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Introduction

Hiney Mah Tov

Music by Rick Recht

.הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת נשים גַּם יַחַד

Hinei Mah Tov U’mah Na’im, Shevet Nashim Gam Yachad.

(How good and pleasant it is for women to be together.)

B'ruchot Haba'ot

Music and Lyrics by Debbie Friedman

Bruchot ha-ba'ot. Tachat kanfei ha-Sh'khinah.

Bruchim ha-ba'im tachat kanfei ha-Sh'khinah.

May you be blessed beneath the wings of Shekhina. Be blessed with love, be blessed with peace.

Introduction

The Seder Plate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orange - The orange on the seder plate has come to symbolize full inclusion in modern day Judaism: not only for women, but also for people with disabilities, intermarried couples, and the LGBT Community.

Matzah

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

Elijah’s Cup

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

Miriam’s Cup

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

Introduction
Source : @eileenmachine

Introduction
Source : http://bit.ly/1Skvdst

My brother and I were at Sinai

He kept a journal

of what he saw

of what he heard

of what it all meant to him

I wish I had such a record

of what happened to me

It seems like every time I want to write

I can't

I'm always holding a baby

one of my own

or one of my friend

always holding a baby

so my hands are never free

to write things down

And then

As time passes

the particulars

the hard data

the who what when where why

slip away from me

and all I'm left with is

the feeling

But feelings are just sounds

The vowel barking of a mute

My brother is so sure of what he heard

after all he's got a record of it

consonant after consonant after consonant

If we remembered it together

we could recreate holy time

sparks flying

Introduction

Order

Breakfast on kosher macaroons and Diet Pepsi

in the car on the way to Price Chopper for lamb.

Peel five pounds of onions and let the Cuisinart

shred them while you push them down and weep.

Call your mother because you know she’s preparing

too, because you want to ask again whether she cooks

matzah balls in salted water or broth, because you can.

Crumble boullion cubes like clumps of wet sand.

Remember the precise mixing order, beating then stirring

then folding, so that for one moment

you can become your grandfather.

Remember the year he taught you this trick,

not the year his wife died scant weeks before seder

and he was already befuddled when you came home.

Realize that no matter how many you buy

there are never quite enough eggs at Pesach

especially if you need twelve for the kugel

and eighteen for the kneidlach and another dozen

to hardboil and dip in bowls of stylized tears.

Know you are free! What loss. What rejoicing.

-Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Seder literally means order, from the Hebrew לסדר / l’sader, to arrange, and there’s a set order to the proceedings:

  • קַ דֵּ שׁ- Kadesh
  • וּרְ חַ ץ- Urchatz
  • כַּ רְ פַּ ס- Karpas
  • יַ חַ ץ- Yachatz
  • מַ גִּ יד- Maggid
  • רָ חְ צָ ה- Rachtzah
  • מוֹצִ יא- Motzi
  • מַ צָּ ה- Matzah
  • מָ רוֹר- Maror
  • כּוֹרֵ ך- Koreich
  • שֻׁ לְ חָ ן עוֹרֵ ך- Shulhan Orech
  • צָ פוּן- Tzafun
  • בָּ רֵ ך- Bareich
  • הַ לֵּ ל- Hallel
  • נִ רְ צָ ה- Nirtzah
Introduction

Reader:

Tonight we drink four cups of wine. Why four? Some say the cups represent our matriarchs— Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah—whose virtue caused God to liberate us from slavery. In honor of these women, and in honor of all of the women who exemplify the feminine aspect of the Divine, we offer the first blessing using feminine language for God.

Another interpretation is that the cups represent the Four Worlds: physicality, emotions, thought, and essence. Still a third interpretation is that the cups represent the four promises of liberation God makes in the Torah: I will bring you out, I will deliver you, I will redeem you, I will take you to be my people (Exodus 6:6-7.) The four promises, in turn, have been interpreted as four stages on the path of liberation: becoming aware of oppression, opposing oppression, imagining alternatives, and accepting responsibility to act.

Reader: 

This first cup of wine reminds us of God’s first declaration: “I will bring you out from the oppression...”

בָּרוּכה אַת יָה רוּח הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵאת פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

B'rucha At Ya, Ruach ha-olam, borei p’ree hagafen.

You are Blessed, Our God, Spirit of the world, who creates the fruit of the vine.

בָּרוּכה אַת יָה רוּח הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

B'rucha At Ya, Ruach ha-olam,
she-hechiyanu v’key’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

You are Blessed, Our God, Spirit of the world, 
who has kept us alive, raised us up, and brought us to this happy moment.

Kadesh

Candle-Lighting

Reader:

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart.

Blessed is the heart with the strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake.

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

—Hannah Senesch

Reader:

May the light of the candles we kindle together tonight bring radiance to all who live in darkness. May this season, marking the deliverance of our people from Pharaoh, rouse us against anyone who keeps others in servitude. In gratitude for the freedom we enjoy, may we strive to bring about the liberation of all people everywhere. Lighting these candles, we create the sacred space of the Festival of Freedom; we sanctify the coming-together of our community.

-Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

(Reader lights candles, and then recites the blessing)

בָּ רוּך אַ תָּ ה יְ יָ, אֱ להֵ ינוּ רוּחַ הַ עוֹֹ לָ ם, אָ שֶ ר קִ דְ שָ נוּ בְּ מִ צְ וֹתָ יו  וְ צִ וָ נוּ לְ הָ דלִ יק נֵ ר שֶ ל יוֹם טוֹֹ ב

Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheinu ruach ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Yom Tov.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Breath of Life, who sanctifies us with your commandment to kindle the holiday lights.

Urchatz

Reader:
Our tradition assigns transformative power to Mayim Chayim, “living waters”; the waters of oceans, streams, and rivers that would flow through our world and give us life. In our biblical texts, the waters of the great flood brought forth a renewed earth: the waters that parted in our Exodus story served as the birth canal for a free people. Similarly, when we immerse in a Mikveh, a ritual bath, we have the opportunity to renew ourselves spiritually as well. The handwashing of Urchatz continues in the tradition of renewal and rebirth. We invite you now to wash your hands, taking a moment to reflect on the area of your life you are most eager to renew and re-awaken.

When we wash hands again later, we will say blessings to sanctify that act. This hand-washing is purely symbolic, and therefore the blessing is unspoken.

(Leaders invite guests to wash)

Karpas

Karpas

Reflection :

Salt Water- It is a bowl of tears on the table

into which we dip the parsley, into which we dip the egg.

It is a miniature ocean on the table, salt as the Sea of Reeds through which they were to pass 

not to safety (never safety) but to where they were promised

where they would go if they chose to be free.

It is the salt water of our sweat pressed through out skin...

salt like the sea, salt like our blood, salt like the waters of the womb,

the salt of regret and the salt of effort.

- Marge Piercy

(Everyone takes some parsley and dips it in salt water)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

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

You are Blessed, Our God, Spirit of the world, who creates the fruit of the earth.

(Everyone eats the greens) 

Karpas
Source : @eileenmachine

Karpas

Still I Rise

Words by Maya Angelou, music by Ben Harper

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Chorus: 

So you may shoot me with your words
You may cut me with your eyes
And I'll rise
I'll rise
I'll rise
Out of the shacks of history's shame
Up from a past rooted in pain
I'll rise
I'll rise
I'll rise

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

Chorus

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
And I'll rise
I'll rise
I'll rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I'll rise
I'll rise
I'll rise

Excerpts from Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise" from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. 

Yachatz
Source : Tanenhaus Haggadah

We are told physically to break one of the elements of our Passover Seder, the middle matzah. In this imperfect world, joy cannot come without sorrow, life cannot be without death. We can view Yachatz, the breaking, as symbolic of all the breakings that characterize the most significant experiences of our lives: birth of a child, going to school, moving out, falling in love and losing love, marrying and leaving our solitary life, divorces, deaths, changing jobs. The list goes on and on, and so do our lives, fractured like a beautiful and intricate mosaic, only truly visible when you can stand back and see the whole.

Half of the Matzah becomes the Afikomen, and is hidden away to be shared later, as in earlier Passovers, the offering at the temple would be shared out among the Jews. We do share, in the joys and sorrows and condition of others. Our hope of freedom ultimately depends on the deliverance from bondage of all people, everywhere. For the sake of our redemption, we say together the ancient words which join us together with all who are in need:

הא לחמא עניא די אכלו אבהתנא בארעא דמצרים. כל דכפין ייתי ויכל. כל דצריך ייתי ויפסח. השתא הכא. לשנה הבאה בארעא דישראל. השתא עבדי. לשנה הבאה בני חורין

Ha lachma anya di achalu avahatana b'ara d'Mitzrayim. Kal dichfin yeitei v'yeichul. Kal ditzrich yeitei v'yifsach. Hashata hacha, l'shanah haba'ah b'ara d'Yisrael. Hashata avdei. L'shana haba'ah b'nei chorin.

This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.
Let all who are hungry come and eat.
Let all who are in need come and share the hope of Passover.
As we celebrate here, we join with our people everywhere.
This year we are here: Next year, in the land of Israel.
This year we are slaves: Next year may we all be free.

This statement of welcoming into the Passover Seder is written in Aramaic, not Hebrew. According to Jewish legend, Aramaic is the one language angels do not understand. Perhaps the Ha Lachma is written in Aramaic to remind us of those who do not feel that they can call on the angels for help. It is left to us, who know the language of the poor, for we were poor in the land of Egypt, to reach them, to call them to join our celebration of freedom and sustenance for all.

Yachatz
Source : American Jewish World Service

Ha lachma anya—this is the bread of affliction.

At the seder we begin as slaves. We eat matzah, the bread of af iction, 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. 

Let us awaken to their cries and declare:

Kol dich n 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 ourish 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. 

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

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone.

The Haggadah doesn’t tell the story of Passover in a linear fashion. We don’t hear of Moses being found by the daughter of Pharaoh – actually, we don’t hear much of Moses at all. Instead, we get an impressionistic collection of songs, images, and stories of both the Exodus from Egypt and from Passover celebrations through the centuries. Some say that minimizing the role of Moses keeps us focused on the miracles God performed for us. Others insist that we keep the focus on the role that every member of the community has in bringing about positive change.

-- Four Questions

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה

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

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

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

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.

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.

Why is tonight different from all other nights?

1. On all other nights we may eat either leavened bread or matzah; tonight, only matzah, that we may recall the unleavened bread our ancestors baked in haste.

2. On all other nights we need not taste bitterness; tonight, we eat bitter herbs, that we may recall the suffering of slavery.

3. On all other nights we needn’t dip our food in condiments even once; tonight we dip twice, in saltwater to remember our tears when we were enslaved, and in charoset to remember the mortar and the bricks which we made.

4. On all other nights we eat sitting up; tonight, we recline, to remind ourselves to savor our liberation. 

-- Four Questions

Tonight, we encourage a detailed retelling of our collective story by prompting questions that need answering. We begin with four familiar questions, but then open ourselves up to even more. 

Take a moment to reflect on a question, big or small, that is on your mind. Take a crayon or marker and write in on your table for others to consider. 

-- Four Children
Source : JWA / Jewish Boston - The Wandering Is Over Haggadah; Including Women's Voices

Around our tables sit four daughters.

Wise Daughter

The Wise daughter understands that not everything is as it appears.

She is the one who speaks up, confident that her opinion counts. She is the one who can take the tradition and ritual that is placed before her, turn it over and over, and find personal meaning in it. She is the one who can find the secrets in the empty spaces between the letters of the Torah.

She is the one who claims a place for herself even if the men do not make room for her.

Some call her wise and accepting. We call her creative and assertive. We welcome creativity and assertiveness to sit with us at our tables and inspire us to act.

Wicked Daughter

The Wicked daughter is the one who dares to challenge the simplistic answers she has been given.

She is the one who asks too many questions. She is the one not content to remain in her prescribed place. She is the one who breaks the mold. She is the one who challenges the status quo.

Some call her wicked and rebellious. We call her daring and courageous. We welcome rebellion to sit with us at our tables and make us uneasy.

Simple Daughter

The Simple daughter is the one who accepts what she is given without asking for more.

She is the one who trusts easily and believes what she is told. She is the one who prefers waiting and watching over seeking and acting. She is the one who believes that the redemption from Egypt was the final act of freedom. She is the one who follows in the footsteps of others.

Some call her simple and naive. We call her the one whose eyes are yet to be opened. We welcome the contented one to sit with us at our tables and appreciate what will is still to come.

Daughter Who Does Not Know How to Ask

Last is the daughter who does not know how to ask.

She is one who obeys and does not question. She is the one who has accepted men's definitions of the world. She is the one who has not found her own voice. She is the one who is content to be invisible.

Some call her subservient and oppressed. We call her our sister. We welcome the silent one to sit with us at our tables and experience a community that welcomes the voices of women.

(Used with permission of the Temple Emunah Women's Seder Haggadah Design Committee)

-- Four Children

The Four Daughters

Reader: The daughter in search of a usable past. Ma hi omeret? What does she say? "Why didn't the Torah count women among the '600,000 men on foot, aside from children,' who came out of Egypt? And why did Moses say at Sinai, 'Go not near a woman,' addressing only men, as if preparation for Revelation was not meant for us, as well?"

Because she already understands that Jewish memory is essential to our identity, teach her that history is made by those who tell the tale. If Torah did not name and number women, it is up to her to fill the empty spaces of our holy texts.

Reader: And the daughter who wants to erase her difference. Ma hi omeret? What does she say? "Why must you keep pushing your women's questions into every text? And why are these women's issues so important to you?"

"To you," and "not to me." Since she so easily forgets the struggles of her mothers and sisters, you must tell her the story of your own journey to the seder table and invite her to join you in thanking God for the blessing of being a Jewish woman.

Reader: And the daughter who does not know that she has a place at the table. Ma hi omeret? What does she say? "What is this?"

Because she doesn't realize that her question is, in itself, a part of the seder tradition, teach her that the Haggadah is an extended conversation about liberation, and tell her that her insights and questions are also text.

Reader: And the daughter who asks no questions? You must say to her, "Your question, when they come, will liberate you from Egypt. This is how it is and has always been with your mothers and grandmothers. From the moment Yocheved, Miriam and the midwives questioned Pharaoh's edict until today, every question we ask helps us leave Egypt farther behind."

- Tamara Cohen, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, and Ronnie Horn

-- 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

שׁפחות הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיֽם-  עַתָּה בְּנות חוֹרִין

Shfachot hayinu, hayinu

lepharo bemitzrayim, bemitzrayim

Shfachot hayinu, hayinu 

ata ata – b'not chorin, b'not chorin

We were female slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt – now we are free women.

-- 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 : http://beyonceder.tumblr.com

-- Ten Plagues

Music by Debbie Friedman

Chorus:

And the women dancing with their timbrels,
Followed Miriam as she sang her song,
Sing a song to the One whom we've exalted,
Miriam and the women danced and danced the whole night long


And Miriam was a weaver of unique variety
The tapestry she wove was one which sang our history.
With every strand and every thread she crafted her delight!
A woman touched with spirit, she dances toward the light

And the women...


When Miriam stood upon the shores and gazed across the sea
The wonder of this miracle she soon came to believe.
Whoever thought the sea would part with an outstretched hand
And we would pass to freedom and march to the promised land!

And the women...


And Miriam the prophet took her timbrel in her hand,
And all the women followed her just as she had planned,
And Miriam raised her voice in song-
She sang with praise and might
We've just lived through a miracle: We're going to dance tonight!!

And the women...

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

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!

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָֽנוּ אֶת־הַשבת, דַּיֵּנוּ

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

If God had only given us the Shabbat, that would have been enough!

-- 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 : 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motzi-Matzah
Source : JewishBoston.com

The blessing over the meal and matzah | motzi matzah | מוֹצִיא מַצָּה

The familiar hamotzi blessing marks the formal start of the meal. Because we are using matzah instead of bread, we add a blessing celebrating this mitzvah.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶֽחֶם מִן הָאָֽרֶץ

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who brings bread from the land.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתַָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה

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

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

Distribute and eat the top and middle matzah for everyone to eat.

Maror
Source : JewishBoston.com

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror  |מָרוֹר   

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

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

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

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

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

Giving Thanks for our Food

Hebrew (Aramaic, actaully): בריך רחמנא מלכא דעלמא מריה דהאי פיתא

Transliteration: Brich rachamana malka d'alma ma'arey d'hai pita

Translation: Blessed is the merciful One, ruler of the world, creator of this bread.

Bareich

Cup of Elijah

The cup of Elijah holds wine;

the cup of Miriam holds water.

Wine is more precious

until you have no water.

Water that flows in our veins,

water that is the stuff of life,

for we are made of breath

and water, vision

and fact. Elijah is

the extraordinary; Miriam

brings the daily wonders:

the joy of a fresh morning

like a newly prepared table,

a white linen cloth on which

nothing has yet spilled.

The descent into the heavy

waters of sleep healing us.

The scent of baking bread,

roasting chicken, fresh herbs,

the faces of friends across

the table: what sustains us

every morning, every evening,

the common daily miracles

like the taste of cool water.

- Marge Piercy

Bareich
Source : JFREJ: Mixed Multitudes (2016)

Eliyahu hanavi, Eliyahu hatishbi,
Eliyahu, Eliyahu, Eliyahu, hagiladi.
Bimheira beyameinu, yavo eleinu
Im moshiach ben David (2x)

Elijah, the prophet; Elijah, the Tishbite; Elijah, the Gileadite! Come quickly in our days with the Messiah from the line of David. 


Miriam han’vi’ah oz v’zimrah b’yadah.
Miriam tirkod itanu l’taken et haolam.
Bimheirah v’yameinu hi t’vi’einu
El mei hay’shuah (2x)

Miriam the prophet, strength and song in her hand; Miriam, dance with us in order to increase the song of the world! Miriam, dance with us in order to repair the world. Soon she will bring us to the waters 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
Sweet mother I’m coming home  Now I know I’m not alone  Cause I’ve been far  Now I’m close  Sweet mother I’m coming home  Tell me mother can you hear me sing  Your love is everything  Heart and soul  Breath and skin  Your love is everything  Oh mother, please hold me tight  Cause mother I need some help tonight  What went wrong  Will soon be right  Oh mother, please hold me tight  Tell me mother can you hear me sing  Your love is everything  Heart and soul  Breath and skin  Your love is everything  Oh mother, this world is strange  Love me mother and make me brave  In my dreams  On this stage  Oh mother, this world is strange  Tell me mother can you hear me sing  Your love is everything  Heart and soul  Breath and skin  Your love is everything  Tell me mother can you hear me sing  Your love is everything  Heart and soul  Breath and skin  Your love is everything…
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!