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Introduction
Passover is a holiday with many different themes.  This breadth ensures that no two seders will ever be exactly alike and encourages each of us to engage equally, whether this is the first or hundredth seder you’ve attended.  It also challenges each of us to connect to the seder on a personal, individual level.  The themes offered are just a sampling, what other themes are you drawn to?

Redemption: In the Exodus story, the Jews were redeemed physically from slavery. While Pesach is "z'man heyruteinu," the season of our freedom, it is also a festival that speaks of spiritual redemption. Jews were freed from mental as well as physical slavery.  It was as a physically and spiritually free people that the Jewish nation prepared to receive the Torah on Mt. Sinai.  The seder also includes many allusions to a future messianic redemption. One of the clearest symbols is the Cup of Elijah placed on every seder table. Contained within the salvation from Egypt are the seeds of future redemption, as the Torah states, "This same night is a night of watching unto the Lord for all the children of Israel throughout their generations" (Exodus 12:42).

Creation:  Passover is known by several names in Hebrew, including Chag HaAviv, holiday of the spring.  Pesach celebrates spring, rebirth, and renewal, symbolized by the green “ karpas ” and the egg on the seder plate.  It is also a time of “beginning,” as exemplified by the first grain harvest and the birth of Israel as a nation.  Also, Nissan, this Hebrew month, was traditionally seen as the first month of the Jewish year.

Education:  Four different times in the Torah, the Jews are commanded to repeat the story of the Passover (Exodus 12:26, 13:8, 14; Deuteronomy 6:20).  The seder is centered around teaching the story of the exodus from Egypt.  In fact, Haggadah means “the telling.”  Two of the most important readings address education head on: the four questions and the four sons.  The first encourages even the youngest children to begin asking questions, while the latter instructs us how to respond to different learning styles.  Even at a seder without children present, the night takes on an educational feel.  Thought provoking questions and supportive debate are encouraged. 

Patterns of Four: Throughout the seder, you may notice the number four being repeated in many guises.  This is based on the verse in Exodus that states, "I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments, and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God…" (Exodus 6:6-7).  Among many other patterns of four at the seder, we drink four cups of wine, ask four questions, and speak about four types of children.

Introduction

Imagine yourself in Biblical Israel. Come the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan you would travel to the Temple in Jerusalem and make your sacrifice of the Paschal (Passover) Lamb. You would then camp out on one of the beautiful hills of Jerusalem on pleasant Spring night, light a bonfire, eat the roasted lamb with Matzah and Maror (bitter herbs), and retell the story of the Exodus. The Romans ruled Judea from about 40 BCE and had to put down several revolts. In the year 70 ACE, fed up with the revolts, the Romans completed a longstanding siege of Jerusalem by destroying the Temple. Gone was the system of worship centered on sacrifice and controlled by the Priests (Kohanim). If Judaism was to survive, its new religious leaders, the Rabbis (teachers), needed to focus the nation on a new form of worship, independent of sacrifices. When developing a method to celebrate Passover, they borrowed the structure of a Greco-Roman symposium  (feast or banquet with much talk and discussion) and filled it with teachings and symbols that became the foundation of our Seder. Over the centuries customs were added and others were lost, but the core remains the same. The Seder ritual continues to evolve to meet our current needs but at its core are the 15 steps designated by these early Rabbis.

Urchatz
We perform a ritual washing of our hands WITHOUT reciting the blessing traditionally associated with the washing of hands. Why no blessing you might ask? Jews are required to recite the blessing for hand washing prior to reciting the HaMotzi blessing and eating bread. Because we are eating parsley at this point in the Seder, we need not recite the blessing for hand washing. So why wash our hands at all?? An excellent question!! Remember when the Seder was formulated...around the time of the Second Temple. Jews of this time period were OBSESSED with ritual purity and tried to do everything in a state of ritual cleanliness. Purification involved bathing or washing with water. The homes of the day were built with individual Mikvehs (Ritual Baths) so Jews could cleanse themselves regularly. Eating was considered a holy act that should be engaged in in a state of purity. Hence, Jews of the day washed themselves prior to eating. Over the centuries this custom has been lost, but it is retained for posterity at this point in the Seder.
Karpas

Passover is one of the 3 great harvest or pilgrimage festivals of the Jewish Year. It is also referred to as Chag HaAviv - the Spring Festival, in recognition of the Spring harvest. Because of its agricultural role, we say a blessing over a green vegetable, typically parsley. BUT we need to link this act with the overall theme of our redemption from slavery to freedom. Thus, we dip our parsley in salt water, to remember the bitter tears shed during slavery by our ancestors.

Yachatz

Three pieces of matzah are placed in front of the leader of the Seder. Two pieces are used for the Hamotzi, as is tradition for any holiday or Shabbat. The third piece is now broken into unequal sized pieces. The larger piece will serve as our dessert - the Afikomen. The smaller piece is known as Lechem Oni (Hebrew), Lachma Anya (Aramaic),Bread of Affliction (English) - the poor bread of slavery. The Rabbis wanted us to remember and feel what it is like to be a slave. Remembering slavery makes you a better person. Remembering how were oppressed as strangers keeps us from oppressing strangers. Remembering the cruelty of slavery prevents us from being cruel masters. The paragraph that is now read is written in the ancient spoken language of the Jews of the day - Aramaic - so that all would understand the invitation to join the Seder - 'All who are hungry, all who are in need' are invited to sit and eat.
Questions: 1. Why is Matzah the 'Bread of Affliction'? After all it was NOT eaten during slavery but in fact, when the Jews were leaving slavery for freedom. 2. Why was the invitation to join the Seder announced only at the Seder itself? If we were serious about hospitality shouldn't we have issued the invitation well before the Seder to ensure that those who were in need would be able to attend?

Maggid - Beginning
Source : Design by Haggadot.com

-- Exodus Story

The story of the Jewish people begins with Abram son of Terach, an Aramian from Mesopotamia who broke with his pagan past and pledged his belief to one almighty god. G-d rewarded Abram’s belief with the promise (known as the Covenant or Brit) that he would make his descendants into a great and prosperous nation in the Land of Canaan. Abram and his wife Sarai were instructed by
G-d to journey to Canaan. In the process, their names change to Abraham and Sarah as recognition for their unique belief in G-d. Abraham’s and Sarah’s son Isaac followed in his father’s footsteps, surviving a near sacrifice by his father (that story is for Yom Kippur!) and threats from neighboring tribesman, married Rebecca, and together they had twin sons, Esav and Jacob. Jacob, with a bit of deception and at the instigation of his mother, tricked Isaac into giving the blessing of the firstborn son to him, and thus he became the heir to G-d’s covenant with Abraham. Esav, in turn, became the father of the Arab nations.

Needless to say, Esav was none too pleased by Jacob’s theft of his birthright. To avoid Esav’s wrath, Jacob was sent by his parents back to his ancestral lands in Mesopotamia to live with his uncle Laban (Rebecca’s brother). On his way to Laban’s abode, Jacob dreamed of a ladder reaching all the way to the heavens with angels travelling up and down between heaven and earth. G-d appeared to Jacob and promised him that his descendants would be the heirs to G-d’s covenant with Abraham. G-d further promised Jacob that he would protect him and return him to Canaan.

JACOB'S LADDER

We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
We are climbing Jacob's ladder
Yeah we're brothers, sisters, all

Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
Every rung goes higher and higher
We are brothers, sisters, all

Every new rung just, just makes us stronger
Every new rung just, just makes us stronger
Every new rung just, just makes us stronger
Yeah we are brothers, and sisters, all

Immediately upon arriving at Laban’s abode, Jacob fell in love with Laban’s beautiful younger daughter Rachel (his first cousin – so I’m not sure how that worked!) and Laban promised her to Jacob as a bride after he completed 7 years of work. The 7 years passed but unfortunately for Jacob, Laban was a bit of a scoundrel and placed his older daughter Leah under the wedding veil only to be revealed to Jacob once the wedding ceremony has been completed. It took Jacob 7 more years to earn Rachel’s hand in marriage. After that he decided it was time to return to Canaan with his 2 wives, their 2 handmaidens, and his 11 children (Benjamin was born on the way back).

During the trip, while alone by stream, Jacob was confronted by a man (truly some supernatural representative of G-d) and wrestled with him throughout the night. At the break of day, the angel begged Jacob to release him, and Jacob demanded a blessing in return. The angel then changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Yisrael) – because he ‘wrestled with G-d and man and prevailed’.

Jacob and his family prospered in Canaan, but he caused jealousy amongst his sons by favoring his son Joseph (his first son with Rachel) over all the others. The jealous brothers sold Joseph into slavery and told Jacob that Joseph had perished. Joseph ended up in Egypt as a slave to Potiphar, an officer in the Pharaoh’s palace guard. Jacob must have been a particularly good looking fellow as he piqued the interest of Potiphar’s wife. For reasons not made clear in the Bible, Joseph rejected Potiphar’s wife’s attempted seduction, and landed in jail as a thank you for his moral stand!

Well, you can’t keep a good man down! In jail, Joseph distinguished himself as an interpreter of dreams and he ultimately came to the attention of the Pharaoh. It seems the Pharaoh was having some disturbing dreams whose meanings were lost on his court of advisors! This is particularly perplexing since their meaning would be obvious to a 3 year old! Joseph was summoned to the court and foretold that the dreams meant Egypt would have 7 years of plentiful crops and then experience a 7 year famine. As a reward for his insights Joseph was made a senior minister of the Pharaoh’s government with the charge of preparing the nation for the famine.

Back in Canaan, the famine struck hard and Joseph sent his sons to Egypt to seek food. In a dramatic turn of events Joseph recognized his brothers, revealed himself to them, and after many tears and hugs, the family, including Jacob, were ultimately reunited in Egypt, where they lived a prosperous life. Jacob’s descendants flourished in Egypt, where they lived in the northern province of Goshen.

Well, there wouldn’t be a Seder if the ancient Jews were able to live out their lives peacefully in Goshen. A new Pharaoh arose who felt threatened by the Jew’s prosperity and growing numbers. He enslaved them, denying them their freedom, and put them to work in hard labor. As a result they built for the Pharaoh the garrison cities of Pitom (House of the god Atum) and Ram-eses (Domain of the Son of the Sun god). In their despair and agony they cried out to G-d to save them and he heard their pleas.

Take us out of Egypt (to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ballgame)

Take us out of Egypt
Free us from slavery
Bake us some matzah in great haste
Don’t worry ‘bout flavor
Give no thought to taste!
For its rush, rush rush to Red Sea
If we don’t cross it’s a shame
For its ten plagues
Down and you’re out
At the Pesach history game!!

G-d needed a leader to help save his people and he had just the man, for in the palace of the Pharaoh lived a prince who was in fact, a Jew! This Jew was plucked by the Pharaoh’s daughter (Batya) from the edge of the river Nile where as a baby he lay in a basket. His Jewish mother had placed him there to try to save him from the edict of the Pharaoh that called for all Jewish male babies to be killed at birth! The Egyptian princess called this baby Moses (Woohoo!), and he grew up in the palace.

Moses seemed to have innate sense of justice as when, as a young adult, he confronted an Egyptian slave master who was mercilessly beating a Jewish slave. In the resulting fracas Moses called the slave master. Fearing for his own life, Moses fled Egypt and ended up in the land of Midian, where he was taken in by a local priest (Jethro) whose daughter he ultimately married (Tziporah). Moses became a shepherd (what else?) and it was during his wanderings in the fields that G-d approached him with the job proposition. In order to really impress Moses, G-d spoke to him from a burning bush.

The Ballad of Mo Ben Terach

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Mo
His people were slaves to the evil Pharaoh
Until one day he saw a bush on fire
And he heard the voice of G-d, as the flames went higher---
The LORD that is
I AM The Big G

Next thing you know Mo's talking to Pharaoh
Mo says "G-d said you gotta let my people go
But the king says "NO they will always be slaves to me!"
So G-d sent down 10 plagues on Pharaoh's whole country----
Blood n' frogs that is,
Pestilence, Special Effects

When the first borns died Pharaoh sent the Jews away
They ran and ate some matzah on that very happy day
So now we have our Seder t commemorate the feat---
We drink some wine and talk a lot, we sing and also eat!
Matzah that is,
Maror too
And good food

Y'all come back now y'hear!

Moses began negotiating with the Pharaoh, who, needless to say, was not anxious to see his free labor leave! Thus began a series of 10 plagues to try to bring the Pharaoh more in line with the G-d’s way of thinking. These plagues ultimately prevailed, particularly when the first born males of the Egyptians, including the son of the Pharaoh himself, were killed as part of the 10th and final plague. The Jews were spared from this plague by marking their homes’ doorposts with the blood of a sacrificial lamb (the first Passover sacrifice). Thus, the avenging angel would PASSOVER the Jewish homes and target only the Egyptian residences.

When the Pharaoh finally relented –

-- Ten Plagues
Source : A Different Night

Today, many people are troubled by the story of the plagues. Why did G-d have to cause such destruction? Why did G-d have to ‘harden the heart’ of the Pharaoh so that he would not permit the Jews to leave? Why did G-d have to kill innocent children?

On One Hand: The Joys of Justice!

Rabbi Jacob Halevi Moulin (15th c, Germany an era of pogroms and expulsions) "The sixteen drops refer to the sixteen facets of God's avenging sword."

1. "When the wicked perish, There are shouts of joy!" (Proverbs 11:10)

2. The Song of the Red Sea "Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the shore of the sea Then Moshe and Israel sang to the Lord Your right hand Lord, shatters the Foe. The Foe said: 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My desire shall have its fill of them. I will bare my sword,' But You, God, made your wind blow the sea covered them" (Ex. 14:31; 15:1,9-10.

3. President Abraham Lincoln "If every drop of blood drawn by the lash must be paid by one drawn by the sword, still must it be said, The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'" (Psalm. 19: Second Inaugural Address, 1865).  

4. Rabbi Shalom from Notch On the seventh day of Pesach (the anniversary of the crossing of the Red Sea), one should be sure to add the phrase 'the day of our joy" (simchatenu) to the Kiddush, for the Egyptians were drowned in the sea.

5. Shylock "My Revenge! He hath disgraced me, and hindred me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends heated mine enemies and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?  

fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. (William Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice", 1597).  

On the other Hand: Restraints on Revenge

1. "If your enemy falls, Do not celebrate. If he trips, Let not your heart rejoice" (Proverbs 24:17).

2. Rabbi Yochanan "God is not happy at the downfall of the wicked. When the angels tried to sing songs of praise to God at the Red Sea, God silenced them: My handiwork, my human creatures, are drowning in the sea and you want to sing a song of praise?'" B. Megillah 10b).

3. Don Isaac Abrabanel (refugee of the Expulsion from Spain, 1492) "By spilling a drop of wine, from the Pesach cup for each plague, we acknowledge that our own joy is lessened and incomplete. For our redemption had to come by means of the pun- ishment of other human beings. Even though these are just punishments for evil acts, it says 'Do not rejoice at the fall of your enemy (Proverbs 24:17).  

4. Rabbi Simcha Cohen from Divinsk (Lithuanian Talmudist) The Torah never mentions 'joy' in rela tion to the holiday of Pesach as it does for Shavuot and Sukkot. On Pesach unlike the other pilgrimage holidays we do not recite all the Psalms of Hallel (except the first day) because as Shmuel quotes from Proverbs: In the downfall of your enemy, do not rejoice. We celebrate the Exodus from Egypt, not the downfall of the Egyptians

5. Chief of Staff, General Yitzhak Rabin, Six Day War, June 1967 (later Prime Minister of the State of Israel- 1974-1975 1992-1995) "War is harsh and cruel, filled with blood and tears. While the joy of victory seized the whole people, among the community of fighters themselves there is a strange phenomenon: they cannot celebrate whole-heartedly. There is a large measure of sadness, of shock mixed into their festivities. Some fighters cannot celebrate at all. The frontline sol diers saw with their own eyes not only the glory of victory, but also its price their fellow fighters fell at their sides in pools of blood. I know that the price paid by the enemy also touched a deep place in the hearts of many. Perhaps the Jewish people has never been educated and never become accus tomed to the joy of the conqueror Therefore, our victory is received with mixed feelings

6. Bruria and the Hoodlums – A Story

A gang of hoodlums lived in Rabbi Meirs neighborhood and they used to torment him endlessly. Rabbi Meir prayed for their death. His wife Bruria said to him: "How did you reach such a decision?" He replied: 'The Bible says Let sins be obliterated from the earth (Psalms 104:35). She answered: "Is it written sinners? The verse says 'sins'. Look fur- ther to the end of the verse And the wicked will be no more' (Psalms 104:35) Since all sins will be obliterated, then of course the wicked will be no more. Therefore, pray that these hoodlums repent and then they will not be wicked' anymore Rabbi Meir prayed for them and they indeed mended their ways. (2nd C. Eretz Yisrael, Babylonian Talmud, Berachot 10a) Reflections on Vengeance "You shall not take vengeance nor bear a grudge against your people. Rather you shall love your neighbor as yourself, I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:18-19 "Whoever takes vengeance destroys his own house" (R. Papa, TB. Sanhedrin 102 b) Don't say, since I have been humiliat- ed; let my neighbor be humiliated also Know! It is the image of God, you would be humiliating in your neighbor (Ben Azzai, Tanhima Gen. R. 24:7) "This shall be our revenge! We shall revive what they kill, and raise what they topple...This is the banner of our vengeance and its name is Jerusalem (Peretz Smolenskin, Zionist, 1882)  

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu

Jerusalem was in turmoil in the period prior to its destruction (70 ACE). The Romans had it under siege. The Jews themselves were divided into multiple factions and sects - some held to elite establishment of the Priests (Sadducees), others sided with the rabbinic scholars (Pharisees) who tried to popularize Judaism and develop a code of Jewish law that governed all aspects of Jewishlife. The Sicarii (dagger men) assassinated anyone they perceived as a Roman sympathizer and gave rise to the Zealots who ultimately occupied Masada. Legend has it that Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, a leading Rabbinic scholar, was smuggled out of Jerusalem in a coffin in order that he might negotiate a pardon for his followers. Vespasian permitted him to travel to the town of Yavne and establish a new center for rabbinical Judaism. When he passed, Rabban Gamliel II assumed the role of the President (Nasi) of the Sanhedrin (Jewish Supreme Court). Although a somewhat controversial leader who was involved in many a fracas with his Rabbinic colleagues, he did much to restore and reinvigorate Judaism after the destruction of the Temple.
Rabat Gamliel's statement about what must be recited on Passover is actually the answer to the original 3 questions of the Haggadah (before they became 4 questions!) The original 3 questions were 1. Why do we eat Matzah? 2. Why do we dip into maror? 3. Why do we eat only roasted meat? Over the generations the 3 questions were modified and a 4th question was added. In addition, the Questions were separated from Rabban Gamliel's Answers!

Rachtzah
Source : Traditional

רחצה

Rachtzah

Wash hands while reciting the traditional blessing for washing the hands:

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

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al n'tilat yadayim.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to wash our hands.

Motzi-Matzah
Source : http://www.manischewitz.com/assets/jahm/ads/scroll_1888.php

Motzi-Matzah
Source : Traditional

Motzi-Matzah מוֹצִיא

Take the three matzot - the broken piece between the two whole ones – and hold them in your hand and recite the following blessing:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who provides sustenance from the earth.

Before eating the matzah, put the bottom matzah back in its place and continue, reciting the following blessing while holding only the top and middle piece of matzah.

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

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al achilat matzah.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to eat matzah.

Break the top and middle matzot into pieces and distribute them everyone at the table to eat a while reclining to the left.

Maror
Source : Traditional

Maror מָרוֹר

Now take a kezayit (the volume of one olive) of the maror. Dip it into the Charoset, but not so much that the bitter taste is neutralized. Recite the following blessing and then eat the maror (without reclining):

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

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al achilat maror.

Praised are you, Adonai, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has taught us the way of holiness through commandments, commanding us to eat the bitter herb.

Koreich
Source : Traditional

Korech כּוֹרֵךְ

זֵכֶר לְמִקְדָּשׁ כְּהִלֵּל. כֵּן עָשָׂה הִלֵּל בִּזְמַן שבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָים: הָיָה כּוֹרֵךְ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר וְאוֹכֵל בְּיַחַד, לְקַיֵים מַה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ.

Zeicher l'mikdash k'hileil. Kein asah hileil bizman shebeit hamikdash hayah kayam. Hayah koreich pesach, matzah, u-maror v'ocheil b'yachad. L'kayeim mah shene-emar. “Al matzot um'rorim yochlu-hu.”

Eating matzah, maror and haroset this way reminds us of how, in the days of the Temple, Hillel would do so, making a sandwich of the Pashal lamb, matzah and maror, in order to observe the law “You shall eat it (the Pesach sacrifice) on matzah and maror.”

Shulchan Oreich
Source : Traditional

Shulchan Orech  שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

Now is time to enjoy the festival meal and participate in lively discussion. It is permitted to drink wine between the second and third cups.

Tzafun

The first reference to the Afikoman is the talmudic warning not to serve fancy desserts or go partying after partaking in the Passover meal (Epikomos).  Afikoman was what you were not supposed to do - go from party to party carousing. Eventually, however, afikoman became something you had to have - a piece of matzah that would be the final thing you ate at the completion of the meal. Originally, a piece of the Passover lamb was the last thing eaten. Over time, matzah came to represent the Paschal lamb and the Afikomen became a small piece of matzah. So matzah, which began the meal as The Bread of Affliction, is transformed by our recreation of the Exodus, into the Bread of Redemption.

Bareich

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in Jewish history, and, most notably, he did not die! Rather, he rose to the heavens in a chariot of fire! Because he did not die, Rabbinic scholars believed he was kept alive for a special reason - to hail the arrival of the Messiah! So Elijah will have a extremely important job - but why invite him into our house tonight? We live in an unprecedented time in Jewish history - Jews of North America live in freedom with the full protection of the law. Israel has been resurrected as a Jewish State. We tend to take these things for granted. We forget that for thousands of years Jews lived without a home or security. From the Crusades, to the Inquisition, to the Cossacks of Russia, to the Holocaust, Jews were beaten, tortured, killed, denied the right to live with security and freedom, and yearned for the return to the Land of Israel. The Night of the Seder, which celebrates the freedom of the Jews from their enslavers in Egypt, served as a symbol for all Jews that they might be redeemed again. Thus, they invited Elijah into their homes in hopes that he would heard the coming of the Messiah, and their salvation from their lives of persecution.

Nirtzah
Source : Original

Nirtzah
Source : Traditional

Nirtzah נרצה

After all the singing is concluded we rise and recite together the traditional formula, the Seder is concluded .

חֲסַל סִדּוּר פֶּסַח כְּהִלְכָתוֹ, כְּכָל מִשְׁפָּטוֹ וְחֻקָתוֹ. כַּאֲשֶׁר זָכִינוּ לְסַדֵּר אוֹתוֹ. כֵּן נִזְכֶּה לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ. זָךְ שׁוֹכֵן מְעוֹנָה, קוֹמֵם קְהַל עֲדַת מִי מָנָה. בְּקָרוֹב נַהֵל נִטְעֵי כַנָּה. פְּדוּיִם לְצִיוֹן בְּרִנָּה.

Chasal sidur pesach k'hilchato, k'chol mishpato v'chukato. Ka-asher zachinu l'sadeir oto, kein nizkeh la-asoto. Zach shochein m'onah, komeim k'hal adat mi manah. B'karov naheil nitei chanah, p'duyim l'tzion b'rinah.

The Passover Seder is concluded, according to each traditional detail with all its laws and customs. As we have been privileged to celebrate this Seder, so may we one day celebrate it in Jerusalem. Pure One who dwells in the high places, support your People countless in number. May you soon redeem all your People joyfully in Zion.

At the conclusion of the Seder, everyone joins in singing:

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשַָׁלָיִם

L'shana Haba'ah b'Y’rushalayim

Next Year in Jerusalem!

Songs
Source : various

to the tune of “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”

We build the pyramids. We live in pain and fear.

We’re beaten and we’re bullied by the brutal overseer.

So Moses, can you help us, cause we really need to hear

About the Fifty Ways to Leave Mitzrayim.

Fifty Ways to Leave Mitzrayim.

So Moses said, I’ve seen the way a bush can burn.

And Adonai has told me that the Jews are my concern.

So if you listen closely, I believe that you will learn

About the Fifty Ways to Leave Mitzrayim.

Fifty Ways to Leave Mitzrayim.

(Chorus)

Don’t move a brick, Rick,

Make sure to pray, Ray,

Bring on a plague, Gregg,

Listen to me.

Leave in the night, Dwight,

Don’t wait for the bread, Ned,

Cross the Red Sea, Lee,

And get yourself free.

Moses continued, We can flee our evil foe.

And Adonai will lead us to the land where we can go.

So pack your matzah quickly if you really want to know

About the Fifty Ways to Leave Mitzrayim.

Fifty Ways to Leave Mitzrayim.

(Chorus)

Don’t move a brick, Rick,

Make sure to pray, Ray,

Bring on a plague, Gregg,

Listen to me.

Leave in the night, Dwight,

Don’t wait for the bread, Ned,

Cross the Red Sea, Lee,

And get yourself free.