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Source : Rachel Barenblat

In the northern hemisphere, Passover coincides with the beginning of spring: a time for renewal, rethinking, rebirth. We  throw  open  the  windows  of  our  houses,  we  sweep away  winter's  grit  and  dust.  The  story  of  Passover  is  a  story  of  liberation  and  new beginnings:  what  better  time  to rethink  our  own  liberation  than  now,  as  new  green appears?

May this Passover spring give us the insight and courage to create ourselves anew.

Source :

Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

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.


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

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam
Sheche’hiyanu V’Keymanu V’Higiyanu Lazman Ha’Zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe,
Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Traditionally Passover celebrates…

The Jewish people’s freedom from Egyptian bondage that took place approximately 3,500 years ago, as told in the first 15 chapters of the Book of Exodus. Before the Jewish people were known as Jewish or Jews – names that were derived from the Kingdom of Judah where they lived from 922 BCE until 587 BCE – they were known as either Israelites or Hebrews. “Hebrews,” “Israelites,” or the “Children of Israel” were names that collectively described the descendants of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob (also known as Israel). The Hebrews and Israelites eventually established and lived in both the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel.

The events of Passover written about in the Book of Exodus occurred at a time before the Jewish people were known as Jewish or Jews, and so we refer to the Jewish people as either Hebrews or Israelites in the Passover story that follows. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim, and means either “constriction” or “narrow straits.” This is in reference to the Israelites being in a state of constriction while toiling as slaves in the land of Goshen, an area of ancient Egypt. As slaves, the Israelites were building cities such as Pithom and Ra’amses which were used as supply centers for the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Source :

We wash our hands, without saying the blessing. Each person washes the hand of the person next to her (pouring it over a bowl). Imagine that you are washing away all cynicism and despair, and allow yourself to be filled with the hope that the world could be really transformed in accord with our highest vision.

Source : Rachel Barenblat

At this point in the  seder, it is traditional to eat a green vegetable dipped in  salt water.  The green vegetable  represents rebirth, renewal and growth; the salt water represents the tears of enslavement.

Baruch atah, Adonai, eloheinu ruach ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adamah.

Blessed are you, Adonai, Breath of Life, creator of the fruit of the earth.

Source : (Traditional)

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.

Source : Rachel Barenblat

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 needy come and celebrate the Passover with us.  Now we are here; next year may we be in the Land of Israel. Now we are slaves; next year may we be free.

We break the matzah as we broke the chains of slavery, and as we break chains which bind us today. We will no more be fooled by movements which free only some of us, in which our so - called “freedom” rests upon the  enslavement or embitterment of others.

Traditionally, seders require three matzot. Why three?   Three are our patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Three  are the segments of the people Israel, Kohen, Levi and Yisrael.  The three matzot could even represent thesis, antithesis and synthesis: the two opposites in any polarized situation, and the solution which bridges them.

Source :
Israel Hamsah

-- Four Questions
Source : Foundation for Family Education, Inc.

(Professor Eliezer Segal,   Why is it only  on Passover night we never know how to do anything right?   We don't eat our meals in the regular ways, the ways that we do on all other days.   `Cause on all other nights we may eat all kinds of wonderful good bready treats,   like big purple pizza that tastes like a pickle, crumbly crackers and pink pumpernickel, sassafras sandwich and tiger on rye, fifty falafels in pita, fresh-fried, with peanut-butter and tangerine sauce spread onto each side up-and-down, then across, and toasted whole-wheat bread with liver and ducks, and crumpets and dumplings, and bagels and lox, and doughnuts with one hole and doughnuts with four, and cake with six layers and windows and doors.    Yes-- on all other nights we eat all kinds of bread, but tonight of all nights we munch matzah instead.   And on all other nights we devour vegetables, green things, and bushes and flowers, lettuce that's leafy and candy-striped spinach, fresh silly celery (Have more when you're finished!) cabbage that's flown from the jungles of Glome by a polka-dot bird who can't find his way home, daisies and roses and inside-out grass and artichoke hearts that are simply first class! Sixty asparagus tips served in glasses with anchovy sauce and some sticky molasses-- But on Passover night you would never consider eating an herb that wasn't all bitter.

-- Four Questions
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

The MaNishtana traditionally asks us, “What is unique or different about tonight?” and, “Why do we eat Matzah, why do we dip and eat Bitter Herbs not just once, but twice and why do we recline?” These elements are symbolic themes that mirror the reflection our ancestor’s liberation from slavery, the hardships they experienced and the oppression that infringed on their freedoms. Tonight at our GLBT Passover Seder we incorporate a fifth question and answer. “What is unique or different about tonight’s seder, why tonight do we have Pride?” Pride is a very symbolic word in the GLBT community. We use this word often and tonight we have the opportunity to demonstrate how proud we are of our sexual orientation and gender identity.

מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת!

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כּוּלוֹ מַצָּה?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אֶנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים?
שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָנו מְסֻבִּין?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת סֵדֶר אָנוּ עוֹשִים סֵדֶר מָסָרְתִּי, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָנוּ גַאִים?


Mah nish-ta-na ha-lai-lah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-lei-lot!

Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot a-nu och-lin ha-metz u-matzah.

Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, ku-lo matzah?

Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot a-nu och-lin sh’ar y’ra-kot.

Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, maror?

Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot ein a-nu mat-bi-lin a-fi-lu pa-am e-hat.

Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, sh-tei fi-ah-mim?

Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot a-nu och-lin bayn yosh-vin ou-vein mis-u-bin.

Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, ku-la-nu mis-u-bin?

Sheh-beh-chol ha-lei-lot sed-er a-nu o-seem sed-er ma-sar-ti.

Ha-lai-lah ha-zeh, ku-la-nu ga-im?


Why is this night different from all other nights!

On all other nights we eat either leavened bread or matzah.

Why, on this night, do we eat only matzah?


On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs.

Why, on this night, do we eat only bitter herbs?


On all other nights we do not dip herbs.

Why, on this night, do we dip them twice?


On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining on pillows.

Why, on this night, do we eat only reclining upon pillows?


On all other Seder nights we do a traditional Seder.

Why, on this night, do we have Pride?  


The Five Answers

Speaker 1: We were slaves in Egypt. Our ancestor in flight from Egypt did not have time to let the 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.

Speaker 2: 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.

Speaker 3: The second time we dip the maror into the charoset. The charoset reminds us of the mortar that our ancestors mixed as slaves in Egypt. But our charoset is made of fruit and nuts, to show us that our ancestors were able to withstand the bitterness of slavery because it was sweetened by the hope of freedom.

Speaker 4: 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 rejuvenation are vital to continuing our struggles. We should take pleasure in reclining, even as we share our difficult history.

Speaker 5: We are proud to be gay, straight, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer and everything else under the rainbow. And all of us together here, add meaning to an age old Jewish tradition and for that we have pride. As a community we have come far, and while we are not done with our struggle, we should reflect proudly on our accomplishments as we celebrate here tonight at our GLBT Passover Seder.


Source : Original
•Reader:  In Exodus, there are a lot of laws that pertain differently to natives, or “ezrah” and sojourners, or “ger.”  The word “ezrah” is literally a kind of plant, probably a grapevine.  Metaphorically, it means something like “nurtured by the soil.”  The fact that native Israelites are referred to as “grapevines” says a lot about the importance of grapes and wine in our culture. •Questioner: Why are we obligated to drink four cups of wine?

•Reader: There are many reasons proposed. Here are the ones from the Hagaddah and from three different Jewish sages

•Reader:  The Hagaddah says:  With each cup, we recall the four different promises of freedom that God gave our people:  “I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians,” “I will deliver you from their bondage,” “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,” and “I will take you to be my people.” •Reader:  The Vilna Gaon says: They relate to the four worlds: this world, the messianic age, the world at the time of the revival of the dead, and the world to come. •Reader: The Maharal says: They refer to the four matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah •Reader: The Abarbanel says: They refer to the four redemptions of the Jewish people: the choosing of Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, survival during the Diaspora, and the final redemption to come. •Questioner:  What other reasons are there? (discussion)   Red or White?  

•Reader:  Traditionally, Ashkenazi Jews drank white wine at the Seder, while Sephardic Jews drank red wine. 

•Reader:  During the Middle Ages,  Jews in Christian countries were accused of drinking human blood at the Seder (the “blood libel”).  To avoid even the appearance of this, Ashkenazi Jews switched to white wine.   Kiddush  

•Reader:  You have called us for service from among the peoples, and have hallowed our lives with commandments. In love you have given us festivals for rejoicing, seasons of celebration, this Festival of Matzah, the time of our freedom, a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt. Praised are you, Adonai, who gave us this joyful heritage.

•Everyone: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Meleh ha-olam borei p’ri ha-gafen •Reader: We praise You, O God, Sovereign of Existence, Who creates the fruit of the vine.