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Redemption: In the Exodus story, the Jews were redeemed physically from slavery. While Pesach is "z'man heyruteinu," the season of our freedom, it is also a festival that speaks of spiritual redemption. Jews were freed from mental as well as physical slavery. It was as a physically and spiritually free people that the Jewish nation prepared to receive the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The seder also includes many allusions to a future messianic redemption. One of the clearest symbols is the Cup of Elijah placed on every seder table. Contained within the salvation from Egypt are the seeds of future redemption, as the Torah states, "This same night is a night of watching unto the Lord for all the children of Israel throughout their generations" (Exodus 12:42).
Creation: Passover is known by several names in Hebrew, including Chag HaAviv, holiday of the spring. Pesach celebrates spring, rebirth, and renewal, symbolized by the green “ karpas ” and the egg on the seder plate. It is also a time of “beginning,” as exemplified by the first grain harvest and the birth of Israel as a nation. Also, Nissan, this Hebrew month, was traditionally seen as the first month of the Jewish year.
Education: Four different times in the Torah, the Jews are commanded to repeat the story of the Passover (Exodus 12:26, 13:8, 14; Deuteronomy 6:20). The seder is centered around teaching the story of the exodus from Egypt. In fact, Haggadah means “the telling.” Two of the most important readings address education head on: the four questions and the four sons. The first encourages even the youngest children to begin asking questions, while the latter instructs us how to respond to different learning styles. Even at a seder without children present, the night takes on an educational feel. Thought provoking questions and supportive debate are encouraged.
Patterns of Four: Throughout the seder, you may notice the number four being repeated in many guises. This is based on the verse in Exodus that states, "I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments, and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God…" (Exodus 6:6-7). Among many other patterns of four at the seder, we drink four cups of wine, ask four questions, and speak about four types of children.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן
Blessed is the maker of the fruit of the vine! Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech haolam, borei pri hagafen. Thank you for God for giving us festivals and seasons to rejoice, and this Festival of Matzot to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. You have made us and our seasons of joy holy!
[ ∆ Drink first cup of grape juice / wine ]
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶה
Let us recite the Shehechiyanu Prayer thanking God that we have come together for this Seder: Thank you God for bringing us to this time and place! Baruch Ata Adonay Elohenu Melech Ha-olam, She-hechiyanu, V’kimanu, V’heegianu, La’zman hazeh.
[ First Seder night only ]
Take less than a kezayit (the volume of one olive) of the karpas, dip it into salt-water, and recite the following blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adamah.
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.
Take the middle matzah and break it into two, one piece larger than the other.
The larger piece is set aside to serve as Afikoman. This is traditionally hidden, by the leader of the Seder for the children to “steal” or “find” and then ransom for a something at the end of the Seder.
The smaller piece is put back, between the two matzot. This smaller piece, along with the top matzah is what will be used for the “Motzi-Matzah” and “Korech”
[ ∆ Holding matzah high ]
This is the poor man’s bread that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry, come and eat, all who are in distress, come share Passover with us! This year we are here, next year let’s celebrate in Jerusalem. This year we are slaves, next year may we be free!
Now, I have four questions...
Maggid – Four Questions
?מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת
Mah nish-ta-na ha-lai-lah ha-zeh mikol ha-lei-lot?
Why is this night of Passover different from all other nights of the year?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה - כּוּלוֹ מַצָּה
She-b'chol ha-lei-lot anu och'lin cha-meitz u-matzah. Ha-laylah hazeh kulo matzah.
On all other nights, we eat either leavened or unleavened bread, why on this night do we eat only matzah?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר
Sheb'chol ha-lei-lot anu och'lin sh'ar y'rakot. Ha-lai-lah h-azeh maror.
On all other nights, we eat vegetables of all kinds, why on this night must we eat bitter herbs?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אֶנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים
Sheb'chol ha-lei-lot ein anu mat-beelin afee-lu pa-am echat.Ha-lai-lah hazeh sh'tei p'ameem.
On all other nights, we do not dip vegetables even once,
why on this night do we dip greens into salt water and bitter herbs into sweet haroset?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָנו מְסֻ
Sheb’khol ha-lei-lot anu och-leem bein yo-shveen u-vein m’su-been, ha-lailah hazeh kulanu m’subeen.
On all other nights, everyone sits up straight at the table, why on this night do we recline and eat at leisure?
The Torah reflects upon four types of kids: One Wise, One Evil, One Simple, and One Who Doesn’t Know How To Ask. GUIDE the wise one through the obligations of Passover. TELL the Evil One, we need you to be part of our people. EXPLAIN to the Simple One, “with a strong hand God brought us out of Egypt.” ENGAGE the one who doesn’t know how to ask, make that child feel comfortable, and tell them about the Exodus.
[ ∆ Take a drop of juice/wine from your cup for each plague]
There are ten plagues which God brought upon the Egyptians: Blood — frogs — Lice — Wild Beasts — Disease — Boils — Hail and fire — Locusts — Darkness — Death of the first born.
LEADER LEADS SINGING OF DAYEINU
Dei, Deiyenu x 4
PARTICIPANTS SING TO TUNE OF DAYEINU
If God had taken us out of Egypt and not punished our enemies, it would've been enough. If God punished our enemies and not parted the Red Sea, it would've been enough. If God brought us the Torah, but not brought us to Israel, it would have been enough! If God brought us to Israel, but didn’t build a Temple, it would have been enough.
LEADER Rabbi Gamliel said: On Passover we must discuss three things: Pesach, Matzah and Maror.
PARTICIPANTS SAY TOGETHER
[ ∆ point to the shankbone ]
PESACH is the sacrifice our ancestors would eat during the time of the Temple, because God passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt.
PARTICIPANTS SAY TOGETHER
[ ∆ point to matzah ]
This is MATZAH. Because the dough of our ancestors did not have time to rise before God redeemed them from Egypt.
PARTICIPANTS SAY TOGETHER
[ ∆ point to Maror ]
This is MAROR - why do we eat it? Because the Egyptians oppressed our ancestors in Egypt, they made their lives bitter with hard labor, with mortar and bricks, and other hardships.
LEADER Friends, in every generation we need to feel like WE had left Egypt. So now we need to thank and praise God for the miracles of the Exodus. Halleluyah! Thank you God for everything!
PARTICIPANTS SAY TOGETHER Blessed is the maker of the fruit of the vine! Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech haolam, borei pri hagafen.
[ ∆ Drink the Second Cup]
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה.
Blessed is the maker of bread. Blessed is God who commanded us to eat Matzah! Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech ha olam, ha motzi lechem min haaretz, Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech haolam asher kidshanu b mitzvotav v tzivanu al achilat matzah.
[ ∆ everyone eat matzah ]
Blessed is God who commanded us to eat Maror! Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech haolam asher kidshanu b mitzvotav v tzivanu al achilat maror
[ ∆ Everyone eat the Maror- Horseradish or Romain lettuce ]
Rabbi Hillel combined the Passover offering, the Matzah and Maror together in a sandwich and eat them to fulfill the words of the Torah “They shall eat it with Matzah and bitter herbs.”
[ ∆ Make a sandwich from matzah, Charoset and Horseradish ]
Shulchan Orech שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ
Now is time to enjoy the festival meal and participate in lively discussion. It is permitted to drink wine between the second and third cups.
After the meal, take the Afikoman and divide it among all the guests at the Seder table.
It is forbidden to drink or eat anything (except the remaining two ritual cups of wine) after eating the Afikoman.
Thank you God for this awesome meal! Blessed is the maker of the fruit of the vine!
Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech haolam, borei pri hagafen.
[ ∆ Drink the Third Cup ]
[ ∆ Sing together]
“Oseh Shalom bimromav, who ya’aseh shalom aleinu, v al kol yisrael, v’imru, amen! Yaaseh shalom, yaaseh shalom, shalom aleinu, v al kol yisrael.
[ ∆ Say together ]
God bring peace to the Jewish People!
The Fourth Cup of Wine
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן.
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, borei p’ri hagafen.
Praised are you, Adonai, Ruler of the universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.