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Introduction
Source : Love and Justice In Times of War Haggadah
Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu lirdof tzedek

Brucha Yah Shechinah, eloheinu Malkat ha-olam, asher kid’shatnu b’mitzvotayha vitzivatnu lirdof tzedek

Blessed is the Source, who shows us paths to holiness, and commands us to pursue justice. 

Introduction
Source : http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178948
Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU

A free bird leaps 

on the back of the wind   

and floats downstream   

till the current ends 

and dips his wing 

in the orange sun rays 

and dares to claim the sky. 

But a bird that stalks 

down his narrow cage 

can seldom see through 

his bars of rage 

his wings are clipped and   

his feet are tied 

so he opens his throat to sing. 

The caged bird sings   

with a fearful trill   

of things unknown   

but longed for still   

and his tune is heard   

on the distant hill   

for the caged bird   

sings of freedom. 

The free bird thinks of another breeze 

and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees 

and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn 

and he names the sky his own 

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   

his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   

so he opens his throat to sing. 

The caged bird sings   

with a fearful trill   

of things unknown   

but longed for still   

and his tune is heard   

on the distant hill   

for the caged bird   

sings of freedom.

Introduction
I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free. -Rosa Parks

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. -George Orwell

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. -JFK

If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary. -Malcolm X

Kadesh
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

Kadesh
Source : Tikkun Passover Supplement

KIDDUSH

Before the blessing over the first cup of wine, say:

We are gathered here tonight to affirm our continuity with the generations of Jews who kept alive the vision of freedom in the Passover story. For thousands of years, Jews have affirmed that by participating in the Passover Seder, we not only remember the Exodus, but actually relive it, bringing its transformative power into our own lives.

The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, means “narrow straits.” Traditionally, Mitzrayim has been understood to mean a spiritual state, the “narrow place,” a place of confusion, fragmentation, and spiritual disconnection. There are many ways in which all of us, individually and collectively, may be trapped in Mitzrayim. Fear of the other, fear of our own true selves, fear of losing control. All of these can become "false gods" to which we may be enslaved. Even some of what passes for "spiritual growth" may lead us into a narrower, more constricted place as we attempt to cut off parts of ourselves that we don't like. It is only a short step from abusing facets of our own selves to abusing others as well.

The way out of Mitzrayim is through chesed, compassion—through embracing that which we have been taught to scorn within ourselves and others and through attempting to understand those who seem very different from us. Israel left Egypt with “a mixed multitude”; the Jewish people began as a multicultural mélange of people attracted to a vision of social transformation. What makes us Jews is not some biological fact, but our willingness to proclaim the mes- sage of those ancient slaves: The world can be changed, we can be healed. 

Urchatz
by VBS
Source : VBS Haggadah
Slaves eat quickly, stopping neither to wash nor to reflect. Tonight, we are free. We wash and we express our reverence for the blessings that are ours.

Pass a bowl of water, a small cup and a towel around the table. Everyone pours three cupfuls over their fingers. There is no blessing over this washing.

Karpas
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Maggid - Beginning
Source : AJWS
By 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 : Original Design from Haggadot.com

Maggid - Beginning
by VBS
Source : VBS Haggadah
The central imperative of the Seder is to tell the story. The Bible instructs: “ You shall tell your child on that day, saying: ‘This is because of what Adonai did for me when I came out of Egypt.' ” (Exodus 13:8) We relate the story of our ancestors to regain the memories as our own. Elie Weisel writes: God created man because He loves stories. We each have a story to tell — a story of enslavement, struggle, liberation. Be sure to tell your story at the Seder table, for the Passover is offered not as a one-time event, but as a model for human experience in all generations. 

Ha lachma anya d’achaloo avhatana b’ara d’meetzrayeem. Kol dichfeen yay-tay vi’yachool, kol deetzreech yay-tay viyeesfsach. Hashata hach. Li’shana ha-ba-aa bi’arah di’yeesrael. Hashata av’day, li’shana ha-ba a bi’nay choreen.

This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in need, come and celebrate Passover. Today, we are here. Next year, in the land of Israel. Today, we are slaves. Next year, we will be free.

Written in Aramaic, this statement begins the narration of the Seder by inviting the hungry to our table. Aramaic, Jewish legend has it, is the one language which the angels do not understand. Why then is Ha Lachma spoken in Aramaic? To teach us that where there is hunger, no one should rely upon the angels, no one should pray to the heavens for help. We know the language of the poor, for we were poor in the land of Egypt. We know that we are called to feed the poor and to call them to join our celebration of freedom. 

-- Four Questions
by VBS
Source : Rabbi Ed Feinstein

The Seder is all about answering questions. But one question remains unanswered, and that’s the most important question – Why? We are taught, “ In every generation, each person must see him/​herself as if s/​he were redeemed from Egypt.”  But why? Why return to Egypt year after year? Why re-taste the bitterness of slavery? Ask the Torah – What difference does this experience make for me? How am I shaped by the experience of slavery and liberation? Here is the Torah’s response…Out of Exodus comes a fully-formed social vision, an ethic, and way of looking at history. Read each verse, and ask how the experience of Egypt shapes us, shapes our behavior, our society, our expectations for the world. This is the missing page from the Haggadah, the answer to Why?

Exodus 22:20 -- You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  You shall not ill-treat any widow or orphan.

Exodus 23: 5 -- When you see your enemy’s mule lying under its burden and would refrain from raising it, you must nevertheless raise it with him. You shall not subvert the rights of your needy in their disputes. ... You shall not oppress a stranger for you know the soul of the stranger  having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:33 -- When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I the Lord am your God.

Leviticus 25:35 -- If your kinsman, becomes poor, and his means fail, then you shall uphold him, you shall hold him as though a resident alien, let him live by your side: do not exact from him advance or accrued interest, but fear your God. Let him live by your side as your kinsman. Do not lend him money at advance interest or give him your food at accrued interest. I the Lord am your God,  who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan,  to be your God.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 -- Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; you shall not do any work -- you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the stranger in your settlements so that your male and female slave may rest as you do.  Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt  and the Lord your God freed you from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

Deuteronomy 10:17 -- God shows no favor and takes no bribe but upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widow and befriends the stranger providing him with food and clothing. You too must befriend the stranger,  for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 24:17ff -- You shall not subvert the rights of the stranger or the fatherless; you shall not take a widow's garment in pawn.  Remember that you were a slave in Egypt  and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment.

            When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it; it shall go to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow -- in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings.          When you beat down the fruit of your olive trees, do not go over them again, this shall go to the stranger, the fatherless and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not pick it over again; that shall go to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.  Always remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt ; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment.

Exodus 20:1-2 -- I am the LORD your God who  brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage.  You shall have no other gods besides Me.

-- Four Questions
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

-- Exodus Story
Maggid By Marge Piercy

The courage to let go of the door, the handle. The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast, a child’s naughtiness, a loud blistering storm that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.

The courage to abandon the graves dug into the hill, the small bones of children and the brittle bones of the old whose marrow hunger had stolen; the courage to desert the tree planted and only begun to bear; the riverside where promises were shaped; the street where their empty pots were broken.

The courage to leave the place whose language you learned as early as your own, whose customs however dangerous or demeaning, bind you like a halter you have learned to pull inside, to move your load; the land fertile with the blood spilled on it; the roads mapped and annotated for survival.

The courage to walk out of the pain that is known into the pain that cannot be imagined, mapless, walking into the wilderness, going barefoot with a canteen into the desert; stuffed in the stinking hold of a rotting ship sailing off the map into dragons’ mouths.

Cathay, India, Serbia, goldeneh medina, leaving bodies by the way like abandoned treasure. So they walked out of Egypt. So they bribed their way out of Russia under loaves of straw; so they steamed out of the bloody smoking charnelhouse of Europe on overloaded freighters forbidden all ports–

out of pain into death or freedom or a different painful dignity, into squalor and politics. We Jews are all born of wanderers, with shoes under our pillows and a memory of blood that is ours raining down. We honor only those Jews who changed tonight, those who chose the desert over bondage,

who walked into the strange and became strangers and gave birth to children who could look down on them standing on their shoulders for having been slaves. We honor those who let go of everything but freedom, who ran, who revolted, who fought, who became other by saving themselves.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Scallions Aren’t Just For Eating: There is a Persian custom of hitting each other with scallions during Dayenu. The scallions represent the whips of our oppressors. Although this may seem a little morbid, young and old alike have a wonderful time violating social norms and slamming each other with green onions. - Rachel Kobrin, My JewishLearning.com

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Koreich
Bareich
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com

Bareich

B’rich rachamana,

malka de-alma,

marey d’hai pita

 You are the Source of Life for all that is

 And your blessing flows through me

(Aramaic: Babylonian Talmud, English: Shefa Gold)

Songs

My Favorite Things

 [Sung to the tune of "These are a few of my favorite things"]

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.

 Matzoh 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 cling

 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.

 There's No Seder Like our Seder

 (sung to the tune of "There's no Business like Show business")

 There's no seder like our seder,

 There's no seder I know.

 Everything about it is Halachic

 nothing that the Torah won't allow.

 Listen how we read the whole Haggadah

 It's all in Hebrew

 'Cause we know how.

 There's no Seder like our seder,

 We tell a tale that is swell:

 Moses took the people out into the heat

 They baked the matzoh

 While on their feet

 Now isn't that a story

 That just can't be beat?

 Let's go on with the show!

 Take Us Out of Egypt

 (sung to the tune of "Take me out to the ball game")

 Take us out of Egypt

 Free us from slavery

 Bake us some matzoh in a haste

 Don't worry 'bout flavor--

 Give no thought to taste.

 Oh it's rush, rush, rush, to the Red Sea

If we don't cross it's a shame.

 For it's ten plagues,

 Down and you're out

 At the Pesach history game.

Take me out to the Seder

Take me out to the crowd.

Feed me some matzah and kosher wine,

We’ll wine and dine and we’ll have a good time.

For we’ll root for Moshe Rabbeinu

And our crossing through the Red Sea.

For it’s one, two, okay four cups of wine,

We rejoice that we are free!

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, a 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 ever more

 What the father told his children told his sons that numbered four.

Gilligan’s Island

Recline right back and you’ll hear a tale,

A tale of a fateful trip

That started many years ago in old, ancient Egypt.

The Jews were forced to work as slaves,

They suffered that ordeal;

We celebrate their Exodus with a three hour meal,

A three hour meal!

The Pharaoh was an evil dude,

His wrath would not repent

If not for the effort of the fearless Jews,

We’d all be keeping lent,

Yes, we’d all be keeping lent!

They landed in the desert after parting the Red Sea,

With Moses, and Aaron too, each Israelite and his wife,

A movie star, the Professor and Miriam…

Here on Passover night!