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Lighting the Candles

Edited from a contribution by Linda Schneider

The seder officially begins with a physical act: lighting the candles. In Jewish tradition, lighting candles and saying a blessing over them marks a time of transition, from the day that is ending to the one that is beginning, from ordinary time to sacred time. Lighting the candles is an important part of our Passover celebration because their flickering light reminds us of the importance of keeping the fragile flame of freedom alive in the world.

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

Blessed are You, our God, Present in Everything, who has sanctified us with laws and commanded us to light the festival lights.

As we light the festival candles, we acknowledge that as they brighten our Passover table, good thoughts, good words, and good deeds brighten our days.

Source :
Pesach is a time of inclusion.

On seder night, there are two moments where we metaphorically open our doors and invite others in. One is at the opening of the Magid portion of the seder, when we say, “All who are hungry come and eat.” There is a beautiful message here: we were once slaves; poor and hungry, and we remember our redemption by sharing what we have with others.

The other, comes towards the end of the seder, when we have the custom of pouring a fifth cup of wine, which we claim is for Elijah the Prophet. This is a statement of faith, a statement that says that although we are a free people, our redemption is not yet complete, and we believe that it will come.

From the most downtrodden to the most celebrated, the message is clear: everyone is welcome and everyone is necessary. Why is it that we go out of our way to include all at our seder table? Perhaps it is because when we make room for others, we have the opportunity to make room for ourselves as well. In fact, the Mishnah (Pesahim 10:5) teaches us that:

בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים In every generation a person is obligated to see themselves as if they left Egypt

The seder presents us with the obligation of identifying with the generation that left Egypt and internalizing that experience. And through that internalization, we come to feel the redemption as if it was our own as well to - לראות את עצמו. Further, the reliving of the story of the Exodus affords us the opportunity see one’s true self. It is only when we are able to see ourselves clearly, that we are able to be redeemed. But perhaps the only way we are able to see ourselves, is when we are truly able to see those around us. This message of inclusion is Pardes’s message too, and our hope is that this Haggadah Companion which offers something for everyone, will add new meaning to your seder and help bring the Jewish people a little closer together.


What's on the Table

Edited from contributions by Geoff Chesman

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

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

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

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

Zeroah – A roasted lamb or shank bone symbolizing the sacrifice made at the great temple on Passover (The Paschal Lamb)  (we're using a beet)

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

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


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

Elijah’s Cup

The fifth ceremonial cup of wine poured during the Seder. It is left untouched in honor of Elijah, who, according to tradition, will arrive one day as an unknown guest to herald the advent of the Messiah. During the Seder dinner, biblical verses are read while the door is briefly opened to welcome Elijah. In this way the Seder dinner not only commemorates the historical redemption from Egyptian bondage of the Jewish people but also calls to mind their future redemption when Elijah and the Messiah shall appear.  The Kabbalistic texts signify that that time of the Messiah is of our own building, that we are all responsible for continual  tikkun olam,  healing the world. As Kafka put it, "The messiah will come only when he is no longer necessary; he will come only on the day after his arrival; he will come, not on the last day, but on the very last."

Miriam’s Cup

Another relatively new Passover tradition is that of Miriam’s cup. The cup is filled with water and placed next to Elijah’s cup. Miriam was the sister of Moses and a prophetess in her own right. After the exodus when the Israelites are wandering through the desert, just as Hashem gave them Manna to eat, legend says that a well of water followed Miriam and it was called ‘Miriam’s Well’. The tradition of Miriam’s cup is meant to honor Miriam’s role in the story of the Jewish people and the spirit of all women - as well as those whose vital voices and contributions often go unrecognized or unheard.


(Edited from contributions by Jewish Boston)

Rabbi Alex Israel of Pardes shares, with Kiddush we sanctify the day and define its meaning. We proclaim this day as significant, holy and meaningful. We fashion time, claim ownership of it, and fashion it as a potent contact point with God, peoplehood and tradition. This is a quintessential act of Jewish freedom. Kadesh reminds us that true freedom and self-respect is to master and control time for ourselves, to shape our life in accordance with our values.

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 Eloheinu ruach ha-olam, borei p’ree hagafen.

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

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

Baruch Atah Eloheinu ruach, she-hechiyanu v’key’manu v’higiyanu lazman hazeh.

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

Drink the first glass of wine!


Urchatz -

Too often during our daily lives we don’t stop and take the moment to prepare for whatever it is we’re about to do. The seder offers us an opportunity to practice mindfulness by washing our hands. Traditionally, we wash our hands twice during our seder.

This symbolic washing of the hands recalls the story of Miriam's Well. Legend tells us that this well followed Miriam, sister of Moses, through the desert, sustaining the Jews in their wanderings. Filled with mayim chayim, waters of life, the well was a source of strength and renewal to all who drew from it. One drink from its waters was said to alert the heart, mind and soul, and make the meaning of Torah become alive.

As we prepare to wash our hands, we must remember that many in the United States and around the world do not have access to clean water. Clean water is not a privilege; it is a basic human right. One in ten people currently lack access to clean water. That’s nearly 1 billion people in the world without clean, safe drinking water. Almost 3.5 million people die every year because of inadequate water supply.

Today, we'll symbolize the uplifting of cleansed hands by raising hands into the air.

Compiled from contributions by Jewish Boston and Linda and Dan Berkowicz 


Passover, like many of our holidays, combines the celebration of an event from our 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.

The dipping of karpas also recalls the Israelites’ first stop after crossing the Red Sea, which was called Marah. After a three-day journey, they found water there, but it was bitter, undrinkable. God showed Moses a piece of wood to throw (dip) into the water, which made it potable. Even after a major initial victory, our elation can collapse swiftly under the weight of the next steps we have to take. Karpas reminds us that the journey to freedom — like the seder — is long, and we have to pace ourselves.

We now take a vegetable, representing our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold 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. We also seek to recognize the tears of all who suffer injustice mingling with our hopes for life, rebirth and new possibilities for justice.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

Baruch Atah ruach ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-adama.

We praise God, Present in Everything, who creates the fruits of the earth.


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. When we break the matzah in two, we reflect the deep brokenness in our world and our commitment to repair it.

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

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

Let us work toward a time when all who are hungry will eat as free people.

Let all people have access to sustenance. Let local farms ourish and local economies strengthen. Let exploitation of natural resources cease so that the land may nourish its inhabitants. Let our world leaders recognize food as a basic human right and put an end to hunger. Let us support the communities of the world 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. 

Next year, may the bread of a iction be simply a symbol, and may all people enjoy the bread of plenty, the bread of freedom. 

Maggid - Beginning
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah,

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone.

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

-- Four Questions

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.

 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.

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 must protect the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. 

-- Four Children

At Passover each year, we read the story of our ancestors’ pursuit of liberation from oppression. When confronting this history, how do we answer our children when they ask us how to pursue justice in our time?

What does the activist child ask?

“The Torah tells me, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue,’ but how can I pursue justice?”

Empower her always to seek pathways to advocate for the vulnerable. As Proverbs teaches, “Speak up for the mute, for the rights of the unfortunate. Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.”

What does the skeptical child ask?

“How can I solve problems of such enormity?”

Encourage him by explaining that he need not solve the problems, he must only do what he is capable of doing. As we read in Pirkei Avot—The Ethics of Our Ancestors, “It is not your responsibility to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

What does the indifferent child say?

“It’s not my responsibility.”

Persuade her that responsibility cannot be shirked. As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, “The opposite of good is not evil; the opposite of good is indifference. In a free society where terrible wrongs exist, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”

And the uninformed child who does not know how to ask ...

Prompt him to see himself as an inheritor of our people’s legacy. As it says in Deuteronomy, “You must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

At this season of liberation, let us work toward the liberation of all people. Let us respond to our children’s questions with action and justice.

-- Exodus Story

The Passover story chronicles the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. It celebrates the movement from oppression to liberation and our belief that tyranny can be thwarted and justice can prevail.

Around the world today, courageous people are making similar journeys leaving behind violence, poverty and persecution and seeking security, freedom, prosperity and peace.

ֲע ָב ִדים ָה ִיינ ְל ַפ ְר ֹעה ְ ִמ ְצ ָר ֽים - ַע ָ ה ְ ֵני ח ִרין.

Avadim hayinu lepharo bemitzrayim—ata benei chorin.

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt—now we are free.

As you may have noticed, the Passover seder is an exercise in radical empathy. We do not say that our ancestors were slaves. Rather, the story we tell our children begins "When I was slave in Egypt." We identify with the hardships faced by the Hebrews as slaves, recognize the awakening from privilege symbolized by the palace-raised Moses at the burning bush, strive for the bravery exemplified by those who advocated for justice, the patience required to wait for freedom that required not just one, but ten plagues, to bring - and are brought to vigilance by the tenuousness of freedom experienced as the Jews encountered the Red Sea. In such, we a reborn in this spring holiday with new intention to secure freedom not just for ourselves, but globally.

-- Ten Plagues

The Ten Plagues

Contributed by Jewish Boston

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 empathize with those who suffer injustice due to the political power plays of the few and pray for a more equitable world. 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

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

Ilu hotzianu mi mitzrayim, dayeinu!

If God had only taken us out of Egypt, that would have been enough!

Dayenu recalls every step in our path to redemption: departure from Egypt, the splitting of the sea, sustenance in the wilderness, the giving of the Torah and our arrival in the land of Israel. And although we express gratitude for each moment by saying, “It would have been enough,” we know that all of these steps were necessary to achieve full freedom. Had the journey ended with the leaving of Egypt, we would not be free people.

As today’s freedom-seekers depart their own Egypts, they contend with obstacles as formidable as the raging sea and nd the strength to persevere through the challenges that lie ahead. We stand with them proudly, as Jews, through the duration of their journeys.

It is critical that we support survivors of disasters, wars and conflicts until they are able to rebuild their lives. We must stand with religious and ethnic minorities as long as the threat of violence or genocide rages. We must fight for the rights of women, girls and LGBT people until true equality is achieved. And we must persevere in defending the precious natural resources that sustain our world.

Just as the Israelites needed support at each step of their journey, so too do those around the world who persist in lifting the shadow of suffering and oppression. 

If the world hears the cries of the oppressed, but does not come to their aid ...

It will not be enough.

If we empower our brothers and sisters to escape violence, but fail to o er them refuge ...
It will not be enough.

If our generosity supports the needs of today, but forsakes the needs of tomorrow ...

It will not be enough.

However, if we persevere until stability, peace and justice have been attained ...

Dayenu! Then it will be enough. 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

The first cup of wine awakened us to injustice and to our capacity to bring about change. The second cup is the first step toward realizing that change. We raise our glass in solidarity with all those who experience injustice around the world and dedicate ourselves to bringing freedom together.

Baruch Atah  Eloheinu ruach ha-olam, borei peri hagafen.

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



As we now transition from the formal telling of the Passover story to the celebratory meal, we once again wash our hands to prepare ourselves. In Judaism, a good meal together with friends and family is itself a sacred act, so we prepare for it just as we prepared for our holiday ritual, recalling the way ancient priests once prepared for service in the Temple. Some people distinguish between washing to prepare for prayer and washing to prepare for food by changing the way they pour water on their hands. For washing before food, pour water three times on your right hand and then three times on your left hand.

After you raise your hands to symbolize washing, we'll recite the blessing:

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

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

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


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.

בְָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶֽחֶם מִן הָאָֽרֶץ:

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

We praise God, Present in Everything, who brings bread from the land.

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

Baruch Atah, Eloheinu ruach 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.

Q: What do you call someone who gains pleasures from the bread of affliction?

A: A matzochist.


Baruch Atah Eloheinu ruach ha-olam, asher kid’shanu bemitzvotav, vetzivanu al achilat maror.

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


In the time of the second Temple in Jerusalem, the sage Hillel ate the matzah, maror and the Passover Sacrifice—Korban Pesach—together. This combination of tastes and flavors encompasses the full evolution from slavery to freedom. The maror is the bitterness of persecution. The matzah is the bread baked on the Israelites’ backs as they fled. The lamb is a symbol of their redemption. Tonight, the korech sandwich represents the bitter and sweet that coexist in our world, and our responsibility to tip the scales toward sweetness, justice and redemption.

Shulchan Oreich

As we enjoy the Passover meal, we honor all those who struggled so that we could be free tonight—and all who still persevere in the pursuit of justice worldwide.


It is traditional for the final taste of food at the Seder to be the afikoman—the piece of the matzah that we broke earlier in the evening. May the lingering taste of the bread of affliction in our mouths inspire us to never cease our hunger for freedom.



Refill everyone’s wine glass. We now say grace after the meal, thanking God for the food we’ve eaten.

As it says in the Torah: When you have eaten and are satisfied, give praise to your God who has given you this good earth. We praise God for the earth and for its sustenance.

Renew our spiritual center in our time. We praise God, who centers us. May the source of peace grant peace to us, to the Jewish people, and to the entire world. Amen.

The Third Glass of Wine

The blessing over the meal is immediately followed by another blessing over the wine.

The third cup of wine is our call to action. We commit tonight to standing up, speaking out and protesting acts of hate. We will fight poverty and inequality around the world. We will act on our belief that change is possible.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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

Drink the third glass of wine!


Min hameitzar karati ya, anani bamerchav yah.

From the narrow place I called to God, God answered me with expansiveness.

In each of our lives and in our struggles for justice, there are times when we feel caught in a “narrow place”—trapped by fear, anger or hopelessness. But rather than despair, we can praise and be thankful for the moments of expansiveness and possibility.

Praise for friends and allies who call for justice by our side.

Praise for the incremental victories that have brought protections, rights and civil liberties to the vulnerable.

Praise for our relentless belief that justice will triumph—and for our will to make it so. 

This is traditionally the time reserved for songs. Anyone care to strike up a tune?


Traditionally, we fill a cup of wine for Elijah, the prophetic harbinger of redemption. Today, many communities add a cup of water for the prophet Miriam, who sustained the Israelites during their years in the desert by calling forth a flowing well to slake their thirst. As we work to perfect our world in pursuit of the redemption promised by Elijah, we can turn to Miriam's well for the sustenance to persevere. 

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.


Yehi ratzon milfanecha, adonai eloheinu, velohei avoteinu v'imoteinu, borei ha'olam: shetishm'reinu  ut'kaymeinu bamidbar chayeinu im mayim chayim. V'titen lanu et hachizzuk v'et hachomchah l'daat she'tzmichat geulateinu nimtza baderekh chayim lo rak b'sof haderekh. 

You abound in blessings, Present in Everything, Who sustains us with living water. May we, like the children of Israel leaving Egypt, be guarded and nurtured and kept alive in the wilderness, and may You give us wisdom to understand that the journey itself holds the promise of redemption.


We fill the final cup of wine and open the door for Elijah. As we turn our gaze toward the door, let us pray for and work toward true redemption: a time when all people will live in freedom. 

ּבָ רּוְך אַ ּתָ ה יְיָ, אֱ ֹלהֵ ינּו מֶ לֶ ְך הָ עֹולָ ם, ּבֹורֵ א ּפְ רִ י הַ ּגָ פֶ ן.

Baruch Atah, Eloheinu ruach ha-olam, borei peri hagafen.


The traditional aspiration, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” is our people’s millennia-old hope for redemption. At AJWS, our yearning takes the form of hope and action for a more just world. Join us, this year, in helping achieve…

  • Freedom from bigotry and oppression
  • Equality for minorities shunned by prejudice and hatred
  • Respect for the aspirations and humanity of women and girls
  • Acceptance for people persecuted for who they are or whom they love
  • Sustenance for communities living in hunger
  • Peace in societies torn by war
  • A safe harbor for refugees and survivors of violence
  • And the promise of dignity and human rights for all.

Together, with those around this Seder table and with our global family connected by our collective pursuit of justice, we pray: “Next year in a just world.” And through our actions from this Passover to the next, let us make this dream a reality