemics

How are these plagues affecting your life?

Who can come to the action on Wednesday?

What else can we do to alleviate the fossil fuel plagues for everyone?

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-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : How to Bless the New Moon by Rachel Kann

Dayenu (daiyenu) 
By Rachel Kann

had you-i been given but seconds in this unreal reality,
and the ten-thousand things not made themselves known to me-you,
daiyenu,

had the ten-thousand things made themselves known to me-you,
and your-my blood not thudded circuitously, stubbornly,
daiyenu,

had your-my blood thudded circuitously, stubbornly,
and these atoms not stayed gathered into matter as me-you,
daiyenu,

had these atoms stayed gathered into matter as me-you,
and you-i not been born earthly entity,
daiyenu,

had you-i been born earthly entity,
and these lungs not breathed me-you,
daiyenu,

had these lungs breathed me-you,
and you-i not strengthened from struggling,
daiyenu,

had you-i strengthened from struggling,
and the time-space web not caught me-you,
daiyenu,

had the time-space web caught me-you,
and you-i not made manifest believed-in possibility,
daiyenu,

had you-i made manifest believed-in possibility,
and never felt faith inside me-you,
daiyenu,

had you-i felt faith inside me-you,
and not lost ego-identity,
daiyenu,

had you-i lost ego-identity,
and not detached from a conceptually separate me-you,
daiyenu,

had you-i detached from a conceptually separate me-you,
and never found inner tranquility,
daiyenu,

had you-i found inner tranquility,
and never let angel-death tongue-kiss me-you,
daiyenu,

had you-i let angel-death tongue-kiss me-you,
and not answered with reciprocity,
daiyenu,

had you-i answered with reciprocity,
and not still vibrated energy for eternity,
had you-i been given but seconds in this unreal reality,
had it all been arbitrary,
had it all been but a word,

a breath,
a blink,
a touch,
a grace,
a pulse,
a truth,
daiyenu,
daiyenu,

daiyenu.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : JIMENA Archives
Persian Passover

In this image, children read from the haggadah at a school for Jewish children in Tehran, Iran in the 1970s. 

Learn more about how Iranian Jews celebrate here:
Shushan (Persian) Haggadah
Basic Sephardic Haggadah - Hebrew, English and Scallions

Explore JIMENA's Sephardic and Mizrahi Passover and Mimouna Guide in more depth here: https://www.jimena.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/PassoverGuide-.pdf

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Rabbi Michael Strassfeld (adapted from his forthcoming book, Judaism Disrupted)
Dayenu—Finding Meaning in the Small Things

Dayenu is the most well-known Passover song, probably because of its simple refrain and rollicking tune. Yet, if you think about what it is saying, it makes little sense. Would it really be enough if God had taken us out of Egypt but had not divided the sea for us? Wouldn’t the pursuing Egyptians have re-enslaved us? Or enabled us to reach Mount Sinai but hadn’t given us the Torah? What would have been the point?

Dayenu is actually suggesting an important spiritual principle of enoughness. We live our lives with ambitions and hopes. Some are fulfilled. Some never happen. Some, with the passage of time, fade away or are lost. Even as we mourn the losses, we are to remember the blessings that we have. We need to look at our lives in perspective. It is true I am not as flexible as I once was, and that my hearing is declining. Yet it is also true that I can still see, and that I enjoy my grandchildren. The practice is to enjoy what I do have. I should place the reality of the decline that is part of aging in the larger context of my whole life. All of it is the reality of my life. Let me remember to see even as my eyes dim; to communicate even when it seems easier to sit alone in my room. I can smell and taste. I can touch and be touched. Neither the great moments nor the sad moments alone are the sum total of my life. In the context of What Matters, we think about what we would want for the last period of our life:

Dayenu

It would be enough to be surrounded by family and friends

It would be enough to eat my favorite food

It would be enough to be at home with the sun shining in my bedroom

It would be enough to listen to my favorite music

A follower of the Kotzker rebbe complained about not getting a tallit (a four-cornered prayer shawl) from his in-laws—a standard wedding present. The Kotzker replied: Then wrap yourself in the four corners of the world and pray!

The story teaches that you can lack many things, but that doesn’t stop you from being able to feel embraced by the universe as you wrap yourself with it and with the precious memories of your life. That would be enough—dayenu.

Discuss:

-What would be the small things that would give you pleasure?

-What would be the more important things that would make it be enough—dayenu?

*Learn more about "What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life" at www.ShomerCollective.org/WhatMatters

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Narrow Bridge Candles Supplement

Dayeinu by carrie sarah kaufman
 

If we have checked in with our hearts today

Dayeinu

If we have made a cup of tea

Dayeinu

If we have sent a prayer to loved ones

Dayeinu

If we have closed our eyes at night

Dayeinu

If we have given what we can

Dayeinu

If we have listened to a hurting friend

Dayeinu

If we have prepared food, or even just eaten some

Dayeinu

If we have committed to change

Dayeinu

If we have found ways to act for change from home

Dayeinu

If we have thanked our ancestors with humility

Dayeinu

If we have brushed our teeth and washed our hands

Dayeinu

If we have hope

Dayeinu

If we are breathing

Dayeinu

Please, feel welcome to take a moment to add your own Dayeinus

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Susannah Heschel is a professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College. The above is an excerpt from an OpEd she published in the Forward 4/13/21


I love the Haggadah, the Hebrew text as well as all the special actions we take at the Seder; eating, drinking, reclining, discussing and debating. In my home, we immerse ourselves in the Haggadah in Hebrew and also in the centuries of commentary on each passage. While we carefully follow all the traditions, we also recognize that over the centuries, Jews have often added new customs to Passover.

At the height of the Jewish feminist movement of the 1980s, inspired by the abundant new customs expressing women’s viewpoints and experiences, I started placing an orange on the Seder plate.

At an early point in the Seder, when stomachs were starting to growl, I asked each person to take a segment of the orange, make the blessing over fruit and eat the segment in recognition of gay and lesbian Jews and of widows, orphans, Jews who are adopted and all others who sometimes feel marginalized in the Jewish community.

When we eat that orange segment, we spit out the seeds to repudiate homophobia and we recognize that in a whole orange, each segment sticks together. Oranges are sweet and juicy and remind us of the fruitfulness of gay and lesbian Jews and of the homosociality that has been such an important part of Jewish experience, whether of men in yeshivas or of women in the Ezrat Nashim.

Strangely, I discovered some years ago that an urban legend was circulating: Strangers told me they placed an orange on their Seder plate because of an incident in Miami Beach in which a man angrily denounced me when I gave a lecture, saying that a woman belongs on the bimah of a synagogue no more than an orange belongs on the Seder plate.

That incident never happened! Instead, my custom had fallen victim to a folktale process in which my original intention was subverted. My idea of the orange was attributed to a man, and my goal of affirming lesbians and gay men was erased.

Moreover, the power of the custom was subverted: By now, women are on the bimah, so there is no great political courage in eating an orange, because women ought to be on the bimah.

For years, I have known about women whose scientific discoveries were attributed to men, or who had to publish their work under a male pseudonym. That it happened to me makes me realize all the more how important it is to recognize how deep and strong patriarchy remains, and how important it is for us to celebrate the contributions of gay and lesbian Jews, and all those who need to be liberated from marginality to centrality.

And Passover is the right moment to ensure freedom for all Jews.

Susannah Heschel is a professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College. The above is an excerpt from an OpEd she published in the Forward 4/13/21

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Rachtzah

Je suis juif, parce que, né d'Israël, et l'ayant perdu, je l'ai senti revivre en moi, plus vivant que moi-même.
I am a Jew because born of Israel and having lost it, I feel it revive within me more alive than I am myself.

Je suis juif, parce que, né d'Israël, et l'ayant retrouvé, je veux qu'il vive après moi, plus vivant qu'en moi-même.
I am a Jew because born of Israel and having found it again, I would have it live after me even more alive that it is within me.

Je suis juif, parce que la foi d'Israël n'exige de mon esprit aucune abdication.
I am a Jew because the faith of Israel requires no abdication of my mind.

Je suis juif, parce que la foi d'Israël réclame de mon cœur toutes les abnégations.
I am a Jew because the faith of Israel asks any possible sacrifice of my soul.

Je suis juif, parce qu'en tous lieux où pleure une souffrance, le juif pleure.
I am a Jew because in all places where there are tears and suffering the Jew weeps.

Je suis juif parce qu'en tous temps où crie une désespérance, le juif espère.
I am a Jew because in every age when the cry of despair is heard the Jew hopes.

Je suis juif, parce que la parole d'Israël est la plus ancienne et la plus nouvelle.
I am a Jew because the message of Israel is the most ancient and the most modern.

Je suis juif, parce que la promesse d'Israël est la promesse universelle.
I am a Jew because Israel’s promise is a universal promise.

Je suis juif, parce que, pour Israël, le monde n'est pas achevé : les hommes l'achèvent.
I am a Jew because for Israel the world is not finished; men will complete it.

Je suis juif, parce que, pour Israël, l'Homme n'est pas créé : les hommes le créent.
I am a Jew because for Israel man is not yet completed; men are completing him.

Je suis juif, parce qu'au-dessus des nations et d'Israël, Israël place l'Homme et son Unité.
I am a Jew because Israel places Man and his unity above nations and above Israel itself.

Je suis juif, parce qu'au-dessus de l'Homme, image de la divine Unité, Israël place l'Unité divine, et sa divinité. I am a Jew because above Man, the image of the Divine Unity, Israel places the unity which is divine

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Motzi-Matzah
Source : National Library of Israel
A Child Eating Matzah, Europe, NLI

This is a nineteenth-century European postcard featuring a photograph of a boy eating matzah and standing next to two sacks of matzot. The title is  Ma Nishtana Halayla Hazeh  (How is this night different from other nights?), one of the four questions from the Haggadah which is usually recited by children. The Four Questions raise the unique features of Pesach which include eating matzah.

The postcard was part of a set of postcards published at the end of the nineteenth century, illustrating the Jewish festivals in Western Europe. These postcards were used as greeting cards for the New Year. 

Motzi-Matzah
Source : The Shalom Center's Earth & Justice Freedom Seder

Freedom Together

BREATH RENEWED:
PRAYER & RESPONSE
You Who are the Breath of Life,
At Sinai You taught us,
You shall not take My Name with an empty heart. You shall not breathe My Name with empty Spirit. Every breath we take
is Itself Your Name,
Part of that great Breath that is the Holy One. You Who are the Breath of Life,
Heal us to breathe.

I Speak
I Who free you from choking
In the Tight and Narrow Place:
I Who send you Broad Spaces
Where My Breath,
My wind, blows free:
No one shall rob you of My Name,
My Breath, My Holy Spirit.
Embody Me! 

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Maror

Rabbi Avraham Pam explained this in the following way: the difference between the slave and a free human being does not lie in how long or how hard each works. Free people often work long hours doing arduous tasks. The difference lies in who controls time. A slave works until he or she is allowed to stop. A free person decides when to begin and end. Control over time is the essential difference between slavery and freedom. Control over the calendar gave the Israelites the power to determine when the new moon occurred, and thus, when the festivals occur. They were given authority over time. The first command to the Israelites was thus an essential prelude to freedom. It said: learn how to value time and make it holy. "Teach us rightly to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (PS 90:20).

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Koreich
Source : Fancy Feast
Mixing The Sweet And The Bitter


Author Photo Courtesy of Fancy Feast 


This section of the seder concerns itself with the eating of the Hillel sandwich, a mix of charoset and maror pressed between matzos, which is just about the most Jewish thing I can think of. It serves no significant religious purpose, so it’s basically codified snacktime. But of course, in every snack, a lesson, in this case, one about the confluence of the bitterness and sweetness of life, a culinary crash course in feh, you take the good with the bad. That's how we do everything, isn't it?

The holiest day of the year is the day of fasting and atonement. We break a glass at the culmination of a marriage to remind us of the destruction of the temple, even in our greatest joy. Later in the Seder we'll tip out a little of our wine, to remember that others suffered for us to be free. Lest we should forget and celebrate in too full-throated a manner, in an unqualified way, and lose our sense of balance with the world around us.

I’ve spent the last decade performing burlesque under an alter ego I’ve named myself, Fancy Feast. It's a name which signifies opulence and abundance, and also mid-grade cat food - taking the good with the bad here, too. These days, burlesque is the umbrella term for artistic striptease performance with roots in the vaudeville and cabaret circuits of the past (add some fringe to the Borscht Belt, and we're nearly there).

My performance work is both deeply personal and mediated, presented with remove. Working in nightlife keeps me out on the clock while my friends are partying or relaxing with loved ones. I’ve chosen a career path that requires heels and makeup, which is antithetical to the rest of my Birkenstock and Docs lifestyle. Based on the compromising photos of me out there, a future in politics is out of the question. Most crucially, because I perform in a niche segment of an already niche industry, there is nowhere to go but where I am. There’s no ‘and then’. The reward is more work.

But, I can tell you how a standing ovation feels, or the sensation of fans throwing roses at my feet. I can tell you about the disguise I’ve made for myself that has gotten me into some of the most exclusive events and hallowed spaces in the world - and I’ve gotten paid to be there. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t made up someone to be, and spent ten years getting good at being Fancy Feast.

So what if I am dragging a heavy suitcase full of fringe and sequins and feather fans through the slushy New York streets at 2am? So what if my feet ache at the end of the day? So what if some of my best friends will never know my real name? Feh. It makes for a more interesting sandwich.

---
 

Fancy Feast is a burlesque performer and producer who was named Miss Coney Island 2016. Find her on Instagram @fancyfeastburlesque and on Twitter @fancyburlyq. She is writing her first book. 

Koreich

There are many "recipes" for charoset, all found in the Song of Songs - which mentions raisins and quinces, nuts and wine, a profusion of spices. We are taught to chant this Song Beyond All Songs during the week of Pesach, for the Song beckons us to the vision of an ahcievable future for which Passover is one working model. A future not absolutely perfect but one in which the ethic of love and equal dignity for all human beings with each other and between Earth and human earthlings has become written in almost every heart. The Garden of Eden for a loving, grown-up human race in a loving, peaceful Earth. With holy charoset in our bowls and sacred grape juice in our cups, we turn toward the Blessings that we intend to create in the world. 

CHAROSET

[ALL RECITE ALOUD]

Blessed be the Breath of Life whose Charoset embodies the Song, and whose Song embodies Pesach. 

10 BLESSINGS

[ALL RECITE TOGETHER. AFTER EACH BLESSING, DRINK A SIP OF GRAPE JUICE AND EAT A SPOONFUL OF CHAROSET]

1. Many solar co-ops in every neighborhood

2. Universal access to pure drinking water

3. Interurban light rail networks

4. Reforestation everywhere

5. Restorative agriculture and urban farms

6. Energy-conserving retrofits for homes and businesses

7. Restoration for all endangered species

8. Pollinator meadows

9. Free, quality health care for all

10. Ecological worldview everywhere

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Shulchan Oreich
LIBERACIÓN: Passover through a Latin-Jewish Lens of Liberation (English Version)

Every year around the world, the Jewish people gather in family and community to recount the Passover story, the tale of our collective liberation from Egypt. We are charged to tell the story of our ancestors bound in slavery and experience Passover as if we ourselves went out from Egypt to freedom. 

We put ourselves there symbolically each year, to remember the suffering of those who came before us and bring to mind the suffering that still exists in our communities and societies today. In fact, we can observe Passover as a call for community care and re-orienting ourselves towards justice and liberation for all people. 

As Latin Jews, who have a connection to América Latina, Passover is an opportunity for us to also remember and reflect upon events that have taken place in the region many of our families have called home for hundreds of years. We all carry narratives of pain with us around slavery, persisting systems of oppression, and sources of suffering either from our ancestors or what may exist in our present or recent history. 

The Haggadah is summarized with the idea: “now we are slaves, next year, may we all be free”. In order for us to move toward liberation, who must be included in that freedom? What groups of people have been consistently oppressed? Where in our own lives are we knowingly or unknowingly contributing to their oppression?

This Passover, we invite you to join us as we personalize our liberation story. In the movement from “mitzrayim” (Egypt), the narrow place, to freedom and expansiveness. Let us march together towards a redemption that includes and carries the memories of those who are and were most exploited, most vulnerable, and most marginalized within our communities.

The Seder Plate through a Latin-Jewish Lens of Liberation

MAROR - Bitter Herb

This bitter herb reminds us of the bitterness of slavery that our ancestors endured in Egypt. Typically represented on the Seder plate with horseradish, its taste consumes our senses. With maror, we remember the suffering of our people and planet, both exploited and destroyed throughout our history.

  • The Conquest of the New World: It wasn't long after the New World was discovered, that explorers realized the profitability that came with the natural resources of the region. Under the command of ruthless conquistadores, the Aztec and Inca empires were conquered from 1519-1533, and over 4 million enslaved Africans were taken to Latin America via the Atlantic slave trade. This led to centuries of Spanish and Portuguese rule, enslavement and marginalization of black and indigenous peoples, and the formation of a racial caste system that systemically continues to oppress black and indigenous people in Latin America today.

CHAZERET - Second Bitter Herb

A second bitter herb, typically used in korech or the Hillel sandwich, consists of matzah and bitter herbs (some add haroset as well). Often romaine lettuce symbolizes the period of time in Egypt that began soft, yet ended hard and bitter (looking at the ends of a piece of lettuce). This second taste of bitterness holds the suffering of those who were victims of terrorism. 

  • El Atentado a la AMIA (AMIA Bombing): On July 18, 1994 (the 10th of Av in the Jewish year of 5754), a man driving a Renault utility truck loaded with several hundred pounds of ammonium nitrate and TNT pulled up to the Jewish community center of Buenos Aires (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina - AMIA), and detonated his bomb. Claiming the lives of 85 people and injuring hundreds, this single event completely changed the face of Latin American Jewry. Long-lasting security measures were implemented in schools, synagogues, and sports and cultural centers across Latin America. Today, no Argentinian government has brought any of the perpetrators to justice.

ZEROA - Shank Bone

A roasted lamb shank bone signifies the lamb that Jews sacrificed as the special offering when the Temple stood in Jerusalem. The zeroa serves as a visual reminder of the sacrifice that the Israelites offered to the Divine before leaving Egypt and remained present as a sacred ritual for generations after until the destruction of the Temple. With this symbol, we name what is sacrificed when oppression goes uninterrupted in our communities.

  • Anti-Indigenous and Anti-Black Racism: Latin America has a painful and traumatic, historical relationship with colonialism. Since the establishment of communities in the New World, concepts of multiracial identity have been present and supported by a Spanish caste system that outlined all the different ways the indigenous communities had mixed with Africans and Europeans – and the rights they held based on their racial identity. In the early to mid-20th century, a number of countries in Latin America adopted the concept of “mestizaje,” or mixing and blending, in an effort to eliminate racial conflict and promote the idea of national identities. While many of us think there is no racism in Latin America as a result of this, Eurocentrism continues to dominate our culture's beauty, economic, educational, entertainment and linguistic standards. Furthermore, we cannot address anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism in our economic, environmental, political and social systems without recognizing and interrupting the erasure of Indigenous and Black history in Latin culture. As Jews, we are also complicit of anti-Black racism in our Jewish communities and cultural spaces. Historic and current racism towards Jews of Color – in particular Black Jews – can be witnessed in our institutional policies, conversion practices, media and personal attitudes. 

KARPAS - Green Vegetable

A green vegetable, typically parsley, represents the initial flourishing of the Israelites during the first years in Egypt that is dipped in salt water or vinegar (according to family tradition) to taste both the hope of new life and the tears that the Israelites shed in bondage. With this symbol, we recognize the complexities of any immigration journey, both holding hope as well as pain and sacrifice. We reflect on the experience of our community members who are undocumented, DREAMers, belong to mixed-status families, have been detained at the border or have died on their way to freedom.

  • Immigration: Currently, there are approximately 11.5 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. These 11.5 million people are spouses, parents, children, Dreamers, coworkers, and neighbors who don’t have the correct paperwork to be present in the U.S. Of this group, 62 percent have a U.S. citizen child, 13 percent have a U.S. citizen spouse, and two-thirds have been in the United States for over a decade. While immigrants from Latin America make up the plurality of undocumented experience, undocumented Americans are also of African, Asian/Pacific Islander, Caribbean and European descent. They are our friends, family and community members, and the lack of a pathway towards citizenship demonstrates the brokenness of the current immigration system and the need for systemic, comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform.

HAROSET - Sweet Fruit Paste 

This mix of fruits, wine or honey, and nuts symbolizes the mortar that the Israelite slaves used to construct buildings for Pharaoh. The name itself comes from the Hebrew word cheres or clay, and when we think about the ‘glue’ of the Latin-Jewish community, we reflect on the joy within our culture that holds us together.

  • Latin-Jewish Joy: Throughout the Latin community, one thing that can be found in each country is ‘Esperanza’, the essence of hope that is carried by its people. It exists among the warm embraces from a welcoming loved one or friend and in the pride around generations-old cultural gatherings and celebrations. There is more that bonds the Latin community together than what sets it apart, and we’ve identified resilience to be a common trait among Latinos/x. Our shared experiences can be heard in song, embodied in dance, and experienced in taste - we carry our stories with us and take pride in the mosaic of who we are - a multitude of ethnicities, races, and cultures that create the vibrant community that we are. The hope, the ‘esperanza’ roots us in memory of our familial and collective journey, yet, it also waters the seeds for future generations, spirited in joy. As our tradition says, “cuando llegue la alegría, celébrala”, translation, “when the moments of joy come for you or dear ones, celebrate and savor them”!

BEITZAH - Egg

While there are many different interpretations of the Beitzah, it sits on our seder plates adding an element of life to balance the aspects of mourning. In some families, the roundness of the egg represents the cycle of life and for others, it represents new beginnings or hope.  Even in the most painful of times, there is always hope for a new beginning.

  • Celebrating Our Stories: We are interconnected through our stories. In fact, centuries-old Sephardic wisdom says, “el Mundo es un pañuelo”, literally translated to “the world is a handkerchief”, reminding us that the world is as small as a handkerchief that fits in your back pocket. As we seek to reach liberation, we remember everyone who must be included in that march, and we can participate in the act of remembering with storytelling. Our story is our power and as we seek to discover and create more spaces where Latin-Jews can connect, celebrate, as well as be celebrated and elevated, we want to empower ourselves, our families, and community members to share their stories. When we examine the intersections of our identities we can uncover the abundance within us, and in doing so we make room to connect with others through shared heritage and story. This creates the space for collective learning, healing, and growing through leadership, community engagement and advocacy.  

“Next year, may we all be free” as we continue to walk toward our collective liberation.

Questions for Reflection

  • How have I come to understand or experience liberation?

  • In what ways can Passover help me connect to ancient and modern forms of slavery and oppression?

  • In addition to the injustices mentioned above, what other tragedies am I remembering this Passover?

  • Moving forward, what are ways in which I can better learn and become informed about injustices experienced around the world?

  • How can we introduce these stories into our families and Passover seders?

  • How has ancestral trauma (the trauma my ancestors experienced) shown up in my life? My body? 

  • What are ways in which I can begin to heal suffering that has been passed down to you?

  • What does Latin-Jewish joy look like for you? 

  • What do you appreciate most about your multifaceted identity? 

Here’s to a meaningful, Passover, Chag Sameach - Next year in Jerusalem!

Shulchan Oreich
Shulchan Oreich
Source : JIMENA Archives
Yemenite Passover

In this image, the Habbani family, recently arrived in Tel Aviv from Yemen, celebrates Passover in 1946. 

Learn more about the Yemenite Jewish Community here: 
The Haggadah according to the right of Yemin


Explore JIMENA's Sephardic and Mizrahi Passover and Mimouna Guide in more depth here: https://www.jimena.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/PassoverGuide-.pdf

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Bareich

The Barech section of the seder is a reminder to pause to be grateful for the meal we have eaten. Sometimes people speed through blessings to check the box of barech but let's take a special moment to be mindful. 

We are grateful for the earth that provides beauty, sustenance, and abundance. 

We are grateful for the farmers, the grocer store workers, all those who work to ensure food arrives at our table. 

We are grateful for those who prepared our food. 

We are grateful for those who share our meal and our seder.

We are grateful for those who work to ensure food access and security for all. 

We are grateful for our food, nourishing us in body and soul. 

Bareich
Source : Anu Museum of the Jewish People: https://www.anumuseum.org.il/blog-items/bloody-matsot-passover-blood-libels-kidush-ha-shem/attachment/2-12/
Passover Seder at the Hannanshwili family, Tbilisi, Georgia (USSR), 1924

Passover Seder at the Hannanshwili family, Tbilisi, Georgia (USSR), 1924

To learn more about Judeo-Georgian language and culture, visit: https://www.jewishlanguages.org/judeo-georgian

Bareich
Source : www.friendseder.com
Gratitude

Go around the table and share your gratitude statements. Breathe.

Reflect on Elijah the prophet. He was worried we wouldn’t keep Jewish traditions. He’d be surprised – but proud.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam Hazan Et Hakol.

We acknowledge the Unity of All and express gratitude for there being food for each of us this evening.

Discussion topic: Who are the prophets of our time? Who do you look up to, or make it a point to listen to what they have to say about the world today? Toast to them over Cup #3 of wine/juice.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam Borei Pri HaGafen.

We acknowledge the Unity of All, and express gratitude for the fruit of the vine.

Drink Cup #3.

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Hallel
Fourth Cup

LaurieAnn Yeisley-Drogin. 2022. Miriam's Cup 5782.

Artist Statement: 

"Daughter of"

"Sister of"

You had a name

Guardian of the young and helpless

Sustainer of your people

Prophet raising spirits in celebration

Daughter, Sister, Guardian, Sustainer, Prophet

Every woman of every generation

Has wandered her own desert

Guarding, sustaining, raising spirits

From generation to generation

Women have kept the stories of our people alive

From generation to generation

Women have been guardians of the young and helpless

Hiding children in baskets on the Nile and in attics and under floorboards in Berlin and Kiev

From generation to generation

Women have been sustainers of our people

Telling the stories, sharing the recipes, lighting candles in the darkness

From generation to generation

Women have been prophets of hope

Leading songs of defiance, celebration, and deliverance in the face of tyranny and despair

From generation to generation

Your story sustains your daughters as living water sustained those who wandered at G-d's direction

We raise your cup

We say your name

Miriam

This piece came to me as a dream, with women of varying hues, of many generations, carrying Miriam's Cup to establish our place at the seder. As we celebrate the deliverance of the Exodus, one of many survival stories of our people, we remember the women who have been at the heart of every Passover meal, generation after generation, and we celebrate them.

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Nirtzah
Source : H. Alan Scott and TV Land
Golden Girls Nirtzah https://i.ytimg.com/vi/23GrEhLUF_k/hqdefault.jpg

And finally, to truly say "Next Year in Miami," there’s the classic theme song “Thank You For Being a Friend.” Because duh.

SOURCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23GrEhLUF_k 

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Commentary / Readings
Source : Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi

A Prayer for Peace in Ukraine and Beyond

Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi

We come before you, Adonai, praying for peace.
A new war has begun, and thousands of innocent people are dying…
We pray for the strength and courage of the few
faced with the ruthless power of the many.

We stand together with our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine,
the birthplace of so many of our ancestors,
a place where the Jewish people has known both light and darkness.
We pray for a quick end to the raging conflict and the senseless bloodshed.

May our people remember that wherever a Jew is in danger or hurt,
we all feel that danger and pain as well.
As they seek cover from the life-threatening missiles
and fire falling from the sky, as they help the elderly
and hug their children tightly, and defend their homeland,
we pray that they can maintain hope that a Sukkat Shalom–
a canopy of blessing and peace–
will soon emerge above them.

May all the innocent people in the Ukraine and throughout the region
know that we are with them. Even from afar, we hear their cries.
May they know that we will continue to advocate for peace among nations
and that we will strengthen our commitment to aid and protect
every human being.

May the Source of All Life protect all of humanity from violence.
May the Source of Peace bring wisdom to their leaders
and bring a sense of tranquility, shalvah, to the people of the region
and peace to all who are endangered.
Amen.

Commentary / Readings
Source : turn-the-tables.org
Lean Out / Lean In: A Meditation on Reclining, Connected to the Global Refugee Crisis

Repair the World and HIAS present #SupportforRefugees, a campaign focused on the global refugee crisis. The following activity comes from the Turn the Tables on the Refugee Crisis host guide, available in full here.

LEAN OUT/LEAN IN
“NONE OF US IS FREE UNTIL ALL OF US ARE FREE”

ITEMS NEEDED
• One pillow to pass around the table
• Copies of Appetizer (Opening Activity) handout

FRAMING
Through Passover celebrations, the Jewish people celebrate in the fact that, though our ancestors were once slaves in Egypt, we are now free. As we recline on pillows like the nobility used to, we enjoy the fact that, while we were once slaves who dined in a hurry, we are now free to enjoy ourselves.

Yet we know that we live in a world where all are not yet free. While we can and should appreciate the freedoms we enjoy, we recognize that there are still 60 million displaced people throughout the world, of whom 20 million are refugees – people who have been forced to flee their home country due to persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. In fact, the current refugee crisis is worse than at any time since World War II. Fleeing violence and persecution, the world’s refugees are some of the most vulnerable human beings around the globe.

Recently, there has been tremendous backlash against refugee resettlement in the United States for a variety of reasons including fear and xenophobia. There are many across the country who argue that the global refugee crisis is not their problem, that supporting refugees in their country is not their responsibility and will deplete the nation’s resources or threaten national security.

This thinking is antithetical to the message of Passover. The symbols of Passover remind us that, from scarcity, can come abundance. When the Israelites fled slavery in Egypt and had no time to bake bread, we took matzah with us. Now, as we look to the Passover Seder and remember the Exodus, we are commanded to break that bread and share it to show that, as long as there are people suffering in the world, none of us is really free. While we dip our vegetables in salt water to remember the bitterness of slavery, we specifically dip karpas, a green vegetable, to represent the possibility for renewal and rebirth that can come from freedom. We eat charoset, a mix of apples, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon. Even as it symbolizes the mortar between the bricks that the Children
of Israel painstakingly laid as slaves in Egypt, its ingredients are sweet to remind us that, despite the incredible difficulties we experienced, there is always the hope for sweetness, the hope for redemption.

How, then, at a season when we are challenged to remember a time when Jews found liberation might we challenge ourselves to see that we can continue to find liberation through sharing our resources with others? How can we see sharing our resources as a way of living from abundance, rather than scarcity? How can we see sharing our resources as liberation not just for refugees but also for ourselves?

When we think about the journey to freedom that the Jewish people have taken since the Exodus, we know that it has not been a short road. And, so, both because of our values and because of our history, the Jewish community has a unique role to play in supporting contemporary refugees in rebuilding their lives with abundance. Tonight’s dinner gives us the opportunity to explore the connection between the global refugee crisis and the complex narrative of Passover liberation.

HOST INSTRUCTIONS
The host should begin by reading the framing below: 

Passover is the opportunity for the Jewish people to celebrate the fact that although our ancestors
were once slaves in Egypt, we are now free.

But we know that all are not yet free. While we appreciate the freedoms we currently enjoy, we recognize their fragility against a disturbing reality: there are still 60 million displaced people throughout the world, 20 million of whom are refugees. In fact, the current refugee crisis is worse than at any time since World War II. Fleeing violence and persecution, the world’s refugees are some of the
most vulnerable human beings around the globe.

There has been tremendous backlash recently against refugee resettlement in the United States for a variety of reasons, such as fear and xenophobia. There are many across the country who argue that the global refugee crisis is not their problem, and that welcoming refugees into their country is not their responsibility. They may even say that allowing refugees into the United States will deplete the
nation’s resources or threaten national security.

This thinking is antithetical to the message of Passover. The symbols of Passover remind us that, from
scarcity, can come abundance:


When the Jewish people fled slavery in Egypt and had no time to bake bread, we took matzah with us. Now, as we look to the upcoming Passover Seder and remember our Exodus, we are commanded to break that bread and share it so that we see that, as long as there are people suffering in the world, none of us is really free.


While we dip our vegetables in salt water to remember the bitterness of slavery, we specifically dip karpas, a green vegetable, to represent the possibility for renewal and rebirth that can come from freedom.


We eat charoset, a mix of apples, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon. Even as it symbolizes the mortar between the bricks that the Children of Israel painstakingly laid as slaves in Egypt, its ingredients are sweet to remind us that, despite the incredible di"culties we experienced, there is always the hope for sweetness, the hope for redemption.


How, then, at a season when we are challenged to remember a time when we found our own liberation, might we challenge ourselves to see that we can continue to find liberation through sharing our resources with others? How can we see sharing our resources as a way of living from abundance, rather than scarcity? How can we see sharing our resources as liberation not just for the refugees but
also for ourselves?

When we think about the journey to freedom that the Jewish people have taken since the Exodus, we know that it has not been a short road. And, so, both because of our values and because of our history, the Jewish community has a unique role to play in supporting contemporary refugees in rebuilding their lives with abundance. Tonight’s dinner gives us the opportunity to explore the connection between the global refugee crisis and the complex narrative of Passover liberation.
Next, the host should share the following with guests:

Traditionally at the Passover seder we recline on pillows like nobility used to, to show that while we were once slaves who ate hurriedly, we are now free to dine leisurely and enjoy ourselves. In our conversation tonight we are holding both scarcity and abundance - the idea that both can coexist - and we have to get from one to the other. To do that, rather than recline the way we usually would at a Passover Seder, tonight, we are all going to lean into what might be a difficult conversation.

Instead of sitting back on a pillow and comfortably leaning out of the conversation, we are now going to pass around a pillow and each take a turn placing it behind the person sitting next to us so that, together, we can all lean into the productive discomfort - the space where change starts to occur - for the conversation we are about to have together.

While you lean in, think silently about one intention you have for your own participation in tonight’s
conversation.

After the group has finished leaning in, pass out the Appetizer (Opening Activity: Lean Out/Lean In) handouts, pose the following questions to the group and have everyone find a partner to answer the following questions. Remind guests to first introduce themselves to each other.

When is a time in your own life when you have experienced abundance
coming out of scarcity, when less was actually more or when less
became more?

How did that experience enrich your life in positive ways?

Were there ways that experience was still dificult, painful, or scary?

Bring the froup back and thank everyone for sharing

View a desined version of the intention setting activity here.

Commentary / Readings
Source : https://blog.nli.org.il/en/djm_poems-kharkiv-ukraine/

Winter is Over

by Daniel Prakhabmek

Winter is over, the cold is gone,

The universe is filled with joy.

The southerly winds slowly blow

Repairing a gloomy soul.
 

Young sun, spring sun,

Shining in the sky,

Casting a wealth of light on the Earth,

Blinding eyes.
 

The naked trees,

Are awakened again,

The noisy city,

Dons a new face.
 

Everything is joyful, alive, and glowing,

The spirit of spring washes over all

Happy are the tall buildings,

Crowned by high mountains.
 

Still, there remains a glassy film of ice,

Over the swamps, over the streams,

Still, the trees are bare,

The leaves not yet budded.
 

The birds not yet returned,

Singing their joyful songs,

But spring is already felt,

In every corner and square.
 

The sky has changed

The sea foam is different,

And spring is already seeping,

Into the depths of the soul.
 

This is not the world,

This is not as the heights of Creation,

Everything is alive, fresh, happy

Everything returns to life!

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Songs
Source : Dave Cowen

We Don't Talk About Pharaoh By Dave Cowen 
Adapted from “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto

We don't talk about Pharaoh, no, no, no!

We don't talk about Pharaoh. But!

It was our Exodus day

It was our Exodus day

We were getting ready, to leave Egypt and slavery behind

Leave Egypt and slavery behind

Pharaoh walks in with a mischievous grin-

(Darkness!!!)

You telling this story, or am I?

(I'm sorry, ha-chaim sheli, go on)

Pharaoh says, "You’ll stay our slaves."

(But God did for us?)

Egypt’s water, He turned to blood

(Savtala, get the umbrellas!)

Next the frogs, lice, and flies came

(What joyous days... but anyways)

We don't talk about Pharaoh, no, no, no!

We don't talk about Pharaoh!

Jews grew to live in fear of Pharaoh summoning then promising

We could always hear him sort of dissembling and fibbing

Because of him they got the plague of falling hail, ch-ch-ch

You would think pestilence would be so humbling

Yet always to Moses and the Jews he kept fibbing

Grappling with prophecies he couldn't understand

Did not understand

Kind of not to blame

He gets all the flack

When God proclaimed

Pharaoh’s heart be black

Yet, he still did scheme

To keep his regime

Hey!

We don't talk about Pharaoh, no, no, no! (We don't talk about Pharaoh, no, no, no!)

We don't talk about Pharaoh (we don't talk about Pharaoh!)

He told us we could not leave

Firstborn sons: dead! (Whoa, whoa!)

Moses warned he’d grow boils!

And just like He said... (Whoa, whoa!)

God said that all light would disappear, now look as foresaid (Whoa, whoa!)

Your fate’s sealed when the prophecy is said!

God told us the land of our dreams would be promised, and someday be thine

God told us His power would grow, with outstretched arm and strong hand

Oy, Pharaoh’s on his way

God told us as we left, freedom would feel just out of reach

Enslaved all over

It’s like I hear chariots now

My peeps, God wants some faith from you

I can hear chariots now

Uh-oh Pharaoh...

Yeah, about that Pharaoh...

You really need to trust in Hashem...

Gimme that arm and hand for that Pharaoh

(Jewish people, your ruler’s here

Time for capture!)

The Red Sea he came (it was our Exodus day, it was our Exodus day)

To enslave us back (we were getting ready)

he never did change (to leave Egypt and slavery behind)

his heart remained black (to leave Egypt and slavery behind!)

Yet, all God’s plan (Pharaoh arrived with a mischievous grin-)

To part the Red Sea (Locusts!)

You telling this story, or am I?

(I'm sorry, ha-chaim sheli, go on)

God said, “Jews cross the plane.”

In doing so, God floods the terrain

The Egyptians all were slain

That’s why we talk about Pharaoh, oh! 

(Every year we talk about Pharaoh?)

Yes, every year we talk about Pharaoh!

(I’m glad we brought up Pharaoh!!!)

Spotify Link Here: https://open.spotify.com/track/52xJxFP6TqMuO4Yt0eOkMz?si=75c1a82542494046

Songs

Ki Lo Na’eh / Adir Bimlukha
We Sing Your Song / Strong In Your Majesty
by Rachel Kann

Yours is the day, Yours is the night
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

Righteous in your dispensation, fearless in your might,
We,
Your soul-soldiers, sing:
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

Gentle in your dispensation, majestic in your might,
We,
Your faithful followers, sing:
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

Equitable in your dispensation, measured in your might,
We,
Your holy hearthrobs, sing:
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

Generous in your dispensation, awesome in your might,
We,
Your ardent adepts, sing:
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

Amazing in your dispensation, electrifying in your might,
We,
Your desirous devotees, sing:
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

Celestial in your dispensation, sanctified in your might,
We,
Your adoring angels, sing:
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

Powerful in your dispensation, providential in your might,
We,
Your infinite innocent, sing:
Glorious All-That-Is, Breather of Life into Existence,
Your royalty is a glowing brilliance
Giver of life, awakener of my mind,
I am yours in the day, I am yours in the night

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