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Introduction
Source : http://elmad.pardes.org/2016/04/the-pardes-companion-to-the-haggadah/
Pesach is a time of inclusion.

On seder night, there are two moments where we metaphorically open our doors and invite others in. One is at the opening of the Magid portion of the seder, when we say, “All who are hungry come and eat.” There is a beautiful message here: we were once slaves; poor and hungry, and we remember our redemption by sharing what we have with others.

The other, comes towards the end of the seder, when we have the custom of pouring a fifth cup of wine, which we claim is for Elijah the Prophet. This is a statement of faith, a statement that says that although we are a free people, our redemption is not yet complete, and we believe that it will come.

From the most downtrodden to the most celebrated, the message is clear: everyone is welcome and everyone is necessary. Why is it that we go out of our way to include all at our seder table? Perhaps it is because when we make room for others, we have the opportunity to make room for ourselves as well. In fact, the Mishnah (Pesahim 10:5) teaches us that:

בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים In every generation a person is obligated to see themselves as if they left Egypt

The seder presents us with the obligation of identifying with the generation that left Egypt and internalizing that experience. And through that internalization, we come to feel the redemption as if it was our own as well to - לראות את עצמו. Further, the reliving of the story of the Exodus affords us the opportunity see one’s true self. It is only when we are able to see ourselves clearly, that we are able to be redeemed. But perhaps the only way we are able to see ourselves, is when we are truly able to see those around us. This message of inclusion is Pardes’s message too, and our hope is that this Haggadah Companion which offers something for everyone, will add new meaning to your seder and help bring the Jewish people a little closer together.

Introduction

The Seder Plate: We place a Seder Plate at our table as a reminder to discuss certain aspects of the Passover story. Each item has its own significance.

Maror – The bitter herb. This symbolizes the harshness of lives of the Jews in Egypt.

Charoset – A delicious mix of sweet wine, apples, cinnamon and nuts that resembles the mortar used as bricks of the many buildings the Jewish slaves built in Egypt

Karpas – A green vegetable, usually parsley, is a reminder of the green sprouting up all around us during spring and is used to dip into the saltwater

Zeroah – A roasted lamb or shank bone symbolizing the sacrifice made at the great temple on Passover (The Paschal Lamb)

Beitzah – The egg symbolizes a different holiday offering that was brought to the temple. Since eggs are the first item offered to a mourner after a funeral, some say it also evokes a sense of mourning for the destruction of the temple.

Matzah: Matzah is the unleavened bread we eat to remember that when the jews fled Egypt, they didn’t even have time to let the dough rise on their bread. We commemorate this by removing all bread and bread products from our home during Passover.

Elijah’s Cup: The fifth ceremonial cup of wine poured during the Seder. It is left untouched in honor of Elijah, who, according to tradition, will arrive one day as an unknown guest to herald the advent of the Messiah. During the Seder dinner, biblical verses are read while the door is briefly opened to welcome Elijah. In this way the Seder dinner not only commemorates the historical redemption from Egyptian bondage of the Jewish people but also calls to mind their future redemption when Elijah and the Messiah shall appear.

Miriam's Cup: Today, many communities add a cup of water for the prophet Miriam, who sustained the Israelites during their years in the desert by calling forth a flowing well to quench their thirst. In doing so we remind ourselves of the women who were responsible for the creation of the Jewish people: Yocheved, the mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam, Batya, the Pharaoh’s daughter who saves Moses from the Nile, Miriam, the Prophetess, and Shifra and Puah, the midwives who courageously went against Pharaoh’s edict to kill all first-born Hebrew males.

Over the years there have been other additions to the Seder table as symbols to further elevate causes and issues that deserve our attention as inspired by the Passover story and our narrative as a people. What other customs have you heard of? Share a favorite Passover tradition or symbol and why it holds meaning for you.

Kadesh
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Kadesh

ויְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי. וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאַָם. וַיְכַל אֱלֹקִים בַּיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אוֹתוֹ כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר בֶָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

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

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ מִכָּל עָם וְרוֹמְמָנוּ מִכָּל לָשׁוֹן וְקִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו. וַתִּתֶּן לָנוּ יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּאַהֲבָה(שַׁבָּתוֹת לִמְנוּחָה וּ) מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה, חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשׂוֹן, אֶת יוֹם (הַשַׁבָּת הַזֶה וְאֶת יוֹם) חַג הַמַצוֹת הַזֶה, זְמַן חֵרוּתֵנוּ (בְּאַהֲבָה), מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ, זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים, (וְשַׁבָּת) וּמוֹעֲדֵי קָדְשֶךָ (בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן,) בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׂשׂוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, מְקַדֵּשׁ (הַשַׁבָּת וְ) יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזְּמַנִּים.

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.

Continue here:

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.

From Pardes Haggadah Companion:

The seder opens with kiddush (the sanctification over wine). This is certainly unremarkable after all, kiddush is the opening act of every shabbat and holiday meal. But kiddush – a ritual .sanctification of time – has an intimate and unique connection to Pesach’s central theme: freedom. How so?

As Israel was about to be released from slavery, God instituted a new calendar: “This month shall (mark for you the beginning of months; the first of the months of the year for you.” (Exodus 12:2) Why is this the first mitzva (commandment) communicated to a free nation?

A slave’s time is not his own. He is at the beck and call of his master. Even when the slave has a pressing personal engagement, his taskmaster’s needs will take priority. In contrast, freedom is the control of our time. We determine what we do when we wake up in the morning; we prioritize our day. This is true for an individual, but also for a nation. God commands Israel to create a Jewish calendar because, as an independent nation, Israel should not march any more to an Egyptian rhythm, celebrating Egyptian months and holidays. Instead Israel must forge a Jewish calendar, with unique days of rest, celebration and memory. Controlling and crafting our time is the critical first act of freedom.

Kiddush says this out loud. We sanctify the day and define its meaning! We proclaim this day as significant, holy and meaningful. We fashion time, claim ownership of it, and fashion it as a potent .contact point with God, peoplehood and tradition. This is a quintessential act of Jewish freedom.

Today, we often feel short of time; that time controls us. Kadesh reminds us that true freedom and self-respect is to master and control time for ourselves, to shape our life in accordance with our values.

Rabbi Alex Israel teaches Bible and is the Director of the Pardes Community Education Program and the Pardes Summer Program

Urchatz

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.

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 as we wash our hands to consider what we hope to get out of our evening together.

Karpas
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Karpas

Passover, like many of our holidays, combines the celebration of an event from our 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, representing our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold winter, and dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. Before we eat it, we recite together:

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.

Yachatz

The Pesach story begins in a broken world, amidst slavery and oppression. The sound of the breaking of the matza sends us into that fractured existence, only to become whole again when we find the broken half, the afikoman, at the end of the Seder.

This brokenness is not just a physical or political situation: It reminds us of all those hard, damaged places within ourselves. All those narrow places from which we want to break to free. In Hebrew, Egypt is called Mitzrayim, reminding us of the word tzar, narrow. Thus, in Hassidic thought, Mitzrayim symbolizes the inner straits that trap our souls. Yet even here we can find a unique value, as the Hassidic saying teaches us: "There is nothing more whole – than a broken heart."

We are free, but we remember when we were slaves. We are whole, but we bring to mind those who are broken. The middle matzah is broken, but it is the larger part which is hidden. Because the future will be greater than the past, and tomorrow’s Passover nobler than yesterday’s exodus. The prospects for the dreamed future are overwhelming to the point of making us mute. So it is in silence, without blessing, that we break and hide the matzah and long for its recovery and our redemption.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Original

Maggid - Beginning

The central imperative of the Seder is to tell the story. The Bible instructs: “ You shall tell your child on that day, saying: ‘This is because of what Adonai did for me when I came out of Egypt.' ” (Exodus 13:8) We relate the story of our ancestors to regain the memories as our own. Elie Weisel writes: God created man because He loves stories. We each have a story to tell — a story of enslavement, struggle, liberation. Be sure to tell your story at the Seder table, for the Passover is offered not as a one-time event, but as a model for human experience in all generations.

Ha lachma anya d’achaloo avhatana b’ara d’meetzrayeem. Kol dichfeen yay-tay vi’yachool, kol deetzreech yay-tay viyeesfsach. Hashata hach. Li’shana ha-ba-aa bi’arah di’yeesrael. Hashata av’day, li’shana ha-ba a bi’nay choreen.

This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need, come and celebrate Passover. Today, we are here. Next year, in the land of Israel. Today, we are slaves. Next year, we will be free.

Written in Aramaic, this statement begins the narration of the Seder by inviting the hungry to our table. Aramaic, Jewish legend has it, is the one language which the angels do not understand. Why then is Ha Lachma spoken in Aramaic? To teach us that where there is hunger, no one should rely upon the angels, no one should pray to the heavens for help. We know the language of the poor, for we were poor in the land of Egypt. We know that we are called to feed the poor and to call them to join our celebration of freedom.

Maggid - Beginning

Adapted from Be'Chol Lashon

At Passover, we receive a personal directive to create an inclusive and welcoming community. Even when we intend to be welcoming, many in our community still feel like strangers. The things that divide us — race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, among others — also have the power to unite us. During the Seder, we are each meant to remember that we ourselves were once strangers in a strange land. If the Jewish community is to be a home for all, we must make room at the table and share our stories. 

-- Four Questions
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

-- Four Questions

Free people ask questions. We begin our Seder with questions. Although the custom is that the youngest at the table asks, tradition instructs that all must ask:

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.

--

A recent study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) explores whether personal connection between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of 36 personal questions. We've selected three of them here to serve as our Four Questions to meet new friends.

In order to get to know each other a little better, select a question from the list below and ask your neighbor:

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  2. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  3. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  4. What meal makes you feel at home? Why?
-- Four Questions
Source : http://beyonceder.tumblr.com

-- Four Questions

עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם, וַיּוֹצִיאֵנוּ יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מִשָּׁם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה. וְאִלּוּ לֹא הוֹצִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם, הֲרֵי אָנוּ וּבָנֵינוּ וּבְנֵי בָנֵינוּ מְשֻׁעְבָּדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם. וַאֲפִילוּ כֻּלָנוּ חֲכָמִים, כֻּלָנוּ נְבוֹנִים, כֻּלָנוּ זְקֵנִים, כֻּלָנוּ יוֹדְעִים אֶת הַתּוֹרָה, מִצְוָה עָלֵינוּ לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם. וְכָל הַמַרְבֶּה לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח.

Avadim hayinu l'faroh b'mitzrayim. Vayotzi-einu Adonai Eloheinu misham, b'yad chazakah uvizroa n'tuyah, v'ilu lo hotzi hakadosh Baruch hu et avoteinu mimitzrayim, harei anu uvaneinu uv'nei vaneinu, m'shubadim hayinu l'faroh b'mitzrayim. Va-afilu kulanu chachamim, kulanu n'vonim, kulanu z'keinim, kulanu yod'im et hatorah, mitzvah aleinu l'sapeir bitzi-at mitzrayim. V’chol hamarbeh l'sapeir bitzi-at mitzrayim, harei zeh m'shubach.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and the Lord brought us out with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Had not the Holy One brought out our ancestors from Egypt, then we, and our children and our children's children would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt. And even if all of us are wise, all of us are understanding, all of us are old and venerable, all of us are knowledgable of Torah, we are obligated to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Whoever expands upon the story of the Exodus from Egypt is deemed praiseworthy.

-- Four Children
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

-- Four Children

The Torah speaks of four types of children: one is wise, one is wicked, one is simple, and one does not know how to ask.

חָכָם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה הָעֵדוֹת וְהַחֻקִּים וְהַמִשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֶתְכֶם? וְאַף אַתָּה אֱמָר לוֹ כְּהִלְכוֹת הַפֶּסַח: אֵין מַפְטִירִין אַחַר הַפֶּסַח אֲפִיקוֹמָן.

Chacham mah hu omeir? Mah ha-eidot v'hachukim v'hamishpatim, asher tzivah Adonai Eloheinu etchem? V'af atah emor lo k'hilchot hapesach. Ein maftirin achar hapesach afikoman.

The Wise One asks: "What is the meaning of the laws and traditions God has commanded?" (Deuteronomy 6:20) You should teach them all the traditions of Passover, even to the last detail.

רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת לָכֶם? לָכֶם - וְלֹא לוֹ. וּלְפִי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִן הַכְּלָל כָּפַר בְּעִקָּר. וְאַף אַתָּה הַקְהֵה אֶת שִנָּיו וֶאֱמֹר לוֹ: בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם. לִי - וְלֹא לוֹ. אִילּוּ הָיָה שָׁם, לֹא הָיָה נִגְאָל

Rasha, mah hu omer? Mah ha-avodah ha-zot lachem? Lachem v’lo lo. Ul'fi shehotzi et atzmo min hak'lal, kafar ba-ikar. V'af atah hakheih et shinav, ve-emor lo. Ba-avur zeh, asah Adonai li, b'tzeiti mimitzrayim, li v'lo lo. Ilu hayah sham, lo hayah nigal.

The Wicked One asks: "What does this ritual mean to you?" (Exodus 12:26) By using the expression "to you" they exclude themselves from his people and denies God. Shake their arrogance and say to them: "It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt..." (Exodus 13:8) "For me" and not for them -- for had they been in Egypt, they would not have been freed.

תָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה זֹּאת? וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו: בְּחֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ יי מִמִּצְרָיִם, מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים

Tam mah hu omeir? Mah zot? V'amarta eilav. B'chozek yad hotzi-anu Adonai mimitzrayim mibeit avadim.

The Simple One asks: "What is all this?" You should tell them: "It was with a mighty hand that the Lord took us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

ושֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל - אַתְּ פְּתַח לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם

V'she-eino yodei-a lishol, at p'tach lo. Shene-emar. V'higadta l'vincha, bayom hahu leimor. Ba-avur zeh asah Adonai li, b'tzeiti mimitzrayim.

As for the One Who Does Not Know How To Ask, you should open the discussion for them, as it is written: "And you shall explain to your child on that day, 'It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:8)

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

Wise Daughter

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

Wicked Daughter

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

Simple Daughter

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

Daughter Who Does Not Know How to Ask

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

-- Four Children

In today's world, Jews may identify themselves in a variety of ways. One may be ritually, culturally, or intellectually oriented or disconnected. And yet, however modified one's Judaism may be, there is still some level of concern about the Jewish people that causes Jews to at least ask the questions about the Exodus from Egypt. We must answer them, and enable them to learn.

The ritual Jew asks: "What are the laws that God commanded us? " This Jew defines herself by the rituals, the laws and guidelines of Pesach. We call on her to seek the meaning that underlies all of these acts, so that they have relevance for all of us today.

The disconnected Jew asks: "What does this ritual mean to you?" This Jew feels alienated from the Jewish community and finds it difficult to identify with the rituals, perhaps because of his upbringing or experiences. Yet we recognize that he is still interested, if only because he asks these questions, and we call on him to see these rituals as a way of affirming the universal beliefs that gave rise to them.

The cultural Jew asks: "What is this all about?" She shows little concern with the ritual or psychological ramifications of the Exodus, even while embracing this reenactment of our ancestors; flight from Egypt. We call on her to recognize that it was a deep sense of faith that enabled these rituals to transcend the generations. It was belief in a vision of future freedom that caused us to celebrate our first Exodus and hear the echo of the prophets' call: "Let all people go!"

The intellectual Jew refrains from asking direct questions because he doesn't lean in any direction, preferring instead to let the text speak for itself. We call on him to understand that true freedom can only be obtained when we question authority and challenge power, even if that power be God Himself. It is our responsibility to question not only the text but the status quo too, and share this message of freedom with all people everywhere.

-- Four Children

The Ballad of the Four Sons
(to the tune of "Clementine")
written by Ben Aronin in 1948

Said the father to the children
"At the Seder you will dine,
You will eat your fill of matzoh,
You will drink four cups of wine."

Now this father had no daughters,
But his sons they numbered four,
One was wise, and one was wicked,
One was simple and a bore.

And the fourth was sweet and winsome,
He was young and he was small,
While his brothers asked the questions,
He could scarcely speak at all.

Said the wise one to his father
"Would you please explain the laws.
Of the customs of the Seder
Will you please explain the cause?"

And the father proudly answered
"As our fathers ate in speed,
Ate the Pascal lamb 'ere midnight,
And from slavery were freed"

"So we follow their example,
And 'ere midnight must complete,
All the Seder, and we should not
After twelve remain to eat."

Then did sneer the son so wicked,
"What does all this mean to you?"
And the father's voice was bitter
As his grief and anger grew.

"If yourself you don't consider,
As a son of Israel
Then for you this has no meaning,
You could be a slave as well!"

Then the simple son said softly,
"What is this?" and quietly
The good father told his offspring
"We were freed from slavery."

But the youngest son was silent,
For he could not speak at all,
His bright eyes were bright with wonder
As his father told him all.

Now, dear people, heed the lesson
And remember evermore,
What the father told his children
Told his sons who numbered four!

-- Exodus Story

We lift up our cup wine and cover the matzah, as we recite the following and recall God's promise to Abraham, emphasizing eternal divine watchfulness.

.וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ, שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד עָמַד עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר עוֹמְדִים עָלֵינוּ לְכַלוֹתֵנוּ, וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם

V'hi she-am'dah la-avoteinu v'lanu. Shelo echad bilvad, amad aleinu l'chaloteinu. Ela sheb'chol dor vador, om'dim aleinu l'chaloteinu, v'hakadosh Baruch hu matzileinu mi-yadam.

This covenant that remained constant for our ancestors and for us has saved us against any who arose to destroy us in every generation, and throughout history when any stood against us to annihilate us, the Kadosh Barukh Hu kept saving us from them.

-- Exodus Story
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

NARRATOR 1 (10 LINES)
NARRATOR 2 (13 LINES)
PHARAOH (15 LINES)
SLAVE (2 LINES)
HERALD (1 LINE)
MOSES (8 LINES)
GOD (7 LINES)
PHARAOHS SON (2 LINES)
AARON (12 LINES)
SHEEP (2 LINES)
YOCHEVED (1 LINE)
PRINCESS (4 LINES)
PRINCESSS ATTENDANT (4 LINES)
MIRIAM (4 LINES)

NARRATOR 1: The story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt has been told thousands of times. It’s a reminder to the Jewish people that once we were slaves in Egypt, but now we are free. And so, this year, as in years before, generation upon generation, we tell the story of Passover. Now, I invite you to relax and listen to this tale. We begin in Pharaoh’s Palace.

PHARAOH: Yes, I’ll have more grapes. This morning I took a tour of all of my new pyramids and I’m totally exhausted.

SLAVE: Yes, your highness. I must tell you that as a slave, we are really doing a fine job at building those pyramids. Carrying bricks is just the discipline that my fourteen sons need.

PHARAOH: Fourteen? Did you say fourteen sons?

SLAVE: Indeed I did, your most fabulousness.

PHARAOH: Leave my quarters. I’ve gotta think. This could be bad...really bad. I mean, I love having these Hebrew slaves, but there are just SO many of them! They are not Egyptians, and as shocking as it might be, I don’t think they even like me. What if there’s a war and they join my enemies and fight against me? I am going to try to find a way to decrease this Jewish-Hebrew slave population.

HERALD: Hear ye, hear ye. It is hereby decreed by Pharaoh, ruler of the land of Egypt, that any son born to a Jew is to be drowned in the Sea of Reeds.

ALL: NOOOOOOO!!!!!

NARRATOR 2: Our story continues at the banks of the Nile River, where we meet Yocheved, a Jewish woman with a newborn son.

YOCHEVED: (distraught) Oh no! Did you hear about Pharaoh’s awful decree? I knew he was mean, but now he’s killing our babies?! I need to hide my beautiful baby boy.

NARRATOR 2: So Yocheved wove a basket of reeds, which is another word for long bamboo-like sticks, put her son into it and hid it in the tall grass by the river. She then sent her young daughter Miriam to hide nearby and keep watch. The Pharaoh’s daughter, who was a princess, eventually came down to the water to bathe and heard cries coming from the river.

PRINCESS: What is this?

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: It appears to be a baby, your highness.

PRINCESS: A baby?

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: Why, yes, your highness.

NARRATOR 2: She pulled the baby out of the water.

PRINCESS: Oh, it must be one of those Jewish babies that my dad, the Pharaoh, wants to kill. But look at this little guy. He seems so beautiful and innocent. I know, I’ll take him home and raise him as my son. He will love me and respect me as his mother.

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: As you wish.

MIRIAM: (as she comes out of her hiding place) Excuse me, your majesty, but would you like me to call a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby, so that your attendant can continue to tend to you instead of being distracted by the baby?

PRINCESS: Good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. All right, your Hebrew woman may nurse my child, and when he is old enough to walk, she shall bring him to the palace for me to raise. I am going to name him “Moses,” which means “drawn from the water.”

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: Whatever you say, your majesty.

NARRATOR 1: And so Yocheved’s son, Moses, grew up as the Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, with all the riches and prestige that such a position entailed. But when he was young, Yocheved told Moses that he was Jewish, so he always had great compassion for the Hebrew slaves. One day, he came upon an Egyptian guard beating an old Jewish slave. Moses got so angry that he killed the guard. Of course, by doing so he was breaking the law. He feared the consequences, so he ran away ran away from the palace into the desert, and became a shepherd. That where we pick up the story now.

SHEEP: Baaaa

NARRATOR 2: One fine morning, one of Moses’s sheep strayed a bit from the path.

SHEEP: I said, “Baaaa!”

NARRATOR 2: Moses followed the sheep and came across a burning bush. It was the craziest thing. This green bush was on fire, but instead of burning up and getting all crinkled and then black, it stayed green. This was, of course, a miracle. It was God, getting Moses’s attention so that he could talk to him. It worked.

GOD: Moses! Moses!

MOSES: Here I am.

GOD: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry. I have come to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that place unto a good land, flowing with milk and honey. Now, Moses, I need you to go back to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Jews go free and then you will need to lead the Jews out of Egypt.

NARRATOR 1: It’s important to know that Moses stuttered whenever he spoke, so he was always nervous to speak in public.

MOSES: B-b-but why should… I mean, why, why should I be the one t-t-to lead m-m-my people?

GOD: Fear not – I will be with you.

MOSES: Whah-what shhhould I t-t-t-ell the p-p-people?

GOD: Just tell the Children of Israel, also known as the Jews, also now known as the slaves, that they need to listen to you, because you speak for me. Tell them to leave their homes and everything they have always known and follow you to the wilderness.

MOSES: That is c-c-c-c-crazy. They’ll n-never l-listen and besides, I am s-s-s-s-s-low of s-s-s-p-p-peech and s-s-s-s-low of t-t-tongue.

GOD: You’re right, it will not be easy. I forgot to mention Pharaoh is not going to simply agree to let his slaves go free. He will take some convincing, and it will not be pretty.

MOSES: Puh-puh-puh-please send s-s-s-someone else…

GOD: Your brother Aaron speaks well, right? He will have to help. I will only speak to you, but you can tell Aaron what I said, and he can be the one who speaks to Pharaoh and the people.

NARRATOR 2: And so Moses and Aaron went to the people of Israel and convinced them that God had spoken to Moses. Then they went to see Pharaoh at the palace.

AARON: Pharaoh, we are here to demand, in the name of our all-powerful and all-knowing God, that you release the Hebrew people from bondage.

PHARAOH: LOL. That is really amusing, guys. So, Moses, back after all of these years to bring shame on your own house and your own grandfather?

AARON: You cared for my brother for many years. At one time, he loved you as a grandfather. But he is the son of a Hebrew slave. If you love him, you will let his people go.

PHARAOHS YOUNG SON: Moses! I missed you! (Looks at Aaron.) Hey, who are you?

AARON: I am Aaron, Moses’s brother.

PHARAOHS YOUNG SON: I thought I was his brother!

AARON: Pharaoh, if you do not release the Hebrews, Egypt will be smitten with a greater plague than it has ever before seen.

PHARAOH: There is no way I am going to do that! I don’t know this God you are talking about, and I will not let your people go. Now get out of my palace!

NARRATOR 1: To punish Pharaoh for his refusal to let the Jews go, God turned the water of the Nile to blood. It was horrible. Everyone needs fresh water to live, and instead of water, the entire river ran red with blood. Pharaoh was furious, and he called Moses and Aaron back to the palace.

PHARAOH: OK, this is horrible! The Nile River has turned to blood, and it’s your fault! Everyone is freaking out. Maybe your God is powerful after all. If I let your people go, will he turn the river back to water?

AARON: Yes, of course. We don’t want to harm your people, we just want to leave and be free.

PHARAOH: Fine, then go.

NARRATOR 2: So Aaron and Moses left the palace and told the Jewish people to start getting ready for their journey. But then…

PHARAOH: Get Moses and Aaron back here!

AARON: Yes, Pharaoh? We were just leaving.

PHARAOH: Not so fast. I realized that when you go I will have no one to build my pyramids. So I have hardened my heart and changed my mind. You need to stay.

MOSES: B-b-b-ut Pharaoh, m-m-m-ore terrible things will happen to the Egyptian people if you do not let us go!

PHARAOH: I will take my chances. Now get out of my palace, and tell the Jews to get back to work!

NARRATOR 2: Soon, Egypt was overrun with another of God’s plagues… frogs. Wherever you looked, there were frogs all over the land. As you can imagine, it was awful. So Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron back to the palace and told them he would now allow the Jews to leave Egypt. But when they were ready to leave, Pharaoh changed his mind again. This happened every time!

NARRATOR 1: The next plague God sent was lice....people and animals all got lice. Then flies everywhere. Then cattle disease...so all the cows got sick and died, then boils… terrible blisters on everyone… then hail fell from the sky – big pieces of hail, as big as ping-pong balls. Then locusts, which ate the plants, including all of the crops.

NARRATOR 2: So between the cattle disease, which ruined the meat, and the hail and locusts which wrecked the crops, Egypt was in bad shape. People were hungry. Then came the plague of darkness. The sun never rose, and people were frightened and cold. The plagues were spreading fear and sickness across Egypt.

NARRATOR 1: But the crazy thing was, after each plague, Pharaoh would call Moses and Aaron to the palace and tell them that if their God made the plague stop, the Jews could leave Egypt. So God would end the plague, and then Pharaoh would harden his heart and change his mind, keeping the Jews in bondage. It was a mess!

PHARAOH: Who is this God of yours? How is it that each of these plagues only affects the Egyptians and not the Hebrews!? Get out!

AARON: Pharaoh, our God is all-powerful! We don’t know what we can do to make you see thatyou must give in. We’re warning you now that God has told Moses what the next plague will be. He’s going to kill the firstborn of every Egyptian household, including your youngest son. Pharaoh, don’t let this happen! Let my people go!

PHARAOH: I do not know your God, and I will not let your people go. Get out of my house! GET OUT!

NARRATOR 2: God then came to Moses and instructed him to have all the Jewish people slay a lamb and smear some of its blood on the doorposts of their houses and gates. Then, when the Angel of Death flew over Egypt, he took the lives of all of the firstborn, except for those in the homes marked with blood. Pharaoh’s own son died. It was devastating. The people of Egypt were mourning. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh yet again.

AARON: Pharaoh, the grandfather my brother once loved, we are truly sorry for your loss.

PHARAOH: Go away! Go away and leave me to my grief!

AARON: But Pharaoh, now that you have seen how powerful God is, will you let my people go?

PHARAOH: Be gone already! You and your people! You have ruined my empire.

NARRATOR 1: So Aaron and Moses left Pharaoh and went to the Jews.

AARON: Listen to me everyone! Remember this day, when you were able to leave Egypt, we were slaves and now we are going to be free and God will guide us out of here to the Promised Land.

MOSES: We m-m-m-must go fast! We must m-m-m-make food, but… but… we must go before… before… Pharaoh changes his mind again.

AARON: He won’t change his mind. Not this time.

MIRIAM: Moses, if we leave right now, the bread won’t have time to rise.

MOSES: F-f-f-forget the bread, let’s go!

NARRATOR 2: Most of the Jews went with Moses and Aaron. But some felt the whole idea of leaving their homes and going some unknown land was crazy, so they stayed in Egypt. But meanwhile…

PHARAOH: I have just let my slaves all go. This is not good for the people of Egypt. All that my forefathers have worked for will vanish if I lose the Hebrew slaves. Who will build the cities? The entire economy of Egypt will collapse. It will be the end of an empire. I WANT THEM BACK!

NARRATOR 1: So once again, Pharaoh had hardened his heart. He got his army together and went after the Jews. Because they were walking and had a lot of kids with them who were slow walkers, the Jews had only gotten a few miles away from Egypt and they were really close to the Red Sea.

MIRIAM: Look! The Egyptians are coming! They will kill us all! They will work us to death! Moses, do something!

AARON: Don’t be afraid. God has handled things for us before, and I don’t think he would have made all those plagues just to have us die at the edge of the Red Sea now.

NARRATOR 2: Then God spoke to Moses.

GOD: Moses! Lift thy rod and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go across the sea safely.

NARRATOR 1: It was amazing. When Moses raised his rod, the water of the sea parted, and the children of Israel walked across on the ground at the bottom of the sea. They were totally fine. But when Pharaoh’s armies followed to catch them, the waters closed in and Pharaoh’s armies were drowned.

MIRIAM: That was a miracle! We made it across the Red Sea! I don’t know what God has in store for us next, but at last, we are free!

NARRATOR 2: And Miriam took a timbrel – which is another word for a tambourine – in her hand; and all of the women went out after her with their timbrels and danced and sang. This kicked off a trek of forty years through the desert.

NARRATOR 1: It was also when God starting sending manna, food from the sky that tasted like anything you wanted it to and sustained the Jews until they reached the Holy Land of Israel. But all of that is for another story. In the meantime, Happy Passover!

THE END!

-- Ten Plagues
Source : The Wandering is Over

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? 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?

-- Ten Plagues

As we rejoice at our deliverance from slavery, we acknowledge 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. 

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

Questions for Discussion: 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

Scallions Aren’t Just For Eating: There is a Persian custom of hitting each other with scallions during Dayenu. The scallions represent the whips of our oppressors. Although this may seem a little morbid, young and old alike have a wonderful time violating social norms and slamming each other with green onions.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

כַּמָה מַעֲלוֹת טוֹבוֹת לַמָּקוֹם עָלֵינוּ

אִלוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִצְרַים, וְלֹא עָשָׂה בָּהֶם שְׁפָטִים, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ עָשָׂה בָּהֶם שְׁפָטִים, וְלֹא עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, וְלֹא הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם, וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת מָמוֹנָם, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת מָמוֹנָם, וְלֹא קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם, וְלֹא הֶעֱבֵירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ הֶעֱבֵירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה, וְלֹא שְׁקַע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ שִׁקַע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ, וְלֹא סִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ סִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה, וְלֹא הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן, וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַׁבָּת, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַׁבָּת, וְלֹא קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, וְלֹא נַָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ נַָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה, וְלֹא הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, דַּיֵינוּ

אִלוּ הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְלֹא בָנָה לָנוּ אֶת בֵּית הַבְּחִירָה, דַּיֵינוּ

See transliteration and translation on the following pages.

Ilu hotzi’anu mimitzrayim, v’lo asah bahem shfatim, dayenu.

Ilu asah bahem shfatim, v’lo asah vailoheihem, dayenu.

Ilu asah vailoheihem, v’lo harag et bichoraihem, dayenu.

Ilu harag et bichoraihem, v’lo natan lanu mamonam, dayenu.

Ilu natan lanu mamonam, v’lo karah lanu et hayam, dayenu.

Ilu karah lanu et hayam, v’lo he’evairanu bitocho becheravah, dayenu.

Ilu he’evairanu bitocho becheravah, v’lo shikah tzareinu b’tocho, dayenu.

Ilu shikah tzareinu b’tocho, v’lo sifek tzarchainu bamidbar arba’im shana, dayneu.

Ilu sifek tzarchainu bamidbar arba’im shana, v’lo he’echilanu et haman, dayenu.

Ilu he’echilanu et haman, v’lo natan lanu et hashabbat, dayenu.

Ilu natan lanu et hashabbat, v’lo karvanu lifnei har Sinai, dayenu.

Ilu karvanu lifnei har Sinai, v’lo natan lanu et hatorah, dayenu.

Ilu natan lanu et hatorah, v’lo hichnisanu l’eretz Yisrael, dayenu.

Ilu hicnisanu l’eretz Yisrael, v’lo vana lanu et bait habchirah, dayenu.

God has bestowed many favors upon us.

Had God brought us out of Egypt, and not executed judgments against the Egyptians, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God executed judgments against the Egyptians, and not their gods, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God executed judgments against their gods and not put to death their firstborn, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God put to death their firstborn, and not given us their riches, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God given us their riches, and not split the Sea for us, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God split the Sea for us, and not led us through it on dry land, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God led us through it on dry land, and not sunk our foes in it, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God sunk our foes in it, and not satisfied our needs in the desert for forty years, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God satisfied our needs in the desert for forty years, and not fed us the manna, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God fed us the manna, and not given us the Sabbath, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God given us the Sabbath, and not brought us to Mount Sinai, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God brought us to Mount Sinai, and not given us the Torah, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God given us the Torah, and not brought us into Israel, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

Had God brought us into Israel, and not built the Temple for us, It would have been enough – Dayyenu

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

We have now told the story of Passover…but wait! We’re not quite done. There are still some symbols on our seder plate we haven’t talked about yet. Rabban Gamliel would say that whoever didn’t explain the shank bone, matzah, and marror (or bitter herbs) hasn’t done Passover justice.

The shank bone represents the Pesach, the special lamb sacrifice made in the days of the Temple for the Passover holiday. It is called the pesach, from the Hebrew word meaning “to pass over,” because God passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt when visiting plagues upon our oppressors.

The matzah reminds us that when our ancestors were finally free to leave Egypt, there was no time to pack or prepare. Our ancestors grabbed whatever dough was made and set out on their journey, letting their dough bake into matzah as they fled.

The bitter herbs provide a visceral reminder of the bitterness of slavery, the life of hard labor our ancestors experienced in Egypt.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

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

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.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן  Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen.  Praised are you, Adonai, our God, sovereign of the universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.

Rachtzah

We wash our hands again now before we eat (yes, finally we’re nearly there!). But why? Why do we not wash our feet like our Middle Eastern ancestors did? Because our hands are the instruments with which we work in the world. It is our hands that plant and write, that caress and create – and our hands which strike and smash, poison and pain. We wash our hands not to absolve ourselves of responsibility but to affirm the need to make our hands pure, to choose to make real decisions; to use our hands for good. This Pesach, let us consecrate our collective hands, to the task of building a better world.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָֽיִם

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al n’tilat yadayim.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to wash our hands.

Motzi-Matzah

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.

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 to eat.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Aish UK

Matzah is literally free of all additives, externalities and superficial good looks -- it is bread without the hot air.  It represents the bare essentials.

Everything we pursue in life can be divided into necessities and luxuries.  To the extent that a luxury becomes a necessity we lose an element of our freedom by being enslaved to a false need.

Jewish thought teaches that we should not submit to peer pressure, viewing ourselves as competing with others.  It is far better to focus on our "personal bests" rather than "world records"; life is an arena in which we do not need others to lose in order for us to win.

On Passover we can focus on the essence and leave the externalities behind.  It is a time to get rid of the ego that powers our self importance and holds us back through distracting us from our true goals.

Maror

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror |מָרוֹר

In creating a holiday about the joy of freedom, we turn the story of our bitter history into a sweet celebration. We recognize this by dipping our bitter herbs into the sweet charoset. We don’t totally eradicate the taste of the bitter with the taste of the sweet… but doesn’t the sweet mean more when it’s layered over the bitterness?

ברוּךְ אַתָּה יְיַָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מרוֹר

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

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

The Hillel Sandwich | korech | כּוֹרֵךְ

זֵכֶר לְמִקְדָּשׁ כְּהִלֵּל. כֵּן עָשָׂה הִלֵּל בִּזְמַן שבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָים: הָיָה כּוֹרֵךְ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר וְאוֹכֵל בְּיַחַד, לְקַיֵים מַה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ

Zeicher l'mikdash k'hileil. Kein asah hileil bizman shebeit hamikdash hayah kayam. Hayah koreich pesach, matzah, u-maror v'ocheil b'yachad. L'kayeim mah shene-emar. “Al matzot um'rorim yochlu-hu.”

Eating matzah, maror and haroset this way reminds us of how, in the days of the Temple, Hillel would do so, making a sandwich of the Pashal lamb, matzah and maror, in order to observe the law “You shall eat it (the Pesach sacrifice) on matzah and maror.”

Shulchan Oreich

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

Tzafun
Source : JewishBoston.com

Finding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon | צָפוּן

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

Bareich

Leader: רַבּוֹתַי נְבָרֵךְ. Rabotai n’vareich.

All together:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַזָּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בְּטוּבוֹ בְּחֵן בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים הוּא נוֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וּבְטוּבוֹ הַגָּדוֹל תָּמִיד לֹא חָסַר לָנוּ וְאַל יֶחְסַר לָנוּ מָזוֹן לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. בַּעֲבוּר שְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל כִּי הוּא אֵל זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס לַכֹּל וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל וּמֵכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל בְּרִיּוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, hazan et ha-olam kulo b’tuvo, b’chein b’chesed uv-rachamim, hu noten lechem l’chol basar, ki l’olam chasdo, uv-tuvo hagadol, tamid lo chasar lanu v’al yechsar lanu mazon l’olam va’ed. Ba-avur sh’mo hagadol, ki hu Eil zan um’farneis lakol, u-meitiv lakol u-meichin mazon l’chol-b’riyotav asher bara. Baruch atah Adonai, hazan et hakol.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who nourishes the whole world. Your kindness endures forever. May we never be in want of sustenance. God sustains us all, doing good to all, and providing food for all creation. Praised are you, Adonai, who sustains all.

Share: What is something you are grateful for this evening?

Bareich

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the third glass of wine!

Bareich
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Bareich

Throughout our Seder, we pour four cups, remembering the gift of freedom that our ancestors received centuries ago and four promises fulfilled. The first cup as God said, "I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians." The second as God said, "And I will deliver you from their bondage." The third as God said, "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm with great judgements." The fourth because God said, "I will take you to be My People."

We know, though, that all are not yet free. As we welcome Elijah the Prophet, we offer a fifth cup, a cup not yet consumed. May we be emboldened to take action and speak out on behalf of those who are not yet free, hastening Elijah's arrival. Let us recognize that redemption is not a destination but rather a destiny fulfilled by a journey of leveraging our particular narrative of freedom to compel us to seek liberation for all.

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִי, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד, עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד

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

Bareich
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Bareich

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

זאת כּוֹס ִמריָם, כּוֹס ַמיִם ַחיִּים זֵכר ִליציאַת ִמצריִם

Zot kos Miryam, cos mayim chayim zecher litziat Mitzrayim.

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

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

Hallel

We're approaching the end of our time together, and as part of the praiseworthy spirit that the Hallel section evokes, we'll sing together Hineh Ma Tov, an expression of gratitude for the community that has gathered here to celebrate together.

Hinei ma tov umanaim

Shevet achim gam yachad

Behold how good and

How pleasant it is

For brothers to dwell together

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.

Conclusion

It is traditional to end seder with "Next Year in Jerusalem". We sometimes think of this as a literal wish, but Jerusalem is more than a place -- it is a feeling, a hope. 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 ready to embark on a year that we hope will bring positive change in the world and freedom to all people. And in the spirit of thinking about our own story of liberation as a catalyst for change in our world, we add an additional charge: Next year in a just world.

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?  As we close our evening together, consider: what is your own personal Jerusalem where you hope to see yourself a year from now? 

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

Songs

One little goat, one little goat.
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came a cat
and ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came a dog
and bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came a stick
and beat the dog,
that bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came fire
and burnt the stick,
that beat the dog,
that bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came water
and quenched the fire,
that burnt the stick,
that beat the dog,
that bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the ox
and drank the water,
that quenched the fire,
that burnt the stick,
that beat the dog,
that bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the Shochet
and slaughtered the ox,
that drank the water,
that quenched the fire,
that burnt the stick,
that beat the dog,
that bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the Angel of Death
and killed the Shochet,
that slaughtered the ox,
that drank the water,
that quenched the fire,
that burnt the stick,
that beat the dog,
that bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the Holy One, Blessed be He
and slew the the Angel of Death,
that killed the Shochet,
that slaughtered the ox,
that drank the water,
that quenched the fire,
that burnt the stick,
that beat the dog,
that bit the cat,
that ate the goat,
That Father bought for two zuzim,
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Songs
Source : Time of Israel

Songs

Who knows one? I know one!

One is Hashem, one is Hashem, one is Hashem in the Heavens and the Earth.

Who knows two? I know two! Two are the tablets that Moses brought. And one is Hashem. . . .

Who knows three? I know three! Three are the papas, and two are the tablets that Moses brought. And one is Hashem. . . .

Four are the mamas. . . .

Five are the books of the (clap) Torah. . . .

Six are the books of the (clap) Mishnah. . . .

Seven are the days of the week (clap clap) . . . .

Eight are the days of the Brit Milah . . .

Nine are the months 'til a baby’s born. . . .

Ten are the TEN Commandments. . . .

Eleven are the stars in Joseph’s dream. . . .

Twelve are the tribes of Israel. . . .

Thirteen are the ways that God is good. . . .