Preview is being generated. Please wait .....
Introduction
Source : various

REMEMBER THIS DAY, when you went out of the Narrow Places, out of the house of bondage, for with a mighty hand, God took you out of here. Exodus 13:3.

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. Psalms 119:45.

We shall live at last as free men on our own soil. Theodore Herzl

Freedom often improves with order; thus the Seder: table-setting, candle-lighting, sacred-making, hand-washing, vegetable-dipping, Matzoh-breaking, question-asking, story-retelling, hand-washing again, motzi/matzoh/maror/Hillel-sandwich-making, EATING!, afikomen-finding, grace-reciting, Elijah/Miriam-welcoming, singing and - having consumed four or five or more cups of wine - hoping for more freedom.

Introduction

On a plate or napkin, place:

  • One Zeroah - roasted lamb shankbone or chicken wing or beet ( symbol of Passover sacrifice)
  • One Beitzah - roasted, hard-boiled egg ( symbol of ancient Temple sacrifice and of spring)
  • Three Matzot - covered (symbol of Israel, Levite and Cohen & the bread of affliction)
  • Karpas - parsley for saltwater-dipping (symbol of slavery's tears)
  • Maror -horseradish (symbol of slavery's bitterness)
  • Chazeret -romaine lettuce (2nd symbol of slavery's bitterness)
  • Charoset - made of apple, pear, cup of chopped walnuts, half cup sweet red wine, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg (symbol of mortar for bricks the slaves made)
  • One Orange - (modern symbol of marginalized people) and/or
  • One Red Potato - (modern symbol of the Ethiopian Exodus)
  • Optional symbols of your choice
  • Optional contributions from guests

======================================================

And for the table

  • Cup of sweet red wine for Elijah and for Miriam
  • Bowl of saltwater for dipping and freshwater for washing
  • Place setting for guests, ready for: gefilte fish, matzoh ball chicken soup, salad, braised beef brisket or roasted chicken or poached salmon, asparagus or green beans, tzimmes or kugel, sweet red wine and other beverages, and desserts
  • Simple decoration e.g. floral arrangement
  • Extra matzoh, maror, charoset, wine etc
Introduction

And God said, "Let there be light,"...Genesis 1:3. Lighting two candles separates time periods: from regular days to festival days.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל [שַׁבָּת וְשֶׁל] יוֹם טוֹב

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with your good rules such as lighting the candles of (Shabbat and of) a good day.

Kadesh

I am God - and I will take you out from under the burdens...Exodus 6:6.

Prepare to drink the first 3.5 to 4.5 oz cup of sweet red wine (white only if you really have to).

While drinking or eating this evening, liberally leaning to the left is a reminder of royalty from ancient times.

בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵאת פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe: who creates the fruit of the vine; who makes the festivals holy; and who gives to us life and sustenance and brings us to this time.

Urchatz

Washing at this point raises the question: why now?  Is it because slaves had no time to do it? Is it in gratitude for clean water?

Rabbi Elazar said that Rav Oshaya said: Anything that is dipped in a liquid before it is eaten requires the ritual of washing of hands, preventing people from making food ritually impure. Talmud Pesachim 115b

Wash this time without a blessing. Shulchan Aruch 158:4 

Pour cup of water over one hand three times then the other; pat dry with a nice towel.

Karpas

The Persian/Sanskrit word, Kirpas, means "a fine linen."

Remember Joseph's brothers dipped his fancy coat in blood after selling him into slavery Genesis 37:31

Another Persian word, Karafs, means "a plant of which a salad is made." A Greek word, Karpos, means "fruit of land/rivers."(Gevaryahu, G. & Wise, M. 1999 "Why Does The Seder Begin With Karpas" Jewish Bible Quarterly 27:104-110)

Rather than dipping fine linen in blood, dip the parsley or celery into salt water.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe, who brings forth fruit of the earth.

Yachatz

Holding up the three matzot from the Seder plate is a reminder that there was no time for yeast in bread-dough to rise - the Israelites did not have time to prepare. Exodus 12:39

Together all are welcome to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread - now and for generations to come - because it was on this very day that God brought you and I out of the Narrow Places. Exodus 12:17 This year here; next year hopefully in Jerusalem.

Remembering the ancient Temple sacrifice of this day, break the middle matzoh into two unequal sections.

From the Greek work, "epikomen," which means "that will come after," the larger piece of the broken Matzoh is called the Afikomen (Talmud Pesachim 119b)

. . .but hide it to keep the kids awake and to remember that there is no other entertainment after the seder.

Maggid - Beginning

THIS IS AN OBLIGATION:

To tell this history to others

To explain the chain of events from our descent into the Narrow Places to God's redemption of you and I

and

To clarify the reasons for these good rules

-- Four Questions

To help find focus for the story-telling, the youngest person who is able asks 4-in-1 questions:

What is different about this night from all (other) nights. . .

מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

. . . that in all (other) nights we are eating leavened or unleavened (foods) - this night only unleavened (foods)?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה,

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כּוּלוֹ מַצָּה

. . . that in all (other) nights we are eating all kinds of the vegetables - this night only bitter herbs?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

. . . that in all (other) nights we are dipping (food) only one time - this night, two times?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אֶנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים

. . . that in all (other) nights when we are eating, some are sitting and some are leaning - this night, everyone is leaning?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין

הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָנו מְסֻבִּין

?????

-- Four Children

Remember the importance of gearing answers to the questioning-style & learning-style of questioners.

WISE ONE: if asked: “What is the meaning of the laws God has commanded you?” then answer: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in the Narrow Places, but God brought us out of there with a mighty hand. Before our eyes, God sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Pharaoh and his whole household. But God brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land promised to our ancestors." Deutoronomy 6:20-23

WICKED ONE: if asked: "What does this ceremony mean to you ?" then answer: "It is the Passover sacrifice to God, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in the Narrow Places and spared our homes while those of others were struck down" Exodus 12:26-27

SIMPLE ONE: if asked: "What does this mean?" then answer: "With a mighty hand, God brought us out of the Narrow Places, out of the land of slavery." Exodus 13:14

UNCERTAIN ONE: does not know how to ask - then answer: "‘I do this because of what God did for me when I came out of the Narrow Places" Exodus 13:8

ONE WHO IS NOT PRESENT: seek them out, invite them in, and share this beautiful tradition with them or remember with honor those whose lives were lost and cannot join the festival

-- Exodus Story

Our ancestors were wandering Arameans who went down to the Narrow Places with a few people - who lived there and who became a great nation - powerful and numerous. Then the Egyptians mistreated us, making us suffer and subjecting us to harsh labor. We cried out to the God of our ancestors who heard our voice and saw our misery. God brought us out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. Deuteronomy 26:5-8

-- Exodus Story

Each new generation of Israelites, since the days of Joseph and his brothers, had multiplied greatly in the Narrow Places so that the land was filled with them.

A new Pharoah came to power there. “Look,” Pharoah said to his courtiers, “there are too many Israelites among us. We must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies to fight against us.” So Pharoah put slave masters over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor.

Pharoah said to two Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what Pharoah told them to do; they let the boys live. God was kind to the midwives and the Israelite people continued to become even more numerous.

A Levite woman, Jochebed, gave birth to a son. She hid him for three months until she could do so no longer. With her daughter Miriam's help, Jochebed placed the baby boy in a papyrus basket in the Nile River. When Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, she saw the basket among the reeds. She opened it, saw the baby was crying, and felt sorry for him. Pharoah's daughter named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

After Moses grew up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew; seeing no one else around, he killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand. When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses. Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian for a long time.

During that long period, Pharoah died but the slavery continued. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out to God. God heard their groaning and remembered the covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.

One day, Moses was shepherding flocks in the wilderness near Mt Horeb, when an angel of God appeared in fiery flames within a bush. Moses saw the bush was on fire but that it did not burn up. God called to Moses from within the bush and said, “I have seen the misery of my people in the Narrow Places. I have come down to rescue them and to bring them up into a land flowing with milk and honey. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of there.”

Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of the Narrow Places?”

And God said, “I will be with you.”

Then Moses said to God, “So I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask, ‘What's his name?’ What shall I tell them?”

And God said, “ I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you.’”

Then Moses said to God, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me?”

And God said, “Throw your staff on the ground.” It became a snake. God encouraged Moses to reach out and take hold of the snake's tail. It turned back into a staff in his hand.

And God said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous. Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out again, it was restored.

And God said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. And if they do not believe these two signs, pour some Nile river-water on the dry ground - it will become blood.”

Then Moses said to God, “But I have never been eloquent - I am slow of speech and tongue.”

And God said, “Who gave human beings their mouths? I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Then Moses said, “Please send someone else.”

And God said, “What about your brother, Aaron? I know he can speak well. You shall speak to him, he will speak to the people for you, and I will help you both speak."

Moses returned to the Narrow Places. He, his brother Aaron, and his sister Miriam brought together all the elders of the Israelites. Aaron told them everything God had said to Moses, performing the signs before the people. When the Israelites understood that God had seen and heard their misery, they bowed down and worshiped God.

Moses and Aaron went to the new Pharoah and said, "The God of Israel says: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness." Pharoah replied, "Who is this God that I should obey and let Israel go? I don't know him and I won't let them go. It seems these people are lazy, so I will no longer have the slave masters supply them straw for bricks." The Israelites, in turn, found fault in Moses and Aaron for this extra burden.

Then Moses said to God, "Why have you brought more trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? You have not rescued your people at all."

And God said, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharoah: because of my mighty hand, he will let them go and he will even drive them out of the country."

Moses and Aaron returned to Pharoah as God advised. Aaron threw down his staff in front of Pharoah and his courtiers. The staff became a snake. Unimpressed, Pharoah's court magicians threw down their staffs which also became snakes. Aaron's snake ate their snakes, but Pharoah was not moved to let the Israelites go.

And God said to Moses, "Go down with Aaron to meet Pharoah by the Nile tomorrow morning. Tell Pharoah that the God of the Hebrews has sent me to say to you: 'Let my people go so that they will worship me in the wilderness.' Then strike the waters of the Nile with the staff so that Pharoah knows who God is. But Pharoah's heart will be hardened, so I have a few other ideas in store for him. . . . "

-- Ten Plagues

Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile:

דםָ BLOOD ( for each of these, dip a finger in wine cup & put a drop on the plate, but don't lick the finger )

Fish died. The river smelled. There was no water for anyone. But Pharoah's court magicians did the same to the water, so Pharoah would not let the Israelites go. A week passed; Moses and Aaron returned to Pharoah to ask again. Aaron raised the staff over the nearby streams and ponds:

צפְרֵדְעֵ FROGS

Frogs hopped out everywhere and on everyone, but Pharoah's court magicians were able to make this happen too. Pharoah said, "I'll think about letting the Israelites go tomorrow." Moses called upon God and all the frogs died, making a big stink. The next day, Pharoah still said no. Aaron raised the staff over the dust on the ground:

כִנִים LICE

All the dust became bugs: lice, gnats, and fleas came on all the people and all the animals. The court magicians tried to do this too - but couldn't. Pharoah still said no. The next morning, Moses and Aaron returned to meet Pharoah by the river and advised that the next round would not impact the Israelite homes. Out came:

עָרוֹב WILD BEASTS

A mixed assortment of wolf-like animals, snakes, scorpions and other venomous creatures attacked everyone except the Israelites. Pharoah said, "Okay, go out to the wilderness for your prayer festival but not too far. And pray for me." Moses prayed, the beasts departed, and Pharoah changed his mind. Moses and Aaron returned to Pharoah and advised another stress would come the next day:

דבֶרֶ PESTILENCE

All the livestock became diseased and died, except for those belonging to the Israelites. But Pharoah would not change his mind. So God had Moses and Aaron take soot from a nearby kiln and throw it in the air near Pharoah:

שְחִין BOILS

Festering infections struck the skin of humans and animals, except it did not touch the Israelites. But Pharoah would not change his mind. The next day, Moses and Aaron returned to meet Pharoah. This time, Moses stretched the staff up towards the heavens:

בָרד HAIL

Accompanied by powerful lightening and loud thunder, stones of ice crashed from the sky on humans and animals, smashing crops and trees; but none fell on the Israelites. Pharoah cried, "Okay, I'm a sinner. Enough. I'll let you go." Moses left to pray and the storms stopped. So Pharoah changed his mind. Moses returned and told Pharoah, "God wants to know how long is it going to take? Tomorrow God will send another sign!" Pharoah's courtiers, exhausted by it all, encouraged Pharoah to change his mind - but he didn't. The next day, Moses stretched out the staff:

אַרְבֶה LOCUSTS

Enormous swarms everywhere ate all the plants and trees. Pharoah cried again to Moses and Aaron, "Okay, I'm a sinner. I'll let you go." Moses prayed again and a strong west wind forced the locust out of the area. But Pharoah changed his mind again. So Moses stretched the staff towards the sky again:

חשֶךְ DARKNESS

For 3 days, no one could see. No one could move. No one could understand anything. Pharoah summoned Moses and Aaron, saying, "Okay, you can go. The men can go. The women can go. Even the children can go. But leave all your livestock behind." Moses through Aaron said, "No, we need the livestock, too." So, Pharoah changed his mind, saying "Go away and take care to never see my face again - for on that day, you will die." While leaving, Moses agreed, "I will never see your face again."

Moses, Aaron and Miriam gathered the Israelite elders, telling them, "Have each family slaughter a lamb, gather some hyssop, dip the hyssop in the lamb's blood, and smear it on the sides and top of each door frame. Have everyone stay inside tonight. God will see the blood on the door and will PASS OVER the house en route to strike down those who oppress you." At midnight, around the rest of the Narrow Places:

מַכַת בְכוֹרוֹת DEATH OF THE FIRST-BORN

A loud cry rose from all the houses, including Pharoah, for all the first-born children and first-born animals were struck down.

!!!!!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

I am God - and I will free you from being slaves...Exodus 6:6.

Prepare to drink the second 3.5 to 4.5 oz cup of sweet red wine (white only if you really have to); remembering the moment of leaving the Narrow Places.

While drinking or eating this evening, liberally leaning to the left is a reminder of royalty from ancient times.

בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵאת פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe: who creates the fruit of the vine.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

It Would Have Been Enough For Us

If God only brought us out of the Narrow Places but did not make judgement on our oppressors. . .

If God only made judgement on our oppressors but did not make judgement on their gods . . .

If God only made judgement on their gods but did not strike down their first-born . . .

If God only struck down their first-born but did not give us their wealth. . .

If God only gave us their wealth but did not split the Sea (of Reeds) for us . . .

If God only split the Sea (of Reeds) for us but did not take us through on dry land . . .

If God only took us through on dry land but did not sink our oppressors in the Sea (of Reeds). . .

If God only sank our oppressors in the Sea (of Reeds) but did not supply us for forty years in the desert . . .

If God only supplied us for forty years in the desert but did not feed us manna. . .

If God only fed us manna but did not give us the Shabbat. . .

If God only gave us the Shabbat but did not bring us before Mt Sinai. . .

If God only brought us before Mt Sinai but did not give us the Torah. . .

If God only gave us the Torah but did not bring us to the Land of Israel. . .

If God only brought us to the Land of Israel but did not build us up like a house of holiness. . .

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם

דַּיֵּנוּ

Rachtzah

Washing at this point raises the question: why again? It's good to wash up before eating.

Pour cup of water over one hand three times then the other; pat dry with a nice towel; but this time, include the blessing:

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

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with good rules such as washing our hands.

No speaking until after the next blessing, please.

Motzi-Matzah

Remembering that the Israelites had no time to make preparations before leaving the Narrow Places, resulting in unleavened rather than leavened bread:

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the land.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ

Blessed are you, God, who makes us holy with your good rules, including the eating of unleavened bread.

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

Maror

Remembering the bitterness of the story, we eat bitter herbs:

Blessed are you, God, who makes us holy with your good rules, including the eating of bitter herbs.

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

Koreich

The [Israelites] are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Numbers 9:11

Rabbi Hillel the Elder (who lived one generation before the 2nd Temple was destroyed by Roman Imperial General Titus) used to wrap the lamb and bitter herbs and unleavened bread together. Generations of rabbis then argued about dipping or not dipping this into charoset as well as including or leaving out the lamb.

Remembering the affliction, the bitterness and the hardship, make the Hillel sandwich.

Shulchan Oreich
Tzafun

Time for children (of all ages) to find and eat the Afikomen - remembering to balance the serious memories of slavery with the joyfulness of freedom.

Bareich

בָרוךְ אַתָה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינו מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַזָן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻלוֹ בְטובוֹ בְחֵן בְחֶסֶד ובְרַחֲמִים הוא נוֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָשָר, כִי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדוֹ. ובְטובוֹ הַגָדוֹל תָמִיד לֹא חָסַר לָנו וְאַל יֶחְסַר לָנו מָזוֹן לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. בַעֲבור שְמוֹ הַגָדוֹל כִי הוא אֵל זָן ומְפַרְנֵס לַכלֹ ומֵטִיב לַכלֹ ומֵכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל בְרִיוֹתָיו אֲשֶר בָרָא. בָרוךְ אַתָה יְיָ, הַזָן אֶת הַכלֹ.

Sovereign God of the universe, we praise You: Your goodness sustains the world. You are the God of grace, love, and compassion, the Source of bread for all who live; for Your love is everlasting. In Your great goodness we need never lack for food; You provide food enough for all. We praise You, O God, Source of food for all who live.

....

עשֶֹה שָלוֹם בִמְרוֹמָיו הוא יַעֲשֶה שָלוֹם עָלֵינו וְעַל כָל יִשְרָאֵל, וְאִמְרו אָמֵן.

May the Source of peace grant peace to us, to all Israel, and to all the world. Amen.

...

יְיָ עזֹ לְעַמוֹ יִתֵן יְיָ יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמוֹ בַשָלוֹם

May the Eternal grant strength to our people. May the Eternal bless our people with peace. Amen.

......

I am God - and I will redeem you with outstretched arms and mighty acts...Exodus 6:6.

Prepare to drink the third 3.5 to 4.5 oz cup of sweet red wine (white only if you really have to); remembering the parting of the Sea of Reeds - crossing to freedom.

While drinking or eating this evening, liberally leaning to the left is a reminder of royalty from ancient times.

בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵאת פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe: who creates the fruit of the vine.

Bareich

The Talmudic rabbis could not agree if there should be four or five cups of wine based on Exodus 6. . .

Opening the door is a welcome to the spirit of the Prophet Elijah and to the hope for the best future.

אֵלִיָהוּ הַנָבִיא, אֵלִיָהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי, אֵלִיָהוּ הַגִלְעָדִי בִּמְהֵרָה יָבוֹא אֵלֵינוּ עִם מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָוִד

Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Giladite, May he soon come to us, with the Mashiach (age) the child of David.

............

Next to Elijah's cup, is Miriam's cup.

זֹאת כּוֹס מִרְיָם, כּוֹס מַיִם חַיִּים. זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם

Remember the righteousness of the midwives Shiphrah and Puah, of Jochebed and Miriam, and of all the women who helped to redeem us from the Narrow Places (Talmud Sotah 9b) and that Miriam's Well was the source of water for the Israelites in the desert. (Ritualwell.org)

Hallel

Give thanks to God, who is good. Give thanks to the God of gods. Give thanks to the one who alone does great wonders, who made the heavens, who spread out the earth upon the waters, who made the great lights and the sun to govern the day, the moon and stars to govern the night; who struck down the firstborn of the Narrow Places and brought Israel out from among them with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; who divided the Sea of Reeds asunder and brought Israel through the midst of it, but swept Pharaoh's army into the sea; who led the Israelites through the wilderness; who struck down many great and mighty kings. . .who remembered us in our low estate and freed us from our enemies; who gives food to every creature. Give thanks to the God of heaven: God's love endures forever . (Psalm 136)

.............

I am God - and I will take you as my own people and I will be your God...Exodus 6:7

( this is why the rabbis couldn't agree on if there should be four or five cups at the seder as there are two promises listed in this verse )

Prepare to drink the fourth 3.5 to 4.5 oz cup of sweet red wine (white only if you really have to).

While drinking or eating this evening, liberally leaning to the left is a reminder of royalty from ancient times.

בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵאת פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe: who creates the fruit of the vine.

Nirtzah

Remembering laws, stories and customs, the Passover Seder is concluding. What a privilege and joy to celebrate  the Seder together - here and now. 

!! לְשָנָה הַבָאָה בִירושַָלָיִם. . . לְשָנָה הַבָאָה בִירושַָלָיִם. . . לְשָנָה הַבָאָה בִירושַָלָיִם

Next Year in Jerusalem!

Now. . . sing!

Conclusion

ספירת העומר :

Counting of the Omer begins on the second day of Pesach as spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah on Shavuot.

Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. Leviticus 23:16

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר

Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with your good rules such as the Counting of the Sheaves.

Today is the ___ day of the Omer, which is ___ weeks and ___ days of the Omer.

Songs

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

One little goat, one little goat:

Which my father brought for two zuzim.

Then came the cat who ate the goat

Then came the dog who bit the cat

Then came the stick that beat the dog

Then came the fire that burned the stick

Then came the water that quenched the fire

Then came the ox who drank the water

Then came the butcher who killed the ox

Then came the angel of death who slew the butcher

Then came the Holy One, Blessed Be God who smote the angel of death. . .

Songs

Who knows one/two/three/. . . /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

כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה,

עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ,
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם.
 

As long as in the heart within,
The Jewish soul yearns,
And toward the eastern edges, onward,
An eye gazes toward Zion.

Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope that is two-thousand years old,
To be a free nation in our land,
The Land of Zion, Jerusalem.

- lyrics Naphtali Herz Imber, 1878, music Samuel Cohen 1888

- adopted as anthem by 1st Zionist Congress 1897 and officially by Israel in 2004!

Songs

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless America, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America, my home sweet home.
God bless America, my home sweet home.

( words/music by Israel Isidore Baline also known as Irving Berlin, 1918 )

.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed your grace on thee
And crown thy good with brother-and-sister-hood
From sea to shining sea!

( original words and music Katharine Lee Bates, 1904 )

.

O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

( words Francis Scott Key 1814, music John Stafford Smith 1773 )

.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

Yes, 'n' how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

( words/lyrics Robert Allen Zimmerman also known as Bob Dylan 1962 )