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Source : Unknown

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel (Shabbat v’) Yom Tov.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

Source : (Traditional)

 (On Shabbat begin here, and include the portions in parentheses:

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

סַבְרִי מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן.

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

On Saturday night include:

[בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמַבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחֹל, ין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ, בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה. בֵּין קְדֻשַּׁת שַׁבָּת לִקְדֻשַּׁת יוֹם טוֹב הִבְדַּלְתָּ, וְאֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִשֵּׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה קִדַּשְׁתָּ. הִבְדַּלְתָּ וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ אֶת עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּקְדֻשָּׁתֶךָ. ,בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְקֹדֶשׁ.]

Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

 (On Shabbat begin here, and include the portions in parentheses:

Vay’hi erev vay’hi voker yom hashishi. Vay’chulu hashamayim v’haaretz v’choltzva’am. Vay’chal Elohim bayom hashvi’i M’lachto asher asah, vayishbot bayom hashvi’i mikolmlachto asher asah. Vay’vareich Elohim et yom hashvi’i vay’kadeish oto, ki vo shavat mikol m’lachto, asher bara Elohim la’asot.)

Savri maranan verabanan verabotai

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

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, asher bachar banu mikolam, v’rom’manu mikol-lashon, v’kid’shanu b’mitzvotav, vatiten-lanu Adonai Eloheinu b’ahavah (shabbatot limnucha u’)moadim l’simchah, chagim uz’manim l’sason et-yom (hashabbat hazah v’et-yom) chag hamatzot hazeh. Z’man cheiruteinu, (b’ahavah) mikra kodesh, zeicher litziat mitzrayim. Ki vanu vacharta v’otanu kidashta mikolha’amim. (v’shabbat) umo’adei kod’shecha (b’ahavah uvratzon) b’simchah uv’sason hinchaltanu. Baruch Atah Adonai, m’kadeish (hashabbat v’) Yisrael v’hazmanim.

[On Saturday night include:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, borei m’orei ha’eysh. Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, hamavdil beyn kodesh lichol, beyn or lichoshech, beyn yisrael la’amim, beyn yom hashvi’i lisheshet yimai hama’aseh. Beyn kidushat Shabbat likidushat yom tov hivdalta, v’et yom hashvi’i misheshet yimai hama’aseh kidashta; hivdalta vikidashta et amcha yisrael bikidushatecha. Baruch atah Adonai, Hamavdil beyn kodesh lechol.]

Source : Jewish Family Education Passover Haggadah, by Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner, adapted

(On Shabbat begin here, and include the portions in parentheses:

“And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Now the heavens and all their host were completed; God finished the work of creation on the seventh day. God then blessed the seventh day, imbuing it with holiness because on that day God ceased creating.”)

Permit me, distinguished ones, my teachers and colleagues:

Praised are you, Adonai, our God, sovereign of the universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.

Praised are you, Adonai, our God, sovereign of the universe, Who chose us for a unique relationship, lifting us who know the language of creation above those who speak an ordinary language, enabling us to encounter holiness through Your mitzvot, lovingly giving us (Shabbat for rest and) holidays for joy, festivals and special times for celebration, particularly this (Shabbat and this) Passover, this time of freedom (given in love) this sacred gathering, this re-enactment of our going out from Mitzrayim. It is You who has chosen us, You who have shared Your holiness with us in a manner different than with other peoples. For with (Shabbat and) festive revelations of Your holiness, happiness and joy You have granted us (lovingly and willingly). Praised are you, Adonai, Who imbues with holiness (Shabbat,) Israel and the sacred moments of the year.

[On Saturday night include:

Praised are You Adonai our God Lord of the universe who created the lights of fire. Praised are you, Adonai, our God, sovereign of the universe, who distinguishes between the holy and profane, light and darkness, Israel and the people, Shabbat and the six weekdays, the holiness of Shabbat and the holiness of a Festival. You have imbued the Shabbat with greater holiness than the six weekdays and You have granted of Your holiness into Your people Israel. Praised are you, Adonai, who distinguishes between degrees of sanctity.]

Source : National Center for Jewish Healing, A Personal Passover Journal for memory and Contemplation

The first hand-washing of the seder is unusual. The rabbis point out that even a child would wonder at least two things: why do we wash without a blessing and why do we bother to wash when we will not be eating our meal for some time. They suggest that we wash our hands here in order to raise questions. Questions, both of wonder and of despair, are crucial to our growth as human beings. As Jews we have permission to ask questions, even of God, when we see and experience suffering.

Source : A Growing Haggadah

Why do we wash our hands all the time?

This washing, even though it is an official task of the Seder, is done without a blessing. It is strictly for cleanliness purposes. And why not? We're about to handle food. It seems so easy for us. We turn on the tap, and there it is. But water is scarce. May we be aware of our water as we continue the Seder.

by VBS
Source : Valley Beth Shalom Haggadah

Slaves eat quickly, stopping neither to wash nor to reflect. Tonight, we are free. We wash and we express our reverence for the blessings that are ours.

HOW? Pass a bowl of water, a small cup, and a towel around the table.  Everyone pours three cupfuls over their fingers. There is no blessing over this washing.

Source : Open Source Haggadah

Wait, why are we washing our hands for vegetables?

At this point, you may think to yourself, "IM GONNA BE FREAKIN STARVING!" Knowing this from past seders, you may feel the need to munch down on as much Carpas as humanly possible. But tonight you are a free man, you are not a slave. That includes being a slave to your stomach! So we push off our appetizer, and wash our hands to demonstrate that we are not slaves to our impulsive eating habits. Rav Nachman of Breslov says the Hebrew word "Rachitz" in Aramaic means "Trust," because we should trust in Hashem, as we wash now, that no matter what our meal consists, of even if its just a little parsley twig, that G-d's "got our back" when it comes to the nourishment and survival of the Jewish people, and there is more in store for us; namely some good brisket. 
When Rav Itzeleh Wooker observed one of his students grabbing for the largest piece of potato, he said to him "How can tonight be a night of celebrating freedom, if you are still an Eved to a Potato!"
Source : Unknown

 Dip a small piece of lettuce, celery, parsley or whatever in saltwater, say the blessing, and eat it.

Source : (Traditional)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.

Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

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

Source : Jewish Family Education Passover Haggadah, by Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner, adapted

Praised are you, Adonai, our God, sovereign of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.

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 cre- ate 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:

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

Source : Unknown

Break the middle matzah in two. Wrap the larger part to use later as Afikoman. 

Source : A Growing Haggadah

These three Matzot are certainly not enough to feed us all tonight. What could they symbolize?

Our sages offer a variety of explanations. Among these, they suggest that the Matzot represent the three ancient branches of the Jewish people: Cohen, Levite and Israelite. They can also represent our thoughts, our speech and our action. While our thoughts and actions remain whole, our speech (like that of Moses) is often broken.

Our words form the transition from our thoughts to our actions. We should consider them well, make them honest and consistent so that they lead to proper action. We have just broken the middle Matzah and will hide the afikoman, the larger half of it, to share later, as our ancestors shared the Passover offering itself at this service thousands of years ago in Jerusalem.

More lies ahead than what has passed;

more is hidden than revealed.

True wisdom is often deep and hidden;

attained by the modest.

Those whose dreams exceed their actions are still young.

No one knows for certain what the word afikoman means. A common tradition says it comes from the Greek word for dessert.

Another suggests that it represents the messiah. Separated from the Jewish people, the messiah will, during the course of our tikkun olam—our ongoing struggle to perfect the world—(symbolized and re-initiated by this Seder), be reunited with our people. Today, we begin that process. As we realize how little we truly know, we can break from the mold of habit to accept the responsibility of fulfilling our commitments. We work for that time of perfection: the Messianic Era.

Now many Jews remain broken off from our people. Some continue this way of their own choice here in Western countries. Others remain forcibly estranged in other parts of our world. We work for a time when our people will be reunited. When this happens we know that all will be free.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Unknown

Fill the second cup of wine. Tell the story. When you get to the description of the plagues, remove a little bit of wine from the cup at the mention of each plague. When you get to the happy ending, pick up the wine cup and recite:

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher g'alanu v'ga'al et avoteinu mimitzrayim, v'higiyanu halailah hazeh le'echol bo matzah umaror. Ken Adonai eloheinu velohei avoteinu, yagi'einu l'mo'adeinu v'lir'galim acherim haba'im likrateinu l'shalom, s'meichim b'vinyan irecha v'sasim bavodatecha, v'nochal sham min haz'vachim umin hap'sachim asher yagia damam al kir mzbachacha l'ratzon. V'nodeh l'cha shir chadash al g'ulateinu v'al p'dut nafsheinu. Baruch ata Adonai, ga'al Yisrael.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam borei p'ri hagafen.

Which means approximately:

We bless you, Lord our God, ruler of the world, who saved us and our anscestors from Egypt and brought us to this night to eat matzah and maror. In the same way, may the Lord our God and God of our ancestors bring us in peace to future holidays, and may we be gladdened by the rebuilding of Jerusalem and happy in serving you, and may we be able to eat the Passover offering there, according to your will. And may we have the chance to praise you with a new song for saving us and making us free. We bless you, Lord, who has saved Israel.

We bless you, Lord our God, ruler of the world, who creates the fruit of the vine. 

And then you drink.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : David Arnow, New Israel Fund 2006

The Introduction to Magid, telling the story


This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.

Let all who are hungry come and eat.

Let all who are needy come and celebrate the Passover.

Now we are here; next year in Israel.

Now we are slaves; next year free people.

We begin the central sectionof the Haggadah, Magid (‘telling’), by combining action with words—raising the matzot for all to see and declaring what this flat bread

represents. Telling our story must lead to action.

The Haggadah borrows a phrase from the Bible.“…For seven days…you shall eat

unleavened bread, bread of affliction” (Deut. 16:3, lechem oni or lach’ma an’ya here in Aramaic). The Haggadah instantly connects memory with empathy. Remembering the bread of our affliction—bread of poverty, as some render it—compels us to care for the needy. Rav Huna, a third century sage from Babylonia,

seems to have inspired this invitation to the hungry. Impoverished in his early life, Rav Huna never forgot the poor when he became wealthy.

According to the Talmud, “when he had a meal he would open the door wide and declare, ‘Let all who are in need come and eat.’” Why the expectation that “next year” so much will change? Because in the Talmud Rabbi Joshua taught, “In Nisan[the month when Passover falls] they were redeemed: and in Nisan they will be redeemed.” But we live now, in the unredeemed present—between the epic past and a messianic future—and today our world will become what we make of it. Maybe that’s why this introduction to the Passover story focuses on us, and doesn’t mention God.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

FRabban Gamliel would teach that all those who had not spoken of three things on Passover had not fulfilled their obligation to tell the story, and these three things are:

Pesah [Paschal Lamb], Matzah and Maror [Bitter Herb].


Point to the shank bone

The Pesah which our ancestors ate when the Second Temple stood: what is the reason for it? They ate the Pesah because the holy one, Blessed be He “passed over” the houses of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is written in the Torah: “And You shall say, ‘It is the Passover offering for Adonai, who passed over the houses of the Israelites saving us in Mitzrayim but struck the houses of the Egyptians.”


Point to the matza

Matzah - what does it symbolize in the Seder? There was insufficient time for the dough of our ancestors to rise when the holy one, Blessed be He was revealed to us and redeemed us, as it is written in the Torah: “And they baked the dough which they brought forth out o Egypt into matzah – cakes of unleavened bread – which had not risen, for having been driven out of Egypt they could not tarry, and they had mad no provisions for themselves.”


Point to the maror

Why do we eat Maror? For the reason that the Egyptians embitter the lives of our ancestors in Mitzrayim, as the Torah states: “And they embittered

their lives with servtude, with mortar and bricks without straw, with every form of slavery in the field and with great torment.”

Maggid - Beginning
Source : A Graduate Student Haggadah

Leader:  We begin with the Passover plate.  The four foods on this plate symbolize the years of graduate school. 

Leader:  The first item is the bitter herbs. 

All:  The bitter herbs were painstakingly prepared over several years. 

Leader:  The second item is the chocolate covered-pretzels. 

All:  The chocolate-covered pretzels symbolize the food which our forefathers ate while attending evening talks. 

Leader:  The third item is the day-old chocolate covered pretzels, some with bites missing  

All:  The day-old chocolate covered pretzels, some with bites missing, symbolize the breakfast which our forefathers ate the morning after the talks. 

Leader:  The fourth item is the chinese food. 

All:  For it is written, in haste did they buy their dinner from the chinese truck.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : The Jewish Secular Community Passover Hagada

Reader 25: It saddens us that any struggle for freedom involves suffering. Generally, we drink wine to rejoice. Therefore, for each plague we take out a drop of wine from our cup. This way we do not rejoice over the suffering of others. The plagues that, we are told, afflicted the Egyptians were:

(Take a drop of wine out of your cup for each plague)

ALL: 1- blood  2- frogs  3- vermin  4-beasts  5- boils  

6- cattle disease  7- locusts  8- hail  9- darkness

10- slaying of first born

Reader 26: Our world today is still greatly troubled. For these plagues, let us repeat the same ceremony.

(Take a drop of wine out of your cup for each plague)

ALL: 1- war  2- illiteracy  3- hunger  4- crime

5- bigotry  6- injustice  7- inequality  

8- tyranny  9- poverty  10- ignorance 

Reader 27: Many people perished during the plagues and the suffering was great. Pharaoh remained obstinate. However, with the tenth plague, the death of the first born, a great cry went up throughout Egypt. On that night, the Hebrews marked their door posts with the blood of the paschal lamb so the Angel of Death would 'pass over' their homes. Thus, the name Passover for this holiday. Pharaoh finally ordered Moses to take the Jewish people out of Egypt.

Reader 27: After the slaves hurriedly left, the Pharaoh had a change of heart and the Egyptian army pursued them. Legend has it that when Moses and his people came to the Red Sea, the waters parted to allow them to cross. The Egyptians followed and were engulfed when the waters returned. Thus, the Exodus from Egypt was complete.

Reader 28: Whether the waters actually parted overlooks the inner meaning of this event; when the Hebrews reached the edge of the desert and found the courage to continue, the Sea of Obstacles parted and they walked toward freedom.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

Rabbi Yose the Galilean says: How does one derive that, after the ten plagues in Egypt, the Egyptians suffered fifty plagues at the Sea? Concerning the plagues in Egypt the Torah states that “the magicians

said to Pharaoh, it is the finger of God.” However, at the Sea, the Torah relates that “Israel saw the great hand which the Lord laid upon the Egyptians, and the people revered the Lord and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.” It reasons that if they suffered ten plagues in Egypt, they must have been made to suffer fifty plagues at the Sea.

Rabbi Eliezer says: How does one derive that every plague that God inflicted upon the Egyptians in Egypt was equal in intensity to four plagues? It is written: “He sent upon them his fierce anger, wrath, fury and

trouble, a band of evil messengers.” Since each plague was comprised of 1) wrath, 2) fury, 3) trouble and 4) a band of evil messengers, they must have suffered forty plagues in Egypt and two hundred at the Sea.

Rabbi Akiva says: How does one derive that every plague that God inflicted upon the Egyptians in Egypt was equal in intensity to five plagues? It is written: “He sent upon them his fierce anger, wrath, fury and trouble, a band of evil messengers.” Since each plague was comprised of 1) fierce anger 2) wrath 3) fury 4) trouble and 5) a band of evil messengers, they must have suffered fifty plagues in Egypt and two hundred and fifty at the Sea.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

Go and learn what Lavan the Aramean intended to do to our ancestor Jacob. Even Pharaoh only intended to kill the male children, while Lavan intended to annihilate all of Jacob’s family, bringing the Jewish People to an end. As it is said:


 A wandering Aramean was my father, who went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number. And there we multiplied becoming a great people, strong and numerous.” (Dt. 26:5)

He went down to Egypt – compelled by divine decree.

He sojourned there – implies that he didn’t come to settle in Egypt - only to dwell temporarily, as it is written: “They said to Pharaoh: ‘We have come to sojourn in this land because there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks; the famine is severe in Canaan. For now, though, let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.’ “

Few in number – as it is written: “With seventy souls your ancestors went down to Egypt, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.”

There he became a nation – means that they became a distinct people in Egypt.

Great, mighty – as it is written. “The children of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and became mighty, and the land was full of them.”

And numerous – as it is written: “I made you as populous as the plants of the field; you grew up and wore choice adornments; your breasts were firm and your hair grew long; yet, you were bare and naked.”


The Egyptians were evil to us and afflicted us; they imposed hard labor upon us.” (Dt. 26:6)

The Egyptians were evil to us – as it is written: “Let us deal craftily with them, lest they increase even more, and it may be that when a war occurs, they will be added to our enemies and will fight against us and go up out of the land.”

And afflicted us – as it is written: “They set taskmasters over them in order to oppress them with their burdens; the people of Israel built Pithom and Raamses as storecities for Pharaoh.”

They imposed hard labor upon us – as it is written: “They imposed back-breaking labor upon the people of Israel.”


We cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers; the Lord heard our cry and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.” (Dt. 26:6)

We cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers – as it is written: “It happened in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; the children of Israel sighed because of their labor and cried; their cry of servitude reached God.”

The Lord heard our cry – as it is written: “God heard their groaning; God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”

And saw our affliction – that is, the conjugal separation of husband and wife, as it is written: “God saw the children of Israel and God knew.”

Our toil – refers to the drowning of the sons, as it is written: “Every son that is born you shall cast into the river, but you shall let every daughter live.”

Our oppression – means the pressure used upon them, as it is written: “I have also seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them.”


The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and outstretched arm, with great awe, miraculous signs and wonders.” (Dt. 26:8)

The Lord brought us out of Egypt – not by an angel, not by a seraph, not by a messenger, but by the holy one, blessed be He, Himself, as it is written: “I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night; I will smite all

the firstborn in the land of Egypt from man unto beast; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments; I am the Lord.” “I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night” – myself and not an angel; “I will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt” – myself and not a seraph; “on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments” – myself and not a messenger; “I am the Lord” – I and none other.

Mighty hand – refers to the disease among the cattle, as it is written: “Behold the hand of the Lord strikes your cattle which are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks--a very

severe pestilence.”

Outstretched arm – means the sword, as it is written: “His drawn sword in his hand, outstretched over Jerusalem.”

Great awe – alludes to the divine revelation, as it is written: “Has God ever attempted to take unto Himself, a nation from the midst of another nation by trials, miraculous signs and wonders, by war and with a mighty hand and outstretched arm and by awesome revelations, just as you saw the Lord your God do for you in Egypt, before your eyes?”

Miraculous signs – refers to the miracles performed with the staff of Moses, as it is written: “Take this staff in your hand, that you may perform the miraculous signs with it.”

And with wonders – this is the blood, as it written, “I will put wonders on heaven and earth.”

-- Four Questions
Source : David Arnow, New Israel Fund 2006


Eighteen hundred years ago,the Mishnah, one of Judaism’s oldest law codes or teaching manuals, sketched the outlines of the early Passover Seder.

The Mishnah loosely styled its Seder on the Greek symposium, a banquet served on removable trays (now the Seder plate) to guests who comfortably reclined. The symposium began with dipped hors d’oeuvres, included prayers and finished

with stylized questions and answers, often concerning the symbolism of particular foods.Wine flowed. Indeed, symposium means “to drink with.”

In contrast to the symposium, the Mishnah’s Seder assigned a special role to children. They were expected to notice how different the evening was and to ask,“Why?” In case they didn’t, the Mishnah offered parents a series of prompts. Those prompts evolved into the famous “four questions” which are actually four  responses to a single question: “How does this night differ from all other nights?” If you’ve created an evening that stimulates your guests to ask questions, you will have fulfilled one of the original and most important goals of the Seder!

-- Four Children
Source : A Graduate Student Haggadah

Leader:  By tradition, our Thesis Defense Committees have four members, including our advisor.  From this our tradition infers that there are four types of Defense Committee members, the wise Committee member, the evil Committee member, the 

simple Committee member, and the uninterested Committee member. 

Participant: The wise Committee member asks, "What is the meaning of the experiments, and the context in which you did them?"  To her you shall explain all your experiments, hypotheses, and experimental approaches, right down to the very last details of your negative controls. 

All:  It is the wise that ask the questions from which we learn. 

Participant:  The wicked Committee member (your thesis advisor) says "What is the meaning of the meaning of the suchand-such data which we have observed?"  By saying "we" he implies that he contributed more to your thesis then your pet rock 

did.  To him you shall speak in a stern voice, beginning, "The meaning of the such-and-such data that I have observed"   

All:  For had he been there when the experiment finally worked and you told everyone within shouting distance of its significance, he would not have needed to ask. 

Participant:  The simple Committee member asks, "What did you learn from XXX?"  By asking this, he makes clear that he has not read your thesis.  Him you shall first praise for his insightful question, and then summarize your entire thesis in 

three minutes. 

Group:  To those of open simplicity, we give a straightforward answer.  For grad school teaches us it is that some things are not worth wasting time on. 

Participant:  As for the Committee member who does not even care enough to ask, you must begin gently with him, saying "Er, professor?  I'm sorry to interrupt your reading, but I thought you might be really interested in my observation that... 

Group:  It is the ones who don't even care which make one wonder. 

Source : (Traditional)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.

Source : A Family Pesach Seder in Rhyme

The moment's near when we shall eat

a snack, a meal, a Seder treat

Our customs held in high esteem

that when we eat our hands be clean

For all that we can do or say

a blessing must precede the way

(Participants should wash their hands and recite the following blessing:) 

Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-o-lam,

a-sheer keed-sha-nu be-meetz-vo-tav, vee-tzee-va-nu

al n'tee-lat ya-da-yeem.

O Holy One of Blessing, Your Presence fills creation;

You made us special with your mitzvot, and You have

instructed us to wash our hands.

Source : Unknown

After washing your hands, raise all three matzot and say

Baruch ata Adonai Elohinu melech ha'olam hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz.

Which means:

We bless you, Lord our God, God of the world, who brings foth bread from the land.

Put down the bottom matzah and add:

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'ztivanu al achilat matzah.

Which means:

We bless you, Lord our God, God of the world, who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us concerning the eating of matzah.

Each person eats a piece of each of the top to matzot. After that, you can eat as much matzah as you like.

Source : Excerpts taken from: "How Matzah Became Square: Manishewitz and the Development of Machine-Made Matzah in the United States"
"How Matzah Became Square: Manishewitz and the Development of Machine-Made Matzah in the United States," Jonathan D. Sarna. Sixth Annual Lecture of the Victor J. Selmanowitz Chair of Jewish History, 2005. In 1888, after several years as a shohet ubodek and part-time peddler, Behr Manischewitz opened a matzah factory in Cincinnati. This was a common profession for Jewish immigrants, especially those trained in shehitah, for matzah too as a Jewish food strictly regulated by Jewish law and requiring supervision. Moreover, demand for matzah was rising steadily in the United States, keeping pace with the growth of America's Jewish population, and the industry as a whole was in the midst of a great transformation. Through the mid-19th century, most matzah had been baked by synagogues. . .With the collapse of the synagogue community and the subsequent proliferation of synagogues in all major American Jewish communities, the now functionally delimited synagogues spun off many of their old communal functions (including responsibility for communal welfare, the mikvah, and kosher meat), and it was at this time, at mid-century, that independent matzah bakers developed (2).

At the time that Manischewitz entered the matzah business, the industry was in a state of considerable flux. Much of the world's matzah was still made totally by hand (3).

In the 19th century, with the rise of industrialization, processes like this began to be mechanized, and in 1838 an Alsatian Jew named Isaac Singer produced the first known machine for rolling matzah dough (4). Subsequently, the matzah machine became embroiled in a sharp and very significant halakhic controversy (along with social justice issues of preserving work for poor people as well as issues concerning modernity and Judaism) (4-5).

Manischewitz introduced a series of improvements and inventions that revolutionized the process of matzah baking the world over. . By 1903, he was using at least three different machines as part of the matzah making process. Jacob Uriah Manischewitz, who succeeded his father as president of the Manischewitz company upon the former's untimely passing in 1914, is credited with more than fifty patents including an electric eye which automatically counted the number of matzos in a box at a rate of 600 a minute, as well an innovations in packaging, and a special "matsos machine" introduced in 1920, which could produce 1.25 million matzohs every day (6).

The result was nothing less than a revolution in the matzah business characterized by three major transformations: First, where before most matzah had been round, irregular or oval shaped now, largely because of the demands of technology and packing, it became square. Second, where before each matzah was unique and distinctive in terms of shape, texture, and overall appearance--no two were identical as it true of shmurah matzah to this day-- now every matzah in the box came out looking, feeling, and tasting the same. Matzah thus underwent the same process of rationalization, standardization, and mechanization that we associate with the American management revolution wrought by Frederick Winslow Taylor. Finally, where before matzah was a quintessentially local product on an as-needed basis in every Jewish community and not shipped vast distances for fear of breakage, now it became a national and then an international product (7).

Source : Unknown

Take some maror. Dip it in charoset, then shake off the charoset. Recite the following blessing:

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al achilat maror.

Which means:

We bless you, Lord our God, God of the world, who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us concernint the eating of bitter herbs.

Eat the maror immediately. Do not lean while you eat the maror. 

Source : Unknown

Take a piece of the bottom matzah, and some extra matzah if you like, and some more maror. Dip the maror in charoset, then shake off the charoset. Make a matzah-maror sandwich, recite or read or think about the following text, then eat the sandwich.

The text is:

Zecher l'mikdash k'hillel. Ken asah hillel bizman shebeit hamikdash hayah kayam. Haya korech matzah umaror v'ochel b'yachad. L'kayam mah shene'emar, al matzot um'rorim yochluhu.

Which means:

This is a reminder of what Hillel used to do in the time of the Temple. When the Temple stood, he used to combine matzah and maror in a sandwich and eat them together, doing as the Torah says: "They will eat the Pesach offering together with matzah and maror."

Shulchan Oreich
Source : Unknown


At long last!

Source : Unknown

Eat a piece of the Afikoman (the bigger half of the middle matzah that you wrapped up and put away a couple of hours ago--Remember?) After this, the you can't eat or drink anything besides the last two cups of wine.

Source :

צָפוּןFinding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon |


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.

Source : A Graduate Student Haggadah

The Hiding of the J-32 Centrifuge Rotor

Leader (displays two centrifuge rotors):  Earlier in the ceremony, there were three centrifuge rotors.  Following our tradition, a member of our group has taken one of the centrifuge rotors and hidden it.  By tradition, we now ask everyone who had 

it last.  Was it you? 

Participant:  No.  Was it you? 

Participant:  No.  Was it you? 

Participant:  No.  Was it you? 

Participant:  No.  Was it you? 

Participant:  No. 

Leader: The ceremony cannot continue until the centrifuge rotor has been found.  We now offer bribes or threats to anyone who can tell us anything about its location. 

Participant:  I haven't seen it in weeks 

Participant:  Never used it. 

Participant:  What's a centrifuge? 

Source : My Journey Through the Haggadah, Yekutiel Atkins

At the end of the meal, we eat the Afikomen. This is the piece of the middle Matzah, which was broken in half and put away until now. Traditionally this has probably been "stolen" by somebody, most likely the youngest child and has to be “ransomed” because without it the Seder is unable to continue. The Master of the house will therefore, have to ‘bribe’ by a promise of a present to the culprit, to return the Afikomen. This adds to the excitement and participation of the children in the Seder. When it has been recovered it is distributed to all present who eat some of it together with a quantity of Matzah making up about half to three quarters of a sheet of Matzah.

Source :

בָּרֵךְSaying grace after the meal and inviting Elijah the Prophet | bareich |


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!


Fill the third cup of wine.

Thank God for the lovely, wonderful meal and the lovely, wonderful people you ate it with and the lovely, wonderful holiday you're celebrating. 

Say the blessing for wine again drink.

Fill the fourth cup in honor of Elijah the Prophet. Open the front door because Pesach is "leil shimurim" (lit. night of guarding) when God protects us against danger.

Ask God to protect good people and destroy evil, then close the door.

Source : Unknown

Praise and thank God for rescuing you from Egypt. Raise the fourth cup of wine, say the blessing for wine, and drink. Thank god for the wine and the earth that produced it. 

Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord of the universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.

Praised are you, Adonai, King of the universe, for the vine and its fruit, and for the produce of the field, for the beautiful and spacious land which you gave to our ancestors as a heritage to eat of its fruit and to enjoy its goodness. Have mercy, Adonai our God, on Israel your people, on Jerusalem your city. Rebuild Jerusalem, the holy city, speedily in our days. Bring us there and cheer us with its restoration; may we eat there Israel’s produce and enjoy its goodness; we praise you for Jerusalem’s centrality in

our lives. (On the Sabbath add: Favor us and strengthen us on this Sabbath day) and grant us happiness on this Feast of Matzot; For you, Adonai are good and beneficent to all, and we thank you for the land and the fruit of the vine. Praised are you, Adonai, for the land and the fruit of the vine.


בָרוךְ אַתָה יי אֱלֹהֵינו מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בוֹרֵא פְרִי הַגָפֶן.

Drink the wine, the recite the concluding blessing:
בָרוךְ אַתָה יי אֱלֹהֵינו מֶלֶךְ העוֹלָם, עַל הַגֶפֶן וְעַל פְרִי הַגֶפֶן ,וְעַל תְנובַת הַשָדֶה וְעַל אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָה טוֹבָה ורְחָבָה שֶרָצִיתָ וְהִנְחַלְתָ לַאֲבוֹתֵינו לֶאֱכלֹ מִפִרְיָה וְלִשְבעַֹ מִטובָה רַחֶם נָא יי אֱלֹהֵינו עַל יִשְרָאֵל עַמֶךָ וְעַל יְרושָלַיִם עִירֶךָ וְעַל צִיוֹן מִשְכַן
כְבוֹדֶךָ וְעַל מִזְבְחֶךָ וְעַל הֵיכָלֶךָ ובְנֵה יְרושָלַיִם עִיר הַקדֶֹש בִמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינו וְהַעֲלֵנו לְתוֹכָה וְשַמְחֵנו בְבִנְיָנָה וְנאֹכַל מִפִרְיָה וְנִשְבַע מִטובָה ונְבָרֶכְךָ עָלֶיהָ בִקְדֻשָה ובְטָהֳרָה (בשבת: ורְצֵה וְהַחֲלִיצֵנו בְיוֹם הַשַבָת הַזֶה) וְשַמְחֵנו בְיוֹם חַג הַמַצוֹת הַזֶה , כִי אַתָה יי טוֹב ומֵטִיב לַכלֹ וְנוֹדֶה לְךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל פְרִי הַגֶפֶן. בָרוךְ אַתָה יי עַל הַגֶפֶן וְעַל פְרִי הַגֶפֶן.

Source : Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained

Hallel is a recitation in Hebrew of Psalms. This is the time to once again give thanks. It is a time of singing and of praise. We are to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our might and to diligently teach our children the Torah commandments, speaking of them daily and keeping them close to our minds and close to our hearts. Just as the fringes on our prayer shawls are meant to remind us of our bond and are gathered up and held together, we are reminded that our Jewish identity should not be kept on the fringes of our lives, but brought close to our hearts, enveloping all that we do.

As our Seder comes to an end, we drink the fourth cup of wine. This cup recalls our covenant with God and the tasks that await us as a people called to service.

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

All drink the fourth cup of wine

Source : Free Siddur Project, adapted

The Passover Seder is concluded, according to each traditional detail with all its laws and customs. As we have been privileged to celebrate this Seder, so may we one day celebrate it in Jerusalem. Pure One who dwells in the high places, support your People countless in number. May you soon redeem all your People joyfully in Zion.

Next Year in Jerusalem!

Source : free Siddur Project, adapted

Chasal sidur pesach k’hilchato, k’chol mishpato v’chukato. Ka’asher zachinu l’sadeir oto. Kein nizkeh la’asoto. Zach shochein m’onah, komeim k’hal adat mi manah. B’karov naheil nitei chanah, p’duyim l’tzion b’rinah.

L’shana haba’ah b’Yerushalayim.