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Introduction
Source : OurJewishCommunity.org

INTRODUCTION

The long history of our people is one of contrasts — freedom and slavery, joy and pain, power and helplessness. Passover reflects these contrasts. Tonight as we celebrate our freedom, we remember the slavery of our ancestors and realize that many people are not yet free.

Each generation changes — our ideas, our needs, our dreams, even our celebrations. So has Passover changed over many centuries into our present

holiday. Our nomadic ancestors gathered for a spring celebration when the sheep gave birth to their lambs. Theirs was a celebration of the continuity of life. Later, when our ancestors became farmers, they celebrated the arrival of spring in their own fashion. Eventually these ancient spring festivals merged with the story of the Exodus from Egypt and became a new celebration of life and freedom.

As each generation gathered around the table to retell the old stories, the symbols took on new meanings. New stories of slavery and liberation, oppression and triumph were added, taking their place next to the old. Tonight we add our own special chapter as we recall our people’s past and we dream of the future.

For Jews, our enslavement by the Egyptians is now remote, a symbol of communal remembrance. As we sit here in the comfort of our modern world, we think of the millions who still suffer the brutality of the existence that we escaped thousands of years ago.

Introduction
Source : BangItOut.com

The Matzah Show
Humorous
Bangitout.com

(to the theme of "The Muppet Show")

It's time to burn some chometz
It's time to bless the lights
It's time to start the seder, on the Matzah Show tonight

It's time to put on kittels
It's time to lean left, not right
It's time to raise the 4 cups, on the Matzah Show tonight

It's time to ask some questions
It's time to leave Egypt tonight
It's time to get things started on the most sensational
Inspirational, celebrational, sederational
This is what we call the Matzah Show!!!!!

(Discussion #1: How could Kermit be a plague?)

Kadesh
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.

Karpas
Source : istockphoto.com

Our tale to tell, both happy and sad,

like all great lore, some good, some bad

On our table the symbols abound

you needn't look far, they're all around

Look on your plate, for parsley green

a sign of Spring when it is seen.

And somewhere near there is salt water,

tears of slavery, hard work with mortar

And so together, we now recall

the green around, the tears that fall.

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

Bo-rei pe-ree ha-a-da-mah.

Oh Holy One of Blessing, Your presence fills creation,

We praise You for creating the fruit of the ground!

source: A Family Pesach Seder In Rhyme

Yachatz
Source : JQ International GLBT Haggadah

We are about to take the middle matzah and divide it in half. This matzah which we break and set aside is a symbol of our unity with Jews throughout the world. We will not conclude our Seder until the missing piece (the Afikomen) is found and spiritually reunited. This is a reminder of the indestructible link which infuses us as a world family. 

In unison we say…

We cannot forget those who remain behind in any land of persecution, fearful of a growing public anti-Semitism or bigotry. To those still seeking liberty of life, to those striving courageously to build a better Jewish life in the country of their choice and to those of all humankind that strive to live a free and equal existence with all people of the world regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity and religion, we pledge our continued vigilance, support, and solidarity.

Later, we will search for the hidden piece of matzah. In much the same way, we seek to reconnect with our neighbors throughout the world. Once having found the missing half, we will be able to continue our Seder. So, too, will the continued bonding of Diaspora Jewry with our homeland allow Israel to grow and blossom as the eternal core of our collective Jewish identity.

In unison, we say…

We pray that they may live in peace, in a land at peace, with a world knowing war no more. We pray that the characteristics that make each human unique will be celebrated everywhere, with a world embracing diversity and knowing prejudice no more.

For the daily meal, there is one loaf of bread; but on the Sabbath there are two loaves as a reminder of the double portion of manna which fell on Friday for the Children of Israel as they traveled in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:22) In honor of Passover, a third matzah was added specifically for the Passover Seder experience.

אֲפִיקוֹמָן 

We break the middle matzah in half and place the larger piece of matzah, the Afikomen, in a napkin and hide it.

The door is opened as a sign of hospitality.

The matzot are uncovered and held up.

Behold the matzah, bread of infliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat; all who are needy, come and celebrate the Passover with us.

-- Four Children
Source : Rabbi Gilah Langner, created for Rabbis for Human Rights - North America, 2010

Four Questions on Slavery

Our tradition speaks of four children or four attitudes: the wise child, the wicked child, the simple child, and the one who does not know how to ask.  Each child has a different reaction to hearing about slavery.   

What does the wise child say?  “What are the testimonies, the statutes, and the laws that apply to this situation?  How we are to discern what God demands of us?” 

You are to answer this child:  “God brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage that we may understand the heart of those suffering in slavery, and use all our powers to redeem them.”

What does the wicked child say?  “What does all this work have to do with you?”  Notice: “you,” not him or her.  The wicked child stays far removed from suffering, and thus has lost the essence of our teachings. 

You might ask this child: “If you had been in Egypt, would you have been redeemed?  And if you do not lift a finger now, who will redeem those who languish in slavery?”

The simple child asks:  “What’s this all about?” 

And you should teach this child:  God brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand, out of the house of slaves.  So we should use our strength to abolish slavery around the world.  No slavery.  No exceptions.

And the one who does not know to ask, you must open his and her eyes to what is going on.  For today there are 27 million people living in slavery, and over 8 million of them are children.  Surely this is one reason God took our people out of Egypt long ago – so that we might understand what it means to be a slave, and so that we might help free all those who live in slavery.  

                              

-- Four Children
Source : Eli Lebowicz, Lebowicz@gmail.com

The Four Sons as represented by the Bluth boys from Arrested Development.
-- Ten Plagues
Source : Original

Seder Night Fever

set to the music of I Will Survive

lyrics by Carolyn Gage & Fae Silverman

Copyright 2008

PHAROAH:

At first I was afraid

That I’d be mummified

Kept thinking I could never live

With Hebrews by my side

But then I spent so many nights

Thinking how to make them slaves

And I grew strong

And learned that I could not be wrong

But now you’re back

You’re in my space

You just walked in to find me here

And I’ve got boils on my face

I should have changed that stupid law

I should have taken all your straw

If I’d have known for just one second

Just how much you’d shock-and-awe

Go on now go

Walk out the door

Just turn around now

Cause you’re not welcome anymore

Weren’t you the one who tried to

Break me with the plagues

Did you think I’d crumble?

Yeah well take it to the Hague

MOSES:

Let’s not be vague

We’re not afraid

Oh as long as we know who we are

We know we’ve got it made

We’ve got all our lives to live

We’ve got all our love to give

It’s time to wade

It’s time to wade

Hey hey

It took all the faith we had

To make the Red Sea part

Kept trying hard to mend

The pieces of our broken hearts

And we spent oh so many nights

Just feeling sorry for ourselves

We used to cry

But now we hold our heads up high

Now you see us

So catch a clue

We’re not that chained up little Hebrew

Still enslaved by you

And then you thought you’d change your mind

And just expect us to agree

But now we’re saving all our loving

For ourselves because we’re free

PHAROAH:

Go on now go

Walk out the door

Just turn around now

Cause you’re not welcome anymore

Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with the frogs?

Did you think I’d crumble?

And be scared of polliwogs?

MOSES:

Call off the dogs

We’ll dialogue

Oh as long as we can find our way back to the synagogue

We’ve got all our lives to live

We’ve got all our love to give

It’s time to jog

It’s time to jog

Oh-h-h

PHAROAH:

Go on now go

Walk out the door

Just turn around now

Cause you’re not welcome anymore

Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with the lice?

Did you think I’d crumble?

Just because you can’t be nice?

MOSES:

Oh no, no dice

Let’s be precise

Oh as long as we behave ourselves

We’ll get to paradise

We’ve got all our lives to live

We’ve got all our love to give

So just be nice

So just be nice

So just be nice