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אַדִיר בִּמְלוּכָה, בָּחוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, גְּדוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

דָּגוּל בִּמְלוּכָה, הָדוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, וָתִיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

זַכַּאי בִּמְלוּכָה, חָסִין כַּהֲלָכָה טַפְסְרָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

יָחִיד בִּמְלוּכָה, כַּבִּיר כַּהֲלָכָה לִמוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

מוֹשֵׁל בִּמְלוּכָה, נוֹרָא כַּהֲלָכָה סְבִיבָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

עָנָיו בִּמְלוּכָה, פּוֹדֶה כַּהֲלָכָה, צַדִּיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

קָּדוֹשׁ בִּמְלוּכָה, רַחוּם כַּהֲלָכָה שִׁנְאַנָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה. 

תַּקִיף בִּמְלוּכָה, תּוֹמֵךְ כַּהֲלָכָה תְּמִימָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: 
לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ יי הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Translation: Because it is proper for Him, because it befits Him. Mighty in sovereignty, rightly select. His minions say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Exalted in sovereignty, rightly glorious. His faithful ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Blameless in sovereignty, rightly powerful. His generals say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Singular in sovereignty, rightly strong. His learned ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Exalted in sovereignty, rightly awesome. Those who surround Him say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Humble in sovereignty, rightly saving. His righteous ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Holy in sovereignty, rightly merciful. His multitudes say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” Strong in sovereignty, rightly supportive. His perfect ones say to Him: “Yours and Yours, Yours because it is Yours, Yours and only Yours— Yours, Adonai, is sovereignty!” 

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

Source :
Caged Bird


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.

Source : Original Design from
Hannah Szenes Quote (Eli, Eli)

Source : A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices by Mishael Zion and Noam Zion
The Four Cups of the Seder are structurally connected to the four verbal performances this evening:

(1) Kiddush, sanctifying the holiday (2) Maggid, the storytelling (3) Birkat HaMazon, completing the Pesach meal; and (4) Hallel, completing the festival Psalms.

The Talmud connects the Four Cups to God's Four Promises to Israel: "Tell the children of Israel: I am Adonai! I will take them out... I will rescue them… I will redeem them… and I will marry them taking them as my people and I will be their God" (Exodus 6:6-7, Jerusalem Talmud Pesachim 10:1).

However, two 16th C. mystic rabbis identify the Four Cups with the Four Matriarchs of Israel. The Maharal of Prague (famous for the legend of Golem) and Rav Isaiah Horowitz of Tsfat explain:

(1) The Cup of Kiddush stands for Sarah who was the mother of a community of converts, believers by choice.

(2) The Cup of Maggid is for Rebecca who knew how to mother both Esav and Jacob, two opposed natures.

(3) The Cup of the Blessing after Eating represents Rachel whose son Joseph provided the whole family of Jacob with bread in a time of great famine.

(4) The Cup of Hallel (Praise) is for Leah who came to realize that the pursuit of the impossible, Jacob's love, must give way to appreciation of what one has. When her fourth child was born, Judah, she praised God: " This time I will thank God " (Genesis 29:35).


It is customary to drink four cups of wine on Passover. Is that to make us drunk enough to think we can digest Matzah?

--Elena Jawitz

Source : Original

Source :
1. Hannah Senesh was a Hungarian Jew, one of 37 Jews who lived in the British Mandate for Palestine (now Israel), who were trained by the British army to parachute into Yugoslavia during the Second World War in order to help save the Jews of Hungary, who were about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz.

2. Senesh was arrested at the Hungarian border, imprisoned and tortured, but she refused to reveal details of her mission and was eventually tried, and executed by firing squad. She is regarded as a national heroine in Israel, where several streets, a headquarters the zionist youth movement Israel Hatzeira and a kibbutz are named after her, and her poetry is widely known.

3. Senesh enrolled in a Protestant private school for girls which also accepted Catholic and Jewish pupils; however, she had to pay twice the regular tuition because she was Jewish. This, along with the realization that the situation of the Jews in Hungary was becoming precarious, prompted Szenes to embrace Judaism. She announced to her friends that she had become a Zionist and joined Maccabea, a Hungarian Zionist students organization.

4. Senesh graduated in 1939 and decided to emigrate to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine in order to study in the Girls’ Agricultural School at Nahalal.

5. In 1941, she joined Kibbutz Sdot Yam and then joined the Haganah, the paramilitary group that laid the foundation of the Israel Defense Forces. In 1943, she enlisted in the British army in the Woman’s Auxiliary Air Force as an Aircraftwoman 2nd Class and began her training in Egypt as a paratrooper for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).

6. In March 1944, she and two male colleagues, Yoel Palgi and Peretz Goldstein, were parachuted into Yugoslavia and joined a partisan group. After landing, they learned the Germans had already occupied Hungary, so the men decided to call off the mission as too dangerous. Szenes continued and headed for the Hungarian border.

7. At the border, she was arrested by Hungarian gendarmes, who found the British military transmitter she was carrying, used to communicate with the SOE and other partisans. She was taken to a prison in Budapest, tied to a chair, stripped, then whipped and clubbed for three days. The guards wanted to know the code for her transmitter so they could find out who the other parachutists were. She did not tell them, however, even when they brought her mother into the cell and threatened to torture her too.

8. Whilst in jail, Szenes used a mirror to flash signals out of the window to the Jewish prisoners in other cells, and communicated with them using large cut-out letters in Hebrew that she placed in her window one at a time and by drawing the Magen David in the dust. She tried to keep their spirits up by singing, and through all the things Szenes went through she still kept her spirit high and stayed true to her mission.

9. Senesh was tried for treason on October 28, 1944. There was an eight-day postponement to give the judges more time to find a verdict, followed by another postponement, this one because of the appointment of a new Judge Advocate. She was executed by a firing squad before the judges had returned a verdict. She kept diary entries until her last day, November 7, 1944 when she was killed by a German firing squad. One of them read: "In the month of July, I shall be twenty-three/I played a number in a game/The dice have rolled. I have lost," and another: "I loved the warm sunlight."


In this part of the seder you dip greens in salt water. It is salt water because we can remember the tears of the jews while they were slaves.


This night is indeed different from all other nights. It is the one night of the year I dip my greens instead of smoking them.

--Elena Jawitz

Source : Design by
Bread of Affliction


So I'm trying to be more health conscious and decided on a whim to try some gluten free matzah. And it was good. Weirdly surprisingly good. Like better than any matzah I have ever had. Then I looked at the box and it said "Not a substitute for Matzah at the seder." I guess that makes sense. The bread of affliction should have a certain level of affliction.

--Elena Jawitz



Is matzo poor man's bread or the food of free men? Can it be both? If we regard it as the Bread of Affliction why did we carry dough on our backs out of Egypt, to let it bake in the hot sun without leavening and rising? Can one Matzo be both a symbol of wretchedness and deliverance?

Matzo is a paradox.

Not only is it so, but in breaking the middle matzo we also break with symmetry. There is a bigger half and a smaller half. This unpalatable truth is almost a preamble to the Haggadah. The universe is not symmetrical, all is not evenly divided. There is a richer and poorer half. The distribution of assets is not equal. This is one of the mysteries that persists, omnipresent, throughout time. Life the universe and everything is not fair. We cannot balance this sorry scheme of things entire, and so it goes. What was our response as children to the dawning realization that it was not fair? Did we have coping mechanisms? We survived so we must have coped, but we sacrificed our health in order to do so. We split. We broke into pieces. We hid ourself away. And this is how we prepared ourselves for life. Like the hungriest of paupers eating what we absolutely must, laying aside the greater part for later, when the time is riper. We compromised, accepting this imbalance, bowing to the "Law of Unfairness” which must prevail.

In many ways this acquiescence preceded addiction. We grew satisfied with the expression of a mere fraction of our personalities. We went into "survival mode", subsisting on crumbs of humanness, hiding the greater part of ourselves from ourselves. As we do with the AFIKOMEN.

The focus of our lives grew narrower as our preoccupation with gnawing hunger grew stronger. We had nothing to spare for growth when all we had went to feed our habits. Fewer and fewer opportunities to begin the fixing, as we chased the fix with growing desperation. In the end it became obvious that we had developed a pathological relationship with the "bread of our affliction".

We break the middle matzo because the middle matzo represents the Great Mothering Principle of the Kabbalistical Sphere of BINAH. We lost the ability to take care of our most basic needs, to Mother ourselves.

If the recitation of the Haggadah is our "war-story", our qualification, why are we breaking the matzo now before beginning our war story?

The answer is heartbreaking. The reason this happens before the Haggadah, is because the splitting of the self almost always occurs when we are still in a pre-verbal state. The disorder of our personalities, the shaming and abandonment of ourselves happens when we are still babies, infants. What follows is the story of our lives after the rupture. The inevitable, inexorable descent into the blast-furnace that was our Egypt, and our deliverance. There are no words to describe the event. We simply break the matzo, leaving the smaller section on the Seder plate, We wrap the larger piece in a pillow-case and put it away for afikomen.

Recovery is a lifelong process. We must realize, actualize and integrate the whole of ourselves. We will do this by eating the Afikomen as a symbolic "last-act" of the Seder. When it is all over we will have achieved a reclamation of the "self" we abandoned. We take the Afikomen we have wrapped in a pillowcase, slinging it over the shoulder we explain to our children:

“This is what our parents did when they came out of Egypt;”

As it is written:

“Their dough slung over their shoulders in sheets”

And the sun shone so hot that it was baked, without the opportunity to leaven as dough left alone will do. And so they continued to eat the unleavened bread even when they came out of Egypt".

Why did we continue eating this bread after we had left Egypt? Why is this a point worth mentioning? In a sense we are reminding ourselves of those times early in Recovery when we found ourselves in very painful situations, eating what seemed identical to the bread of our affliction. We can only see with hindsight that we were eating bread of freedom. In our haste to leave Egypt we were prepared to go to any lengths; even mothers with tiny children walked away from the only homes they had. Walking into the wilderness with nothing to eat but unfinished pastry dough and trust in their Higher Power. It is customary to hide the Afikomen, allowing children the excitement of the search. Just another way of keeping them awake and alert whilst the Seder continues.

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

watercolor and pen on paper

Beth Flusser


Maggid - Beginning
Source : Original Design from
Hannah Szenes Quote

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
Source : Original Illustration from
Four Questions

-- Four Questions
Source : original

How is this night different from other nights?  On other nights we are not obligated to ask the questions of what separates us from redemption.  Tonight we are so obligated.

1)  Why are women not yet universally recognized as being created in the divine image?

2)  Why are Israelis still living in a state of war?

3)  Why are millions of people still suffering from hunger?

4)  Why are there still dictators who prevent the voices of their people from being heard?

Like the traditional Four Questions, these are just examples.  But unlike the traditional quesitons, these are problems whose resolutions resist easy answers.   We are not obligated to complete the task, but niether are we free to remain complacent. 

-- Four Questions

I feel like the four questions is the most important part of the seder. Because Judaism is the only religion built on a foundation of questions. We are always encouraged to ask questions and it is so embedded in our culture that it becomes our learning process that we go on to do amazing things. I now invite each of you right here at this table to think of a question. It could be about Passover. It could be about life in general. And we will go around the table and discuss each question. Because today is not about Matzah or frogs or pyramids. It's about a celebration of our culture. A culture of learning and power through knowledge.

-- Four Children
Source : Adapted from Peace and Justice Haggadah
My Angry Self – Violent and oppressive things are happening to me, the people I love and people I don’t even know. Why can’t we make the people in power hurt the way we are all hurting?

Expressing our anger, releasing our anger, knowing and claiming our anger is an important step in the process of liberation, but hatred and violence can never overcome hatred and violence. Only love and compassion can transform our world. 

My Ashamed Self – I’m so ashamed of what people are doing that I have no way of dealing with it!

We acknowledge our feelings of guilt, shame and disappointment in order to not be paralyzed by these strong emotions. We transmute these forces, using the fire of injustice to fuel us in working for change. We also remember and celebrate the amazing, ordinary people around the world who are working to dismantle oppression together everyday.

My Fearful Self – Why should I care about other people when they don’t care about me? If I share what I have, there won’t be enough and I will end up suffering.

We must challenge the sense of scarcity that we have learned from capitalism and our histories of oppression. If we change the way food, housing, education, and resources are distributed, we could all have enough. 

Martin Luther King said: It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.

My Compassionate Self – How can I struggle for justice with an open heart? How can we live in a way that builds the world we want to live in, without losing hope?

This is the question that we answer with our lives. Compassion is the foundation upon which we can build loving communities, dedicated to the lifelong journey toward liberation. We are all blind and constricted in certain areas, and we are all wise and liberated in others. Compassion allows us to forgive ourselves and each other for our imperfections, and to release the judgments that keep us from fully experiencing love.

Each of us contains the angry one, the ashamed one, the frightened one, the compassionate one. When we can acknowledge all four of them, we are able to stay on the long and winding path toward personal liberation.

-- Exodus Story
Source :
by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

-- Exodus Story

I feel like if Passover happened now instead of back then the Egyptians would have us make movies instead of pyramids. Like there would be a pharaoh with a whip yelling "Faster Spielberg! Jaws isn't going to make itself!" 

--Elena Jawitz 

-- Exodus Story

Jerry Seinfeld is half Jewish and half Arab. What would happen if he were around during the Passover Story? Would he only have to make pyramids part time? Maybe he would try get out of it with standup. "What's the deal with pyramids? They are just overly elaborate tombstones!"

--Elena Jawitz

-- Exodus Story
Source : JSNAP Passover Haggadah Insert

Use this piece in tandem with the telling of the Exodus story. Think about the connection between the Jewish story of Exodus from Egypt to more contemporary examples of persecution and forced migration. How did the formation of the territory now known as the United States depend upon the forced migration of people already residing on the land?

The Hebrews’ Exodus from Egypt is a climactic moment in the Passover story. After suffering for generations as slaves in Egypt, the Hebrews cross the Sea of Reeds and head into the desert with only matzah, the bread of affliction. Led by Miriam and Moses, the community seeks its freedom from slavery, oppression, and violence by wandering in the desert for forty years. Though this is a long struggle, the Hebrews’ persistence leads them to the Promised Land.

More contemporary examples demonstrate that forced migrations are not a thing of the past. In 1863 and ’64, the United States government forcibly removed the Navajo Nation from its ancestral homeland in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. Prior to this forced move, the US Army went to war with the Navajo and Apache tribes, destroying much of their community. The US Army, led by Kit Carson, then forced 8,500 Navajo people to march 400 miles to their internment in Bosque Redondo, a forty square-mile area. This is now known as the Navajo Long Walk.

Over 200 people died after walking through the harsh winter for two months. Many more perished after arriving in the barren Bosque Redondo reservation, where disease, crop failure, and poor irrigation made survival almost impossible. The Navajos also had their own “bread of affliction.” They were given meager rations of only flour and coffee beans, but because the coffee beans were unfamiliar to this community, they tried to boil them and starved.

After the Navajo were recognized as a sovereign nation under the Treaty of 1868, they returned to their homeland on the Arizona- New Mexico border (one of very few tribes who were allowed to do so). Though their lands were greatly reduced by the US Army and government, the Navajo worked hard to take care of their livestock and rebuild their community.

Can you draw parallels between the Jewish Exodus from Egypt and the Navajo Long Walk? What are the key similarities and differences between these histories? What do you know about the long-term effects of forced migration and persecution on contemporary American Indian communities?

As we observe Passover to commemorate the hardships of our ancestors, how can we act in solidarity with American Indian communities’ histories of persecution, forced migration, and genocide? 

-- Ten Plagues
Source :
The Plagues happened at the same time as a massive volcano eruption. The volcano Santorini sent ash in to the air effecting the surrounding area. The ash is found in Cairo and the Nile River, proven by testing the composition of the ash. This volcanic eruption happened between 1500-1650BC while the Plagues happened between 1400-1550BC. So it fits there. 

1st Plague. River ran red LIKE blood. But there is a common algae plume called the Red Tide. This makes the river, or any water, look red like blood. Why did this happen? The ash changes the PH level of the river allowing the algae to bloom. 

2nd Plague. Frogs. The algae is killing fish. Fish eat frog eggs. No fish, record number of frogs. Frogs can't live in polluted water and so leave the river. 

3rd and 4th Plague. Lice and flies. The translation can actually be lice, fleas, gnats, or midges. But you have riverfull of dead fish, and now dead frogs. This brings the insects of the 3rd and 4th Plague. 

5th Plague. Pestilence. Flies, dead frogs, dead fish, easy enough no? 

6th Plague. Boils. Certain types of flies that bite can leave behind boils. The bites get infected, they turn in to boils. 

7th Plague. Fire and Hail. Ash in the air causes a mixture of ash and water. The ash, very high in the air, causes the water to freeze so when it falls it is hail and not rain. The fire? I saw this amazing picture in Nat. Geo. of a volcanic eruption. There was red lightning. It was amazing to see bright red lightning. Why is it red? Chemicals in the ash makes red lightning. So fire in the sky, and hail. 

8th Plague. Locusts. Locusts come about when the ground is very damp. They bury their eggs in the sand about 4-6 inches. After record amount of hail the ground would be very wet allowing the locusts to form. 

9th Plague. Darkness. Ash in the air. After am eruption in 1815 there was darkness for 600 kilometers. After Krakatoa it was dark for even farther for days. 

10th Plague. Death of First born. In Egypt the first born was king. They would be the one to lead the family after the father died. When food was scarce the first born ate first and some times was the only one to eat. After locusts ate every thing there was only grain locked in vaults. The hail got it wet, locust feces, it made it moldy. And so when only the first born ate, they were the only ones killed by moldy grain. 

-- Ten Plagues

1) Blood: unidentified stains on the T 

2) Frogs: Tinder dates who don't look like their pictures (in a bad way)

3) Bugs: people with beady eyes who try talk to you on the T

4) Wild Animals: misogynistic coworkers 

5) Pestilence: people who try to talk to you about Ebola 

6) Boils: Allergies 

7) Hail: Downpours of snow every Monday until the T shuts down 

8) Locust: Rabid fans of the Big Bang Theory 

9) Darkness: That feeling before you have your coffee in the morning. but all day. 

10) Death of the First Born: No Wifi

--Elena Jawitz 

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source :
dayeinu graph

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Original

Oh God

I am almost afraid to look over my shoulder

To see how far I’ve come

The expanse seems impossibly wide

And yet

Here I am


Singing Your Name

Surrounded by love and family

Breathing hope in and out

I raise my eyes to the horizon and it feels so close

I am giddy with relief

Your sea is calm now at our backs

The line of the brown rocks

From which we leapt

Only hours ago

Seems a distant memory

This moment is all joy and wonder

We sing and we sing

Circles within circles of men and women and children

All filled up with Your name

With Your praises

Our hearts are full

Our lives are Yours

We lift our eyes to You

And know we have arrived at the beginning

Of greatness

We have set our feet firmly on Your path

The one that leads straight to Your door

To our true home

To our destiny

To You and to us

Inside each other

Together in each moment

At last


We will now wash our hands with the blessing

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם​

Blessed are You, Yah, our G-d, breath of all life, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to wash our hands

?OK, enough being formal. Seriously. God must REALLY  want us to be healthy. But hey, who's complaining

Source :

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה.

Blessed is the maker of bread. Blessed is God who commanded us to eat Matzah! Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech ha olam, ha motzi lechem min haaretz, Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech haolam asher kidshanu b mitzvotav v tzivanu al achilat matzah.

[ ∆ everyone eat matzah ]


Matzah: the original half baked idea 

--Elena Jawitz 

Source :

Blessed is God who commanded us to eat Maror!  Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech haolam asher kidshanu b mitzvotav v tzivanu al achilat maror

[ ∆ Everyone eat the Maror- Horseradish or Romain lettuce ]


The only thing that makes me bitter regarding herbs is that my favorite ones are all illegal.

--Elena Jawitz 

Source :

Rabbi Hillel combined the Passover offering, the Matzah and Maror together in a sandwich and eat them to fulfill the words of the Torah “They shall eat it with Matzah and bitter herbs.”

[ ∆ Make a sandwich from matzah, Charoset and Horseradish ]

Shulchan Oreich
Shulchan Oreich

I will never forget the last time I ever ate in an orthodox person's house. She tried to give me some chicken soup and I said "No thank you. I am vegetarian." She said "The chicken heard it was going to be cooked into a Passover soup. It was happy to die." So I replied "Thank you for thinking of me but I really don't condone suicide." And she replied "How about some brisket then?" 

--Elena Jawitz 

Source :


 Do you know who I am?

 Have you heard of my name?

 Once you have met me, you won't be the same.

 I show up each year towards the end of the seder.

 My eye see like telescopes, ears work like radar.

 You can't ever fool me, you can't ever hide.

 Your matzah's not safe in the house or outside.

 I'm famous, fantastic! I'll tell you, in brief--

 I'm Abie, the Afikoman-thief!

 Whenever you think that it's hidden away,

 locked up in a safe, covered over in clay,

 in the ear of a rabbit, in the mouth of a whale--

 I'll find it as quick as a wag of your tail.

 Don't bother with watchers and guarders and catchers.

 I'm Abie, the great Afikoman-snatcher!

 I find Afikomans, no matter what size.

 And I won't bring them back till you give me a prize.

 I'm quick and I'm clever, I'm smart and I'm sly.

 I hunt Afikomans wherever they lie.

 In the trunk of a tree, in the nose of a rocket,

 in the depths of a five-year-old boy's messy pocket.

 You don't stand a chance. I'm beyond all belief.

 I'm Abie the Afikoman-thief!


The Afikomen is a piece of Matzah that is broken then hidden somewhere in the house for the kids to find. The tradition is that the seder cannot be completed without the Afikomen and when the kids do find it they are supposed to hold it for ransom. We have been doing this for generations. No wonder Bugsy Siegel built Las Vegas... 

--Elena Jawitz 


Fill the cups with wine; open door; all rise...

Elijah the Prophet

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

-Malachi 4:5

Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah from Gilead, May he come quickly, In our days, with the Messiah son of David.

Eh-lee-ya-hu ha-na-vee, Eh-lee-ya-hu ha-tish-bee, Eh-lee-ya-hu ha-gi-la-dee, Bim-hey-ra Ya-vo e-ley-nu Im-ma-shi-ach ben Da-vid.

Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah from Gilead, May he come quickly, In our days, with the Messiah son of David.

cup of wine for elijah

Let us open the door and invite Elijah to enter and join with us as we drink the wine of our freedom.


Being a Jewish prophet is a pretty sweet deal. You don't have to deliver presents or hide eggs and you get wine just for showing up. 

--Elena Jawitz 

Source : JSNAP Passover Haggadah Insert

Use this piece before singing Hallel and think about what it means to transition from slavery to freedom.

Exodus and Liberation translate many different ways for different communities, religious groups, and individuals. Chief Tom Dostou of the Wabanaki Nation of Massachusetts offers the following prayer in an excerpt from a larger piece describing his journey across his ancestral homeland of “Turtle Island.”

"We will pray for the American peoples who send their sons and daughters out to foreign lands to be mutilated and or die for the flag which has been prostituted for the oil profits of a few to the expense of many.

We will pray for the children of those brought over here in chains from Africa and the children of Abraham, Issac and Ishmael.

And we will pray for the children of the Pilgrims and Puritans whose ancestors came here to escape religious persecution and economic slavery but who once offered hospitality and safety lost their vision and became the oppressor.

And finally we will pray for the American Indian people who are now exiles in our own homelands. We will pray that the spiritual connection which the indigenous peoples of this land have cherished and maintained despite overwhelming odds and obstacles will continue to be the backbone and staff upon which this land rest." 

Source :
Source :

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: 

"Moses might not get to see Canaan, but his children will see it. He even got to the mountaintop enough to see it and that assured him that it was coming. But the beauty of the thing is that there's always a Joshua to take up his work and take the children on in. And it's there waiting with its milk and honey, and with all of the bountiful beauty that God has in store for His children."

The Talmud (Eruvin 22b) teaches that even Joshua didn't finish the work, but he did build "roads with stations." He paved the way forward and set up stopping points along the way.

What roads toward justice have been paved for you? What roads will you pave for the future?

What human rights issue weighs most on you this Passover? What is the Promised Land you see from the mountaintop? What is the next waystation we can reach?

Every year at the end of the Seder we say "Next Year in Jerusalem!" 

But that can't mean physically. It would get overcrowded. Some of us do not have the means to get there. Some of us are too old or young or sick to travel. 

No. Not physically. Mentally. We need to open our minds and hearts to a level where we can accept who we are as people on every level. These traditions we have were around for thousands and thousands of years. Some things have adapted to fit the times. Some things have been rendered obsolete. But the message is the same. We are Jews. We survive. We are special. 

We need to hold on to that message in our everyday lives. Not next year. Now. Jerusalem is now. Why wait a year to make your life and the lives of others better? We are on this earth for a very brief period of time. We need to utilize every second being the best we can be and living to our full potential. 

We were once slaves. Some of us still are. Some of us are even killed for our beliefs. We need to band together as a community. As one. We need to stand up and say "We are Jews. We exist. We thrive." 

We do not assimilate. We do not cower in fear. We do not pretend to worship other deities. We are warriors and poets and scholars. 

We are Jews 

And we are proud 


I would like to end the Seder with a lesson. We have had a fun journey. Hopefully lots of laughs. But I will end by talking about one of my favorite historical figures of all time. Abba Kovner.

I am 90% sure this guy was the inspiration for Magneto in the X-men. 

Abba Kovner was one of the lucky Jews who managed to escape Nazi-occupied Vilnus before being sent off to a concentration camp. But he refused to stand idly by the blood of his brothers and sisters so he founded a group called HaNokim (The Avengers). They would hide in the woods of Vilnus and attack passing Nazi soldiers. 

After the war he founded a secret society called Nakam (revenge). The original intent was to poison the water supply of Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt in an attempt to kill six million Germans. They were stopped and they moved on to Plan B which was to kill SS prisoners in POW camps. They were interrupted while poisoning loaves of bread to be sent to the prison camps. 207 prisoners fell ill but no deaths were reported. 

To me the coolest part about Abba Kovner is what happened after Nakam disbanded. He went from being a violent man full of rage hellbent on killing people to a creative man hellbent on preventing atrocities of that nature to ever happen again. By putting pen to paper he channeled his rage into something powerful and meaningful. So I would like to end this Haggadah on one of my favorite poems of his: 

One Living Word

No more willful silences.
No more verbal contact,
he who loved to listen to so many
will never again hear his own voice among them.

He will sit with his friends over talk
from now on under constraint.
The talk. The thoughts. The friends.
And as he listens through
the secret door
he will turn his inner ear
to the dark mumur: Son of man,
all this
and all this
never was
and never will be
as good as
one living word.