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Source : Original

What is a Haggadah?

A Haggadah is the book we read from at the Passover Seder. The word Haggadah means ‘telling’. On Passover we tell the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from the land of Egypt. 

Passover is the English translation of the word Pesach, literally to pass over- in reference to the tenth plague God cursed the Egyptians with, but that was passed over the Jewish people. 

What is a Seder?

A Seder is the ritual meal that we consume at Passover. The word Seder means ‘order’, and the order of our Seder includes the consumption of several symbolic foods that represent the journey of the people of Israel. The purpose of the symbols is so that we can experience the bitterness and the sweetness of the Exodus because we, as Jews, are supposed regard ourselves as we were personally freed from the land of Egypt. 

We begin our Seder with the candlelighting. 

Source : Candle lighting

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדלִיק נֵר שֶׁל יוֹם טוֹב.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kidishanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who sanctifies us with commandments, and commands us to light the candles on this holiday.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶה.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Sheche’hiyanu V’Keymanu V’Higiyanu Lazman Ha’Zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

Source : Orignal

This is the part of the seder where we all go wash our hands BUT we do not say a blessing.

Source : Rachel Barenblat

We all take some parsley or other green vegetable and dip it in salt water.  

The green vegetable represents rebirth, renewal and growth; the salt water represents the tears of enslavement.

Before eating it, we all say the following prayer:

Source :

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adamah.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.

Source : adapted (by Jeffrey Wise)

The leader breaks the middle Matzo, leaving one half on the Seder-dish, and hiding the other half as the Aphikomon to be eaten at the end of the meal.

A Tunisian custom is to say “This is how God split the Red Sea” and then break the middle matzah. 

Israelis of Yeminite origin wrap the afikomen in a napkin and places it over his shoulder throughout the chanting of the Hagaddah, symbolizing both the liberation from Egypt, and more recently, the rescue of the Jews of Yemen in Operation Magic Carpet in 1948.

The More You Know...

Maggid - Beginning
Source : unknown

Uncover the top Matzah and lift the plate for all to see. The recital of the Passover Story begins with the following words:

Read Together

This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry let them come and eat.  All who are needy let them come and celebrate the Passover with us. Now we are here, but next year may we be in the land of Israel*. Now we are slaves, but next year may we be free men and women.

The plate is put down, the Matzoh is covered and the second cup of wine is filled.  The youngest person asks the four questions.

* or Hawaii

-- Four Questions
Source : traditional

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
Source : (adapted by Jeffrey Wise)

Why is it only

on Passover night

we never know how

to do anything right?

We don't eat our meals

in the regular ways,

the ways that we eat them

on all other days.

`Cause on all other nights

we might possibly eat

all kinds of wonderful

good bready treats.

Like big purple pizzas

that taste like a pickle,

crumbly snack crackers

and pink pumpernickel.

Sassafras sandwich

and tiger on rye,

falafels in pita

that might be fresh-fried.

Dripping with marshmallow

and tangerine sauce

spread upside and down-side

and then-side across!

Toasted whole-wheat bread

with liver and ducks,

and crumpets and dumplings,

and bagels and lox.

Doughnuts with one hole

and doughnuts with four,

cake with six layers

of frosting and s'mores.


on all other nights

we eat all kinds of bread,

but tonight of all nights

we munch matzah instead.

And on all other nights

we consume and devour

vegetables, green things,

roots, herbs...even flowers.

Lettuce that's leafy

and candy-striped spinach,

fresh crunchy celery

(Have more when you're finished!).

Daisies and roses

and inside-out grass

and artichoke hearts

that are simply first class!

Cabbage that's purple

that's red and that's green

the most tasty cabbage

that you've ever seen.

Sixty asparagus tips

served in glasses

with anchovy sauce

and some sticky molasses.

But on Passover night

you would never consider

eating an herb

that wasn't all bitter.

And on all other nights

you would probably flip

if anyone asked you

how often you dip.

On some days I only dip

one Bup-Bup egg

in a teaspoon of vinegar

mixed with nutmeg.

But on others we take

more than ten thousand tails

of the Yakkity-birds

that are hunted in Wales,

and dip them in vats

full of Fifflefat juice.

Then we feed them to Harold,

our six-legged moose.

Or we don't dip at all!

Sometimes that just feels nice.

So why on this night

do we have to dip twice?

And on all other nights

we can sit as we please,

on our heads, on our backs,

our elbows or our knees.

We can hang by our toes

from the top of a camel

or a sloth or a slurth

(any big hairy mammal!).

Our nose in the air

or our nose on the floor

with one ear out the window

and one by the door.

Doing somersaults

over the greasy k'nishes

or dancing a jig

without breaking the dishes.


on all other nights

you sit nicely when dining--

So why on this night

must we all be reclining?

-- Four Children
Source : Silbergleit family Passover Haggadah 2005, per Rabbi Nathan Goldberg (adapted by Jeffrey Wise)

Uncover the Matzah and begin the reply.

We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt and the Lord our God brought us forth from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not brought out our forebearers from Egypt, then we and our children, and our children's children would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt. Therefore, even were we all wise – and some of us are! – all men and women of understanding, and even if we were all old and well learned in the Torah, it it would still be our duty to tell the story of the departure from Egypt. And the more one tells of the departure from Egypt, the more is one to be praised.

Blessed is the Lord, Who gave the Torah to His people Israel. Blessed is He. The Torah speaks about four sons: one who is wise and one who is contrary; one who is simple and one who does not even know how to ask a question.

Alternate Around the Table

The wise son asks: "What is the meaning of the rules, laws and customs which the Eternal our God has commanded us?  "You shall explain to him all the laws of Passover, to the very last detail about the Afikoman (especially the tax ramifications)."

The contrary son asks: "What is the meaning of this service to you?" Saying to you he excludes himself, and because he excludes himself from the group, he denies a basic principle of our faith. You may therefore tell him sternly: "This is done because of what the Eternal did for me when I came forth from Egypt."  For me and not for him.

The simple son asks: "What is this about?" To him you shall say:"With a strong hand the Eternal brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage."  And then hope there are no bones in his soup.

As for the son who does not even know how to ask a question, you must begin for him, as it is written,"You shall tell your child on that day, 'This is done because of that which the Eternal did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.'"

-- Exodus Story
Source : Silbergleit family Passover Haggadah 2005, per Rabbi Nathan Goldberg (adapted by Jeffrey Wise)

Alternate Around the Table

Long ago our forebearers were worshippers of idols, but now God has drawn us to His service, as it is written, "And Joshua said to all the people, 'Thus said the Eternal God of Israel: In days of old your forefathers lived beyond the river; that is Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, and they worshipped other gods. Then I took Abraham, your father, from beyond the river and I led him through the wholeland of Canaan. And I increased his family by giving him a son, Isaac. And I gave to Isaac two sons, Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave Mount Seir as a possession, while Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.'"

Blessed be He, Who keeps His promise to Israel, blessed be He. For God foretold the end of the bondage to Abraham at the Covenant of Sacrifices. For God said to Abraham: "Know you that your children will be strangers in a land not their own.They will be enslaved there and will be oppressed four hundred years. But I will exercise judgement against the nation they serve. Afterward they will go forth with great wealth."

Cover the Matzah, raise the cup of wine, and say together:

This promise made to our forebearers holds true also for us. For more than one enemy has risen up to destroy us; in every  generation there are those who rise against us and seek our destruction. But the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hands.

Put down the cup, uncover the Matzah, and continue

( Alternate Around the Table except Leader in Bold)

Come and learn what Laban the Aramean tried to do to our father Jacob. While Pharaoh decreed only against the males, Laban desired to uproot all. For so it is written: “An Aramean sought to destroy my father; and he went down to Egypt and dwelled there, a handful, few in number. There he became a nation, great, mighty and numerous.”

“He went down to Egypt” – compelled by God’s decree.

“He dwelled there.” This means that Jacob our father did not go down to Egypt to settle there but only to stay for a short while; for so it is said, “And they said to Pharaoh, we have come to dwell in the land because there is no pasture for the flocks of your servants, since the famine is very bad in the land of Canaan; and now let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.”

“Few in number” – as it is said: “Your forefathers went down into Egypt with seventy persons. Now the Eternal your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven.”

“And there he became a nation” – from this we learn that Israel became a distinct nation in Egypt.

“Great, mighty” – as it is said: “And the children of Israel were fruitful and increased and multiplied and became very strong and numerous, so that the land was full of them.”

“And numerous” – as it is said: “I have increased you as the growth of the field and you have become numerous and grown big and reached to excellence in beauty. You are fully grown, yet you remained naked and bare.”

“And the Egyptians did evil unto us and they made us suffer. They set upon us hard labor.”

“And the Egyptians did evil unto us” – as it is said in the Bible: “Come, let us deal craftily with them, lest they increase yet more, and if maybe that when war occurs they will be added to our enemies and fight against us and go up out of the land.”

“And they made us suffer” – as the Bible relates: “So the Egyptians set taskmasters over them in order to oppress them with their burdens; and they built Pithom and Raamses as store-cities for Pharaoh.”

“And they set upon us hard labor: – as the Bible states: “And the Egyptians enslaved the children of Israel with cruelty."

And we cried unto the Eternal, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our burden, and our oppression."

“And we cried unto the Eternal, the God of our fathers” – as the Bible recounts: “And it came to pass in the course of many days that the King of Egypt died, and the children of Israel groaned because of their servitude and cried out, and their outcry from their servitude came up to God.”

“And the Eternal heard our voice” – as the Bible tells:“And God heard their moaning, and remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.”

“And saw our affliction” – this phrase suggests the enforced separation of husband and wife under Pharaoh’s persecution, as it is written:“And God saw the children of Israel and God understood their plight.”

“Our burden” – this recalls the drowningof the male children, as it is said: “Every son that is born you shall cast into the Nile, but every daughter you may keep alive.”

“And our oppression” – this refers to the persecusion, as the Bible says: “And I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.”

“And the Eternal brought us forth from Egypt, with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terror, and with signs and wonders.”

“And the Eternal brought us forth form Egypt” – not by a ministering angel, not by a fiery angel, not by a messenger, but by Himself, in His glory, did the Holy One, blessed be He, do so, as the Bible records: “And I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man to beast, and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments. I am the Lord.”

“With a strong hand” – this refers to the cattle plague, as it is said in the Bible: “Behold, the hand of the Eternal will strike your livestock in the field – the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the oxen and the sheep –  with a very grievous plague.”

“And with an outstretched arm” –  this refers to the sword, as the Bible states: “His sword drawn in his hand, outstretched over Jerusalem.”

“And with great terror” – this refers to the Revelation of God to Israel, as it is said: “Has any god ever tried to go and remove one nation from the midst of another nation, with trials, with signs and with wonders, and with battle, and with a strong hand and outstretched arm, and with great terrors, as the Eternal your God did for you in Egyp tbefore your eyes?”

“And with signs” – this refersto the rod of Moses, as it said: “And thou, Moses, shalt take in thy hand this rod where with thou shalt perform the signs.”

“And wonders” – this refers to the plague of blood, as it is written in Scripture: “I will show wonders in the heavens and on earth."

Another interpretation of this verse is as follows:  “With a strong hand” – means two plagues; “and with an outstretched arm” – two; “and with great terror” – two; “and with signs” –two; “and wonders” – two.

This refers to the ten plagues which the Lord, blessed be He, brought upon the Egyptions in Egypt, and they are as follows:

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Adapted from

As we rejoice at our deliverance from slavery, we acknowledge that our freedom was hard-earned. We regret that our freedom came at the cost of the Egyptians’ suffering, for we are all human beings. We pour out a drop of wine for each of the plagues as we recite them.

Dip a finger or a spoon into your wine glass for a drop for each plague.

These are the ten plagues which God brought down on the Egyptians:

דָּם Blood | dam |

צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ Frogs | tzfardeiya |

כִּנִּים Lice | kinim |

עָרוֹב Beasts | arov |

דֶּֽבֶר Cattle disease | dever |

שְׁחִין Boils | sh’chin |

בָּרָד Hail | barad |

אַרְבֶּה Locusts | arbeh |

חֹֽשֶׁךְ Darkness | choshech |

מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת Death of the Firstborn | makat b’chorot |

The Egyptians needed ten plagues because after each one they were able to come up with excuses and explanations rather than change their behavior. Could we be making the same mistakes? What are the plagues in your life? What are the plagues in our world today? What behaviors do we need to change to fix them? 

-- Ten Plagues
Source : Original

10. Citizens United.

09. Once they turn 65, all mothers move back in with their kids.

08. Starbucks only serve regular coffee.  In one size only.

07. Twitter limited to thirty chara-

06.  Diverticulitis.

05.  Cable channels only show "The Mummy Returns" 24/7.

04.  A reeeeeally bad case of tunic chafing.

03. Obamacare.

02.  Kittens.

01.  In the future, it'll be the ED pills that are named "Ramses," not the condoms.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Silbergleit family Passover Haggadah 2005, per Rabbi Nathan Goldberg (adapted by Jeffrey Wise)

Rabban Gamliel used to say: Whoever does not explain the following three symbols at the Seder on Passover has not fulfilled his duty:




Point to the shank bone:

The Passover offering which our fathers ate in Temple days, what was the reason for it? It was because the Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the houses of our forefathers in Egypt, as it is written in the Bible: “And you shall say it is the Passover offering for the Eternal Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians and spared our houses. And the people bowed their heads and worshipped.”

Point to the Matzah :

This Matzah which we eat, what is the reason for it? It is because there was not time for the dough of our ancestors in Egypt to become leavened, before the Ruler of all, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to them and redeemed them, as it is told in the Bible: “And they baked the dough which they had brought out from Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread, for it had not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and they could not tarry, nor had they prepared for themselves any provisions.”

Point to the bitter herbs:

These bitter herbs which we eat – what is their meaning? They are eaten to recall that the Egyptians embittered the lives of our forebearers in Egypt, as it is written: “And they embittered their lives with hard labor: with mortar and bricks, with every kind of work in the fields; all the work which they made them do was cruel.” In every generation one must look upon oneself as having personally come out from Egypt, as the Bible says: “And thou shalt tell thy son on that day, saying, it is because of that which the Eternal did to me when I went forth from Egypt.” For it was not our ancestors alone whom the Holy One, blessed be He, redeemed; He redeemed us too, with them as it is said: “He brought us out from there that He might lead us to and give us the land which He pledged to our forefathers.”

Raise the cup of wine and say together:

Therefore, it is our duty to thank and to praise in song and prayer, to glorify and extol Him Who performed all these wonders for our forebearers and for us. He brought us out from slavery to freedom, from anguish to joy, from sorrow to joy, from darkness to great light. Let us therefore sing before Him a new song. Halleluyah. Praise the Lord.

Put down the cup and continue

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source : Various

It’s time to drink the second cup of wine .....

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן.

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha'olam, bo're p'ri ha'gafen.

"Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine." Amen.

-- Cup #2 & Dayenu
Source :

Pass Miriam's cup around the table(s).

A Midrash teaches us that a miraculous well accompanied the Jews throughout their journey in the desert, providing them with water. This well was given by God to Miriam, the prophetess, to honor her bravery and devotion to the Jewish people. Both Miriam and her well were spiritual oases in the desert, sources of sustenance and healing. Her words of comfort gave the Jews the faith and confidence to overcome the hardships of the Exodus.

We fill Miriam's cup with water to honor her role in ensuring the survival of the Jewish people. Like Miriam, Jewish women from generation to generation have been essential for the continuity of our people.

Let us each fill the cup of Miriam with water from our own glasses, so that our daughters may continue to draw from the strength and wisdom of our heritage.

When Miriam's cup is filled, raise the goblet and say together:

We place Miriam's cup on our Seder table to honor the important role of Jewish women in our tradition and history, whose stories have been too sparingly told.

Source : original

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר

קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha-olam

asher kidishanu b'mitz'votav v'tzivanu

al n'tilat yadayim.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning washing of hands.

Source : Unkown

בָרוךְ אַתָה יי אֱלֹהֵינו מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בוֹרֵא פְרִי הַגָפֶן.

Source : Silbergleit family Passover Haggadah 2005, per Rabbi Nathan Goldberg (adapted by Jeffrey Wise)

Fill the fourth cup of wine and open the door for Elijah the Prophet.

All rise.

Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not, and upon
the kingdoms that call not upon Thy name; for they have consumed
Jacob and laid waste his habitation. Pour out Thy rage upon them
and let Thy fury overtake them. Pursue them in anger and destroy
them from under the heavens of the Lord.

Close the door. All are seated.