According to the Jewish law we are obligated to wash our hands before we partake in the Karpas or dipping the vegetables in salt water. We do not say a blessing at this point in the service while washing our hands.
Urchatz ― "Why do we wash our hands at this point in this Seder?" the Rabbis asks. "Because it is an unusual activity which prompts the children to ask questions." The very name Haggadah means "telling," for the goal of the Seder is to arouse curious questions, and provide satisfying answers.
Eric’s tradition- instead of getting up and washing hands one person comes around with a bowl and water to wash hands
What does washing of the hands symbolize?
Yachatz is the breaking of the matzah. It is the fourth step of the seder. Three pieces of matzah are taken out of a white bag and the middle one is broken. The bigger one is hidden somewhere in the room. You will be looking for it later in the seder. It is called the afikomen. The smaller piece is kept in the matzah bag. It is the "poor man's bread" and symbolizes the little amount of food the poor have.
Why are there three matzahs?
Every son poses a different question about the Passover festival and each of the four sons is a different type of a Jewish person, depending upon the question asked by the son about the festival of Passover. The four sons are the wise, wicked, simple and the one who does not know how to ask.
The wise son is a genuine individual with intellectual curiosity, is not at all rebellious but is religious. He puts forward the question 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, statutes and laws which the Lord has commanded us?'
The wicked son is intentionally vague and haughtily puts up the question 'What does this service mean to you?' By doing so, the wicked son makes an attempt to separate himself from the Jewish community and gets his values from his family.
The simple son is unsophisticated and indolent to educate himself about Judaism. He plainly puts forward the question 'What is this?' He is not intellectual, but has a kind and generous heart and knows about Judaism from experience
Finally, the fourth son is the one who does not know how to ask and is least bothered about Judaism; he does not want to learn and does not listen.
Who could each son represent in today's world?
The ten plagues were sent by God to the Egyptians to help convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free.
1. Blood, 2. frogs, 3.lice, 4. wild animals, 5. cattle plagues, 6. boils, 7. hail, 8. locusts, 9. darkness, 10. death of the first born
A custom is to dip your finger in wine or grape juice and make dots for each one of the 10 plagues.
Why do you think these plagues chosen out of all the punishments possible?
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam
asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu al n'tilat yadayim.
According to Jewish law we wash our hands before eating bread. The blessing above is said before eveytime we eat bread. Back in ancient times they would do this also so we follow this as our ancestors did and also it was a law to be pure.
Does it make sense to wash our hands before everytime we eat bread?
|Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, Ha-motzi le-chem min ha-a-retz.||Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings bread from out of the earth.|
|Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, A-sher ki-d’-sha-nu b’-mitz-vo-tav, v’-tzi-va-nu Al a-chilat ma-tzah.||Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy through Your commandments, and commands us to eat Matzah.|
At the point of Motzi Matzah one should have three Matzot on the Seder plate. The top Matzah and the bottom Matzah is full, and the middle Matzah is the Matzah that was broken for the procedure of Yachatz larger piece of the broken Matzah is off the table hidden away to be used later for the Afikoman, and the smaller piece is in between the two full pieces.
It is a positive commandment to eat matzah on the Seder night. To fulfill one's obligation, one must eat a correct measure described as the size of an olive.
What is matzah maid out of? And why do we make it out of it?
Maror comes from the hebrew word for bitter. The maror symbolizes the bitterness of slavery in Egypt. Only certain vegitables are to be used to make maror such as: horseradish and romaine lettuce (the most common vegitables used). The blessing for the maror is
ברוך אתה ה אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וציוונו על אכילת מרור
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.
Some traditions include putting the maror on lettuce and making a sandwich or dipping the maror in charoset.
Question: Why do we have Maror in the seder?
Break off two pieces from the bottom matzah.
We do the Korech step so we can fulfill our obligation of Matzah and Marror according to all sides in a dispute regarding the performance of the Mitzvot at the time when we had the Holy Temple
Take the bitter herb and place it in between those two pieces.
Dip the bitter herb in the charoset.
Say the words: “This is what Hillel did, at the time that the Temple stood. He wrapped up some Pesach lamb, some matzah and some bitter herbs and ate them together.”
Alex: My family eats the matzah with the charoset as a sandwich. I don’t think it’s that good so I only have a small bite.
Hannah: I think the sandwhich has a spicy and bitter taste and should be consumed in small quantities.
Do you know why we do the korech step on Passover?
It’s traditional to begin the actual Seder meal with each person eating a hardboiled egg. A hard-boiled egg, symbolizing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and was then eaten as part of the meal on Seder night. The egg is a sign of mourning. On every festive occasion, we remember to mourn for the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem.
We are now ready to consume this passover lunch! at this time please put down the haggdahs, recline, and enjoy our festive meal.
In your opinion,what does the hard-boiled egg symbolize?
Tzafun is the part of the Seder when we eat the Afikomen. After we finish eating our meals, the head of the Seder takes the half piece of matzah that was put away after Yachatz, takes a piece, and splits the rest up into pieces for the other people at the table. We should eat the Afikomen comfortably while we’ve eaten enough but still have room for dessert. We eat the Afikomen in memory of the Pesach sacrifice which was served at the end of the meal. Tzafun is like the dessert of the seder.
The word "Tzafun" literally means "Hidden." During this part of the seder we bring the Afikomen out of hiding.
Question: Why do we sometimes get a prize for finding the Afikomen?
Barech is the part of the Seder when we give thanks for the food we’ve just eaten. First we say grace over our meals, which is known as “Birkat Hamazon.” After this, we bless the third cup of wine. Finally, we sing “Eliyahu HaNavi” and welcome the prophet Elijah into our Seder with the Cup of Elijah.
The word "Barech" means "Bless," because during this part of the seder we thank God for the food we've just eaten and for allowing us to have our seder.
Question: Why do we let the prophet Elijah into our house?