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Introduction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFCGHvhK5dQ

Hinei Mah tov u-ma nayim הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים

Shevet achim gam yacht שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for people to dwell together.

Introduction
Source : Unavoidable Meanings by Ezra

Pesach is many things to many people. Its customs are familiar and can be viewed with many lenses. The symbols are universal and are subject to almost any reading: social justice, class, the Holocaust, Middle East politics, American politics, agriculture, the environment, the list is endless, and the proliferation of interpretations is evidence that this is fertile territory.

A few things – maybe only two – about the holiday are unavoidable, as in, Pesach wouldn't be Pesach if not for these things. One is symbolic/metaphorical, the other is cultural. The most important theme of Pesach is freedom from slavery. The holiday commemorates the time when the Hebrews were freed from slavery in Egypt. We eat unleavened bread, which is cheap road food. The charoset symbolizes mortar used by the slaves to make bricks. Every symbol is meant to remind us that these people were slaves. Slavery – actual, physical forced labor – provides a vivid frame of reference to talk about all other kinds of oppression: colonialism, the 1%, governments, mental illness, bullies, crime, the criminal justice system, corporate welfare, and the racism that still persists today in America and around the world. Pesach is the holiday where we openly celebrate the oppressed, the underdog. So, unlike other more nationalistic holidays like Hanukah, Pesach is really a day for us to remember the oppressed.

The cultural aspect of the holiday that is unavoidable is that it is Jewish. For most non-practicing, non-believing Jews, Pesach is the one annual event where we remember our Jewishness. We observe the customs. We sing in Hebrew. We eat traditional food. We inhabit the world of our ancestors, both known and unknown, recent and ancient. Importantly, it's also a time to invite our non-Jewish brothers and sisters to share this experience. The topics we explore this evening go beyond our genes and our ancestry; they connect each of us to our shared humanity.

All seders are the same at their core, and every seder is unique. Seders are both modular and constant. They have a dual nature. Seder means "order," implying that there are rules, but the order goes only so far. This is a holiday that celebrates freedom after all. So interpret each ritual and symbol in your own way.

Introduction
Source : Meg Valentine

A word about God: everyone has his or her own understanding of what God is. For some people, there is no God, while for others, God is an integral part of their lives. While we may not agree on a singular concept of God, we share a common desire for goodness to prevail in the world. And this is the meaning of tonight:  freedom winning out over slavery, good prevailing over evil.

Please consider the source of benevolence in your life, be it God, or a belief in humanity, and hold that source in your hearts as we move through the evening.

Kadesh
Source : Deborah Putnoi Art
First Cup of Wine

Kadesh
Source : Unknown (http://www.humanistprayer.com)

Kaddish
Let the world which constantly renews itself and resuscitates all who live in it, be praised and preserved.
Blessed are those who build our communities and establish righteousness with in them. Blessed are those who eradicate evil from the world.

In your life time and in the days of all who dwell in this world, in a time close at hand.
And let us say Amen. Let their name be blessed forevermore.

Let those who care for their communities be blessed, extolled, and praised, indeed they are to be revered, more than any song or paean we offer in this world.

Urchatz
Source : Original
Urchatz

Urchatz

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. 

Too often during our daily lives we don’t stop and take the moment to prepare for whatever it is we’re about to do. 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.

Rinse and dry your hands, saying: Let our telling pour forth like water, strengthening spirits, refreshing souls.

Karpas
Source : Deborah Putnoi Art
Karpas Image

Karpas
Source : Machar Congregation

SALT WATER - Why do we dip our food in salt water two times on this night?

The first time, the salty taste reminds us of the tears we cried when we were slaves. [Greens held up for all to see.]

KARPAS - Parsley and celery are symbols of all kinds of spring greenery.
The second time, the salt water and the green can help us to remember
the ocean and green plants and the Earth, from which we get the water and air and food that enable us to live.

Everyone:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה

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

Let us bless the fruit of the Earth.

[Please dip your parsley into salt water two times and eat it.] 

Yachatz
Source : Original Illustration from Haggadot.com
Yachatz - Break the Middle Matzah

Yachatz
Source : The Wandering is Over Haggadah, JewishBoston.com

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.

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.

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.

These days, matzah is a special food and we look forward to eating it on Passover. Imagine eating only matzah, or being one of the countless people around the world who don’t have enough to eat.

What does the symbol of matzah say to us about oppression in the world, both people literally enslaved and the many ways in which each of us is held down by forces beyond our control? How does this resonate with events happening now?

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Original Design from Haggadot.com
Let All Who Are Hungry

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Machar
[Resume taking turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

Passover is the celebration of life. The story of the Jewish people is truly a triumph of life. Against the odds of history, the Jewish people have done more than survive - we have adapted creatively to each new time, each new place, from the birth of our people to the present day.

Even though death has pursued us relentlessly, time and time again, we have chosen to live. During the many centuries of the Jewish experience, memories of destruction are tempered by the knowledge that the world can also be good.

We have endured slavery and humiliation. We have also enjoyed freedom and power. Darkness has been balanced by light.

Our forebears traveled the Earth in search of the safety and liberty they knew must exist. We have learned to endure. We have learned to progress.

We are proud survivors. We celebrate our good fortune and seek the advancement of all.

Leader:

One of the customs of the seder is the asking of questions - questions about what the ritual actions of the seder mean. The Passover tradition involves the youngest children asking - actually singing - about these matters in a song we call "The Four Questions." 

-- Four Questions
Source : JewishBoston.com

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.

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילות

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכלין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה  הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מצה  

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

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

שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָֽנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת הַלַּֽיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Four Questions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_WzX5o6LjE

-- Four Children
Source : Jessica Steinberg
This is a modern interpretation of an ancient standard, which is part and parcel of the Seder: the Four Children. By reading and discussing the Four Children, and then responding to it through modern themes, we can come to an understanding of who we are and our relation to the our Children. The source of this section are four verses from the Tanakh which briefly mention children asking, or being told about, the Exodus from Egypt. Using these very general verses, the Rabbis created four prototypes which are given to show us that we must teach a child according to the child's level.

At the time the Haggadah was created, it was safe for the rabbis to assume that most Jewish adults had the knowledge available to teach their children about the Exodus. At that time, perhaps, all adults did know about the Exodus from Egypt and the Jews' struggle against Pharaoh. However, in subsequent generations, not all adults are familiar with the story told in the Haggadah, with the people of Israel, with their history. It isn't only the children that need to be taught, but their parents as well. To complicate matters, each Jew is coming from a different orientation with regard to his or her Judaism.

In today's world, Jews may identify themselves in a variety of ways. One may be ritually, culturally, or intellectually orientedor unconnected. And yet, however modified one's Judaism may be, there is still some level of concern about the Jewish people that causes Jews to at least ask the questions about the Exodus from Egypt. If they weren't interested, they wouldn't ask. We must answer them, and enable them to teach their children.

The ritual Jew asks: "What are the laws that God commanded us? " This Jew defines herself by the rituals, the laws and guidelines of Pesach. We call on her to seek the meaning that underlies all of these acts, so that they have relevance for all of us today.

The unconnected Jew asks: "What does this ritual mean to you?" This Jew feels alienated from the Jewish community and finds it difficult to identify with the rituals, perhaps because of his upbringing or experiences. Yet we recognize that he is still interested, if only because he asks these questions, and we call on him to see these rituals as a way of affirming the universal beliefs that gave rise to them.

The cultural Jew asks: "What is this all about?" She shows little concern with the ritual or psychological ramifications of the Exodus, even while embracing this reenactment of our ancestors; flight from Egypt. We call on her to recognize that it was a deep sense of faith that enabled these rituals to transcend the generations. It was belief in a vision of future freedom that caused us to celebrate our first Exodus and hear the echo of the prophets' call: "Let all people go!"

The intellectual Jew refrains from asking direct questions because he doesn't lean in any direction, preferring instead to let the text speak for itself. We call on him to understand that true freedom can only be obtained when we question authority and challenge power, even if that power be God Himself. It is our responsibility to question not only the text but the status quo too, and share this message of freedom with all people everywhere.

-- Exodus Story
Source : http://www.unhcr.org/56701b969.html
The World's Refugees

Where do the world's refugees come from?

-- Exodus Story
Source : Machar

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

These questions are a central part of tonight's seder ceremony.
Yet before we answer them, let us tell a story of Jewish hope.
The tale of our people's first quest for freedom
from slavery in Egypt was written so long ago
that no one knows how much of it is fact and how much is fiction.
Like all good stories, however, its moral lessons are valid and important.

It is written that long ago, during a time of famine,
the ancient Israelites traveled to Egypt.
According to this legend, the Israelites at that time were all in a single family -
Jacob and his children.

One of Jacob's sons was Joseph.
He was so wise that the ruler of Egypt - the Pharaoh -
made Joseph a leader over all the people of Egypt.

But as time passed, another Pharaoh became the ruler of Egypt.
He did not remember about Joseph and his wise leadership.
This new Pharaoh turned the Israelites into slaves,
and burdened them with heavy work and sorrow.

After the Israelites were in Egypt for over 400 years, a man arose among them.
He demanded that Pharaoh let his people go!
Many times he risked his life to insist on the freedom of his people,
until he finally succeeded.

At our Passover Seder, we celebrate the story of Moses
and the people he led out of slavery 3000 years ago.
We celebrate the struggle of all people to be free.
Throughout the centuries, the story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt
has inspired Jews and non-Jews in times of persecution and hardship.

Let us remember that the thirst for freedom exists in all people.
Many centuries after the legendary time of Moses,
African people were brought to America as slaves.
These slaves longed for freedom,
and they were inspired by the story of Moses and the ancient Israelites.

When the slaves in America sang "Go Down Moses,"
they were thinking of their own leaders who were working to end slavery.
Let us now sing that beautiful song.

-

GO DOWN MOSES

When Israel was in Egypt land, Let my people go!
Oppressed so hard they could not stand, Let my people go!

CHORUS:
Go down Moses,
Way down in Egypt land, Tell old Pharaoh
To let my people go.
When Moses took them from their toil, Let my people go!
He led them all to freedom's soil Let my people go!

(CHORUS)

-

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

The freedom we celebrate tonight is not only freedom from slavery.
It is also the freedom to live in peace,
with dignity and with hope for a bright future.
This constant vision has inspired the Jewish people
since the ancient times when the Bible was written.

For centuries, most Jews lived in Europe,
where they were often persecuted.
They were driven from place to place,
and their lives were often filled with terror and despair.

There came a time when many Jewish families learned of a place called America,
where people could live without fear.
This was the promise that America held out to them and to many other suffering people.

By the thousands, and then by the millions, year after year they crossed a large ocean.
Enduring separation from all they had known,
they faced the dangers of a long voyage before reaching the shores of America.

For a time, many suffered from poverty and disease.
Yet their courage, perseverance, and skills,
helped to advance the freedoms that we celebrate here tonight.

This evening, as we celebrate our own freedom
let us take notice of the on-going struggles toward freedom
here and in many other parts of the world.

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Matan Kids
Ten Plagues

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Machar

Leader:
Let us all refill our cups.

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

Tonight we drink four cups of the fruit of the vine.
There are many explanations for this custom.
They may be seen as symbols of various things:
the four corners of the earth, for freedom must live everywhere;
the four seasons of the year, for freedom's cycle must last through all the seasons;
or the four matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel.

A full cup of wine symbolizes complete happiness.
The triumph of Passover is diminished by the sacrifice of many human lives
when ten plagues were visited upon the people of Egypt.
In the story, the plagues that befell the Egyptians resulted from the decisions of tyrants,
but the greatest suffering occurred among those who had no choice but to follow.

It is fitting that we mourn their loss of life, and express our sorrow over their suffering.
For as Jews and as Humanists we cannot take joy in the suffering of others.
Therefore, let us diminish the wine in our cups
as we recall the ten plagues that befell the Egyptian people.

Leader:

As we recite the name of each plague, in English and then in Hebrew,
please dip a finger in your wine and then touch your plate to remove the drop.

Everyone:

Blood - Dam (Dahm)
Frogs - Ts'phardea (Ts'phar-DEH-ah)
Gnats - Kinim (Kih-NEEM)
Flies - Arov (Ah-ROV)
Cattle Disease - Dever (DEH-vehr)
Boils - Sh'hin (Sh'-KHEEN)
Hail - Barad (Bah-RAHD)
Locusts - `Arbeh (Ar-BEH)
Darkness - Hoshekh (KHO-shekh)
Death of the Firstborn - Makkat B'khorot (Ma-katB'kho-ROT) 

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

In the same spirit, our celebration today also is shadowed
by our awareness of continuing sorrow and oppression in all parts of the world.
Ancient plagues are mirrored in modern tragedies.

In our own time, as in ancient Egypt, ordinary people suffer and die
as a result of the actions of the tyrants who rule over them.
While we may rejoice in the defeat of tyrants in our own time,
we must also express our sorrow at the suffering of the many innocent people
who had little or no choice but to follow.

Leader:

As the pain of others diminishes our joys,
let us once more diminish the ceremonial drink of our festival
as we together recite the names of these modern plagues:

Hunger
War
Tyranny
Greed
Bigotry
Injustice
Poverty
Ignorance
Pollution of the Earth Indifference to Suffering

Leader:
Let us sing a song expressing our hope for a better world. 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Machar Congregation

Leader:

Let us all refill our cups.
[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

Tonight we drink four cups of the fruit of the vine. There are many explanations for this custom.
They may be seen as symbols of various things: the four corners of the earth, for freedom must live everywhere;
the four seasons of the year, for freedom's cycle must last through all the seasons; or the four matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel.

A full cup of wine symbolizes complete happiness. The triumph of Passover is diminished by the sacrifice of many human lives
when ten plagues were visited upon the people of Egypt. In the story, the plagues that befell the Egyptians resulted from the decisions of tyrants, but the greatest suffering occurred among those who had no choice but to follow.

It is fitting that we mourn their loss of life, and express our sorrow over their suffering. For as Jews and as Humanists we cannot take joy in the suffering of others. Therefore, let us diminish the wine in our cups as we recall the ten plagues that befell the Egyptian people.

Leader:

As we recite the name of each plague, in English and then in Hebrew, please dip a finger in your wine and then touch your plate to remove the drop.

Everyone:

Blood - Dam (Dahm)
Frogs - Ts'phardea (Ts'phar-DEH-ah)
Gnats - Kinim (Kih-NEEM)
Flies - Arov (Ah-ROV)
Cattle Disease - Dever (DEH-vehr)
Boils - Sh'hin (Sh'-KHEEN)
Hail - Barad (Bah-RAHD)
Locusts - `Arbeh (Ar-BEH)
Darkness - Hoshekh (KHO-shekh)
Death of the Firstborn - Makkat B'khorot (Ma-katB'kho-ROT)

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]
In the same spirit, our celebration today also is shadowed by our awareness of continuing sorrow and oppression in all parts of the world. Ancient plagues are mirrored in modern tragedies.

In our own time, as in ancient Egypt, ordinary people suffer and die as a result of the actions of the tyrants who rule over them. While we may rejoice in the defeat of tyrants in our own time, we must also express our sorrow at the suffering of the many innocent people who had little or no choice but to follow.

Leader:

As the pain of others diminishes our joys,
let us once more diminish the ceremonial drink of our festival as we together recite the names of these modern plagues:

Hunger
War
Tyranny
Greed
Bigotry
Injustice
Poverty
Ignorance
Pollution of the Earth
Indifference to Suffering

Leader:
Let us sing a song expressing our hope for a better world. 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Land_Is_Your_Land

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE4H0k8TDgw

As I went walking that ribbon of highway

I saw above me that endless skyway,

I saw below me that golden valley,

This land was made for you and me.

This land is your land, This land is my land, 

From California to the New York Island,

From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters,

This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and I rambled, and I followed my footsteps

To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,

And all around me a voice was sounding,

This land was made for you and me.

[Chorus]

In the squares of the city - By the shadow of the steeple 

By the relief office - I saw my people 

As they stood hungry - I stood their with them

This land was made for you and me.

A big high wall there - that tried to stop me

A great big sign there - said, "private property"

But on the other side -  it didn't say nothing

That side was made for you and me

[Chorus]

Nobody living - can ever stop me,

As I go walking - that freedom highway;

Nobody living - can make me turn back

This land was made for you and me.

[Chorus]

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Machar Congregation

Dedicated To The Struggle For Peace And Freedom

The second cup of wine is dedicated not only to the struggles of the Jewish people, but to all people seeking a secure life free of fear and persecution. We hope and work particularly for the Israelis and the Palestinians that they may all learn to live together in freedom and peace.

Let us strive to fulfill the words of the prophet Micah:
"They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not take up sword against nation, they shall never again know war. But they shall sit every one under their vines and fig trees, and none shall make them afraid" (Micah 4.3-4).

Leader:

Let us all raise our glasses in a toast to peace and freedom for all. P'ri ha-gaphen - `itto, nishteh "L'-Shalom u-l'-Herut!"

Everyone:

The fruit of the vine - with it, let us drink "To Peace and Freedom!"

-- 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 : Machar Congregation

Just as the food of our Passover seder nourishes our bodies, our sharing and our reflections at this seder uplift our spirits. Let us celebrate the bounty of our lives by singing our version of that old favorite "DAIYE- NU."

Song: Dayenu 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjFs1ROeJ3w

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
Source : http://www.manischewitz.com/assets/jahm/ads/scroll_1888.php
Original Manischewitz Box, 1888

Motzi-Matzah
Source : A WAY IN Jewish Mindfulness Program www.mishkan.org/a-way-in

We have told the story and now, we say the blessing over the matzah and
prepare to eat it for the first time.

We take a moment and acknowledge our capacity for
healing and love:


Reader:
Every time we make a decision not to harden our hearts to our own pain or to the pain of
others, we step toward freedom.
Every time we are able to act with compassion rather than anger, we stop the flow of
violence.
And each moment we find the strength and courage to see ourselves in each other, we
open possibilities for healing and peace.
This is the bread that we bless and share.


All:
May all who are hungry come and eat.
May all who are in need join together in this Festival of Freedom.

Maror
Source : Machar Congregation

[Maror held up for all to see.]

MAROR--Why do we eat maror?
Tradition says that this bitter herb is to remind us of the time of our slavery. We force ourselves to taste pain so that we may more readily value pleasure.

Scholars inform us that bitter herbs were eaten at spring festivals in ancient times. The sharpness of the taste awakened the senses and made the people feel at one with nature's revival. Thus, maror is the stimulus of life, reminding us that struggle is better than the complacent acceptance of injustice.

Leader:
As a blessing for the maror, let us all sing this song about striving to be fully human.
Then we will all take a taste of horseradish on a piece of matsah.  

LIH'YOT `ISH - TO BE FULLY HUMAN  (Mishnah, Pirqei `Avot 2.6)

Ba-maqomshe-`ein`anashim, hishtaddel lih'yot `ish.
Where people are less than human, strive to be fully human. 

Koreich
Koreich
Source : JewishBoston.com

Eating a sandwich of matzah and bitter herb | koreich | כּוֹרֵךְ

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. Some people will also include charoset in the sandwich to remind us that God’s kindness helped relieve the bitterness of slavery.

Shulchan Oreich
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!

Tzafun
Source : JewishBoston.com

Finding and eating the Afikomen | tzafoon | צָפוּן

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 : Machar

Leader:
Let us all refill our cups.

[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]

During this festival of life, let us remember our lost sisters and brothers - the millions of Jews enslaved and killed in the Holocaust. We remember them along with all the others who suffered.

They were all parts of the rainbow - of ethnic, religious and sexual minorities, of progressive activists, resistance fighters, and people with disabilities. Their anguish and death is with us, even in our times of celebration.

We resolve that their memory shall not be lost. We accept the responsibility of working to prevent such suffering from ever again occurring on this earth.

We remember the heroism of those who fought against fascism and tyranny in the forests and the cities of Europe.Men, women, and children who loved freedom and humanity struggled with their own hands against the powerful armies of those who sought to oppress and kill them.

We remember the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on the dawn of the first day of Passover, April 19, 1943.  The Nazis were coming to complete the deportation of the remaining Jews to the death camps.

A shot rang out on Nalevki Street, signaling the beginning of this Jewish revolt. A few hundred Jews with a few guns and hand grenades had decided to resist the tremendous power of the German army and the Gestapo. The courageous men and women of the Jewish Fighting Organization held out for forty-two days.

Although few of the Jewish fighters survived the battle, the story of their courage will never die. Similar acts of resistance took place in Minsk, Vilna, Bialystock, in the cities and towns of Poland, and even in the death camps - Treblinka, Sobibor, Auschwitz. 

Leader:

We were slaves in Egypt and we were slaves in fascist Europe. We have much to remember.
Let us raise our glasses to those who were taken from us and to those who fought for freedom and life. 

P'ri ha-gaphen-`itto,nishteh "L'-Haiyim!"   

Everyone:

"L'- Haiyim!" 

Hallel

(Adapted from Machar Congregation)

Fill the fourth glass of wine

We now fill a glass, and open the front door, to invite the prophet Elijah to join our seder. 

Open the door for Elijah

This tradition symbolizes the hope that Elijah will return to herald the coming of a messiah and a new era of peace. Yet for now the tasks of saving the world must be taken up by us mere mortals, by common people with shared goals. Working together for change, we can bring about the improvement of the world, tiqqun ha-olam - for justice and for peace, we can and we must.

Everyone: L'Tiqqun Olam!

Drink the fourth glass

Nirtzah
Source : Machar Congregation

Leader: [Announces the name of the child or children who found the `afikoman.]
Let us continue our seder by eating one last little piece of matsah to leave us with the taste of freedom's struggles.

[Everyone eat a last piece of matsah.]

Now, let us conclude our seder.

Everyone:

We have recalled struggles against slavery and injustice.
We have sung of freedom and peace.
We revisited times of persecution and times of fulfillment.
Only half a century ago, Nazis committed the crimes of the Holocaust.
Today, as Jews in the United States, we are more free than at any other time.

Yet Jewish history shows that life is ever-changing,
and we must learn how to survive under all conditions.
When we are persecuted, we must struggle for our own freedom.
The more freedom we attain,
the more we must help others attain freedom.

This is the lesson of Passover. This is why we celebrate the Festival of Freedom. 

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