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Introduction

What's on the Table

Contributed by Arthur Magun

The Seder Plate

We place a Seder Plate at our table as a reminder 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 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 emblematic of 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 an additional holiday offering that was brought to the temple along with the zeroah. The shape  of eggs is also thought to represent the circularity of life and eggs are often the  first item offered to a mourner after a funeral. At Passover, the egg evokes a sense of mourning for the destruction of the temple.

Matzoh

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

Elijah’s Cup

This is 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 coming of the Messiah. During the Seder dinner, we sing 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

A relatively new Passover tradition is that of Miriam’s cup. The cup is filled with water and placed next to Elijah’s cup. Miriam was the sister of Moses and a prophetess.  After the exodus when the Israelites are wandering through the desert, legend says that a well of water followed Miriam and it was called ‘Miriam’s Well’. The tradition of Miriam’s cup is meant to honor Miriam’s role in the story of the Jewish people and the spirit of all women, who lead and nurture their families, just as Miriam helped sustain the Israelites.

Introduction
Order of the Seder

Our Passover meal is called a seder, which means “order” in Hebrew, because we go through specific steps as we retell the story of our ancestors’ liberation from slavery. Some people like to begin their seder by reciting or singing the names of the 14 steps—this will help you keep track of how far away the meal is!
Introduction

Introduction

Contributed by Pardes

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.” 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,  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: everyone is welcome and everyone is necessary. 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, internalizing that experience and sharing it with others.

Kadesh

Kadesh

The Hebrew word “Kiddush” means sanctification. But it is not the wine we sanctify. Instead, the wine is a symbol of the sanctity, the preciousness, and the sweetness of this moment. Held together by sacred bonds of family, friendship, and humanism we share this table tonight with one another and with all the generations who have come before us. Let us join together and sanctify this singular moment.

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohaynoo melech ha-olam, boray pree ha-gafen. Baruch atah Adonai, Elohynoo melech ha- olam, asher bachar banoo meekol am, v’romemanoo meekol lashon, v’keedshanoo b’meetzvotav. Va’teetayn lanoo Adonai Elohaynoo b’bahava, mo’adeem lsimcha, chageem oo-z’maneem l’sason. Et yom chag ha-matzot ha-zeh,

z’man chayrootaynoo, meekra kodesh, zecher leetzeeyat Meetzrayeem. Kee vanoo vacharta, v’otanoo keed- ashta meekol ha- ameem. Oo’mo’adday kodsheh’cha b’seemcha oo-v’sason heen’chaltanoo. Barcuch ata Adonai m’kadesh Yisrael v’ha-z’maneem.

Praised are You, whose presence fills the universe and who creates the fruit of the vine.

Praised are You, whose presence fills the universe, who has called us for service from among the peoples of the world, sanctifying our lives with your commandments.  Our heritage has given us festivals for rejoicing and seasons of celebration, this Festival of Matzot, the time of our freedom, a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt.

Praised are You, Adonai, who gave us this joyful heritage and who sanctifies Israel and the festivals.

Kadesh

The Shehecheyanu is a prayer that Jews have been saying for over 2000 years to mark special occasions. Tonight, all of us here being together is special occasion. We have come here under a shared belief that everyone is entitled to be free. We all believe that everyone is entitled to certain inalienable rights. We all believe that we must treat our brothers and sisters with common decency. That is special and meaningful.

To mark this special and meaningful occasion, we all join together in the words of the Shehecheyanu:

בָרוּךְ אַתָה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְמָנוּ

וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶה

Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam,

shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

Blessed are you, Adonai, sovereign of all worlds, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this moment.

Urchatz

This symbolic washing of the hands recalls the story of Miriam's Well. Legend tells us that this well followed Miriam, sister of Moses, through the desert, sustaining the Jews in their wanderings. Filled with mayim chayim, waters of life, the well was a source of strength and renewal to all who drew from it. One drink from its waters was said to alert the heart, mind and soul, and make the meaning of Torah become alive.

Karpas

Passover, like many of our holidays, combines the celebration of an event from Jewish history with a recognition of the cycles of nature. As we remember the liberation from Egypt, we also recognize the dawning 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 the long, cold winter. Most families now choose a green, such as parsley or celery, but some families from Eastern Europe have a tradition of using a boiled potato since greens were hard to come by at Passover time. Whatever symbol of spring and sustenance we’re using, we will dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. Before we eat it, we recite a short blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruits of the earth.

We look forward to spring and the reawakening of flowers and greenery. They haven’t been lost, just buried beneath the snow.

Yachatz
by VBS
Source : Valley Beth Shalom Haggadah
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. 
Yachatz

There are three pieces of matzoh stacked on the table. We break the middle matzoh into two pieces.  This piece is called the afikomen, literally “dessert” in Greek. We are free, but we remember when we were slaves. We are whole, but we bring to mind those who are broken. The middle matzoh 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 matzoh and long for its recovery and our redemption.

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

We hold  the three pieces of matzah and say:

This is the bread of poverty

Ha Lachma Anya – Ha Lachma Anya - - Ha Lachma Anya

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

Yachatz

When Israel was in Egypt's Land, Let my people go.
Oppressed so hard they could not stand, "Let my people go."
Go Down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land
Tell old, Pharaoh, Let my people go

"Thus saith the Lord," bold Moses said, "Let my people go
If not I'll smite your first born dead, Let my people go."
Go Down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land
Tell old, Pharaoh, Let my people go

"No more shall they in bondage toil, Let my people go;
Let them come out with Egypt's spoil, Let my people go."
Go Down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land
Tell old, Pharaoh, Let my people go

When people stop this slavery -let my people go
Soon may all the earth be free - let my people go
Go Down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land
Tell old, Pharaoh, Let my people go

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

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.

-- Four Questions
Source : JewishBoston.com

The formal telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with lots of questions and answers. The tradition that the youngest person asks the questions reflects the centrality of involving everyone in the seder. The rabbis who created the set format for the seder gave us the Four Questions to help break the ice in case no one had their own questions. Asking questions is a core tradition in Jewish life. If everyone at your seder is around the same age, perhaps the person with the least seder experience can ask them – or everyone can sing them all together.

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה  

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah. Halaila hazeh kulo matzah.

On all other nights we eat both leavened bread and matzah.
Tonight we only eat matzah.

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot haleila hazeh maror.

On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables,
but tonight we eat bitter herbs.

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָֽנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּֽעַם אחָת  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעמים

Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat. Halaila hazeh shtei fi-amim.

On all other nights we aren’t expected to dip our vegetables one time.
Tonight we do it twice.

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין.  :הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּֽנוּ מְסֻבין

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin. Halaila hazeh kulanu m’subin.

On all other nights we eat either sitting normally or reclining.
Tonight we recline.

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

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

ּעֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ הָיִינו. עַתָּה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין  

Avadim hayinu hayinu. Ata b’nei chorin.

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

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

-- Four Questions
Source : Unknown

עֲבָדִים הָיִינו לְפַרְעהֹ בְמִצְרָיִם, וַיוֹצִיאֵנו יי אֱלֹהֵינו מִשָם בְיָד חֲזָקָה ובִזְרוֹעַ נְטויָה. וְאִלו לֹא הוֹצִיא הַקָדוֹש בָרוךְ הוא אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינו מִמִצְרָיִם, הֲרֵי אָנו ובָנֵינו ובְנֵי בָנֵינו מְשֻעְבָדִים הָיִינו לְפַרְעהֹ בְמִצְרָיִם. וַאֲפִילו כֻלָנו חֲכָמִים, כֻלָנו נְבוֹנִים, כֻלָנו זְקֵנִים, כֻלָנו יוֹדְעִים אֶת הַתוֹרָה, מִצְוָה עָלֵינו לְסַפֵר בִיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם. וְכָל הַמַרְבֶה לְסַפֵר בִיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻבָח.  

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

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

What does the wise child say?

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

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

What does the wicked child say?

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

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

What does the simple child say?

The simple child asks, What is this?

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

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

Help this child ask.

Start telling the story:

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

-

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

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

Our story starts in ancient times, with Abraham, the first person to have the idea that maybe all those little statues his contemporaries worshiped as gods were just statues. The idea of one God, invisible and all-powerful, inspired him to leave his family and begin a new people in Canaan, the land that would one day bear his grandson Jacob’s adopted name, Israel.

God had made a promise to Abraham that his family would become a great nation, but this promise came with a frightening vision of the troubles along the way: “Your descendants will dwell for a time in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and afflicted for four hundred years; however, I will punish the nation that enslaved them, and afterwards they shall leave with great wealth."

Raise the glass of wine and say:

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְלָֽנוּ

V’hi she-amda l’avoteinu v’lanu.

This promise has sustained our ancestors and us.

For not only one enemy has risen against us to annihilate us, but in every generation there are those who rise against us. But God saves us from those who seek to harm us.

The glass of wine is put down.

In the years our ancestors lived in Egypt, our numbers grew, and soon the family of Jacob became the People of Israel. Pharaoh and the leaders of Egypt grew alarmed by this great nation growing within their borders, so they enslaved us. We were forced to perform hard labor, perhaps even building pyramids. The Egyptians feared that even as slaves, the Israelites might grow strong and rebel. So Pharaoh decreed that Israelite baby boys should be drowned, to prevent the Israelites from overthrowing those who had enslaved them.

But God heard the cries of the Israelites. And God brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with great awe, miraculous signs and wonders. God brought us out not by angel or messenger, but through God’s own intervention. 

-- Exodus Story

PASSOVER RAP

We are gathered here tonight to hear the news,
about the story of the freeing of the Jews. 
It’s a very long story, so I hope you’ve had a nap. 
We call this prayer, the Passover Rap.

 It began in Egypt many years B.C. 
The Jews were slaves and they wanted to be free. 
The King of Egypt was a nasty dude.
They called him “The Pharaoh” - - he was big, bad, and rude.

The Pharaoh took the Jews and all of their kids,
He said, “Guess who’s building the pyramids!”
But the Jews were peaceful and always did what’s right.
They didn’t have the chutzpah to stand up and fight.

They needed a leader, one that God would choose. 
A dynamic dude who could free the Jews. 
Moses was his name, as the story is told. 
He was humble shepherd, nearly 80 years old.

 CHORUS (To be chanted out loud by group while drinking wine)
We are gathered here tonight to celebrate,
the Jewish people and their fate.
So raise your glasses and don’t be tardy,
‘cause Moses says, “It’s time to Party!”

 God knew that Moses would need a push,
so he spoke to Moses through a burning bush. 
He said - “a - Moses - the desert - you will roam, 
and you’ll rescue the Jews and bring ‘em on home.”

Moses thought he must be delirious,
and so he said to God, “You can’t be serious. 
I can’t do this job, I’m old and sick.”
So God gave Moses a magical stick.

Moses took his staff to the palace gate. 
He said, “Let me in Pharaoh, let’s negotiate.” 
Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go.” 
And the Pharaoh replied, “The answer is no.”

So Moses told the Pharaoh, “If you don’t comply,
I’ll give you 10 plagues until your people die.”

 CHORUS (To be chanted out loud by group while drinking wine)
We are gathered here tonight to celebrate,
the Jewish people and their fate.
So raise your glasses and don’t be tardy,
‘cause Moses says, “It’s time to Party!”

Pharaoh said to Moses, “What you say? 
Go ahead Moses, make my day!” 
So Moses raised his voice and sharply said, 
“All your water will turn bloody red.”

The Egyptians were angry and all in a daze.
They drank bloody Marys for 40 days.
Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go.”
Pharaoh said to Moses, “The answer is no!”  

Pharaoh thought that all the plagues were through
until Moses came up with plague Number Two.
Thousands of frogs were raining from the sky,
But the big bad Pharaoh just would not comply.

CHORUS (To be chanted out loud by group while drinking wine)
We are gathered here tonight to celebrate,
the Jewish people and their fate.
So raise your glasses and don’t be tardy,
‘cause Moses says, “It’s time to Party!”

Moses said to Pharaoh, “If you think this is fine, 
then I hope you’re prepared for plagues 3 through 9.” 
Lice were infested on everyone’s head.
Livestock and cattle were suddenly dead.

A cloud of dust descended upon the streets.
Egypt was infested with wild beasts.
Locusts were next, they ate all the crops.
Hail then descended in Matzo-ball drops.

Darkness came about for three full days.
But the big bad Pharaoh just wouldn’t change his ways.
Moses could feel negotiations grow hard,
and he knew it was time to play his last trump card.

“Here’s my final offer, it’s the very last one.
You free them Jews or God kills your first son.”
Pharaoh knew that the end was near,
and said, “Moses, take your Jews and get outta’ here.”

CHORUS (To be chanted out loud by group while drinking wine)
We are gathered here tonight to celebrate,
the Jewish people and their fate.
So raise your glasses and don’t be tardy,
‘cause Moses says, “It’s time to Party!”

Pharaoh said, “You made your point, and I don’t want any friction,”
but when you leave, make sure you walk like an Egyptian.”
But only one day after the Jews did depart,
The big bad Pharaoh had a change of heart.

“Round up the Chariots, put on your packs.
We’re going to chase those Jews and kill them in their tracks.”
Meanwhile the Jews were partying by the sea,
when they saw Egyptians coming, tough as they could be.

“What will we do Moses?  Help us!”  they cried.
And Moses replied, “Kiss your donkeys good-bye!”
The Egyptians moved closer and the Chariots started,
and Moses raised his staff and the Red Sea parted.

The Jews ran through the sea and hit the other shore,
But Egyptians were close with hands on sword.
Then Egyptians followed - - every soldier, son, and daughter.
And Moses yelled back, “How long can you tread water?”

David Kaplan (Indianapolis) April 1987

-- Exodus Story

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed"

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King

-- 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.

-- Ten Plagues

וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ יְיָ מִמִצְרַיִם - לֹא עַל יְדֵי מַלְאָךְ, וְלֹא עַל יְדֵי שָׂרָף, וְלֹא עַל יְדֵי שָׁלִיחַ,

                 אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּכְבוֹדוֹ וּבְעַצְמוֹ

                    , שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם

        בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה, וְהִכֵּיתִי כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֵאָדָם וְעַד בְּהֵמָה, וּבְכָל

                   אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים. אֲנִי יְיָ

              וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה - אֲנִי וְלֹא מַלְאָךְ

              וְהִכֵּיתִי כָּל בְכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם - אֲנִי וְלֹא שָׂרָף

           וּבְכָל אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים - אֲנִי ולֹא הַשָּׁלִיחַ.

                                 אֲנִי יְיָ

-- Ten Plagues

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

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

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

Blood | dam | דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |  צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim | כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever | דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail | barad | בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech | חֹֽשֶׁךְ

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

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

Ilu hotzi hotzianu
Hotzianu mimitzrayim, mimitzraim hotzianu
Dayenu

Chorus: Dai, dai yea-nu; dai, dai yea-nu; dai, dai yea nu, Dayenu, Dayenu, Dayenu

Ilu natan natan lanu
Natan lanu et ha Torah; et ha Torah Natan lanu
Dayenu,

Chorus: Dai, dai yea-nu; dai, dai yea-nu; dai, dai yea nu, Dayenu, Dayenu, Dayenu

Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha Sabbat, et ha Shabbat natan lanu Dayeanu

Chorus: Dai, dai yea-nu; dai, dai yea-nu; dai, dai yenu, Dayenu Dayenu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

---

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the second glass of wine!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,    From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!3

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

As we now transition from the formal telling of the Passover story to the celebratory meal, we once again wash our hands to prepare ourselves. In Judaism, a good meal together with friends and family is itself a sacred act, so we prepare for it just as we prepared for our holiday ritual, recalling the way ancient priests once prepared for service in the Temple.

Some people distinguish between washing to prepare for prayer and washing to prepare for food by changing the way they pour water on their hands. For washing before food, pour water three times on your right hand and then three times on your left hand.

After you have poured the water over your hands, recite this short blessing.

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

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

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

Motzi-Matzah
Source : JewishBoston.com

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.

בָּרוּךְ 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.

Maror
Source : JewishBoston.com

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror  |מָרוֹר   

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מרוֹר

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

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

Maror

Maror   WHY DO WE EAT MAROR ???

The bitterness of the root lends to many interpretations as to why we eat such a food before the meal.

To remember our suffering before being freed ??

To be reminded of the suffering of the Egyptians ??

To diminish our celebratory mood ??

To be reminded that many still have embittered lives ??

Koreich

Koreich              Contributed by Jewish Boston

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

When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the biggest ritual of all was eating the lamb offered as the pesach or Passover sacrifice.

The great sage Hillel would put the meat in a sandwich made of matzah, along with some of the bitter herbs. While we do not make sacrifices any more – and, in fact, some Jews have a custom of purposely avoiding lamb during the seder so that it is not mistaken as a sacrifice – we honor this custom by eating a sandwich of the remaining matzah and bitter herbs. Some people will also include charoset in the sandwich to remind us that God’s kindness helped relieve the bitterness of slavery.

Koreich

SOME THOUGHTS ON CHAROSET

On a surface level, charoset is present on the Seder plate to represent the mortar the Hebrews needed to work with during their enslavement, as the Hagadah states, “They embittered the Jews’ lives with hard labor in brick and mortar.”

  • Sephardim often puree the chopped fruit and nut mixture to get the consistency as close to cement as possible.
  • Charoset is the only element of the Seder plate that is not mentioned in the Torah; it is from the Talmud, where the link between charoset and mortar is established. Additionally, R. Jacob gives detailed instructions on how to make charoset properly in Hilchot Pesach. Of course, this is not the required prescription (as evidenced by the plethora of charoset recipes accessible on this website).
  • When eaten with the horseradish, the charoset balances the bitterness of the maror (horseradish), symbolizing the optimism of the Passover seder.
  • The cinnamon in charoset is symbolic of the straw Hebrews had to gather in Egypt to build Pharaoh’s palaces (when considering the cinnamon in its stick form).
  • Shir Hashirim, which we read during Passover, sings praise to the fruits of Israel that are in season in Spring, so we eat charoset in the spirit of the season, and in thanks to God.
Shulchan Oreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

Eating the meal! | shulchan oreich | שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

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

Tzafun
Source : JewishBoston.com

Finding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon | צָפוּן

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

Bareich
Source : 30 Minute Seder

The Grace after meals is long and complex for those whose knowledge of Hebrew may be limited. The essence of this prayer is to give thanks for the blessing of food and land. We can conclude our meal with a simpler prayer that the sages recount that expresses the same idea.

בריך רחמנא מרן מלכא דעלמא מריה דהאי פיתא

Barikh rachmana Malka D’alma Maray d’hi pita.

Blessed is the all-merciful one, master of the universe who created this food!

Bareich
Remembering The Holocaust

On this night of celebration of freedom , of celebration from deliverance from Pharoh, of bountiful food and drink, we pause to remember our families and our people – grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins who were murdered in the Holocaust only 70 years ago. Like the exodus from Egypt this was a monumental event in Jewish history.

When we celebrate freedom and deliverance, when we imagine ourselves as slaves being redeemed from Egypt, we should remember their fate, not for vengeance or for sadness, but with the hope that their memories energize us to be vigilant and to act to prevent new Pharohs and new dictators from inflicting evil on the world.

We drink the 3rd cup of wine:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha Olam, Boreh Peri Hagofen.

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

The Cup of Elijah

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

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

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּיאֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ,אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד

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

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

Hallel
Source : The Refugee Crisis Haggadah by Repair the World

This is the cup of Elijah. This is the cup of hope. 

According to tradition, we open the door to permit the possible entry of the prophet Elijah, who is, according to tradition, the herald of the era of peace and freedom for all humanity. Elijah. For millennia, Jews opened the door for him, inviting him join their Seders, hoping that he would bring with him a messiah to save the world. Yet the tasks of saving the world - once ascribed to prophets, messiahs and gods - must be taken up by us, by common people with shared goals. Working together for progressive change, we can bring about the improvement of the world, tiqqun ha-olam - for justice and for peace, we can and we must.

Now, as we pour our 4th cup of wine, let us now symbolically open the door of our Seder to invite in all people and all those in need to work together with us for a better world. Let us raise our fourth cup as we dedicate ourselves to tiqqun olam, the improvement of the world.

Everyone, raise your glasses:

"L' Tiqqun Olam!"

Hallel

“ A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back  - but they are gone.

WE ARE IT.    It is up to us.    It is up to you.”

                           Marian Wright Edelman

                           President and Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund

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

Nirtzah  marks the conclusion of the seder. Our bellies are full, we have had several glasses of wine, we have told stories and sung songs, and now it is time for the evening to come to a close. At the end of the seder, we honor the tradition of declaring, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

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

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

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

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

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

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

Conclusion

Le Shanah

Ha Ba-Ah,

Le Shanah

Ha Ba-Ah

Le SHanah ha Ba-ah Be-yerushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM !!!

Commentary / Readings

American Jewish poet Emma Lazarus’s words as 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

Songs
Source : John Lennon

"Imagine"
 

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today... Aha-ah...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Songs

I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside

I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
I'm gonna study, study, war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

I'm gonna lay down my heavy load
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside

I'm gonna lay down my heavy load
Down by the riverside
Gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

I ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
I ain't gonna study war no more

Ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more

Ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more

Yes, laid down ?
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside

I'm gonna lay down my heavy load
Down by the riverside
God is tiding on no more
No more

Songs

Chad gadya. Chad gadya. 

That Mother bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.

Then came a cat that ate the goat, that Mother bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya. 

Then came a dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, that Mother bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya. 

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

Then came a fire that burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, that Mother bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya. 

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

Then came 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 Mother bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya. 

Then came the butcher 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 Mother bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya. 

Then came the Angel that killed the butcher, 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 Mother bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya. 

Then came the One, the Blessed She, who slew the the Angel, that killed the butcher, 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 Mother  bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.

Songs

Lyrics

Ilu hotzi hotzianu
Hotzianu mimitzrayim,
Hotzianu mimitzrayim
Dayenu

[Chorus]
Dai, da-ye-nu,
Dai, da-ye-nu,
Dai, da-ye-nu,
Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! 

Ilu natan natan lanu
Natan lanu et ha Torah
Natan lanu et ha Torah
Dayenu

[Chorus]
Dai, da-ye-nu,
Dai, da-ye-nu,
Dai, da-ye-nu,
Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu! 

Had he brought us out of Egypt,
Only brought us out of Egypt,
Had he brought us out of Egypt,
Dayenu. (It would have been enough.)

Had he given us the Torah,
Only given us the Torah,
Had he given us the Torah,
Dayenu. (It would have been enough.)

Songs

The Wandering is Over Haggadah - Who Knows One

Contributed by Jewish Boston

Who knows one?

At some seders, people go around the table reading a question and the answers in one breath. Thirteen is hard!

Who knows one?

I know one.

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows two?

I know two.

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows three

I know three

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows four?

I know four.

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows five?

I know five.

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows six?

I know six.

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows seven?

I know seven.

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eight?

I know eight.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows nine?

I know nine.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows ten?

I know ten.

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eleven?

I know eleven.

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows twelve?

I know twelve.

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows thirteen?

I know thirteen

Thirteen are the attributes of God

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth