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Introduction
Source : Valley Beth Shalom Haggadah

The first words in the creation of the universe out of the unformed, void and dark earth were God’s “Let there be light." Therein lies the hope and faith of Judaism and the obligation of our people: to make the light of justice, compassion, and knowledge penetrate the darkness of our time.

One person lights the candles and says:

ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של יום טוב

Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melech ha-olam, asher kideshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel yom tov.

Praised are You, Lord our God, Whose presence fills the universe, Who has sanctified our lives through Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the festival lights.

ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

Baruch ata Adonai, Elohaynu melech ha-olam, sheh’hech’iyanu v’kiymanu, v’higianu la-z’man ha-zeh.

Praised are You, Lord our God, Whose presence fills the universe, Who has sanctified our lives through Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the festival lights.

Kadesh
Source : The Rheingold Family Haggadah

Kiddush - Wine
READER:
The joy of Passover is the joy of love; the hope of Passover is the hope of love. Our ancestors suffered the coldness of hate and dreamed of the warmth of human kindness and universal love. And then, after the long winter of their bondage, freedom burst forth upon them like spring. In the rich sweetness of this wine, we celebrate in kinship the love and faith that give life. Love, freedom, and faith in life - these have kept our people together, in the face of great odds, for four millenia. May the struggle to attain these and to keep them succeed for all people in our time, and in the time to come.

BORUCH ATTO ADONOI ELOHENU MELECH HO'OLOM BORE P'RI HAGGOFEN

READER:
The Kiddush is a toast to this holiday in blessing the wine and the time passing. Come, honored friends, let us together drink the toast: L'chayim! To life! (All raise their cups, toast, and drink their wine.)

Urchatz
Source : The Buddhist & Jewish Haggadah

As Rachel welcomed strangers at the well with water, so do we welcome each other to this Seder by washing the hands of thos at our table.  We are not washing ourselves of dirt, but of attachment, guilt, and resentment. Each person in turn pours a little water over the hands of the person to the left, into the bowl.  As the water is poured, think of something that you wish to let go of and imagine the water carrying it away. 

Karpas
Source : Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

Revolutionary Karpas

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

The karpas gives us the tension between the aliveness of Spring and the bitter tears we wept in the land of Egypt. We are refreshed by the greenness of the karpas, yet our tastebuds wince at the salt water to dip them in, as we recall our own experience of being strangers. Our tongues push our thoughts towards those who are made strangers in our present time, in this country.

We dip the karpas. The salt water is bitter tears running down the cheeks and seeping into the corners of the mouth; tears of all strangers everywhere. Taste them.

Karpas
Source : Rheingold Family Haggadah

READER:
Spring is here. The world is alive and new; the bonds of winter cold are broken. Nature is reborn and the earth feels free and young again. The trees are budding; behind the buds lie flowers. The surprise of the world is about to burst open.

In Mitzrayim, our ancestors awoke from their sleep in chains to the life of freedom; in the long wandering out of bondage, our people were reborn into a new life.

BORUCH ATTO ADONOI ELOHENU MELECH HO'OLOM BORE P'RI HO'ADOMO

(Take the parsley, symbol of spring and hope, and dip it into the salt water, symbol of the bitterness and tears of our people, and eat it.)

Yachatz
Source : Miriam's Tapestry: Passover Seder Haggdah

Ritual Component

Leader:

No prayer is recited before we break the middle matzah on our Seder plate. This is a silent, reflective act.

Reader:

For we recognize that, like the broken matzah, we are incomplete, with prayers yet to be fulfilled, promises still to be redeemed.

We hide part of this broken matzah and hope it will be found by the end our Seder meal.

For we recognize that parts of ourselves are yet unknown. We are still discovering what makes us whole.

We hide the larger of the two parts of the matzah.

For we recognize that more is hidden than revealed.

Group:

With the generations that have come before us, and with one another, our search begins.

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.

-- Four Questions
Source : Traditional

                 Maggid – Four Questions

מַהנִּשְּׁתַּנָה

?מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

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

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

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

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

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

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Four Children
Source : Original

There is  something else hidden tonight in addition to the Afikoman.

We generally think of the Four Children as distinct individuals, or personalities, or types.

Each asks (or doesn't ask) a different type of question and in a different tone. (This is the Haggadah's way of explaining why the Torah seems to say we should tell our children about the Exodus from Egypt in different words, and in differing levels of detail. The Book of Proverbs tells us to "teach a child in the way s/he can understand (appropriate to each age, intellectual and interest level), and as s/he grows older that knowledge will remain."

But just flip the list upside down, and a different picture emerges.

Suddenly, we see ourselves at all the stages of our human development from childhood to adulthood and beyond, reflected in this passage.

The one who doesn't know what or how to ask is too young - perhaps a pre-schooler, or simply incapable of asking.

The simple one. Simple questions from a young child just learning about life - just learning how to read and reason - require simple, declarative if not definitive, answers, without equivocation and as factual but unfrightening as we can make them.

The rebellious one - (often erroneously referred to as wicked) - that's us as teenagers, challenging authority, seeking our own answers, trying to make sense of things we now summarily reject out of hand that once we had accepted as revealed truth.

The wise one. Then, IF we survive our teenage rebelliousness, we FINALLY emerge into adult maturity, and hopefully, attain wisdom or something akin to it, that enables us to function in, if not make sense of, the world we inhabit. 

If we are lucky, this last stage lasts a lifetime.

(For many, however, the ladder UP eventually becomes the staircase DOWN again, as we pass through the wisdom of adulthood, back to a a cantankerous stubbornness or rebelliousness, to simplicity, and finally, sadly, to the silence of no longer knowing how, or caring what, to ask.)

-- Exodus Story
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

During the time when Pharaoh issued his decree to kill Israelite males, Moses, who later was to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to freedom, was an infant. His concerned mother, Jochebed placed him in a basket of reeds in the Nile River while Moses’ sister Miriam watched from a distance to see who would come to find him. The basket was found by the Pharaoh’s daughter, who decided to raise the infant as her own son and named him Moses. She unknowingly hired Jochebed as a nurse to care for him, and Jochebed secretly taught Moses his Israelite heritage. At age 40, on a visit to see his fellow Israelites, Moses saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating an Israelite slave and in his rage, killed the Egyptian. Fearing for his life, Moses fled Egypt. He fled across the desert, for the roads were watched by Egyptian soldiers, and took refuge in Midian, an area in present-day northwestern Saudi Arabia along the eastern shores of the Red Sea.

             

While in Midian, Moses met a Midianite priest named Jethro and became a shepherd for the next 40 years, eventually marrying one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah. Then, when Moses was about 80 years of age, God spoke to him from a burning bush and said that he and his brother Aaron were selected by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to freedom. At first, Moses hesitated to take on such a huge task, but eventually Moses and his brother Aaron set about returning to Egypt, commencing what was to be the spectacular and dramatic events that are told in the story of Passover. It is said that the Israelites entered Egypt as a group of tribes and left Egypt one nation. It has also been estimated that the Passover exodus population comprised about 3 million people, plus numerous flocks of sheep who all crossed over the border of Egypt to freedom in Canaan.

             

Under the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III in Egypt in 1476 BCE, the Israelite leader Moses (“Moshe” in Hebrew) – guided by God – led his people out of Egypt after a series of 10 plagues that were created by God and initiated by Moses. Prior to most of the plagues, Moses had warned the Pharaoh about each plague and that it would devastate his people, if he refused to let the Israelites go. After the first two plagues, the Pharaoh refused to let them go because his court magicians were able to re-create the same miracles, and so the Pharaoh thought: “This proves that the Israelite God is not stronger than I.” But when the third plague occurred, the Pharaoh’s magicians were not able to duplicate this miracle; however, that still did not change the Pharaoh’s mind about letting the Israelites leave Egypt. After each subsequent plague, the Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go, but the Pharaoh soon changed his mind and continued to hold the Israelites as slaves. Finally, after the 10th plague, the Pharaoh let the Israelites go for good.


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

The Second Cup – The 10 Plagues

 

Blood – דָּם

Frogs – צְפֵרְדֵּעַ

Lice – כִּנִים

Wild Beasts – עָרוֹב

Blight – דֶּבֶר

Boils שְׁחִין

Hail – בָּרַד

Locusts – אַרְבֶּה

Darkness – חשֶׁךְ

Slaying of the First-Born – מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

 

When the Pharaoh finally agreed to free the Israelite slaves, they left their homes so quickly that there wasn’t even time to bake their breads. So they packed the raw dough to take with them on their journey. As they fled through the desert they would quickly bake the dough in the hot sun into hard crackers called matzah. Today to commemorate this event, Jews eat matzah in place of bread during Passover.

 

Though the Israelites were now free, their liberation was incomplete. The Pharaoh’s army chased them through the desert towards the Red Sea. When the Israelites reached the sea they were trapped, since the sea blocked their escape. When the Israelites saw the Egyptian army fast approaching toward them, they called out in despair to Moses. Fortunately, God intervened and commanded Moses to strike his staff on the waters of the Red Sea, creating a rift of land between the waves, enabling the Israelites to cross through the Red Sea to safety on the other side. Once the Israelites were safely across, God then commanded Moses to strike the waters of the Red Sea with his staff again, just as the Egyptian army followed them through the parted Red Sea. The waters came together again, drowning the entire Egyptian army and the Israelites were saved.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Rabbi Joshua Lesser
 
During Passover we remember our ancient story of our people's journey from bondage to liberation.  Moving from metaphor to reality, we bring awareness to the ways slavery is still present and plagues all of us.  Our interconnectedness as people binds all of us and keeps us from being truly free when slavery still exists.
 
“During the Seder, some Jews have the custom of going around the table and imagining themselves as Hebrew slaves in Egypt during the Exodus. They describe their respective slave jobs — bricklayer, house slave, mortar mixer — and how they feel about their impending freedom. [This] illuminates the Seder’s insistence that had God not redeemed us from Egypt, the Jewish people might still be enslaved.
 
But when I think of what it would mean to be a slave today, I don’t need to look to the past for examples. Going around the Seder table, I think: I could be a farm hand, a nanny or a home health care worker, a child picking cocoa or a man laboring on a fishing boat, someone forced into prostitution or doing menial work at a hotel. More than 3,000 years after the Exodus, and 150 years after the Civil War, slavery and human trafficking continue to flourish around the world.
 
Estimates of modern slavery range from 12 million to 27 million people. Human trafficking has been found in more than 90 cities in the United States... Slavery is the extreme end of an abusive employment continuum filled with low-wage, dangerous jobs.”
-Rabbi Rachel Kahn Troster from Rabbis of Human Rights 

 
Human Slavery continues to plague us today.  These ten plagues are reminders of how present modern day slavery affects our society:
 
1. Greed – When the drive for money without a standard of ethics rules business, it creates a climate where people are seen only as a means to an end. Greed transforms living souls into commodities for sale or to be harnessed for another’s gain. Even as consumers, our desire for the cheapest product out there often comes at too high of a moral cost.
 
2. Poverty – At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. In 2010, nearly 50 million Americans reported living in poverty. Over 15 million were children. Poverty is the main cause of global hunger. With the disparity growing between those who have and those who don’t, it creates an atmosphere of desperation and exploitation.
 
3. Trafficking – Up to 25 million people are victims of modern slavery. Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons, by means of threats, of force and coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power, of a position of vulnerability. It also frequently involves the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve control over another person for the purpose of exploitation.
 
4. Unsafe Working Conditions – On farms, in factories, and in mills, some of the lowest paying jobs also come with great physical risks. Pesticides, toxic chemicals, unregulated machinery, and lack of appropriate work gear and training cause serious injury, illness, and death.
 
5. Assault – In addition to desperation, use of force and coercion is how many people enter modern day slavery. The threat of violence, or actual acts of violence, are used to control people and crush their will. In addition, women and children are often physically and sexually harassed.
 
6. Peonage – In many communities that depend on slave labor, a deliberate cycle of poverty is created. Rents and resources are priced just out of reach and often delivered by employers, ensuring a constant and endless wheel of debt.
 
7. False Promises – Many people are lured into slavery with the promise of “help” or a “better“ life, only to discover that they have worsened their situation. Their freedom and will are sold through deception.
 
8. Exploitation of the Vulnerable – Slavery targets those most in need, because they are incredibly vulnerable. In the worst cases, where force is employed, women and children become the easiest targets to dominate and exploit.
 
9. Xenophobia – Seeing the foreigner as other has allowed people to devalue and dehumanize in order to more easily exploit. It also has made it easier for others to turn a blind eye to the slavery that occurs in our communities and our country.
 
10. Hopelessness – Too often, the end result of modern day slavery is the corruption of spirit and a resignation that life will never get better. This kind of hopelessness and despair breaks people’s will to live or advocate for their brighter future.
 
 
"We remain steadfast in our resolve to see that all men, women, and children have the opportunity to realize this greatest of gifts. Yet millions around the world -- including here in the United States -- toil under the boot of modern slavery.
 
"Mothers and fathers are forced to work in fields and factories against their will or in service to debts that can never be repaid. Sons and daughters are sold for sex, abducted as child soldiers, or coerced into involuntary labor. In dark corners of our world, and hidden in plain sight in our own communities, human beings are exploited for financial gain and subjected to unspeakable cruelty.
 
"[Slavery] remains the affront to human dignity and stain on our collective conscience that it has always been… The United States is committed to eradicating trafficking in persons.” – President Barack Obama
 
With awareness, education, advocacy and informed choices, we can work to turn the vision of freedom into a reality separating the words of modern day from slavery forever.
-- 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 : Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained

A Medieval addition to the Haggadah, this hymn originally contained fifteen verses mirroring the fifteen steps in the Seder.

 

How many are the gifts God bestowed upon us! Had God:

Brought us out of Egypt and not divided the sea for us

Divided the sea and not permitted us to cross on dry land,

Permitted us to cross on dry land and not sustained us for forty years in the desert,

Sustained us for forty years in the desert and not fed us with manna

Fed us with manna and not given us the Sabbath

Given us the Sabbath and not brought us to Mount Sinai

Brought us to Mount Sinai and not given us the Torah

Dayenu Dayenu

Dayenu Dayenu Dayenu Dayenu Dayenu

Day, dayenu, day, dayenu, day, dayenu, dayenu, dayenu...

Ilu hotsi hotsianu, hotsianu mi-Mitzrayim, hotisanu mi-Mitzrayim, Dayenu Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha-Shabbat, natan lanu et ha-Shabbat, Dayenu. Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha-Torah, natan lanu et ha-Torah, Dayenu.

-- 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

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 : A Family Pesach Seder in Rhyme

Two times so far we've talked about

this matzah here to figure out

And now's our chance to take a bite

to remind us of the slaves rushed flight

But first some blessings say we should

Thank God for our gifts so good

Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-o-lam,

Ha-mo-tzee le-chem meen ha-a-retz.

O Holy One of Blessing, Your Presence fills creation;

Thank you for the nourishing goodness of bread.

Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-o-lam,

a-sher keed-sha-nu be-meetz-vo-tav, vee-tzee-va-nu

al a-chee-lat ma-tzah.

O Holy One of Blessing, your Presence fills creation;

You have made us special with your Mitzvot, and You have

Instructed us to eat Matzah during Pesach

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.

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.”

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 : 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 : 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.

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

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:

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.

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:

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 third glass of wine!

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

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, such as a baby’s bris and the Passover seder.

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּיאֵלִיָּֽהוּ, 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.

Hallel
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.

Hallel
Source : JewishBoston.com

Singing songs that praise God | hallel | הַלֵּל

This is the time set aside for singing. Some of us might sing traditional prayers from the Book of Psalms. Others take this moment for favorites like Chad Gadya & Who Knows One, which you can find in the appendix. To celebrate the theme of freedom, we might sing songs from the civil rights movement. Or perhaps your crazy Uncle Frank has some parody lyrics about Passover to the tunes from a musical. We’re at least three glasses of wine into the night, so just roll with it.

Fourth Glass of Wine

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

Drink the fourth and final 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!