Preview is being generated. Please wait .....
Introduction
Source : about.com

At the end of the biblical book of Genesis, Joseph brings his family to Egypt. Over the following centuries, the descendants of Joseph's family (the Hebrews) become so numerous that when a new king comes to power he fears what might happen if the Hebrews decide to rise against the Egyptians. He decides that the best way to avoid this situation is to enslave them (Exodus 1). According to tradition, these enslaved Hebrews are the ancestors of modern day Jews.

Despite pharaoh's attempt to subdue the Hebrews they continue to have many children. As their numbers grow, pharaoh comes up with another plan: he will send soldiers to kill all newborn male babies who were born to Hebrew mothers. This is where the story of Moses begins.

In order to save Moses from the grisly fate pharaoh has decreed, his mother and sister put him in a basket and set it afloat on the river. Their hope is that the basket will float to safety and whomever finds the baby will adopt him as their own.

His sister, Miriam, follows along as the basket floats away. Eventually it is discovered by none other than pharaoh's daughter. She saves Moses and raises him as her own, so that a Hebrew child is raised as a prince of Egypt.

When Moses grows up he kills an Egyptian guard when he sees him beating a Hebrew slave. Then Moses flees for his life, heading into the desert. In the desert he joins the family of Jethro, a Midian priest, by marrying Jethro's daughter and having children with her. He becomes a shepherd for Jethro's flock and one day, while out tending the sheep, Moses meets God in the wilderness. The voice of God calls out to him from a burning bush and Moses answers: "Hineini!" ("Here I am!" in Hebrew.)

God tells Moses that he has been chosen to free the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Moses is not sure he can carry out this command. But God reassures Moses that he will have help in the form of God's aide and his brother, Aaron.

The Ten Plagues

Soon afterward, Moses returns to Egypt and demands that pharaoh release the Hebrews from bondage. Pharaoh refuses and as a result God sends ten plagues upon Egypt:

1. Blood - The waters of Egypt are turned to blood. All the fish die and water becomes unusable.
2. Frogs - Hordes of frogs swarm the land of Egypt.
3. Gnats or Lice - Masses of gnats or lice invade Egyptian homes and plague the Egyptian people.
4. Wild Animals - Wild animals invade Egyptian homes and lands, causing destruction and wrecking havoc.
5. Pestilence - Egyptian livestock is struck down with disease.
6. Boils - The Egyptian people are plagued by painful boils that cover their bodies.
7. Hail - Severe weather destroys Egyptian crops and beats down upon them.
8. Locusts - Locusts swarm Egypt and eat any remaining crops and food.
9. Darkness - Darkness covers the land of Egypt for three days.
10. Death of the Firstborn - The firstborn of every Egyptian family is killed. Even the firstborn of Egyptian animals die.

The tenth plague is where the Jewish holiday of Passover derives its name, because while the Angel of Death visited Egypt it "passed over" Hebrew homes, which had been marked with lambs blood on the doorposts.

The Exodus

After the tenth plague pharaoh relents and releases the Hebrews. The quickly bake their bread, not even pausing for the dough to rise, which is why Jews eat matzah (unleavened bread) during Passover.

Soon after they leave their homes pharaoh changes his mind and sends soldiers after the Hebrews, but when the former slaves reach the Sea of Reeds the waters part so that they can escape. When the soldiers try to follow them, the waters crash down upon them. According to Jewish legend, when the angels began rejoicing as the Hebrews escaped and the soldiers drowned God reprimanded them, saying: "My creatures are drowning, and you're singing songs!" This midrash (rabbinic story) teaches us that we should not rejoice in the sufferings of our enemies. (Telushkin, Joseph. "Jewish Literacy." pgs 35-36).

Once they have crossed the water, the Hebrews begin the next part of their journey as they search for the Promised Land. The story of Passover recounts how the Hebrews gained their freedom and became the ancestors of the Jewish people.

This book is a Haggadah, which means “telling.” Tonight we will be having a seder, which means, “order”.Through this traditionally ordered ritual, we will retell the story of the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt, eat special foods that symbolize Pesach's many messages, and teach each other the traditions of Pesach, first celebrated more than 3,000 years ago.

An ancient rabbinic text instructs us, “Each person in every generation must regard himself or herself as having been personally freed from Egypt” for the seder to be successful.

Tonight’s Seder is not just the retelling of an ancient story.  Rather, we are asked to actually experience and acknowledge the bitterness of oppression and the sweetness of freedom so we may better understand the hope and courage of all men and women, of all generations, in their quest for liberty, security, and human rights. 

Introduction
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Introduction

CANDLE LIGHTING

בָרוְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלהֵינו מֶלְֶ הָעולָם, אֲשֶׁר קדּשָנו בְמִצְותָיו וְצִוָּנו לְהַדלִיק נֵר שֶל (שַבָת וְשֶל) יֹום טוב.

BA-RUCH A-TA A-DO-NAI E-LO-HAY-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM A-SHER KI-DE-SHA-NU BE-MITZ-VO-TAV V’TZI-VA-NU L’HAD-LIK NER SHEL (SHABBAT V’SHEL) YOM TOV.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe who makes us holy with commandments and commands us to light the (Shabbat and) festival lights.

First night add:

בָרוְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלהֵינו מֶלְֶ הָעולָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנו וְקיְּמָנו וְהִגִיעָנו לַזְמַן הַזֶה.

BA-RUCH A-TA A-DO-NAI E-LO-HAY-NU ME-LECH HA-O-LAM SHE-HE-CHE-YA-NU V’KI-YE-MA-NU V’HIG-I-YA-NU LAZ-MAN HA-ZEH.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to celebrate this joyous occasion.

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

All Jewish celebrations, from holidays to weddings, include wine as a symbol of our joy – not to mention a practical way to increase that joy. The seder starts with wine and then gives us three more opportunities to refill our cup and drink.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who chose us from all peoples and languages, and sanctified us with commandments, and lovingly gave to us special times for happiness, holidays and this time of celebrating the Holiday of Matzah, the time of liberation, reading our sacred stories, and remembering the Exodus from Egypt. For you chose us and sanctified us among all peoples. And you have given us joyful holidays. We praise God, who sanctifies the people of Israel and the holidays.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
 שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam,
she-hechiyanu v’key’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything,
who has kept us alive, raised us up, and brought us to this happy moment.

Drink the first glass of wine!

Kadesh
Source : http://velveteenrabbi.com/VRHaggadah.pdf
Tonight we drink four cups of wine. Why four? Some say the cups represent our matriarchs—Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah—whose virtue caused God to liberate us from slavery. Another interpretation is that the cups represent the Four Worlds: physicality, emotions, thought, and essence. Still a third interpretation is that the cups represent the four promises of liberation God makes in the Torah: I will bring you out, I will deliver you, I will redeem you, I will take you to be my people (Exodus 6:6-7.) The four promises, in turn, have been interpreted as four stages on the path of liberation: becoming aware of oppression, opposing oppression, imagining alternatives, and accepting responsibility to act.
Karpas
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

Karpas
Source : haggadot.com

Passover combines the celebration of an event from Jewish memory with a recognition of the cycles of nature. As we remember the liberation from Egypt, we also recognize the stirrings of spring and rebirth happening in the world around us. The symbols on our table bring together elements of both kinds of celebration.

We now take a vegetable, in this case parsely, to represent our joy at the dawning of spring after winter. Whatever symbol of spring and sustenance we’re using, we now dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves.

Before we eat it, we recite a short blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

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

Praise God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the fruits of the earth.

We look forward to spring and the reawakening of flowers and greenery. They haven’t been lost, just buried beneath the snow, getting ready for reappearance just when we most needed them.

Yachatz
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

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

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” in Greek. After dinner, the guests will have to hunt for the afikomen in order to wrap up the meal… and win a prize.

We eat matzah in memory of the quick flight of our ancestors from Egypt. As slaves, they had faced many false starts before finally being let go. So when the word of their freedom came, they took whatever dough they had and ran with it before it had the chance to rise, leaving it looking something like matzah.

Uncover and hold up the three pieces of matzah and say:

This is the bread of poverty which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy, come and celebrate Passover with us. This year we are here; next year we will be in Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free.

These days, matzah is a special food and we look forward to eating it on Passover. Imagine eating only matzah, or being one of the countless people around the world who don’t have enough to eat.

What does the symbol of matzah say to us about oppression in the world, both people literally enslaved and the many ways in which each of us is held down by forces beyond our control? How does this resonate with events happening now?

Yachatz
Source : American Jewish World Service

Ha lachma anya—this is the bread of affliction.

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

But, while we will soon enjoy a large meal and end the seder night as free people, 963 million people around the world can not leave the affliction of hunger behind. 

Let us awaken to their cries and declare:

Kol dich n yeitei v’yeichol—let all who are hungry, come and eat.

As we sit at our seder and contemplate our people’s transition from slavery to freedom, let us hope for a time when all who are hungry will eat as free people: 

Let all people gain autonomy over their sources of sustenance. 

Let local farms ourish and local economies strengthen.
Let exploitation of natural resources cease so that the land may nourish its inhabitants.  Let communities bolster themselves against the destruction wrought by flood and drought.
Let our world leaders recognize food as a basic human right and implement policies and programs that put an end to world hunger. 

The Passover seder inspires us to take action and commit ourselves to working toward these and other sustainable changes. As the seder guides us from scarcity to plenty, let us empower others on their paths to sustenance.

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

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

Yachatz
Source : Rabbis for Human Rights Hagaddah Supplements--5773

WHO SITS WITH US AT OUR SEDER?

Eloheinu v'Elohei Kadmoneinu (Avoteinu, Avoteinu vEmoteinu), our God and God of our ancestors, we are gathered around this seder table as b'nei khorin, free people commanded to remember our dark nights of oppression. Your Torah warns us never to become oppressors ourselves, reminding us, "For you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Yet, when we are honest with ourselves, we know that we have been Pharaoh to other peoples, and to the disadvantaged among our own people. Our awareness that "In every generation there are those who arise to destroy us" often causes us to harden our hearts, and perceive hatred where it does not exist.

  We therefore turn to You, as in days of old. Stand with us, so that our fears not rise up to be our taskmasters. Help us to banish Pharaoh from our hearts, and let others in.

 With Pharaoh at bay, we become more painfully aware of the desecration of Your Image found in every human being. As with the plagues of old, our joy is diminished when we hear of those whose lives remain embittered. "Hashata Avdei," "This year we remain slaves because of their oppression "  We remove additional drops of wine from our cup of celebration and renew our commitment to winning their freedom, thereby completing ours. We make room in our hearts and at our table for 

Gabriel Kuol fled for his life from South Sudan to Egypt.  Again feeling his life in danger, he tumbled over the border into Israel with an Egyptian bullet in his leg.  His love and gratitude to Israel faded as the situation deteriorated. First asylum seekers were forbidden to work, then they suffered beatings when they tried to renew their residency permits, which were eventually revoked.  Gabriel was detained and deported, leaving all of his possessions behind.  He nearly died of malaria back in South Sudan" The African asylum seekers remaining are demonized and our border is now closed.  The "anti infiltration law" allows them to be imprisoned for over three years, and  even those from countries so dangerous that the law prevents their deportation have been encouraged to "leave voluntarily"  As we open our doors to invite all who are hungry to come and eat, we remember the many doors closed to us over long   years of persecution. This Passover, may we open our hearts and our borders to those fleeing for their lives.  Like Gabriel, our ancestor was a wandering Aramean, and we were strangers in the land of Egypt.

   Sheikh Sayakh. The exhaustion shows on the Sheikh's face.  His tribe's homes in El-Arakib in the Negev have been reduced to pitiful lean–tos, and even these have been demolished over 40 times. RHR has helped to temporarily halt JNF forests closing, and thankfully the High Court has overruled the State and ordered the District Court to hear their ownership claims.  However, the judges warned that it would not be easy to explain why they didn't challenge the expropriation of their lands in 1953, an expropriation they claim they only discovered in 2000.  There is less certainty in Sheikh Sayakh's voice when he says that he is counting on us, and he no longer expresses faith in Israeli justice. Perhaps he has visions of the cemetery of his "unrecognized" Bedouin village in the middle of a JNF forest offering silent testimony that his tribe lived here for generations. The families of Al Arakib are but some of the thousands of Israeli Bedouin in danger of being forced from their homes if government plans are approved by the Knesset.  Celebrating the seder in the security of our homes, we commit ourselves this night to guaranteeing a home for all.  We must make sure that Sheikh Sayakh  has a place at our table, and must  work in the coming year so that our national home rests on a foundation of justice.

Nasser Nawaje. Nasser was a young boy in 1986 when he, his family and all the Palestinian villagers of  Susya in the South Hebron Hills were expelled because their home was declared an archaeological site.  They moved into nearby caves on their lands, only to see the army demolish their caves and try to expel them again. Israel's High Court returned them, but they were told that everything built to replace their caves was illegal. Nasser is known and hated by the area's settlers for his work documenting human rights abuses, helping RHR to prevent and even roll back land takeovers.   In response the settlers and  "Regavim" have gone to court demanding that the army demolish almost the village. Nasser told us, "When they came to demolish our homes in 1986, there was nothing we could do because we were all alone.  We are again in great danger, but we are not alone any more." As God has stood with our ancestors, we resolve this night to stand with Nasser.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

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

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone.

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

Maggid - Beginning
Source : AJWS
By Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rabbi Lauren Holzblatt

On Passover, Jews are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus and to see ourselves as having lived through that story, so that we may better learn how to live our lives today. The stories we tell our children shape what they believe to be possible—which is why at Passover, we must tell the stories of the women who played a crucial role in the Exodus narrative.

The Book of Exodus, much like the Book of Genesis, opens in pervasive darkness. Genesis describes the earth as “unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep.”1 In Exodus, darkness attends the accession of a new Pharaoh who feared the Israelites and so enslaved them. God alone lights the way out of the darkness in Genesis. But in Exodus, God has many partners, first among them, five brave women.

There is Yocheved, Moses’ mother, and Shifra and Puah, the famous midwives. Each defies Pharaoh’s decree to kill the Israelite baby boys. And there is Miriam, Moses’ sister, about whom the following midrash is taught:

[When Miriam’s only brother was Aaron] she prophesied… “my mother is destined to bear a son who will save Israel.” When [Moses] was born the whole house… filled with light[.] [Miriam’s] father arose and kissed her on the head, saying, “My daughter, your prophecy has been fulfilled.” But when they threw [Moses] into the river her father tapped her on the head saying, “Daughter, where is your prophecy?” So it is written, “And [Miriam] stood afar off to know what would be[come of] the latter part of her prophecy.”2

Finally, there is Pharaoh’s daughter Batya, who defies her own father and plucks baby Moses out of the Nile. The Midrash reminds us that Batya knew exactly what she doing:

When Pharaoh’s daughter’s handmaidens saw that she intended to rescue Moses, they attempted to dissuade her, and persuade her to heed her father. They said to her: “Our mistress, it is the way of the world that when a king issues a decree, it is not heeded by the entire world, but his children and the members of his household do observe it, and you wish to transgress your father’s decree?”3

But transgress she did.

These women had a vision leading out of the darkness shrouding their world. They were women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality bathed in the light of the day.

Retelling the heroic stories of Yocheved, Shifra, Puah, Miriam and Batya reminds our daughters that with vision and the courage to act, they can carry forward the tradition those intrepid women launched.

While there is much light in today’s world, there remains in our universe disheartening darkness, inhumanity spawned by ignorance and hate. We see horrific examples in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and the Ukraine. The Passover story recalls to all of us—women and men—that with vision and action we can join hands with others of like mind, kindling lights along paths leading out of the terrifying darkness.

1 Genesis 1:2 2 Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 14a 3 Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 12b 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1993, she is known as a strong voice for gender equality, the rights of workers, and separation between church and state.

Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt is a rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C.. She is co-creator of two nationally recognized community engagement projects—MakomDC and the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington.

-- Four Questions
Source : Hillel Quote, Design from Haggadot.com

-- 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 : ajws.org

Mah nishtanah ha-lailah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-lailot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

We know the traditional answers to this question: On this night, we eat matzah and bitter herbs, we dip and we recline. But this is not all, or even most, of what Passover is about.  

On most other nights, we allow the news of tragedy in distant places to pass us by.  

We succumb to compassion fatigue – aware that we cannot possibly respond to every injustice that arises around the world.

On this night, we are reminded that our legacy as the descendants of slaves creates in us a different kind of responsibility – we are to protect the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Let us add a fifth question to this year’s seder.  Let us ask ourselves,

What must be done?

This year, this Passover, let us recommit to that sacred responsibility to protect the stranger, particularly those vulnerable strangers in faraway places whose suffering is so often ignored.

Let us infuse the rituals of the seder with action:

When tasting the matzah, the bread of poverty, let us find ways to help the poor and the hungry.

When eating the maror, let us commit to help those whose lives are embittered by disease.

When dipping to commemorate the blood that protected our ancestors against the Angel of Death, let us pursue protection for those whose lives are threatened by violence and conflict.

When reclining in celebration of our freedom, let us seek opportunities to help those who are oppressed. 

At this season of liberation, join us in working for the liberation of all people.  Help us respond to the seder’s questions with action and justice. 


-- Four Children
Source : Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Our tradition speaks of four children or four attitudes: the wise child, the wicked child, the simple child, and the one who does not know how to ask. Each child has a different reaction to hearing about slavery. . .

What does the wise child say? “What are the testimonies, the statutes, and the laws that apply to this situation? How are we to discern what God demands of us?” You are to answer this child: “God brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage that we may understand the heart of those suffering in slavery, and use all our powers to redeem them.”

What does the wicked child say? “What does all this work have to do with you?” Notice: “you,” not him or her. The wicked child stays far removed from suffering, and thus has lost the essence of our teachings. You might ask this child: “If you had been in Egypt, would you have been redeemed? And if you do not lift a finger now, who will redeem those who languish in slavery?”

The simple child asks: “What’s this all about?” You should teach this child: God brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand, out of the affliction of slavery. So we must use our strength to abolish slavery around the world. We cannot stop our work until there are no longer any slaves, anywhere.

The child who does not know to ask, you must open his or her eyes to what is going on. For today, there are 27 million people living in slavery, and over 8 million of them are children. Surely this is one reason God took our people out of Egypt long ago – so that we might understand what slavery is like, and help free all those who remain enslaved.

And Egyptians made the Hebrews lives bitter with hard bondage,
in mortar, and in brick... Exodus 1:14

-- Exodus Story
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

NARRATOR 1 (10 LINES)
NARRATOR 2 (13 LINES)
PHARAOH (15 LINES)
SLAVE (2 LINES)
HERALD (1 LINE)
MOSES (8 LINES)
GOD (7 LINES)
PHARAOHS SON (2 LINES)
AARON (12 LINES)
SHEEP (2 LINES)
YOCHEVED (1 LINE)
PRINCESS (4 LINES)
PRINCESSS ATTENDANT (4 LINES)
MIRIAM (4 LINES)

NARRATOR 1: The story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt has been told thousands of times. It’s a reminder to the Jewish people that once we were slaves in Egypt, but now we are free. And so, this year, as in years before, generation upon generation, we tell the story of Passover. Now, I invite you to relax and listen to this tale. We begin in Pharaoh’s Palace.

PHARAOH: Yes, I’ll have more grapes. This morning I took a tour of all of my new pyramids and I’m totally exhausted.

SLAVE: Yes, your highness. I must tell you that as a slave, we are really doing a fine job at building those pyramids. Carrying bricks is just the discipline that my fourteen sons need.

PHARAOH: Fourteen? Did you say fourteen sons?

SLAVE: Indeed I did, your most fabulousness.

PHARAOH: Leave my quarters. I’ve gotta think. This could be bad...really bad. I mean, I love having these Hebrew slaves, but there are just SO many of them! They are not Egyptians, and as shocking as it might be, I don’t think they even like me. What if there’s a war and they join my enemies and fight against me? I am going to try to find a way to decrease this Jewish-Hebrew slave population.

HERALD: Hear ye, hear ye. It is hereby decreed by Pharaoh, ruler of the land of Egypt, that any son born to a Jew is to be drowned in the Sea of Reeds.

ALL: NOOOOOOO!!!!!

NARRATOR 2: Our story continues at the banks of the Nile River, where we meet Yocheved, a Jewish woman with a newborn son.

YOCHEVED: (distraught) Oh no! Did you hear about Pharaoh’s awful decree? I knew he was mean, but now he’s killing our babies?! I need to hide my beautiful baby boy.

NARRATOR 2: So Yocheved wove a basket of reeds, which is another word for long bamboo-like sticks, put her son into it and hid it in the tall grass by the river. She then sent her young daughter Miriam to hide nearby and keep watch. The Pharaoh’s daughter, who was a princess, eventually came down to the water to bathe and heard cries coming from the river.

PRINCESS: What is this?

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: It appears to be a baby, your highness.

PRINCESS: A baby?

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: Why, yes, your highness.

NARRATOR 2: She pulled the baby out of the water.

PRINCESS: Oh, it must be one of those Jewish babies that my dad, the Pharaoh, wants to kill. But look at this little guy. He seems so beautiful and innocent. I know, I’ll take him home and raise him as my son. He will love me and respect me as his mother.

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: As you wish.

MIRIAM: (as she comes out of her hiding place) Excuse me, your majesty, but would you like me to call a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby, so that your attendant can continue to tend to you instead of being distracted by the baby?

PRINCESS: Good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. All right, your Hebrew woman may nurse my child, and when he is old enough to walk, she shall bring him to the palace for me to raise. I am going to name him “Moses,” which means “drawn from the water.”

PRINCESSS ATTENDANT: Whatever you say, your majesty.

NARRATOR 1: And so Yocheved’s son, Moses, grew up as the Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, with all the riches and prestige that such a position entailed. But when he was young, Yocheved told Moses that he was Jewish, so he always had great compassion for the Hebrew slaves. One day, he came upon an Egyptian guard beating an old Jewish slave. Moses got so angry that he killed the guard. Of course, by doing so he was breaking the law. He feared the consequences, so he ran away ran away from the palace into the desert, and became a shepherd. That where we pick up the story now.

SHEEP: Baaaa

NARRATOR 2: One fine morning, one of Moses’s sheep strayed a bit from the path.

SHEEP: I said, “Baaaa!”

NARRATOR 2: Moses followed the sheep and came across a burning bush. It was the craziest thing. This green bush was on fire, but instead of burning up and getting all crinkled and then black, it stayed green. This was, of course, a miracle. It was God, getting Moses’s attention so that he could talk to him. It worked.

GOD: Moses! Moses!

MOSES: Here I am.

GOD: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry. I have come to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that place unto a good land, flowing with milk and honey. Now, Moses, I need you to go back to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Jews go free and then you will need to lead the Jews out of Egypt.

NARRATOR 1: It’s important to know that Moses stuttered whenever he spoke, so he was always nervous to speak in public.

MOSES: B-b-but why should… I mean, why, why should I be the one t-t-to lead m-m-my people?

GOD: Fear not – I will be with you.

MOSES: Whah-what shhhould I t-t-t-ell the p-p-people?

GOD: Just tell the Children of Israel, also known as the Jews, also now known as the slaves, that they need to listen to you, because you speak for me. Tell them to leave their homes and everything they have always known and follow you to the wilderness.

MOSES: That is c-c-c-c-crazy. They’ll n-never l-listen and besides, I am s-s-s-s-s-low of s-s-s-p-p-peech and s-s-s-s-low of t-t-tongue.

GOD: You’re right, it will not be easy. I forgot to mention Pharaoh is not going to simply agree to let his slaves go free. He will take some convincing, and it will not be pretty.

MOSES: Puh-puh-puh-please send s-s-s-someone else…

GOD: Your brother Aaron speaks well, right? He will have to help. I will only speak to you, but you can tell Aaron what I said, and he can be the one who speaks to Pharaoh and the people.

NARRATOR 2: And so Moses and Aaron went to the people of Israel and convinced them that God had spoken to Moses. Then they went to see Pharaoh at the palace.

AARON: Pharaoh, we are here to demand, in the name of our all-powerful and all-knowing God, that you release the Hebrew people from bondage.

PHARAOH: LOL. That is really amusing, guys. So, Moses, back after all of these years to bring shame on your own house and your own grandfather?

AARON: You cared for my brother for many years. At one time, he loved you as a grandfather. But he is the son of a Hebrew slave. If you love him, you will let his people go.

PHARAOHS YOUNG SON: Moses! I missed you! (Looks at Aaron.) Hey, who are you?

AARON: I am Aaron, Moses’s brother.

PHARAOHS YOUNG SON: I thought I was his brother!

AARON: Pharaoh, if you do not release the Hebrews, Egypt will be smitten with a greater plague than it has ever before seen.

PHARAOH: There is no way I am going to do that! I don’t know this God you are talking about, and I will not let your people go. Now get out of my palace!

NARRATOR 1: To punish Pharaoh for his refusal to let the Jews go, God turned the water of the Nile to blood. It was horrible. Everyone needs fresh water to live, and instead of water, the entire river ran red with blood. Pharaoh was furious, and he called Moses and Aaron back to the palace.

PHARAOH: OK, this is horrible! The Nile River has turned to blood, and it’s your fault! Everyone is freaking out. Maybe your God is powerful after all. If I let your people go, will he turn the river back to water?

AARON: Yes, of course. We don’t want to harm your people, we just want to leave and be free.

PHARAOH: Fine, then go.

NARRATOR 2: So Aaron and Moses left the palace and told the Jewish people to start getting ready for their journey. But then…

PHARAOH: Get Moses and Aaron back here!

AARON: Yes, Pharaoh? We were just leaving.

PHARAOH: Not so fast. I realized that when you go I will have no one to build my pyramids. So I have hardened my heart and changed my mind. You need to stay.

MOSES: B-b-b-ut Pharaoh, m-m-m-ore terrible things will happen to the Egyptian people if you do not let us go!

PHARAOH: I will take my chances. Now get out of my palace, and tell the Jews to get back to work!

NARRATOR 2: Soon, Egypt was overrun with another of God’s plagues… frogs. Wherever you looked, there were frogs all over the land. As you can imagine, it was awful. So Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron back to the palace and told them he would now allow the Jews to leave Egypt. But when they were ready to leave, Pharaoh changed his mind again. This happened every time!

NARRATOR 1: The next plague God sent was lice....people and animals all got lice. Then flies everywhere. Then cattle disease...so all the cows got sick and died, then boils… terrible blisters on everyone… then hail fell from the sky – big pieces of hail, as big as ping-pong balls. Then locusts, which ate the plants, including all of the crops.

NARRATOR 2: So between the cattle disease, which ruined the meat, and the hail and locusts which wrecked the crops, Egypt was in bad shape. People were hungry. Then came the plague of darkness. The sun never rose, and people were frightened and cold. The plagues were spreading fear and sickness across Egypt.

NARRATOR 1: But the crazy thing was, after each plague, Pharaoh would call Moses and Aaron to the palace and tell them that if their God made the plague stop, the Jews could leave Egypt. So God would end the plague, and then Pharaoh would harden his heart and change his mind, keeping the Jews in bondage. It was a mess!

PHARAOH: Who is this God of yours? How is it that each of these plagues only affects the Egyptians and not the Hebrews!? Get out!

AARON: Pharaoh, our God is all-powerful! We don’t know what we can do to make you see thatyou must give in. We’re warning you now that God has told Moses what the next plague will be. He’s going to kill the firstborn of every Egyptian household, including your youngest son. Pharaoh, don’t let this happen! Let my people go!

PHARAOH: I do not know your God, and I will not let your people go. Get out of my house! GET OUT!

NARRATOR 2: God then came to Moses and instructed him to have all the Jewish people slay a lamb and smear some of its blood on the doorposts of their houses and gates. Then, when the Angel of Death flew over Egypt, he took the lives of all of the firstborn, except for those in the homes marked with blood. Pharaoh’s own son died. It was devastating. The people of Egypt were mourning. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh yet again.

AARON: Pharaoh, the grandfather my brother once loved, we are truly sorry for your loss.

PHARAOH: Go away! Go away and leave me to my grief!

AARON: But Pharaoh, now that you have seen how powerful God is, will you let my people go?

PHARAOH: Be gone already! You and your people! You have ruined my empire.

NARRATOR 1: So Aaron and Moses left Pharaoh and went to the Jews.

AARON: Listen to me everyone! Remember this day, when you were able to leave Egypt, we were slaves and now we are going to be free and God will guide us out of here to the Promised Land.

MOSES: We m-m-m-must go fast! We must m-m-m-make food, but… but… we must go before… before… Pharaoh changes his mind again.

AARON: He won’t change his mind. Not this time.

MIRIAM: Moses, if we leave right now, the bread won’t have time to rise.

MOSES: F-f-f-forget the bread, let’s go!

NARRATOR 2: Most of the Jews went with Moses and Aaron. But some felt the whole idea of leaving their homes and going some unknown land was crazy, so they stayed in Egypt. But meanwhile…

PHARAOH: I have just let my slaves all go. This is not good for the people of Egypt. All that my forefathers have worked for will vanish if I lose the Hebrew slaves. Who will build the cities? The entire economy of Egypt will collapse. It will be the end of an empire. I WANT THEM BACK!

NARRATOR 1: So once again, Pharaoh had hardened his heart. He got his army together and went after the Jews. Because they were walking and had a lot of kids with them who were slow walkers, the Jews had only gotten a few miles away from Egypt and they were really close to the Red Sea.

MIRIAM: Look! The Egyptians are coming! They will kill us all! They will work us to death! Moses, do something!

AARON: Don’t be afraid. God has handled things for us before, and I don’t think he would have made all those plagues just to have us die at the edge of the Red Sea now.

NARRATOR 2: Then God spoke to Moses.

GOD: Moses! Lift thy rod and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go across the sea safely.

NARRATOR 1: It was amazing. When Moses raised his rod, the water of the sea parted, and the children of Israel walked across on the ground at the bottom of the sea. They were totally fine. But when Pharaoh’s armies followed to catch them, the waters closed in and Pharaoh’s armies were drowned.

MIRIAM: That was a miracle! We made it across the Red Sea! I don’t know what God has in store for us next, but at last, we are free!

NARRATOR 2: And Miriam took a timbrel – which is another word for a tambourine – in her hand; and all of the women went out after her with their timbrels and danced and sang. This kicked off a trek of forty years through the desert.

NARRATOR 1: It was also when God starting sending manna, food from the sky that tasted like anything you wanted it to and sustained the Jews until they reached the Holy Land of Israel. But all of that is for another story. In the meantime, Happy Passover!

THE END!

-- Ten Plagues
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we rejoice at our deliverance from slavery, we acknowledge that our freedom was hard-earned. We regret that our freedom came at the cost of the Egyptians’ suffering, for we are all human beings made in the image of God. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them.

Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues which God brought down on the Egyptians:

Blood | dam | דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |  צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim | כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever | דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail | barad | בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech | חֹֽשֶׁךְ

Death of the Firstborn | makat b’chorot | מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

The Egyptians needed ten plagues because after each one they were able to come up with excuses and explanations rather than change their behavior. Could we be making the same mistakes? Make up your own list. What are the plagues in your life? What are the plagues in our world today? What behaviors do we need to change to fix them? 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As all good term papers do, we start with the main idea:

ּעֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ הָיִינו. עַתָּה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין  

Avadim hayinu hayinu. Ata b’nei chorin.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. Now we are free.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and God took us from there with a strong hand and outstretched arm. Had God not brought our ancestors out of Egypt, then even today we and our children and our grandchildren would still be slaves. Even if we were all wise, knowledgeable scholars and Torah experts, we would still be obligated to tell the story of the exodus from Egypt.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : http://www.jewbelong.com/passover/

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH

One of most beloved songs in the Passover Seder is "Dayeinu". Dayeinu commemorates a long list of miraculous things God did, any one of which would have been pretty amazing just by itself. For example, “Had God only taken us out of Egypt but not punished the Egyptians – it would have been enough.” Dayeinu, translated liberally, means, “Thank you, God, for overdoing it.”

Dayeinu is a reminder to never forget all the miracles in our lives. When we stand and wait impatiently for the next one to appear, we are missing the point of life. Instead, we can actively seek a new reason to be grateful, a reason to say “Dayeinu.”

Ilu ho-tsi, Ho-tsi-a-nu, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Ho-tsi-a-nu mi-Mitz-ra-yim, Da-ye-nu!
If he had brought us all out of Egypt, it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-Sha-bat, Da-ye-nu!
If he had given us Shabbat it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

Ilu na-tan, na-tan la-nu, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah, Na-tan la-nu et-ha-To-rah, Da-ye-nu!
If he had given us the Torah it would have been enough!

CHORUS: .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!
.. .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Dai, da-ye-nu, .. Da-ye-nu, da-ye-nu!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

We have now told the story of Passover…but wait! We’re not quite done. There are still some symbols on our seder plate we haven’t talked about yet. Rabban Gamliel would say that whoever didn’t explain the shank bone, matzah, and marror (or bitter herbs) hasn’t done Passover justice.

The shank bone represents the Pesach, the special lamb sacrifice made in the days of the Temple for the Passover holiday. It is called the pesach, from the Hebrew word meaning “to pass over,” because God passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt when visiting plagues upon our oppressors.

The matzah reminds us that when our ancestors were finally free to leave Egypt, there was no time to pack or prepare. Our ancestors grabbed whatever dough was made and set out on their journey, letting their dough bake into matzah as they fled.

The bitter herbs provide a visceral reminder of the bitterness of slavery, the life of hard labor our ancestors experienced in Egypt.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עַצְמוֹ, כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרָֽיִם

B’chol dor vador chayav adam lirot et-atzmo, k’ilu hu yatzav mimitzrayim.

In every generation, everyone is obligated to see themselves as though they personally left Egypt.

The seder reminds us that it was not only our ancestors whom God redeemed; God redeemed us too along with them. That’s why the Torah says “God brought us out from there in order to lead us to and give us the land promised to our ancestors.”

---

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who redeemed us and our ancestors from Egypt, enabling us to reach this night and eat matzah and bitter herbs. May we continue to reach future holidays in peace and happiness.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the second glass of wine!

Motzi-Matzah
Source : JewishBoston.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maror
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

Maror
Source : JewishBoston.com

Dipping the bitter herb in sweet charoset | maror  |מָרוֹר   

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

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

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

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

Koreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

Eating a sandwich of matzah and bitter herb | koreich | כּוֹרֵךְ

When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the biggest ritual of them all was eating the lamb offered as the pesach or Passover sacrifice. The great sage Hillel would put the meat in a sandwich made of matzah, along with some of the bitter herbs. While we do not make sacrifices any more – and, in fact, some Jews have a custom of purposely avoiding lamb during the seder so that it is not mistaken as a sacrifice – we honor this custom by eating a sandwich of the remaining matzah and bitter herbs. Some people will also include charoset in the sandwich to remind us that God’s kindness helped relieve the bitterness of slavery.

Shulchan Oreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

Eating the meal! | shulchan oreich | שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

Enjoy! But don’t forget when you’re done we’ve got a little more seder to go, including the final two cups of wine!

Tzafun
Source : JewishBoston.com

Finding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon | צָפוּן

The playfulness of finding the afikomen reminds us that we balance our solemn memories of slavery with a joyous celebration of freedom. As we eat the afikomen, our last taste of matzah for the evening, we are grateful for moments of silliness and happiness in our lives.

Tzafun

During the Seder, it is traditional to hide the middle matzah that we broke earlier. We end the meal and begin the final sections of the Seder by finding and eating the middle matzah, called the Afikomen.

To respect your time, instead of hiding the Afikomen anywhere in the whole building, we have hidden it under someone's plate here at the table. Lift up your plates to find out who has the Afikomen!

Bareich

Refill everyone’s wine glass.

We now say grace after the meal, thanking God for the food we’ve eaten. On Passover, this becomes something like an extended toast to God, culminating with drinking our third glass of wine for the evening:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam, hazan et ha’olam kulo b’tuvo b’chen b’chesed v’rachamin. Hu noten lechem l’chol basar ki l’olam chasdo. Uv’tuvo hagadol tamid lo chasar lanu v’al yech’sar lanu mazon l’olam va’ed. Ba’avur sh’mo hagadol ki hu zan um’farnes lakol umetiv lakol umechin mazon l’chol b’riyotav asher bara. Baruch Atah Adonai hazan et hakol.

We praise God, Spirit of Everything, whose goodness sustains the world. You are the source of bread for all, food for everyone. As it says in the Torah: When you have eaten and are satisfied we thank you for the earth and for its sustenance. Renew our spiritual center in our time. May the source of peace grant peace to us, to the Jewish people, and to the entire world.

Amen.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Hallel

As we come to the end of the Seder, we drink one more glass of wine. With this final cup, we give thanks for the experience of celebrating Passover together, for the traditions that help inform our daily lives and guide our actions and aspirations.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

We praise you, God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

The Cup of Elijah

We now refill our wine glasses one last time and open the front door to invite the prophet Elijah to join our Seder. In the Bible, Elijah was a fierce defender of God to a disbelieving people. At the end of his life, rather than dying, he was whisked away to heaven. Tradition holds that he will return in advance of messianic days to herald a new era of peace, so we set a place for Elijah at many joyous, hopeful Jewish occasions.

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי,

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ,אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַגִּלְעָדִי.

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵֽנוּ יָבוֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד, 

עִם מָשִֽׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד.

Eliyahu hanavi Eliyahu hatishbi Eliyahu, Eliyahu, Eliyahu hagiladi Bimheirah b’yameinu, yavo eileinu Im mashiach ben-David Im mashiach ben-David

Elijah the prophet, the returning, the man of Gilad: return to us speedily, in our days with the messiah, son of David.

We place a cup of wine for the prophet Elijah at the center of the Seder table. At a dramatic moment in the Seder, the door is opened to welcome this usually unseen guest into our homes in the hope that the final, messianic, redemption of all people is at hand. Our ancient traditions tell us that final redemption will come at the season of Israel's redemption from Egyptian bondage - on some Passover to come.

We sing Elijah's song, and watch expectantly and hopefully for the wine in the cup to diminish, a sure sign that Elijah has visited and the dawn of a new redemption is near.

Of more recent origin is the custom of placing a second cup on the Seder table for a second unseen but deserving guest - the prophetess, Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron.

Why Miriam? 

It was Miriam, the Prophetess, symbol of all the courageous and worthy women who kept the home fires burning, even when the men became discouraged and despaired of redemption. Who then is more deserving to be "toasted" with wine and saluted for service "above and beyond" than she?

If the Cup of Elijah is one symbolizing hope for future redemption, Miriam's Cup symbolizes redemption realized through the tireless efforts of women. Let us honor her for her heroism, and through her, all the brave, capable, devoted, faithful and loyal women of  who have been, and continue to be, the ongoing source of strength.

For the sake of our righteous women were our ancestors redeemed from Egypt. L'Chaim!

DRINK THE FOURTH GLASS OF WINE

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

Nirtzah  marks the conclusion of the seder. Our bellies are full, we have had several glasses of wine, we have told stories and sung songs, and now it is time for the evening to come to a close. At the end of the seder, we honor the tradition of declaring, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

For some people, the recitation of this phrase expresses the anticipation of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and the return of the Messiah. For others, it is an affirmation of hope and of connectedness with  Klal Yisrael, the whole of the Jewish community. Still others yearn for peace in Israel and for all those living in the Diaspora.

Though it comes at the end of the seder, this moment also marks a beginning. We are beginning the next season with a renewed awareness of the freedoms we enjoy and the obstacles we must still confront. We are looking forward to the time that we gather together again. Having retold stories of the Jewish people, recalled historic movements of liberation, and reflected on the struggles people still face for freedom and equality, we are ready to embark on a year that we hope will bring positive change in the world and freedom to people everywhere.

In  The Leader's Guide to the Family Participation Haggadah: A Different Night, Rabbi David Hartman writes: “Passover is the night for reckless dreams; for visions about what a human being can be, what society can be, what people can be, what history may become.”

What can  we  do to fulfill our reckless dreams? What will be our legacy for future generations?

Our seder is over, according to Jewish tradition and law. As we had the pleasure to gather for a seder this year, we hope to once again have the opportunity in the years to come. We pray that God brings health and healing to Israel and all the people of the world, especially those impacted by natural tragedy and war. As we say…

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

Commentary / Readings
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.

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com
Who knows one?

At some seders, people go around the table reading a question and the answers in one breath. Thirteen is hard!

Who knows one?

I know one.

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows two?

I know two.

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows two?

I know two.

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows four?

I know four.

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows five?

I know five.

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows six?

I know six.

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows seven?

I know seven.

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eight?

I know eight.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows nine?

I know nine.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows ten?

I know ten.

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eleven?

I know eleven.

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows twelve?

I know twelve.

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows thirteen?

I know thirteen

Thirteen are the attributes of God

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com

Chad Gadya

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

Chad gadya, chad gadya

Dizabin abah bitrei zuzei

Chad gadya, chad gadya.

One little goat, one little goat:

Which my father brought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The cat came and ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The dog came and bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The stick came and beat the dog

That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The fire came and burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The water came and extinguished the

Fire that burned the stick

That beat the dog that bit the cat

That ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The ox came and drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The butcher came and killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The angle of death came and slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:

The Holy One, Blessed Be He came and

Smote the angle of death who slew

The butcher who killed the ox,

That drank the water

That extinguished the fire

That burned the stick that beat the dog That bit the cat that ate the goat,

Which my father bought for two zuzim.