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Introduction

The Pesakh story has been told for several thousand years, but its lessons and magic continue to provide meaning to this very day It is especially relevant today, when so many of us are alienated, pessimistic, fearful and in need of spiritual sustenance.

I have changed very little of the traditional Hagadah. I simply scraped away the male-oriented view of society, and left exposed the rich, earth oriented, joyful, thankful, and optimistic tale that reflects the essence of Jewish culture. Women and girls are brought into full equality with their male counterparts on all levels, historical and spiritual.

Rather than using the male-oriented English-language descriptions (G-d or Lord) to describe our Source, l have chosen to use some of the myriad word from ancient Jewish writings to describe that One, which, in reality, cannot even be described by words: Eternal, HaShem (The Name), Eheyeh (l am that I am), Ayn Sof (Without End), Shadai (Almighty), Yah, YHVH, and oth

The Hebrew language requires either a feminine or masculine word form Since the Eternal is beyond our human concepts of female and male, the prayers are given in both masculine and feminine forms, rather than the male Hebrew only, in traditional Hagadot. Most people say they enjoy reading the two variations in unison, each person choosing her his preferred form. The two sound energies easily merge, us with a vibrant wholeness.

Introduction

Welcome to all as we celebrate the Pesach. It is a time for joy and relaxa tion, time to lie on pillows and drink wine. A time to ponder our history, and to find its relevance in our lives today And it is a time to renew our courage in order to transform our planet into a place of peace.

Pesakh means "passover" and refers to the night when the Angel of Death passed over the Jewish houses in Egypt, while inflicting sorrow and tragedy on the Egyptian homes. This occurred approximately 1200 B.C.E when 600,000 of our people were slaves in Egypt.

Pesakh was celebrated for the first time on the first anniversary of the Exodus from Egypt, when we were still in the wilderness and had not yet reached the promised land.

In later times, the Pascal sacrifices amb or goat) were made by each family in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) at the Temple to commemorate the Exodus. It was a time of pilgrimage, and the city was alive with celebration, fire, and song. Today the sacrifice is symbolic only. but the rejoicing continue and lasts for eight days.

Many of the rituals and customs included in the Hagadah date from Second Temple times, and from the years immediately following destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E. Some prayers are much older, and a few songs are a youthful 500 years old.

Pesakh falls on the first Full Moon of Spring. the 14th of the month Nisan. The flood of moonlight enhances the evening's joyous mood. Pesach is the first holiday of the Jewish agricultural calendar, and is also known Khag ha Aviv, Festival of Spring. We celebrate the Earth's renewal, and remind ourselves of our interdependence with all that lives on our planet.

Pesakh not only marks the rebirth of the Earth's vegetation, but commemorates the birth of the Jewish nation. Egypt was the womb. the Yam Soof was the birth canal, and Sinai was our infancy. Slavery did not end in Egypt. Many peoples have been slaves since then and each of us is a slave to some degree even today, We are slaves when we are silent while atrocities happen around the planet. We are slaves when we are unable to be ourselves, either from outside oppression or from our own lack of courage. 

The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, comes from the root, Tzar, meaning narrow or inhibited (ancient Egypt followed the narrow Nile. Thus, leaving egypt has also come to mean that each of us must break the shackles of narrow-mindedness which bind us to ignorance and hatred.

Feel free to ask questions, to share affable and signs, and to play musical instruments.

A special welcome to those of other cultures who share our joy with us tonight. May our togetherness give us the courage to continue the struggle for freedom.


And now we begin
HAGADAH, THE TELLING
 

Introduction

The Seder Plate

The Seder Plate contains the symbols of the holiday and is usually located near the seder's facilitators, The various symbols vary somewhat from culture to culture. Besides the seder Plate, portions of wine, salt water, major, kappas, charoset, and matzah should be available for all participants.

Zeroah (shankbone of lamb or chicken) – symbolizing the sacrifice made at the great temple on Passover (The Paschal Lamb). A beet is often used as a vegetarian substitute.

Karpas (greens such as parsley or celery) – a reminder of the green sprouting up all around us during spring and is used to dip into the saltwater

Maror (bitter herbs, usually horseradish) – symbolizes the harshness of lives of the Jews in Egypt.

Charoset (Ashkenazim* often use a mixture of apples, nuts, wine, and cinnamon. Sephardim usually prefer dates, raisins, figs, and oranges) – resembles the mortar used as bricks of the many buildings the Jewish slaves built in Egypt

Beitzah (hard-boiled egg) – The egg symbolizes a different holiday offering that was brought to the temple. It symbolizes Springtime fertility. And like the egg which hardens when boiled, so do an oppressed people harden their resolve for freedom.

Orange - The orange on the seder plate has come to symbolize full inclusion in modern day Judaism: not only for women, but also for people with disabilities, intermarried couples, and the LGBT Community.

Salt Water - represents the tears of slavery

Matzah

Matzah is the unleavened bread we eat to remember that when the jews fled Egypt, they didn’t even have time to let the dough rise on their bread. We commemorate this by removing all bread and bread products from our home during Passover.

Elijah’s Cup

The fifth ceremonial cup of wine poured during the Seder. It is left untouched in honor of Elijah, who, according to tradition, will arrive one day as an unknown guest to herald the advent of the Messiah. During the Seder dinner, biblical verses are read while the door is briefly opened to welcome Elijah. In this way the Seder dinner not only commemorates the historical redemption from Egyptian bondage of the Jewish people but also calls to mind their future redemption when Elijah and the Messiah shall appear.

* Ashkenazim - Jews from Germany and eastern Europe Sephardim  - decedents of Jews who lived in Spain or Portugal before the expulsion in 1492. Most went to North Africa or the Middle East. 

Introduction

The Order of the Rituals

The word Seder means order, indicating that all the commandments and rituals of this evening are to be performed in a specific order.

קדש ( Kiddish ) - Recite the Kiddish

ורחץ ( Urchatz ) - Wash the hands

כרפס ( Karpas ) - Eat a green vegetable

יחץ ( Yachatz ) - Break the middle matzah and hide a half of it for the  Afikomen.  

מגיד ( Mageed) -  Recite the Passover story

רחצה ( Rakhatz ) - Wash the hands before the meal

מוציא מצה  ( Hamotzi ) - Say the blessing over the bread and the special blessing for the matzah

מרור ( Maror)  - Eat the bitter herb

כורך ( Korech) - Eat the bitter herb and matzah together. 

שלחן עורך ( Shulchan Orech) -  Serve the Festival Meal

צפון ( Tzafoon) - Eat the Afikoman

ברך (Barech) Say the grace after the meal

הלל ( Hallel) -  Recite the psalms of praise

נרצה ( Nirtzah ) - Conclude the Seder

Introduction

The seder officially begins with a physical act: lighting the candles. In Jewish tradition, lighting candles and saying a blessing over them marks a time of transition, from the day that is ending to the one that is beginning, from ordinary time to sacred time. Lighting the candles is an important part of our Passover celebration because their flickering light reminds us of the importance of keeping the fragile flame of freedom alive in the world.

ברוך אתה יחודי אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של (שבת ושל) 'ום טוב

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha'olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel [Shabbat v'shel] Yom Tov

We Praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through sacred obligations, commanding us to kindle the light of [Shabbat and] The Festival Day.

Kadesh

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.

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!

The time set aside to drink the four Cups of Wine can also be used for toasts, exchange of feelings, remember others who are oppressed, or those who could not be with us.

Urchatz

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.

Pass a bowl of water around the room.

Karpas

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. 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.

Take some greens and dip them in salt water, and say: 

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

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.

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.

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.

Yachatz

The Winter is past,

The rain is over and gone. 

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of singing has come, 

And the voice of the Turtle is heard in our land;

The fig tree puts forth its green figs,

And the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance.

~The Song of Songs 2:12-13

Maggid - Beginning

Pour the second glass of wine for everyone.

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.

In many versions of the the Haggadah, 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

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.

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights we eat both leavened bread and matzah. Tonight we only eat matzah.

On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but tonight we eat bitter herbs.

On all other nights we aren’t expected to dip our vegetables one time. Tonight we do it twice.

On all other nights we eat either sitting normally or reclining. Tonight we recline.

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָֽנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּֽעַם אחָת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעמים

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין. :הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּֽנוּ מְסֻבין

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot? ​

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah. Halaila hazeh kulo matzah.

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot haleila hazeh maror.

Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat. Halaila hazeh shtei fi-amim.

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin. Halaila hazeh kulanu m’subin.

-- Four Children

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. At times we all approach the Pesakh traditions from these perspectives, so, too, we practice being openminded with ourselves.

The wise child asks curiously: "What is the meaning of the rules, laws, and customs of Pesakh?"

We instruct the wise child about the observances and customs down to the last detail of the Afikomen.

The wicked child says scornfully: "What is this trouble YOU make us go through ever year?"

By "you", the child has excluded her/himself from the community. Firmly, yet compassionately, we must make this alienated one feel included. We say, "It is by love and not by score that we are redeemed."

The simple child asks innocently: "What is this all about?"

We explain to this child that, "with a might hand the Eternal brought us out of the house of slavery."

For the child who does not even know how to ask:

We explain that we celebrate Pesakh because of what The Eternal did for me when I left Egypt.

* The story of the four children is mirrored in the autumn on Sukkot when we speak of the four species of plants. A major theme in both festivals is that there are diverse types of people in our community. Each person's uniqueness is a Divine Gift, and is to be respected. As one should not exclude oneself from the community, so too should the should the community not exclude any of its members. be they women or men; Gay, lesbian, or Heterosexual, reform, Conservative, or Chassid. Each person adds to the exquisite texture of Life. 

-- Exodus Story

Long ago, our ancestors worshipped idols, but the Ancient of Days drew us close, and said, "Your ancestors used to dwell beyond the River.* And I took your mother Sarah and your father Avraham across the River, and led them throughout all the land of Canaan. They had a son Yitzkhak (Isaac) who with his beloved Rivkah (Rebekah) gave birth to Ya'acov (Jacob) whose name later became Yisrael (Israel), and whose name became the name of our people.

When Yisrael and his kin went down into Egypt, they numbered only 70 persons. But the Eternal made them as countless as the stars in the sky, and there we became a nation.** Jacob's son, Joseph, rose to high position in Pharaoh's court, and our people were well-respected and well-regarded, secure in the power structure of the time.

Generation passed and our people remained in Egypt. In time, a new Pharaoh ascended to the to the throne. He found our difference threatening, and order our people enslaved. In fear of rebellion, Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew baby boys be killed. Two midwives, Shifrah and Pu'ah, defied his orders. These two women set up a network to hide the infants. The pharaoh questioned their contempt they lied that "the Hebrew women...are lively and they deliver before the midwife can get to them." (Exod 1:19).

Through their courage, a boy survived. Fearing for his safety, his family placed him in a basket and he floated down the Nile. He was found, and adopted, by Pharaoh's daughter, who named him Moses because she drew him for from the water. Thanks to Moses' sister Miriam ,Pharaoh's daughter hired their mother, Yocheved, as his wet-nurse. Thus he survived into adulthood, and he was raised as Prince of Egypt.

Although a child of privilege, as he grew he became aware of the slaves were worried in the brickyards of his father. When he saw an overseer misread a slave, Moses struck the overseer and killed him. Fearing retribution, he set out across the Sinai alone. God spoke to him from a burning bush, which though it flamed was not consumed. The Voice called him to lead the Hebrew people to freedom. Moses argued with God, pleading inadequacy, but God disagreed. Sometimes our responsibilities choose us.

Moses returned to Egypt and went to Pharaoh to argue the injustice of slavery. He gave Pharaoh a mandate which resounds through history: Let my people go. Pharaoh refused, and Moses warned I'm that the Egyptian people would be stricken. These threats were not idle; ten terrible plagues were unleashed upon the Egyptians. Only when his nation lay in ruins did Pharaoh agree to our liberation.

Fearful that Pharaoh would change his mind, our people fled, not waiting for their bread dough to rise. Our people did not leave egypt alone; a "mixed multitude" went with them. From this we learn that liberation is not for us alone, but for all the nations of the Earth. Even Pharaoh's daughter came with us.

Pharaoh's army followed into the Sea of Reeds. We plunged into the waters. Only when we had gone as far as we could did the waters part for us. We mourn, even now, that Pharaoh's army drowned; our liberation, that we may not become complacent, that we may always rejoice in our freedom.

And all gave thanks for having crossed the Yam Soof in safety. And Miriam, the Prophet, who foretold the birth of Moshe, "took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances," (Exod 15:20). What better way to begin a new cycle.

*Some say the Jordan; others, the Euphrates **We define ourselves as a nation, yet others who do not take the time to understand us often refer to us as a religion.

-- Exodus Story

Blessed be the Infinite One, Who keeps the promise to Yisrael. For The Infinite foretold the end of bondate to Avraham at the Covenant of Sacrifices, And the Infinite said to Avraham, "Know that your children will be strangers in a strange land. They will be enslaved there and will be oppressed four hundred years. The nation who will oppress them, will. however, be judged. And your people will be freed."

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ, שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד עָמַד

עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר עוֹמְדִים עָלֵינוּ

לְכַלוֹתֵנוּ, וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם.

V'hee she ama dah, lahvo tay nu, v'lanoo. Sheh loh ehchad beel vahd amad.

Ah-lay-noo l'chaloh taynu, el ah, shebachol dohr vahdohr ohm deem ah-lay-noo.

L'chal otahnoo, v'chak adosh baruch hoo mitz laynoo, mee yah dahm.

This covenant that remained constant for our ancestors and for us has saved us against any who arose to destroy us in every generation, and throughout history when any stood against us to annihilate us, the Kadosh Barukh Hu kept saving us from them.

-- Ten Plagues

When Moshe asked Pharaoh to release the Jewish slaves, and he refused, ten plagues were sent to Egypt. And while we are happy, that after the plagues we were finally freed from slavery, we must temper our joy with sorrow , for the Egyptians had to die. we are taught that the angels were rejoicing when the Egyptian tormentors were finally drowned in the Yam Soof, but the Infinite One silenced then saying, "The work of my hand are drowning in the sea, and you want to sing hymns?" (Megillah 10b).

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

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

The plagues and our subsequent redemption from Egypt are but one example of the care God has shown for us in our history. Had God but done any one of these kindnesses, it would have been enough – dayeinu.

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!

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.

 The complete lyrics to Dayeinu tell the entire story of the Exodus from Egypt as a series of miracles God performed for us. (See the Additional Readings if you want to read or sing them all.)

Dayeinu also reminds us that each of our lives is the cumulative result of many blessings, small and large. 

-- 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.

Motzi-Matzah

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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.

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

​Eat the mix of major and charoset

Koreich

Break the bottom matzah, pass it around the room, and then eat it with the maror (bitters).

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.

?אם אין אני לי, מי לי

?וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני

?ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי

Im ayn ani li, mi li?

Ukh she ani, l'atz mi, mah ani?

V'im lo akh shav, ay ma tie?

If I am not for myself, ,who will be for me?

But if I am for myself only, what am I?

And if not now, when?

An Anti-Semite mocked Hillel by asking if he could teach the whole Torah while standing on one food. Hillel replied, "What is hateful to yourself, do not to another. That is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary."

*Hillel - head of the Sanhedrin, the supreme council of ancient Israel, 1st century, BCE.

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!

Shulchan Oreich
Tzafun

"Find" the  Afikomen  and distribute the some of the found piece to each person to eat.

Tzafoon means "The Hidden." It is time to search for the missing half of the middle matzah ( afikomen ). When someone, usually a child, finds the afikomen , and it fits the half on the Seder plate, the child ransoms it as a reward, so that the seder might continue. A piece of the afikomen , which means dessert, is distributed to all. This is the last food eaten except for the remaining two cups of wine.

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.

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!

Bareich

Pour the third glass of wine.

We now say grace after the meal, being thankful 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

May the source of peace grant peace to us, to the Jewish people, and to the entire world. Amen.

Birkat Hamazon

שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת:

בְּשׁוּב יהוה אֶת־שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן הָיִ֫ינוּ כְּחֹלְמִים. אָז יִמָּלֵא שְׂחוֹק פִּינוּ וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה, אָז יֹאמְרוּ בַגּוֹיִם, הִגְדִּיל יְיָ לַעֲשׂוֹת עִם אֵלֶּה. הִגְדִּיל יְיָ לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמָּנוּ, הָיִינוּ שְׂמֵחִים. שׁוּבָה יְיָ אֶת שְׁבִיתֵנוּ, כַּאֲפִיקִים בַּנֶּגֶב. הַזֹּרְעִים בְּדִמְעָה בְּרִנָּה יִקְצֹרוּ. הָלוֹךְ יֵלֵךְ וּבָכֹה נֹשֵׂא מֶשֶׁךְ הַזָּרַע, בֹּא יָבֹא בְרִנָּה נֹשֵׂא אֲלֻמֹּתָיו.

תְּהִלַּת יְיָ יְדַבֶּר פִּי, וִיבָרֵךְ כָּל בָּשָׂר שֵׁם קָדְשׁוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. וַאֲנַחְנוּ נְבָרֵךְ יָהּ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם הַלְלוּיָהּ. הוֹדוּ לַייָ כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. מִי יְמַלֵּל גְּבוּרוֹת יְיָ יַשְׁמִיעַ כָּל תְּהִלָּתוֹ

Shir Hama’alot, b’shuv Adonai et shee-vat Tzion, ha-yeenu k’chol meem. Az y’ma-lei s’chok pee-nu u’l-sho-nei-nu reena, az yo-m’ru va-goyim, heeg-deel Adonai la-asot eem eleh. Heeg-deel Adonai la-asot eemanu, ha-yee-nu s’mei-cheem. Shuva Adonai et sh’vee-tei-nu, ka-afee-keem ba-negev. Ha-zor-eem b’deem-ah b’reena yeek-tzo-ru. Ha-loch yei-lech u-va-cho no-sei me-shech hazara, bo yavo v’reena, no-sei alu-mo-tav.

T’hilat Adonai y’daber pi, vivareich kol basar shem kod’sho l’olam va’ed. Va-anachnu n’varech ya, mei-ata v’ad olam, hal’luya. Hodu la-Adonai ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo. Mi y’maleil g’vurot Adonai, yashmi’a kol t’hilato.

When the Lord returns us from exile back to Zion, it will be as though in a dream. We will laugh and sing with joy. It shall be said around the world: “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord did great things for us, and we shall rejoice. God, restore our fortunes. We shall be like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Though the farmer bears the measure of seed to the field in sadness, he shall come home with joy, bearing his sheaves.

All together:

בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּבָרוּך שְׁמוֹ.

Baruch hu u-varuch sh’mo.

Blessed be He and blessed be His name.

Bareich

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!

Bareich

Hinei Ma Tov

!הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד

Hineh ma tov u'ma-nayim Shevet ach-im gam ya-chad!

How good and pleasant it is for siblings to be here together!

Hallel

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.

Eliahu (Elijah), the Prophet, comes to Earth from time to time, when hearts are open and the need for peace is great. And it will be Eliahu who will herald the End of Days, when harmony will reign upon our planet. He is welcome into our home!

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַנָּבִיא, אֵלִיָּֽהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי,

אֵלִיָּֽהוּ, 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.

The Cup of Miriam

We lift our cup to remember the Prophet miriam. May her courage, spontaneity, and vision illuminate our lives. We are inspired to make amends, to begin anew, and to forgive others and ourselves for last year's shortcomings.

Have a sip of the Prophet's insight.

Hallel

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!

Nirtzah

Nirtzah marks the conclusion of the seder. Our bellies are full, we have had several glasses of wine, we have told stories and sung songs, and now it is time for the evening to come to a close. At the end of the seder, we honor the tradition of declaring, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

For some people, the recitation of this phrase expresses the anticipation of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem and the return of the Messiah. For others, it is an affirmation of hope and of connectedness with  Klal Yisrael, the whole of the Jewish community. Still others yearn for peace in Israel and for all those living in the Diaspora.

Though it comes at the end of the seder, this moment also marks a beginning. We are beginning the next season with a renewed awareness of the freedoms we enjoy and the obstacles we must still confront. We are looking forward to the time that we gather together again. Having retold stories of the Jewish people, recalled historic movements of liberation, and reflected on the struggles people still face for freedom and equality, we are ready to embark on a year that we hope will bring positive change in the world and freedom to people everywhere.

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָֽיִם

L’shana haba-ah biy’rushalayim

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

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

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.