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Introduction

Deep Breath

Kadesh - Blessings over the Wine

Breathing in - I taste the sweetness of celebrating freedom

Breathing out - I am and everyone at my table is holy Sweetness, Holiness

*

Deep Breath

Urchatz - Washing Hands

Breathing in - I feel the water purifying my hands

Breathing out - I wash away all that is holding me back I am pure, I am free

*

Deep Breath

Karpas - Green Vegetables

Breathing in - The springtime is coming

Breathing out - I celebrate this renewal Springtime, renewal

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Deep Breath

Yachatz - Breaking of the Matzah

Breathing in - I know that there is a crack in everything

Breathing out - I know that through these cracks the light gets in. Cracks, Flowing Light

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Deep Breath

Magid - Telling the Story

Breathing in – Through stories we learn

Breathing out – Through stories we connect Learning, Connecting

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Deep Breath

Rachtza - Second Washing

Breathing in – Water brings health and life

Breathing out – Washing prepares me for mindful consumption Health and Life, Mindful Consumption

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Deep Breath

Motzei Matzah - Blessing over the meal

Breathing in - I know that the food we eat is a gift

Breathing out – May I merit it by eating it mindfully Gratitude, Mindfulness

*

Deep Breath

Maror - Bitter Herb

Breathing in – I know that not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy such a meal

Breathing out – I know that others still suffer the bitterness of bondage Compassion, Sharing

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Deep Breath

Korech - The Sandwich

Breathing in – I enjoy each creation for its uniqueness

Breathing out – I enjoy the magic when creation works together Uniqueness, Magical together

*

Deep Breath

Shulchan Orekh - The Festive Meal

Breathing in – I taste each bite as it nourishes my body

Breathing out – I enjoy each person that I am privileged to celebrate with

Tasting each bite, Enjoying my company

*

Deep Breath

Tzafun - The Hidden Matzah or the Afikomen

Breathing in – I know that sometimes I keep the best parts of myself hidden

Breathing out – When I reveal myself I can bringing joy to the world

The best parts of myself, bringing joy

*

Deep Breath

Barech - The Blessing After Meal Breathing in – I have eaten and I am satisfied

Breathing out – I bless the oneness who gives me life Eaten and Satisfied, Blessing Oneness

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Deep Breath

Hallel and Nirtzah - Songs of Praise

Breathing in – From my place of constriction I call to the Holy Oneness

Breathing out - The Holy Oneness answers with expanse and openness Holy Oneness, Openness

*

Deep Breath

*

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Introduction

Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom over me!
And before I'd be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

No more moanin'
No more moanin’
No more moanin’ over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

There'll be singin'
There’ll be singin’
There’ll be singin’ over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

There'll be shoutin'
There’ll be shoutin’
There’ll be shoutin’ over me
And before I’d be a slave
I’ll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom!
Oh, freedom over me!
And before I'd be a slave
I'll be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

Introduction
Source : Internet Search

Opening Song
(Sung to the tune of "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel")
Oh, welcome everybody.
Time to gather round.
We will tell the story.
We'll smile and then we'll frown.  
Oh Pesach, Pesach, Pesach
We were slaves but now we're free.
Oh Pesach, Pesach, Pesach
Let's tell our history!

Introduction
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Introduction

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Yom Tov.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with laws and commanded us to light the festival lights

Introduction
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

Introduction
Source : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1850ukr_pesah.jpg

Jews Celebrating Passover. Lubok.

Anonymous folk artist. 19th Century.

Introduction
Source : OurJewishCommunity.org

INTRODUCTION

The long history of our people is one of contrasts — freedom and slavery, joy and pain, power and helplessness. Passover reflects these contrasts. Tonight as we celebrate our freedom, we remember the slavery of our ancestors and realize that many people are not yet free.

Each generation changes — our ideas, our needs, our dreams, even our celebrations. So has Passover changed over many centuries into our present

holiday. Our nomadic ancestors gathered for a spring celebration when the sheep gave birth to their lambs. Theirs was a celebration of the continuity of life. Later, when our ancestors became farmers, they celebrated the arrival of spring in their own fashion. Eventually these ancient spring festivals merged with the story of the Exodus from Egypt and became a new celebration of life and freedom.

As each generation gathered around the table to retell the old stories, the symbols took on new meanings. New stories of slavery and liberation, oppression and triumph were added, taking their place next to the old. Tonight we add our own special chapter as we recall our people’s past and we dream of the future.

For Jews, our enslavement by the Egyptians is now remote, a symbol of communal remembrance. As we sit here in the comfort of our modern world, we think of the millions who still suffer the brutality of the existence that we escaped thousands of years ago.

Introduction

Seder means "order," and the Passover Seder is literally the order in which we celebrate the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

Introduction
Source : You've Got a Haggadah - David and Tania Bikerman copyright 2000

Introduction

Share a special Seder memory

– special Passover tradition

– best moment at the old family Seder

– worst, or funniest Seder moment

Introduction

אי סדר Disorder

When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was chaos and disorder . . . . (Genesis 1:1-2)

One of the products of creation was order. God created a neat system of life upon the expanse of chaos and disorder. As we live life, we cleave to the structure and order that guide us through twists and turns. But we must never forget to let go once and a while, to return to a state of chaos and disorder. Only then can we become partners in creation, rebuilding what is broken, and giving meaning to what lays in disarray.

Kadesh

The Shehecheyanu is a prayer that Jews have been saying for over 2000 years to mark special occasions. Tonight, all of us here together is special occasion. Whether Jewish or not, we have come here under a shared belief that everyone is entitled to be free. We all believe that everyone is entitled to certain inalienable rights. We all believe that we must treat our brothers and sisters with common decency. That is special and meaningful.

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

בָרוּךְ אַתָה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְמָנוּ

וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶה

Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam,

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

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

Kadesh

As we bless the four cups of wine and remember the different ways God protected the Children of Israel during their exodus from Egypt, offer these words of blessing for the ways we can stand in support of today’s refugees as they journey to safety. This is the first of the blessings over the four cups of wine that we say throughout the Passover Seder.

As we remember our own liberation from bondage in Egypt, we express gratitude for the ability to work in continued and continual redemption for today’s refugees. As our wine cups overflow in this moment of joy, we hold out hope for the day when every person in search of refuge in every corner of the earth can recall a story of freedom, reflect on a journey to security from violence and persecution and no longer yearn for a safe place to call home. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, who frees those who are oppressed.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Together let's go around the table to share some of the victories, some of the examples of liberation.  

For example, the minimum wage and the 5 day work-week, women's suffrage, etc. 

Urchatz
Source : Rabbi Michael Lerner

Ur’chatz

As we wash our hands, we imagine washing away all cynicism and despair. We allow ourselves to be filled with the hope that the world can be transformed in accord with our highest vision of the good. We wash away our own sense of powerlessness—because powerlessness corrupts. The irony of systems of oppression in the contemporary world is that they usually depend upon the participation of the oppressed in their own oppression. Rather than challenging the system, people accept their place within it. In capitalist society, it is not just external coercion but also the internalization of worldviews of the powerful that make the oppressed willing participants in the system. As we do the Ur’chatz on Passover, we symbolically wash our hands of this participation in our own oppression.

(Symbolically wash hands)

As we wash all of this away, we take a look at our cleansed hands and remind ourselves to use our hands and our bodies in acts of healing, repair and transformation because we know that simply symbolic acts of cleansing are only one step on the path to tikkun olam, actions are critical to manifest this cleansing

Urchatz
Source : Joseph Zitt

Hand Washing

In washing our hands,
we also think of those who don't get to share
in the basic human right of abundant, clean water

of people deprived of water
by the human-caused climate change
in the Horn of Africa, North Korea, India and more.  

and those deprived of water
by human action
in First Nations communities throughout Canada and in Cities like Flint, Michigan

as well as those whose homes have been ravaged
by wind and water
in Colombia, in Haiti, in Peru and more

We wash our hands
and accept our responsibilities
to those threatened
by the presence and absence of water

and pray that those
with the human power to change things
do not wash their hands
of the responsibility to act quickly

with compassion and wisdom.

Karpas
Source : Rabbi Michael Lerner

The saltwater on our table traditionally represents the tears of the Israelite slaves. The green vegetables we dip in the water suggest the possibility of growth and renewal even in the midst of grief.

The greens on the table also remind us of our commitment to protect the planet from ecological destruction. Instead of focusing narrowly on what we may “realistically” accomplish in today’s world, we must focus on what the planet needs in order to survive and flourish. We must get out of the narrow place in our thinking and look at the world not as a resource, but as a focus for awe, wonder, and amazement. We must reject the societal story that identifies success and progress with endless growth and accumulation of things. Instead we will focus on acknowledging that we already have enough; we need to stop exploiting our resources and instead care for the earth.

We are descended from slaves, people who staged the first successful slave rebellion in recorded history. Ever since, our people has kept alive the story of liberation, and the consciousness that cruelty and oppression are not inevitable “facts of life” but conditions that can be changed.

The task may seem more overwhelming to us today than in previous moments. Today there is no longer some easily identifiable external evil force playing the role of Pharaoh. Instead, we live in an increasingly unified global economic and political system that brings well-being to some even as it increases the misery of others.

We are in the midst of a huge spiritual and environmental crisis. Our society has lost its way. Yet most of us are even embarrassed to talk about this seriously, so certain are we that we could never do anything to transform this reality, and fearful that we will be met with cynicism and derision for even allowing ourselves to think about challenging the kind of technocratic and alienating rationality that parades itself as “progress” in the current world.

The Exodus story teaches us to see that all this could be changed.

The ancient Jewish idea is that our task is to be partners with God in healing and transforming our world—Tikkun Olam. We know that the world can be healed and transformed — that is the whole point of telling the Passover story. Our task is to find the ways to continue the struggle for liberation in our own times and in our own circumstances.

Some of the steps include:

a. Recognizing each other as allies in that struggle.

b. Pouring out love into the world.

c. Rejecting the cynical view that everyone is out for himself or herself, that there is nothing but selfishness.

d. Taking the risks of being the first ones out in public to articulate an agenda of social change — even though being that person may mean risking economic security, physical security, and sometimes even risking the alienation of friends and family.

e. Allowing ourselves to envision the world the way we really want it to be — and not getting stuck in spiritually crippling talk about what is “realistic.”

The story of Passover is about our people learning to overcome the “realistic” way of looking at the world. Tonight we want to affirm our connection with a different truth: that the world is governed by a spiritual power, by the Force of Transformation and Healing, and that we are created in Her image, we are embodiments of the Spirit, and we have the capacity to join with each other and transform the world we are in.

Affirming that, we dip the greens on our Seder plate in joy at the beauty and goodness of this earth and its vegetation, and recommitting ourselves to do all we can to stop those processes in our society that are contributing to the destruction of the earth.

Dip some parsley or celery or some other green vegetable into the salt water, symbolic not only of tears our past suffering from oppression, but also of our tears for the suffering of the earth, the suffering of all on this planet who are caught up in systems of oppression:

Brukha at Yah Shekhinah, ru’akh khey ha’olamim, boreyt pree ha’adamah.

Some communities have the custom of affirming spring as the eternal return of life to the earth through the symbol of eating a hardboiled egg, which is dipped in salt water to remind us of the suffering of slavery that continues even when the earth is rejoicing and reclaiming life! If you wish to do so, first say the blessing:

Brukha at Yah, Shekhina, eloheynu melekh ha’olam, sheh ha’kol nihyeh beed’va’roe (Blessed is the Goddess…who creates all things through Her words). 

Yachatz
Source : A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices by Mishael Zion and Noam Zion http://haggadahsrus.com/NTR.html
The Pesach story begins in a broken world, amidst slavery and oppression. The sound of the breaking of the matza sends us into that fractured existence, only to become whole again when we find the broken half, the afikoman, at the end of the Seder.

This brokenness is not just a physical or political situation: It reminds us of all those hard, damaged places within ourselves. All those narrow places from which we want to break to free. In Hebrew, Egypt is called Mitzrayim, reminding us of the word tzar, narrow. Thus, in Hassidic thought, Mitzrayim symbolizes the inner straits that trap our souls. Yet even here we can find a unique value, as the Hassidic saying teaches us: "There is nothing more whole – than a broken heart."

SHARE: Pass out a whole matza to every Seder participant, inviting them to take a moment to ponder this entrance into a broken world, before they each break the matza themselves.

Yachatz
Source : A Way In

Matzah: Bread of Affliction, Bread of Hope and Possibility

Contributed by A Way In

A WAY IN Jewish Mindfulness Program

MATZAH

Bread of Affliction, Bread of Hope and Possibility

Ha lachma anya—   This is the bread of affliction our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.

As we go through the seder, the matzah will be transformed. It will cease to be the bread of affliction and it will become the bread of hope, courage, faith and possibility.

And it begins with a breaking.

YACHATZ: Breaking the Matzah

Reader:

Each person is invited to hold a piece of matzah, to mindfully feel its weight, notice its color, its shape and texture.

Resting the matzah on our open palms, we remember that the Passover story teaches that oppression and suffering result from fear and the unwillingness to open one’s heart to the pain and the experiences of others.

It was fear that brought about the enslavement of the Israelites and it was the hardening of the heart that kept the Israelites, the Egyptians and the Pharaoh in bondage. From fear and a hardened heart came violence, anguish and grief.

One person lifts the plate of three matzot. We all take a moment of silence and then call out the beginning of the prayer:

Ha lachma anya –   This is the bread of affliction our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.

We return to silence and each raise up a piece of matzah.

We maintain silence while all, at the same time, break our matzot in half.

We listen to the sound of the bread of affliction cracking open.

As we hold the two pieces in our hands we set an intention to break open and soften our hearts:

All:

May our eyes be open to each other’s pain.

May our ears be open to each other’s cries.

May we live with greater awareness.

May we practice greater forgiveness.

And may we go forward as free people—able to respond to ourselves and each other with compassion, wonderment, appreciation and love.

We place the matzah back on the plate and continue the prayer:

Let all who are hungry come and eat.

Let all who are in need join us in this Festival of Liberation.

May each of us, may all of us, find our homes.

May each of us, may all of us, be free.

II. Later in the seder, after we have told the story, we say the blessing over the matzah and prepare to eat it for the first time. We take a moment and acknowledge our capacity for healing and love:

Reader:

Every time we make a decision not to harden our hearts to our own pain or to the pain of others, we step toward freedom .

Every time we are able to act with compassion rather than anger, we stop the flow of violence.

And each moment we find the strength and courage to see ourselves in each other, we open possibilities for healing and peace.

This is the bread that we bless and share .

All:

May all who are hungry come and eat.

May all who are in need join together in this Festival of Freedom.

A WAY IN Jewish Mindfulness Program weaves together Jewish tradition and Mindfulness practice. A 501c(3) charitable organization, A Way In is guided by Rabbi Yael Levy, whose approach to mindfulness grows out of her deep personal commitment to spiritual practice and a passionate believe in its potential to change not only individuals but the world.

Yachatz
Source : http://ajws.org/what_we_do/education/publications/holiday_resources/passover_seder_reading_2009.pdf

Breaking the matzah

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

Reader 1: Ha lachma anya—this is the bread of affliction. At the seder we begin as slaves. We eat matzah, the bread of affliction, which leaves us hungry and longing for redemption. It reminds us of a time when we couldn’t control what food was available to us, but ate what we could out of necessity. The matzah enables us to taste slavery— to imagine what it means to be denied our right to live free and healthy lives.

But, while we will soon enjoy a large meal and end the seder night as free people, millions of people around the world can not leave the affliction of hunger behind. Let us awaken to their cries and declare:

Kol dichfin yeitei v’yeichol—let all who are hungry, come and eat. As we sit at our seder and contemplate our people’s transition from slavery to freedom, let us hope for a time when all who are hungry will eat as free people. Let us pray:

Let all people gain autonomy over their sources of sustenance.

Let local farms flourish and local economies strengthen.

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

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

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

Hashata avdei—this year we are still slaves. Leshanah haba’ah b’nei chorin—next year we will be free people.

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

Yachatz
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Maggid - Beginning

Avadim Hayinu

ּעֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ הָיִינו. עַתָּה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין

Avadim hayinu hayinu. Ata b’nei chorin, b'nei chorin. Avadim hayinu, ata ata b'nei chorin, b'nei chorin

We were slaves. Now we are free.

Maggid - Beginning
Source :

Am E7 Am

When Israel was in Egypt's land

E7 Am Let my people go

Am E7 Am

Oppressed so hard they could not stand

E7 Am Let my people go

Refrain: Am Dm E7

Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt's land

Am E7 Am

Tell old Pharaoh, Let my people go

Am E7 Am

So Moses went to Egypt's land

E7 Am Let my people go

Am E7 Am

To make old Pharaoh understand

E7 Am Let my people go

Ref. Am E7 Am

Thus spake the Lord, bold Moses said,

E7 Am "Let my people go,

Am E7 Am

If not, I'll strike your first born dead

E7 Am

"Let my people go"

Maggid - Beginning

V’hee She-amdah

We lift up our cup wine and cover the matzah, as we recite the following and recall God's promise to Abraham, emphasizing eternal divine watchfulness.

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ, שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד עָמַד עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר עוֹמְדִים עָלֵינוּ לְכַלוֹתֵנוּ, וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם.

V'hi she-am'dah la-avoteinu v'lanu. Shelo echad bilvad, amad aleinu l'chaloteinu. Ela sheb'chol dor vador, om'dim aleinu l'chaloteinu, v'hakadosh Baruch hu matzileinu mi-yadam.

This covenant that remained constant for our ancestors and for us has saved us against any who arose to destroy us in every generation, and throughout history when any stood against us to annihilate us, the Kadosh Barukh Hu kept saving us from them. We lower the wine cup and continue with the recitation of the traditional Midrash or Rabbinic discussion of the Passover Exodus story as recorded in the Torah, beginning first with the threat to Israel from Lavan and then the threat from Pharaoh.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Sheila Peltz Weinberg

Why do we tell the story of our oppression?

It is in the telling of the story that transformation occurs. In every liberation movement, the sharing of stories becomes crucial. When women fist gathered in consciousness raising groups or alcoholics shared their experience, strength and hope in smoky church basements, stories were shared. I begin to see that story isn't just my story. First we touch the common pain then the common hope. From there we devise strategies for transformation. I am no longer caught in the isolation of my uniqueness. The fear and self-doubt that I feel about myself is revealed to be without substance. Every oppressor knows how subversive groups can be and tries to keep the oppressed from talking to each other, from telling their stories to one another. 

Maggid - Beginning

We tell the story of Passover!

Leader: Questions are central to the Seder experience. In fact, questions are central to the Jewish view of religion. Jewish law and thought have always allowed, even welcomed, questions. In the process of questioning, new knowledge and new understandings emerge. Questioning is also a sign of freedom. Slaves don’t ask questions. To ask a question is to demonstrate one’s freedom to explore, indeed, to question the symbols, rituals, and philosophies of the Seder experience.

(The Four questions begin)

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Original

-- Four Questions
Source : JewishBoston.com

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

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה  

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

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

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Four Questions
Source : Traditional

                 Maggid – Four Questions

מַהנִּשְּׁתַּנָה

?מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

Mah nish-ta-na ha-lai-lah ha-zeh mikol ha-lei-lot?

Why is this night of Passover different from all other nights of the year?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה - כּוּלוֹ מַצָּה

She-b'chol ha-lei-lot anu och'lin cha-meitz u-matzah. Ha-laylah hazeh kulo matzah.

On all other nights, we eat either leavened or unleavened bread, why on this night do we eat only matzah?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

Sheb'chol ha-lei-lot anu och'lin sh'ar y'rakot. Ha-lai-lah h-azeh maror.

On all other nights, we eat vegetables of all kinds, why on this night must we eat bitter herbs?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אֶנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים

Sheb'chol ha-lei-lot ein anu mat-beelin afee-lu pa-am echat.Ha-lai-lah hazeh sh'tei p'ameem.

On all other nights, we do not dip vegetables even once,
why on this night do we dip greens into salt water and bitter herbs into sweet haroset?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָנו מְסֻ

Sheb’khol ha-lei-lot anu och-leem bein yo-shveen u-vein m’su-been, ha-lailah hazeh kulanu m’subeen.

On all other nights, everyone sits up straight at the table, why on this night do we recline and eat at leisure?

-- Four Questions
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

-- Four Children
Source : Religious Action Centre

We often talk at the seder about the Four Children: the Wise, Wicked, Simple, and the One Who Does Not Know How to Ask. We see a little of ourselves in each child as we discuss their place in the seder and how we explain to them the story of Passover. Do we tell them that we were there together at Sinai, including them in our legacy, or do we exclude them and criticize their apathy?

This year, as we consider Passover’s Four Children around the seder table, let us discover and discuss the tension between our Jewish community’s obligation to “till and tend” the earth as God told humankind in the Garden of Eden, and the spectrum of beliefs that many may hold about climate change.

The Wise Child:

This child knows that climate change is real and that they must act to combat its effects. The Wise Child has read that global temperatures and sea levels are rising every year, that more species are becoming endangered, and that more communities are experiencing extreme weather events and decreased crop viability. The Wise Child sees all this and is motivated to combat climate change in any way they can.

The Wicked Child:

The Wicked Child has read about climate change and is aware that scientists predict a whole range of negative effects if we don’t reduce global carbon emissions. But the Wicked Child doesn’t think the issues caused by climate change apply to them. They believe climate change will only affect the poor and the vulnerable in places they will never visit. They remain unconcerned.

The Simple Child:

The Simple Child is overwhelmed by the idea that humankind could be radically altering the entire face of the earth. They don’t believe it’s possible that scientific predictions are accurate. This child simply ignores the evidence that the problem is real at all.

The One Who Does Not Know How to Ask:

This child is much more like The Wise Child than we may typically imagine. The One Who Does Not Know How to Ask has also read about climate change and knows that environmental degradation and the effects on the global population are a real and present threat. Unlike The Wise Child and much more like the Simple Child, this child is overwhelmed. How is this possible? This child might ask, How can I, alone, prevent this global catastrophe?

Just as we are like and unlike each of the Four Children of the Passover seder that we discuss every year, we each have in us elements of the Four Children of climate change. We all have some awareness that climate change is an issue, but may be able to face its gravity differently, and may or may not acknowledge to ourselves the relationship between our action and carbon emissions.

There is an answer for each of these children.  How would you answer each of these children?Is it enough for us to personally change our habits, or do we need to have a transformation of our economic system and way of being?  How do each of us sometimes fall within these different categories of children? How can we answer these different children? (discuss amongst yourselves)

-- Four Children
Source : Internet

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

What does the wise child say?

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

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

What does the wicked child say?

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

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

What does the simple child say?

The simple child asks, What is this?

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

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

Help this child ask.

Start telling the story:

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

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

-- Four Children
Source : Pesach: A Season of Justice

This reading allows for much personal identification and further

interpretation in the text. A discussion can take place regarding with which of the four children each guest identifies most, followed by a consideration of which populations are currently “unable to ask,” who might be considered “simple,” and more. Examples for a new set of four children may include:

1. One who sees the pain of others and works to relieve suffering.

2. One who cares only about him/herself.

3. One who cares only about other Jews but not other populations.

4. One who doesn’t know where to begin.

-- Four Children
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

-- Exodus Story
Maggid By Marge Piercy

The courage to let go of the door, the handle. The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast, a child’s naughtiness, a loud blistering storm that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.

The courage to abandon the graves dug into the hill, the small bones of children and the brittle bones of the old whose marrow hunger had stolen; the courage to desert the tree planted and only begun to bear; the riverside where promises were shaped; the street where their empty pots were broken.

The courage to leave the place whose language you learned as early as your own, whose customs however dangerous or demeaning, bind you like a halter you have learned to pull inside, to move your load; the land fertile with the blood spilled on it; the roads mapped and annotated for survival.

The courage to walk out of the pain that is known into the pain that cannot be imagined, mapless, walking into the wilderness, going barefoot with a canteen into the desert; stuffed in the stinking hold of a rotting ship sailing off the map into dragons’ mouths.

Cathay, India, Serbia, goldeneh medina, leaving bodies by the way like abandoned treasure. So they walked out of Egypt. So they bribed their way out of Russia under loaves of straw; so they steamed out of the bloody smoking charnelhouse of Europe on overloaded freighters forbidden all ports–

out of pain into death or freedom or a different painful dignity, into squalor and politics. We Jews are all born of wanderers, with shoes under our pillows and a memory of blood that is ours raining down. We honor only those Jews who changed tonight, those who chose the desert over bondage,

who walked into the strange and became strangers and gave birth to children who could look down on them standing on their shoulders for having been slaves. We honor those who let go of everything but freedom, who ran, who revolted, who fought, who became other by saving themselves.

-- Exodus Story

Oh Mary don't you weep no more,
Oh Mary don't you weep no more,
Pharaoh's army got drownded,
Oh Mary don't you weep.

Well Moses stood on the Red Sea shore,
Smote the water with a two by four,
Pharaoh's army got drownded,
Oh Mary don't you weep.

Oh Mary don't you weep no more...

Well one of these nights about 12 o'clock,
This old world is gonna rock,
Pharaoh's army got drownded,
Oh Mary don't you weep.

Oh Mary don't you weep no more...

Brothers and sisters, don't you cry,
There'll be good times by and by,
Pharaoh's army got drownded,
Oh Mary don't you weep.

-- Exodus Story
Source : Bob Marley

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the 'and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfil de book.

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

[Guitar break]

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfill the book.
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

-- Exodus Story
Source : Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn • www.jmcbrooklyn.org

1. After the ten plagues, Pharoah finally lets our people go, and the Israelites leave in a big hurry. They pack their bags, gather their children and livestock, toss the unleavened bread on their backs, and begin their journey. It is Pharaoh’s change of heart, after refusing so many times to let them go, that allows the Israelites to arrive at this moment of freedom.

2. After being freed, the Israelites find themselves between the roaring sea before them and the Egyptian army behind them. They panic and say to Moses, “There weren’t enough graves in Egypt, so you brought us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? It would have been better to stay as slaves than to die here.” We can learn a lot about resistance to transition from the complaints of the Israelites.

3. Sometimes in the midst of doubt and fear, it can feel impossible to take that first step forward. A rabbinic Midrash tells the story of Nachshon ben Aminadav, who walked into the sea until the water was above his neck; only after he took this great risk did the waters part for all the Israelites. Passover is our annual invitation to take that first step.

Ask everyone to imagine the moment where they can’t stay in the same place. Go around the table and ask each person to say one word to answer this question: What would you need to act, to move forward, away from constriction and narrowness, toward freedom? [examples: “faith,” “community,” “imagination,” “lightness”, etc]

Go around the table and each person can answer this second question: What is one situation or pattern you’ve resisted changing even when you know it’s not in service to living the life you want to lead?” [examples: “going to sleep super late,” “my unfulfilling job,” “that relationship (you know the one),” etc.]

4. There’s commentary that the post-Exodus forty years of wandering in the desert was the necessary length of time to allow the generation of Israelites raised with a slave mentality to be replaced by a new generation of free people. This means that only those born into freedom were able to enter the Promised Land. We can translate this to our own lives to mean that we have to transition out of fixed mindsets and make space for new ways and paths and directions.

Remembering our own capacity to enslave and be enslaved, as well as our ability to find freedom in our lives, is one of the most meaningful practices of Passover. May we all be blessed with a Passover of liberation. May our practice be a source of strength as we find paths to freedom, and may our open-heartedness benefit all beings.

-- Exodus Story
Source : Franny Silverman, for the Sh'ma Haggadah supplement

Dayenu means "it would have been enough."  And not in a kvetchy/sarcastic way!  Dayenu is a sincere expression of gratitude, of the Jewish people's cup overfloweth. 

There are many any verses in the Hebrew proclaiming how it would have been enough just to be brought out from slavery in Egpyt, to get the Torah, to be gifted Shabbat, etc...

In this version, you may sing some, all or none of the traditional verses, but then open it up so Dayenu can become a participatory song where everyone offers their own "dayenu" for the year. As in: It would have been enough if________, but also ______! Dayenu! Day-day-enu...etc...

For example:It would have been enough if I graduated high school this year, but I also got accepted to my top choice for college! Dayenu! (And everyone sings the chorus!)

This an be done at the Dayenu moment in the Seder or introduced earlier and then whenever someone is moved throughout the Seder to share their Dayenu moment, they can. Depends on the enthusiasm of the crowd. 

-- Exodus Story
Source : Rabbi Michael Lerner
When we talk about God we are talking about the spiritual energy of the universe which makes it possible to transcend the tendency of human beings to pass on to others the hurt and pain that has been done to us, the force that permeates every ounce of Being and unites all in one transcendent and imminent reality. God is the Force in the universe that makes possible the transformation from “that which is” to “that which can and ought to be” or, as God is quoted as saying in Torah, ehyeh asher ehyeh, which Rabbi Lerner translates as “the possibility of possibility.” In short, we understand God in part as the ultimate Unity of All with All, of whom we are always a part, even if we are not always conscious of the part of God we are, the part of God that everyone and everything is. 
-- Ten Plagues
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

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. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them to signify having a little less sweetness in our celebration. Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues:

BLOOD / dam
FROGS / tzfardeiya
LICE / kinim
BEASTS / arov
CATTLE DISEASE / dever
BOILS / sh’chin
HAIL / barad
LOCUSTS / arbeh
DARKNESS / choshech
DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN / makat b’chorot

Even though we are happy that the jews escaped slavery, let us once more take a drop of wine as we together recite the names of these modern plagues:

HUNGER
WAR
TERRORISM
GREED
BIGOTRY
INJUSTICE
POVERTY
IGNORANCE
POLLUTION OF THE EARTH
INDIFFERENCE TO SUFFERING

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

Let us all fill our cups with wine...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://www.myjewishlearning.com/rabbis-without-borders/what-does-dayenu-mean-today/#

Dayenu consists of 15 stanzas referencing different historical contexts the Israelites experienced, from slavery in Egypt to the building of the Temple in Israel. After each stanza, we sing the chorus, signifying that if this was the total of God’s miraculous intervention into the lives of the Israelites, it would have been sufficient.

One of the primary purposes of the Passover seder is to make us feel as if we personally experienced the exodus from Egypt and the redemption from slavery to freedom. This is no less true for the way we understand the Dayenu song. Dayenu provides a powerful contemporary hashkafah (outlook on life), a call to mindfulness about the way we currently lead our lives. We live in an era when capitalism is our state (and increasingly global) religion. Consumption is unfettered by any internal sense of restraint, from the amount of soda we can drink to how much money Wall Street executives can make. We live in a world where it is okay that the richest 85 people in the world have total wealth equal to that of the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet!

Dayenu reminds us that there is another way. Judaism offers an outlook on wealth, consumption, and sufficiency (sova) that is very counter-cultural. In Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers) 4:1, Ben Zoma teaches: “Who is rich? The one who is content with what one has.” Even more austere, the Talmud instructs: “An individual who can eat barley bread but eats wheat bread is guilty of transgressing the law of bal tashchit (unlawful waste). Rabbi Papa states: one who can drink beer but drinks wine instead is guilty of transgressing the law of bal tashchit.” (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 140b). Judaism is not, to be sure, an ascetic religion. We are encouraged to carve out occasions for excess, for enjoying the finer parts of living—on Shabbat, holidays, and other joyous occasions. But the wisdom of Judaism is that, if we want to experience delight on these special occasions, we also need moments of restraint. It is the juxtaposition of restraint and largess that creates a life of meaning.

Beyond the individual experience, we also are becoming increasingly aware of the global consequences of championing unbridled materialism over a sense of sufficiency. From income inequality to climate change, our refusal to entertain limits on what we do and how much we consume are wreaking destructive consequences. By returning to a sense of Dayenu, of thinking deeply about what is enough, we have the potential to change ourselves and our world. May we be blessed, on this Pesah and beyond, to replace the idolatry of consumption with an embrace of all that we have.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Earth Justice Seder
From COEJL’s “Preparing for Passover: Readings for the Seder Table” Stewart Vile Tahl, COEJL

One of Passover’s lessons is learned to distinguish between more and enough. Dayenu means “it would have been enough for us.” Often, enjoying more wealth and comfort stimulates our desire for more – more attention, more comforts, more money, more, and more, and more. Passover and the Haggadah teach us to be mindful of what our real needs are, of what constitutes “enough.”

What constitutes enough for you? What material objects or consumptive activities could you do without?

Make up your own verses to the Dayenu tune, stating what would be enough and what can be done without.

For example: If we had enough clothes for comfort and we didn’t have such full closets – Dayenu If we ate meat only on special occasions and we ate vegetarian most of the time – Dayenu If we biked or walked to our daily destinations and we didn’t own private automobiles – Dayenu If we purchased from bulk containers and we didn’t have disposable packaging – Dayenu If our stuff was built to last and we rarely threw anything away – Dayenu And your own verses...

The Second Cup: Climate Change Adaption

Our climate is changing at an accelerating rate. As global sea levels, temperatures, and the frequency of extreme weather events rise, our national and international community must join together to help the international community adapt. Adapting means recognizing that our disrupted climate has impacts on daily life for people around the world. Our second cup of wine is our second promise: We will provide the communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change with the information and resources necessary to adapt. Forests are natural buffers for climate change, so protecting forests are an important component of adaptation.

Together, we recite:

ָבּרוּךְ ַא ָתה יי, ֱאל ֵהינוּ ֶמ ֶלךְ ָהעו ָלם, בּו ֵרא ְפ ִרי ַה ֶג ֶפן.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

For more information on the environmental justice, please visit rac.org/enviro .  For all Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism resources, please visit rac.org/Passover .

-- 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.
-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
by HIAS
Source : HIAS Seder Supplement
I will deliver you...

Just as we remember all of the times throughout history when the nations of the world shut their doors on Jews fleeing violence and persecution in their homelands, so, too, do we remember with gratitude the bravery of those who took us in during our times of need the Ottoman Sultan who welcomed Spanish Jews escaping the Inquisition, Algerian Muslims who protected Jews during pogroms in the French Pied -Noir, and the righteous gentiles hiding Jews in their homes during World War II. In the midst of the current global refugee crisis, we aspire to stand on the right side of history as we ask our own government to take a leadership role in protecting the world’s most vulnerable refugees. May we find the bravery to open up our nation and our hearts to those who are in need. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, who delivers those in search of safety.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

SING

Loe Yisah Goy Loe Yisah goy el goy cherev loe yilmedu ode milchamah.

(Let every one neath her vine and fig tree live in peace and unafraid, and into ploughshares beat their swords, nations shall learn war no more.)

Down by the Riverside I’m going to lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside (x3) and study war no more. I ain’t going to study war no more. (x6)

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : www.funnyordie.com

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Love & Justice Haggadah

A cup to our teachers: To those we have known and those whose work has inspired us, and made space for our lives. We are graeful to you who did and said things for the first time, who claimed and reclaimed our traditions, who forged new tools. Thank you to the teacher around us of all ages -- the people we encounter everyday -- who live out their values in small and simple ways, and who are our most regular and loving reminders of the world we are creating together. 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : JWA / Jewish Boston - The Wandering Is Over Haggadah; Including Women's Voices

The Passover Symbols

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.

The Orange

Even after one has encountered the collection of seemingly unconnected foods on the seder plate year after year, it’s fun to ask what it’s all about. Since each item is supposed to spur discussion, it makes sense that adding something new has been one way to introduce contemporary issues to a seder.

So how was it that the orange found its place on the seder plate as a Passover symbol of feminism and women’s rights?

The most familiar version of the story features Susannah Heschel, daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel and scholar in her own right, giving a speech about the ordination of women clergy. From the audience, a man declared, “A woman belongs on the bima like an orange belongs on the seder plate!” However, Heschel herself tells a different story.

During a visit to Oberlin College in the early 1980s, she read a feminist Haggadah that called for placing a piece of bread on the seder plate as a symbol of the need to include gays and lesbians in Jewish life. Heschel liked the idea of putting something new on the seder plate to represent suppressed voices, but she was uncomfortable with using chametz, which she felt would invalidate the very ritual it was meant to enhance. She chose instead to add an orange and to interpret it as a symbol of all marginalized populations.

Miriam’s Cup

A decade later, the ritual of Miriam’s Cup emerged as another way to honor women during the seder. Miriam’s Cup builds upon the message of the orange, transforming the seder into an empowering and inclusive experience.

Although Miriam, a prophet and the sister of Moses, is never mentioned in the traditional Haggadah text, she is one of the central figures in the Exodus story.

According to Jewish feminist writer Tamara Cohen, the practice of filling a goblet with water to symbolize Miriam’s inclusion in the seder originated at a Rosh Chodesh group in Boston in 1989. The idea resonated with many people and quickly spread.

Miriam has long been associated with water. The rabbis attribute to Miriam the well that traveled with the Israelites throughout their wandering in the desert. In the Book of Numbers, the well dries up immediately following Miriam’s death. Of course, water played a role in Miriam’s life from the first time we meet her, watching over the infant Moses on the Nile, through her triumphant crossing of the Red Sea.

There is no agreed-upon ritual for incorporating Miriam’s Cup into the seder, but there are three moments in the seder that work particularly well with Miriam’s story.

1) As Moses’s sister, Miriam protected him as an infant and made sure he was safely received by Pharaoh’s daughter. Some seders highlight this moment by invoking her name at the start of the Maggid section when we begin telling the Passover story.

2) Other seders, such as this one, incorporate Miriam’s cup when we sing songs of praise during the Maggid and later during the Hallel as a reminder that Miriam led the Israelites in song and dance during the Exodus.

3) Still others place Miriam’s Cup alongside the cup we put out for Elijah.

Just as there is no set time in the seder to use Miriam’s Cup, there is no set ritual or liturgy either. Some fill the cup with water at the start of the seder; others fill the cup during the seder. Some sing Debbie Friedman’s “Miriam’s Song”; others sing “Miriam Ha-Neviah.” As with all seder symbols, Miriam’s Cup is most effective when it inspires discussion.

What does Miriam mean to you? How do all of her roles, as sister, protector, prophet, leader, singer, and dancer, contribute to our understanding of the Exodus story? Who are the Miriams of today?

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Abraham Joshua Heschel, Design by Haggadot.com

Rachtzah
Source : Velveteen Rabbi

Before eating, we wash our hands, thanking God for the commandment which impels us to mindfulness. What does washing our hands tell us? That we can become clean; that our bodies are sacred and deserving of care.

We wash our hands not to absolve ourselves of responsibility, but to affirm the need to make our hands holy. At this season of freedom and rebirth, we consecrate our hands to the task of building freedom for all who suffer.

בָרוּךְ אַתָה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶר קִדְשָנוּ בְמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדָיִם

Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al n'tilat yadayim.

Blessed are You, Source of all Being, who sanctifies us with Your commandments, and

commands us to wash our hands.

Rachtzah
Source : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Rabbis_of_Bene_Brak_-_Passover_Haggadah_(1740),_f.6v_-_BL_Add_MS_18724.jpg

The Rabbis of Bene Brak celebrating the Passover . 

Jacob ben Judah Leib of Berlin. 1740. Image taken from Passover Haggadah. Originally published/produced in Hamburg and Altona, 1740. (Via the British Library)

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Phil Neuman + Others

Time to eat matzah.  As each of you breaks off four pieces of matzah for your plate, ponder this:

Matzah is literally free of all additives, externalities and superficial good looks -- it is bread without the hot air. It represents the bare essentials.

Everything we pursue in life can be divided into necessities and luxuries. To the extent that a luxury becomes a necessity we lose an element of our freedom by being enslaved to a false need.

On Passover we can focus on the essence and leave the externalities behind.

Now, take one of the pieces of matzah 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 forth bread from the land.

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 commandments and commanded us concerning the eating of matzah.

Eat the piece of matzah.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Jewish Voice for Peace, 2009 Passover Insert

-By Rabbi Lynn Gottleib

Flat bread is a symbol for discarding oppression. What stories do we tell in response to historical fears that keep us bound to cycles of violence? Which ideas are chametz from another generation? What are the fundamental values from which peace can grow? What fear-based places must we liberate within ourselves so we can embrace a just peace?

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Martin Luther King, Jr.

We still have a long, long way to go before we reach the promised land of freedom. Yes, we have left the dusty soils of Egypt, and we have crossed a Red Sea that had for years been hardened by long and piercing winter of massive resistance, but before we reach the majestic shored of the promised land, there will still be gigantic mountains of opposition ahead and prodigious hilltops of injustice.

Let us be dissatisfied until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and the comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice.

Let us be dissatisfied until those who live on the outskirts of hope are brought into the metropolis of daily security.

Let us be dissatisfied until slums are cast into the junk heaps of history, and every family will live in a decent sanitary home.

Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality integrated education.

Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity.

Let us be dissatisfied until men and women...will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not on the basis of the color of their skin.

Let us be dissatisfied until from every city hall, justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Let us be dissatisfied until the day when nobody will shout, "White Power!" when nobody will shout, "Black Power!" but everybody will talk about God's power and human power.

Motzi-Matzah
Q: What do you call someone who  derives pleasure from the bread of  affliction?

A: A matzochist.

Maror

Take at least one ounce of the bitter herbs. Dip it in the charoset, then shake the latter off.

This bitter herb allows us to taste the bitterness of slavery. Today, most Jews use horseradish as maror. Originally, though, maror was probably a bitter lettuce, such as romaine, or a root, such as chicory. Like life in Egypt, these lettuces and roots taste sweet when one first bites into them, but then become bitter as one eats more. We dip maror into charoset in order to associate the bitterness of slavery with the work that caused so much of this bitterness.

Scholars inform us that bitter herbs were eaten at the Spring festival in ancient times. The sharpness of the taste awakened the senses and made the people feel at one with nature’s revival.Maror is the moment of quantity turning into quality, when the accumulated horrors of capitalism crystalize and the working class awakens to the need for a new reality, for socialism.

As we bite into the maror let the bitterness of our toil under capitalism transform into a toil for the liberation of the working class from the chains of capitalism.

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, A-sher ki-d’-sha-nu b’-mitz-vo-tav, v’-tzi-va-nu Al a-chilat ma-ror.

Blessed are you, Power of the universe, who makes us holy through your commandments, and commands us to eat Maror.

Sources

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Passover/The_Seder/Seder_Plate_and_Table.shtml

http://www.eszter.com/Haggadah.pdf

Maror
Source : Original

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset |  maror   |מָרוֹר   

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

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

ברוּךְ אַתָּה יְיַָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מרוֹר:

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

Koreich
Source : Original

In Talmud Pesachim, Rava teaches, "A person who swallows matzah without chewing fills the mitzvah, the commandment, to eat matzah. However, a person who swallows maror without chewing doesn't fulfill the mitzvah to eat maror."

Matzah is Biblical fast food. Matzah is flat because the Hebrews were in such a hurry to get out of Egypt, they didn't wait for their bread to rise. They rushed out, eating crackers, because they had to eat something. Matzah is optimistic, portable, light and undemanding.

Rashbam says that the mitzvah of eating matzah isn't connected to taste. It's connected to story. The Seder ends with a literal countdown, numbering the days until Shavuot, the holiday when the Hebrews get the Torah. Matzah is the food of the future. We eat matzah on Passover to remind us that we're on our way.

Charoset and Maror are the tastes of the past. Charoset is a sweet memory. Maror is a bitter encounter made fresh. Charoset is the sweetness of family, Maror the bitterness of Holocaust. These are our roots as individual people and as a People. Maror wants attention, and loves to get a reaction. Charoset is sweet, and also thick and heavy. Charoset is said to be the material the Hebrews used to make bricks. Sweetness between people and bricks are made of the same material. The presence of both forms a foundation.

The Hillel sandwich is the three of these together. Matzah, Maror and Charoset. Together, they are the present.

Koreich
Source : Pete Seeger

Song: If I Had A Hammer 

    by Pete Seeger

If I had a hammer,

I'd hammer in the morning

I'd hammer in the evening,

All over this land 

I'd hammer out danger,

I'd hammer out a warning,

I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,

All over this land. 

If I had a bell,

I'd ring it in the morning,

I'd ring it in the evening,

All over this land 

I'd ring out danger,

I'd ring out a warning

I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters,

All over this land. 

If I had a song,

I'd sing it in the morning,

I'd sing it in the evening,

All over this land 

I'd sing out danger,

I'd sing out a warning

I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters,

All over this land. 

Well I got a hammer,

And I got a bell,

And I got a song to sing, all over this land

It's the hammer of Justice,

It's the bell of Freedom,

It's the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,

All over this land.

It's the hammer of Justice,

It's the bell of Freedom,

It's the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,

All over this land.

Koreich
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Koreich
Source : Rabbi Andrea Steinberger

Korech:  Mixing the Bitter and the Sweet

One of my favorite moments of the seder comes just before dinner is served.  It is called Korech.  It is also known as the Hillel sandwich.  It is the moment when we eat maror (the bitter herbs) and the charoset (the sweet apple and nut mixture) on a piece of matzah.  What a strange custom to eat something so bitter and something so sweet all in one bite.  I can taste it now, just thinking about it, and the anticipation is almost too much to bear.  I dread it, and I long for it all at the same time.  Why do we do such a thing?  We do it to tell our story.

The Jewish people tells our story through our observance of Jewish holidays throughout the year.  The holidays of Passover, Chanukah and Purim remind us just how close the Jewish people has come to utter destruction and how we now celebrate our strength and our survival with great joy, remembering God’s help and our persistence, and our own determination to survive. 

We also tell the story throughout our lifetime of Jewish rituals.  The breaking of a glass at a Jewish wedding reminds us that even in times of life’s greatest joys we remember the sadness of the destruction of the Temple.  When we build a home, some Jews leave a part unfinished to remember that even when building something new, we sense the times of tragedy in the Jewish people.  And on Passover we mix the sweet charoset with the bitter maror, mixing bitter and sweet of slavery and freedom all in one bite.

Throughout each year and throughout our lifetimes, we challenge ourselves to remember that even in times of strength, it is better to sense our vulnerability, rather than bask in our success.  We all have memories of times in which bitter and sweet were mixed in our lives, all in the same bite.  Judaism says, sometimes life is like that.  We can celebrate and mourn all at the same time.  And somehow, everything will be ok.  What is your korech moment?

 

Koreich
Source : http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-V4j-TOhrf2s/Ti7-O2z5tAI/AAAAAAAAPq4/qjOkAE1fIC0/s1600/food+fight.png

Shulchan Oreich
Source : T'ruah's Refugee Seder

How is this night different from all other nights? Tonight we come together, as members of different communities, to learn from each other, to bring attention to the plight of asylum seekers in Israel, and to strengthen our resolve to advocate for their rights. Tonight’s Four Questions are a starting point for small group conversation.

1. What is your family’s exodus story?

2. How does your exodus story shape your worldview? Your sense of responsibility for the Other?

3. How would you describe your relationship with Israel?

4. What does justice look like for you?

Tzafun
Source : T'ruah's Refugee Seder

Just as we search for the afikoman, we seek out the injustice in our societies, the hidden as well as the revealed, and organize to transform these dark places into ones filled with light. We seek within ourselves for the places where we are complicit in injustice and pledge to do better. And we search out the places where we are hurt or angry and wash these away, so we may proceed with calm and renewed determination.

We say the blessing and drink the cup of conversation.

Blessed is the creator of the fruit of the vine.

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

Finding and Eating the Afikoman

In hiding and seeking the afikoman, we reunite the two parts separated at the beginning of the seder. At this moment, we have the opportunity to discover lost parts of ourselves, to become reconciled with relatives who have become distant and to find wholeness in aspects of Judaism which may not have been part of our lives. Finding that which is hidden is a powerful message when we feel loss and lost. Within our loss, we find ways of healing the broken part of our lives.

Bareich
Source : http://triganza.blogspot.com/

רַבּוֹתַי נְבָרֵךְ

All who sit around these tables,

Friends and strangers,

In peaceful conversation

And pleasant disagreement,

Those who remember and those who are remembered,

On this Pesakh,

We have shared this fine meal

And such a fine story,

We take this moment to acknowledge

That we are blessed

And, in our turn,

We bless.

בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּבָרוּך שְׁמוֹ

Blessed be the Creator and the created,

Blessed be the sustainers and the sustained.

Blessed be the eaters and the eaten,

Blessed be the feeders and the fed.

Blessed be the cooks and the meal,

Blessed be the drinkers and the water.

Blessed be the farmers and the produce,

Blessed be the baker and the bread.

Blessed be them all.

Blessed be the questioners and the questioned,

Blessed be the musicians and the songs.

Blessed the comics and the jokes,

Blessed be the artists and the illustrations.

Blessed be the maggid and the stories,

Blessed be the rabbis and the learning.

Blessed be them all.

Blessed be the doers and the done upon,

Blessed be the freers and the freed.

Blessed be the leaders and the led,

Blessed be the tellers and the told.

Blessed be the prayers and the prayed for,

Blessed be the servers and the served.

Blessed be them alll.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי הַזָּן אֶת הַכּל

נוֹדֶהלְּךָ יי אֱלהֵינוּ

Blessing us,One-ness,

We do not lack the biggest and the smallest of blessings:

Blessing us, One-ness,

With a history, ancient and current, that is never boring.

We give thanks

וְעַלהַכּל יי אֱלהֵינוּ אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים לָךְ וּמְבָרְכִים אוֹתָךְ

Blessing us, One-ness,

With boundless Mercy

For all people,

All made in your image.

Those who remember and those who are remembered.

רַחֶםנָא יי אֱלהֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ

Blessed One-ness

Making peace

Sustaining wholeness

For each other

And all the world

On this Pesakh

We give thanks.

וְאִמְרוּ

אָמֵן

Bareich
Source : Adapted from Love and Justice in Times of War Haggadah

A Cup for Hope— Tonight, we hold fast to the belief that people and ouractions can change the world. We hold close the stories of resistance, fromTehran to Santa Rosa, from Philadelphia to Nablus, people and communities arebuilding and changing and creating as acts of resistance. Please share something that gives you hopenow, to remind us of the promise of theworld we are a part of creating together.

All say the Blessing over the Wine: (Ashkenazi pronunciation, masc.) Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu Melech ha’olam boreh p’ri ha-gafen.

(Ashkenazi pronunciation, fem.) Brucha Yah Shechinah, eloheinu Malkat ha’olam, borayt p’ri hagafen.

Blessed is the Source that fills all creation and brings forth the fruit of the vine.

Bareich
by HIAS
Source : HIAS Seder Supplement

Gathered around the Seder table, we pour four cups, remembering the gift of freedom that our ancestors received centuries ago. We delight in our liberation from Pharaoh’s oppression.

We drink four cups for four promises fulfilled.

The first cup as God said, “I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians.”

The second as God said, “And I will deliver you from their bondage.”

The third as God said, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”

The fourth because God said, “I will take you to be My People.”

We know, though, that all are not yet free. As we welcome Elijah the Prophet into our homes, we offer a fifth cup, a cup not yet consumed.

A fifth cup for the 60 million refugees and displaced people around the world still waiting to be freefrom the refugee camps in Chad to the cities and towns of Ukraine, for the Syrian refugees still waiting to be delivered from the hands of tyrants, for the thousands of asylum seekers in the United States still waiting in detention for redemption to come, for all those who yearn to be taken in not as strangers but as fellow human beings.

This Passover, let us walk in the footsteps of the One who delivered us from bondage. When we rise from our Seder tables, may we be emboldened to take action on behalf of the world’s refugees, hastening Elijah’s arrival as we speak out on behalf of those who are not yet free. 

Bareich

Eliyahu

We open the door and invite Eliyahu and Miriam into our homes. To show how truly free we are, we send our youngest to open the door.

Elijah the prophet - may we create a world where everyone experiences redemption and freedom, growth and possibility. Let all who are hungry be fed, let all who are bereaved be comforted, let all who suffer find release.

Eliyahu Hanavi, Eliyahu Hatishbi,
Eliyahu Eliyahu EliyahuHagiladi,
Bimherah beyamenu Yavo Elenu
Im Mashiach Ben David.

Elijah the Prophet, Elijahthe Tishbite,
Elijah the Giladite,

 

Bareich
Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfWay4hh5HY
This song was written to be part of Fiddler on the Roof, but was cut from the show before it made its Broadway debut for being too slow, and comic at a moment in the show when the people of Anatevka are experiencing tragedy. It imagines a world in which the Messiah is coming, but lost, and worried about us.

Words and music by Sheldon Harnick

When Messiah comes he will say to us, “I apologize that I took so long.” “But I had a little trouble finding you, over here a few, over there a few….. You were hard to re-unite But, everything is going to be alright.”

Up in heaven there how I wrung my hands when they exiled you from the Promised Land. Into Babylon you went like cast aways, On the first of many, many moving days What a day…. and what a blow! How terrible I felt you’ll never know.

Since that day Many men said to us, “get thee out,” Kings they were, gone they are, We’re still here…….

When Messiah comes he will say to us, “Don’t you think I know what a time you had? Now I’m here, you’ll see how quickly things improve. And you won’t have to move unless you want to move. You shall never more take flight, Yes! Everything is going to be alright!”

When Messiah comes, he will say to us, “I was worried sick if you’d last or not, And I spoke to God and said, 'Would that be fair, If Messiah came and there was no one there?' And the Lord replied to me, 'Wait! Everything will be alright you’ll see!'"

Many times, many men, took our homes, Took our lives, Kings they were, gone they are. We’re still here!

When Messiah comes and his reign begins Truth and justice then shall appear on Earth. But if this reward we would be worthy of We must keep our covenant with God above. So be patient and devout…. and Gather up your things and get thee out!

Learn more: http://www.masterworksbroadway.com/blog/a-tale-of-two-fiddler-songs/

Watch a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfWay4hh5HY

Bareich
Source : John Lennon

"Imagine"
 

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

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

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

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

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

Hallel
Source : http://www.lyricstime.com/shalom-jerusalem-hinei-ma-tov-behold-how-good-lyrics.html
It is traditional at this point in the seder, to sing songs of praise. This is one of my favorites for this event.

Hinei ma tov umanaim

Shevet achim gam yachad

Hinei ma tov umanaim

Shevet achim gam yachad

Behold how good and

How pleasant it is

For brothers to dwell together

Hallel
Source : http://www.zemirotdatabase.org/view_song.php?id=126

אַדִיר בִּמְלוּכָה, בָּחוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, גְּדוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

דָּגוּל בִּמְלוּכָה, הָדוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, וָתִיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

זַכַּאי בִּמְלוּכָה, חָסִין כַּהֲלָכָה טַפְסְרָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

יָחִיד בִּמְלוּכָה, כַּבִּיר כַּהֲלָכָה לִמוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

מוֹשֵׁל בִּמְלוּכָה, נוֹרָא כַּהֲלָכָה סְבִיבָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

עָנָיו בִּמְלוּכָה, פּוֹדֶה כַּהֲלָכָה, צַדִּיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

קָּדוֹשׁ בִּמְלוּכָה, רַחוּם כַּהֲלָכָה שִׁנְאַנָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

תַּקִיף בִּמְלוּכָה, תּוֹמֵךְ כַּהֲלָכָה תְּמִימָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Translation: Because it is proper for Him, because it befits Him. Mighty in sovereignty, rightly select. His minions say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Exalted in sovereignty, rightly glorious. His faithful ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Blameless in sovereignty, rightly powerful. His generals say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Singular in sovereignty, rightly strong. His learned ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Exalted in sovereignty, rightly awesome. Those who surround Him say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Humble in sovereignty, rightly saving. His righteous ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Holy in sovereignty, rightly merciful. His multitudes say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Strong in sovereignty, rightly supportive. His perfect ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” 

Hallel

הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.

יֹאמַר נָא יִשְׂרָאֵל, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.

יֹאמְרוּ נָא בֵית אַהֲרֹן, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.

יֹאמְרוּ נָא יִרְאֵי יי, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.

Hodu l'Adonai ki tov, ki l'olam chasdo.

Yomar na yisra-eil, ki l'olam chasdo.

Yomru na veit aharon, ki l'olam chasdo.

Yomru na yirei Adonai, ki l'olam chasdo.

Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; His kindness endures forever.
Let Israel declare, His kindness endures forever.’
Let the house of Aaron declare His kindness endures forever’. 
Let those who fear the Lord say ‘His kindness endures forever.’

Hallel

Hallel is a collection of psalms thanking God for redeeming us from Egypt, and asking God to continue to save and help us. At our seder we have talked about injustice and pain in the world, and how we might be redeemed, but we also want to be thankful for the progress we have already seen.

Go around the table and ask each person to name one hard thing that happened—in the world, or to them personally, or both—in the past year that they are thankful for, and why. Hallel also notes the beauty of nature, so go around a second time and have each person tell the group something from nature that they are grateful for.

Examples of hard things to be grateful for:

An ugly presidential campaign is making me grateful to see so many people coming out against racism and misogyny

Global warming is making me notice and appreciate the natural world around me more, and work harder to lower my carbon footprint

Dysfunctional bureaucracy is making me grateful that I can exercise my right to vote, and help bring new people into office

Hallel
Source : Pete Seeger, http://youtu.be/RJUkOLGLgwg
https://www.youtube.com/embed/RJUkOLGLgwg

Hallel
Source : Peter, Paul and Mary

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

Sister help to trim the sails, Hallelujah
Sister help to trim the sails, Hallelujah

Jordan's river is deep and wide, Hallelujah
And I've got a home on the other side, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

Michael's boat is a music boat, Hallelujah
Michael's boat is a music boat, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

The trumpets sound the jubilee, Hallelujah
The trumpets sound for you and me, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah
Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah



Read more: Peter, Paul & Mary - Michael Row The Boat Ashore Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Hallel
Source : Abraham Joshua Heschel Quote, Design by Haggadot.com

Hallel
Source : Abraham Joshua Heschel Quote, Design by Haggadot.com

Nirtzah
Source : Franny Silverman, for the Sh'ma Haggadah supplement
At the end of the seder, it is traditional to say or sing " Next Year in Jerusalem". We sometimes think of this as a literal wish, though far fewer of us have actually found ourselves in Jerusalem for seder the following year -- congratulations if you have!

But Jerusalem is more than a place, it is a feeling, it is a hope.  At this point in the seder, 1/2 or 1/4 sheets of paper should be passed around to each participant, along with an envelope and writing utensil.  Folks are invited to write a brief note to their future selves inspired by "next year in Jerusalem." As metaphor: what is our own personal Jerusalem where we hope to see ourselves a year from now? 

Everyone seals and addresses their envelope to themselves, and the seder leader, or whoever is leading this exercise takes responsibility for keeping the notes all year and mailing them the following Pesach season.

This exercise can be done formally when everyone sits down to dessert or it can be introduced when the break for the meal happens and people can elect to write the notes at their leisure. 

I often have a basket out for people to drop their notes in.

Nirtzah
Source : Schachter Family Haggadah

People of all faiths need to shape a political and social movement that reaffirms the most generous, peace-oriented, social justice-committed, and loving truths of the spiritual heritage of the human race.  It is only this resurrection of hope that can save us from a new wave of global hatred--Rabbi Michael Lerner

The traditional closing words of the Seder are, “To the coming year in Jerusalem.”  Today, Jerusalem is a focal point for colossal change, but it continues to witness horrific injustice.  Next year, may Jerusalem be a model of peace for all its residents.  And if we cannot experience this just and kind peace, let us work toward realizing it.

Nirtzah
Source : A Growing Haggdah

The tasks ahead?

Once again we have recited the age-old epic of our liberation from slavery.

We have tasted the new growth of a world released from winter

We have celebrated advances our, and other peoples of the world, have made toward freedom from oppression.

We have focused our attention on how each one of us can become strengthened to feel,

think and act so as to take an active role in our own lives.

Each year we repeat the same phrase and seem to return to the same place from where we began.

We began our Seder by asking

Who are you? Where are you coming from? Where are you going?

To which we answered:

I am Israel. I am one who struggles with God. I am coming from Mitzra’yim, from a narrow tightness to openness.

I am going to Jerusalem. There are at least two “Jerusalems.” For thousands of years we have imagined both a Jerusalem of stone and one of the spirit. If, on reflection, we can state that we have—each of us, in our own individual way—made some progress to draw together the various strands of our lives, then, perhaps “Israel,” “Egypt,” and “Jerusalem” represent something different to us now. There may be a glimmer of a change in our lives as we transition from one metaphorical Egypt to, perhaps, a different metaphorical Jerusalem. If so, we can conclude, stating that we have conducted our Seder with the appropriate intention. Therefore, as we have celebrated this festival tonight, so may we celebrate it, all of us together, next year again—in joy, in a world which we have helped to bring closer to the Messianic era. We begin by celebrating our current freedom with song!

Commentary / Readings
Source : Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
The world was awakened and shattered by the images of a little boy whose body lay lifeless amidst the gentle surf of a Turkish beach this past summer. Another nameless victim amongst thousands in the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the greatest refugee crisis since WWII. But this little boy, like every little boy ,had a name. His name was Aylan Kurdi (age 3), he drowned along with his older brother, Galip (age 5), and their mother, Rihan, on their own exodus to freedom’s distant shore.

Aylan and Galip’s father, Abdullah, survived the harrowing journey – though how does a parent survive the death of their children? In teaching the world about his sons, he shared that they both loved bananas, a luxury in their native war-torn Syria. Every day after work, Abdullah, like mothers and fathers everywhere, would bring home a banana for his sons to share, a sweet little treat, a sign of his enduring love for them.

Tonight we place a banana on our seder table and tell this story to remind us of Aylan, Galip and children everywhere who are caught up in this modern day exodus. May they be guarded and protected along their journey to safety, shielded by the love of their parents, watched over by God full of mercy and compassion.

Rabbi Dan Moskovitz, Temple Sholom Vancouver, British Columbia

For more information on the refugee crisis, please visit rac.org/refugees. For all Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism resources, please visit rac.org/Passover.

Songs

Chad gadya chad gadya
Dizvan aba bitrey zuzey, chad gadya chad gadya.

Va'ata shunra ve'ahal legadya,
dizvan aba bitrey zuzey, chad gadya chad gadya

Va'ata halba venashah leshunra, de'ahal legadya, dizvan aba
bitrey zuzey, chad gadya chad gadya.

Va'ata hutra vehikah lehalba, denashah leshunra, de'ahal
legadya, dizvan aba bitrey zuzey, chad gadya chad gadya.

Va'ata nura vesaraf lehutra, dehikah lehalba, denashah
leshunra, de'ahal legadya, dizvan aba bitrey zuzey, chad gadya
chad gadya

Va'ata maya vehavah lenura, desaraf lehutra, dehikah lehalba,
denashah leshunra, de'ahal legadya, dizvan aba bitrey zuzey,
chad gadya chad gadya

Va'ata tora veshatah lemaya, dehavah lenura, desaraf lehutra,
dehikah lehalba, denashah leshunra, de'ahal legadya, dizvan
aba bitrey zuzey, chad gadya chad gadya

Va'ata hashohet veshahat letora, deshatah lemaya, dehavah
lenura, desaraf lehutra, dehikah lehalba, denashah leshunra, 
de'ahal legadya, dizvan aba bitrey zuzey, chad gadya chad
gadya

Va'ata malah hamavet veshahat leshohet, deshahat letora,
deshatah lemaya, dehavah lenura, desaraf lehutra, dehikah
lehalba, denashah leshunra, de'ahal legadya, dizvan aba bitrey
zuzey, chad gadya chad gadya.

Va'ata hakadosh baruh hu veshahat lemalah hamavet, 
deshahat leshohet, deshahat letora, deshatah lemaya, dehavah
lenura, desaraf lehutra, dehikah lehalba, denashah leshunra, 
de'ahal legadya, dizvan aba bitrey zuzey, chad gadya chad
gadya.
Chad gadya chad gadya

An only kid, an only kid
My father bought for two zuzim, an only kid and only kid. 

There came a cat and ate the kid my father bought for two
zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya. 

Then came a dog and bit the cat that ate the kid my father
bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came a stick and beat the dog that bit the cat that ate
the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad
gadya.

Then came a fire and burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit
the cat that ate the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad
gadya, chad gadya.

Then came water and quenched the fire that burnt the stick
that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the kid my father
bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came an ox and drank the water that quenched the fire
that burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate
the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad
gadya
.

Then came a slaughterer and killed the ox that drank the
water that quenched the fire that burnt the stick that beat the
dog that bit the cat that ate the kid my father bought for two
zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the angel of death who killed the shohet who
killed the ox that drank the water that quenched the fire that
burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the
kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the Holy One and killed the angel of death who
killed the shohet who killed the ox that drank the water that
quenched the fire that burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit
the cat that ate the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad
gadya, chad gadya.
An only kid, an only kid

My father bought for two zuzim, an only kid and only kid. 

There came a cat and ate the kid my father bought for two
zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya. 

Then came a dog and bit the cat that ate the kid my father
bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came a stick and beat the dog that bit the cat that ate
the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad
gadya.

Then came a fire and burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit
the cat that ate the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad
gadya, chad gadya.

Then came water and quenched the fire that burnt the stick
that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the kid my father
bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came an ox and drank the water that quenched the fire
that burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate
the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad
gadya
.

Then came a slaughterer and killed the ox that drank the
water that quenched the fire that burnt the stick that beat the
dog that bit the cat that ate the kid my father bought for two
zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the angel of death who killed the shohet who
killed the ox that drank the water that quenched the fire that
burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the
kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Then came the Holy One and killed the angel of death who
killed the shohet who killed the ox that drank the water that
quenched the fire that burnt the stick that beat the dog that bit
the cat that ate the kid my father bought for two zuzim.  Chad
gadya, chad gadya.

Songs

"Jerusalem"
By Steve Earle

I woke up this mornin' and none of the news was good
And death machines were rumblin' 'cross the ground where Jesus stood
And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way
And there was nothin' anyone could do or say

And I almost listened to him
Yeah, I almost lost my mind
Then I regained my senses again
And looked into my heart to find

That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

Well maybe I'm only dreamin' and maybe I'm just a fool
But I don't remember learnin' how to hate in Sunday school
But somewhere along the way I strayed and I never looked back again
But I still find some comfort now and then

Then the storm comes rumblin' in
And I can't lay me down
And the drums are drummin' again
And I can't stand the sound

But I believe there'll come a day when the lion and the lamb
Will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem

And there'll be no barricades then
There'll be no wire or walls
And we can wash all this blood from our hands
And all this hatred from our souls

And I believe that on that day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem