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Introduction
Source : Alliance for Intergroup Dialogue

Communication Guidelines In order to make the most of our time together, the following Communication Guidelines are designed to provide a space where all can participate in an engaging and meaningful dialogue. We ask that you are mindful of these guidelines throughout your participation in the dinner dialogue.

Dialogue, not Debate - We encourage you to come with an open mind to hear different perspectives, not to debate or argue who is right or wrong.

Agree to Disagree - We do not need to all agree; we embrace the sharing of our different viewpoints and experiences as an opportunity to learn from and better understand others.

Be Respectful - In how we speak, in how we listen, in how we withhold judgments. We avoid name calling/personal attacks and acknowledge that we are all in the process of learning.

Use “I” Statements - We share using “I” statements, because each of us can only speak from our own individual experience and perspective (e.g., “I think, I feel, I have experienced…”, and refrain from using “everybody thinks…,” “people are …,” “we all know …,” “students at UCLA are…”, etc.). No individual is asked to represent an entire culture or identity group

Confidentiality - What is shared in the room stays in the room.

Make Space/Take Space - We make space for every voice to be heard. We “make space” to allow for others to share if we notice we have already spoken a lot, and we “take space” to share our voice if we realize we have been quiet.

Be Present - We avoid side conversations and put our phones on “silent”.

Introduction
Source : The Shalom Center’s Freedom Seder for the Earth

In every generation, Pharaoh.

In every generation, Freedom.

About three thousand years ago, ancient Israelites fused a shepherds’ spring celebration of the birthing of lambs and a farmers’ spring celebration of the sprouting of barley into a spring celebration of their liberation from slavery and the downfall of a tyrant at the hands of YHWH, the Breath of Life. They celebrated the overthrow of tyrants by gathering a million strong, bringing barley-bread and newborn lambs to the Temple in Jerusalem.

About two thousand years ago, the Jewish people reshaped that celebration into a Seder, a story and meal that could be eaten and told at home. The Passover story and celebration entered the memory stream of Christianity as well, through the Palm Sunday demonstrations of a group of Jews who came to ancient Jerusalem one spring, part of the general Jewish ferment against the Roman Empire. This particular group was led by Jesus, waving palm branches as a symbol of resistance. It entered Christianity more deeply still through the teachings of Jesus in the Last Supper, which seems to have been a Passover Seder.

Still later, Islam welcomed Moses as a prophet, as it is written:

“In the name of Allah, most benevolent, ever-merciful... We narrate to you from the history of Moses and Pharaoh in all verity, for those who believe. The Pharaoh became high and mighty in the land, and divided the people into different classes. He impoverished one class, slaying its males and sparing its women, for he was indeed a tyrant. We [God] wished him to favor those who were weak in the land and make them leaders and heirs and establish them in the country.”

(Al-Quran, 28: 1-6; Ahmed Ali translation)

In modern times, the experience of slavery for African-Americans and their hope of liberation were crystallized into dozens of songs and thousands of sermons about the Exodus of ancient Israelites from slavery.

In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was planning to take part in a Passover Seder with the family of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched and prayed and struggled alongside him against racism and militarism in America. But ten days before the Seder, Dr. King was murdered, called across a different river to a different Land of Promise.

His death called forth a Black uprising in many American cities, followed by the U.S. Army’s armed occupation of many inner-city communities, including my neighborhood in Washington DC.

Walking past the troops as I prepared for that Passover 41 years ago, I was overwhelmed to find myself feeling and thinking, “This is Pharaoh’s Army!”

That experience renewed and transformed my own understanding of the Seder. I felt myself called to write a Freedom Seder that would celebrate the freedom struggles of Black America and of other peoples alongside the Jewish tale of liberation.

Now it is we who renew the Seder, rebirthing the Telling of freedom itself as the Telling rebirths us.

Forty years after the first Freedom Seder, the profound questions Dr. King raised in his Riverside Church speech exactly one year before his death—militarism, racism, materialism as the triplets of danger corrupting American society—have risen before us again, as he warned they might. The link between constant warfare abroad and constant shortfalls in meeting human needs at home has become even clearer. Even larger numbers of people have lost their jobs and stand on the edge of the pit of poverty.

Forty years after the first Freedom Seder, new Pharaohs have arisen. The institutional Pharaohs of our day are pressing down not just one people, one community, or another, but all the peoples on our planet and the web of life itself. In this Freedom Seder, we address Dr. Martin Luther King’s warning about “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism,” which have threatened the very earth that sustains us all. For the Passover story reminds us: not only do new Pharaohs arise in every generation; so also do new grass-roots movement to free ourselves from these new pharaohs.

Today as well, we face Plagues that trouble the earth and all humanity. Who and what are the institutional pharaohs in our time? What are the destructive Plagues of our own generation? What can we do to bring Ten Blessings, Ten Healings, on the earth in our own lifetimes? It is time for a new birth of freedom, time for a new freedom seder.

—Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director

—Arlene Goldbard, Chair of the Board

Introduction
Source : Love and Justice In Times of War Haggadah
Social Justice Blessing

Baruch Atah Adonai, eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu lirdof tzedek

Brucha Yah Shechinah, eloheinu Malkat ha-olam, asher kid’shatnu b’mitzvotayha vitzivatnu lirdof tzedek

Blessed is the Source, who shows us paths to holiness, and commands us to pursue justice. 


Calligraphy by: Ruben Shimonov

Introduction
Source : Yevilah McCoy

Group Norms

  • Make Space, Take Space

  • Relationship before task

  • Practice self focus; be accountable

  • “Try on” others lived experiences and perspectives

  • Practice “Both/And” thinking

  • “Oops”, “Ouch”, and the “Teachable Moment”

  • It’s OK to disagree; Not OK to shame, blame, or attack self or others, focus on the issue not the person

  • Be aware of both intent and impact

  • Notice both process and content

  • Confidentiality

Group Agreements

  • I bring an open heart and open mind

  • I recognize that the wisdom of the whole community is greater than the wisdom of any one

  • I am uncovering what is both conscious and unconscious in my awareness

  • I am taking responsibility for my words and actions

  • I am listening with all of my senses

  • I am learning how both my intention and my impact on others matters

  • I am holding others with integrity, keeping their stories in confidence, and sharing only the things I have learned

Kadesh
Kadesh

The four cups of wine are traditionally linked to the four promises God made to Jewish People:

As it is written: "I will bring you out from under the burdens of Egypt. I will deliver you from bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great judgements. I will take you to be my people and I will be your God" (Exodus 6: 6-7).

Tonight we dedicate our four cups of wine to the avenues through which we each find strength and freedom in our lives. This first cup of wine we dedicate to the power of self. The power of self love, self advocacy, self worth, self trust, and self love. Please take a moment to think about the ways in which you find strength within yourself.

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.

In Judaism we are obsessed with marking time. We mark time through holidays, rituals, prayers, and even types of food. One way we identify special times is through a prayer called shehecheyanu, which is recited every time we experience something new. The shehecheyanu is recited many times throughout the seder, from when we drink our first glass of wine to when we eat the first piece of matzah of the year. Let's join together now in recitation of the shehecheyanu in celebration of the first time our communities are joining together for an experience of this kind.

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!

Contributed partially by Maia Zway

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!)

Too often during our daily lives we don’t stop and take the moment to prepare for whatever it is we’re about to do.

Let's pause to consider and share with a partner what we hope to get out of our evening together tonight.

Karpas
Source : Earth Justice Seder

If the Earth Could Speak, It Would Speak with Passion 
By Rabbi Warren Stone, Temple Emanuel, Kensington, MD

As you dip the beauty of greens into the water of tears, please hear
my cry. Can’t you see that I am slowly dying? My forests are being
clear cut, diminished. My diverse and wondrous creatures -- birds
of the sky and beasts of the fields -- small and large are threatened with extinction in your lifetimes. My splendid, colorful floral and fauna are diminishing in kind. My tropical places are disappearing before us, and my oceans are warming. Don’t you see that my climate is changing, bringing floods and heat, more extreme cycles of cold and warm, all affecting you and all our Creation? It doesn’t have to be! You, all of you, can make a difference in simple ways. You, all of you, can help reverse this sorrowful trend. 

May these waters into which you dip the greens become healing waters to soothe and restore. 

As you dip, quietly make this promise:
Yes, I can help protect our wondrous natural places. Yes, I can try to use fewer of our precious resources and to replant and sustain more. I can do my part to protect our forests, our oceans and waters. I can work to protect the survival of creatures of all kinds. Yes, I will seek new forms of sustainable energy in my home and in my work, turning toward the sun, the wind, the waters. I make this promise to strive to live gently upon this Earth of ours for the good of all coming generations. 

Before eating the Karpas, we recite: 

ָבּרוּךְ ַא ָתה יי, ֱאל ֵהינוּ, ֶמ ֶלךְ ָהעו ָלם, בּוֹ ֵרא ְפ ִרי ָה ֲא ָד ָמה. 

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri haadamah 
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth. 

{ GREENING TIP } 

Cut down on the water and energy you use in the shower, set a 5 minute timer for your shower, and see how your normal shower length compares. 

For more information on the environmental justice, please visit rac.org/enviro
For all Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism resources, please visit
rac.org/Passover .

Yachatz
Source : http://ajws.org/what_we_do/education/publications/holiday_resources/passover_seder_reading_2009.pdf

Breaking the matzah

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." After dinner, the guests will have to hunt for the afikomen.

Reader 1: Ha lachma anya—this is the bread of affliction. At the seder we begin as slaves. We eat matzah, the bread of affliction, which leaves us hungry and longing for redemption. It reminds us of a time when we couldn’t control what food was available to us, but ate what we could out of necessity. The matzah enables us to taste slavery— to imagine what it means to be denied our right to live free and healthy lives.

But, while we will soon enjoy a large meal and end the seder night as free people, millions of people around the world can not leave the affliction of hunger behind. Let us awaken to their cries and declare:

Kol dichfin yeitei v’yeichol—let all who are hungry, come and eat. As we sit at our seder and contemplate our people’s transition from slavery to freedom, let us hope for a time when all who are hungry will eat as free people. Let us pray:

Let all people gain autonomy over their sources of sustenance.

Let local farms flourish and local economies strengthen.

Let exploitation of natural resources cease so that the land may nourish its inhabitants.

Let communities bolster themselves against the destruction wrought by flood and drought.

Let our world leaders recognize food as a basic human right and implement policies and programs that put an end to world hunger.

Hashata avdei—this year we are still slaves. Leshanah haba’ah b’nei chorin—next year we will be free people.

This year, hunger and malnutrition are still the greatest risks to good health around the world. Next year, may the bread of affliction be simply a symbol, and may all people enjoy the bread of plenty, the bread of freedom.

Yachatz

Take a moment to consider: 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?

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Maggid - Beginning

Second glass: This second cup of wine we dedicate to the power of community. The power of support, strength in numbers, unity, and hope. Please take a moment to think about the ways in which you find strength within your community. 

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.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As all good term papers do, we start with the main idea:

ּעֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ הָיִינו. עַתָּה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין  

Avadim hayinu hayinu. Ata b’nei chorin.

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

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and God took us from there with a strong hand and outstretched arm. Had God not brought our ancestors out of Egypt, then even today we and our children and our grandchildren would still be slaves. Even if we were all wise, knowledgeable scholars and Torah experts, we would still be obligated to tell the story of the exodus from Egypt.

-- 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
Source : Leo Ferguson, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

“Why on this night when we remember the oppression and resistance of Jews should we also think about the lives of people of color?” Because many Jews are people of color. Because racism is a Jewish issue. Because our liberation is connected.

White Ashkenazi Jews have a rich history but are only a part of the Jewish story. Mizrahi & Sephardi Jews; Yemeni Jews; Ethiopian Jews; Jews who trace their heritage to the Dominican Republic, to Cuba & Mexico; to Guyana & Trinidad; descendants of enslaved Africans whose ancestors converted or whose parents intermarried.

Jews of color are diverse, multihued and proud of it — proud of our Jewishness and proud of our Blackness. But though our lives are joyous and full, racism forces us down a narrow, treacherous path. On the one hand we experience the same oppression that afflicts all people of color in America — racism targets us, our family members, and our friends. On the other hand, the very community that we would turn to for belonging and solidarity — our Jewish community — often doesn’t acknowledge our experience.

Jews of color cannot choose to ignore the experiences of people of color everywhere, anymore than we would ignore our Jewishness. We must fully inhabit both communities and we need all Jews to stand with us, forcefully and actively opposing racism and police violence.

But in order to do so, we must pare our past trauma from our present truth: our history of oppression leaves many of us hyper-vigilant and overly preoccupied with safety. As Jews we share a history that is overburdened with tales of violent oppression. Though different Jewish communities have varying experiences, none of us have escaped painful legacies of persecution, including genocide. This past is real, and part of why we gather today is to remember it. But the past is past. However seductive harsh policing, surveillance and incarceration may be in the short term, it will never serve us in the end. Not when those tactics brutalize other communities, humiliating and incarcerating our neighbors and perpetuate a status quo that leaves low-income communities of color on the other side of a sea of fear — still trapped; still stranded. The only real way out of the Mitzrayim (Egypt) of our fears is solidarity. Only by forging deep connections and sharing struggle with other communities will we creating the lasting allies who will walk with us into the promised land of our collective liberation. That is true Jewish freedom — true and lasting safety.

They cried to Moses, “What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt ... it is better to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (14:11-12).

When Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, it was a moment of great risk and great change. As the passage above shows us, though life under Pharaoh was cruel and crushing, it was also familiar — a known fear. After a century of servitude, freedom. What changed? It was the Jewish people daring to imagine for themselves something greater. Daring to take great risks and face great fears to find liberation. This willingness to stand up for justice is a strength we have found again and again. When the oppression of economic exploitation demanded it, our grandparents found it in the labor movement; when the civil rights movement demanded it, our parents travelled to the South to register voters. Now this moment demands again that we take risks for justice.

What our neighbors in communities of color are asking — what the Jews of color in our own communities need from their fellow Jews — is that we push past the comfortable and move to action. In the streets, in our synagogues and homes, with our voices, our bodies, our money and resources, with our imaginations. In doing so we must center the voices and the leadership of Jews of color and other communities of color, while forming deep partnerships and long-term commitments to fight for lasting change.

Passover is a time of remembrance but also one of renewal — of looking ahead toward the spring and new growth that will sustain us through the seasons to come. Once we spent spring in the desert. It was harsh and difficult but from that journey grew a people who have endured for centuries. What would happen if we took that journey again, not alone in the wilderness but surrounded by friends and allies, leaving no one behind?

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-- Four Children
Source : AJWS

At Passover each year, we read the story of our ancestors’ pursuit of liberation from oppression. When confronting this history, how do we answer our children when they ask us how to pursue justice in our time?

What does the activist child ask?

“The Torah tells me, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue,’ but how can I pursue justice?”

Empower her always to seek pathways to advocate for the vulnerable. As Proverbs teaches, “Speak up for the mute, for the rights of the unfortunate. Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.”

What does the skeptical child ask?

“How can I solve problems of such enormity?”

Encourage him by explaining that he need not solve the problems, he must only do what he is capable of doing. As we read in Pirke Avot—The Ethics of our Ancestors, “It is not your responsibility to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

What does the indifferent child say?

“It’s not my responsibility.”

Persuade her that responsibility cannot be shirked. As Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, “The opposite of good is not evil, the opposite of good is indifference. In a free society where terrible wrongs exist, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”

And the uninformed child who does not know how to ask... Prompt him to see himself as an inheritor of our people’s legacy. As it says in Deuteronomy, “You must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

At this season of liberation, let us work toward the liberation of all people.

Let us respond to our children’s questions with action and justice.

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

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.

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

-- Four Children
Source : Temple Emunah Women’s Seder Haggadah Design Committee
Around our tables sit four daughters:

Wise Daughter

The wise daughter understands that not everything is as it appears. She is the one who speaks up, confident that her opinion counts. She is the one who can take the tradition and ritual that is placed before her, turn it over and over, and find personal meaning in it. She is the one who can find the secrets in the empty spaces between the letters of the Torah. She is the one who claims a place for herself even if the men do not make room for her. Some call her wise and accepting. We call her creative and assertive. We welcome creativity and assertiveness to sit with us at our tables and inspire us to act.

Wicked Daughter

The wicked daughter is the one who dares to challenge the simplistic answers she has been given. She is the one who asks too many questions. She is the one not content to remain in her prescribed place. She is the one who breaks the mold. She is the one who challenges the status quo. Some call her wicked and rebellious. We call her daring and courageous. We welcome rebellion to sit with us at our tables and make us uneasy.

Simple Daughter

The simple daughter is the one who accepts what she is given without asking for more. She is the one who trusts easily and believes what she is told. She is the one who prefers waiting and watching over seeking and acting. She is the one who believes that the redemption from Egypt was the final act of freedom. She is the one who follows in the footsteps of others. Some call her simple and naive. We call her the one whose eyes are yet to be opened. We welcome the contented one to sit with us at our tables and appreciate what will is still to come.

Daughter Who Does Not Know How to Ask

Last is the daughter who does not know how to ask. She is one who obeys and does not question. She is the one who has accepted men’s definitions of the world. She is the one who has not found her own voice. She is the one who is content to be invisible. Some call her subservient and oppressed. We call her our sister. We welcome the silent one to sit with us at our tables and experience a community that welcomes the voices of women.

-- Four Children
Source : Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The Wise Child asks: “What are the statutes and laws in our country that protect individuals from discrimination based on race?”

You should respond by referencing some of the most important pieces of legislation aimed at addressing racial injustice in the United States, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. You should note that these laws were won through the efforts of individuals committed to social change, including many Reform Jews, and that the various protections they provide are critical to combatting discrimination on the basis of race. At the same time, you should remind this child that the protections we already have are imperfect and, in many cases, are coming under attack. It is our responsibility as Reform Jews to fight against the erosion of existing civil rights laws and to advocate for reforms in education, criminal justice, voting rights and economic policies that advance true racial equality.

The Wicked Child asks: “Why must I be involved in pursuing racial justice?”

In asking this question, the wicked child has denied a basic principle of Judaism: that we have a collective responsibility to address injustice, even when we are not directly affected by that injustice or might benefit from it because of our own privilege. You should teach this child that it is for the sake of everyone that we advocate for racial justice. In protecting voting rights, improving access to education and calling for sensible criminal justice and law enforcement reforms, we affirm the fundamental Jewish belief that all people are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image, and thus are deserving of equal rights.

The Simple Child asks: “What do we even mean by racial justice?”

You should tell this child that racial justice is the pursuit of equality for all people, regardless of race. You should further explain that racial injustice can take many forms, from explicitly racist comments to laws
and institutions that perpetuate racial inequalities. With a firm hand, we as Reform Jews must protect every single person’s civil rights, ensuring that no individual is excluded from the benefits of society or suffers under discriminatory laws and actions solely because of race or ethnicity. We must also consider the ways in which we are ourselves complicit in racial injustice and work to build communities and congregations that reflect our commitment to equality.

And the Child Who Does Not Know How to Ask:

To respond to the child who is too overwhelmed to ask a question, you should start at the beginning, telling the child that we are not required to complete the work of racial justice, but neither are we free to desist from it. There are many ways that we can play a positive role in the campaign for racial justice. We can help make racial justice issues a priority in our own synagogues by embracing Jewish racial diversity and by learning together about structural racism. We can build relationships across lines of faith and race. And we can initiate or participate in community, state and national efforts to advocate for civil rights laws. In all of these ways, we honor the legacy of our parents and grandparents – who in previous generations participated in acts of civil disobedience, marched arm-in-arm in support of equal rights for all Americans, and traveled to register voters – while at the same time ensuring that our children and future generations are granted an America in which our vision of racial justice is truly realized.

For more information on the racial justice, please visit rac.org/RacialJustice.
For all Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism resources, please visit rac.org/Passover.

-- Four Children
Source : Galia Godel

Our tradition speaks of four children with four attitudes towards the  pesach  seder: a wise child, a wicked child, a simple child, and a child who does not know how to ask. Tonight, we speak of four people in our queer community, and how they approach a queer and trans world.

The Wise Person: The wise one asks, "what work can we do to make our world more inclusive?"

To that person we say, "go out and make tangible changes. Do research on your own. Ask members of marginalized communities what needs their community has, and then work with those members to fight for their rights. Remember to uplift the voices of those in marginalized communities, and never to speak over them. "

The Wicked Person: The wicked one asks, "aren't we done, now that gay marriage has been legalized?" 

To that person we say, "the LGBTQ community has more members than just cisgender, White gay people, and when you separate yourself from those of us who have yet to achieve legal and social rights, you lose your place in the queer community."

The Simple Person: The simple one asks," what are we fighting for?"

To that person we say, "we are fighting for every person under the queer umbrella. Gays and lesbians. Bisexual and transgender and asexual and intersex people. Questioning youth and questioning adults. And when every person under that umbrella has achieved equal rights under the law, we will move on to other marginalized communities, because we will never forget what it feels like to have to struggle just to live. 

The Person That Doesn't Know: The person that does not yet know they are queer cannot ask anything at all. They do not yet have context for their confusing desires, their unknowable identity, their undefinable needs. 

For that person, we must create a welcoming world. We must fight for representation in media. We must display the beauty and vibrancy of a queer life. So when that person finds a label for their desires, their identity, their needs, they will see a welcoming and loving community behind it, ready to welcome them with open arms. 

-- Exodus Story
Source : jewishboston.com

Our story starts in ancient times, with Abraham, the first person to have the idea that 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.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : 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

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Religious Action Center on Reform Judaism

On Passover, we remember the ten plagues that were put upon the Egyptian people. Thousands of years later, modern-day plagues of inequality should ignite contemporary responses to combat these injustices. Many of the most vulnerable members of our society are disproportionately affected; they cannot be “passed over” or ignored, especially during this important holiday. As we think about the ancient plagues, let us also keep in mind those who still live under the weight of modern plagues.

  1. A justice system that instills fear and divides communities does no justice at all: it must be independent and fair to foster an equal society. Just as the first plague of blood recalls violence and turmoil, we must take action to reform our criminal justice system so that it meets the highest ideals of society and overcomes the brokenness – the spilled blood – that began this cycle in the first place.
  1. Today, essential pathways to opportunity are blocked by a basic lack of shelter and affordable housing. Just as the plague of frogs transformed the Egyptians’ homes into unlivable conditions, the lack of affordable housing can transform lives into the most basic struggle. Until more affordable housing units are created, too many people in need will not be able to have a home of their own.
  1. Today’s health care system remains out of reach to so many, millions of Americans still do not have insurance. The plague of lice reminds us that affordable, quality healthcare is important to have when we are healthy, and especially when unforeseen circumstances arise. We must work to advocate for those who do not have access to health care to ensure that all Americans can receive the treatments that they need.
  1. Sadly the plague of gun violence in America is all too familiar; guns kill 32,000 Americans each year. Gun violence runs rampant in our communities, as did the wild animals, but we have the power to end this scourge ourselves. We are commanded to take necessary measures to ensure the sanctity of human life and safety of our communities.
  1. Hungry kids are not a distant tragedy; they are in every community. Our tradition is explicit in commanding that we feed the hungry, and we must work to make that a reality. The plague of cattle disease reminds us how important it is to ensure that all people have the resources and support needed to live healthily.
  1. Malaria—spread through the single bite of a mosquito—keeps countries poor, costing the African continent approximately $12 billion a year in lost productivity and using up to 40 percent of all public health care resources. Just as malaria plagues us today, did boils plague the Egyptians when this sudden health crisis impaired their lives and livelihood.
  1. We must all take action to adapt to and to mitigate the effects of climate change, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that climate change most significantly impacts low income communities and people of color. The climate disruption of the plague of hail is a reminder that the onus is on each of us to take action to prevent climate disruption in communities where such events would have a devastating impact.
  1. Our tradition speaks strongly to valuing workers’ essential dignity as well as maintaining healthy families. Just as the locusts disrupted work and resources for the Egyptians, so does the lack of paid sick days disrupt the lives of families and workplaces across the United States. Without a national minimum standard, workers face agonizing choices between health  and subsistence.
  1. Education is the key to opportunity and prosperity; and the fewer the educational resources, the more challenging for those students to advance in society. The plague of darkness reminds us to pursue a bright future for all our children through robust public education. We cannot keep some members of our community on the margins by denying them educational opportunities.
  1. There are many structural policy changes that we can make to ameliorate economic inequality. The drama and pain of the plague of the death of the firstborn does not remind of us of any one social justice issue, but it does remind us of the importance of taking action before crises become truly dire. Raising the minimum wage underscores the previous nine plagues by lifting millions of people out of poverty and taking them away from these plagues.

Criminal Justice System

Lack of Affordable Housing

Inadequate Health Care

Gun Violence

Hunger

Malaria

Climate Change

Unjust Work Environments

Education Inequity

Low Minimum Wage

We cannot let these injustices of inequality continue. On Passover, we commit to structural change so that these issues will no longer be plaguing millions at home and around the globe. As we celebrate our redemption from the land of Egypt, and of the plagues that played a role in that redemption, we cannot lose sight of the plagues that still exist today. If we can overcome these plagues, so many more people will be able to revel in the liberation and redemption that the Jewish people celebrates on Passover.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Dayenu by KB Frazier (Jews for Racial & Economic Justice)

Singing Dayenu is a 1000-year old Passover tradition. The 15-stanza poem thanks G-d for 15 blessings bestowed upon the Jews in the Exodus. Had G-d only parted the seas for us, “It would have been enough” we say for each miracle or divine act, thus humbly appreciating the immensity of the gifts. KB Frazier’s reworking of the poem addresses us, rather than G-d. It calls us to greater action for justice, saying “lo dayenu” (it would not have been enough) in recognition of the work still unfinished.

1. If we had sparked a human rights revolution that would unite people all over the world and not followed our present day Nachshons (leaders) as they help us part the sea of colonialism, white supremacy, and institutional racism — Lo Dayenu

2. If we had followed Nachshons like the youth leaders in Ferguson and not heeded the words they spoke from Black Liberation Leader Assata Shakur: It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains — Lo Dayenu

3. If we had truly sh’ma (listened) to the stories, pain and triumphs of our brothers and sisters of color without feeling the need to correct, erase or discredit them and did not recognize the Pharaohs of this generation — Lo Dayenu

4.If we had advocated for genocide recognition and reparations for Jews, Armenians, Rwandans, Cambodians, Romani, Sudanese, and all persecuted peoples — Lo Dayenu

5. If we had realized that being a “light unto the nations” is not an excuse for paternalism, but a call to dismantle oppressive systems and work toward repairing the world — Lo Dayenu

6. If we had protested police use of tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and rifles pointed at protesters and forgotten that we are all b’tselem elohim, created in G-d’s image — Lo Dayenu

7. If we were to stand on podiums announcing that Islam means peace, that our hands shake when we hear of violent far off attacks signed with names that are similar to ours — Lo Dayenu

8. If we were to voice stories of women fired from their jobs, ignored on subways, pushed in lines, asked to leave in restaurants — Lo Dayenu

9. If we were asked to translate our names, our lives, the constant misunderstanding and the constant tired need to defend our right to exist, breathe, walk the same space and not be seen as unwanted, dangerous, a risk, an other — Lo Dayenu

10. If our voices were to be accepted, if our stories held as truth — Lo Dayenu

11. If we had worked to dismantle the reigns of today’s Pharaohs and had not joined the new civil rights movement — Lo Dayenu

12. If we had marched, chanted, listened, learned and engaged in this new civil rights movement and not realized that this story is our story, including our people and requiring our full participation — Lo Dayenu

13. If we had concluded that our work is not done, that the story is still being written, that now is still the moment to be involved and that we haven’t yet brought our gifts and talents to a global human rights revolution — Lo Dayenu

We must work together to progress from Lo Dayenu to Dayenu in the coming years. Ken Yehi Ratzon.

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

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.

The 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.

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 : 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.

Rachtzah
Source : JewishBoston.com with additions by Jessica Jacobs
Rachtzah

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 : Religious Action Center

Together, we recite:

ָבּרוּךְ ַא ָתה יי, ֱאלֹ ֵהינוּ ֶמ ֶלךְ ָהעוֹ ָלם, ַהמּוֹ ִציא ֶלֶחם ִמן ָהָאֶרץ.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, hamotzi lechem min haaretz 
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

As we bless the matzah we thank God for bringing forth bread from the earth and commanding us to eat matzah. Although we verbally thank God for giving us the tools to sustain ourselves, we must also show our gratitude with action. Let us work to show full appreciation and understanding of the environmental and human impacts of our food consumption. Furthermore, let us work to ensure that sustainable food is accessible to everyone.

Together, we recite:

ָבּרוּךְ ַאָתה יי ֱאלֹ ֵהינוּ ֶמֶלךְ ָהעוָֹלם, ֲא ֶשר ִקְד ָשנוּ ְבּ ִמ ְצווָֹתיו, ְו ִצָוּנוּ ַעל ֲאִכיַלת ַמ ָצה.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al achilat matzah. 
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and ordained that we should eat unleavened bread.

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 with additions by Jessica Jacobs

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.

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?" Pirkei Avot, 1:14

Shulchan Oreich
Source : JewishBoston.com
Shulchan Oreich

Eating the meal! | shulchan oreich | שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ Enjoy! But don’t forget when you’re done we’ve got a little more seder to go, including the final two cups of wine!

Tzafun
Source : JewishBoston.com

Finding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon | צָפוּן

The playfulness of finding the afikomen reminds us that we balance our solemn memories of slavery with a joyous celebration of freedom. As we eat the afikomen, our last taste of matzah for the evening, we are grateful for moments of silliness and happiness in our lives.

Bareich
Source : Jewish Boston

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 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!

Bareich
Source : HIAS

Gathered around the Seder table, we pour four cups, remembering the gift of freedom that our ancestors received centuries ago. We delight in our liberation from Pharaoh's oppression.

We drink four cups for four promises fulfilled.

The first cup as God said, "I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians."

The second as God said, "And I will deliver you from their bondage."

The third as God said, "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm with great judgements."

The fourth because God said, "I will take you to be My People."

We know, though, that all are not yet free. As we welcome Elijah the Prophet into our homes, we offer a fifth cup, a cup not yet consumed. 

A fifth cup for the 60 million refugees and displaced people around the world still waiting to be free-- from refugee camps in Chad to the cities and towns of Ukraine, for the Syrian refugees still waiting to be delivered from the hands of tyrants, for the thousands of asylum seekers in the United States still waiting in detention for redemption to come, for all those who yearn to be taken in not as strangers but as fellow human beings. 

This Passover, let us walk in the footsteps of the One who delivered us from bondage. When we rise from our Seder tables, may we be emboldened to take action on behalf of the world's refugees, hastening Elijah's arrival as we speak out on behalf of those who are not yet free. 

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי,

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, 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.

Bareich

Along with the cup for the Prophet Elijah, we have a cup for the Prophetess Miriam, sister of Moses, one of the central figures in the Exodus story. Miriam has long been associated with water – she watched over Moses when he was placed in the Nile River and provided the Israelites with life-sustaining water during their wandering in the desert.  The tradition of Miriam’s cup is meant to honor Miriam’s role in the story of the Jewish people and draw attention to the importance of the other women of the Exodus story who have sometimes been overlooked but about whom our tradition says, "If it wasn't for the righteousness of women of that generation we would not have been redeemed from Egypt" (Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 9b).

זאת כּוֹס ִמריָם, כּוֹס ַמיִם ַחיִּים זֵכר ִליציאַת ִמצריִם

Zot kos Miryam, cos mayim chayim zecher litziat Mitzrayim.

This is the cup of Miriam, the cup of living waters, a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt.

Let us remember the Exodus from Egypt. These are the living waters, God’s gift to Miriam, which gave new life to Israel as we struggled with ourselves in the wilderness. Blessed are You God, Who brings us from the narrows into the wilderness, sustains us with endless possibilities, and enables us to reach a new place.

Hallel

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 think of the strength of this community. The strength we find in believing in the power of people, the power of love, the power of something greater than ourselves, and the power of working to make the world a better place.

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!

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!”

For us, "Next year in Jerusalem!" is a symbol, not necessarily about the physical location of Jerusalem, but a symbol of hope, holiness, and the joining together of different communities. In this context, Jerusalem is not a physical place but a metaphor for the spiritual and emotional place where we want to be in the year to come.

Next Year in a More Just World by American Jewish World Service

The traditional aspiration, "Next Year in Jerusalem," is our people's millennia-old hope for redemption. At AJWS, our yearning takes the form of hope and action for a more just world.

Join us, this year, in helping achieve...

Peace in societies torn by war

Freedom from bigotry and oppression

Equality for minorities shunned by prejudice and hatred

Respect for the aspirations and humanity of women and girls

Acceptance for people persecuted for who they are or whom they love

Sustenance for communities living in hunger

A safe harbor for refugees and survivors of violence

And the promise of dignity and human rights for all

Together, with those around this Seder table and with our global family connected by our collective pursuit of justice, we pray: "Next year in a more just world." And through our actions from this Passover to the next, let us make this dream a reality.

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

Where do you hope to be in the coming year?

Songs

Sometimes I lay
Under the moon
And thank God I'm breathing
Then I pray
Don't take me soon
'Cause I am here for a reason

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it'll all turn around because...

All my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play
One day (x6)

It's not about
Win or lose
'Cause we all lose
When they feed on the souls of the innocent
Blood-drenched pavement
Keep on moving though the waters stay raging

In this maze you can lose your way (your way)
It might drive you crazy but don't let it faze you, no way (no way)

Sometimes in my tears I drown (I drown)
But I never let it get me down (get me down)
So when negativity surrounds (surrounds)
I know some day it'll all turn around because...

All my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play
One day (x6)

One day this all will change
Treat people the same
Stop with the violence
Down with the hate

One day we'll all be free
And proud to be
Under the same sun
Singing songs of freedom like
One day (x6)

All my life I've been waiting for
I've been praying for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play
One day (x6)

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