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Introduction
Source : Seder for Radicals

The method of asking and then answering rhetorical questions is a traditional Jewish form of pedagogy, and it’s the tool the Haggadah uses to tell its story. We ask why tonight is different from all other nights, and then we learn the mythical history of our people by hearing the answer.

In this Seder for Radicals, we will ask many questions—both traditional, and new—and we will answer to the best of our abilities. Some questions, of course, we won’t come close to answering entirely. And we can’t let that fact discourage us. In the words of Rabbi Tarfon, “it is not necessary that you complete the work, but neither are you permitted to desist from it.”

Sprinkled periodically throughout this Seder, we will read answers to the question: Why be radically Jewish? These answers serve to remind us that in ways apart from mere Hebrew catchphrases, our history and our traditions command us to repair the world. As Jews, we have an imperative to change the status quo. And thus, act radically. Though we will read some answers to this question, we are here to meditate on how to ask and answer our own questions along this theme:

What better time than Passover, when we reflect on our own history in bondage, to ask who is not yet free?

And though we will not complete the work—certainly not tonight—we will fulfill a special duty by continuing along a journey that started in Egypt, and has brought each of us here tonight.

Introduction
Source : Adapted from Lawrence Bush

1. Because the "first Jew" of our mythical history, Abraham, is identified as an idol-smasher.

2. Because that idol-smasher even argued with "G-d" about the injustice of collective punishment.

3. Because the fundamental story of the entire Jewish tradition is about human liberation from slavery.

4. Because Jacob had to be humbled and lamed before he could be renamed Israel and become a mench.

5. Because every member of the community had to stand at Sinai to receive the Torah.

6. Because in the Jubilee Year, each half-century, debts are annulled and land is restored.

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

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who chose us from all peoples and languages, and sanctified us with commandments, and lovingly gave to us special times for happiness, holidays and this time of celebrating the Holiday of Matzah, the time of liberation, reading our sacred stories, and remembering the Exodus from Egypt. For you chose us and sanctified us among all peoples. And you have given us joyful holidays. We praise God, who sanctifies the people of Israel and the holidays.

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, Ruler of Everything,
who has kept us alive, raised us up, and brought us to this happy moment.

Drink the first glass of wine!

Urchatz
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com
Water is refreshing, cleansing, and clear, so it’s easy to understand why so many cultures and religions use water for symbolic purification. 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, which Judaism thinks of as a ritual in itself. (The Jewish obsession with food is older than you thought!)

To wash your hands, you don’t need soap, but you do need a cup to pour water over your hands. Pour water on each of your hands three times, alternating between your hands. If the people around your table don’t want to get up to walk all the way over to the sink, you could pass a pitcher and a bowl around so everyone can wash at their seats… just be careful not to spill!

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 to consider what we hope to get out of our evening together tonight. Go around the table and share one hope or expectation you have for tonight's seder.

Urchatz
Source : Adapted from Lawrence Bush

7. Because Clara Lemlich demanded a strike resolution at Cooper Union and launched the 1909 Uprising of the 20,000.

8. Because Bill Mardo and Lester Rodney campaigned for and won the integration of Major League Baseball.

9. Because Betty Friedan (born Bettye Naomi Goldstein) wrote The Feminine Mystique and awakened millions of women to the call of liberation.

10. Because nearly half of the white Freedom Riders who went south in 1964-65 were Jewish.

11. Because Abbie Hoffman dropped dollars bills on the New York Stock Exchange floor in 1967 to expose the system for what it is.

12. Because Gay Pride Day was launched by a Jewish bisexual woman named Brenda Howard.

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 : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

There are three pieces of matzah stacked on the table. We now break the middle matzah into two pieces. The host should wrap up the larger of the pieces and, at some point between now and the end of dinner, hide it. This piece is called the afikomen, literally “dessert” in Greek. After dinner, the guests will have to hunt for the afikomen in order to wrap up the meal… and win a prize.

We eat matzah in memory of the quick flight of our ancestors from Egypt. As slaves, they had faced many false starts before finally being let go. So when the word of their freedom came, they took whatever dough they had and ran with it before it had the chance to rise, leaving it looking something like matzah.

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

This is the bread of poverty which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy, come and celebrate Passover with us. This year we are here; next year we will be in Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free.

These days, matzah is a special food and we look forward to eating it on Passover. Imagine eating only matzah, or being one of the countless people around the world who don’t have enough to eat.

What does the symbol of matzah say to us about oppression in the world, both people literally enslaved and the many ways in which each of us is held down by forces beyond our control? How does this resonate with events happening now?

Yachatz
Source : A Night to Remember

If we could reduce the world's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this:

80 live in substandard housing / 24 don't have any electricity / 50 malnourished and 1 dying of starvation and 1 with HIV / 1 with a college education and with internet access / 5 control 32% of the entire world's wealth, all are US citizens.

If you have never experienced war, imprisonment, torture or famine you are probably happier than 500 million people in this world.

If you are able to go to church, mosque, or synagogue without fear of harrassment, you are happier than 3 billion people in this world.

If there is food in your refrigerator, if you have shoes, a bed and a roof above your head, you are better off than 75% of people in this world.

If you read this text, you do not belong to the 2 billion people who cannot read.

This is your World! And you are able to make changes! Hasten to do good works!

Yachatz
Source : Adapted from Lawrence Bush

13. Because the Sabbath is there to remind us what it means to be human: to relax, to read, to stroll, to make love.

14. Because we have to reconcile with people before reconciling with "G-d" at Yom Kippur.

15. Because we are told to go camping and see the night sky at Sukes.

16. Because Chanukkah reminds us to spread light, even at the darkest times.

17. Because we get to honor Harriet Tubman and sing "Go Down Moses" every Passover.

18. Because we are told to share our wealth before each celebration.

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.

-- 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 : Original

The Four Questions are the questions most commonly associated with the Passover Seder. Though they are thought of as four separate questions, they are really just subsets of the single question: what makes tonight so special? Eventually the Haggadah gives us some answers about that, in the retelling of the Pesach story.

But the Haggadah neglects to ask: what makes us so special? Not us, Jews in the abstract. Us, those of us here tonight! We accept that tonight is particular but do we ever think about the ways in which we are particular ourselves for sitting around this table? For being able to come to the table in the first place? Each of us tonight bears particular privileges that many others don't have, preventing them from doing so.

The Haggadah leads us to ask this question, but won't ask it for us: who is not here? And why?

-- Four Questions
Source : David Levy, from INCLUDING WOMEN'S VOICES: The Jewish Women's Archive edition of The Wandering Is Over Haggadah (http://www.jewishboston.com/64-jewish-women-s-archive/blogs/1996-the-wandering

The Orange

Even after one has encountered the collection of seemingly unconnected foods on the seder plate year after year, it’s fun to ask what it’s all about. Since each item is supposed to spur discussion, it makes sense that adding something new has been one way to introduce contemporary issues to a seder.

So how was it that the orange found its place on the seder plate as a Passover symbol of feminism and women’s rights?

The most familiar version of the story features Susannah Heschel, daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel and scholar in her own right, giving a speech about the ordination of women clergy. From the audience, a man declared, “A woman belongs on the bima like an orange belongs on the seder plate!” However, Heschel herself tells a different story.

During a visit to Oberlin College in the early 1980s, she read a feminist Haggadah that called for placing a piece of bread on the seder plate as a symbol of the need to include gays and lesbians in Jewish life. Heschel liked the idea of putting something new on the seder plate to represent suppressed voices, but she was uncomfortable with using chametz, which she felt would invalidate the very ritual it was meant to enhance. She chose instead to add an orange and to interpret it as a symbol of all marginalized populations.

-- Four Children
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we tell the story, we think about it from all angles. Our tradition speaks of four different types of children who might react differently to the Passover seder. It is our job to make our story accessible to all the members of our community, so we think about how we might best reach each type of child:

What does the wise child say?

The wise child asks, What are the testimonies and laws which God commanded you?

You must teach this child the rules of observing the holiday of Passover.

What does the wicked child say?

The wicked child asks, What does this service mean to you?

To you and not to himself! Because he takes himself out of the community and misses the point, set this child’s teeth on edge and say to him: “It is because of what God did for me in taking me out of Egypt.” Me, not him. Had that child been there, he would have been left behind.

What does the simple child say?

The simple child asks, What is this?

To this child, answer plainly: “With a strong hand God took us out of Egypt, where we were slaves.”

What about the child who doesn’t know how to ask a question?

Help this child ask.

Start telling the story:

“It is because of what God did for me in taking me out of Egypt.”

-

Do you see yourself in any of these children? At times we all approach different situations like each of these children. How do we relate to each of them?

-- Four Children
Source : The New American Haggadah

The wicked son is not wicked in any of the usual ways. He is not violent or sexually immoral; he does not keep slaves or steal. His wickedness is that he is indifferent to the fate of the Jewish people. "What is this to you?" he asks. "To you, " not "To me." What he is saying, in effect, is "The fate of my people is not my concern." Here is a vexing demand sometimes made of young Jews by their elders in America today: You should worry about Jews more than you worry about non-Jews. In the shtetls of the Pale, or the ghettos of Morocco, this was not such a difficult thing to ask, because who had a choice? Jews were sequestered from the world, so why should they have cared about its problems? But in America, this unique Diaspora nation, a place that comprehensively accepts, even embraces, its Jewish citizens, this becomes a more troubling proposition. Which is why a war rages in the souls of American Jews, the war between the universal and the particular. Is it not a form of chauvinism to declare that the fate of Ethiopian Jews is an overriding concern of the American Jewish community, but what happens to non-Jewish Ethiopians is only a marginal concern?

This question arises anew in each successive generation. Those Jews who were college students in the 1980s experienced this dilemma rather directly. Two liberation movements then preoccupied many campuses: the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and the fight to free Soviet Jewry. Both were righteous causes. But one benefited Jews directly, and the other didn't. Many Jews made the struggle against white South Africa their cause. This was to their everlasting credit, as Jews and as moral beings. But what would have happened if no American Jew had made the cause of Soviet Jewry his own? Here is the same question put another way: Was it parochial or chauvinistic of the nations of sub-Saharan African to fight apartheid with a singular focus?

There are so many challenges embedded in Judaism, but perhaps this is the greatest one of all: How do we balance our faith's demand to care especially for our fellow Jews, and care especially for the entire world, all at the same time?

-- Four Children
Source : Adapted from Lawrence Bush

19. Because if I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I'm only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?

20. Because while I am not expected to complete the task, neither am I permitted to desist from it.

21. Because giving money to the poor is said to do more for the giver than the receiver.

22. Because we are warned to "be cautious regarding the ruling power."

23. Because the main responsibility, we are told, is not to study, but to do.

24. Because if there is no bread, there is no Torah, and if there is no Torah, there is no bread.

-- Exodus Story
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

Our story starts in ancient times, with Abraham, the first person to have the idea that maybe all those little statues his contemporaries worshiped as gods were just statues. The idea of one God, invisible and all-powerful, inspired him to leave his family and begin a new people in Canaan, the land that would one day bear his grandson Jacob’s adopted name, Israel.

God had made a promise to Abraham that his family would become a great nation, but this promise came with a frightening vision of the troubles along the way: “Your descendants will dwell for a time in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and afflicted for four hundred years; however, I will punish the nation that enslaved them, and afterwards they shall leave with great wealth."

Raise the glass of wine and say:

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְלָֽנוּ

V’hi she-amda l’avoteinu v’lanu.

This promise has sustained our ancestors and us.

For not only one enemy has risen against us to annihilate us, but in every generation there are those who rise against us. But God saves us from those who seek to harm us.

The glass of wine is put down.

In the years our ancestors lived in Egypt, our numbers grew, and soon the family of Jacob became the People of Israel. Pharaoh and the leaders of Egypt grew alarmed by this great nation growing within their borders, so they enslaved us. We were forced to perform hard labor, perhaps even building pyramids. The Egyptians feared that even as slaves, the Israelites might grow strong and rebel. So Pharaoh decreed that Israelite baby boys should be drowned, to prevent the Israelites from overthrowing those who had enslaved them.

But God heard the cries of the Israelites. And God brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with great awe, miraculous signs and wonders. God brought us out not by angel or messenger, but through God’s own intervention. 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we rejoice at our deliverance from slavery, we acknowledge that our freedom was hard-earned. We regret that our freedom came at the cost of the Egyptians’ suffering, for we are all human beings made in the image of God. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them.

Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues which God brought down on the Egyptians:

Blood | dam | דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |  צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim | כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov | עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever | דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin | שְׁחִין

Hail | barad | בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh | אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech | חֹֽשֶׁךְ

Death of the Firstborn | makat b’chorot | מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

The Egyptians needed ten plagues because after each one they were able to come up with excuses and explanations rather than change their behavior. Could we be making the same mistakes? Make up your own list. What are the plagues in your life? What are the plagues in our world today? What behaviors do we need to change to fix them? 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Seder for Radicals

As we have already discussed, since illiteracy affects a third of the world, being able to read this Haggadah is a deep privilege. But in some ways the language we are able to speak is a privilege in and of itself, spoken or in text. As much as language allows us to communicate and understand one another, it has the power to drive a wedge between us as well. It is often used to separate peoples, classes, social identities, and the list goes on. Tonight, we must be aware of the ways in which the language we use includes and excludes specific groups from sharing in our tradition.

This Haggadah has made a deliberate choice in many sections to prefer English to the traditional Hebrew—in an attempt at including as many people as possible. As we ponder language as a means of including or excluding, ask yourself: what are some other ways in which I may unknowingly include or exclude certain individuals or groups?

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Pasman-Green Family Haggadah

(To the tune of "This Old Man")

The first plague, number one,

All through Egypt blood did run,

 

Chorus:

With a knap sack on the back

Forty years they roam,

The Israelites are going home.

 

The second plague, number two,

A billion rongs will surely do

Chorus

 

The third plague, number three,

From dirt and vermin they all flee

Chorus

 

The fourth plague, number four,

Endless flies through Egypt pour

Chorus

 

The fifth plague, number five,

Murrain leave not a beast alive

Chorus

 

The sixth plague, number six,

Blain is spread as animals mix

Chorus

 

The seventh plague, number seven,

Balls of hail come down from heaven

Chorus

 

The eighth plague, number eight,

Swarms of locusts lie in wait

Chorus

 

The nine plague, number nine,

In Pharoah’s country no lights shine

Chorus

 

The tenth plague, number ten,

Strikes Egyptian first born men

Chorus

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
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.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : SEDER FOR THE EARTH: Facing the Plagues & Pharaohs of Our Generation, Shalom Center

[Raise the cup. All sing or recite Dayenu:]

Had You taken us out of slavery, but not torn the Sea apart for us, it would have been enough for us!

Had You brought us through it dry, but not sunk our oppressors in its midst, it would have been enough for us!

Had You sunk our oppressors in its midst, but not freely fed us manna, it would have been enough for us!

Had You freely fed us manna, but not rested us with Shabbat, it would have been enough for us!

Had You rested us with Shabbat, but not given us the Teaching, it would have been enough for us!

I-lu ho-tzi ho-tzi-a-nu, ho-tzi-anu mi-mitz-ra-yim, ho-tzi-a-nu mi-mitz-rayim dai-ye-nu.

DAI-DAI-YE-NU, DAI-DAI-YE-NU, DAI-DAI-YE-NU, Dayenu, dayenu!

I-lu na-tan na-tan la-nu, na-tan la-nu et ha-sha-bat, na-tan la-nu et ha-sha-bat, dai-ye-nu.

DAI-DAI-YE-NU, DAI-DAI-YE-NU, DAI-DAI-YE-NU, Dayenu, dayenu!

[Someone says:]

What does this mean, "It would have been enough"? Surely no one of these alone would indeed have been enough for us.

It means to celebrate each step toward freedom as if it were enough, then to start out on the next step.

It means that if we reject each step because it is not the whole liberation, we will never be able to achieve the whole liberation.

It means to sing each verse as if it were the whole song and then sing the next verse! [All read:]

How many and how hard are the tasks the Redeemer has set before us!

If we were to free the peoples of the world, but not to beat the swords of every nation into plowshares, it would not be enough for us.

If we were to beat the swords of every nation into plowshares, but not to share our food and end all hunger, it would not be enough for us.

If we were to share our food and end all hunger, but not to cleanse our earth and air of poison, it would not be enough for us.

If we were to cleanse our earth and air of poison, but not to turn to wind and sun for energy, it would not be enough for us.

If we were to turn to wind and sun for energy, But not to set aside some time for love and laughter, it would not be enough for us

Then how great, doubled and redoubled, are the claims the Redeemer makes upon our effort! You call us to struggle, work, share, give, think, plan, organize, sit-in, speak out, dream, hope, and pray for the great Redemption: to end the oppression of all peoples, to prevent the extinction of a million species, to shape a planet joyful in our shared abundance, to turn to wind and sun for energy, and to set aside some time for love and laughter, All these!

[Someone reads:] Before entering … the Hajj {Pilgrimage to Mecca], which is the beginning of a great change and revolution, you must declare your intention. It is the intention of a "transferral" from your house to the house of people, from life to love, from the self to Allah, from slavery to freedom, from racial discrimination to equality, sincerity and truth, from being clothed to being naked, from a daily life to an eternal life and from selfishness and aimlessness to devotion and responsibility. — Ali Shariati, Hajj

One of the most powerful, and deeply spiritual, ways to work for social change is for us to take action in the present that embodies — right now! — the future vision that we seek. Forty years ago, the sit-in movement had a vision of the future: integrated restaurants. The sit-ins did not beg legislators to change the law. They did not attack the restaurant-owners. They went, Black and white together, to integrate them. What happened next was up to the owners and the police. They could accept integration, they could beat people up, they could put them in jail, they could kill them, they could change the law. They did all those things, but mostly, ultimately, people changed the law.

The vision of new possibility was not left in the hands of visionaries, for it was embodied in defiant love. It made real the spiritual teaching that the means and the ends are indivisible, for it made the ends themselves into the means, not in a far-off future but in Now. And it gave actual faces to the "issue." It was no longer a matter of courts and law books but of real live students, restaurant-owners, waitresses, police. So the public responded. The sit-ins seeded a fruitful American politics that is still nourishing us, even in days of Imperial War and Insatiable Wealth. — Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow

-- 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 : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

As we now transition from the formal telling of the Passover story to the celebratory meal, we once again wash our hands to prepare ourselves. In Judaism, a good meal together with friends and family is itself a sacred act, so we prepare for it just as we prepared for our holiday ritual, recalling the way ancient priests once prepared for service in the Temple.

Some people distinguish between washing to prepare for prayer and washing to prepare for food by changing the way they pour water on their hands. For washing before food, pour water three times on your right hand and then three times on your left hand.

After you have poured the water over your hands, recite this short blessing.

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

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

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

Rachtzah
Source : Adapted from Lawrence Bush

25. Because Janusz Korczak refused to abandon his orphaned students in the Warsaw Ghetto and instead accompanied them to Auschwitz.

26. Because Shalom Cholavsky, 27, led a group that set fire to the Nieswiez Ghetto in 1942 and escaped to the forests of Byelorussia, where they fought that Nazis for two years.

27. Because Anne Frank believed in human goodness after two years in hiding.

28. Because Rosa Robota and three other young women smuggled explosives into Auschwitz to fuel the Sonderkommando uprising of 1944.

29. Because Israel's Yad Vashem has recognized and honored more than 24,000 non-Jews for their heroism in rescuing Jews.

30. Because our history rightfully leads to the understanding that racist thinking is the path to murder.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : JewishBoston.com

The blessing over the meal and matzah | motzi matzah | מוֹצִיא מַצָּה

The familiar hamotzi blessing marks the formal start of the meal. Because we are using matzah instead of bread, we add a blessing celebrating this mitzvah.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶֽחֶם מִן הָאָֽרֶץ

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

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who brings bread from the land.

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

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al achilat matzah.

We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to eat matzah.

Distribute and eat the top and middle matzah for everyone to eat.

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.

Maror
Source : The New American Haggadah

Who can say we've actually left? "Wherever you live, it is probably Egypt," Michael Walzer wrote. Do you live in a place where some people work two or three jobs to feed their children, and others don't even have a single, poorly paid job? Do you live in a community in which the rich are fabulously rich, and the poor humiliated and desperate? Do you live among people who worship the golden calves of obsessive acquisitiveness, among people whose children are blessed by material abundance and cursed by spiritual impoverishment? Do you live in a place in which some people are more equal than others?

In America, the unemployment rate for African-Americans is nearly twice as high as it is for whites. Black people are five times as likely to be incarcerated as whites. Infant mortality in the black community is twice as high as it is among whites. America is a golden land, absolutely, and for Jews, it has been an ark of refuge. But it has not yet fulfilled its promise.

The same is true for that other Promised Land. Jewish citizens of Israel have medium household incomes almost double that of Arab citizens and an infant mortality rate less than half that of Arabs. Israel represents the greatest miracle in Jewish life in two thousand years--and its achievements are stupendous (and not merely in comparison to its dysfunctional neighbors)--and yet its promise is also unfulfilled. The seder marks the flight from the humiliation of slavery to the grandeur of freedom, but not everyone has come on this journey. It is impossible to love the stranger as much as we love our own kin, but aren't we still commanded to bring everyone out of Egypt?

Koreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

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
Source : JewishBoston.com

Eating the meal! | shulchan oreich | שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

Enjoy! But don’t forget when you’re done we’ve got a little more seder to go, including the final two cups of wine!

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.

Tzafun
Source : The New American Haggadah

At the beginning of the first Palestinian uprising, the Israeli army built an open-air prison called Ketziot, near the border with Egypt. The prison, which was meant to warehouse Palestinians arrested in Gaza and the West Bank, sat a few miles from the site of Kadesh Barnea, where Moses defied God. Moses was punished for his transgression when God denied him entrance to the Promised Land. The prison at Ketziot held, at various times, as many as six thousand Palestinians, from the lowliest rock throwers to the leaders of the uprising. Three hundred or so Israeli soldiers made up the staff. The food, for prisoners and soldiers alike, was kosher, because the Israeli army is a kosher army. So at Passover, the prisoners ate only matzah, just as the soldiers did.

One Passover day, a leader of the prisoners, a terrorist who had murdered a Jew several years earlier, summoned a soldier to the barbed-wire fence that surrounded the compound. He explained politely, with a good deal of hesitation, that the Palestinian prisoners didn't actually like the taste of matzah. The solder said, "We don't like it either" and explained the notion of the bread of affliction. "But we're the afflicted!" the prisoner cried out. The soldier said, "You murdered a Jew and you say you're afflicted?" The conversation went nowhere, as these sorts of conversations tend to do. And yet the soldier learned something from the encounter.

A couple of days earlier, at the soldier's seder--a rushed seder under an army tent--the afikoman was broken, signifying, among other things, the shattering pain of enslavement. At the end of the seder, when each participant is meant to eat a piece of the afikoman, thereby completing the journey to the wholeness of freedom, the soldier ate, but with an unsettled feeling. It was, he realized later, a feeling of ongoing affliction that made the afikoman bitter.

The afikoman is a very useful metaphor. A child's literal search for the afikoman symbolizes our own search for wholeness. We have within us a profound desire for harmony, for feeling at one with our fellow men and women. Prisons symbolize the brokenness of the world. And yet we are tragically aware that we need them. The afikoman is a reminder that, for now, the world is unfixed, that it is, in its own way, a prison, in which even the free are captives.

Tzafun
Source : Adapted from Lawrence Bush

31. Because Allen Ginsberg howled.

32. Because Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins made of their hands, one hand.

33. Because Barbra Streisand sang about "People" and didn't get a nose job.

34. Because Emma Lazarus lifted her lamp beside the golden door.

35. Because Lenny Bruce kept on cursing.

36. Because Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen carried us over the rainbow.

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

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! 

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 : Seder for Radicals

The word “radical” comes from the Latin word, radix, for “root.” Etymologically, the suggestion is that for an idea, person, or thing to be “radical,” it must have the effect of uprooting the status quo altogether, therefore changing it fully. 

This same Latin root gives us the word “radish,” which of course is a literal root.

The radish on our Seder plate tonight symbolizes our radical potential as Jews to change the world. During this Seder, we have advanced the millennia-old story of our liberation from Egypt. But we have also discussed, intermittently through the evening, the ways in which our Jewishness can inspire us to change the status quo.

We have meditated on the world around us—both what it is and what it can be. So as we say the following blessing over the radish, we are really blessing ourselves and our people…to go forth and change the world.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam borei p'ri ha'adamah. 


Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the ground. 

Everyone eats a piece of radish.

Nirtzah
Source : The New American Haggadah

The seder ends in an outburst of longing, and it is a longing for home. No matter where we are, the chances are that we feel displaced. No strangers to estrangement, we carry a homesickness from place to place.

Somewhere on earth will feel like home. We will know it down to its homeliest details, and that knowledge will seep through and calm our restlessness, for what was that restlessness but a dream of coming home?

Next year in Jerusalem! we sing, from our places scattered around the globe, including the city of Jerusalem itself. And we will sing it year after year, no matter how history disposes of us, just so long as we are still around. Proust wrote, "There is no paradise but paradise lost." The Jerusalem with which we end the seder is a place in Proustian dreamscape, only designated not by the ache of loss but the ache of longing.

And if Jerusalem is a metaphor, so, too, is Egypt. Egypt is here and now, using the most persuasive of means--the fact of reality itself--to make us sink into its presence and forget the boundaries we had meant to cross.

The Haggadah's tale is about a family who swell into something more. Voluntary strangers, they became involuntary slaves and finally head out into the unknown, driven by their longing to go home. None of them would ever reach that home, not even Moses.

Next year in Jerusalem, we say, and the words send us out into the night with our desires stoked, our contentment cooled.

We are slaves without our longings.

Songs
Source : JewishBoston.com
Who knows one?

At some seders, people go around the table reading a question and the answers in one breath. Thirteen is hard!

Who knows one?

I know one.

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows two?

I know two.

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows two?

I know two.

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows four?

I know four.

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows five?

I know five.

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows six?

I know six.

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows seven?

I know seven.

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eight?

I know eight.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows nine?

I know nine.

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows ten?

I know ten.

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows eleven?

I know eleven.

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows twelve?

I know twelve.

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Who knows thirteen?

I know thirteen

Thirteen are the attributes of God

Twelve are the tribes

Eleven are the stars

Ten are the Words from Sinai

Nine are the months of childbirth

Eight are the days for circumcision

Seven are the days of the week

Six are the orders of the Mishnah

Five are the books of the Torah

Four are the matriarchs

Three are the patriarchs

Two are the tablets of the covenant

One is our God in Heaven and Earth

Songs
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.

Songs
Source : Pasman-Green Family Haggadah

Our Passover Things!
(to the tune of "Our favorite things" from "The Sound of Music") 

Cleaning and cooking and so many dishes
Out with the hametz, no pasta, no knishes
Fish that's gefilted, horseradish that stings
These are a few of our Passover things

 Matzah and karpas and chopped up haroset

Matzah and karpas and chopped up haroset
Shankbones and kiddish and yiddish neuroses
Tante who kvetches and uncle who sings
These are a few of our Passover things.
  

Motzi and maror and trouble with Pharoahs
Famines and locusts and slaves with wheelbarrows
Matzoh balls floating and eggshell that clings
These are a few of our Passover things.
 

When the plagues strike
When the lice bite
when we're feeling sad
We simply remember our Passover things
And then we don't feel ... so bad ...

Just a Tad of Charoset!
(to the tune of "Just a spoon full of sugar")

Chorus:
Just a tad of charoset helps the bitter herbs go down,
The bitter herbs go down, the bitter herbs go down.
Just a tad of charoset helps the bitter herbs go down,
In the most disguising way.
 

Oh, back in Egypt long ago,
The Jews were slaves under Pharoh.
They sweat and toiled and labored through the day.
So when we gather pesach night,
We do what we think right.
Maror, we chew,
To feel what they went through.

Chorus

So after years of slavery
They saw no chance of being free.
Their suffering was the only life they knew.
But baby Moses grew up tall,
And said he'd save them all.
He did, and yet,
We swear we won't forget.
That......

Chorus

While the maror is being passed,
We all refill our water glass,
Preparing for the taste that turns us red.
Although maror seems full of minuses,
It sure does clear our sinuses.
But what's to do?
It's hard to be a Jew!!!
 

Chorus

The Ballad of the Four Sons!
(to the tune of "Clementine")

Said the father to his children,
"At the seder you will dine,
You will eat your fill of matzoh,
You will drink four cups of wine."
Now this father had no daughters,
But his sons they numbered four.
One was wise and one was wicked,
One was simple and a bore.
And the fourth was sweet and winsome,
he was young and he was small.
While his brothers asked the questions
he could scarcely speak at all.
Said the wise one to his father
"Would you please explain the laws?
Of the customs of the seder
Will you please explain the cause?"
And the father proudly answered,
"As our fathers ate in speed,
Ate the paschal lamb 'ere midnight
And from slavery were freed."
So we follow their example
And 'ere midnight must complete
All the seder and we should not
After 12 remain to eat.
Then did sneer the son so wicked
"What does all this mean to you?"
And the father's voice was bitter
As his grief and anger grew.

"If you yourself don't consider
As son of Israel,
Then for you this has no meaning
You could be a slave as well."
Then the simple son said simply
"What is this," and quietly
The good father told his offspring
"We were freed from slavery."
But the youngest son was silent
For he could not ask at all.
His bright eyes were bright with wonder
As his father told him all.
My dear children, heed the lesson
and remember evermore
What the father told his children
Told his sons that numbered four.