Please wait while we prepare your Haggadah...
This may take up to thirty seconds.

loading
Introduction
Passover is a holiday with many different themes.  This breadth ensures that no two seders will ever be exactly alike and encourages each of us to engage equally, whether this is the first or hundredth seder you’ve attended.  It also challenges each of us to connect to the seder on a personal, individual level.  The themes offered are just a sampling, what other themes are you drawn to?

Redemption: In the Exodus story, the Jews were redeemed physically from slavery. While Pesach is "z'man heyruteinu," the season of our freedom, it is also a festival that speaks of spiritual redemption. Jews were freed from mental as well as physical slavery.  It was as a physically and spiritually free people that the Jewish nation prepared to receive the Torah on Mt. Sinai.  The seder also includes many allusions to a future messianic redemption. One of the clearest symbols is the Cup of Elijah placed on every seder table. Contained within the salvation from Egypt are the seeds of future redemption, as the Torah states, "This same night is a night of watching unto the Lord for all the children of Israel throughout their generations" (Exodus 12:42).

Creation:  Passover is known by several names in Hebrew, including Chag HaAviv, holiday of the spring.  Pesach celebrates spring, rebirth, and renewal, symbolized by the green “ karpas ” and the egg on the seder plate.  It is also a time of “beginning,” as exemplified by the first grain harvest and the birth of Israel as a nation.  Also, Nissan, this Hebrew month, was traditionally seen as the first month of the Jewish year.

Education:  Four different times in the Torah, the Jews are commanded to repeat the story of the Passover (Exodus 12:26, 13:8, 14; Deuteronomy 6:20).  The seder is centered around teaching the story of the exodus from Egypt.  In fact, Haggadah means “the telling.”  Two of the most important readings address education head on: the four questions and the four sons.  The first encourages even the youngest children to begin asking questions, while the latter instructs us how to respond to different learning styles.  Even at a seder without children present, the night takes on an educational feel.  Thought provoking questions and supportive debate are encouraged. 

Patterns of Four: Throughout the seder, you may notice the number four being repeated in many guises.  This is based on the verse in Exodus that states, "I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments, and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God…" (Exodus 6:6-7).  Among many other patterns of four at the seder, we drink four cups of wine, ask four questions, and speak about four types of children.

Kadesh
Source : Original
Kadesh

Kadesh
Source : Traditional Haggadah Text

The blessings below are for a weeknight. (On Shabbat we add the words in parentheses)

וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי. וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאַָם. וַיְכַל אֱלֹקִים בַּיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אוֹתוֹ כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר בֶָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת

(Vay'hi erev vay'hi voker yom hashi-shi. Vay'chulu hashamayim v'ha-aretz v’choltzva’am. Vay’chal Elohim bayom hashvi’i, m'lachto asher asah, vayishbot bayom hashvi-i, mikol-mlachto asher asah. Vay'vareich Elohim, et-yom hashvi’i, vay'kadeish oto, ki vo shavat mikol-mlachto, asher-bara Elohim la-asot.)

(“And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Now the heavens and all their host were completed. And on the seventh day God finished His work of creation which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, for on that day God rested from His work and ceased creating.)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָפֶן

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p'ri hagafen.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ מִכָּל עָם וְרוֹמְמָנוּ מִכָּל לָשׁוֹן וְקִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו. וַתִּתֶּן לָנוּ יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּאַהֲבָה (שַׁבָּתוֹת לִמְנוּחָה וּ) מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה, חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשׂוֹן, אֶת יוֹם (הַשַׁבָּת הַזֶה וְאֶת יוֹם) חַג הַמַצוֹת הַזֶה, זְמַן חֵרוּתֵנוּ (בְּאַהֲבָה), מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ, זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים, (וְשַׁבָּת) וּמוֹעֲדֵי קָדְשֶךָ (בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן,) בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׂשׂוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, מְקַדֵּשׁ (הַשַׁבָּת וְ) יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזְּמַנִּים.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, asher bachar banu mikol’am, v'rom'manu mikol-lashon, v'kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, vatiten-lanu Adonai Eloheinu b'ahavah (shabatot limnuchah u) moadim l'simchah, chagim uz'manim l'sason et-yom (hashabat hazeh v'et-yom) chag hamatzot hazeh. Z'man cheiruteinu, (b'ahavah,) mikra kodesh, zeicher litziat mitzrayim. Ki vanu vacharta v'otanu kidashta mikol ha’amim. (v'shabat) umo’adei kod’shecha (b'ahavah uv'ratzon) b'simchah uv'sason hinchaltanu. Baruch atah Adonai, m'kadeish (h’shabbat v') Yisrael v'hazmanim.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has chosen us from among all people, and languages, and made us holy through Your mitzvot, giving us lovingly [Shabbat for rest] festivals for joy, and special times for celebration, this [Shabbat and this] Passover, this [given in love] this sacred gathering to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. You have chosen us, You have shared Your holiness with us among all other peoples. For with [Shabbat and] festive revelations of Your holiness, happiness and joy You have granted us [lovingly] joyfully the holidays. Praised are you, Adonai, Who sanctifies [Shabbat], Israel and the festivals.

On Saturday night include the following section:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמַבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחֹל, ין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ, בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה. בֵּין קְדֻשַּׁת שַׁבָּת לִקְדֻשַּׁת יוֹם טוֹב הִבְדַּלְתָּ, וְאֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִשֵּׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה קִדַּשְׁתָּ. הִבְדַּלְתָּ וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ אֶת עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּקְדֻשָּׁתֶךָ. ,בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְקֹדֶשׁ

( Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei m'orei ha-eish.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol bein or l'choshech, bein Yisrael la-amim, bein yom hashvi-i l'sheishet y'mei hama-aseh. Bein k'dushat shabat likdushat yom tov hivdalta. V'et-yom hashvi-i misheishet y'mei hama-aseh kidashta. Hivdalta v'kidashta et-am'cha yisra-eil bikdushatecha. Baruch atah Adonai, hamavdil bein kodesh l'kodesh.)

(Praised are You Adonai our God Lord of the universe who created the lights of fire.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes a distinction between the holy and profane, light and darkness, Israel and the nations, Shabbat and the six workdays. You have made a distinction between the holiness of Shabbat and the holiness of the festival, and You have sanctified Shabbat above the six work-days. You have set apart and made holy Your people Israel with your holiness. Praised are you, Adonai, who distinguishes between degrees of sanctity.)

Say this Shehechiyanu blessing the first Seder night only:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶה

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam,
she’hecheyanu v'ki'manu v'higi-anu laz'man hazeh.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe,
who has sustained us, maintained us and enabled us to reach this moment in life.

Urchatz
Source : Original
Urchatz

Urchatz
Source : Deborah Miller
We will wash our hands twice during our seder: now, with no blessing, to get us ready for the rituals to come; and then again later, we’ll wash again with a blessing, preparing us for the meal.

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. Let's pause as we wash our hands to consider what we hope to get out of our evening together. 

Karpas
Source : Original
Karpas

Karpas
Source : Original
When we bless the green parsley and dip it in the salty water, we remember the spring, and we remember the long, sad years of our slavery.

When we left Egypt,

we bloomed and sprouted,

and songs dripped from our tongues

like shimmering threads of nectar.

All green with life we grew,

who had been buried,

under toil and sorrow,

dense as bricks.

All green in the desert we grew,

casting seeds at a promise.

All green we grew. 

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

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.

We now take a vegetable, representing our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold winter. Most families use a green vegetable, such as parsley or celery, but some families from Eastern Europe have a tradition of using a boiled potato since greens were hard to come by at Passover time. 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.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, 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.

-

We all have aspects of ourselves that sometimes get buried under the stresses of our busy lives. What has this winter taught us? What elements of our own lives do we hope to revive this spring?

Yachatz
Source : Original
Yachatz

Yachatz
Source : Traditional

Take the middle matzah and break it into two, one piece larger than the other.

The larger piece is set aside to serve as Afikoman. This is traditionally hidden, by the leader of the Seder for the children to “steal” or “find” and then ransom for a something at the end of the Seder.

The smaller piece is put back, between the two matzot. This smaller piece, along with the top matzah is what will be used for the “Motzi-Matzah” and “Korech”

Yachatz
Maggid - Beginning
Source : Original
Maggid

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 : Traditional

Maggid – Beginning

מגיד

Raise the tray with the matzot and say:

הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא דִי אֲכָלוּ אַבְהָתָנָא בְּאַרְעָא דְמִצְרָיִם. כָּל דִכְפִין יֵיתֵי וְיֵיכֹל, כָּל דִצְרִיךְ יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח. הָשַׁתָּא הָכָא, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּאַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל. הָשַׁתָּא עַבְדֵי, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין.

Ha lachma anya dee achalu avhatana b'ara d'meetzrayeem. Kol deechfeen yeitei v'yeichol, kol deetzreech yeitei v'yeefsach. Hashata hacha, l'shanah haba-ah b'ara d'yisra-el. Hashata avdei, l'shanah haba-ah b'nei choreen.

This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need, come and share the Pesach meal. This year, we are here. Next year, in the land of Israel. This year, we are slaves. Next year, we will be free.

Refill the wine cups, but don’t drink yet.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Machar
[Resume taking turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

Passover is the celebration of life. The story of the Jewish people is truly a triumph of life. Against the odds of history, the Jewish people have done more than survive - we have adapted creatively to each new time, each new place, from the birth of our people to the present day.

Even though death has pursued us relentlessly, time and time again, we have chosen to live. During the many centuries of the Jewish experience, memories of destruction are tempered by the knowledge that the world can also be good.

We have endured slavery and humiliation. We have also enjoyed freedom and power. Darkness has been balanced by light.

Our forebears traveled the Earth in search of the safety and liberty they knew must exist. We have learned to endure. We have learned to progress.

We are proud survivors. We celebrate our good fortune and seek the advancement of all.

Leader:

One of the customs of the seder is the asking of questions - questions about what the ritual actions of the seder mean. The Passover tradition involves the youngest children asking - actually singing - about these matters in a song we call "The Four Questions." 

-- 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 : www.notesfromthetribe.com
Ma Nishtanah

I gave my tenth and last performance of the Ma Nishtanah during the second night of  seder at the age of ten. Friends and family gathered around the table to witness the  final impassioned rendition. You see, when you're the son of a Cantor, people expect a lot of you.  And I delivered year after year. Question after question. That night was no exception. Some children need the crutch of transliteration. I didn't even need a Hagaddah. Going completely off book, I begged of the table: "Ma nishtana ha-laila ha-zeh mi-kol ha-leilot?"  Without a script, I had the freedom to gesture, to look into their eyes and demand to know why we were dipping our herbs twice that evening. To my recollection there was applause. But truth be told, the glory of the four questions is short lived. There's always someone younger, cuter, just waiting to take your place.  And quite literally, with a baby sister who was turning five, I was getting too old for it.

I haven't sung that song in 16 years. So this year, I created a new set of questions that have been on my mind:

1. If the purpose of engaging the children during the seder is to fulfill the duty of passing the story down, wouldn't it make more sense just to plop them in front of a television and pop in "The Prince of Egypt?" The story itself is far less convoluted than the one in the Haggadah.  Not to mention the fact that it is told through a medium targeted at children, complete with modern animation and an award winning sound track. I'm an adult and still have trouble wrapping my head around the part about the five rabbis and difference between anger, wrath, indignation, trouble and messengers of evil. 

2. I know that it's not particularly Jewish, but being as it is probably the most famous seder, I can't help but wonder: who sang the Ma Nishtanah at the last supper (I would assume it was John as he was the youngest disciple)? Furthermore did they have an afikoman? And if everyone present was eating matzah why are they never depicted with crumbs all over their robes? Also, at the end did they bother saying 'Next year in Jerusalem?' 

3.When do we eat?*

 

*In the interest of the third question, I have removed the fourth.

 

-- Four Children
Source : Traditional

בָּרוּךְ הַמָּקוֹם, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. בָּרוּךְ שֶׁנָּתַן תּוֹרָה לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּרוּךְ הוּא
כְּנֶגֶד אַרְבָּעָה בָנִים דִּבְּרָה תּוֹרָה . אֶחָד חָכָם, וְאֶחָד רָשָׁע, וְאֶחָד תָּם, וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל

Baruch hamakom, baruch hu. Baruch shenatan torah l'amo yisra-eil, baruch hu.
K'neged arba-ah vanim dib'rah torah. Echad chacham, v'echad rasha, v'echad tam, v'echad she-eino yodei-a lishol

The Torah speaks of four types of children: one is wise, one is wicked, one is simple, and one does not know how to ask.

חָכָם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה הָעֵדוֹת וְהַחֻקִּים וְהַמִשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֶתְכֶם? וְאַף אַתָּה אֱמָר לוֹ כְּהִלְכוֹת הַפֶּסַח: אֵין מַפְטִירִין אַחַר הַפֶּסַח אֲפִיקוֹמָן.

Chacham mah hu omeir? Mah ha-eidot v'hachukim v'hamishpatim, asher tzivah Adonai Eloheinu etchem? V'af atah emor lo k'hilchot hapesach. Ein maftirin achar hapesach afikoman.

The Wise One asks: "What is the meaning of the laws and traditions God has commanded?" (Deuteronomy 6:20) You should teach him all the traditions of Passover, even to the last detail.

רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת לָכֶם? לָכֶם - וְלֹא לוֹ. וּלְפִי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִן הַכְּלָל כָּפַר בְּעִקָּר
.וְאַף אַתָּה הַקְהֵה אֶת שִנָּיו וֶאֱמֹר לוֹ: בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם. לִי - וְלֹא לוֹ. אִילּוּ הָיָה שָׁם, לֹא הָיָה נִגְאָל

Rasha, mah hu omer? Mah ha-avodah ha-zot lachem? Lachem v’lo lo. Ul'fi shehotzi et atzmo min hak'lal, kafar ba-ikar. V'af atah hakheih et shinav, ve-emor lo. Ba-avur zeh, asah Adonai li, b'tzeiti mimitzrayim, li v'lo lo. Ilu hayah sham, lo hayah nigal.

The Wicked One asks: "What does this ritual mean to you?" (Exodus 12:26) By using the expression "to you" he excludes himself from his people and denies God. Shake his arrogance and say to him: "It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt..." (Exodus 13:8) "For me" and not for him -- for had he been in Egypt, he would not have been freed.

תָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה זֹּאת? וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו: בְּחֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ יי מִמִּצְרָיִם, מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים

Tam mah hu omeir? Mah zot? V'amarta eilav. B'chozek yad hotzi-anu Adonai mimitzrayim mibeit avadim.

The Simple One asks: "What is all this?" You should tell him: "It was with a mighty hand that the Lord took us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

ושֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל - אַתְּ פְּתַח לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה יי לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם

V'she-eino yodei-a lishol, at p'tach lo. Shene-emar. V'higadta l'vincha, bayom hahu leimor.
Ba-avur zeh asah Adonai li, b'tzeiti mimitzrayim.

As for the One Who Does Not Know How To Ask, you should open the discussion for him, as it is written: "And you shall explain to your child on that day, 'It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:8)

-- Four Children
Source : Eli Lebowicz, Lebowicz@gmail.com
The Four Sons

The Four Sons as represented by the Bluth boys from Arrested Development.
-- Exodus Story
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.

-- Exodus Story
Source : http://rac.org/_kd/CustomFields/actions.cfm?action=DownloadFile&file=item.pdf.22106.1076.pdf&name=INVISIBLE_-_A_Social_Justice_Haggadah.pdf

Where do we find the answers? The answers are in the story itself.

Avadim Hayinu. We were slaves in Mitzrayim. Our ancestors in their flight from bondage in Mitzrayim did not have time to let their dough rise. With not a moment to spare they snatched up the dough they had prepared and fled. But the hot sun beat as they carried the dough along with them and baked it into the flat unleavened bread we call matzah. In memory of this, we eat only matzah during Passover. This matzah represents our rush to freedom.

Avadim Hayinu. We were slaves. We eat maror to remind us how bitter our ancestors' lives were made by their enslavement in Mitzrayim.

Avadim hayinu. We were slaves. The first time we dip our greens to taste the brine of enslavement. We also dip to remind ourselves of all life and growth, of earth and sea, which gives us sustenance and comes to life again in the springtime. The second time we dip the maror into the charoset. The charoset reminds us of the mortar that our ancestors mixed as slaves in Mitzrayim. But our charoset is made of fruit and nuts, to show that our ancestors were able to withdstand the bitterness of slavery because it was sweetened by the hope of freedom.

Avadim hayunu. We were slaves. Long ago, the wealthy Romans reseted on couches during their feasts. Slaves were not allowed to rest, not even while they ate. Since our ancestors were freed from slavery, we recline to remind ourselves that we, like our ancestors, can overcome bondage in our own time. We also recline to remind ourselves that rest and rejuvination are vital to continuing our struggles. We should take pleasure in reclineing even as we share our difficult story.

And tonight we have a fifth question: Why is this night no different from all other nights? Because on this night, millions of human beings around the world still remain enslaved, just as they do on all other nights. 

-- Exodus Story
Source : http://hartman.org.il/Blogs_View.asp?Article_Id=659&Cat_Id=273&Cat_Type=Blogs

By Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman

Our rabbis teach that all Jews must see themselves as if they had come out of Egypt. The Exodus from Egypt is not a story of a distant past but a living memory which must shape our present lives and identities as Jews.

Memory is a tricky thing in which we are not merely passive recipients of past events, but active participants in shaping the memory and determining its features. The critical question we have to ask ourselves is what story we choose to tell. What do we remember from Egypt and most importantly what do we take away from that memory as a foundation block for contemporary Jewish life?

The Exodus story, as retold by our tradition, has many facets, each weaving its own narrative and moral lesson. The most dominant and common one portrays our liberation from Egypt as a story of Jewish election. It tells of our suffering in Egypt, of a God who remembers God’s covenant with our forefathers, and who reaches down with a mighty hand and outstretched arm and with great miracles to free us and to make us God’s inheritance and chosen people.

In telling the story we remember the liberation, so we can bask in the light of God’s love and care and feel the pride and dignity of being God’s chosen people. We count, relish, magnify, and multiply each miracle as evidence both of God’s unique love for us and as a foundation for the promise of things yet to come.

This story has served us well, especially in the darkest moments of exile as we awaited our next liberation story. It served to create a pride of membership even when our precarious political status seemed to suggest that we were the abandoned child. As our freedom and power increased with the rebirth of Israel and our newfound acceptance in the Western world the pride taken from the story served and serves as an ongoing catalyst for our people to strive for excellence and to define ourselves by our achievements. It is a story which embeds us with a sense of dignity and self-worth in which to be a Jew and to be mediocre is viewed as a contradiction in terms unworthy of the people who were freed by God from Egypt.

This story, however, can and at times has a darker side. Pride can be the mother of arrogance, and chosenness, instead of serving as a catalyst for achievement, can be the foundation for entitlement. The story of God’s love can give birth to a sense of superiority and a denigration of those who were not the recipients of that love.

In truth this darker side can be found throughout our tradition, as the Exodus story was sometimes used to discriminate between Jew and non-Jew. It even finds its way into the ending of the traditional Passover Haggadah with the calling for God to pour out God’s wrath upon the nations that do not know God. 

As we tell the story it is important that we own this part as well, for to ignore it will allow it to fester and to influence our soul. It is only when a symptom of an illness is recognized that appropriate acts can be instituted to activate healing.

As a part of this healing there is a dimension of the Exodus which rarely enters into the telling of the story or the traditional Haggadah, but which had significant impact on the Jewish moral code. It is the part of the story that precedes the liberation and which speaks of our humble and suffering past. It obligates us to use this memory as a catalyst for responsibility toward all who are in a similar circumstance. 

If the first story unites us with fellow Jews, the second places us forever in the midst of the community of sufferers. It tempers our pride with a measure of humility to ensure that arrogance and entitlement never become our inheritance. It channels our drive to achieve into areas which do not merely service our own interests but the needs of all, especially the downtrodden and forgotten.

If the prayer, “Pour out Your Wrath,” is the personification of our darker side, then the beginning of the Haggadah, “This is the bread of affliction, which our forefathers ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry, let them come and eat. All who are needy, let them join us at our table,” is meant to serve as its antidote.

Both, however, are present in our story. It behooves our people, whose liberation story serves as a catalyst for excellence, that we recognize that it is our responsibility to determine which side of the story we tell and which side we allow to define our future as a people. It is true that we were once slaves; now, however, we are free. As a free people the power is now in our hands to be a force for good or for evil. It is in our hands to show that Jewish pride and a sense of God’s love for us need not lead to arrogance and blindness to the needs and rights of others. It is in our hands to determine which story will define us as a people. Here too mediocrity and being Jewish must be a contradiction in terms.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah
The Second Cup - The Ten Plagues

With a finger, remove a drop of wine from your cup and wipe it on your plate, as each plague is mentioned...

Blood
Frogs
Lice
Wild Beasts
Blight
Boils
Hail
Locusts
Darkness
Slaying of the First Born

-- Ten Plagues

FIRST PLAGUE AS REPORTED ON TWITTER
by Jacob Richman, http://www.jr.co.il/humor/pass72.htm

CNN-Alerts: Egyptian water turns to blood

Jewish-Press: G-d sends first plague onto Egypt

BBC-Alerts: Egyptian officials say there is no problem.

Egypt-Ministry-of-Health: Temporary problem with the water supply

Egypt-Opposition: Do not drink the water

Muhamed-the-Egyptian: What the #%&!?

Jacob-the-Jew: What water problem??

Hamas-Guy: Tastes great, less filling

Pharo-the-Great: Anyone see that Moses dude?

Obama-Man: Give the negotiations a chance

Hillary-Clinton: This directed assault is an insult to the United States and our ally Egypt

EU-Council: We condem this aggressive act of violence

The-Hague: We condem the Israelites for war crimes against the Egyptians.

UN-Spokeman: Securty Resolution 2 - Israelites condemed for inciting the Egyptians

Dubai-Police: We have a video of 26 foreigners tampering with the water supply

Joe's-Spring-Water: Get our Egyptian importer on the line

Sarah Palin: They deserve it! Anyone see my shotgun ?

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

The traditional Haggadah lists ten plagues that afflicted the Egyptians. We live in a very different world, but Passover is a good time to remember that, even after our liberation from slavery in Egypt, there are still many challenges for us to meet. Here are ten “modern plagues”:

Inequity - Access to affordable housing, quality healthcare, nutritious food, good schools, and higher education is far from equal. The disparity between rich and poor is growing, and opportunities for upward mobility are limited.

Entitlement - Too many people consider themselves entitled to material comfort, economic security, and other privileges of middle-class life without hard work.

Fear - Fear of “the other” produces and reinforces xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, antisemitism, homophobia, and transphobia.

Greed - Profits are a higher priority than the safety of workers or the health of the environment. The top one percent of the American population controls 42% of the country’s financial wealth, while corporations send jobs off-shore and American workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively is threatened.

Distraction - In this age of constant connectedness, we are easily distracted by an unending barrage of information, much of it meaningless, with no way to discern what is important.

Distortion of reality - The media constructs and society accepts unrealistic expectations, leading to eating disorders and an unhealthy obsession with appearance for both men and women.

Unawareness - It is easy to be unaware of the consequences our consumer choices have for the environment and for workers at home and abroad. Do we know where or how our clothes are made? Where or how our food is produced? The working conditions? The impact on the environment?

Discrimination - While we celebrate our liberation from bondage in Egypt, too many people still suffer from discrimination. For example, blacks in the United States are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites, and Hispanics are locked up at nearly double the white rate. Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. At 61 cents to the dollar, the disparity is even more shocking in Jewish communal organization.

Silence - Every year, 4.8 million cases of domestic violence against American women are reported. We do not talk about things that are disturbing, such as rape, sex trafficking, child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse, even though they happen every day in our own communities.

Feeling overwhelmed and disempowered - When faced with these modern “plagues,” how often do we doubt or question our own ability to make a difference? How often do we feel paralyzed because we do not know what to do to bring about change?

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Franny Silverman, for the Sh'ma Haggadah supplement

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- 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!

Rachtzah
Source : Original
Rachtzah

Rachtzah
Source : Traditional

רחצה

Rachtzah

Wash hands while reciting the traditional blessing for washing the hands:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al n'tilat yadayim.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to wash our hands.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Original
Motzi Matzah

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Traditional

Motzi-Matzah מוֹצִיא

Take the three matzot - the broken piece between the two whole ones – and hold them in your hand and recite the following blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who provides sustenance from the earth.

Before eating the matzah, put the bottom matzah back in its place and continue, reciting the following blessing while holding only the top and middle piece of matzah.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al achilat matzah.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to eat matzah.

Break the top and middle matzot into pieces and distribute them everyone at the table to eat a while reclining to the left.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : http://www.manischewitz.com/assets/jahm/ads/scroll_1888.php
Original Manischewitz Box, 1888

Maror
Source : Original
Maror

Maror
Source : Traditional

Maror מָרוֹר

Now take a kezayit (the volume of one olive) of the maror. Dip it into the Charoset, but not so much that the bitter taste is neutralized. Recite the following blessing and then eat the maror (without reclining):

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מָרוֹר.

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al achilat maror.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to eat the bitter herb.

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 : Original
Korech

Koreich
Source : Traditional

Korech כּוֹרֵךְ

זֵכֶר לְמִקְדָּשׁ כְּהִלֵּל. כֵּן עָשָׂה הִלֵּל בִּזְמַן שבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָים: הָיָה כּוֹרֵךְ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר וְאוֹכֵל בְּיַחַד, לְקַיֵים מַה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ.

Zeicher l'mikdash k'hileil. Kein asah hileil bizman shebeit hamikdash hayah kayam. Hayah koreich pesach, matzah, u-maror v'ocheil b'yachad. L'kayeim mah shene-emar. “Al matzot um'rorim yochlu-hu.”

Eating matzah, maror and haroset this way reminds us of how, in the days of the Temple, Hillel would do so, making a sandwich of the Pashal lamb, matzah and maror, in order to observe the law “You shall eat it (the Pesach sacrifice) on matzah and maror.”

Koreich
Koreich
Source : Wandering

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
Shulchan Oreich
Source : Traditional

Shulchan Orech  שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

Now is time to enjoy the festival meal and participate in lively discussion. It is permitted to drink wine between the second and third cups.

Tzafun
Source : Original
Tzafun

Tzafun
Source : Traditional

Tzafun

צָפוּן

After the meal, take the Afikoman and divide it among all the guests at the Seder table.

It is forbidden to drink or eat anything (except the remaining two ritual cups of wine) after eating  the Afikoman.

Tzafun
Source : Love and Justice in Times of War Haggadah
Teaching Our Children Rebellion

“So who has found the afikomen?” we ask. The finders hold the napkin-covered matzah tightly in their hands and are determined to bargain. It is a part of our lesson plan—this small rebellion.

Each year we teach a new generation to resist bondage, to envision someplace better, to savor freedom, and to take responsibility for the journeys of their lives.

And each year with the afikomen ritual, they hold power in their hands, just long enough to say, “yes” or “no” with all eyes on them. With people waiting. “We can’t finish the seder without it.”

Just long enough to learn to ask for what they want.

Bareich
Source : Original
Barech

Bareich

We have eaten our Passover meal as free people. Let us give thanks to the source of all life and freedom. Let us say grace, 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:

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, whose goodness sustains the world. You are the origin of love and compassion, the source of bread for all. Thanks to You, we need never lack for food; You provide food enough for everyone. We praise God, source of food for everyone.

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.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Hallel
Source : Original
Hallel

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

Hallel
Source : Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained

There is a word in Hebrew — Teshuvah — that means return. It is an acknowledgement that there is always a chance for forgiveness, redemption and change. Our traditions teach that Passover is open to all. Everyone is welcome at this table. There is always room. Because no one is ever turned away, there is always an opportunity for a rebirth of spirit.

As a sign of hospitality to all, we open the door to our homes and symbolically invite anyone who wants to join us to come inside.

At this point, the children open the door.

Hallel
Source : ayeka

Opening the door for Elijah 

Elijah lived centuries after the Exodus. 

There is no connection between his actions and the Jews leaving Egypt. Yet he has become one of the central figures and symbols of the Passover Seder. Moses - the hero of the Exodus - is practically never mentioned. Yet we all know about Elijah's cup and opening the door for Elijah. 

We pour the cup but do not drink it. We open the door but no one comes in. 

The prophet Malachi says: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and awesome day of God. And he will turn the heart of fathers to their children and the heart of children to their fathers . . . "

Elijah brings together the hearts of people and generations. Elijah is the peacemaker in a world of strife and discord. Opening the door for Elijah is a harbinger of the future redemption to come. 

The Seder is not about a single moment of redemption that occurred thousands of years ago. By remembering the exodus from Egypt, we rekindle our hope in the ultimate breakthrough - however long it takes - to peace and harmony. 

Elijah is the messenger of hope. 

Would we recognize Elijah if he were standing at the door when we opened it? Can a complete stranger actually bring us peace and hope in our lives? 

Activity for Seder: 

Have you ever had an "Elijah the Prophet moment" - when a complete stranger suddenly appeared and brought you peace and hope? 

 
Hallel
Source : http://www.myjewishlearning.com/

Hallel is recited on holidays and on the semi-festival of the new moon (Rosh Hodesh). Many Jews also recite it on the modern festivals of Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day).

What are the ideas expressed in Hallel? The Gemara (the Rabbinic debates on the Mishnah) tells us that Hallel includes five major themes (Pesachim 118a):
 
1. The Exodus from Egypt
2. The splitting of the Red Sea
3. The giving of the Torah
4. The revival of the dead
5. The difficulties preceding the Messianic Age 
 
In other words, Hallel deals with all of Jewish history from the birth of our nation to the establishment of the Messianic Era. In Hallel we express our joy at past miracles and our faith in future miracles.
 
What is the nature of Hallel? In it, we praise God's providence for the individual and for the sake of the nation as a whole. In the second section we implore God not to forsake us, neither the nation nor the individual. In the last part of Hallel we thank God for miracles past, present, and future. Since Hallel is a commandment, we must start it with a blessing. We also conclude it with a blessing, which is voluntary. The Rabbis argue over whether the recital of Hallel is a Torah commandment or of rabbinic origin.

We begin Hallel by reciting Psalm 113, a psalm of introductory praises. In Psalm 114, King David shows how God's providence freed the Jews from Egyptian bondage and made their survival possible. In Psalm 115, we appeal for God's assistance. In Psalm 116, we plead with God for survival. In Psalm 117, the shortest of all the Psalms, we invite the nations of the world to join our songs of thanksgiving for our redemption. Finally, Psalm 118 can be interpreted in two different ways. David perhaps personally thanks God for his survival, or perhaps David represents the Jewish people and therefore the Psalm is a song of thanksgiving for the entire nation of Israel.
 
When we come to the end of Hallel, we ask God to save us and let us be successful. Those two requests derive from one verse (Psalms 118:25). There is a principle in Judaism that we must always quote a verse in its entirety and therefore we should properly repeat the entire verse before saying it a second time, but we do not. The reason is that according to the Talmud (Pesachim 119a), the verses we double were part of a dialogue between the prophet Samuel, Yishai--the father of David--and David and his brothers. Each one of those present when David was told he would be king of Israel participated in the dialogue. According to this, ana Hashem hoshi'ah na (-'Please, Hashem, save us") was said by the brothers. Ana Hashem hatzlichah na ("Please, Hashem, make us successful") was said by David himself. True, those two requests were from one verse; however, they were uttered by different people and expressed different ideas. In this special case, we may stop in the middle of a verse.
 
We conclude Hallel with a blessing that is not obligatory. According to the Gemara (Sukkah 39b) it depends on the custom of each community. Today, all communities say this blessing.

By Rabbi Isaiah Wohlgemuth

Nirtzah
Source : Original
Nirtzah

Nirtzah
Source : Traditional

Nirtzah נרצה

After all the singing is concluded we rise and recite together the traditional formula, the Seder is concluded .

חֲסַל סִדּוּר פֶּסַח כְּהִלְכָתוֹ, כְּכָל מִשְׁפָּטוֹ וְחֻקָתוֹ. כַּאֲשֶׁר זָכִינוּ לְסַדֵּר אוֹתוֹ. כֵּן נִזְכֶּה לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ. זָךְ שׁוֹכֵן מְעוֹנָה, קוֹמֵם קְהַל עֲדַת מִי מָנָה. בְּקָרוֹב נַהֵל נִטְעֵי כַנָּה. פְּדוּיִם לְצִיוֹן בְּרִנָּה.

Chasal sidur pesach k'hilchato, k'chol mishpato v'chukato. Ka-asher zachinu l'sadeir oto, kein nizkeh la-asoto. Zach shochein m'onah, komeim k'hal adat mi manah. B'karov naheil nitei chanah, p'duyim l'tzion b'rinah.

The Passover Seder is concluded, according to each traditional detail with all its laws and customs. As we have been privileged to celebrate this Seder, so may we one day celebrate it in Jerusalem. Pure One who dwells in the high places, support your People countless in number. May you soon redeem all your People joyfully in Zion.

At the conclusion of the Seder, everyone joins in singing:

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשַָׁלָיִם

L'shana Haba'ah b'Y’rushalayim

Next Year in Jerusalem!

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 : Monty Python Haggadah

Scene 1:  In the Desert  Moses is galloping (skipping on foot while clopping coconuts together to sound like hoofbeats) across the desert. He comes to a burning bush.

Bush: Halt! Who goes there!

Moses: A shrubbery! A talking shrubbery! One that looks nice, but is not too expensive. It is a good shrubbery. I like the laurels particularly.

Bush: Moses! Moses, Leader of the Israelites! 

(Moses looks stunned, drops to his knees in awe and bows his head to the ground in front of the burning bush.)

Bush:  Oh, don't grovel! If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people groveling.

Moses: Sorry-- 

Bush: And don't apologize. Every time I try to talk to someone, it's "sorry this" and "forgive me that" and "I'm not worthy". What are you doing now!?

Moses: I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord.

Bush: Well, don't. It's like those miserable Psalms -- they're so depressing. Now knock it off.

Moses: Yes, Lord.

Bush: Right! Moses, leader of the Israelites your people shall have a task to make them an example in these dark times.

Moses: Good idea, Lord!

Bush: Of course it's a good idea! Behold! This is your task to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

Moses: A blessing! But are you sure I shouldn't deliver a pizza instead

Scene 2: In Egypt

Moses: I never wanted to do this job of deliverance in the first place. At least delivering pizzas pays good tips!  I wanted to be a lumberjack, even though its a bit hard doing that in the desert. 

(Israelites sing)    Oh, we're Egyptian slaves. It's not OK.    We work all night and we work all day.    We quarry blocks and make mud bricks    And want to run away!

Scene 3: Asking Pharaoh to leave

Moses approaches Pharaoh and his advisors to ask for permission for the Israelites to leave Egypt. 

Pharaoh and his advisors say, "Ni! We are the keepers of the sacred words: Ni, Ping, and Neeee-wommmm!  We want a shrubbery!!!" 

Moses says, "I already found a shrubbery in the desert. It told me it was God, and told me to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt." 

When Pharaoh asks for proof that Moses speaks for God, he shows Pharaoh the holy hand grenade and Aaron pulls the holy pin, making mincemeat of half the advisors.

Scene 4: The Ten Plagues

Killer rabbits. 

Dead parrots. 

The Spanish Inquisition.  

Silly walks. 

1000-ton weights. 

Plague six. There IS no plague six! 

Crunchy frogs. 

Spam. 

Giant badgers. 

The killing of the first born. 

The morning after the final plague, the Egyptian garbage collectors roam the streets calling, "Bring out your dead!"  People bring corpses of plague victims to the dead cart.  

When they start to pick up one body, one of the collectors says, "Wait a bit.  He's not dead.  He's just resting." A lightning bolt comes out of the sky, hitting the body and killing it.  The collectors smile and heave it onto the cart. 

Scene 5: The Exodus

Aaron (addressing the assembled Israelite multitude): We need to sneak out of Egypt quickly without Pharaoh's army noticing. In this demonstration, we hope to show how to leave Egypt without being seen. This is Miriam of the Tribe of Levi. She can not be seen. Now I am going to ask her to stand up. Sister Miriam, will you stand up please?  

In the distance Miriam stands up. There is a clap of thunder and Miriam crumples to the ground.

Aaron: This demonstrates the value of not being seen

Stop! This is getting too silly!

Scene 6: Arriving at the Red Sea.

The Red Sea guard challenges the fleeing Israelites as they arrive, saying, "None shall pass." 

Guard: What is your name?

Moses: Moses.

Guard: What is your quest?

Moses: To reach the Promised Land.

Guard: What are your favorite colors?

Moses: Blue and white.

Guard: You may pass.

The Israelites pass through the Red Sea.  Now Pharaoh's army approaches, led by Rameses.

   Guard:     What is your name?    Rameses: Rameses, Pharaoh of Egypt    Guard:     What is your quest?    Rameses: To bring back the fleeing Israelite slaves.

Guard:     What is the capital of modern-day Abyssinia

Rameses: I don't know that.

The guard unleashes a flood of water onto Rameses and the army, drowning them all. 

Rameses:  Auuugh!

Aaron watches awestruck, then asks Moses how he was able to answer the questions so well. Moses says, "You have to know these sorts of things when youre a leader of the Israelites, you know."

Narrator:  Forty years later, after wandering around in the desert searching for the Holy Grail, Moses and Joshua stumble across a dragon ship and sail across the river Jordan to swelling music, but just as everything looks like there will be a happy ending ....

Moses: No afikomen here. Let's head back.

And now for something completely different.

Scene 7: The seder plate

To help us remember the story of the first Passover, we have assembled various symbolic foods on a Seder plate. There's egg and spam; shankbone and spam; greens and spam, bitter herbs and spam, charoses and spam, and spam, and spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam matzoh and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam... Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! 

But I can't eat spam, it's not kosher! 

I'll eat yours, dear. I'm Reform

Scene 8: The Four Questions

Setting:  A dusty street in an small Egyptian city.  Moses:  It's time to ask the five questions.   Aaron:  Four, sir!  It's FOUR questions. Moses:  Right.  Thou shalt ask four. No more. No less. Four shall be the number thou shalt ask, and the number of the asking shall be four. Five shalt thou not ask, nor either ask thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to four.

Enter King Arthur and the Black Knight.   King Arthur fights the Black Knight. First King Arthur cuts off the Black Knight's right arm, but he keeps on fighting. Then Arthur cuts off the Black Knight's left arm, followed by his right leg, and then finally cuts off his left leg. The Black Knight keeps fighting. King Arthur turns toward the camera with a puzzled look and asks, "Why is this knight different from all other knights?"  

Pause.  Let the audience groan.  Then continue.  Yes, we know that's only one question, but who's counting?  

Scene 9:  Dinner

It's time to eat dinner before finishing the rest of the Haggadah.  While eating dinner, make sure to defend yourself against the possibility that the person to your right will attack you with a banana.  

Scene 10:  The Afikomen

The children are sent out of the room to find the Afikomen.  They return, shouting:

Children:  An afikomen! An afikomen! An afikomen! We've got an afikomen!: We have found an afikomen, may we eat it? 

Father:     Eat it! Eat! 

Mother:    How do you know it is an afikomen?

Children:  It looks like one. It has warts on it.  And it turned me into a newt!

Scene 11: Elijah's Cup

Well, it's just after eight o'clock, and time for to open the door for Elijah's penguin. (Participant opens the door and in comes a penguin. The penguin explodes.

Scene 12:  Conclusion Narrator:  We conclude tonight's program with the question, 'Is there life after death?'. And here to discuss this question are three dead people.  The late Pharaoh Ramses, former ruler of the kingdom of Egypt, circa 1400 BCE; the late Moshe ben Amram, tribal spokesperson and record holder for longest road trip across the wilderness; and putting forward the view of the Powers that Be, the prophet Elijah the Gileadite. Gentlemen, is there life after death or not? (Prolonged silence)

Well there we have it!  Three say "No". On next week's program we'll be discussing the question 'Does the state of France have a right to exist?. And until then, goodnight. 

THE END

Songs
by Jenny
Source : Schlock Rock

Who Knows One?

1.  Who knows one?  I know one!

One is Hashem, one is Hashem, one is Hashem!

In the Heaven and the Earth

אחד אלוהינו שבשמיים ובארץ

2.  Who knows two?  I know two!

Two are the tablets that Moses brought, 

and one is Hashem, etc...

שני לוחות הברית

3.  Who knows three?  I know three!

Three are the fathers,

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem, etc.

שלושה אבות

4.  Who knows four?  I know four!

Four are the Mothers, 

and three are the fathers,

and two are the tablets that Moses brought, 

and one is Hashem.....

ארבע אימהות

5.  Who knows five?  I know five!

Five are the books of the *clap* Torah, 

Four are the mothers, and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

חמישה חומשי תורה

6.  Who knows six?  I know six!

Six are the books of the *clap* Mishnah,

and five are the books of the *clap* Torah,

and four are the mothers and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

שישה סידרי משנה

7.  Who knows seven?  I know seven!

Seven are the days of the week *clap, clap*,

Six are the books of the *clap* Mishnah,

and five are the books of the *clap* Torah,

and four are the mothers and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

שיבעה ימי שבתא

8.  Who knows eight?  I know eight!

Eight are the days til the Brit Milah

Seven are the days of the week *clap, clap*,

Six are the books of the *clap* Mishnah,

and five are the books of the *clap* Torah,

and four are the mothers and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

שמונה ימי מילה

9.  Who knows nine?  I know nine!

Nine are the months til the baby's born

Eight are the days til the Brit Milah

Seven are the days of the week *clap, clap*,

Six are the books of the *clap* Mishnah,

and five are the books of the *clap* Torah,

and four are the mothers and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

תישעה ירחי לידה

10.  Who know ten?  I know ten!

Ten are the Ten Commandments

Nine are the months til the baby's born

Eight are the days til the Brit Milah

Seven are the days of the week *clap, clap*,

Six are the books of the *clap* Mishnah,

and five are the books of the *clap* Torah,

and four are the mothers and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

עשרה דיבריא

11.  Who knows eleven?  I know eleven!

Eleven are the stars in Joseph's dream

Ten are the Ten Commandments

Nine are the months til the baby's born

Eight are the days til the Brit Milah

Seven are the days of the week *clap, clap*,

Six are the books of the *clap* Mishnah,

and five are the books of the *clap* Torah,

and four are the mothers and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

אחד עשר כוכביא

.יא

12.  Who knows twelve?  I know twelve!

Twelve are the tribes of Israel

Eleven are the stars in Joseph's dream

Ten are the Ten Commandments

Nine are the months til the baby's born

Eight are the days til the Brit Milah

Seven are the days of the week *clap, clap*,

Six are the books of the *clap* Mishnah,

and five are the books of the *clap* Torah,

and four are the mothers and three are the fathers

and two are the tablets that Moses brought,

and one is Hashem...

שנים עשר שיבטיא

.יב