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Source : The Journey Continues: The Ma'yan Passover Haggadah

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On this night, we gather together to prepare for Passover, outside of our kitchens, in a way our foremothers could have never imagined.

On this night we join as a community to rid ourselves of a different kind of chameitz .

What do we cleanse ourselves of tonight?

The echo of exclusionary language.

The weight of history.

The fear of women's voices.

The silencing of women's stories.

The violence done to women's bodies.

The pressure to conform to one image of who women are supposed to be.

The lingering belief that this tradition doesn't belong to women.

Let us all gather all this together like crumbs. Like chameitz we are ready to burn. Let us enter into this seder as if there were no more chameitz anywhere.

As if God had forever delighted in the image of Herself in each and every one of us.

As if freedom had been ours always, fully - like an open sea.

Source : The Journey Continues: The Ma'yan Passover Haggadah

We'll introduce ourselves to each other by tracing our matriarchal lineage using the following formulation:


for those who identify as female:

I am __________ bat (daughter of) __________ bat __________ bat ___________

for those who identify as male:

I am __________ ben (son of) _______________ ben __________ ben ___________


Use your English, Hebrew, Yiddish and/or Ladino names. Go back as many generations as you can. You may choose to invoke the names of women who have been like mothers and grandmothers for you regardless of biological ties.

Source : Hannah Szenes Quote, Design by
Hannah Szenes, Blessed Is the Match

Source : Deborah Putnoi Art
First Cup of Wine

Source : Reading by JWC Women's Seder


I’m standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before me

Recalling generations past, imagining those yet to be.

We weave our lives into our traditions.

We save what we value --- what it takes to survive.

We pass on the faith that lives in our deepest heart.

We weave our rituals with the threads of our lives.


Each cup of wine tonight will take us through the generations of women in our own families.

We are all standing on the shoulders of our grandmothers or women who were like grandmothers to us. We dedicate this first cup of wine to them.

In honor of the first cup:

What is one gift your grandmother gave you that you have here with you tonight?


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, 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.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe,
who has kept us alive, raised us up, and brought us to this happy moment.


Drink the first glass of wine!

Source : Reading by JWC Women's Seder

As we pass Miriam's cup around the table, we will fill her cup with water from each of our water glasses. As you give the gift of your water, please share (if you are comfortable) the gift from your grandmother that you hold close today.


This is the Cup of Miriam, the cup of living waters. Let us remember the Exodus from Egypt. These are the living waters, God's gift to Miriam, which gave new life to Israel as we struggled with ourselves in the wilderness. May the waters of Pesach cleanse and purify you and your home, physically and spiritually, and may you drink deeply of the refreshing and redeeming waters of Miriam's Well.

Source : Original

Source : Deborah Putnoi Art
Karpas Image

Source : The Journey Continues: The Ma'yan Passover Haggadah

Long before the struggle upward begins, there is tremor in the seed. Self-protection cracks, roots reach down and grab hold. The seed swells, and tender shoots push up toward light. This is karpas: spring awakening growth. A force so tough it can break stone.

And why do we dip karpas into salt water?

To remember the sweat and tears of our ancestors in bondage.

To taste the bitter tears of our earth, unable to fully renew itself this spring because of our waste, neglect, and greed.

To feel the sting of society's refusal to celebrate the blossoming of women's bodies and the full range of our capacity for love.

To remind us that tears stop. Spring comes. And with it the potential for change.


Dip the karpas into the salt water.


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adamah.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Original

Maggid - Beginning
Source :

The beginning of the  seder seems strange. We start with  kiddush as we normally would when we begin any festive meal. Then we wash, but without a blessing, and break bread without eating it.

What’s going on here?

It seems that the beginning of the seder is kind of a false start. We act as if we are going to begin the meal but then we realize that we can’t – we can’t really eat this meal until we understand it, until we tell the story of the exodus from Egypt. So we interrupt our meal preparations with  maggid (telling the story). Only once we have told the story do we make  kiddush again, wash our hands again (this time with a blessing) and break bread and eat it! In order to savor this meal, in order to appreciate the sweet taste of Passover, we must first understand it.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : AJWS - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rabbi Lauren Holzblatt

On Passover, Jews are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus and to see ourselves as having lived through that story, so that we may better learn how to live our lives today. The stories we tell our children shape what they believe to be possible—which is why at Passover, we must tell the stories of the women who played a crucial role in the Exodus narrative.

The Book of Exodus, much like the Book of Genesis, opens in pervasive darkness. Genesis describes the earth as “unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep.”1 In Exodus, darkness attends the accession of a new Pharaoh who feared the Israelites and so enslaved them. God alone lights the way out of the darkness in Genesis. But in Exodus, God has many partners, first among them, five brave women.

There is Yocheved, Moses’ mother, and Shifra and Puah, the famous midwives. Each defies Pharaoh’s decree to kill the Israelite baby boys. And there is Miriam, Moses’ sister, about whom the following midrash is taught:

[When Miriam’s only brother was Aaron] she prophesied… “my mother is destined to bear a son who will save Israel.” When [Moses] was born the whole house… filled with light[.] [Miriam’s] father arose and kissed her on the head, saying, “My daughter, your prophecy has been fulfilled.” But when they threw [Moses] into the river her father tapped her on the head saying, “Daughter, where is your prophecy?” So it is written, “And [Miriam] stood afar off to know what would be[come of] the latter part of her prophecy.”2

Finally, there is Pharaoh’s daughter Batya, who defies her own father and plucks baby Moses out of the Nile. The Midrash reminds us that Batya knew exactly what she doing:

When Pharaoh’s daughter’s handmaidens saw that she intended to rescue Moses, they attempted to dissuade her, and persuade her to heed her father. They said to her: “Our mistress, it is the way of the world that when a king issues a decree, it is not heeded by the entire world, but his children and the members of his household do observe it, and you wish to transgress your father’s decree?”3

But transgress she did.

These women had a vision leading out of the darkness shrouding their world. They were women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality bathed in the light of the day.

Retelling the heroic stories of Yocheved, Shifra, Puah, Miriam and Batya reminds our daughters that with vision and the courage to act, they can carry forward the tradition those intrepid women launched.

While there is much light in today’s world, there remains in our universe disheartening darkness, inhumanity spawned by ignorance and hate. We see horrific examples in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and the Ukraine. The Passover story recalls to all of us—women and men—that with vision and action we can join hands with others of like mind, kindling lights along paths leading out of the terrifying darkness.

1 Genesis 1:2 2 Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 14a 3 Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 12b

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1993, she is known as a strong voice for gender equality, the rights of workers, and separation between church and state. Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt is a rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C.. She is co-creator of two nationally recognized community engagement projects—MakomDC and the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington.

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Andi Fliegel

Each of these women transgressed the status quo and in doing so played a critical role in our people’s journey towards freedom.

With the second cup of wine we recall our own mothers or the women in our lives who were like mothers to us.

In honor of the second cup:

In what ways did you see your mother deviate from the social expectations of women and in what ways did you see her inhabit them?


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the second glass of wine!

-- Four Questions
Source : The Journey Continues: The Ma'yan Passover Haggadah

I learned the Four Questions in the kitchen. My mother handed me a towel and said: "I'll wash, you dry. I'll sing a few words, and you repeat." And so we sang, from the night after Purim, every night until I'd learned it all.

I taught the Four Questions at bath time to two little ones, lithe and slippery as seals. "I'll sing a few words, and then you sing," I said. They loved to dip and splash for " sh'tei f'amim." And so we sang, from Purim to Pesach. Every night, until they learned it all.

This is a rite of passage. We learn our part and take our turn.

Wine trembles in our cups. Candles flicker. Conversation stops.

First we ask the prescribed questions. Then, we add our own.


Four Questions - מַה נִּשְּׁתַּנָה

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 Questions
Source : Original Illustration from

-- Four Children
GBM Four Children Art Contest

Ugne, Vilnius, Lithuania



-- Four Children
Source : Rabbi Einat Ramon from

The Torah speaks of four Daughters: one possessing wisdom of the heart, one rebellious, one simple and pure, and one who cannot ask questions.

The daughter possessing wisdom of the heart what does she say? "Father, your decree is harsher than Pharoah's. The decree of the wicked Pharoah may or may not have been fulfilled, but you who are righteous, your decree surely is realized." The father heeded his daughter (Miriam). So we too follow in her steps with drums and dancing, spreading her prophecy amongst the nations

Wise of Heart: According to the Midrash, young Miriam persuaded her father Amram and the other enslaved men of Israel not to separate from their wives despite Pharoah's decree to destroy all male newborns. When her mother Yocheved gave birth to a boy, the two worked together to save the new son/brother. Miriam recognized the historical significance of this nascent struggle, as she did at the splitting of the Red Sea, and thus led her people to redemption ( Talmud Bavli, Sotah 12 ).

The rebellious daughter, what does she say? "Recognize" the ways of enslavement and the tyranny of man's rule over man. Although she rebels against authority it is said: She was more righteous than he, and we enjoy no freedom until we have left our unjust ways.

Rebellious: Tamar's complex relationship with her father-in-law, Judah, son of Jacob our forefather, expresses a rebellion whose result was critical to the continuation of the tribe of Judah and the Jewish people. With her deeds, Tamar barricaded herself against her loss of freedom as an imprisoned widow. She eventually achieves the yibum (levirate marriage) to which she is entitled, and becomes the "founding mother" of the Davidic dynasty, symbol of messianic redemption (Tamar, Gen. 38:26).

The simple and pure daughter, what does she say? "Wherever you go, so shall I go, and where you rest your head so there will I rest mine. Your people are mine, and your God my God" (Ruth,1:16). We shall indeed fortify her in her loyalty to those she loved, and it was said to her: "May God make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the House of Israel."

Simple and Pure: Ruth the Moabitess remained true to her mother-in-law Naomi, and her ingenious loyalty is absolute. This wonderful emotional closeness that Ruth so adamantly demonstrates rescues both of them from poverty and internal bondage (Ruth 4:11).

And the daughter who cannot ask only her silent weeping is heard, as it is written, "and she wept for her father and mother." We will be her mouthpiece and she will be for us a judge. We will return her to her mother's house and to her who conceived her, and we will proclaim "liberty in the land for all its inhabitants."

The One Who Cannot Ask: This last of the four daughters lacks sufficient freedom to taste even slightly the redemption and thus remains weeping in utter slavery. Although the 'beautiful captive' from war is allowed to grieve for her parents before she is taken (Deut. 21:13), she is a reminder of the reality of silenced bondage, which continues to exist in our midst in various ways. The silent weeping that erupts from this dark reality is a call to action for the cause of freedom and liberty of every person (Lev. 25:10), born in the image of God, in order to live securely in their homes, among their people and loving family (Songs 3:4).

Each of the Four Daughters expresses a unique path from bondage to freedom in a national and human sense. They learn from examining their parents' lives and from the struggle of their nation, while their parents themselves are exposed to new spiritual layers as a result of their daughter's education.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Beth Flusser
The Ten Plagues of Egypt

watercolor and pen on paper
Beth Flusser,  2011

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Andi Fliegel

We spill 10 drops of our wine tonight to remember that freedom for the Israelites was marked by the devastation of another people. We will spill another 10 drops of our wine tonight to remember the many women who are not free to sit safely around a table of family and friends remembering, debating, and telling their stories. In honor of them we recite the traditional 10 plagues as well as the 10+ plagues facing women in our world today.

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

10 more?

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Rabbi Laura Geller (Women of the Wall)

Holy One of Blessing,
It is hard to leave Egypt,
the narrow places that keep us from being free.
We need courage.
We need each other.
Remind us what we learn in Talmud:
we were redeemed because of the righteousness of the women.
Bless us with the strength of Shifra and Puah…
midwives who risked their lives to save the lives of innocent babies.
Bless us with the confidence of Yocheved
who put her infant son Moses in a basket on the river.
Bless us with the compassion of the daughter of Pharaoh,
whose stretched out arms brought safety.
Bless us with the chutzpah of Miriam
who spoke truth to power..
A conspiracy of women
changed the world then.
It can change the world now.
Blessing flows through us
to our sisters at the Kotel.
Blessings flow through them
to other sisters.
A conspiracy of women
and the men who support them
reminding us
what Passover teaches:
the way things are not the way they have to be.
May God bless us and protect us
May God’s light shine on us and be gracious to us
May we feel God’s presence and may we have peace

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source :

Having now told the story of Jews’ Exodus from Mitzrayim we have come to know Miriam, Moses, Pharaoh, Tzipporah and the role each of them played. Sarah Barasch-Hagans & Graie Barasch-Hagans use these roles to help us understand our roles in the fight against oppression — when we are strong allies and when we still struggle to be our best selves.

Author Note: In most discussions of racial justice, interracial families are often made completely invisible. This is ironic, as these families constantly deal in a microcosm with the larger issues of white supremacy and thus have much to teach us. This piece began as a way of addressing the complexities of oppression within interracial families and pushing against how abstract and disconnected most conceptions of “allyship” can feel for white members of interracial families. The language of fighting for family may make more sense for everyone to acknowledge the experiences of an interracial family unit and of a larger multiracial human family.

The Exodus story is filled with allies and oppressors, with many of the characters inhabited both roles at different points. The Exodus story, and particularly the story of wandering afterwards , is populated by family members wrestling with what it means to be allied with each other. Since our current struggles can feel like we too are in a desert, let us pause in the desert this Passover to listen for justice, just as the After the Maggid When We Imagine Ourselves Allies by Sarah Barasch-Hagans and Graie Barasch-Hagans 6 Midrash tells us that entire Jewish family did at Sinai. If everywhere is a desert then the sand we stand is always shifting, and so is our relationship to each other. Let us take a moment to imagine ourselves thus...

Sometimes we are Bat Pharaoh…

...Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing “compassion” without hesitation, pulling the baby out of the river and giving him a home. But when we pull him from the river, he is taken from his people and forced to pretend to be someone else in order to survive. And we know that he is family and we love him as our son, but we ask impossible things of him. We ask him to pass for Egyptian, we cut him off from his heritage in the hopes of keeping him safe. We do not recognize the futility, that safety is always an illusion. We do not use our proximity to power to try to change the situation for other babies like him. We can sleep at night because we tell ourselves we are good people living in a cruel system, but we do not admit that we could change things if only we would convince our synagogue to support the protests, or to at least stop hiring police officers to protect High Holiday services without questioning whether they make all of our community feel safe.

Sometimes we are Moses…

...conditionally white with Cossack eyes and a quick sunburn, passing but keeping a suitcase by the door just in case. Feeling mostly safe in the palace walls, guilty but not knowing why, until one day everything changes. Until one day we see the Egyptian striking the Israelite and know he is hurting our family—and this time we do not run away. We know that Moses killed the taskmaster, but we do not do not strike anyone, knowing that violence will not lead to greater justice for our families because violence by those of us who ‘pass’ would be met with greater violence and retaliation against those who cannot hide behind conditional whiteness. So sometimes we are standing next to our our Black husband at the protest, and we are both chanting peacefully but the policeman strikes him and all we can do is choose not to run away, to stand firmly with our hands raised so that we both get hit. Because family means if you hit him then you hit me.

Sometimes we are Miriam…

...hoping our brother Moses survives the river, knowing danger and feeling unsafe in our Jewish skin, knowing what it means to be hated because of who we are. And then we are Miriam who, given time, a few chapters later mocks Moses’ Black wife Tzipporah. She confounds us because she is us, Ashkenazim with conditional whiteness and generations distanced from legal discrimination, not seeing the contradictions in our own character. We are white-skinned Jews celebrating Fifty Years of Freedom Summer and putting on commemorative panels but escorting out anyone who yells #BlackLivesMatter. Or, acknowledging Tzipporah but refusing to defend her interracial, interfaith family when Jewish talking heads warn that families like hers are the end of Judaism. We are descendants of slaves who do not yell back that Moses had a Black wife and Black children and that #BlackLivesMatter to our people whether or not we acknowledge it.

Sometimes we are Tzipporah…

…fully capable of defending ourselves but in need of a few more allies. Ready to be an ally when it means leaving our family, circumcising our children, and wandering in the desert for decades. And some of us are still Tzipporah. Marveling at how quickly you forget this when our children are killed by the police. Wondering if you will claim us as family when the news paints our children as deserving of their deaths. We wonder why we stand in community to say Kaddish for those we’ve lost and stand on street corners shouting for justice for those who have been stolen from us. We wonder why our many parts cannot become whole and why our children cannot be a blessing. Picking up a sign because we have no choice, hoping to see you at the protests even though you do.

Sometimes something miraculous happens…

…an event out of time, an act of God who comes with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and leads us out of Egypt. And in the desert we become a people, shedding the divisions and mentality of slavery so that we become whole–none of us palace people, all of us desert people. Wandering together towards wholeness. So that Miriam, a prophet who is human, can choose to change. When she is struck with illness as punishment for her slander of Tzipporah, she can heal and choose new words. And her healing prayer spoken by her brother Moses- El Na Refa Na La -becomes liturgy that 1 Exodus 2:6 2 Numbers 12:1 7 can inspire us to overcome the disease of our own racism. We can choose to challenge the narrative, write an editorial or interrupt a General Assembly, tell the pundits that we have always been an Erev Rav, a mixed multitude and if you do not embrace all of our family, then you cannot love any of us. We can choose to pick up our sign and join them in the street, to face the tear gas and the rubber bullets because they are killing our family.

Sometimes, we are all in the street, and the street becomes Sinai…

...but only if everyone shows up, Moses and Miriam and Bat Pharaoh and Tzipporah and all the rest, wrestling with the commandments and trying to hear God. Maybe we are Tzipporah and Bat Pharaoh meeting at a Mother’s March. And maybe we talk about being there because we are both mothers and Mike Brown could have been our son. Or maybe we talk about having ensured the survival of the Jewish people, yet isn’t it ironic that now our community will not march for anyone that looks like us? Or maybe we have nothing to talk about, but a look passes between us and God is there.

And maybe our imagining their conversation is a holy act that we desperately need. Because sometimes, if we imagine the rally as Sinai then we listen for God, and when we do we get one step further through the desert and one step closer to redemption. 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Andi Fliegel

Sometimes we are Bat Pharaoh, sometimes we are Moses, sometimes we are Miriam, and sometimes we are Tzipporah.

We dedicate the third cup of wine tonight to each part of ourselves.

In honor of the third cup:

Who are YOU tonight?


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the third glass of wine!

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : adapted from clip by Michelle Shain

Maimonides urged us to care for our bodies so that we would be free to concentrate our energies on God. In the modern world, one of the greatest threats to our physical health is mental stress. Stress causes insomnia, digestive problems, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, depression, memory impairment and countless other complications. As women, we are particularly vulnerable to the stress caused by multiple and exhausting commitments to our families, friends, jobs and communities. This year, let us learn how to say “Enough!”

If we agree to be a part of two extracurricular activities a week instead of three …

If we took three classes instead of four…

If we applied to 17 grants instead of 70…

If we check our email every hour instead of every minute…

If we stay in to do homework one weekend night instead of two…

If we let FOMO have control four nights of the week and not everyday…

If we ever went to the gym…

If we ate Slifka cookies every other time they were served but not every single time…

If we do what we can, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour…

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Andi Fliegel

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָֽנוּ מִמִּצְרַֽיִם, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu hotzi- hotzianu, Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim Hotzianu mi-mitzrayim, Dayeinu

If God had only taken us out of Egypt, that would have been enough!

אִלוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַׁבָּת, דַּיֵינוּ

Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha-Shabbat, Natan lanu et ha-Shabbat, Dayeinu

If God had only given us Shabbat, that would have been enough.

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָֽנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה, דַּיֵּנוּ

Ilu natan natan lanu, natan lanu et ha-Torah, Natan lanu et ha-Torah, Dayeinu

If God had only given us the Torah, that would have been enough.

Source : Original Illustration from
Orange on the Passover Seder Plate

Source : Original
Motzi Matzah

Source :

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.

Source : The Journey Continues: The Ma'yan Passover Haggadah

This is the way to experience bitterness: take a big chunk of raw horseradish, let the burning turn your face all red.

This is the way to experience bitterness: dig back to a time of raw wounds, remember how it felt before the healing began, years or months or days ago.

This is the way to experience bitterness: hold the hand of a friend in pain, listen to her story, remember Naomi who renamed herself Mara, bitterness, because she "went away full but God brought [her] back empty" (Ruth 1:21).

This is the way to experience bitterness: recall the pain and exclusion that is part of the legacy of Jewish women. Listen to the words of Bertha Pappenheim, founder of the German Jewish feminist movement, who said, "No continuing education can repair how the souls of Jewish women - and thus Judaism in its entirety - have been sinned against..."

Or the words of Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah, who wrote, "But do not speak to me of the progressiveness of Judaism! Why isn't there one prayer in all the books to fit my modern case - not one to raise up the spirit of the so-called emancipated woman?"

How big a piece of maror must we eat to re-experience this bitterness?

And what if I've known enough pain this year already? And what if exclusion is not just a memory for me?

​And what if I eat the whole root and my tongue catches on fire and my ears burn? Then will I know slavery?


ברוּךְ אַתָּה יְיַָ 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.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to eat bitter herbs.

Source : Reading by The Wandering is Over Haggadah; Image by Matan Inc

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?

Shulchan Oreich
Source : Andi Fliegel

We dedicate the fourth cup of wine tonight to our daughters and our dreams for the world in which our daughters will live.

In honor of the fourth cup:

What is your one word prayer for the world

- the world we will build for our daughters and for their daughters?


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

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

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Drink the fourth glass of wine!

Go outside to plant your dreams for a freer world!


Freedom. It isn’t once, to walk out under the Milky Way, feeling the rivers of light, the fields of dark—freedom is daily, prose-bound, routine remembering. Putting together, inch by inch the starry worlds. From all the lost collections. 


לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim


Shulchan Oreich
Source : Original Illustration from
Let's Eat!