PASSOVER HAGADA



PREPARATION

Before we start , we need to find out who is the Leader (the Master of the Household or another man, if any men are present), the Mistress of the household (or another woman, if any women are present), First Storyteller, Second Storyteller, Third Storyteller, Fourth Storyteller, and Youngest Child.

Each storyteller should be given the part of the Exodus story he is to tell, as the links above lead to.

If there are no children present, then the youngest person will still play the part of the Youngest Child, but the Leader must modify a few lines that refer to children.


MOOD

General points:
  1. The mood is to be celebratory rather than serious. Enjoy the food. Laugh. Be natural. Tip over things.
  2. Munch along the way. There should be plenty of matzo lying around for those who are hungry.
  3. Don't worry about how to pronounce Hebrew--just make it up as you go along.
  4. It is quite appropriate to have unbelievers present. At purely Jewish seders, non-Jews are welcome, and hospitality to strangers is valued. Unbelievers should not think they must bow to social pressure and say anything they don't believe; it is quite all right to stay out of some of the responses.

LEADER: Before Passover, leavened items are removed from the home--especially all breads and cakes including yeast. The preparation begins with a thorough cleaning which culminates in a ceremonial search for leaven called bedikat kameytz .

``Haggadah'' means ``the telling'' Upon the table is a seder plate holding the ceremonial items of the Passover: bitter herbs, a roasted egg, a sweet apple mixture, parsley, and a lambshank. Also part of the ceremony are the four glasses of wine we will say with blessings, and the matzo that is special to Passover.


LIGHTING THE FESTIVAL CANDLES

MISTRESS OF THE HOUSEHOLD: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, asher qidshanu b'mitsvotav vitsivanu, l'hadliq ner shel yom tov.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has set us apart by your commandments and has commanded us to kindle the festival Lights.

(She lights the candles.)


KIDDUSH: THE FIRST CUP

(The first cup of wine is poured.) (Material in parentheses is translation or actions, and we do not say it out loud.) LEADER: Attention, Ladies and Gentlemen: Let us lift our first cup together and bless the name of the Lord.

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, Boray, pree hagafen.

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who created the fruit of the vine.

LEADER: As he began the Last Supper, Jesus Christ ``took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.'' (Luke 22:17-18)

Let us all drink this, the first of the four cups of Passover.


URKATZ: WASHING

LEADER: Let us now offer water to each other to wash our hands, remembering that at the Lord's last seder, he washed the disciples' feet and said: ``If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.'' (John 13: 13-14)


KARPAS: THE GREEN VEGETABLE

LEADER: Passover comes in the springtime, when the earth is becoming green with new life. This vegetable, the karpas, represents the new life.

(Lifting salt water) But life in Egypt for the children of Israel was a life of pain and salty tears, like this water. Let us take a sprig of karpas and dip it in the salt water, remembering that in life sometimes there are tears.

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, Boray, pree ha adama.

( Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.)

LEADER: Now let us all together eat the karpas, the green vegetable dipped twice in salt water.


MAGGID: THE PASSOVER STORY

(The Leader breaks the middle Matzah in the plate, and leaving half of it there, puts aside the other half until after the meal, for the Afikoman.)

The leader raises the tray with the matzo and says:

LEADER: This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors 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; next year may we be in the Heavenly City. Now we are slaves; next year may we be free.

(The plate is put down, the Matzo is covered, and the second cup of wine is filled. Do not drink it yet)

(The youngest person present who can talk asks the Four Questions.)

CHILD: Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights we eat bread, but on this night why do we eat matzo?

On all other nights we don't dip our vegetables even once, but on this night why do we dip twice?

On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on this night why do we eat bitter herbs?

On all nights we eat sitting upright, but on this night why do we all recline?

LEADER: To answer these questions, we need to tell the Passover story.

(Four people start to tell the child the story. They may wish to prepare before the seder by reading in Exodus, but should use their own words here. )

FIRST STORYTELLER: (The first person tells, in his own words, of how the Israelites were in Egypt, and how Pharaoh oppressed them.)

SECOND STORYTELLER. (The second person tells, in his own words, of how Pharaoh ordered the Jewish baby boys to be drowned,but now Miriam put Moses in a basket in the river.)

THIRD STORYTELLER. (The third storyteller tells of how Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a Jewish slave.)

FOURTH STORYTELLER. (The fourth storyteller tells how Moses saw the burning bush.)


THE CUP OF PLAGUES AND THE PASSOVER LAMB.

LEADER: Moses left the wilderness and returned to Pharaoh's palace. But God warned Moses that the Pharaoh would not obey Him.

ALL: And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go. (Exodus 3:19-20)

LEADER: God sent plagues to Egypt, one by one, yet Pharaoh hardened his heart more with each plague. Only after the tenth and most awful plague did Pharaoh relent and let the Israelites go. As we recite each plague, let us dip a little finger into the cup, allowing a drop of wine to fall.

(Do not drink from the cup at this time.)

ALL: One. Blood!

Two. Frogs!

Three. Lice!

Four. Beasts!

Five. Cattle plague!

Six. Boils!

Seven. Hail!

Eight. Locusts!

Nine. Darkness!

Ten. Death of the Firstborns!

LEADER: (Lifting the shankbone of the lamb.) Rabbi Gamaliel, the teacher of St. Paul, taught that in telling the Passover story one must be certain to mention three things: The Passover Lamb, the Unleavened Bread, and the Bitter Herbs. This roasted shankbone represents the lamb whose blood marked the houses of the Israelites, its blood taking the place of their firstborn sons. Here is what God said:

FIRST STORYTELLER: Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year... And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire...(Exodus 12:3, 5,7, 8)

SECOND STORYTELLER: And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.(Exodus 12:13-14)

LEADER: For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night...

ALL: I, and not an angel.

LEADER: ...and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast;...

ALL: I, and not a seraph.

LEADER... and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment:...

ALL: I, and not a messenger.

LEADER: I am JEHOVAH. (Exodus 12:12)

ALL: I myself and no other.

LEADER: We who have trusted Jesus Christ know him to be the Lamb of God. We know that it was God Himself, not an angel, God Himself, not a seraph, God Himself, not a messenger, who achieved final redemption from our bondage to sin.

(Lifting the egg.) This roasted egg is called the Khagigah. It is a symbol of mourning, reminding us of the destruction of the Temple. We will eat it later, during the meal, and mourn no more for the Temple, since we have Jesus Christ instead.


MATZO: The Unleavened Bread.

LEADER: Now we can answer the four questions.

On all other nights, we eat leavened bread, but on Passover we eat only unleavened bread. When the Israelites fled Egypt, they did not have time for their dough to rise. Instead, they baked their bread flat.

Paul tells us what the leaven means.

FIRST STORYTELLER: Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5: 6-8)

LEADER: (Lifting the plate with the three matzo) This is the bread of affliction which the Israelites ate in the land of Egypt. Three matzo are wrapped together for Passover. The rabbis call this a ``Unity''. Some say it stands for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Others say it stands for priests, Levites, and people of Israel. We know it is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

(Removing and breaking the middle matzo in half.) Just as this middle piece of the Unity is broken, so Christ was broken on the Cross. This piece is called the Afikomen--- ``the coming one.'' It is wrapped in white cloth just as Christ's body was wrapped for burial. (Wraps the afikomen.) If the children will cover their eyes, I will hide the afikomen. (Does so.) Just as I have hidden the afikomen, so Christ was hidden in a tomb.

But just as the afikomen will return in a short while, so Christ rose from the dead. (Breaks off a piece of the other half of the middle piece and distributes it.) Let us now share the bread of Passover.

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, Hamotzi lechem Min ha-aretz.

(Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.)


MAROR. THE BITTER HERBS

LEADER: On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on Passover we eat maror, bitter herbs. As sweet as our lives are today, let us still remember how bitter life was for the children of Israel. For the Egyptians

... made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field... (Exodus 1: 14)

Let us put some maror onto a piece of matzo and bless God even for the bitterness. (All eat.)

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, asher qidshanu bumitzvotav vutsivanu al akilat maror.

(Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to eat bitter herbs.)


KHAROSET: MORTAR AND RECLINING

LEADER: On all other nights we do not dip our vegetables even once, but tonight we dip them twice. We have already dipped parsley in salt water.

(Lifting the kharoset mortar.) The children of Israel toiled to make treasure cities for Pharaoh, working in brick and clay. We remember the mortar of the building with the Kharoset, made from apples, honey,nuts, and wine. Let us once again scoop bitter herbs onto matzo. But this time, before we eat, dip the herbs ino the sweet kharoset.

ALL: (Lifting the matzo with the maror and kharoset) We dip the bitter herbs into kharoset to remind ourselves that even the most bitter of circumstances can be sweetened by hope in God. (All eat.)

LEADER: On all other nights, we eat either sitting or reclining, but tonight we eat reclining. The first Passover was celebrated by a people enslaved, who served others who reclined rather than reclining themselves.

(Everybody reclines as much as is convenient.)


DAYENU

LEADER: How great Is God's goodness! For each of his acts, we declare Dayenu, which means, ``It would have been sufficient.''

If He had only smitten the Egyptians' first-born, and had not parted the Red Sea

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If He had only parted the Red Sea, and had not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If He had only supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, and had not fed us manna

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If He had only fed us manna, but had not given us the Torah

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: If He had given us the Torah, and not given us the land of Israel,

ALL: Dayenu!

LEADER: In thanks, let us now drink the second cup.

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai!

(Blessed are you, O Lord!)

(Here, sometimes people sing the Dayenu song.)


THE PASSOVER SUPPER

(Now we eat.)

THE AFIKOMEN

(The afikomen is found by a child, and ransomed by the Leader.)

LEADER: The final food for Passover is the afikomen. It is said that the taste of the afikomen should linger in our mouths.

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, Hamotzi lechem Min ha-aretz.

(Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.)

LEADER: After this, Jesus said, ``This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.'' (Luke 22:19)

Let us now eat the matzo, thinking of the body of the Lamb of God.


THE THIRD CUP AND ELIJAH

LEADER: Let us fill our cups for the third time this evening. (Lifting the cup.) Jesus too lifted his cup, saying, ``This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'' (Luke 22:20)

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, Boray, p'ree hagafen.

(Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of the Universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.)

(All drink the third cup of wine.)

LEADER: (Lifting the extra cup from Elijah's place at the table) This cup is for Elijah the Prophet. At this time, let one of the children open the door to welcome Elijah to our seder. (A child opens the door)

ALL: ``See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful Day of the Lord comes.'' (Malachi 4:5)

LEADER: Before the birth of John the Baptist, an angel of the Lord said ``And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah...'' ( Luke 1:17)

Jesus said of John the Baptist, ``And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.'' (Matthew 11:14) So Elijah has come already. But we welcome him to come again!


THE FOURTH CUP (136th Psalm: Confitemini )

LEADER: Let us lift our cups for the fouth and last time.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good,

ALL: For his mercy endureth for ever.

LEADER: To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn,

ALL: For his mercy endureth for ever.

LEADER: And brought out Israel from among them.

ALL: For his mercy endureth for ever.

LEADER:To him which divided the Red sea into parts,

ALL: For his mercy endureth for ever.

LEADER: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it,

ALL: For his mercy endureth for ever.

LEADER: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea,

ALL: For his mercy endureth for ever.

LEADER: O give thanks unto the God of heaven,

ALL: For his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 136: 1, 10-16, 23-24 26, some extra cut now)

LEADER: (lifting the cup) Let us lift our cups and bless the Name of the Lord.

ALL: Barukh ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech Haolam, Boray, p'ree hagafen.

(Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of the Universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.)

(Drink the fourth cup of wine)


CONCLUSION OF THE SEDER

LEADER: The Passover Seder is ended, according to custom and law. O Pure one in Heaven above, speedily lead Your redeemed people to Zion in Joy.

ALL: LASHANA HABA AH BI YERUSHALAYIM!

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!



Last updated: July 13, 1999. URL: Http://Php.indiana.edu/~erasmuse/_religion/_seder/hagadah.htm Comments: [email protected]