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The Table is set, we’ve cleaned our homes of bread or chametz, our friends and family are here. It is Spring 2019. How grateful are we to be her celebrating Passover with each other.

Before we get started, there are a few things we have to do:

First of which is to light the candles and review the Traditions of Passover. Why do you think we follow a specific order? Why do we use a Hagadah to retell the story of the Jewish History and our exodus from Egypt?  What do you think the Passover symbols and traditions are supposed to make us think about? I think by the end of the service, we will all realize why the story of Passover must be repreated every year and by every generation.

Traditions of Passover

  1. Elijah’s Cup- We open the Door for Elijah
  2. Inviting guests and strangers
  3. Reclining on a soft pillow instead of sitting up straight
  4. Drinking 4 cups of wine
  5. Eating Matza instead of bread

The Candle lighting celebration begins by honoring light

We light the candles and say…

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדלִיק נֵר שֶׁל יוֹם טוֹב

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam
Asher Kidishanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe,
Who sanctifies us with commandments, and commands us to light the candles on this holiday.



Matzah, Beitzah (Egg), Maror (Bitter Herb), Haroset, Zroa (Shankbone), Karpas (Parsley), Salt Water, Wine

Source :


Fill your cup with the first glass of wine, lift the cup, say the Kiddush, and drink, leaning to the left. All Jewish celebrations, from holidays to weddings, include wine as a symbol of our joy – not to mention a practical way to increase that joy. The Seder starts with first cup of wine and then gives us three more opportunities to refill our cup and drink.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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


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

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

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



Ritually wash hands without reciting the blessing. The need for hand washing before eating vegetables is no longer a ritual requirement, however, it is included here in the traditional Seder.


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.

We dip our parsley 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.


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”

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Traditional

Maggid – Beginning


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 :

The telling of the story of Passover is framed as a discussion with questions and answers. The tradition that the youngest person asks the questions reflects the idea of involving everyone at the Seder.

מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?
Why is this night different from all other nights?

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

1) Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah. Halaila hazeh kulo matzah.
Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzo, but on this night we eat only matzo?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

2) Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot haleila hazeh maror.
Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?

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

3) Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat. Halaila hazeh shtei fi-amim.
Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?

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

4) Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin. Halaila hazeh kulanu m’subin.
Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

-- Four Questions

Answering the Four Questions:   


I am glad you asked these questions, for the story of this night is just what I wanted you to know.  Indeed, this night is different from all other nights.  For on this night we celebrate a most important event in the history of man.  On this night we celebrate the going forth of the Hebrew people from slavery into freedom.

                       WHY do we eat only Matzah tonight?

WHEN Pharaoh let our forefathers go from Egypt they were forced to flee in great haste.  They had no time to bake their bread.  They could not wait for the yeast to rise.  So the sun beating down on the dough as they carried it along baked it into a flat unleavened bread called Matzah.

                       WHY do we eat bitter herbs tonight?

BECAUSE our fathers were slaves in Egypt and their lives were made bitter.

                       WHY do we dip the herbs twice tonight?

WE dip the parsley into salt water because it reminds us of the green that comes to life in the springtime.  We dip the bitter herbs into the sweet charoset as a sign of hope; our fathers were able to withstand the bitterness of slavery, because it was sweetened by the hope of freedom.

                       WHY do we recline at the table?

BECAUSE reclining at the table was a sign of a free man in olden times; and since our fathers were freed on this night we recline at the table.

-- Four Children
Source : JM

The Four Kinds of Children

 THE WISE CHILD                              

The Wise child loves Passover.  He is eager to celebrate the holiday and he asks his father, “What are the decrees, statutes and laws which the Lord our God has commanded concerning Passover?”  He must be told all that there is to know aobut the beautiful customs and observances of the festival.  Then you must point out to him that they have meaning too as the beloved symbols of a great and noble ideal – the ideal of freedom for all men.


THE WICKED CHILD              

The Wicked child is scornful and irreverent.  He does not feel as though he is part of this whole celebration.  He asks his father in a mocking spirit “What does the service mean to you?”  “To You” he says as though he were an outsider and had no part in it.  He should be scolded and told, ‘it is because of what God did to me when I went out of Egypt. To me; not to you!  If you had been there, you would not have deserved to go forth.”       



The simple child is naïve and innocent.  He would like to know what Passover is all about, but he is shy and just doesn’t know how to ask about it.  So, he says merely, “what is this?”  He should be told, “with a strong hand the Lord brought us forth from Egypt out of the house of bondage.”



This child does not realize that something unusual is going on.  Therefore, he must be introduced to the story and its celebration in simple and clear fashion.  As the Torah explains, “this is because of what the Lord did for me when I went forth from Egypt.”

-- Exodus Story

Let My People Go!


We weren’t always slaves in Egypt.  We became slaves….and the story of how we became slaves to the Pharaohs of Egypt, and ultimately how we were freed, is really the basis of the story of Passover.  It’s a part of history that belongs to all of us.  By telling this story year after year, we’re ensuring that we’ll never forget our oppression or our freedom.

Many years ago, in the land of Egypt Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachel, was sold into slavery by his brothers.  Joseph was skilled and intelligent and soon became an official in the court of the Egyptian Pharaoh.

Joseph could interpret dreams, which he sometimes used to predict the future.  He offered the pharaoh his prediction of an upcoming famine, which the Pharaoh heeded.


Because Joseph’s timely advice saved the land from a great famine, Pharaoh invited them to stay when Joseph’s family came to Egypt searching for food.  They lived in peace for many years and became known as the Israelites.

Years later, a new Pharaoh came to rule.  He did not remember Joseph and all he had done for the Egyptians.  He saw the Israelites’ population was growing rapidly, an feared that in a war they might side with the enemy and become a danger to Egypt.

To remove his “problem of the Israelites”, Pharaoh enslaved them.  He forced them to work hard, building his cities and palaces.  Baking bricks and carrying stones in the desert heat, they knew neither peace nor rest, only misery and pain.  To limit their population, Pharaoh decreed, “Every baby boy born to an Israelite woman shall be drowned in the river.”


In an effort to save their baby, Amram and Yocheved, Jewish slave couple hid him in a basket on the riverbank.  When Pharaoh’s daughter, the princess, came down to the river to bathe, she found the baby and decided to take him home to the Palace.  The princess named the baby, Moses; which means, “brought out of the water.”

Because she needed a nurse to feed and care for the baby, the princess looked for a Jewish nurse.  Yocheved’s daughter, Miriam, who was hiding by the river watching, came out and told the princess that she know of a nurse.  She ran home and brought Yocheved back to the princess, not revealing that she was really Moses’ mother.  Yocheved became Moses’ nurse and was able to care for him throughout his childhood.


Moses, being the adopted son of the princess, would have lived a rich life in the Pharoaoh's palace, but he could not bear to see his people suffer as slaves.  One day, he came upon an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating an Israelite slave.  In a fit of rage, Moses beat the Egyptian to death.  His crime soon became known and Moses was forced to leave his homeland and flee to the desert.  He became a shepherd in the land of Midian.

One day while tending his sheep, Moses came upon a bush that was on fire.  Although it was burning, it was not being consumed.  He heard God’s voice coming from the bush, telling Moses to go back to Egypt and free his people from slavery – and lead them out of Egypt.  Because Moses was merely a shepherd, he asked God, “How may I accomplish this great task, I am but a lowly shepherd, and I am of impaired speech.  God replied, “Go forth to Egypt with your wooden staff.  I will be by your side and the Pharaoh will be forced to free your people”

We all sing:

When Israel was in Egypt’s Land

Let my people go!

Oppressed so hard they could not stand

Let my people go!

Go down, Moses, way down to Egypt’s land

Tell old, Pharaoh,

Let my people go!

-- Exodus Story
Source : JM

Moses returned to Egypt and went to see Pharaoh with his brother Aaron, as his spokesperson.  “Let my people go!” Moses demanded. But Pharaoh had a hardened heart and refused.

When Pharaoh defied the command of God and refused to release the Israelites, he brought trouble upon himself and his people, for the Lord afflicted the Land of Egypt with plagues.

When God brought forth the tenth and most devastating plague, the killing of the firstborn, the Pharaoh finally agreed to free the Israelites. The Israelites children were spared because they put a symbol on their door so God would pass over their houses.

These plagues came upon the Egyptians because of their evil; yet we do not rejoice over their downfall and defeat.


Judaism teaches that all men are the children of God, even our enemies who would seek to destroy us.

At this point in the service we spill wine from our cups at the mention of each of the ten plagues.  We cannot allow ourselves to drink a full measure, our own lives are diminished by the recollection of this catastrophe.  We express remorse that the Egyptians had to suffer such a terrible punishment.

(All recite in unison and spill a drop for each plague)

-- Ten Plagues
Source :

As we rejoice at our deliverance from slavery, we acknowledge that our freedom was hard-earned. We regret that our freedom came at the cost of the Egyptians’ suffering, for we are all human beings. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them to signify having a little less sweetness in our celebration. Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues:

BLOOD / dam
FROGS / tzfardeiya
LICE / kinim
BEASTS / arov
BOILS / sh’chin
HAIL / barad
LOCUSTS / arbeh
DARKNESS / choshech
DEATH OF THE FIRSTBORN / makat b’chorot

Even though we are happy that the jews escaped slavery, let us once more take a drop of wine as we together recite the names of these modern plagues:


-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : JM


Moses did not trust the Pharaoh.  He told his people to quickly pack whatever they could carry, and Moses led them out of Egypt and into the desert.  With no time to bake their bead, the people carried their kneading bowls and their dough, wrapped in cloaks upon their shoulders.  Once free and in the desert, they baked the dough on the hot rocks into matzah.

But once again the Pharaoh changed his mind-and sent his soldiers to capture the Israelites.  As Pharaoh’s army caught up with the Israelites at the Red Sea, God told Moses to hold up his wooden staff.  Suddenly, a huge wind came up and the Red Sea parted- allowing all the freed slaves to pass.  Once all of the Israelites were safely across, Moses again held up his staff and the waters closed upon the Pharaoh’s soldiers killing all of them.

Finally….the Israelites were truly free!


As a way of giving praise to God, and showing appreciation for all the blessings given us, we recite Dayenu (It would have been enough and we are grateful).  After each line is read, everyone present proclaims ….DAYENU!


How many and wonderful are the favors which God has conferred upon us!

Had God brought us out of Egypt, and not fed us in the desert,   DAYENU!

Had He fed us with manna, and not ordained the Sabbath, DAYENU!

Had He ordained the Sabbath, and not brought us to Mount Sinai, DAYENU!

Had He brought us to Mount Sinai, and not given us the Torah, DAYENU!

Had He given us the Torah, and not led us into Israel, DAYENU!

Had He led us into Israel, and not given us the Prophets, DAYENU!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source :


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source :

We recall our story of deliverance to freedom by blessing the second glass of wine:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

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


Source : Traditional



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.

Source :


Raise the matzo and recite two blessings: the regular bread blessing and then one specifically mentioning the mitzvah of eating matzo at Passover.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.
We praise God, Spirit of everything who brings bread from the land.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al achilat matzah.
Blessed are You, Spirit of everything who commands us to eat matzo.

Source :


Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al achilat maror.
Blessed are You, Spirit of the universe who commands us to eat bitter herbs.

Source :


While the English Earl of Sandwich is generally credited for inventing the snack of his namesake, Hillel may have originated it two thousand years ago by combining matzo, a slice of paschal lamb, and a bitter herb. Jews no longer sacrifice and eat the lamb, so now the Passover sandwich is only matzah, charoset, and a bitter herb.

Shulchan Oreich

The meal is served!

Shulchan Oreich
Source :

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, as we say…

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim


Source :

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, Spirit of Everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Source :

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.

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.

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.

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

We sing Elijah's song, and watch expectantly and hopefully for the wine in the cup to diminish, a sure sign that Elijah has visited and the dawn of a new redemption is near. Of more recent origin is the custom of placing a second cup on the Seder table for a second unseen but deserving guest - the prophetess, Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron.

Why Miriam? Who was it who, disregarding her own safety, dared to approach the Pharaoh's daughter, Princess of Egypt, and offer to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for her? Who was it who led the redeemed Israelite women and men in song and dance to celebrate their salvation at the Sea?

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

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

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