Please wait while we prepare your Haggadah...
This may take up to thirty seconds.

by g
Source : Emory Douglas (text from Wikipedia)
Freedom - by Emory Douglas

Emory Douglas (born May 24, 1943) worked as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the Party disbanded in the 1980s. His graphic art was featured in most issues of the newspaper  The Black Panther  (which had a peak circulation of 139,000 per week in 1970) As the art director, designer, and main illustrator for  The Black Panther  newspaper, he created images that became icons—representing black American struggles during the 1960s and 1970s.

Source : RAC

Come, let us gather as one, bound together by love and the shared hope that all Jews, and all people, will one day live free and in peace. Together, let us recall the story of Passover, relived time and again by Jews throughout the world. As we move through the Seder, reaffirming our belief in a faith so rich in history and life, may we take into our hearts the memory of all who have and continue to enrich our lives and remember those who still suffer the pain of war, oppression, tyranny, and prejudice.

- The Chaikin Family

Source : Original

The Seder

This book is a Hagadah.which means “telling.” Tonight we will be having a seder, which means, “order”.Through this traditionally ordered ritual, we will retell the story of the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt, eat special foods that symbolize Pesach's many messages, and teach each other the traditions of Pesach, first celebrated more than 3,000 years ago.

An ancient rabbinic text instructs us, “Each person in every generation must regard himself or herself as having been personally freed from Egypt.” for the seder to be successful.

Tonight’s Seder is not just the retelling of an ancient story.Rather, we are asked to actually experience and acknowledge the bitterness of oppression and the sweetness of freedom so we may better understand the hope and courage of all men and women, of all generations, in their quest for liberty, security, and human rights. This haggadah attempts to incorporate the lives and work of each guest, and to relate the traditional story of passover to our personal experiences and to the modern world around us.

In the words of Audre Lorde: I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the fronts upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination, .wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.

The order of the seder:

Kadesh-the recitation of Kiddush.
Urchatz-washing the hands.
Karpas-eating a vegetable dipped in salt-water.
Yachatz-breaking of the middle matzo.
Maggid-the recitation of the Hagadah.
Rachtzah-washing of the hands a second time.
Motze-the recitation of the blessing hamotzi.
Matzah-the recitation of the blessing al Achilas matzo, eating the matzo.
Morror-eating the bitter herbs.
Korech-eating a sandwich of matzo and bitter herbs.
Shulchan Oruch-eating the festive meal.
Tzafun-eating the afikomen.
Bayrech-the recitation of grace.
Hallel-the recitation of Hallel psalms of praise

Nirtzah-our prayer that G-d accepts our service.

Source :

Human Trafficking Today

Human trafficking is the practice of modern day slavery, and is one of the largest criminal indus- tries in the world, generating an estimated $32 billion per year. Approximately 27 million people are enslaved today and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year (this number does not include those trafficked within a country’s borders). Fifty percent of those victims are children, and 80% are women and girls. While human trafficking is often thought of as solely an international problem, it occurs on a local level as well. An estimated 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year and an even greater number of United States citizens are trafficked within the country.

The Torah says that each one of us, every individual, is created “b’tzelem elokim,” in the image of God. How can this godly quality within each of us inspire us in our actions? What is our responsibility and our power in- herent in that gift of divine capacity? How can we use this divine potentiality within ourselves to address contemporary slavery?

We each have the power and the obligation to free today’s slaves with a “strong hand and outstretched arm.” What does the Haggadah mean by “an outstretched arm?” We must reach beyond ourselves, beyond the usual extent of our gaze. Our realm of influence, our chance to exert that divine capacity, is not an opportunity lurking in the distance—it is right here, within reach, just beyond us.

In the Haggadah, we see what would have been the continued plight of our forefathers had God not acted to take them out of Egypt. The practi- cal implications of the Exodus are far-reaching even until our own generation. Slavery does not end through hope and passivity, but by powerful action. Our action to end slavery is not only important for our own time but also for its ef- fects on future generations. This is our chance to shape the future.


“Jose Antonio Martinez and Francisco Martinez got sick of working 10 hours to make $15 after being promised $150 per day. Almost all their money in early 1999 went to their labor contractors for rent, food and their $750

smuggling fees. After picking tomatoes all day, they weren’t allowed to leave the roach-infested trailer they shared with 22 other workers west of Immokalee.

“You were locked up... you couldn’t stick your head out,” Francisco said. The floor had holes through which they saw snakes, and their mattresses were on the floor.

-From a case uncovered and prosecuted in Florida in 2003 - ( on March 2, 2010


 “The Endangered Children of Northern Uganda” Ms. Grace Grall Akallo, spokesperson for World Vision, formerly abducted LRA child soldier testifying before the House International Relations, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Opera- tions

April 26, 2006

My Story In October 1996, the LRA attacked St. Mary’s College, a girls’ boarding school in Aboke Town, in

the Apac District, in northern Uganda. They abducted 139 girls--including myself. I was 15-years-old at the time...

I was forcibly marched into southern Sudan. We walked for four days and four nights. In southern Sudan, the LRA had bases that were run and protected by forces allied with the Sudanese government in Khartoum. I, and the other girls captured with me, were trained to assemble and disassemble, clean and use guns. We were used as slave labor by the LRA and Sudanese government soldiers. We were forcibly given to senior LRA commanders as so-called “wives.” For seven months, I was held in captivity by the LRA, always looking for an opportunity to escape. I con- stantly prayed that God would allow me to see my family once more before I died. I desperately wanted to finish my education, but hope seemed distant. I saw two other children who had tried, unsuccessfully, to escape. They were brutally murdered in front of me as a warning. One night, we were forced to raid a village, and I was directed to help steal food and water. I fainted from thirst. I woke up hours later, buried alive in a shallow grave. The Ugandan soldiers, along with the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) attacked the base of the LRA, allowing me a chance to escape. I walked for three days, living on soil and leaves before I found another group of children who had also escaped. I persuaded eight of them to join me, and we eventually found a group of villagers who took care of us, before helping us connect with the Ugandan army to return home. I escaped, alive, from the LRA, but five of my classmates died in captivity. The others gradually managed to escape over the past ten years; some are infected with HIV/AIDS; many of them have children by the com- manders who abused them. Ten years later, two of my friends are still held hostage by the LRA.

So I thank God for allowing me to see my family again. I thank Him for allowing me to continue on with my education. I went back to St. Mary’s to finish high school, and then I began studying at Uganda Christian University, in southern Uganda near the capital city, Kampala. I have since transferred to Gordon College in Boston, where I am now working on my undergraduate degree in Communications. When I finish my education I would like to work for one year and then continue on to graduate school to study International Relations and Conflict Resolution. I want to be part of the people struggling day and

night to try to bring peace in the world.

Source : Pesach: A Season of Justice
Passover is rich in social justice themes. It is impossible to study the story of our redemption and not feel compelled to eradicate injustice in the world today. Among the primary social justice themes found in the Exodus story and in the Passover observance are hunger and homelessness and oppression and redemption. “This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all those who are hungry come and eat with us. Let all who are in want share the hope of Passover.” (Haggadah, “Ha Lachma Anya”) “Ha Lachma Anya” reminds us of a time when our diets were once restricted to matzah, considered the “bread of affliction.”
Due to our hasty retreat from Egypt, we were limited to the food carried on our backs – the unleavened bread that we were unable to thoroughly prepare. Our experience with hardship following the exodus from Egypt inspires us to consider those who eat the metaphorical “bread of affliction” in present times, and to let all those who are now hungry join us at our Passover tables.  “Even the poorest person in Israel may not eat until he reclines, and they must not give him less than four cups of wine.” (Babylonian Talmud, Pesachim 99b) 
The Babylonian Talmud reminds us that it is imperative for us to take care of all in our community, even the poorest person, during Passover and throughout the year.  Four cups of wine, quite a luxury for some, is seen as an integral part of the Passover observance. The requirement that even poor Jews be provided with ample wine, and presumably, with 
all the ritual foods and courses for the one night of the Seder, leads to the expectation that we should help the poor and the hungry year-round. “My Father was a wandering Aramean who went down to Egypt and dwelled 
there.” (Haggadah, “Maggid”) 
The painful reminder of our status as strangers in the land of Egypt and our subsequent 40 years of wandering in the wilderness without a home raises awareness of immigration and refugee concerns. The memory instills in us a desire to eradicate homelessness in the areas around us, and ultimately, the world.  “This year we are slaves. Next year, may we all be free” (Haggadah, “Ha Lachma Anya”) 
As we are commanded, we place ourselves directly into the story, remembering what it was like for us, the Children of Israel, to be slaves in the land of Egypt. This personal experience of slavery motivates us to examine the current international situation and wrestle with cases of injustice, oppression, and slavery today. Sadly, slavery did not end 
at that time, but persists even to this day. Pesach is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of contemporary examples of slavery and oppression throughout the world.  In our own nation, domestic violence traps victims within their homes, limiting their freedom as surely as if they were enslaved. 
When we recall our immense joy at being freed from slavery to worship and live according to the dictates of our faith, we are inspired to celebrate the great strides made by various contemporary groups, such as women and African Americans, which have fought for redemption from oppression and won, as our ancestors did. The observance of Passover presents a rich opportunity for interfaith sharing and celebration. 
by g
Source : webz

Why is this haggadah different from all others? Because it holds the true meaning of Passover—that the liberation of all oppressed and enslaved people is God's will—above all other theological and political concerns.

This isn't the haggadah for Jews or Goyim or atheists or Christians or Fascists or Communists—this is the one for you, you who demands real justice for yourself and all the world. This is the haggadah for the people, all of us, and it was made with the knowledge that so long as one of us is shackled, none of us are free.

Source : Abraham Joshua Heschel Quote, Design by
Heschel Quote


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

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

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

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

Source : Reproductive Justice Seder Insert

From Oppression to Liberation:
For the Pursuit of Reproductive Justice in this Generation

The four cups of wine we drink this evening are symbols of our freedom and God's presence in our lives. But, as the seder ritual reminds us, freedom is an ongoing journey. True freedom can only be enjoyed when all our sisters, brothers and others are freed of the many burdens that would delay or deny their inherent dignity. As women, we still know the shackles of oppression all too well. In modern society, we still experience the exploitation of women and girls in our workplaces, medical facilities, and even governing bodies. By allowing this oppression to continue, we fail to recognize the holiness and moral agency present in all of God’s children.

Tonight, we retell the story of the Exodus and consider how it applies to our lives today. We are reminded that there is still bitterness in the world and iniquity in our homes and communities: politicians seeking to control women's reproductive destinies; perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence seeking to control women’s bodies; and societal barriers seeking, perhaps inadvertently, to limit a woman’s ability to recognize her full potential. These examples and others are today’s plagues; they remind us of the constraints Pharaoh placed on our Israelite ancestors.

At tonight’s seder, instead of feeling despair, we envision - and commit to achieving - a society in which every person exerts full autonomy over their own reproductive and sexual life. At tonight’s seder, we celebrate the values that lead us to work toward reproductive justice. This expanded social justice framework acknowledges the different systems of oppression that impact our lives and impede our ability to truly make our own decisions about our reproductive and sexual health. We renew our commitment to not only safeguard our legal rights to access the care we need but to go further, ensuring every person’s ability to meaningfully do so regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, income and other unique life circumstances. We pledge to leave the next generation a society in which reproductive freedom has truly been reached.

The readings in this resource packet seek to inspire our commitment to reproductive justice. They are designed to be read before you drink each of the four cups of wine.

Let us tonight honor those who are working tirelessly to bring us out of this metaphoric Egypt and pledge to renew our own fight toward achieving justice and freedom for all.

Chag Sameach!

Coordinated by the following: Jewish Women International, National Council of Jewish Women, Religious Action Center
of Reform Judaism in association with Women of Reform Judaism, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

For more information on reproductive justice, please visit
For all Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism resources, please visit

Source : Religious Action Center: Pesach, A Season for Justice

While our tradition applies specific meaning to the four cups of wine found within the Passover seder, many modern Haggadot have begun to reinterpret the original four cups.

The four cups are derived from four expressions of redemption found in Exodus 6:6-7: “I will bring you out;” “I will deliver you;” “I will redeem you;” and “I will take you.” Due to the positive, redemptive focus of each phrase, each cup could come to represent current groups that need to be “brought out, delivered, redeemed, or taken out.” A short teaching can take place before each cup is blessed. Groups for consideration include: refugees and slaves, victims of domestic violence, victims of sexual trafficking, and the poor and impoverished.

Rabbis for Human Rights suggests the following four interpretations for the four cups:

The First Cup: Freedom in America

As we lift the first cup, we envision an America – the “land of the free” – where everyone has a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of him/herself and of his/her family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services (from Article 25 of the Declaration of Human Rights).

The Second Cup: Deliverance in Israel

As we lift the second cup, we envision a modern day Israel, that fosters the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants. We envision an Israel that is “based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel,” an Israel that “will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants” (from the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel, 1948).

The Third Cup: Redemption from Overwork and Underwork

As we lift the third cup, we envision a world where everyone has work and, without any discrimination, receives equal pay for equal work. We envision a world where everyone also can enjoy rest and leisure, and periodic holidays with pay (adapted from Articles 23 and 24 of the Declaration of Human Rights).

The Fourth Cup: Liberation from Slavery All Over the World

As we lift the fourth cup, we envision a world where no one is held in slavery or servitude… a world without sweatshop laborers, where all workers are able to make a fair wage, regardless of which country they are born into. We envision a world where all products are fairly traded, and no one country or financial institution can dictate trade policies (adapted from Article 4 of the Declaration of Human Rights).

A Fifth Cup

Some Haggadot include a “fifth” cup in the Seder as an opportunity for additional readings or prayers. This tradition dates back to the early rabbis and commentators, including Alfasi and Maimonides, who discussed this possible addition to the Seder. A Fifth Cup enables us to call attention to a current social justice issue or recognize a recent victory with regards to a prior injustice. This fifth cup could be passed around the table and filled with coins to be donated to tzedakah. An additional reading with specific hopes or social action goals (like a renewed focus on the homeless or implementation of a new, long-term tzedakah project) for the coming months can be included at this point.

Discussion: As wine can serve as a symbol of abundance and luxury, the fifth cup is a perfect opportunity for a discussion on privilege and poverty: Some Jews experience a high degree of privilege. Others are less privileged. A recent study points to 100,000 Jews living below the poverty line in New York City. What are the sources of our privilege? Has your family’s economic status changed over the last few generations? In what ways? What does it mean to experience the Haggadah from a place of privilege? From a place of poverty? All are invited to tell a short story of an ancestor who faced economic hardship, or came up against an economic system that did not acknowledge their humanity.

Source :

A Prayer for Human Rights 

Rabbi Brant Rosen

Ruach Kol Chai - Spirit of All that Lives: Help us.

Help us to uphold the values that are so central to whom we are: human beings created B'tzelem Elohim- in the image of God. Help us to recognize that the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. The inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family are the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world. May we find the strength to protect and plead the cause of the stranger among us, to ensure just treatment for all who dwell in our land.

Guide us.

Guide us toward one law. One justice. One human standard of behavior toward all. Move us away from the equivocation that honors the divine image in some but not in others. Let us forever affirm that the justice we purport to hold dear is nothing but a sham if it does not uphold the value of K'vod Habriot - basic human dignity for all who dwell in our midst.

Forgive us.

Forgive us for the inhumane manner in which we too often treat the other. We know, or should, that when it comes to crimes against humanity, some of us may be guilty, but all of us are responsible. Grant us kapparah - atonement for the misdeeds of exclusion we invariably commit against the most vulnerable members of society: the unwanted, the unhoused, the uninsured, the undocumented.

Strengthen us.

Strengthen us to find the wherewithal to shine your light into the dark places of our world. Give us ability to uncover those who are hidden from view, locked away, forgotten. Let us never forget that nothing is hidden and no one lost from before you. Embolden us in the knowledge that neshamot - human souls are neither disposable nor replaceable; that we can never, try as we might, lock away the humanity of another.

Remind us.

Remind us of our duty to create a just society right here, right now, in our day. Give us the vision of purpose to guard against the complacency of the comfortable - and the resolve in knowing that we cannot put off the cause of justice and freedom for another day. Remind us that the time is now. Now is the moment to create your kingdom here on earth.

Ken Yehi Ratzon. May it be your will. And may it be ours. And let us say, Amen.

Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah,

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!

Source : original for the Haggadah

In washing our hands, we also think of those who don't get to share in the basic human right of abundant, clean water

of people deprived of water by the weather in Somalia, in India, in Texas

and those deprived of water by human action in places like Flint, Michigan

as well as those whose homes have been ravaged by wind and water in Colombia, in California, and here in New Jersey.

We wash our hands and accept our responsibilities to those threatened by the presence and absence of water

and pray that those with the human power to change things do not wash their hands of what the world needs them to correct.


To those unfamiliar with the terrain, the desert can seem like a harsh and empty place. Indeed, the desert of the Passover story is devoid of sustenance and life. At this point in the Seder, it is tradition to reflect on liberation and rebirth as connected ideas. To symbolize rebirth, we take a vegetable, like parsley, and dip it into salt water, which represents the tears shed by our Jewish ancestors when they were enslaved. Mixing the sweet and the bitter remind us that in times of joy, it is important to remember where we came from. Similarly, as we embark on this Seder, with the promise of a nourishing meal ahead, we take a moment to reflect on those going without food as they seek a better life. Though the Jewish people may have left Egypt, many people around the world are still waiting to be freed. 

We recite this short blessing, then dip our parsley. 

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.

Written by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler 

Source :

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.

Source :

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, 963 million people around the world can not leave the affliction of hunger behind. Each day, 25,000 adults and children die from hunger and malnutrition. In fact, a child dies every six seconds because he or she is starving.  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 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.

The Passover seder inspires us to take action and commit ourselves to working toward these and other sustainable changes. As the seder guides us from scarcity to plenty, let us empower others on their paths to sustenance.

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.

Source : AJWS

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, 963 million people around the world can not leave the affliction of hunger behind. Each day, 25,000 adults and children die from hunger and malnutrition. In fact, a child dies every six seconds because he or she is starving.  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 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 hunger. The Passover seder inspires us to take action and commit ourselves to working toward these and other sustainable changes. As the seder guides us from scarcity to plenty, let us empower others on their paths to sustenance.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.



Neal Borovitz

Avadim Hayinu:  Not only were we slaves to the Pharaoh of Egypt, we have also been enslaved and persecuted by other Pharaohs.  Among these Pharaohs of every age were the Kings of Babylonia, the Emperors of Greece and Rome, the Churchmen and Nobles of Medieval Spain, Hitler and his Nazi followers, the Pharaohs of Moscow, and the dictators, potentates and terrorists of the contemporary Arab world.  The Babylonian exile was followed by a return to Zion; the Hellenistic domination by the Maccabean victory; the destruction of the Second Temple by Rome with the flourishing of rabbinic Judaism in both the Land of Israel and Babylonia; the expulsion from Spain by tolerance, first in Turkey and Holland and then, ultimately, by the birth of an American Jewish community.  Hitler, the Pharaoh of Auschwitz, whose acts of genocide surpassed the sins of all the other enemies in history:  Even he we survived. Thirty years ago the doors in the iron curtain of the Soviet Union were breached and nearly two million Jews were given the opportunity to live freely as Jews.

Yet redemption is not complete.  Israeli and Palestinian leaders have yet to find a way to answer the yearning for peace with security that we all seek. Millions of Arabs flee their homes and hundreds of thousands die in the Syrian civil war.  Genocide in Darfur continues in the silence of “yesterday’s news”.   Anti-Semitism from both the Political Left and Right is on the rise in both Europe and America.  Yet perhaps the greatest threat to the Jewish community today is the sin of “Sinat Chinam”, the hatred between Jews of differing religious streams and political perspectives. It is a cancer threatening the body and soul of the Jewish people in the 21stcentury.

The Matzah we eat tonight is both the bread of affliction and the symbol of redemption.  For 30 years we added a fourth Matzah to the Seder Plate, calling it the Matzah for Soviet Jewry.  We set it aside and did not eat it.  Tonight, we must still set aside this Matzah, for redemption is not complete.  May this Matzah be a reminder to us of our responsibility to support the efforts of all Jews, who desire to make Aliyah; and of the responsibility of Israeli and American Jewish institutions to be open to both religious and political diversity.  This matzah is a reminder to support the rights of Jews everywhere to live free from the fear of anti-Semitism, whether it comes from the right, from the left, or from within. 

On this Passover night let us also vow to stand in solidarity with Israel, even when we do not agree with its government policies, and to strengthen Israeli democracy. Let us vow to work for better understanding between and cooperation among Jews of differing religious streams and political opinions.  Avadim Hayinu—Tonight we remember that we have been slaves.  Ata B’nai Horin—Now, we are the children of freedom.  May the year ahead bring freedom and security with peace and prosperity for all of us.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah,

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone.

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

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Rabbis Organizing Rabbis and Reform CA, Joint Projects of the Reform Movement, Reform Judaism's Just Congregations
For a well-formatted printable ritual, and for more information about Rabbis Organizing Rabbis, please visit

The traditional Ha Lachma Anya is found at the beginning of the Maggid, or “storytelling,” section of the Haggadah. This ritual connects both our Exodus story and the Jewish immigrant narrative to the reality of aspiring Americans today.

This is the Bread of Affliction - Ha Lachma Anya

Reader: In America, over 11 million undocumented immigrants live in our midst.We identify with their struggles from our memory as Jews freed from Egyptian servitude, and as Americans living in a country built by immigrants.As we look upon the broken middle matzah before us, this is our story - an immigrant story -- in three parts:Memory, Action, Vision.


[Leader uncovers and raises the matzah.]

All read: Ha lachma anya – This is the bread of poverty and affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.

Reader: We remember our ancestors’ fear and bravery in facing the new unknown, filled with dangers and opportunities. Poet Marge Piercy recalls our people’s past emigrations:

…The courage to walk out of the pain that is known into the pain that cannot be imagined, mapless, walking into the wilderness, going barefoot with a canteen into the desert; stuffed in the stinking hold of a rotting ship sailing off the map into dragons' mouths. Cathay, India, Serbia, goldeneh medina, leaving bodies by the way like abandoned treasure. So they walked out of Egypt. So they bribed their way out of Russia under loads of straw; so they steamed out of the bloody smoking charnelhouse of Europe on overloaded freighters forbidden all ports-- out of pain into death or freedom or a differentpainful dignity, into squalor and politics…  

“Maggid,” The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme. Knopf: September 2000, p. 166-167.


All read:Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need, come and share this Pesach meal.

Reader:The Seder demands action! American Jewish poet Emma Lazarus’s words reflected real action when they were engraved on the Statue of Liberty one hundred years ago:

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door


All read: This year we are still here – next year in the Land of Israel. This year we are still slaves – next year free people.

Reader: This year undocumented immigrants still live in fear in the shadows of a broken immigration system. Next year may over 11 million aspiring Americans step into the light of freedom and walk the path towards citizenship.

This year, our eyes are still clouded by the plague of darkness, as the Gerer Rav taught: “The darkness in Egypt was so dense that people could not see one another. This was not a physical darkness, but a spiritual darkness in which people were unable to see the plight and pain of their neighbors.” Next year, may we replace darkness with light and truly see our neighbors and be moved to act with them to fix our broken immigration system.

Discussion: Today, the Reform Jewish Movement is working to help create a common-sense American immigration process. How do your family stories connect to this historic moment?

Think about your family history: What brought your family to this country? What did your family leave behind, and what opportunity did they seek? Does this help you understand today’s immigrants? Why or why not?

Maggid - Beginning
Source :

In Hopes of Freedom From Abuse For All

Author unknown. Adapted by Hannah Litman and Rachel Novick.

Sometimes, we cannot say Dayenu. Wehave the right to say, “No, this is not enough, I will not settle for this.”

Sometimes, we wish we could say Dayenu. What would be enough?

Together: When we can make choices about our own bodies, our own identities, and our own lives, Dayenu

When courts, law enforcement and mental health professionals stop blaming the victim, Dayenu

When the Jewish community protects abuse survivors,


When our voices are listened to and believed without judgment or question,


When money and power can no longer protect abusers,


When the community focuses on stopping the abusers instead of blaming us for staying,


When Jewish law and secular law can guarantee our right to safety,


When every person can find true shalom bayit,


When anyone who is in danger can also be in safety,


-- Four Questions
Source :

Mah nishtanah ha-lailah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-lailot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

We know the traditional answers to this question: On this night, we eat matzah and bitter herbs, we dip and we recline. But this is not all, or even most, of what Passover is about.  

On most other nights, we allow the news of tragedy in distant places to pass us by.  

We succumb to compassion fatigue – aware that we cannot possibly respond to every injustice that arises around the world.

On this night, we are reminded that our legacy as the descendants of slaves creates in us a different kind of responsibility – we are to protect the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Let us add a fifth question to this year’s seder.  Let us ask ourselves,

What must be done?

This year, this Passover, let us recommit to that sacred responsibility to protect the stranger, particularly those vulnerable strangers in faraway places whose suffering is so often ignored.

Let us infuse the rituals of the seder with action:

When tasting the matzah, the bread of poverty, let us find ways to help the poor and the hungry.

When eating the maror, let us commit to help those whose lives are embittered by disease.

When dipping to commemorate the blood that protected our ancestors against the Angel of Death, let us pursue protection for those whose lives are threatened by violence and conflict.

When reclining in celebration of our freedom, let us seek opportunities to help those who are oppressed. 

At this season of liberation, join us in working for the liberation of all people.  Help us respond to the seder’s questions with action and justice. 

-- Four Questions
Source : Unknown

 “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

The question is central to the telling of the Passover story and is followed in the traditional Seder with four more that elaborate on the holiday rituals:

1. On all other nights we eat either leavened and unleavened bread. Why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?

2. On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs. Why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs?

3. On all other nights we need not dip our herbs even once. Why on this night do we need to dip twice?

4. On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining. Why on this night do we recline?

These classic questions still hold meaning for us, but are there other questions that might be even more relevant to ask today? We’ve asked Jewish educators and organizations all over North America to add a fifth question to the Seder – one that will inspire us to make Passover meaningful for today’s Jewish world.

Birthright Israel NEXT's 5th Question is:

On this night we look into the past to tell a story about the history of the Jewish people. What do you take from this story as you write your part of the future of the Jewish people?

For more questions from our great contributors, visit

-- Four Questions
Source : Original

Early in the Seder we say, “All who are hungry, let them enter and eat.” We move ceremoniously through the Haggadah, reminding ourselves that we once were slaves in Egypt and explaining the meaning of each bite we eat. But millions of Americans and Israelis have only a few bites to eat, which has a very different meaning – it is a reminder that they are  still  enslaved.

This year, please join MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger as we again ask The Fifth Question

Why on this night are millions of people still going hungry?

After the youngest person reads the four questions from the Haggadah, ask The Fifth Question and reflect as a group upon the crisis of food insecurity, why it persists and what you individually and collectively could do to end it. Then share your ideas with MAZON by emailing [email protected]

-- Four Questions
Source :

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 Children
Source : Jessica Steinberg,

The Generous Child
The generous child knows all about food justice and donates much of their monthly allowance to charity. This child encourages their parents to volunteer, brings the most cans in during school food drives, and never eats too much.

The Spoiled Child
The spoiled child knows and understands food justice, but chooses not to care. This child is selfish, easily upset by not getting what they want, and is likely a picky eater. This child's catch phrases are “So what?!” and “That’s not my problem.”

The Stoical Child
The stoical child may know something about food justice, may care, but does absolutely nothing to help. This is the kid who writes "bring in cans" every day during the fundraiser in their planner, but forgets each time.

The Child Who Doesn’t Know
The child who doesn’t know is the kid who lives life happily and ignorantly with absolutely no clue that there are people who don’t/can’t do the same. This child may have an overprotective parent that shelters them from the challenges of life.

This clip originally appeared on

-- Exodus Story
Source :

Maggid, which, like Haggadah, originates from the Hebrew root word fortell, has been designated as the official storytelling part of the Seder. We share the story of the Israelites’ escape from bondage after 400 years of oppression in Egypt each year to remind us that though we may be free at present, there are others who are not. By participating in a Seder we become deeply aware of the injustice of slavery, and so it is our responsibility to stay informed and educated and to loudly prevent continued human rights violations and slavery in our times. Unfortunately, some 2,000 years after the time of Moses, slavery has not been eradicated in the world. The trafficking of women and children within domestic, agricultural and sex industries is an enduring reality. Anti-Slavery International estimates that there are currently 20 million people being held as slaves throughout the world. Even this number is largely conjecture, since the voices of the oppressed are not easily heard. What is even more shocking is how prevalent this practice continues to be. The most common form of modern slavery is debt bondage, in which a person is made to give their body as a condition of their loan repayment. Frequently, in order to afford the journey to “freedom,” these people pay with their life savings and go into debt to individuals who make promises they have no intention of keeping. Instead of opportunity, what the immigrants find when they arrive is bondage. This is probably the least-known form of slavery, and yet it is the most widely used. These modern-day slaves live in all 50 states, working as farm hands, domestic servants, sweatshop and factory laborers, gardeners, restaurant and construction workers and prostitutes. Upwards of 50,000 women and children are forced into sexual exploitation every year. But there is hope. Several organizations are committed to eradicating slavery by finding long-term solutions and creating systemic change, including advocating for stronger federal and state laws against human trafficking. “…we are living in the midst of a tragic paradox: no longer is there an underground network to guide slaves to freedom, but rather, there is an underground criminal network to entrap people and sell them into slavery. Until we unite to confront this grave violation of human rights, it will continue to plague the world and feed off vulnerable men, women and children.” — The Freedom Center As we retell the story of the Israelites’ oppression so many generations ago, we must remain committed to helping those who are still enslaved today, and speak out for the freedom of all whenever it is compromised.

-- Exodus Story
Source : JSNAP Passover Haggadah Insert

Use this piece in tandem with the telling of the Exodus story. Think about the connection between the Jewish story of Exodus from Egypt to more contemporary examples of persecution and forced migration. How did the formation of the territory now known as the United States depend upon the forced migration of people already residing on the land?

The Hebrews’ Exodus from Egypt is a climactic moment in the Passover story. After suffering for generations as slaves in Egypt, the Hebrews cross the Sea of Reeds and head into the desert with only matzah, the bread of affliction. Led by Miriam and Moses, the community seeks its freedom from slavery, oppression, and violence by wandering in the desert for forty years. Though this is a long struggle, the Hebrews’ persistence leads them to the Promised Land.

More contemporary examples demonstrate that forced migrations are not a thing of the past. In 1863 and ’64, the United States government forcibly removed the Navajo Nation from its ancestral homeland in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. Prior to this forced move, the US Army went to war with the Navajo and Apache tribes, destroying much of their community. The US Army, led by Kit Carson, then forced 8,500 Navajo people to march 400 miles to their internment in Bosque Redondo, a forty square-mile area. This is now known as the Navajo Long Walk.

Over 200 people died after walking through the harsh winter for two months. Many more perished after arriving in the barren Bosque Redondo reservation, where disease, crop failure, and poor irrigation made survival almost impossible. The Navajos also had their own “bread of affliction.” They were given meager rations of only flour and coffee beans, but because the coffee beans were unfamiliar to this community, they tried to boil them and starved.

After the Navajo were recognized as a sovereign nation under the Treaty of 1868, they returned to their homeland on the Arizona- New Mexico border (one of very few tribes who were allowed to do so). Though their lands were greatly reduced by the US Army and government, the Navajo worked hard to take care of their livestock and rebuild their community.

Can you draw parallels between the Jewish Exodus from Egypt and the Navajo Long Walk? What are the key similarities and differences between these histories? What do you know about the long-term effects of forced migration and persecution on contemporary American Indian communities?

As we observe Passover to commemorate the hardships of our ancestors, how can we act in solidarity with American Indian communities’ histories of persecution, forced migration, and genocide? 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : JWA / Jewish Boston - The Wandering Is Over Haggadah; Including Women's Voices

The traditional Haggadah lists ten plagues that afflicted the Egyptians. We live in a very different world, but Passover is a good time to remember that, even after our liberation from slavery in Egypt, there are still many challenges for us to meet. Here are ten “modern plagues”:

Inequity - Access to affordable housing, quality healthcare, nutritious food, good schools, and higher education is far from equal. The disparity between rich and poor is growing, and opportunities for upward mobility are limited.

Entitlement - Too many people consider themselves entitled to material comfort, economic security, and other privileges of middle-class life without hard work.

Fear - Fear of “the other” produces and reinforces xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, antisemitism, homophobia, and transphobia.

Greed - Profits are a higher priority than the safety of workers or the health of the environment. The top one percent of the American population controls 42% of the country’s financial wealth, while corporations send jobs off-shore and American workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively is threatened.

Distraction - In this age of constant connectedness, we are easily distracted by an unending barrage of information, much of it meaningless, with no way to discern what is important.

Distortion of reality - The media constructs and society accepts unrealistic expectations, leading to eating disorders and an unhealthy obsession with appearance for both men and women.

Unawareness - It is easy to be unaware of the consequences our consumer choices have for the environment and for workers at home and abroad. Do we know where or how our clothes are made? Where or how our food is produced? The working conditions? The impact on the environment?

Discrimination - While we celebrate our liberation from bondage in Egypt, too many people still suffer from discrimination. For example, blacks in the United States are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites, and Hispanics are locked up at nearly double the white rate. Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. At 61 cents to the dollar, the disparity is even more shocking in Jewish communal organization.

Silence - Every year, 4.8 million cases of domestic violence against American women are reported. We do not talk about things that are disturbing, such as rape, sex trafficking, child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse, even though they happen every day in our own communities.

Feeling overwhelmed and disempowered - When faced with these modern “plagues,” how often do we doubt or question our own ability to make a difference? How often do we feel paralyzed because we do not know what to do to bring about change?

-- Ten Plagues
1) 64% felt unsafe at school due to sexual orientation

2) 44% felt unsafe at school due to gender identification

3) 42% of LGBT youth have experienced cyber bullying

4) 42% of LBGT youth say the community in which they live in is not accepting of LGBT people

5) Only 77% of LGBT youth say they know things will get better

6) 60% LGBT students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation

7) LGBT youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers

8) LGBT students are twice as likely to say that they were not planning on completing high school or going on to college

9) LGBT youth who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence are three times more likely to use illegal drugs

10) Half of gay males experience a negative parental reaction when they come out and in 26% of those cases the youth was thrown out of the home

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Martin Niemoller

Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source :

As we gather around the seder table, we recount our journey from  slavery to freedom. we recognize that our people’s liberation  was not achieved in the single moment of the exodus, but that it  happened gradually over 40 years in the desert.

As we sing Dayenu, we recall our redemption from egypt, the  splitting of the sea, the care with which God sustained us in the  wilderness, and ultimately, the giving of the Torah and our arrival in the land of Israel.

Although we express gratitude for each moment—it would have been enough (dayenu) --we know that, in fact, all were necessary. Had the journey ended with the leaving of Egypt,  we would not be free people today.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Joshua Ratner, Rabbis Without Borders

by Joshua Ratner, Rabbis Without Borders

One of my favorite parts of the Passover seder is the singing that takes place after we finish eating. There are so many great, fun songs, from “Ehad Mi Yodeah” to "Chad Gadya."Perhaps my favorite song is “Dayenu.” The words are fairly easy to sing in Hebrew, and the chorus is so catchy that even those who don’t know Hebrew can easily join in. But beyond its functionality, the content of Dayenu (literally “it would have been enough”) also carries a deep amount of wisdom.

Dayenu consists of 15 stanzas referencing different historical contexts the Israelites experienced, from slavery in Egypt to the building of the Temple in Israel. After each stanza, we sing the chorus, signifying that if this was the total of God’s miraculous intervention into the lives of the Israelites, it would have been sufficient.

One of the primary purposes of the Passover seder is to make us feel as if we personally experienced the exodus from Egypt and the redemption from slavery to freedom. This is no less true for the way we understand the Dayenu song. Dayenu provides a powerful contemporary hashkafah (outlook on life), a call to mindfulness about the way we currently lead our lives. We live in an era when capitalism is our state (and increasingly global) religion. Consumption is unfettered by any internal sense of restraint, from the amount of soda we can drink to how much money Wall Street executives can make. We live in a world where it is okay that the richest 85 people in the world have total wealth equal to that of the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet!

Dayenu reminds us that there is another way. Judaism offers an outlook on wealth, consumption, and sufficiency (sova) that is very counter-cultural. InPirkei Avot(Ethics of our Fathers) 4:1, Ben Zoma teaches: “Who is rich? The one who is content with what one has.” Even more austere, the Talmud instructs: “An individual who can eat barley bread but eats wheat bread is guilty of transgressing the law of bal tashchit (unlawful waste). Rabbi Papa states: one who can drink beer but drinks wine instead is guilty of transgressing the law of bal tashchit.” (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 140b). Judaism is not, to be sure, an ascetic religion. We are encouraged to carve out occasions for excess, for enjoying the finer parts of living—on Shabbat, holidays, and other joyous occasions. But the wisdom of Judaism is that, if we want to experience delight on these special occasions, we also need moments of restraint. It is the juxtaposition of restraint and largess that creates a life of meaning.

Beyond the individual experience, we also are becoming increasingly aware of the global consequences of championing unbridled materialism over a sense of sufficiency. From income inequality to climate change, our refusal to entertain limits on what we do and how much we consume are wreaking destructive consequences. By returning to a sense of Dayenu, of thinking deeply about what is enough, we have the potential to change ourselves and our world. May we be blessed, on this Pesah and beyond, to replace the idolatry of consumption with an embrace of all that we have.

Hag Sameach!

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

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

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

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

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


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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the second glass of wine!

Source : The Other Side of the Sea: T'ruah's Haggadah on Fighting Modern Slavery
Our hands were touched by this water earlier during tonight's seder, but this time is different. This is a deeper step than that. This act of washing our hands is accompanied by a blessing, for in this moment we feel our People's story more viscerally, having just retold it during Maggid. Now, having re-experienced the majesty of the Jewish journey from degradation to dignity, we raise our hands in holiness, remembering once again that our liberation is bound up in everyone else's. Each step we take together with others towards liberation is blessing, and so we recite: 

                                                         --Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu bemitvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִּם.

Blessed are You ETERNAL our God, Master of time and space, who has sanctified us with commandments and instructed us regarding lifting up our hands.

Source : Martin Luther King, Jr.

We still have a long, long way to go before we reach the promised land of freedom. Yes, we have left the dusty soils of Egypt, and we have crossed a Red Sea that had for years been hardened by long and piercing winter of massive resistance, but before we reach the majestic shored of the promised land, there will still be gigantic mountains of opposition ahead and prodigious hilltops of injustice.

Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and the comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice.

Let us be dissatisfied until those who live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security.

Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family will live in a decent sanitary home.

Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality integrated education.

Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity.

Let us be dissatisfied until men and women...will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not on the basis of the color of their skin.

Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Let us be dissatisfied until the day when nobody will shout, "White Power!" when nobody will shout, "Black Power!" but everybody will talk about God's power and human power.

Source :

Tonight, we perform a number of rituals to try to arouse compassion within ourselves. We eat bitter herbs to give us a physical way to connect with the suffering of those who are not free. In the Bible, the reasoning behind the commandment to retell the story of the Exodus is explained as follows: “you know the soul of the outsider, because you were outsiders in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9). Once a year, on Passover, we share the story so that we do not forget those in our society who, for any number of reasons, may be considered outsiders. The Seder reminds us that we were the undocumented immigrants in Egypt who put in long hours of hard labor doing the Egyptians’ dirty work; we were the unskilled workers, with no rights, working in subhuman conditions for wages that did not cover the basic necessities of life. Because we know this suffering first hand, we cannot sit back and watch while others struggle. We are grateful for the sumptuous fare we share tonight, but let’s also take a moment to consider those who have labored on the farm or in the factory to provide us with our festive table this evening. The entrepreneurs, farm owners, workers, janitors, truck drivers, loading dock workers and clerks all deserve to make a living wage. Many of us are aware of the human rights abuses that are often connected with the production of cotton, coffee, cocoa, steel, rugs, diamonds and cell phones in other countries, but it does not stop there. Let’s resolve to be more ethical in our purchasing decisions, and consider the companies and circumstances of the people involved in the supply chain, whether we buy products produced locally, through fair trade or from companies who have demonstrated fair and equitable treatment of their employees. The Seder reminds us that we must speak out if we encounter discrimination and abuses in our own workplaces, whether they are based on race, gender, religion, age, national origin, ancestry or disability. A highly respected twentieth century rabbi, Rav Soloveitchik, said this of the Seder: “without manifesting and demonstrating the sense of solidarity, responsibility, unity, and readiness to share and participate, the whole Seder becomes meaningless.” (Genack 2009, p. 27) As former slaves, we must advocate for the dignity and just treatment of all beings, especially of those who do not have the power or ability to speak for themselves. Poverty, prejudice, inequality and silence are what make slavery possible.

Source :

By: Rabbi David Jaffe

In Talmud Bavli Pesachim 115b, Rava teaches, "[One who] swallows the matzah [without chewing] has fulfilled the obligation [of eating matzah]. [However, one who] swallows the maror [without chewing] does not fulfill the obligation [of eating maror]." Rashbam explains that even though ideally one should taste the matzah, after the fact, even swallowing without tasting is a form of eating and thus one has fulfilled the mitzvah. Maror is different. Actually tasting the maror, and not just eating it, is the essence of the mitzvah because the maror should remind us of how our lives were embittered by the oppression of the mitzrim. (See also Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chayyim 475:3; Mishnah Berurah 475: 29, 30.)

We need to slowly chew our horseradish or romaine lettuce, letting the burning juices sink into our tongues and open our sinuses!  We live in a fast food culture. Except on Shabbat, our meals are often rushed; an efficient meal is something we can finish in under five minutes or eat while doing something else. The ba'alei mussar teach that the yetzer harah's main strategy is to keep us busy, moving so fast that we absorb neither our own reality nor the reality of the world around us.

There is so much suffering in the world, both our own and others', such as the migrant workers who harvest our food, exposing themselves to dangerous pesticides while being paid less than a living wage. They contract illnesses and do not have the health insurance needed to heal. Subsistence farmers in Central and South America are forced by economic need to produce only one type of crop and no longer have the ability to feed their own families. Or, closer to home, a relative may be silently suffering health problems, family strife, or economic vulnerability. This halachah is teaching us that suffering is something to be absorbed and felt if it is to have a cathartic and motivating impact. Our business urges us not to look, not to dwell, not to really feel. However, it is that bitter taste of suffering that makes it impossible for us to accept things the way they are. We must act, we must reach out, we must make change!  

Source : Earth Justice Seder

The great sage Hillel provided us with the tradition of constructing the Hillel sandwich, combining the bitterness of the maror with the sweetness of the charoset between the fortitude of the two pieces of matzah--the symbol of freedom. Through this ritual, we think about mortar and brick. We think of the Israelites traveling through the desert with no homes, no place to land and build up their strong communities, and only the matzah as a reminder of their freedom. It is not until they came to the biblical Promised Land that they experienced the sweetness of their redemption.

We sit tonight in a place of both freedom and comfort, while we remember the bitterness of the hardships of our ancestors. But what about those who cannot foresee their own redemption from the impending impacts of climate change, those who literally do not have the infrastructure that the mortar and brick of redemption affords? There are people all over the world on the edges of shorelines which are slowly slipping away, whose homes cannot withstand the rising waters and violent winds of extreme weather caused by climate change. Already over 22 million people a year are being displaced from their homes due to natural disasters (Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, 2014).

Tonight, as we eat this sandwich, let us remember the privilege of our infrastructure and the freedom and comfort that our homes provide us. The bitterness of the salty ocean waters continues to destroy many people's homes, for many a symbol of sweetness and freedom. Without proper adaptation and mitigation, people will continue to lose their homes. They will continue to be wandering, without a strong community or place they can call home.

The world’s poor are being hit hardest by climate change. Learn more: ( > What We Do > Climate Change)

For more information on the environmental justice, please visit .
For all Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism resources, please visit .



Bendigamos al Altísimo,
Al Señor que nos creó,
Démosle agradecimiento
Por los bienes que nos dió.

Let us bless the One Most High,
The God who created us,
Let us give thanks
For the good things which God has given us.

Bendigamos al Altísimo,
Por el pan primeramente,
Y por todos los manjares,
Que cumimos juntamente.
Pues cumimos y bebimos alegremente,
Su merced nunca nos faltó,

Let us bless the Most High,
First for the bread and then for all of the delicacies
Which we have eaten together-
for we ate and drank joyfully-
God’s mercy has never failed us.

Hodu la’Adonai ki tov,
ki le’olam chasdo.

Praise God, for God is good,
Whose mercy endures forever.

Bendicha sea la casa muestra,
Que nunca manque en ella fiesta,
Manañas, tardes, y siestas,
Para todo Israel.

Blessed be our house,
May it never lack celebration-
mornings, afternoons, and evenings-
for all of Israel.

Hodu la’Adonai ki tov,
ki le’olam chasdo.
Hodu la’Adonai ki tov,
ki le’olam chasdo.

Praise God, for God is good,
Whose mercy endures forever
Praise God, for God is good,
Whose mercy endures forever.

Source : Pesach: A Season of Justice

This new custom celebrates Miriam’s role in the deliverance from slavery and her help throughout the wandering in the wilderness. An empty cup is placed alongside Elijah’s cup. Each attendee at the Seder then pours a bit of his/her water into the cup, symbolizing Miriam’s life-giving well that followed the wandering Israelites. With this new custom, we recognize that women are equally integral to the continued survival of the Jewish community. With a social action lens, we see the pouring of each person’s water as a symbol of everyone’s individual responsibility to respond to issues of social injustice, and that, together, significant actions can take place.

Source : JSNAP Passover Haggadah Insert

Use this piece before singing Hallel and think about what it means to transition from slavery to freedom.

Exodus and Liberation translate many different ways for different communities, religious groups, and individuals. Chief Tom Dostou of the Wabanaki Nation of Massachusetts offers the following prayer in an excerpt from a larger piece describing his journey across his ancestral homeland of “Turtle Island.”

"We will pray for the American peoples who send their sons and daughters out to foreign lands to be mutilated and or die for the flag which has been prostituted for the oil profits of a few to the expense of many.

We will pray for the children of those brought over here in chains from Africa and the children of Abraham, Issac and Ishmael.

And we will pray for the children of the Pilgrims and Puritans whose ancestors came here to escape religious persecution and economic slavery but who once offered hospitality and safety lost their vision and became the oppressor.

And finally we will pray for the American Indian people who are now exiles in our own homelands. We will pray that the spiritual connection which the indigenous peoples of this land have cherished and maintained despite overwhelming odds and obstacles will continue to be the backbone and staff upon which this land rest." 

Source :

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.

Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah,

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


Source : Bob Frankle

In a moment, our Seder will be complete. However, we remember that working against oppression in the world is our never-ending responsibility. We recommit ourselves to the vision of a world filled with peace and justice for all. We work for a world where "nation shall not lift-up sword against nation nor study war anymore." We work for a world where people are not treated differently because of their race, their religion, their gender, their age, their marital status, their skin color, the people they love, their profession or their politics. We work for a world that affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person on our planet and assures basic human rights for everyone, everywhere. Like Nachshon standing at the shore of the Red Sea, we are not waiting for a miracle but rather proceeding with faith that G-d will support us and give us the strength and resolve to work together to heal the world.

We close our Seder by saying, "L'Shanah Haba'ah B'Yerushalyim", which means "Next Year in Jerusalem." For centuries, this declaration expressed the Jewish people's goal to return to our homeland. Even after the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, these words still resonate with us. We all have our own personal aspirations and dreams that we are striving for. As we conclude our Seder, may we have the strength and the will to continue working toward our personal Jerusalem and toward a world where all people will live in shalom -- peace, safety and freedom.