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Introduction
Source : http://www.sinai-temple.org/passover/plagues.php

I am always a bit amazed and awed by my own anxiety level before Passover. Because I am aware of what the Seder will demand, I must will myself to take the evening of story and song seriously. The luxuries and comforts of my home, and the freedoms that are mine, beckon far more realistically than the bitter maror. We have been raised in a culture that seeks pleasure and personal satisfaction. Pesach is asking me to rebel, if only briefly, from that world. But I take to heart the command of the Haggadah: "In every generation, each of us must reexperience personally the Exodus from Egypt." So here we are again, the sun is setting, the candles are being lit, the table has all the proper ritual items, and I do not know if I and those with whom I am sharing this encounter have the strength to taste the grip of slavery and feel the thrill of liberation.


The Seder is not simply an obligation I must fill, but an extraordinary opportunity to be moved by a memory and re-energized to believe that the work I do may help complete the liberation initiated over three millennia ago. I want my voice to be more than the faint echo of generations past. In a world filled with commonness, I am elevated to kedusha - a place of unique sacredness - through my presence at this re-enactment. Here is an event that left no trace except through the memory of people. And because of their will to nurture and nourish this story of a journey from slavery to freedom, and our commitment to accept the gift of memory, the world is many steps closer to freedom and I, a warrior of human liberation.

Dr. David Elcott

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

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drink the first glass of wine!

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

To wash your hands, you don’t need soap, but you do need a cup to pour water over your hands. Pour water on each of your hands three times, alternating between your hands. If the people around your table don’t want to get up to walk all the way over to the sink, you could pass a pitcher and a bowl around so everyone can wash at their seats… just be careful not to spill!

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 what we hope to get out of our evening together tonight. Go around the table and share one hope or expectation you have for tonight's seder.

Urchatz
by Leora
Source : Original
At this point, I will symbolically wash my hands for all of us, without saying the blessing. As I take a moment to wash my hands, imagine that you are washing away all anxiety and stress in your life, and allow yourself to be filled with the hope that the world can be a better place for us all.
Karpas
Source : Adapted from Jewishboston.com
Passover combines the celebration of an event from Jewish memory with a recognition of the cycles of nature. As we remember the liberation from Egypt, we also recognize the stirrings of spring and rebirth happening in the world around us. The symbols on our table bring together elements of both kinds of celebration.

We now take a vegetable, in this case parsely, to represent our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold winter. Whatever symbol of spring and sustenance we’re using, we now dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. Before we eat it, we recite a short blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-adama. We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruits of the earth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yachatz
Source : http://www.aish.com/h/pes/t/g/the_inner_meaning_of_matzah.html

Why is matzah so basic to the celebration of Passover? Why is Passover called Chag HaMatzos, "the Holiday of Matzos" by the Torah? ...Why has matzah come to symbolize human freedom?

Matzah has many aspects. It is the "bread of affliction," poor man's bread, eaten by slaves. It is also the bread of liberation and freedom....

Bread is the staff of life, but matzah is the most basic bread, the simplest food made by man. Matzah involves the amalgamation of the three basic elements that define civilized man: grain, water and fire. No external element beyond flour and water is permitted to define or influence its form. If the mixture of flour and water was allowed to stand for more than 18 minutes, the process of fermentation has already begun to take place...

The intervention of this outside force is a symbolic expression of the intrusion of outside forces on man; forces that sway people from their chosen determined path ..., compromising human independence, autonomy and choice. ...

What is the difference between chametz (leaven) and matzah? Time. Nothing else. The ingredients are the same. By definition, dough made of flour and water that stands for more than 18 minutes before it is fully baked becomes chametz , leaven. Because matzah is bread that is not leavened, it represents exercising independent, disciplined will, uninfluenced by external forces. Matzah is the opposite of chametz .

Matzos are baked quickly, in an effort to overcome the influences and limitations of time. We bake flat, crisp matzah in order to reenact the Exodus, when the Children of Israel fled Egypt in a hurry, as the Torah says: "You shall eat matzot during seven days…bread of suffering, for you departed Egypt in great haste." What was the hurry?

For the above reasons, the words "mitzvah" and "matzah" are analogous. Our Sages teach, "mitzvah she'haba'ah leyadcha al tachmitzena, when a mitzvah comes your way, do not allow it to ferment" i.e. when the opportunity to do a mitzvah arises, do it quickly. ...[We are] expected to conquer time, to live beyond time, to associate his life with God, Who is timeless and eternal. ... the present is now -- this is why it is so precious....

Maggid - Beginning
Source : https://books.google.com/books?id=K6JiTdJH1kwC&pg=PR2&lpg=PR2&dq=The+New+Haggadah+for+the+Pesach+Seder,+edited+by+Mordecai+M+Kap
Judi's Haggadah

(this is the text of a 1978 edition of the Haggadah we have used for years at Judi's house.)

-- Four Questions
Source : http://www.nickjr.com/printables/passover-four-questions.jhtml
Four Questions

-- 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 : http://michaeldorf.com/seder/16.html

The answers to the questions come from Michael Dorf, the Downtown Seder 

On this night we overcome the darkness with the light of creation, so that we can all see each other face to face as equals.

1. Why, on this night celebrating our freedom, do we insist on the eating of the bread of slavery? 

Because on this night, more than any other night, we must remember that we can never be truly free until all people everywhere can share in our freedom. We remember that, fortunate as we may be, there are still so many people around the world who have no choice but to eat their  matzah, because that is all they have.

2. Why on this night celebrating our freedom, do we eat these bitter herbs? 

Because on this night, more than any other night, we must remember the past, so as to ensure that we are not trapped in the complacency of the present. On this night we reflect on the adage that those who forget the past are condemned to relive it, and remember how tenuous our own freedom is.

3. Why do we dip the herbs twice tonight, first in salt water and then in sweet  charoset

Because on this night, more than any other night, we must recognize that there are people everywhere whose tears still drench their food. Then we dip again in the  charoset  to represent not only the mortar that our ancestors once used in Egypt, but also the mortar that we must all use to build a better world. By dipping twice we declare that it is not enough to recognize the tears of others, but that we must take real steps to build a sweeter world for them.

4. Why on this night, when we remember the sorrows of others, do we insist on celebrating? 

Because on this night, more than on any other night, we recognize that freedom is an ongoing process and that we are here to take the first steps. And though we may not see the fruit of all our efforts, we celebrate knowing that we are laying the groundwork for future generations, descendants of Adam and of Eve, to truly celebrate a  Pesach  of freedom.

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

As we tell the story, we think about it from all angles. Our tradition speaks of four different types of children who might react differently to the Passover seder. It is our job to make our story accessible to all the members of our community, so we think about how we might best reach each type of child:

What does the wise child say?

The wise child asks, What are the testimonies and laws which God commanded you?

You must teach this child the rules of observing the holiday of Passover.

What does the wicked child say?

The wicked child asks, What does this service mean to you?

To you and not to himself! Because he takes himself out of the community and misses the point, set this child’s teeth on edge and say to him: “It is because of what God did for me in taking me out of Egypt.” Me, not him. Had that child been there, he would have been left behind.

What does the simple child say?

The simple child asks, What is this?

To this child, answer plainly: “With a strong hand God took us out of Egypt, where we were slaves.”

What about the child who doesn’t know how to ask a question?

Help this child ask.

Start telling the story:

“It is because of what God did for me in taking me out of Egypt.”

-

Do you see yourself in any of these children? At times we all approach different situations like each of these children. How do we relate to each of them?

-- Four Children
Source : http://www.sinai-temple.org/passover/four_children.php

The Four Children…thinking about justice

At Passover, we are confronted with the story of our ancestor’s pursuit of liberation from oppression. Facing this mirror of 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 shall you pursue,’ but how can I pursue justice?”
Empower him always to seek pathways to advocate for the vulnerable. As the Book of 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 her by explaining that she need not solve the problems, she must only do what she is capable of doing. As we read in Pirke Avot, “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 him 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 her to see herself 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.”

-- Exodus Story
Source : The Velveteen Rabbi
Once upon a time, during a famine our ancestor Jacob and his family fled to Egypt where food was plentiful. His son Joseph had risen to high position in Pharaoh’s court, and our people were well-respected and well-regarded, secure in the power structure of the time.

Generations passed and our people remained in Egypt. In time, a new Pharaoh ascended to the throne. He found our difference threatening, and ordered our people enslaved. In fear of rebellion, Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew baby boys be killed. Two midwives named Shifrah and Puah defied his orders.  Through their courage, a boy survived; midrash tells us he was radiant with light. Fearing for his safety, his family placed him in a basket and he floated down the Nile. He was found, and adopted, by Pharaoh’s daughter, who named him Moses because she drew him forth from the water.  Thanks to Moses' sister Miriam, Pharaoh's daughter hired their mother, Yocheved, as his wet-nurse. Thus he survived to adulthood, and was raised as Prince of Egypt.

Although a child of privilege, as he grew he became aware of the slaves who worked in the brickyards of his father. When he saw an overseer mistreat a slave, Moses struck the overseer and killed him. Fearing retribution, he set out across the Sinai alone. God spoke to him from a burning bush, which though it flamed was not consumed. The Voice called him to lead the Hebrew people to freedom. Moses argued with God, pleading inadequacy, but God disagreed. Sometimes our responsibilities choose us.

Moses returned to Egypt and went to Pharaoh to argue the injustice of slavery. He gave Pharaoh a mandate which resounds through history: Let my people go. Pharaoh refused, and Moses warned him that Mighty God would strike the Egyptian people. These threats were not idle; ten terrible plagues were unleashed upon the Egyptians. Only when his nation lay in ruins did Pharaoh agree to our liberation.

Fearful that Pharaoh would change his mind, our people fled, not waiting for their bread dough to rise.  Our people did not leave Egypt alone; a “mixed multitude” went with them. From this we learn that liberation is not for us alone, but for all the nations of the earth. Even Pharaoh’s daughter came with us.

Pharaoh’s army followed us to the Sea of Reeds. We plunged into the waters. Only when we had gone as far as we could did the waters part for us. We mourn, even now, that Pharaoh’s army drowned: our liberation is bittersweet because people died in our pursuit. To this day we relive our liberation, that we may not become complacent, that we may always rejoice in our freedom.

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

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

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

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

Blood | dam | דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |  צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim | כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever | דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail | barad | בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech | חֹֽשֶׁךְ

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

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

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

The Seder Symbols

To help us remember that we were not always free, we make our Seder table very different from our regular dinner. There is a Seder plate with special foods on it: charoset, bitter herbs, shank bone, parsley, and roasted egg.

Charoset, made with apples and nuts, looks like the mortar or cement used by the Jewish slaves to build Pharaoh’s cities and palaces.

Bitter Herbs help us to remember the bitter lives of the Jewish children and their families when they were forced to be slaves in Egypt.

Shank bone from a lamb is symbolic of the power of God to protect all those who believe in him. It also represents the very first Passover celebration when the Jews roasted a lamb and ate it with matzah.

Parsley represents springtime when the sun shines, trees sprout new green leaves, flowers bloom, and the Passover celebration begins.

Roasted egg reminds us of new life --  a new beginning for the Jewish people.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Sue Fishkoff, JTA
The olive branch is a universal symbol of peace, associated with the dove in the story of Noah's Ark and the Flood.

Olive trees mature slowly, so only when there was an extended time of peace, with agriculture left undisturbed, could the olive tree produce its fruit. In 2008, Jewish Voice for Peace promoted putting an olive on the seder plate as part of its Trees of Reconciliation project, which sought to donate 3,000 olive saplings to Palestinian farmers to replant trees torn down to make room for Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

This year, we have olives on our seder plate to remind us that not only are we not free until everyone is free, but we are not free until there is peace in our homes, in our community and in our world.

Adonai oz l’amo yitein, Adonai yivarech v’et amo v’shalom.

God give strength to our people, God bless our people with peace.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’eitz.

Blessed are you, Adonai, who gives us the fruit of the tree.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : My Jewish Learning
Miriam's Cup

What is a Miriam’s Cup?

A Miriam’s Cup is a new ritual object that is placed on the seder table beside the Cup of Elijah. Miriam’s Cup is filled with water. It serves as a symbol of Miriam’s Well, which was the source of water for the Israelites in the desert. Putting a Miriam’s Cup on your table is a way of making your seder more inclusive.

It is also a way of drawing attention to the importance of Miriam and the other women of the Exodus story, women 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).

There are many legends about Miriam’s well. It is said to have been a magical source of water that followed the Israelites for 40 years because of the merit of Miriam. The waters of this well were said to be healing and sustaining. Thus Miriam’s Cup is a symbol of all that sustains us through our own journeys, while Elijah’s Cup is a symbol of a future Messianic time.

This is the Cup of Miriam, the cup of living waters. 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."

Miriam's cup should be passed around the table allowing each participant to pour a little water form their glass into Miriam's cup.  This symbolizes the support of notable Jewish women throughout our history which are often not spoken about during our times of remembrance. 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : JewishBoston.com

The Cup of Elijah

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

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

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּיאֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ,אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד

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

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

Koreich
Source : http://www.sefaria.org/Pesach_Haggadah,_Magid,_Story_of_the_Five_Rabbis/en/Green,_1897?lang=en&layout=lines&sidebarLang=all

Pesach Haggadah, Magid, Story of the Five Rabbis 

It happened to Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akibah, and Rabbi Tarfon, that they were once banqueting at B'nei B'rak, and were speaking about the Exodus from Egypt all that night until their disciples came and said to them, "Rabbis! the time has arrived for saying the morning SHEMA!" Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said, "I am about seventy years old. and I did not understand why the story of the departure from Egypt should be told at night until Ben Zoma explained it thus : 'The Bible says (Deut. xvi. 3), "That thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life." Had it said " The days of thy life," it would have referred only to the day. But as it says, "All the days of thy life," it means to include the nights. The Sages, however, say, had it said only " the days of thy life," it would have referred to this world alone, but as it says, "All the days of thy life," it means to include also the days of the Messiah.'''

Koreich
Source : Parts adapted from jewishboston.com

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

When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the biggest ritual of them all was eating the lamb offered as the Pesach or Passover sacrifice. The great sage Hillel would put the meat in a sandwich made of matzoh, along with some of the bitter herbs. While we do not make sacrifices any more, we honor this custom by eating a sandwich of the remaining matzoh 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.

We remember also, those who still live in many different forms of bondage around the world who don't have the opportunities and privileges we have been given living in this country. As Jews, it is our duty, Tikkun Olam, to find ways in to help relieve their bitterness.

Finally, as we eat this mix of bitter and sweet in a symbolic gesture, we reflect on our own lives.

Rabbi Andrea Steinberger explained "Throughout each year and throughout our lifetimes, we challenge ourselves to remember that even in times of strength, it is better to sense our vulnerability, rather than bask in our success. We all have memories of times in which bitter and sweet were mixed in our lives, all in the same bite. Judaism says, sometimes life is like that. We can celebrate and mourn all at the same time. And somehow, everything will be ok. "

What is your koreich (mixing the bitter with the sweet) moment?

Eat the sandwich while discussing. 

Shulchan Oreich

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

The familiar hamotzi blessing marks the formal start of the meal. Because we are using matzah instead of bread, we add a blessing celebrating this mitzvah. Please join us in saying the following bolded blessings.

בְָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶֽחֶם מִן הָאָֽרֶץ:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who brings bread from the land.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתַָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה:

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

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

Distribute and eat the top and middle matzah for everyone at your table to eat.

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 : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

Refill everyone’s wine glass.

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

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

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

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

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

The Third Glass of Wine

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the third glass of wine!

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

Singing songs that praise God | hallel | הַלֵּל

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

Fourth Glass of Wine

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the fourth and final glass of wine! 

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

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 some people, the recitation of this phrase expresses the anticipation of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and the return of the Messiah. For others, it is an affirmation of hope and of connectedness with  Klal Yisrael, the whole of the Jewish community. Still others yearn for peace in Israel and for all those living in the Diaspora.

Though it comes at the end of the seder, this moment also marks a beginning. We are beginning the next season with a renewed awareness of the freedoms we enjoy and the obstacles we must still confront. We are looking forward to the time that we gather together again. Having retold stories of the Jewish people, recalled historic movements of liberation, and reflected on the struggles people still face for freedom and equality, we are ready to embark on a year that we hope will bring positive change in the world and freedom to people everywhere.

In  The Leader's Guide to the Family Participation Haggadah: A Different Night, Rabbi David Hartman writes: “Passover is the night for reckless dreams; for visions about what a human being can be, what society can be, what people can be, what history may become.”

What can  we  do to fulfill our reckless dreams? What will be our legacy for future generations?

Our seder is over, according to Jewish tradition and law. As we had the pleasure to gather for a seder this year, we hope to once again have the opportunity in the years to come. We pray that God brings health and healing to Israel and all the people of the world, especially those impacted by natural tragedy and war. As we say…

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!