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Introduction
Source : NYTimes article; David Arnow bool

Though the word ‘Haggadah’ means ‘the telling,’ the Haggadah does not merely tell a story: It is our book of living memory. It is not enough to retell the story: we must make the most radical leap of empathy into it.

 

“In every generation a person is obligated to view himself as if he were the one who went out of Egypt,” the Haggadah tells us.

 

The story of the Exodus is not meant merely to be recited, but to be wrestled with.        

  — Jonathan Safran Foer, quoted in the New York Times, March 31, 2012

 

 

The celebration of Passover should feel as if it comes from our heart, rather than from imposed law.

                                  — David Arnow, Creating Lively Passover Seders

 

 

 

 

Introduction
Source : original

 

Many times throughout history,  the Jewish people have lived without freedom. The Haggadah tells the story of one of those times. It tells the story of how the Jewish people were freed from being slaves in Eqypt which is called the Exodus. By reading the words of the Haggadah and by eating special food, we perform the Mitzvah written in the Torah. “You shall tell the Passover story to your children in the days to come”.The word “Haggadah” means a retelling.The obligation to tell and retell the story of the exodus from slavery to one’s children is the core of the Seder ritual. Tonight, is a time for joy and relaxation as we celebrate the triumph of all people who have struggled for control over their own lives and fought and won over the forces of oppression.

 

The special meal for Pesach is called the seder. The word seder means order. The order of the seder meal helps us tell the story in a step by step way. Tonight we eat Matzoh the “bread of affliction” to remind us of our past so that in our lives we will be neither slave nor Pharoah, but that we will recognize injustice and try to stop it. Tonight is a time to renew our courage and a chance to awaken to the present with fresh insight.

 

 In the Torah, one of the most important ideas is freedom.  Freedom is not the right to do whatever you want but the opportunity to do what is right. A person who is free may choose to say yes when everyone else is saying no. Throughout the seder meal, we celebrate the journey to freedom and remember that none of us are free till all of us are free. Let us do what our ancestors have done for thousands of years. Let us remember the story of the Exodus from Eqypt, let us link ourselves with all who came before us.Let us celebrate freedom.

Introduction
Source : A Growing Haggadah

We begin our Seder and join our efforts with those everywhere who celebrate the Passover searching for its meaning in their lives; as an expression of our liberation so far... There are many possible modes for understanding the events retold in the Pesach Haggadah.

Of these, three are braided together so that, if we concentrate exclusively on any one of them, we diminish the special qualities of the entire story.

By participating in the symbolic actions built into the order of the Seder, we can share in: the experience of the rebirth of the natural world around us, the national liberation of our people, the spiritual redemption of each individual human being.

We begin this evening: some of us feeling shackled by the bonds of winter, some of our people—and other peoples of the world—persecuted, many of us confined by our own personal limitations.

Tonight we hope to set in motion: processes of growth that encourage within each of us the renewal of each person’s unique vision, and efforts to work for the freedom of our scattered—and all, oppressed— people, as we see about us the flowering of a new year.

Indeed, we begin our Seder here.

However, our goals are neither our renewal, our freedom, nor our flowering.

Pesach is but the pointer to the acceptance of our commitments to complete these tasks—in a harvesting of the fruits of our labors yet to come.

Introduction
Source : Dr. Rosenberg

FROM THE ROSENBERG HOLOCAUST HAGGADAH BY RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

When Israel was in Egypt land. Let my people go!

Oppressed so hard they could not stand. Let my people go!

Go down Moses, way down in Egypt land. Let my people go!

Lord told Moses what to do, let my people go!

Tell ol' Pharaoh. Let my people go! 

If not I'll smite your first-born dead.  Let my people go!

To lend the children of Israel through,  Let my people go! 

When they had reached the other shore, Let my people go!

They sang a song of triumph o'er Let my people go!

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

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drink the first glass of wine!

Kadesh
Source : Candle lighting

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדלִיק נֵר שֶׁל יוֹם טוֹב.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kidishanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who sanctifies us with commandments, and commands us to light the candles on this holiday.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶה.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Sheche’hiyanu V’Keymanu V’Higiyanu Lazman Ha’Zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Kadesh
Source : Tikkun Passover Supplement

KIDDUSH

Before the blessing over the first cup of wine, say:

We are gathered here tonight to affirm our continuity with the generations of Jews who kept alive the vision of freedom in the Passover story. For thousands of years, Jews have affirmed that by participating in the Passover Seder, we not only remember the Exodus, but actually relive it, bringing its transformative power into our own lives.

The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, means “narrow straits.” Traditionally, Mitzrayim has been understood to mean a spiritual state, the “narrow place,” a place of confusion, fragmentation, and spiritual disconnection. There are many ways in which all of us, individually and collectively, may be trapped in Mitzrayim. Fear of the other, fear of our own true selves, fear of losing control. All of these can become "false gods" to which we may be enslaved. Even some of what passes for "spiritual growth" may lead us into a narrower, more constricted place as we attempt to cut off parts of ourselves that we don't like. It is only a short step from abusing facets of our own selves to abusing others as well.

The way out of Mitzrayim is through chesed, compassion—through embracing that which we have been taught to scorn within ourselves and others and through attempting to understand those who seem very different from us. Israel left Egypt with “a mixed multitude”; the Jewish people began as a multicultural mélange of people attracted to a vision of social transformation. What makes us Jews is not some biological fact, but our willingness to proclaim the mes- sage of those ancient slaves: The world can be changed, we can be healed. 

Kadesh
Source : traditional

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p'ri hagafen.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has created 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 מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה, חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשׂוֹן, אֶת יוֹם חַג הַמַצוֹת הַזֶה, זְמַן חֵרוּתֵנוּ מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ, זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים, וּמוֹעֲדֵי קָדְשֶךָ בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׂשׂוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, מְקַדֵּשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזְּמַנִּים.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, asher bachar banu mikol’am, v'rom'manu mikol-lashon, v'kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, vatiten-lanu Adonai Eloheinu b'ahava moadim l'simchah, chagim uz'manim l'sason et-yom  chag hamatzot hazeh. Z'man cheiruteinu mikra kodesh, zeicher litziat mitzrayim. Ki vanu vacharta v'otanu kidashta mikol ha’amim. umo’adei kod’shecha b'simchah uv'sason hinchaltanu. Baruch atah Adonai, m'kadeish Yisrael v'hazmanim.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has chosen us from among all people, and languages, and made us holy through Your mitzvot, giving us lovingly festivals for joy, and special times for celebration, this Passover, this sacred gathering to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. You have chosen us, You have shared Your holiness with us among all other peoples. For with festive revelations of Your holiness, happiness and joy You have granted us joyfully the holidays. Praised are you, Adonai, Who sanctifies, Israel and the festivals.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes a distinction between the holy and profane, light and darkness, Israel and the nations, Shabbat and the six workdays. You have made a distinction between the holiness of Shabbat and the holiness of the festival, and You have sanctified Shabbat above the six work-days. You have set apart and made holy Your people Israel with your holiness. Praised are you, Adonai, who distinguishes between degrees of sanctity.)

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

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

Too often during our daily lives we don’t stop and take the moment to prepare for whatever it is we’re about to do.

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

Urchatz
Source : Original

Ritual hand-washing in preparation for the seder |  urchatz  | וּרְחַץ 

OThis is a moment to cleanse and refresh, so that we can begin the seder intentionally.

Pause, take a deep breath, and center yourself in this present moment.

Before you wash your hands, reflect on whatever may be distracting you and keeping you from being fully present.

As you wash your hands, imagine washing away that distraction, leaving your mind clear to engage fully in tonight's ritual.

 
Urchatz
Source : The Buddhist & Jewish Haggadah

As Rachel welcomed strangers at the well with water, so do we welcome each other to this Seder by washing the hands of thos at our table.  We are not washing ourselves of dirt, but of attachment, guilt, and resentment. Each person in turn pours a little water over the hands of the person to the left, into the bowl.  As the water is poured, think of something that you wish to let go of and imagine the water carrying it away. 

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

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. Most families use a green vegetable, 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 now dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. Before we eat it, we recite a short blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

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

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

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

-

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

Karpas
Source : Original

Leader: We come now to the first element of the Seder Plate: Karpas, the green vegetable.

Reader: The Karpas is a symbol of the Spring. It represents the reawakening of life and reminds us that beneath the snow, the earth is not dead, but dormant. It signifies the life-sustaining crops of our ancestors, and with this blessing, we make favorable their growth.

Reader: The parsley is also historically symbolic of the biblical herb, ezov. It was this plant the Hebrews used to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifical lamb on their doorposts so that they would not be sticken by the 10th plague, the slaying of the first-born.

Leader: We temper this symbol of hope and rebirth by dipping it in salt water, symbolic of the tears of our enslaved forefathers. For without sorrow, how can we know joy? Without struggle, how can we know strength of will?

Take a sprig of parsley, and dip it in salt water.

All: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adamah.

(Blessed art thou, the LORD our God, King of the Universe, who createth the fruit of the earth)

Eat the parsley.

Karpas
Source : The Song of Songs

Excerpts from The Song of Songs, as translated by Chana and Ariel Bloch

Now he has brought me to the house of wine,
and his flag over me is love.

Let me lie among vine blossoms,
in a bed of apricots!
I am in the fever of love.

His left hand beneath my head,
his right arm
holding me close.

Daughters of Jerusalem, swear to me
by the gazelles, by the deer in the field,
that you will never awaken love
until it is ripe.

-----

Look, winter is over,

the rains are done,

wildflowers spring up in the fields.

Now is the time of the nightingale.

In every meadow you hear

the song of the turtledove.

The fig tree has sweetened

its new green fruit

and the young budded vines smell spicy.

Hurry, my love, my friend

and come away.

Karpas
by Debra
Source : Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained

In ancient times our people were farmers and shepherds. In this festive season, we are meant to feel a connection with the food we eat from the land and to remember that we are surrounded by blessings and miracles no less majestic than those our ancestors witnessed thousands of years ago. Spring reminds us that we are again given a chance for renewal; a new chance to create peace and goodness in our world. We dip karpas - greens - to symbolize this renewal. The salt water symbolizes the bitter tears shed by our ancestors in slavery

Each person takes greens, dips them in salt water and recites the following:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה                                                     

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p'ri ha-adamah.

We praise You, Adonai, Sovereign of Life, Who creates the fruit of the earth.

Eat the Karpas.

Karpas
Source : Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained

It is customary to begin the Passover meal with hard-boiled eggs flavored with salt water. The egg is symbolic of new life, and of hope; the salt water, a symbol of tears. Eggs, unlike other foods, harden when they are cooked, symbolic of our faith being tempered and hardened by the forces of our history.

May we reflect on our lives this year and soften our hearts to those around us. Another year has passed since we gathered at the Seder table and we are once again reminded that life is fleeting. We are reminded to use each precious moment wisely so that no day will pass without bringing us closer to some worthy achievement as we all take a moment to be aware of how truly blessed and fortunate we are.

     Our faith gives us many holidays to celebrate throughout the year and they are all times for self reflection, gently guiding us to a better path in life. We are each given a chance to reflect on our past year; to think about where we have been and how we will live our lives in the year to come. We reaffirm our com- mitment to lead good and meaningful lives, making peace wherever we go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yachatz
by VBS
Source : Valley Beth Shalom Haggadah

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.

Yachatz
Source : Source


Ha Lachma Anya


This is the bread of affliction, the poor bread,

which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.

Let all who are hungry come and eat.

Let all who are in want, share the hope of Passover.

As we celebrate here, we join with our people everywhere.

This year we celebrate here.

Next year in the land of Israel.

Now we are still in bonds.

Next year may we all be free.

Yachatz
Source : ajws.org

We encourage you to incorporate this reading into the Ha lachma anya section of your seder.

Ha lachma anya—this is the bread of affliction.

At the seder we begin as slaves. We eat matzah, the bread of affliction, which leaves us hungry and longing for redemption. It reminds us of a time when we couldn’t control what food was available to us, but ate what we could out of necessity. The matzah enables us to taste slavery—to imagine what it means to be denied our right to live free and healthy lives. 

But, while we will soon enjoy a large meal and end the seder night as free people, 963 million people around the world can not leave the affliction of hunger behind. Each day, 25,000 adults and children die from hunger and malnutrition. In fact, a child dies every six seconds because he or she is starving. Let us awaken to their cries and declare:

Kol dichfin yeitei v’yeichol—let all who are hungry, come and eat.

As we sit at our seder and contemplate our people’s transition from slavery to freedom, let us hope for a time when all who are hungry will eat as free people:

Let all people gain autonomy over their sources of sustenance.

Let local farms flourish and local economies strengthen. 

Let exploitation of natural resources cease so that the land may nourish its inhabitants.

Let communities bolster themselves against the destruction wrought by flood and drought.

Let our world leaders recognize food as a basic human right and implement policies and programs that put an end to world hunger.  

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

Hashata avdei—this year we are still slaves. 

Leshanah haba’ah b’nei chorin—next year we will be free people.

This year, hunger and malnutrition are still the greatest risks to good health around the world. Next year, may the bread of affliction be simply a symbol, and may all people enjoy the bread of plenty, the bread of freedom. 

Yachatz
Source : Primo Levi

PASSOVER

Tell me: how is this night different 

From all other nights?

How, tell me, is this Passover

Different from other Passovers?

Light the lamp, open the door wide

So the pilgrim can come in,

Gentile or Jew;

Under the rags perhaps the prophet is concealed.

Let him enter and sit down with us;

Let him listen, drink, sing and celebrate Passover;

Let him consume the bread of affliction,

The Paschal Lamb, sweet mortar and bitter herbs.

This is the night of differences

In which you lean your elbow on the table,

Since the forbidden becomes prescribed,

Evil is translated into good.

We will spend the night recounting

Far-off events full of wonder,

And because of all the wine

The mountains will skip like rams.

Tonight they exchange questions:

The wise, the godless, the simple-minded and the child.

And time reverses its course,

Today flowing back into yesterday, 

Like a river enclosed at its mouth.

Each of us has been a slave in Egypt,

Soaked straw and clay with sweat,

And crossed the sea dry-footed.

You too, stranger.

This year in fear and shame,

Next year in virtue and in justice.

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.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : http://www.chabad.org/library/howto/wizard_cdo/aid/117099/jewish/5-Tell.htm

The exodus was not simply an event that happened to us. It is an event that we became. It is who we are. It is the life of each one of us, occurring again and again, in our wrestling match with the world, in our struggle with our own selves. We embody freedom in a constant mode of escape. Perhaps that is why Jews have always been the rebels of society, the ones who think out of the box. The experience of leaving Egypt left such an indelible mark on our souls, we never stopped doing it. A Jew who has stopped exiting Egypt has ceased to allow his soul to breathe.

To tell the story is to bring that essential self into the open, to come face to face with who we really are and resuscitate it back to life.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : The Jewish Secular Community Passover Hagada

(raise second cup of wine)

ALL: The fate of every Jew is bound up with the fate of the Jewish people and the destiny of the Jewish people cannot be separated from the destiny of all humanity. Let us drink this cup of wine to symbolize our pledge to break the bonds of slavery for all who are not free.

L'CHAIM!

(Drink the second cup of wine)

Reader 29: At this point in our festivity, let us reflect upon the significance of Passover. Passover celebrates freedom. Can we be free while others are not?

ALL: If there are people anywhere who are oppressed, then we cannot celebrate Passover with a clear conscience.

Reader 30: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. 

Injustice to any people is a threat to justice to ALL people.

I will not remain silent in the face of injustice."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

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

What does the wise child say?

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

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

What does the wicked child say?

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

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

What does the simple child say?

The simple child asks, What is this?

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

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

Help this child ask.

Start telling the story:

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

-

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

-- Four Children
Source : ajws.org.
At Passover each year, we read the story of our ancestors’ pursuit of liberation from oppression. When confronting this history, how do we answer our children when they ask us how to pursue justice in our time?

WHAT DOES THE ACTIVIST CHILD ASK?

“The Torah tells me, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue,’ but how can I pursue justice?”Empower him always to seek pathways to advocate for the vulnerable. As Proverbs teaches, “Speak up for the mute, for the rights of the unfortunate. Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.”

WHAT DOES THE SKEPTICAL CHILD ASK?

“How can I solve problems of such enormity?” Encourage her by explaining that she need not solve the problems, she must only do what she is capable of doing.   As we read in Pirke Avot, “It is not your responsibility to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

WHAT DOES THE INDIFFERENT CHILD SAY?

“It’s not my responsibility.”Persuade him that responsibility cannot be shirked. As Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, “The opposite of good is not evil, the opposite of good is indifference. In a free society where terrible wrongs exist, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”

AND THE UNINFORMED CHILD WHO DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO ASK...

Prompt her to see herself as an inheritor of our people’s legacy.  As it says in Deuteronomy, “You must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”At this season of liberation, join us in working for the liberation of all people. Let us respond to our children’s questions with action and justice. 

-- 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
Source : Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things.

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

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

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

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

Blood | dam | דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |  צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim | כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever | דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail | barad | בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech | חֹֽשֶׁךְ

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

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

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Adapted from A Humanist Modern Haggadah by Eszter Hargittai

Let us all fill our cups with wine...

Reader 1: Tonight we drink four cups of the fruit of the vine. There are many explanations for this custom. They represent, some have said, the four terms God to describe the redemption in Exodus: "I shall take you out...", "I shall rescue you...",  "I shall redeem you...", "I shall bring you..."  The four cups might also reprsent the four corners of the earth, for freedom must live everywhere; the four seasons of the year, for freedom's cycle must last through all the seasons.

Reader 2: A full cup of wine symbolizes complete happiness. The triumph of Passover is diminished by the sacrifice of many human lives when ten plagues were visited upon the people of Egypt. In the ancient story, the plagues that befell the Egyptians resulted from the decisions of tyrants, but the greatest suffering occurred among those who had no choice but to follow. It is fitting that we mourn their loss of life, and express our sorrow over their suffering.  Therefore, let us diminish the wine in our cups as we recall the ten plagues that befell the Egyptian people.

[As each plague is named, everyone dips a finger in wine and then touches a plate to remove the drop.]

Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Cattle Disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts,Darkness, Death of the
Firstborn.

Reader 3: In the same spirit, our celebration today is also shadowed by our awareness of continuing sorrow and oppression in all parts of the world. Ancient plagues are mirrored in modern
tragedies.

Reader 4: We are a world people, living in many lands and among many nations. The power of science has shrunk our planet and has made all of us the children of one human family. We are all victims together of enormous social problems. We share in their effects and in the responsibility to overcome them.

Reader 5: We spill wine from our cups at the mention of each of these contemporary plagues. We cannot allow ourselves to drink a full measure since our own lives are sobered by these ills, which darken our lives and diminish our joy. As the pain of others diminishes our joys, let us once more diminish the wine of our festival as we repeat the names of these modern plagues:

Group:
Hunger, War, Crime,
Disease, Racism, Abuse,
Poverty, Homophobia, Pollution,
Apathy and indifference to human suffering.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : The Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Passover, assembled by Rachel Barenblat

Midrash teaches that, while watching the Egyptians succumb to the ten plagues, the angels broke into songs of jubilation. God rebuked them, saying, "My creatures are perishing, and you sing praises?"

As we recite each plague, we spill a drop of wine - symbol of joy - from our cups. Our joy in our liberation will always be tarnished by the pain visited upon the Egyptians.

Blood

Frogs

Lice

Insect Swarms

Cattle Plague

Boils

Hail

Locusts 

Darkness

Death of the First-Born

Today's world holds plagues as well. Let us spill drops of wine as we recite:

Apathy in the face of evil

Brutal torture of the helpless

Cruel mockery of the old and the weak

Despair of human goodness

Envy of the joy of others

Falsehood and deception corroding our faith

Greedy theft of the earth's resources

Hatred of learning and culture

Instigation of war and aggression

Justice delayed, justice denied, justice mocked...

Shekhinah, soften our hearts and the hearts of our enemies. Help us to dream new paths to freedom, so that the next sea-opening is not also a drowning; so that our singing is never again their wailing. So that our freedom leaves no one orphaned, childless, gasping for air. 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Adapted from The Journey Continues: Ma’Ayan Passover Haggadah, by The Jewish Women’s Project, a program of the JCC on the Upper West Side, p. 21 (in The Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Passove

Shekhinah, soften our hearts and the hearts of our enemies. Help us to dream new paths

to freedom, so that the next sea-opening is not also a drowning; so that our singing is

never again their wailing. So that our freedom leaves no one orphaned, childless,

gasping for air.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Traditional

Ten Plagues

דָּם    

צְפֵרְדֵּע        

כִּנִים   

עָרוֹב

דֶּבֶר   

שְׁחִין  

בָּרד

אַרְבֶּה

חשֶׁךְ  

מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
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.

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

The plagues and our subsequent redemption from Egypt are but one example of the care God has shown for us in our history. Had God but done any one of these kindnesses, it would have been enough – dayeinu.

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָֽנוּ מִמִּצְרַֽיִם, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu hotzi- hotzianu, Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim, Dayeinu

If God had only taken us out of Egypt, that would have been enough!

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָֽנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha-Torah, Natan lanu et ha-Torah , Dayeinu

If God had only given us the Torah, that would have been enough.

 The complete lyrics to Dayeinu tell the entire story of the Exodus from Egypt as a series of miracles God performed for us. (See the Additional Readings if you want to read or sing them all.)

Dayeinu also reminds us that each of our lives is the cumulative result of many blessings, small and large. 

-- 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
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had given us the Torah, and had not brought us into the land of Israel — Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

Ilu natan lanu et hatorah, v'lo hichnisanu l'eretz yisra’eil, dayeinu

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל דַּיֵּנוּ

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had fed us the manna, and had not given us the Shabbat — Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

Ilu he'echilanu et haman, v'lo natan lanu et hashabbat, dayeinu!

אִלּוּ הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת דַּיֵּנוּ

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, and had not fed us the manna — Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

  

Ilu sipeik tzorkeinu bamidbar arba'im shana, v'lo he'echilanu et haman, dayeinu!

אִלּוּ סִפֵּק צָרַכֵּנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וְלֹא הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן דַּיֵּנוּ 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had taken us through the sea on dry land, and had not drowned our oppressors in it — Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

Ilu he'eviranu b'tocho becharavah,v'lo shika tzareinu b’tocho, dayeinu!

אִלּוּ הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה וְלֹא שִׁקַע צָרֵינוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ דַּיֵּנוּ 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had split the sea for us, and had not taken us through it on dry land — Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

Ilu kara lanu et hayam, v'lo he'eviranu b'tocho becharavah, dayeinu!

אִלּוּ קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם וְלֹא הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה דַּיֵּנוּ

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had smitten their first-born, and had not given us their wealth — Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

Ilu harag et b’choreihem, v'lo natan lanu et mamonam, dayeinu!

אִלּוּ הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת מָמוֹנָם דַּיֵּנוּ

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had destroyed their idols, and had not smitten their first-born... Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

Ilu asah beloheihem,v'lo harag et b'choreihem,dayeinu!


אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בֵּאלֹהֵיהֶם
וְלֹא הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם


 
-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

If He had carried out judgments against them, and not against their idolsDayenu, it would have sufficed!

אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בָּהֶם שְׁפָטִים לֹא עָשָׂה בֵּאלֹהֵיהֶם דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu asah bahem sh'fatim  v'lo asah beloheihem,dayeinu!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayenu

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם וְלֹא עָשָׂה בָּהֶם שְׁפָטִים

Ilu hotzianu mimitzrayim  v'lo asah bahem sh'fatim,

If He had brought us out from Egyptand had not carried out judgments against them

— Dayenu, it would have sufficed! dayeinu!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Traditional

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.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : (Traditional)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu bimitzvotav vitzivanu al achilat matzah.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Chabad.org, http://www.jewfaq.org/prayer/shabbat.htm, The Survival Kit Family Haggadah

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, Ha-motzi le-chem min ha-a-retz.Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings bread from out of the earth.Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, A-sher ki-d’-sha-nu b’-mitz-vo-tav, v’-tzi-va-nu Al a-chilat ma-tzah.

Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through Your commandments, and commands us to eat matzah.

At the point of Motzi matzah one should have three matzot on the Seder plate. The top matzah and the bottom matzah is full, and the middle matzah is the matzah that was broken for the procedure of Yachatz larger piece of the broken matzah is off the table hidden away to be used later for the Afikoman, and the smaller piece is in between the two full pieces. It is a positive commandment to eat matzah on the Seder night. To fulfill one's obligation, one must eat a correct measure described as the size of an olive.

At this point we fulfill the mitzvah to eat matzah on the night of passover. Each person should have two thirds of a piece of matzah on their plate; half a piece of matzah if hand baked matzah is used. The leader of the seder lifts all three matzahs from the seder plate and recites a blessing.

Usually we only say one blessing over bread, but why do we say two this time?

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
Source : Original

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset |  maror   |מָרוֹר   

We recognize that even though we are so grateful for our journeys toward liberation, and that we experience so much joy through the process of freeing ourselves, there are also many parts of the journey that are difficult and unpleasant.

We acknowledge the mixture of pleasant and unpleasant experiences by mixing bitter and sweet flavors as we eat the maror with charoset.

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.

Maror
Source : Original

When we eat the maror, it makes our eyes water. Its bitterness turns our faces red. We lose control for a moment, and laugh because it's freeing. We cannot keep up appearances while eating maror, and so we don't try to.

Our sinuses open up. We cry. We laugh. We cry, and we laugh at our crying.

Maror
Source : http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Pesach/Seder/Maror/marorbless.gif

Koreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

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

When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the biggest ritual of them all was eating the lamb offered as the pesach or Passover sacrifice. The great sage Hillel would put the meat in a sandwich made of 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.

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 : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

Refill everyone’s wine glass.

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

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

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

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

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

The Third Glass of Wine

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the third glass of wine!

Bareich
Source : Jconnect Seattle's Liberal Seder

The fourth cup of wine is poured

We now draw our attention to the two empty cups on the table--one of which is for Elijah the Prophet, and the other for Miriam the Prophetess. Tradition teaches us that each of these biblical characters plays an important task of bringing redemption.It is said that that Elijah the Prophet visits the homes of Jewish families on Passover, to check to see if we are all truly ready to welcome the stranger, and are thus prepared to enter as a people into the messianic age. To Elijah we each offer a little bit of wine from our own cups, as a symbolic gesture of our readiness for redemption.

To honor Miriam the Prophetess, we each pour not wine, but water into a cup. According to tradition, Miriam sustained the Israelites in the desert with water from her well, and to this day her life-giving waters still flow into wells everywhere,sustaining us all as we work to bring redemption and wait for Elijah.

And so we open the door, pass around the Elijah’s and Miriam’s cups so that everyone can contribute to them, and sing together their songs of redemption:

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

Singing songs that praise God | hallel | הַלֵּל

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

Fourth Glass of Wine

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

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the fourth and final glass of wine! 

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.

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!

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com
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 two?

I know two.

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

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com

Chad Gadya

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

Chad gadya, chad gadya

Dizabin abah bitrei zuzei

Chad gadya, chad gadya.

One little goat, one little goat:

Which my father brought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The cat came and ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The dog came and bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The stick came and beat the dog

That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The fire came and burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The water came and extinguished the

Fire that burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The ox came and drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The butcher came and killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The angle of death came and slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The Holy One, Blessed Be He came and

Smote the angle of death who slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.