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UNITY IS STRENGTH
2024
PEACE HAGGADAH
TOWARD AN EQUITABLE, SHARED FUTURE
UNITY IS STRENGTH
PEACE HAGGADAH
TOWARD AN EQUITABLE, SHARED FUTURE
Editors: Ignat A., Iyad Rafidi, Rebecca Sealfon, Walid Siam
Music: Paul Storfer
Layout: Amalya Sherman
Dedication
This Peace Haggadah honors the victims of violence between Israelis and
Palestinians, and all who seek peace. While preparing this Haggadah, we
have witnessed unprecedented atrocities. Passover represents a time for
freedom from all forms of bondage, be they physical, mental, or emotional.
Let us open our minds and hearts to humanity, deliver the region from
hatred and violence, and bring peace.
Disclaimer
The Peace Haggadah presented here is the result of a collective effort. The
views and opinions expressed in it are solely those of the individual authors.
They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of any other entity,
organization, or individual associated with its creation or distribution.
Note From the Editors
We extend heartfelt thanks to Wendy Kalman, Nina Judith Katz, and
Penny S. Tee. Their valuable ideas and diligent efforts have significantly
strengthened this project. We are deeply grateful for their contributions.
This Haggadah was used as the basis for the Peace Seders held via Zoom
on April 7, 2024 and April 14, 2024 and sponsored by Unity is Strength,
the Federation Movement, PEACE with Penny and Unity Made Visible.
4 Preface: Why is This Haggadah
Different from All Other
Haggadahs? Emanuel Shahaf
5 Guest Essay: Another Kind of
Passover - Avrum Burg
11 Intodduction: Why is This Night
Different from All Other Nights?
Ignat
22 CANDLE LIGHTING
CEREMONY
26 KADESH
27 Commentary The Meaning
of Chosenness Ignat A.
32 Commentary A Life-
Changing Trip Penny S. Tee
36 URCHATZ
37 Commentary Is Purism
Pure? Rebecca Sealfon
39 KARPAS
42 Commentary Karpas
Wendy Kalman
44 YACHATZ
46 MAGGID
55 Commentary A Palestinian
Odyssey Iyad Rafidi
76 Commentary From Algeria
to Palestine: The Long Path
from Blood to Freedom
D.A.B. Al Shamal
78 Commentary Massacre-
Plagues Nina Judith Katz
102 RAḤTZA
104 MOTZI MATZAH
108 Commentary Why Are
We Ignoring Peace’s Most
Valuable Players? Penny S.
Tee
113 MAROR
114 Commentary Where? To
Ramallah! Walid K. Siam
120 KORECH
121 SHULḤAN OREKH
122 Commentary Federation/
Confederation Proposals
Ignat
127 Commentary War and
Resolution Youssef
131 TZAFUN
133 Commentary Voices of
Courage: Gaza Youth
Committee’s Quest for
Peace Rami Aman
138 Commentary Proposal for
the Establishment of a Joint
Israeli-Palestinian Memorial
at the Nova Festival Site
Walid & Ignat
142 Commentary Discovering
Peace in the Middle East
Penny S. Tee
146 BARECH
150 HALLEL
152 Commentary Love is My
Shepherd Lee Boueri
158 NIRTZAH -- CONCLUSION
165 Commentary A Path to a
Future in Shared Jerusalem
Rebecca Sealfon
168 Additional Songs
175 Contributor Bios
180 Resources
Table of Contents
preface
Why is this Haggadah different from all
other Haggadahs?
Emanuel Shahaf
Welcome to this unique and transformative Passover Haggadah,
a testament to the power of unity, understanding, and the
shared pursuit of peace in these uniquely difficult times.
As a diverse group of Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, Jews, and
others, we came together from many different backgrounds
and geographical locations around the common theme of a
shared and peaceful society. We will explore the possibility
of a federal solution to the longstanding violence in Israel-
Palestine.This project has brought a variety of individuals and
perspectives to craft this distinctive Passover Haggadah. We
aim for this initiative to evolve into an annual tradition, thereby
transforming the festival into a significant step toward the
solution we seek to develop.
Passover is a time-honored celebration of liberation, resilience,
and the triumph of hope over adversity. It commemorates the
exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, a journey fraught with
challenges, yet one that ultimately led to freedom and the
promise of a better future. As we gather around the Seder
table, we draw inspiration from this ancient story to envision
a collective journey towards coexistence, understanding, and a
shared destiny for Israelis and Palestinians. Just as the exodus
brought disparate tribes together to form a cohesive nation, we
aspire to explore the potential for a federated approach that
respects the autonomy of both Israelis and Palestinians while
cultivating shared governance that promotes cooperation and
coexistence.
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Our Haggadah is a reflection of the variety of narratives that make
up the complex history of this region. It is an acknowledgment that
each voice, be it Israeli or Palestinian, Arab or Jew, contributes a
unique thread to the fabric of shared existence. In the spirit of Pesach,
we embrace the diversity of our backgrounds, perspectives, and
experiences, weaving them together into a harmonious narrative of
hope, collaboration, and the pursuit of lasting peace.
This Peace Haggadah invites us to engage in thoughtful reflection
and open dialogue, challenging us to consider new possibilities and
envision a future where Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in
peace and prosperity. As we recite the timeless words of the Haggadah,
let us also reflect on the relevance of its message to the contemporary
challenges we face.
May this Passover Seder be a symbol of our commitment to building
bridges and working towards a federated solution that honors the
dignity and rights of all inhabitants of this land. May the themes
of liberation and renewal inspire us to forge a path toward a shared
future, where the exodus from conflict leads to the promised land of
harmony.
Lishana Haba-ah Biyirushalayim Habinuyah – Next year in a shared
Jerusalem.
guest essay
Another kind of Passover
Avrum Burg
Each generation sees holidays in its own way. Over time, their
importance shifts, making it hard to know what part of tradition will
endure. Some holidays just fade away, while others stay with us no
5
matter how things change. For example, who still remembers
“Nicanor Day” or ponders the fate of his severed head and right
hand, paraded by Judah the Maccabee after the Battle of Beth
Horon? Few today are even aware that the seventeenth of the
Hebrew month of Marheshvan signals the beginning of fasting
when rains have not yet begun to fall. Similarly, the once-
popular day of gratitude known as “Second Purim” has slipped
into obscurity. But Tu B’Shvat has undergone a modern revival,
shifting from a peripheral observance to a prominent holiday
in the Jewish calendar (in Israel). Likewise, Hanukkah has
transitioned from a historical event to a celebration of Jewish
power, land, and nationalism.
At first glance, Passover emerges as one of the most enduringly
celebrated Jewish holidays globally, yet its significance is
ready for profound change. Passover serves as our original
Independence Day—a commemoration of the transformative
journey of the Israelites from slavery to sovereignty.The Seder
night and the reading of the Haggadah play a crucial role in
maintaining the tradition of Passover; they provide a narrative
that offers a different perspective, highlighting the unique
aspects of this holiday as a celebration of Jewish identity, hope,
and the promise of redemption.
Despite challenges and persecution, as during the Spanish
Inquisition, Passover has remained a vital symbol of resilience,
reflecting both the struggles and the enduring hope that are
central to Jewish life. Over the years, Passover has continued to
represent the journey from hardship to hope and to incorporate
the deep-seated aspirations and concerns that shape the Jewish
experience.
Thus, Passover naturally evolved into a spiritual practice
that mirrors a potent collective self-image and acts as a
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counterbalance to actual collective powerlessness. In the traditional
Haggadah, the recounting of the ten plagues of Egypt expands
dramatically, symbolizing an overwhelming force.This allows for the
temporary embrace of the illusion of sovereign power, sidestepping
the fear of its consequences as imagined aggression stands in for real
strength. Before the “Pour out Your Wrath” segment of the traditional
Seder following the afikoman, the door is opened to welcome the
Prophet Elijah with joy in a moment of fulfillment. Yet underlying
this joy, the fear of external threats lurks about in the dark of the
night. Over the years, the collective memory of the Exodus kept alive
the hope for the future redemption of the Jewish people, upholding
national aspirations amid times of foreign domination, destruction,
loss of sovereignty, and exile.
This prompts the question: what does celebrating such a holiday mean
for a generation that has achieved sovereign power and has shed its
“iron chains”? In an era when Jewish identity is chosen and Jewish
power can be oppressive, the future of Passover as we know it risks
fading away, as “Nicanor Day” did, unless we find ways to imbue it
with new meaning.
The question of survival for previous generations was how to endure
and persist amid many enemies. In our generation, it seems that we
are at the beginning of an era when the most important question is
whether the Jewish people can survive without an enemy. Do we have
the tools to continue and to exist as a people and culture in conditions
of peace, global acceptance, prosperity, and equality, without constant
otherness or othering? One answer is “no.”The people will not
continue to exist but will assimilate and merge like many other
nations that intermingle and lose their distinct cultural identity.The
other option is isolation from the rest of the world while creating
constant and staged conflicts that will repeatedly prove the claim
that “the whole world is against us.”Thus, the modern Passover, like
7
its ancient predecessor, will continue to be a holiday about the
endless confrontation between Israel and the world.
Yet, there is a potential for Passover to undergo a
transformation akin to what modernity has done for Hanukkah
and Tu B’Shvat. Can Passover hold significance for the
contemporary individual, embodying redemption as complete
freedom? To achieve this, we must reimagine the Exodus from
Egypt not merely as a national struggle against an oppressor,
but as a profound clash of worldviews—the triumph of human
rights over the lust for conquest and dominance inherent in
every power structure.This reimagining invites us to consider
contemporary struggles through a similar lens, such as the
Palestinian liberation struggle.This movement, at its core,
asserts the rights to self-determination, land, and sovereignty,
as it challenges systems of control and occupation. By drawing
parallels between the ancient quest for freedom and modern
human rights struggles, we can enrich our understanding of
Passover as a universal symbol of liberation from oppression
that resonates with the ongoing fight for dignity and rights for
all people, including Palestinians.
From this perspective, the Exodus is a universal call resonating
from ancient times to the present day that could not have
occurred without five courageous women: Yocheved, who
defied Pharaoh’s order to kill her son Moses; Shifra and
Puah, the midwives who refused to carry out Pharaoh’s cruel
commands of killing the first-born; Miriam, Moses’s sister, who
watched over him in the Nile; and Batya, Pharaoh’s daughter,
who rescued Moses from the river.These women grasped the
essence of the struggle and spearheaded a human, national,
and feminist revolution of their era.Their message was clear: if
Pharaoh holds unchecked power, then true existence is denied.
They asserted that only by limiting power can freedom emerge,
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benefiting humanity as a whole.The freedom of one is incomplete
without the freedom of all.True freedom lies in inclusivity. It is about
respecting the dignity of every individual. For many, too many, even in
the most egalitarian societies, women are still merely the first among
the “others” and “unequals.”
Passover is, therefore, not a celebration of power but of freedom
after successfully limiting power. It commemorates the overthrow of
Egyptian oppression and of exclusion, and thus it heralds the dawn
of a global conscience demanding respect, dignity, and equality for all,
without exception. From a national point of view, this is an extremely
important message, especially in light of the new nationalistic winds
blowing throughout the world today. From a Jewish point of view, it is
not less important, possibly more so, as the transition from the status
of slavery to the status of freedom took place not only in the land
of Egypt but also in our personal lives. What makes us slaves today?
What are we slaves to? Our phones, our prejudices, our fears, our work,
our ambitions? Passover is the time to question these things, to break
free from the bonds that hold us back, and to embrace a renewed
sense of freedom, not solely as a chapter in history, but as a personal
experience.
Passover’s significance has transcended the anticipation of a time
when blessings are ours alone, and our adversaries are struck with
endless adversities. Such scenarios are neither plausible nor desired.
Today’s interpretation of Passover endorses a more modest, equitable,
and merciful principle, advocating for universal rights.The journey
to overcome our metaphorical “Egyptian-ness”—the individual
and collective hurdles we encounter—resides within each of us.
Our freedom is found not through miraculous deeds but through
embracing the philosophy of thinkers like Maimonides, who sought a
redemption beyond personal salvation and aimed for a world devoid
of dominion and oppression.This renewed vision imagines a society
where nations coexist peacefully, individuals respect one another,
9
gender equality is the norm, and the majority honors the rights
of the minority. Freedom for one must mean freedom for all
and we must acknowledge that the oppressor and the oppressed
are alike constrained by injustice. Reinterpreting ancient texts
without the bias of centuries of domination reveals a message
of modern redemption—a plea for equality among genders,
races, beliefs, and origins.Thus, Passover becomes an ode to
myriad diversities, featuring four sons, four daughters, four
strangers, four others—all unique, yet all equal, all valued
members of the cosmic family.
The meaning of Passover can evolve and adapt to the needs and
context of each generation. While its historical significance
as a celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage remains
central, its contemporary relevance can focus on broader
themes of freedom, human rights, and the pursuit of equality.
Passover can serve as a reminder to confront oppressive forces
in our lives and society, to strive for justice and inclusion,
and to reflect on what it means to be truly free. Its enduring
message of hope, resilience, and the potential for positive
change can continue to inspire people of all backgrounds in the
modern world.
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introduction
Why is this night different from all other nights?
Ignat A.
The Haggadah emerges as a unique jewel among Jewish ritual texts,
as it spotlights the traditions of family and home over those typically
observed in the synagogue. Enriched with blessings, prayers, legends,
commentaries, psalms, and songs, it serves as an anthology that
weaves together biblical,Talmudic, and Midrashic texts, alongside a
colorful patchwork of folklore and symbolic art. Crafted to captivate
laypeople and children alike, the Haggadah stands as one of the
most cherished cultural artifacts, with a remarkable ability to connect
generations and knit families together across millennia at the Seder
table.
The Haggadah’s theme, of marking the passage from bondage to
freedom, resonates through the ages in the Jewish collective memory
as exile and redemption.This theme finds a modern echo in the
struggles faced by the Palestinian people.The well-established
tradition of utilizing the Haggadah to advocate for a spectrum of
causes, from human rights to civil rights, makes it a fitting instrument
for bridging the deep divides that history, culture, and violence have
created between Israelis and Palestinians.1
Thus, this Peace Haggadah
champions a vision of a future where various communities within the
region can thrive in unison, proposing a binational or multiethnic/
multicultural federation as a peaceful resolution to the ongoing
violence. Our contributors, hailing from across Israel-Palestine, the
Middle East, and beyond, bring a wealth of viewpoints, all seeking
reconciliation as the way forward.This inclusive Haggadah stands out
in three interrelated ways:
1 Modern Haggadahs show a wide spectrum of perspectives, shaped by their unique contexts of place,
time, and ideology. Notable examples include Reform Jewish, Kibbutz, and even “neopagan” versions,
as described by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Haggadah and History (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication
Society, 1975), 70.
11
• Its collaborative effort highlights the shared experiences
of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, and points
toward a shared and interdependent future.
• Its joint authorship signifies a collective endeavor
towards a binational or multicultural solution for the
region.
• The inclusive approach culminates in the act of reading
and experiencing the Haggadah, perhaps at a seder
uniting Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others at the
same table to generate conversation among diverse
communities.
This Peace Haggadah is a complex construct that transcends
traditional boundaries. It merges spiritual and political
discourse. Mixing old rituals with today’s values, it brings a new
angle to discuss society and connect with people from all walks
of life and across denominations in Jewish communities and
beyond. By transforming participatory rituals into avenues for
social engagement, it invites everyone to take on roles as leaders,
observers, and participants. Far more than a ceremonial script,
it seeks social change through open, inclusive discussions that
address and bridge deep-rooted divides. While it diverges from
the traditional Haggadah, it is also cross-denominational and
may serve as a complementary text, enriching it with sections
designed to provoke thoughtful conversation. Ultimately, the
Peace Haggadah is dedicated to uniting people and promoting a
positive social change.
Haggadah and Belonging
The Haggadah captures a profound aspiration toward a goal
not yet realized, symbolized by the longing expression “Next
Year in Jerusalem!”This simple statement at the end of the
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Seder expresses persistence, portraying Passover not just as a festivity
of liberation, but as preserving the notion of a geographical location,
a concept deeply embedded in the Jewish collective consciousness.
Within the framework of the Israel-Palestine conflict, this notion,
together with that of exile and redemption, and the Jewish migration
to Palestine in general, acquires layers of complexity and nuance.
For Jews, returning to this land signifies a homecoming to a place rich
in historical, cultural, and religious importance. Yet, this homecoming
significantly impacted the Arab population of Palestine.The
establishment of the State of Israel has led to more displacement and
wars, precipitating the deep moral and political challenges faced by
Israelis, Palestinians, and the world at large.The violence, which has
spanned over a century, pits two distinct groups against each other as
both claim the same territory. More pointedly, it involves two groups
with overlapping but profoundly different languages, economies,
cultures, and histories. Clashes have been inevitable, largely because
integration has never yet been feasible. Nor has there been substantial
solidarity in creating a binational state. Yet these groups must find a
way to live together.
This Haggadah aims to reconcile the Jewish traditional connection
to the land with the objective reality of the Palestinian people.
Efforts toward peace, coexistence, and bridge-building are crucial in
navigating these complexities.They involve seeking a middle ground
that respects the historical and emotional ties each community has
to the land.The ongoing violence and the policies pursued by Israel
have significantly shaped the identities and narratives of both Israelis
and Palestinians and complicated the prospects for peaceful resolution
of the conflict. Acknowledging these complexities is essential to
understanding the profound impact of history on the sense of
belonging and identity for both Jews and Arabs in Palestine-Israel.
13
The Haggadah And The Seder
More than any other ceremonial object, the Haggadah
exemplifies the continuous evolution of the Jewish symbolic
tradition. It is one of the most enduring texts, akin to the
Torah (Hebrew Bible) and the Siddur (prayer book), evincing
remarkable uniformity across communities worldwide. Scholars
attribute this consistency to its standardization around the time
of the Herodian Temple or shortly after its destruction.2
In the Torah, Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals,
closely tied to the land’s agricultural rhythms, marked by the
presentation of the first fruits of the “Seven Species”—barley,
wheat, dates, figs, olives, pomegranates, and grapes—to the
Temple in Jerusalem during their respective seasons. However,
for Passover, each family was also required to bring a lamb or
goat to be sacrificed at the Temple, with the meat consumed
at the seder, accompanied by matzah (unleavened bread) and
maror (bitter herbs).3
On the eve of their exodus from Egypt,
the Israelites smeared the blood of a slaughtered lamb on their
doorposts.This act served as a signal for the angel of death
to “pass over” their homes during the last of the plagues, the
slaying of Egypt’s firstborn. Following the Temple’s destruction,
the Passover Seder preserved the narrative surrounding the
historical memory of the paschal lamb, which symbolized
purity, sacrifice, and redemption. In particular, the consumption
of symbolic foods and the recounting of the Exodus story
ensure that the memory survives.The decision to hold the
Seder in homes rather than synagogues also harks back to the
2 The transition of the Hebrew word for “cup” from feminine in Biblical Hebrew to masculine
in Rabbinic Hebrew provides key insights into the provenance of the Haggadah.The
feminine use of “cup” in the Haggadah points to its very early rabbinic origins, the time of
the canonization of the Hebrew Bible, and the translation of Hebrew scriptures into Greek
in the third–second centuries BCE.
3 The commandment and its details are outlined in the Torah, particularly in the book of
Exodus 12:1–14, 21–28; and reiterated with additional details in Deuteronomy 16:1–8.
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tradition of individual households bringing their paschal offerings to
the Temple.
The Haggadah bases the Seder on a Greco-Roman symposium
(“convivium” in Latin), a blend of relaxation, fine dining, and
socializing. In contrast to the symposium’s leisurely reclining and
foods that served as status symbols, the Seder uses these elements to
signify freedom and invoke conversation about collective memory.4
As the famous Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria (first century
CE) explains, “[The guests] are there not as in other festive gatherings,
to indulge the belly with wine...but to fulfill with prayers and hymns
the custom handed down by their fathers.”5
The Haggadah transcends
mere storytelling of liberation to engage guests in personal reflection
and intergenerational dialogue. It serves as a guide for guests,
prompting questions and deeper insights, akin to an educational
manual.This parallels the interactive entertainment of the Greco-
Roman symposium.The Haggadah could be likened to an interactive
screenplay, with guests navigating the evening through symbolic items
or props on the table.This approach transforms the recounting into
a dynamic, immersive experience, inviting personal and communal
exploration of its themes annually, much like the active participation
and dialogue encouraged in a workshop or seminar.
4 Reclining is an old west Mesopotamian custom (criticized by Amos, 6:4), which spread to Persians
(Esther 1:6), Greeks, and Romans.The word that is used in the Haggadah for “recline,” mesubin, was
the term used in antiquity; its literal meaning is “encircle” because couches were arranged in a circle in
the classical dining hall.
5 Philo, Special Laws, 2:145–148.
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The Symbolic Props on the Seder Table
Each of these items serves to fulfill the commandment to retell
the story of the Exodus and engage participants in a multi-
sensory experience designed to connect them personally to the
narrative of slavery and liberation .The Seder table is a tableau
of teaching and remembrance ,inviting all to explore the
human yearning for freedom.
The Seder Plate (Ki-arah or Qi3ara) is the central item on the
table, holding specific symbolic foods:
• Maror: Bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and
harshness of slavery the Israelites endured in Egypt.
• Ḥaroset: A sweet, dark mixture of fruits, nuts, and often
grape juice or wine, representing the mortar used by the
Israelite slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt.
• Karpas: An herb or vegetable (often parsley) to be
dipped in salt water at the beginning of the Seder,
symbolizing the tears and pain of slavery, and also spring.
• Zeroa: A shank bone or beet representing the
sacrificial lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem to
commemorate the Israelites’ use of the lamb’s blood to
mark their doorposts so that the final plague would pass
over their homes.
• Beitzah: A roasted egg symbolizing both the festival
sacrifice brought in the days of the Temple, and also
mourning for the destruction of the Temple. In addition,
the roundness of the egg represents the cycle of life and
renewal.
• Ḥazeret: Often a second bitter herb, such as romaine
lettuce, also representing the bitterness of slavery.
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The practice of placing an orange on the Seder plate is a modern
symbol of inclusivity within Judaism, emphasizing the value and
necessity of embracing marginalized groups, such as women and
LGBTQ+ individuals.There is a popular but inaccurate legend that
this practice originated from a man’s derogatory remark to Susannah
Heschel, a well-known feminist, Jewish studies scholar, and daughter
of the famous rabbi and civil rights activist, Abraham Joshua Heschel.
According to the legend, the man claimed that a woman's presence on
the bimah (the platform in a synagogue from which services are led)
was as appropriate as an orange on the Seder plate. In truth, Heschel
was inspired by a story by Shifra Freewoman, née Susan Fielding,
titled “A Crust of Bread at the Seder Table,” which portrays a young
Jewish lesbian who, after being dismissively told by her Hasidic rebbe
that lesbians belong in Judaism as much as hametz (leavened bread,
which is forbidden during Passover) belongs at the Seder table, places
a crust of bread on her Seder plate in defiance. Freewoman’s fictional
account was featured in the Oberlin Haggadah. However, at the
Oberlin Seder, the students innovated by designating a space on the
Seder plate for Maqom, a term meaning space and also one of the
names for God, as a gesture of inclusion for all who have felt excluded,
linking this act to the Divine. A few years later, during a visit to
Oberlin, Heschel encountered the story in the Oberlin Haggadah
but mistakenly thought that the students had placed a crust of bread
on the Seder table. Uncomfortable with this gesture (since bread is
hametz), Heschel introduced the orange on the Seder plate as a new
symbol of solidarity and acceptance.6
6 Deborah Eisehnbach-Budner and Alex Borns-Weil, “The Background to the
Background of the Orange on the Seder Plate and a Ritual of Inclusion.” Ritualwell,
https://ritualwell.org/ritual/background-background-orange-seder-plate-and-
ritual-inclusion/; Susan Fielding, “A Crust of Bread at the Seder Table.” Ritualwell,
https://ritualwell.org/ritual/crust-bread-seder-table/?_gl=1*13f1m2j*_gcl_
au*MTAzNDU2NTczOC4xNzA3Mjk1MzE3*_ga*MTMzNTU2MDcwOS4xNzA3Mjk1MzE3*_
ga_WRW9SLZZ22*MTcwNzI5NTMxNy4xLjAuMTcwNzI5NTMxNy4wLjAuMA.. Freewoman’s
story was a response to a brief article in the New Women’s Times about a group of women who asked a
rabbi, “What is the place of a lesbian in Judaism?” He replied, “There is as much place for a lesbian in
Judaism as there is for ḥametz at the seder table.”Thanks to Shifra Freewoman for her help with the
details of this story.
17
The addition of an olive to the Seder plate is also a relatively
recent innovation, symbolizing a gesture of solidarity with
the Palestinian people. Initiated by the writer-poet, Elliott
batTzedek, in Philadelphia in 2002, this addition has grown to
symbolize the broader aspirations for peace between Israelis
and Palestinians.The olive, emblematic of the olive trees
that have been uprooted in Palestine, serves as a powerful
call to remember and act towards peace.This practice gained
further visibility through the play “An Olive on the Seder
Plate” (2008), directed by Deb Shoval, as well as a Jewish Voice
for Peace Haggadah supplement released in the same year and
advocating for the inclusion of the olive as a symbol of peace.
Some in the Jewish community consider this act of adding an
olive a meaningful addition to their Seder rituals that reflects a
commitment to addressing and contemplating the complexities
of the Israel-Palestine conflict within the context of a tradition
that celebrates freedom and justice.
The other props on the Seder table:
Three Matzot of Humility: Matzah is unleavened bread.Three
matzot are stacked on a separate plate on the table and covered.
They symbolize the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt
without waiting for their bread to rise. Ḥametz is bread made
with sourdough or yeast.The traditional Seder presupposes the
removal of Ḥametz from the household prior to the start of
the holiday.This is done in two ways: first practically, and then
ritually, by searching for it by candlelight throughout the home,
in every nook and cranny, wherever it may possibly be found;
a candle is used , because “the human soul is a Divine candle "
(Proverbs 20:27). Matzah is known as the “Bread of Affliction”
or the “Bread of Poverty.”The ambiguity in the meaning stems
not only from the Hebrew-Aramaic term Leḥem 3oni, which
has both connotations, but also from it symbolizing freedom in
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the Seder ritual.The ambiguity is resolved through understanding that
the Seder is not simply a celebration, but also an introspective exercise.
Ḥametz is traditionally understood as symbolic of ego, haughtiness,
and selfishness.The practice of refraining from consuming ḥametz, as
in the saying, “you are what you eat,” means that one must remove
ego and selfishness. “No flour offering to God shall be processed with
ḥametz” (Leviticus 2:11). Rabbi Alexander echoes this idea in the
Talmudic tractate Berakhot 17a: “What hinders” is “the sour matter in
the dough and our enslavement by governments!”
Four Cups of Freedom: The participants drink the “fruit of the
vine” four times at the Seder, and traditionally they drink a full
cup each time. Each cup represents a line from Exodus 6:6-7
expressing freedom: “I will liberate you from under the burdens of
the Egyptians…,”“I will deliver you from their bondage…,”“I will
redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments…,”“I
will take you to Me for a people, and I will be your God….”7
For the
purposes of this Haggadah,
• liberation from slavery is represented by the Cup of Liberation
• deliverance from oppression is represented by the Cup of
Deliverance
• redemption through intervention is represented by the Cup of
Redemption
• the establishment of a new relationship is represented by the
Cup of Covenant
Cup of Eliyahu: Elijah the Prophet is said to visit every Jewish home
during the Seder, symbolizing the hope for redemption and the
coming of the Messiah.The opening of the door for Elijah during the
Seder is a ritual act that expresses faith in God's future redemption of
7 The rabbis made up the ritual of four cups on the basis of this verse, but they were also referring to the
four cups that are explicitly mentioned in the Hebrew Bible: a cup of wrath (Jeremiah 25:15) , a cup
of stupor (Isaiah 51:17), a cup of salvation (Psalms 116:13), and a cup of consolation (Jeremiah 16:7).
19
the Jewish people.This tradition is rooted in the Jewish belief
that Elijah will resolve all doubts and herald the arrival of the
Messiah; it expresses optimism for a future era of peace and
divine justice and symbolizes hope for a better world. Notably,
in the Mishnah, Elijah is known as the “peacemaker” (Edduyot
8:7).
Cup of Miriam: The Cup of Miriam was introduced to
celebrate and recognize the pivotal role of women, such as
Miriam, in Jewish history. It has become a contemporary
feature at many Passover Seder tables.This addition draws
inspiration from the legend of Miriam’s Well, a miraculous
water source that, according to Jewish lore, God granted
because of Miriam’s virtuousness; legend says that it
accompanied the Israelites throughout their forty-year
wanderings in the desert. Miriam's Cup, filled with water,
serves not only as a symbol of Miriam's contribution to the
Passover story of liberation, but also represents the essential,
life-giving role of water; thus, it underscores themes of
sustenance, purification, and renewal.
How to use this Haggadah
This Haggadah can be used in many ways—not only as a
guide for the first or second night of Passover within the
Jewish family home or at an interfaith gathering but also as a
meaningful document beyond its traditional use. Its stories and
symbols can shape discussions on politics, conflict resolution,
ethics, gender equality, lived experiences, and the future. It is
adaptable for any seder, whether as the main Haggadah or as
a supplement to enrich a more traditional Seder experience.
Additionally, it can serve as a basis for conversation on any
night during Passover, or even beyond the holiday. On any day
of the year, it urges us to contemplate the shared struggle for
liberty and dignity while championing principles of freedom,
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empathy, and justice. Its core narrative resonates with modern
liberation movements, advocating for reconciliation and inclusivity.
It beckons us to envision a future marked by shared sovereignty
in Israel-Palestine.The hopeful cry of “Next Year in Jerusalem!”
encapsulates the Haggadah ethos—a yearning for a society where all
can thrive in freedom, peace, and belonging.This call challenges us
to translate principles into action as we strive to build such a society.
May this Peace Haggadah inspire us to pursue justice, compassion, and
peace. May its teachings lead us toward understanding as we work
together to achieve our shared aspirations for humanity.
You can find notes on Translation and Prayer Language at the back of
the Haggadah.
Note on transliteration:
We are providing two different transliterations for the Hebrew in
this Haggadah. Depending on your background, you may find one,
both, or elements of both familiar, and the other elements unfamiliar
and perhaps even a bit strange. We hope that your use of the Peace
Haggadah encourages you to become more comfortable embracing
the unfamiliar—but this is not why we chose to do the transliterations
this way.
On the left-hand side, you will find simplified transliterations
intended primarily for Ashkenazi anglophones.These will be labeled
“Transliteration A.”
On the right-hand side, labeled “Transliteration 1,” you will find
transliterations that follow fairly standard academic conventions for
most of the letters and take inspiration from 3arabizi, the Arabic chat
alphabet, for two letters.1
This transliteration system lets those who
1 3Arabizi, sometimes called Arabizi, 3Arabglizi, Arabglizi, 3Arablish, Arabish, or the Arabic chat
alphabet, is a spelling system developed creatively by Arabic-speaking users of early cell phones in
the 1990s and the early 2000s.These phones offered numbers and Roman letters (the ones used in
English), but no Arabic letters, so users had to come up with creative ways to render Arabic letters
and sounds with what they had.Their solutions work well enough that they have only grown in use
since, and they are now widely used in the Arabic-speaking world and among students of the language.
21
grew up with non-Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew use
their pronunciation.These transliterations should be easy to
follow for most people, including those used to either 3arabizi
or standard academic transliterations.They should also be
useful for anyone wishing to pronounce the Hebrew accurately
and to recognize words and cognates.This transliteration
system is based on one introduced in the book Jewish Africans
Describe Their Lives.2
Why two systems? Different readers have different needs, and it
is important to us to honor all of them.The Haggadah focuses
on inclusion, and inclusion needs to include in as many areas
and ways as possible. It is also important in this Haggadah to
emphasize the similarities between Hebrew and Arabic, and
the 1. transliterations do that. At the same time, we understand
that there are readers who will find the Transliteration 1.
system too unfamiliar to follow and so we are providing the
Transliteration A. option as well.
In the Transliteration A. system, a hyphen (-) is used to
represent a pause, like the one in “uh-oh.” (Technically, this
pause is called a glottal stop.) A kh is used to represent the
fricative sound indicated by ch in “Bach” and “Loch Ness
monster.”The r may be pronounced like the uvular r of Yiddish,
or like the trill r of Spanish and Italian, or like the flap that
Americans use for the tt of “letter.” If you are not comfortable
with any of the other rs, try the flap.The Hebrew schwa,
pronounced like the i in “community,” is usually represented
with an “i,” but sometimes omitted.
We are adopting only two symbols of this system, and otherwise combining it with systems
commonly used for Hebrew transliteration; see footnote 9 below for more. For more on
3Arabizi, see https://www.etoninstitute.com/blog/arabizi.
2 See Nina Judith Katz, “Note on Transliteration System,” in Jewish Africans Describe Their Lives:
Evidence of an Unrecognized Indigenous People, edited by Marla Brettschneider and Bonita
Nathan Sussman (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2023).
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The Transliteration 1. system follows standard academic conventions
in its representations of most letters. It uses the number 2 for alef
(‫;)א‬ this represents a glottal stop, familiar to English speakers as the
pause in the middle of “uh-oh.”This use of 2 for alef follows 3arabizi,
which uses 2 to represent the ḥamza in Arabic. Similarly, the number
3 represents an ayin (3ayin, ‫ע‬, cognate with ‫)ع‬. In Hebrew, this may
be pronounced as either a glottal stop or a pharyngeal stop. Like
a glottal stop (again, as in uh-oh) a pharyngeal stop is a very short
pause, but made further back in the throat.The pharyngeal stop is
the original pronunciation of this letter.The ḥ symbol, an h with a
dot under it, represents the letter ḥet (‫)ח‬.This may be pronounced
either as a fricative kh, as in “Bach” and “Loch Ness monster,” or
as a breathier, “heavier” h sound, pronounced in the back of the
throat; this is a voiceless pharyngeal fricative, cognate with and
equivalent to ‫ح‬. Kh also represents the fricative sound of “Bach” and
“Loch Ness”; in this transliteration system, it is used to represent
the letter ‫כ‬, cognate with and equivalent to ‫خ‬.The q represents
the letter quf (‫)ק‬, which is cognate with ‫;ق‬ in Hebrew, this may
be pronounced either like a regular k or like a k that comes from
the back of mouth, a uvular k.The letter i is used to represent the
Hebrew schwa when it is pronounced; in Hebrew, this sounds like
the i in “community.”The ī is used to represent a longer i sound, as
in the word “elite,” i.e. an ee sound.The r sound is different from the
English r.The r pronunciations commonly used in Arabic, Spanish,
Russian, Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic are all commonly used
for Hebrew. For American English speakers, the easiest option will
be to use the pronunciation you use for the tt in “better” and for
the dd in “ladder”—but if you say these words carefully, the sound
changes; it’s the sound from rapid speech that is the same as an r in
many languages, and will work for Hebrew as well. In linguistic terms,
a Hebrew r may be pronounced as a uvular approximate, a uvular
fricative, a uvular trill, or as an alveolar flap or trill.
23
The more common convention for distinguishing between
the alef and the ayin in Hebrew transliteration is to use
apostrophes and let the subtle difference between ‘ and ’
differentiate between them.The problem with this convention
is that the difference is hard to see on the page; this means that
it is not an accessible option. In addition, many transliterations
also use apostrophes to indicate the schwa, so the symbol has
three potential interpretations instead of one.The difference
between 2 and 3, on the other hand, is readily visible, and
this system is familiar to most speakers and students of
Arabic. It is also easier to learn and remember than the two
apostrophe directions.The numbers look more similar to the
corresponding Arabic letters than to their Hebrew equivalents,
but if you picture the Hebrew letters rotated 90º, you can
see a resemblance to their corresponding numbers. Finally,
borrowing this use of 2 and 3 for these letters from 3arabizi
lets us emphasize the similarity between Hebrew and Arabic.
(Interestingly, 3 is sometimes used in Middle English as well,
but in Middle English it represents a Y.)
For the most part, the transliterations follow the practice of
Hebrew and other Semitic languages in not using capital letters.
The only exceptions are when a transliteration is incorporated
into an English sentence, and more generally to mark the
beginning of sentences.
Finally, for Hebrew words used in English sentences and in
section headings, we sometimes depart from both of these
systems, because the choices here are influenced by English
spelling conventions, sometimes adapted slightly in light of
considerations discussed here. In addition, transliterations
in song lyrics and song titles often follow those used by
the songwriter, and may differ greatly from all the other
transliterations.
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Note on the prayer language:
The traditional prayers follow a set formula, which we offer here
with variations. Feel free to use whichever variant speaks to you
in the moment, or to create your own.The traditional variant uses
masculine-gendered language for God.To this we add variants in
the, feminine and in language as close to gender-neutral as we can
coax Hebrew into; this usually means abstract.The decision to include
all three versions, and the decision to keep the masculine version
completely unchanged, were made with a view to maximal inclusivity.
We have opted for gender-neutral English translations of all three
versions.This means that in English, the feminine and masculine
versions will sometimes be identical, e.g. when the feminine merely
substitutes queenship for kingship; they will be different when the
feminine version offers other epithets for the divine relationship to
the world.The gender-neutral version begins with “Let us bless” and
uses more abstract language.
This is because of the quirks of Hebrew gender. Almost all verb forms
in Hebrew are gendered, as are most other words.The main exception
is first-person verbs, i.e. the verb forms for “we” and “I.” (The present
tense, which uses participle forms, is an exception to the exception).
Because the first-person forms are common gender, we follow
Marcia Falk’s lead in using the first-person plural ‫נברך‬, nivarekh, to
begin the gender-neutral blessings, and then we use largely abstract
nouns to refer to God. We also use gerunds instead of verb forms
to refer to God’s actions, because this again lets us avoid gendering
(i.e., misgendering) God.The gerunds themselves have gender, like
all Hebrew nouns, but their gender does not reflect any conceptions
about God or people.
One word in the standard prayer formula appears in all the variations,
but is never pronounced; this is the tetragrammaton, the four-letter
25
name of God (‫)יהוה‬, which is considered ineffable. It is
often abbreviated as ‫יי‬ or ‫;ה׳‬ these abbreviations are also not
pronounced.The name means approximately “Causer of Being.”
Another God name is always said instead of pronouncing
this name. Most often, people substitute “2Adonai,” which
means “my Lords.” (Yes, it really is plural, but used with
singular agreement and understood as singular.) Some people
now substitute the similar word “2Adanai,” which means “my
foundations”; and we use this in several of the transliterations.
Another traditional option is to say “Yah,” the God name
in halleluYah; this is essentially a nickname for the four-
letter name, but one that it is permitted to pronounce. Other
options include “Shekhinah,” which means “immanent Divine
Presence,” or “2Ein Sof,” meaning “Infinity” or “the Infinite.”
Feel free to use the name of your preference, regardless of the
name in the transliteration.The translations offered for the
tetragrammaton in the prayers in this Haggadah do not always
correspond to literal translations of the God names chosen for
the transliterations.3
3 Many of the blessings used here were inspired by the mutkan blessings in Siddur Birkat
Shalom, 2nd ed. (Somerville, MA: Havurat Shalom Siddur Project, 2021), the practices
of the Havurat Shalom community, and by Marcia Falk’s work, particularly her The Book
of Blessings (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1996). We are also inspired by the work of
Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater in her Haggadah Shir Ge’ulah—The Song of Liberation
Haggadah (US: Vatichtov Press, 2014).The use of 2Adanai for the tetragrammaton was
introduced by Aliza Arzt at the Havurat Shalom community; thanks are also due to
Aliza Arzt for consultations on the gender-neutral ‫חיינו‬ ‫על‬ blessing and on the additions
to ‫עניא‬ ‫לחמא‬ ‫הא‬. At this point, a growing number of communities and liturgists are
experimenting with variations in the language and gender choices in our blessings.
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27
CANDLE LIGHTING
CEREMONY
INSTRUCTIONS In the Jewish calendar, a day
commences at nightfall. We mark the onset of festivals in
the evening with the ceremonial lighting of candles and a
blessing is said over the lights:
Traditional version
ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ָ�‫ָׁש‬ְ�‫ְּד‬ ִ
‫ִק‬ ‫ר‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,ָ‫ָי‬ְ‫ְי‬ ‫ה‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָר‬�‫ָּב‬
.‫ב‬ ֹ
‫טֹו‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ
‫יֹו‬ ]‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫ָת‬�‫ָּב‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬[ ‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ֵר‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫יק‬ִ‫ִל‬ְ‫ְד‬ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ָּו�ָנ‬ִ‫ְִצ‬‫ְו‬ ‫יו‬ ָ‫ָת‬ ֹ
‫ְֹו‬‫ְצ‬ ִ
‫ְִמ‬�‫ְּב‬
Transliteration A.
Barukh atah adonai,
eloheinu melekh ha-
olam, asher kidshanu
bimitzvotav vitzivanu
lihadlik ner shel [shabbat
veshel] yom tov.
Transliteration 1.
Barukh 2atah 2adonai,
2eloheinu melekh
ha3olam, 2asher qīdshanu
bimītzvotav vitzīvanu
lihadlīq ner shel [shabbat
vishel] yom tov.
Translation: Blessed are you, Eternal our God, Ruler of the
universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments
and commanded us to kindle the [Shabbat and] festival
lights.
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Feminine version
ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְת‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬ְ�‫ְּד‬ ִ
‫ִק‬ ‫ר‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ,‫ִים‬‫ִי‬ ַ‫ַח‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ר‬ ֹ
‫קֹו‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬
.‫ב‬ ֹ
‫טֹו‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ
‫יֹו‬ ]‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫ָת‬�‫ָּב‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬[ ‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶשׁ‬ ‫ֵר‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫ק‬ִ‫ִל‬ְ‫ְד‬ ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ַּו�ְַת‬ִ‫ְִצ‬‫ְו‬ ‫יה‬ ֶ‫ֶת‬ ֹ
‫ְֹו‬‫ְצ‬ ִ
‫ְִמ‬�‫ְּב‬
Transliteration A.
Birukhah at adonai,
elohateinu mikor hakhayyim,
asher kidshatnu bimitzvoteha
vitsivatnu lihadlik ner shel
[shabbat veshel] yom tov.
Transliteration 1.
Birukhah 2at 2adonai 2elohateinu
miqor haḥayyīm 2asher qidshatnu
bimītzvoteha vitzivatnu lihadlīq ner
shel [shabbat vishel] yom tov.
Translation: Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Source of life,
who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded
us to kindle the [Shabbat and] festival lights.
Gender-neutral version
‫ת‬ ֹ
‫ְוֹו‬‫ְצ‬ ִ
‫ְּב�ִּמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ ָ�‫ָּד�ָּשׁ‬ ְ
‫ְק‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ּח‬‫ּו‬‫ר‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ�‫ְְך‬ ֶ
‫ֶָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬
.‫ב‬ ֹ
‫טֹו‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ
‫יֹו‬ ]‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫ָת‬�‫ָּב‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬[ ‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶשׁ‬ ‫ֵר‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫ת‬ ַ
‫ַָק‬‫ָל‬ְ‫ְד‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ַת‬‫ַו‬ְ‫ְצ‬ ִ
‫ִמ‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ְַע‬‫ְו‬
Transliteration A.
Nivarekh et yah, elohuteinu
ruakh ha-olam, al
hakdashateinu bimitzvot vi-
al mitzvat hadlakat ner shel
[shabbat veshel] yom tov.
Transliteration 1.
Nivarekh 2et yah, 2elohuteinu
ruaḥ ha3olam, 3al haqdashateinu
bimītzvot vi3al mitzvat hadlaqat ner
shel [shabbat vishel] yom tov.
Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, Spirit of the world, for
making us holy with the commandment to kindle the [Shabbat
and] festival lights.
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INSTRUCTIONS: The Haggadah is read collectively,
guided by a leader who orchestrates the reading or by
participants taking turns at points designated “Read Aloud.”
Once everyone is seated, with the Seder Plate and the three
matzot on the table, all sing in unison:
‫ב‬ ֹ
‫ֹו‬ ּ‫ה–ּט‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ‫ֵה‬�‫ֵּנ‬ ִ
‫ִה‬
‫ֶת‬‫ֶׁב‬�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ים‬ ִ
‫ָּנ�ִּע‬-‫ה‬ ַ‫ַּמ‬‫ּו‬
‫ד‬ ַ‫ַַח‬‫ַי‬-‫ם‬ּ�‫ַּג‬ ‫ים‬ ִ
‫ִח‬ ַ‫ַא‬
‫ב‬ ֹ
‫ֹו‬ ּ‫ה–ּט‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ‫ֵה‬�‫ֵּנ‬ ִ
‫ִה‬
‫ֶת‬‫ֶׁב‬�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ים‬ ִ
‫ָּנ�ִּע‬-‫ה‬ ַ‫ַּמ‬‫ּו‬
‫ד‬ ַ‫ַַח‬‫ַי‬-‫ם‬ּ�‫ַּג‬ ‫ת‬ ֹ
‫יֹו‬ ָ‫ָח‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬
‫ב‬ ֹ
‫ֹו‬ ּ‫ה–ּט‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ‫ֵה‬�‫ֵּנ‬ ִ
‫ִה‬
‫ֶת‬‫ֶׁב‬�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ים‬ ִ
‫ָּנ�ִּע‬-‫ה‬ ַ‫ַּמ‬‫ּו‬
‫ד‬ ַ‫ַַח‬‫ַי‬-‫ם‬ּ�‫ַּג‬ ‫ים‬ ִ�‫ִּמ‬ַ‫ַע‬
How good and how pleasant it is
for brothers to dwell together in
unity. [Psalm 133:1]
How good and how pleasant it is
for sisters to dwell together in unity.
How good and how pleasant it is
for peoples to dwell together in
unity.
Transliteration A.
Hinei mah tov umah na-im
shevet akhim gam yakhad.
Hinei mah tov umah na-im
shevet akhayot gam yakhad.
Hinei mah tov umah na-im
shevet amim gam yakhad.
Transliteration 1.
Hīnei mah tov umah na3im
shevet 2aḥim gam yaḥad.
Hīnei mah tov umah na3īm
shevet 2aḥayot gam yaḥad.
Hīnei mah tov umah na3īm
shevet 3amīm gam yaḥad.
The song, based on Psalm 133:1, starts with the theme of
brotherhood and has been expanded to include sisters and
nations, promoting inclusivity and unity on a micro- and
macro-scale. It expresses a universal longing for peace
and harmony, extending beyond personal and communal
relationships to embrace a broader spectrum of human
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connections.This adaptation honors the essence of the original Psalm
while incorporating the diversity of humanity in a unified spirit.
Todd Herzog, serving as a Cantorial Soloist at Temple Solel in
Phoenix, brings a fresh perspective to “Hinei Ma Tov Umah Na-im,”
a song celebrating togetherness.This version of the song at the start
of the Seder foreshadows the song “Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu” at its
conclusion, seamlessly linking the themes of peace and togetherness
that resonate throughout both songs.
Hinei Mah Tov - Key: Eb
Todd Herzog
Hinei mah tov umah na-im
shevet akhim gam yakhad (2x)
How beautiful it is to be here
Feeling like we belong
Arm in arm just like
sisters and brothers
Joined together in song
Hinei mah tov umah na-im
shevet akhim gam yakhad. (2x)
shevet akhayot gam yakhad.
shevet amim gam yakhad.
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KADESH
BLESSING OVER THE FRUIT OF THE
GRAPEVINE
The Kiddush blessing, recited over drinking the “fruit of the
grapevine,” introduces the Cup of Liberation, an important
moment in setting the tone and intention of the Seder night
and sanctifying the space for shared humanity, responsibility,
and values.
According to custom, participants pour drinks for one another
so as to care for the needs of others rather than serving
themselves.This symbolic interaction encourages a sense of
unity among people from diverse backgrounds and a stronger
commitment to active listening.
The traditional Kiddush may create ambiguity with its
exclusionary assertion: “Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler
of the universe, who has chosen us from all peoples, and exalted us
above all tongues, and sanctified us with the commandments. You
have lovingly given us, Infinite One our God, appointed times for
joy….” This wording, derived from various biblical texts, raises
the oft-repeated (and misunderstood) concept of “chosenness.”
To address these concerns and encourage unity, we introduce an
alternative Kiddush from the Tosefta, dating from the second-
century CE; this version of the Kiddush refers to love and
mercy instead of chosenness.
READ ALOUD
As we recite this Kiddush, we aim to embrace a more inclusive
understanding of chosenness. We believe that each person has
unique talents and is chosen to contribute positively to our
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world.The Kiddush also mentions the idea of the “covenant” from the
Hebrew Bible, which established rules for both God and people. In
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, radical British thinkers used
this concept to argue for the need for a system of limited government
with separate powers (branches of government) and checks and
balances.They wanted to limit government power in order to protect
people’s rights.Their ideas influenced the development of the first
modern federal system in the US Constitution. With this Kiddush,
we aspire to build a new community based on democracy and
ensuring that everyone's rights are protected.
Commentary: The Meaning of Chosenness
By Ignat A.
The concept of "chosenness" in Judaism is a multifaceted phenomenon,
intertwining spiritual, emotional, and political dimensions in a manner
that resists simplistic classification. This concept raises the debate over
whether "chosenness" is an inherent attribute of Jewish identity or a goal.
Historically, these interpretations have coexisted, merging seamlessly
without necessitating a clear separation. Yet, within the Israel-Palestine
context, the interpretation of "chosenness" has undergone significant
evolution, linking Jewish sovereignty with a mix of secular and religious
readings and leading to tangible political consequences.
The practice among ancient Near Eastern city-states of adopting a patron
deity, whom they credited for military triumphs as evidence of divine favor,
reflects the "Chosen People" ideology. The Haggadah reinforces this by
crediting rescue from slavery to God's intervention, which challenged
the deities of Egypt through the plagues and reaffirmed a covenant that
implies mutual selection between God and the Israelites. This backdrop,
together with the Judeans' conviction of divine providence during their
exile, highlights a dynamic covenant-based relationship rather than one
founded on conquest.
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In the Hebrew Bible, "chosenness" is depicted as conditional,
linked to the observance of God's commandments, with Jewish
identity being shaped by law and covenant rather than by race
or geography. This concept entails both a continuous challenge
to comply with divine laws and a core aspect of Jewish identity,
predating but continuing to evolve in parallel with Zionism, the
establishment of the State of Israel, and the ongoing conflict with
Palestinians. The stakes surrounding this notion are significant. It
prompts reflection on how "chosenness" might either challenge
or bolster the aims and duties of individuals and communities.
Furthermore, it raises questions about its impact on the potential for
reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
INSTRUCTION One participant rises to recite the
Kiddush over the Cup of Liberation. Following this, the
prayer “Who has granted us life” (Sheḥekheyanu) is offered,
a heartfelt acknowledgment of gratitude for life’s blessings.
After these recitations, drink from the cup. It is customary
to drink while reclining to the left, mirroring the practices
of the symposium in antiquity. This act symbolizes freedom,
leisure, and control over our collective destiny.
,ָ‫ָך‬ ֶ�‫ֶּמ‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫ל‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ָ
‫ָר‬ְ�‫ְׂש‬ִ‫ִי‬ ‫ת‬ ֶ‫ֶא‬ ָ�‫ְָּת‬‫ְב‬ַ‫ַה‬ ָ‫ָא‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ,ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ‫יי‬ ,ָ‫ָך‬ ְ‫ְָת‬‫ָב‬ֲ‫ֲה‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ֵ‫ֵמ‬
,ּ‫ּו‬‫ָנ‬�‫ָּל‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַָת‬‫ָנ‬ ,ָ‫ָך‬ ֶ‫יֶת‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬‫ְב‬ ‫ֵי‬‫ֵנ‬ְ�‫ְּב‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ָ�‫ְָּת‬‫ְל‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ֲ‫ֲח‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ,ּ‫ּו‬‫ֵנ‬�‫ֵּכ‬ְ‫ְל‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ָ‫ָך‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ְ‫ְל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ ֲ‫ֲח‬ ֵ‫ֵּמ‬‫ּו‬
‫ֶה‬
� ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ׁ‫ׁש‬ ֹ
‫דֹו‬ ָ�‫ָּק‬ ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְו‬ ‫ל‬ ֹ
‫ָדֹו‬�‫ָּג‬ַ‫ַה‬ )‫י‬ ִ
‫יִע‬ִ‫ִב‬ְ��‫ְּׁש‬ַ‫(ַה‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ
‫יֹו‬ ‫ת‬ ֶ‫ֶא‬ ,ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ’‫ה‬
.‫ָה‬‫ָב‬ֲ‫ֲה‬ ַ‫ְַא‬�‫ְּב‬
Transliteration 1.
Me2ahavatkha, 2adonai
2eloheinu, she2ahavta
2et Yīsra2el 3ameḥa,
umeḥameltkha
malkeinu, sheḥamalta 3al
Transliteration A.
Me-ahavatkha, adonai
eloheinu, she-ahavta
et yisra-el amekha,
umeikhameltkha
malkeinu, shekhamalta
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binei virītekha, natata
lanu, 2adonai 2eloheinu,
2et yom (hashvī3ī)
hagadol vihaqadosh hazeh
bi2ahavah.
al binei viritekha, natata lanu,
adonai eloheinu, et yom (hashvi-i)
hagadol vihakadosh hazeh
b-ahavah.
Translation: Because of your love, Divine One, our God, for your
people Israel, and the mercy you showed to the people of your
covenant, you gave us this great and holy day in love. (Tosefta
Berakhot III, 11).
Traditional version
.‫ֶן‬‫ֶפ‬ּ�‫ָּג‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫י‬ ִ
‫ְּפ�ִּר‬ ‫א‬ ֵ
‫ֵר‬ ֹ
‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ה‬ ּ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָּב�ּר‬
Transliteration A.
Barukh atah adonai,
eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
borei pri hagafen.
Transliteration 1.
Barukh 2atah 2adonai, 2eloheinu
melekh ha3olam, borei2 pirī
hagafen.
Translation: Blessed are You, Source of Being, our God, Ruler of
the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Feminine version:
.‫ֶן‬‫ֶפ‬ָ‫ָג‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫י‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫את‬ ֵ
‫ֵר‬ ֹ
‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ַת‬�‫ַּכ‬‫ל‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬
Transliteration A.
Birukhah at yah, elohateinu
malkat ha-olam, boreit pri
hagafen.
Transliteration 1.
Birukhah 2at yah, 2elohateinu
malkat ha3olam, borei2t pirī
hagafen.
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Translation: Blessed are You, Source of Being, our God,
Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Gender-neutral version:
‫י‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫ת‬ ַ‫יַא‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬�‫ְּב‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ים‬ ִ
‫ִַמ‬‫ַל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵח‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ�‫ְְך‬ ֶ
‫ֶָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬
.‫ֶן‬‫ֶפ‬ָ�‫ָּג‬ַ‫ַה‬
Transliteration A.
Nivarekh et yah,
elohuteinu khei ha-
olamim, al biri-at pri
hagafen.
Transliteration 1.
Nivarekh 2et yah,
2elohuteinu ḥei ha3olamīm,
3al birī2at pirī hagafen.
Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, Life of all
worlds, for the creation of the fruit of the vine.
THE SHEHEḤIYANU PRAYER
Traditional version:
ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ָ‫ְָמ‬�‫ְּי‬ ִ
‫ְִק‬‫ְו‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ָנ‬‫ָי‬ ֱ‫ֱח‬ ֶ‫ֶה‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,ָ‫ָי‬ְ‫ְי‬ ‫ה‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָר‬�‫ָּב‬
.‫ֶה‬
� ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ן‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬
�‫ְַּז‬‫ַל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ָ‫יָע‬ִ�‫ִּג‬ ִ
‫ְִה‬‫ְו‬
Transliteration A.
Barukh atah adanai,
eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
shehekheyanu Vikiyimanu
vihigi-anu lazman hazeh.
Transliteration 1.
Barukh 2atah 2adanai,
2eloheinu melekh ha3olam,
sheheḥeyanu viqīyimanu
vihigī3anu lazman hazeh.
Translation: Blessed are You, Source of Being, our God,
Ruler of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us,
and enabled us to reach this occasion.
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Feminine version:
ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְת‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬�‫ְּי‬ ִ
‫ְִק‬‫ְו‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְַת‬‫ַי‬ ֶ‫ֶח‬ ֶ‫ֶה‬ ֶ�‫ֶשׁ‬ ,‫ִים‬‫ִי‬ ַ‫ַח‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ר‬ ֹ
‫קֹו‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬
.‫ֶה‬
� ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ן‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬‫ְז‬ַ‫ַל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְת‬ַ‫יַע‬ִ�‫ִּג‬ ִ
‫ְִה‬‫ְו‬
Transliteration A.
Birukhah at adanai,
elohateinu mikor hakhayyim,
shehekheyatnu vikiyimatnu
Vihigi-atnu lazman hazeh.
Transliteration 1.
Birukhah 2at 2adanai,
2elohateinu miqor haḥayyīm,
sheheḥeyatnu viqīyimatnu
vihigī3atnu lazman hazeh.
Translation: Blessed are You, Creator, our God, Source of the
universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to
reach this occasion.
Gender-neutral version:
ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּמ‬‫ּו‬ּ‫ּי‬ ִ
‫ְִק‬‫ְו‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ֵינ‬‫ֵי‬ ַ‫ַח‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ּח‬‫ּו‬‫ר‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ‫ְך‬ ֵ
‫ֵָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬
.‫ֶה‬
� ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ן‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬‫ְז‬ַ‫ַל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ָ‫יָע‬ִ�‫ִּג‬ ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְו‬
Transliteration A.
Nivarekh et yah, elohuteinu
ruakh ha-olam, al khayeinu
vikiyumeinu vihagi-ateinu
lazman hazeh.
Transliteration 1.
Nivarekh 2et yah,
2elohuteinu ruaḥ ha3olam,
3al ḥayeinu viqīyumeinu
vihigi3ateinu lazman hazeh.
Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, for our lives and our
existence and our reaching this time.
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Commentary: A Life-Changing Trip
By Penny S. Tee
Note: Regardless of convention, I always capitalize “Peace”; Peace
is so important!
In 2014, I was a stay-at-home American Jewish mom, wanting our
son to bond with Israel. I can’t believe it’s already been a decade.
I had been a corporate executive and consultant in my single
days with one hundred people reporting to me and multi-million-
dollar budgets, but I was lucky afterwards to be able to choose
to stay home and raise our son. This is what happened and how it
changed me.
I’m still trying to get over the Jewish guilt of taking my son to war
for his bar mitzvah present! I didn’t plan it that way, but Elohim
had other ideas. It was the fourth of July, and instead of enjoying
fireworks, we saw Palestinian missiles exploding in the sky.
It was unsurprising, yet disappointing that Israel was being
portrayed as this ill-intentioned Goliath. But what other nation at
war forewarns the enemy before bombing their area by dropping
leaflets, calling, and texting the residents with their plans and
intended timing?
Please remember, I’m talking about a decade ago. I must also
address what’s happening today; what was taking place then was
not equivalent, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the current
(2023-2024) Israel-Hamas war. During this new Israel-Hamas war,
situations are even more complicated. There’s too much grief
on all sides, and just as many perspectives sure to get someone
upset with your viewpoint. The extreme atrocities of murder,
mutilation, rapes, taking of hostages, and barbaric, intentional
cruelty that occurred on October 7th against Israeli civilians, as well
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as soldiers, should only be described as evil. They even ensured it was
well-documented and the terrorists called their parents with pride, sharing
the violence they had perpetrated, and offering praises to Allah for their
brutality. The heinous acts are often denied and called mere “resistance.”
Witnessing the nightly scenes of dead Gazan children with parents
screaming in pain at their loss is too much to bear. Hamas uses their own
people as human shields without regard for the lives of their citizens.
Hamas has built tunnels intentionally below schools, hospitals, and
mosques, which the IDF is determined to destroy. This situation adds to
Israel’s vilification as it seeks to eliminate Hamas’s military infrastructure.
Now Israel has been accused of genocide. At what point should we say
“intention be damned” and let the numbers speak for themselves? It takes
a concerted effort to sort through the overlay of politics, propaganda
from one-sided viewpoints, and intentional lying; most people won’t take
the time because of their own busy schedules. It’s a vile mess, but please
follow me back to my story in 2014, before these situations had escalated
even further…
Back in 2014, we saw incredible sacred sites and repeatedly ran to bomb
shelters. I tried to convince my fellow travelers that since the next leg of
our journey was to France, a few more days on the Champs-Élysées could
be a great substitute, but they wouldn’t go for it. Let’s just say I had had
too many bowls of chicken soup in my lifetime to want to stay. But could
you blame me? When the missiles explode in the sky and you’re in a bomb
shelter, you can feel the percussion on your skin. Others were scared but
seemed to take on the Israeli mindset of feeling protected by Iron Dome.
Yes, Iron Dome is a life-saver, but sometimes Iron Dome misses. While we
were there, I was sending out detailed emails lest God forbid, something
tragic should happen. One morning in the parking lot, we passed by a
Palestinian rocket, half below the pavement with the tail up in the air like it
was pointing a finger at us as we passed by. You know which one. I’m still
not over my reaction to this unforgettable experience, but strangely, the
39
impact of this horror developed into one of the most meaningful
parts of my life.
I have an MBA from ancient times, and after I returned home, one of
my friends from grad school said, “Oh, you’ve got to write a book!”
Did I know how to write a book? No; it took me five years between
revisions and editors. And after I finished my book, I became a
speaker, and then for the last three years, I have interviewed over
100 Peace organizations and activists for my vodcast, PEACE with
Penny, including the ones listed under Resources at the back of this
Peace Haggadah.
Unfortunately, by continuously reporting the gruesome violence,
prioritizing the more shocking and graphic stories, and ignoring
the rays of sunshine of the grassroots Peace organizations, the
media have convinced the world that there will never be Peace in
the Middle East. I believe this has been a grave disservice. What I
know for a fact is that there are positive, Peaceful enclaves, that are
hopeful, even during this horrific Israel-Hamas War. Working on
Peace is not the easiest path, but there is no other sane choice.
After working on Peace for a decade, I feel a sense of post-
traumatic growth, a concept I recently learned about. Psychology
Today defines PTG as “the positive psychological change that some
individuals experience after a life crisis or traumatic event.” I believe
that is what’s happened to me. Consequently, I have devoted my
life to Peace ever since.
Both Israeli and Palestinian parents want their kids to play safely
in their backyards. Instead of cries of anti-normalization, and
dehumanizing the “other” which can only end badly, we need to
promote learning about each other and looking for similarities and
points of connection. It’s surprised me over the years how many
Israelis and Palestinians may live near or work together, but they still
don’t socialize. Although in the Peace world dialogue may incur
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some flak with descriptions of the wine and hummus crowd, the impact
of establishing a one-on-one relationship with the “other” cannot be
overstated.
May you live in Peace, ‫שלום‬ and ‫سالم‬.

41
URCHATZ
WASHING OF THE HANDS
When the Temple was in Jerusalem, there was a key focus on
ritual purity, particularly for foods dipped in liquids, due to
their susceptibility to ritual impurity.The act of washing hands
before dipping vegetables in saltwater (in the next step, Karpas),
emphasizes the connection to the ancient version of the Seder
ritual in the Temple. But it also takes on a playful aspect,
intended to pique curiosity and encourage questions, especially
from children. While the typical practice is to wash hands
after Kiddush before eating bread, during the Seder, hands are
washed after Kiddush before eating vegetables, adding a unique
twist that allows every generation to impart new meaning and
abstract the theme of liberation to other contexts.
READ ALOUD
The ritual of handwashing symbolizes purity and the
importance of pure intentions. Just as water cleanses our
hands, we hope it also helps to cleanse our hearts and minds
of deep-seated resentments, past animosities, and prejudices.
This act is a reminder of how closely linked our destinies
are; it emphasizes that purifying oneself can have a positive
impact on everyone around us. It’s a moment of reflection and
commitment to start anew, in the spirit of unity and mutual
understanding.
INSTRUCTIONS: Participants wash their hands while
being mindful of this intention and then make their way
back to their seats. Parsley, celery, or other spring greens are
distributed, to be eaten after we say the blessing.
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Commentary: Is Purism Pure?
By Rebecca Sealfon
While gathering for song can unite us, some of the traditions you may
have seen at this Seder separate us. Many of the Jewish commandments,
revealed after the Israelites had fled from Egypt and when they were
wandering on their journey to the Land of Canaan, set Jews apart from
other peoples. The Jewish dietary restrictions are some. They forbid
Jews from consuming pork, shellfish, mixtures of meat and dairy, animals
that were not slaughtered in a special ritual way, and even food from
dishes and ovens that had these forbidden ingredients. Under the
commandments, these foods are impure.
“You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals
and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves with any
animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those that I have
set apart as unclean for you. You are to be holy to me because I, the Eternal,
am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own” (Leviticus
20:25-26).
The Jews are not merely set apart from other peoples, but they are set even
farther apart from animals. These and other laws are intended to temper
their animal instincts. Their interpretations of these rules were further
refined during the thousands of years of Jewish wandering when Jews
were mostly at the mercy of other countries.
After modern Jews returned to the land now called Palestine, they became
the rulers rather than the ruled. And so they found themselves in quite a
different situation, one that Jewish tradition does not say a whole lot about.
But it is a situation with parallels to what a particular wild animal—the
laughing hyena—faces.
The laughing hyena has a reputation for unclean voracity. It is set apart
from other animals, but in ways that seem nearly opposite to how the
43
Israelites were set apart. Rather than regarding carcasses as
unclean, it will joyously consume them—from almost any kind of
animal.
In addition to being versatile scavengers that clean up the African
savanna, laughing hyenas are also formidable hunters, intelligent,
and family-oriented. A hyena clan consists of several dozen
individuals from related lineages who are all descended from a
common ancestor. The clan defends a territory, and the different
lineages within it struggle for dominance over it. Dominance brings
advantages in how well a hyena can eat and feed its cubs.
Ultimately Israel-Palestine is also a struggle between separate
branches of a larger family, the Jews and the Palestinians, for
political, economic, and cultural dominance over the land. And
beneath the veneer of holiness, the conflict is rooted in the
instincts of living creatures. It has already transformed our cultures.
Hopefully, it will transform us and make us less purist, so we may
stop setting one another far apart.

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KARPAS
EATING A GREEN VEGETABLE
In Greco-Roman Judea and Palestine, where the Seder was originally
set, appetizers were often consumed during festive meals.This practice
was part of a specific sequence in which guests would enter, take their
seats on chairs, and wash one hand before being served appetizers.
After enjoying these appetizers, they would then transition to the
dining hall and recline on couches to partake in the main meal.
Karpas is a mispronunciation of the Aramaic and Arabic word “karafs,”
‫كرفس‬ , meaning celery.This confusion likely arose due to the absence
of vowels in the early Hebrew script, which received vowels only
around the eighth century CE.The choice of dipping for karpas varies
among communities. Mizraḥim.ot traditionally dip celery in ḥaroset,
a paste-like mixture of fruit and nuts symbolizing the mortar used
by slaves to build the cities of Pithom and Raamses, as described in
the Hebrew Bible. Other Sephardim.ot and Ashkenazot.im dip it
in salt water, representing tears of suffering at the time of slavery. At
the very beginning of the Seder, with the appetizer of karpas, we are
immediately introduced to the central theme of the evening: reliving
the liberation journey from enslavement to freedom.This act sets the
tone for the Seder.
Because the Jewish calendar combines lunar and solar cycles, Passover
consistently occurs around the time of the Spring Equinox.This
connection to the equinox links Passover with spring and the concept
of rebirth.The lush green of karpas symbolizes the regeneration
characteristic of this season of growth and transformation. By
partaking in the earth’s bounty, we forge a deep bond with life-giving
soil that has sustained generations irrespective of their origins or
faiths.This practice serves as a poignant acknowledgment that the soil
of the land of Israel and Palestine bears the memories and legacies
45
of many generations of both peoples and emphasizes our
collective duty to treasure and safeguard it.
INSTRUCTIONS: Parsley or celery is commonly used
for karpas during the Passover seder; other spring greens
are fine as well or instead. We dip the greens in salt water
to remind ourselves of past suffering while also anticipating
renewal. We recite a blessing before consuming vegetables to
acknowledge the gift grown in the soil.
READ ALOUD
Dipping karpas in saltwater during Passover symbolizes tears
of suffering and underscores the significance of acknowledging
our past as we embrace new beginnings.This act can also serve
as an expression of compassion for those enduring hardship,
such as displaced and injured Palestinians in Gaza, Palestinians
living under military occupation and in refugee camps, Israeli
hostages in Gaza, Israelis displaced from the south and the
north of the country, and all people who have lost dear ones. As
we dip and taste their salty tears, we also partake in the fresh
greenery, representing the earth that has absorbed so much
blood, yet insists on giving back life.
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Traditional version
.‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ָד‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫א‬ ֵ
‫ֵר‬ ֹ
‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָו‬‫ְה‬‫ְי‬ ‫ה‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָר‬�‫ָּב‬
Transliteration A.
Barukh atah adanai,
eloheinu, melekh ha-olam,
borei pri ha-adamah.
Transliteration 1.
Barukh 2atah 2adanai, 2eloheinu
melekh ha3olam, borei2 pirī
ha2adamah.
Translation: Blessed are You, Infinite One, our God, Ruler of the
universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.
Feminine version
.‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ָד‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫את‬ ֵ
‫ֵר‬ ֹ
‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ים‬ ִ
‫ִַמ‬‫ַל‬ ֹ
‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵח‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ‫ְת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬
Transliteration A.
Birukhah at adanai,
elohateinu hei ha-olamim,
boreit pri ha-adamah.
Transliteration 1.
Birukhah 2at 2adanai, 2elohateinu ḥei
ha3olamim, borei2t pirī ha2adamah.
Translation: Blessed are You, Infinite One, our God, Life of all
worlds, who creates the fruit of the earth.
Gender-neutral version
.‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ָד‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫ת‬ ַ‫יַא‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬�‫ְּב‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ִים‬‫ִי‬ַ‫ַח‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ר‬ ֹ
‫קֹו‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ‫ְך‬ ֶ
‫ֶָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬
Transliteration A.
Nivarekh et yah, elohuteinu
mikor hakhayyim, al biri-at pri
ha-adamah.
Transliteration 1.
Nivarekh 2et yah,
2elohuteinu miqor haḥayyīm,
3al birī2at pirī ha2adamah.
Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, for the creation of the
fruit of the earth.
47
Commentary: Karpas
By Wendy Kalman
For Karpas, we dip a green vegetable, such as celery or parsley,
into salt water. Why would we dip the earth’s vibrant produce into
something so salty?
Some sources connect the greens to spring renewal. Others tie the
significance of these vegetables to hope. Still others link the greens
to the land and what grows from it. But then why salt water? With
this, we acknowledge the bitter tears our ancestors, the Israelites,
shed when they were slaves in Egypt, away from their land. The
greens and salt water are paired for a reason.
And so, I think about all of this—about land, about rebirth and
renewal, and about acknowledging pain and suffering. And then
I think about Israelis and Palestinians today. To me, it is especially
heartbreaking that in three quarters of a century, this conflict
between two peoples has not been resolved.
To me it is clear: both peoples are tied to the land; neither is going
anywhere; each intends to stay. At the same time, whether because
of terror or because of oppression, both Israelis and Palestinians
have shed tears, and each has been in pain due to actions of the
other.
But how often has either side acknowledged the other side’s pain
or taken responsibility for contributing to it?
A few years ago in a class at Hebrew University, I learned about the
psychological toll incurred by Israelis and Palestinians living under
this intractable conflict, and about what it does to and means for
each society as a whole, as well as to individuals. I must state that
just because a conflict is at present intractable does not mean it
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must remain unresolved. It does not mean we must give up hope. Hope,
like newly grown vegetables, can sprout, even in the Middle East.
At any rate, a few studies that we read in class stood out. One in particular
stressed not only the importance of empathy for the other and of taking
responsibility, but also—critically—of doing it credibly. When each side
feels the other side truly sees it and hears its pain, reconciliation can take
place. Without trust, this cannot happen.8
This is where efforts like seders built around this Haggadah matter.
Individual connections humanize, and hopefully allow us not only to hear
but also to think about what we are hearing. To put ourselves in another’s
place.
During the seder we retell what happened in order to relive it. We see
events from a perspective and a time other than our own. Likewise, in
creating this Haggadah and sharing our seder table with each other, we
are embracing the same. Today.
And in dipping our green vegetable, born of the land, into the salt water
reminiscent of bitter tears, we can not only understand how important
the land is to both peoples but also feel each other’s pain. If we can put
ourselves in each other’s place, we can find a way to want to help each
other make our home here side by side.
Perhaps, this year as we dip our karpas into salty water, we can jointly find
a way to share our love and reverence for the land instead of sharing tears.
8 A. Nadler and I. Liviatan, “Intergroup Reconciliation: Effects of Adversary’s Expressions of
Empathy, Responsibility, and Recipients’ Trust,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, (2006):
32(4):459-70. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7263760_Intergroup_Reconciliation_
Effects_of_Adversary's_Expressions_of_Empathy_Responsibility_and_Recipients'_Trust
49
YACHATZ
BREAKING THE BREAD
There are three pieces of matzah on the table corresponding to
the three matzot that were eaten together with the sacrificial
offering at the Temple on the first night of Passover, according
to the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 12, Leviticus 23).The middle
matzah is broken before the start of the festive meal and the
biggest broken piece is set aside to be served at the end of the
meal in the section of the seder called “Tzafun”—meaning
“hidden.”This piece is called the afikoman, from a Greek word
meaning “aftermeal songs and entertainment” or “dessert.”The
Seder cannot conclude until all guests have eaten a piece of the
afikoman.
One of the main objectives of the seder is to engage and teach
the next generation.Teaching means engaging, and so, at this
point in the Seder, the leader hides the afikoman so that the
youngest participants can find it right before Tzafun. At that
point, the leader will redeem it, usually by giving a present to
the child who found it. It is more than a playful hide-and-seek
ritual; it becomes a powerful metaphor about the importance
of seeking out, understanding, and addressing suppressed
narratives.
Referred to as the “bread of affliction” or of “poverty,” matzah
represents the hardships of slavery in Egypt. Yet, it also
represents freedom; it embodies a profound dual symbolism.
After the tenth and worst plague, when the Egyptians urged
the Hebrews to leave so that they could avoid further calamity,
the Hebrews did not have time to let their bread rise and so
they took their dough with them.To commemorate this “hurry”
(ḥipazon) to freedom, the Hebrew Bible mandates “Seven days
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shall you eat matzot” (Deuteronomy 16:3) so that one may “remember
that you were a slave in Egypt…” (Deuteronomy 16:12).
The leaven, or “ḥametz,” in ordinary bread is often seen as a metaphor
for ego and arrogance that can “puff up” a person.The absence of
leavening makes matzah a symbol of humility and the shedding of
arrogance.This inherent humility of matzah, contrasting with the ego
represented by yeast or sourdough, serves as a powerful reminder to
embark on shared journeys with humility, openness, compassion, and
understanding, free from the constraints of the ego.
READ ALOUD
The act of breaking bread transcends boundaries, embodying a
universal gesture of humanity.Together, as we break this matzah, the
participants commit to a unified path leading to peace and justice.The
act of breaking and hiding the matzah will culminate in the return
of the afikoman as the Seder draws to a close. And we set aside the
broken portion of matzah to remember that what seems lost may be
recovered, and what seems broken may be repaired. It is a reminder
that what is broken off is not really lost to us as long as we remember
and search for it.
INSTRUCTIONS: The leader breaks the middle matzah. The
larger piece is then carefully wrapped in a special cloth and hidden.
The second cup, the Cup of Deliverance, is poured. Each participant
pours for another.

51
MAGGID
TELLING THE STORY
The Judeo-Aramaic phrase “Ha lakhma anya” (ha2 laḥma2
3anya2) or “This is the bread of affliction” at the start of
the Maggid section in the Passover Seder is a thought-
provoking contradiction. It invites the hungry to eat matzah,
the unleavened bread of Passover, which is a symbol of both
deprivation and nourishment.The paradox is in offering “this
bread of affliction” instead of calling it “bread of deliverance,” as
befits a celebration of freedom.
However, the Seder is also the remembrance of past hardships.
Referring to matzah as the “bread of affliction” ensures that
the struggles of slavery are not forgotten since liberation rests
on the memory of oppression.The reminder of oppression
also serves as a humbling counterbalance to any potential
triumphalism in the celebration of deliverance. By extending
an invitation to all who are hungry for liberation, the Seder
transcends its particular Jewish context, offering a universal
message about the human condition, in which suffering and
hope always coexist, as do oppression and liberation.The seder
also reinforces the importance of remembering, or re-telling. In
some Mizraḥi and Sefardic Seders, the leader raises the Seder
plate over and taps the heads of each participant before Ha
lakhma anya to further drive home how this collective retelling
impacts each and every one of us.
INSTRUCTION: Uncover the matzah, lift up the Seder
plate, and say loudly:
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52
‫ין‬ ִ‫ְִפ‬‫ְכ‬ ִ
‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ .‫ִם‬‫ִי‬ ָ
‫ְָר‬‫ְצ‬ ִ
‫ִמ‬ְ‫ְד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ
‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְַא‬‫ְב‬ ‫ָא‬‫ָנ‬ ָ‫ָת‬ ָ‫ְָה‬‫ְב‬ ַ‫ַא‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ָל‬‫ָכ‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ‫י‬ ּ�‫ִּד‬ ‫ָא‬‫ָי‬ְ‫ְנ‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ְ‫ְַח‬‫ַל‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָה‬
‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬ ,‫ָא‬‫ָכ‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫א‬ ּ�‫��ָּּת‬‫ַּׁש‬ ָ‫ָה‬ .‫ח‬ ַ‫ְַס‬‫ְפ‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬ ְ‫יְך‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬‫ְצ‬ ִ
‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ ,‫ֹל‬‫ֹכ‬‫ֵי‬‫ֵי‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬
.‫ין‬ ִ
‫ִר‬ ֹ
‫חֹו‬ ‫ֵי‬‫ְּב�ֵּנ‬ ‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬ ,‫י‬ ֵ‫ְֵד‬‫ְב‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫א‬ ּ�‫��ָּּת‬‫ַּׁש‬ ָ‫ָה‬ .‫ל‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ָ
‫ָׂר‬�‫ְׂש‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ
‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּא‬
Transliteration A.
Ha lakhma anya di akhalu
avhatana bi-ara dimitzrayim.
Kol dikhfin yeitei viyeikhol,
kol ditzrikh yeitei viyifsakh.
Hashata hakha, lishanah
haba-ah bi-ar-a diYisrael.
Hashata avdei, lishanah
haba-ah binei khorin.
Transliteration 1.
Ha2 laḥma2 3anya2 dī 2akhalu
2avhatana2 bi2ar3a2 dimitzrayīm.
Kol dikhfīn yeitei viyeikhol, kol
ditzrīkh yeitei viyifsaḥ. Hashata2
hakha2, lishanah haba2ah bi2ar3a2
diyisra2el. Hashata2 3avdei,
lishanah haba2ah binei ḥorīn.
Translation: This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate
in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all
who are in need come and commemorate the Passover.This year,
we are here; next year, may we be in the land of Israel.This year,
we are slaves; next year, may we be free people.
READ ALOUD
This dual nature of the matzah as both the bread of affliction and
a symbol of liberation connects us with all who are oppressed and
hungry for freedom today. We invite them to share in both the pain
and the support it brings as we say, “This is the bread of affliction.
Come, let us share this burden together and find strength in unity.”
Therefore let us all say together:
53
‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬ ְ‫יְך‬ ִ
‫ְִר‬‫ְצ‬ ִ
‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ ,‫ֹל‬‫ֹכ‬‫ֵי‬‫ֵי‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬ ‫ין‬ ִ‫ְִפ‬‫ְכ‬ ִ
‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ .‫ָא‬‫ָי‬ְ‫ְנ‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ְ‫ְַח‬‫ַל‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָה‬
‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬ ;‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ְָח‬‫ְל‬ ִ
‫ִמ‬ ‫ּת‬‫ּו‬‫ע‬ִ‫ִצ‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ִ�‫ִּב‬ ‫ָא‬‫ָכ‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫א‬ ּ�‫ָּׁת‬�‫ַׁש‬ ָ‫ָה‬ .‫ח‬ ַ‫ְַס‬‫ְפ‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְו‬
;‫ָה‬‫ָב‬ ָ
‫ָר‬ ְ
‫ְּק‬‫ּו‬ ‫ת‬ ֶ
‫ֶק‬ ֹ
‫לֹו‬ ֲ‫ֲח‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּמ‬ ‫ים‬ ִ
‫ִא‬ ָ
‫ָק‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ֹ
‫יֹו‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָה‬ . ‫א‬ ָ‫ָָמ‬‫ָל‬ְ�‫ְשׁ‬ ִ
‫ִד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ
‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּא‬
.‫ָא‬‫ָנ‬‫י‬ ִ
‫�ִׂט‬‫ְׂש‬ַ‫ַל‬ַ‫ַפ‬ּ‫ּו‬ ‫ל‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ָ
‫ָׂר‬�‫ְׂש‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ
‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּא‬ ‫ין‬ִ‫ִו‬ ָ�‫ָשׁ‬ְ�‫ְּכ‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵח‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬
Transliteration A.
Ha lakhma anya. Kol
dikhfin yeitei viyeikhol,
kol ditzrikh yeitei
viyifsakh. Hashata hakha
bimitzi-ut milkhamah;
lishana haba-ah bi-ar-a
dishilama. Ha yoma ka-
im bimakhloket ukirava;
lishana haba-ah neikhei
kishavin bi-ar-a diyisra-el
ufalastina.
Transliteration 1.
Ha2 laḥma2 3anya2. Kol
dikhfīn yeitei viyeikhol,
kol ditzrīn yeitei viyifsaḥ.
Hashata2 hakha2 bimitzi3ut
milḥama; lishanah haba2ah
bi2ar3a2 dishilama2. Ha2
yoma2 q12īm bimaḥaloqet
uqiravah; lishanah haba2ah
neiḥei kishavīn bi2ar3a2
diyisra2el ufalastina2.
READ ALOUD
This is the bread of affliction. Let all who are hungry come and
eat; let all who are in need come.This year, we are in the midst
of war; next year, may we be in a land of peace.Today we are
in strife and battle; next year may we live as equals in the land
of Israel and Palestine. Kol dikhfin, let those yearning for a new
understanding come and learn. Kol ditzrikh, let all in search of
meaning join us.
INSTRUCTIONS: Put the Seder plate down and cover the
matzah.
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54
Solomon Burke (March 21, 1940–October 10, 2010) was an
American singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one
of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s. He was crowned
the "King of Rock 'n' Soul," has been called "a key transitional figure
bridging R&B and soul," and was known for his "prodigious output."
The song “None of Us Are Free” is a powerful anthem about social
and political solidarity and the interconnectivity of human rights and
freedom. While not written by Burke himself (it was written by Barry
Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell), his version of the song
carries significant weight due to his broader engagement with civil
rights.The song emphasizes the idea that as long as some individuals
are oppressed or denied their rights, the concept of freedom is
incomplete for everyone.
None of Us Are Free - Key: F#m
Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell
Well, you better listen, my sisters and brothers
‘Cause if you do you can hear
There are voices still calling across the years.
And they’re all crying across the ocean
And they’re crying across the land
And they will till we all come to understand
Chorus:
None of us are free (2x)
None of us are free if one of us is chained
None of us are free.
And there are people still in darkness
And they just can’t see the light
If you don’t say it’s wrong then that says it’s right.
We got to try to feel for each other
Let our brothers know we care
Got to get the message, send it out loud and clear.
55
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Unity is Strength 2024 Peace Haggadah_For Digital Viewing.pdf

  • 1. UNITY IS STRENGTH 2024 PEACE HAGGADAH TOWARD AN EQUITABLE, SHARED FUTURE
  • 2. UNITY IS STRENGTH PEACE HAGGADAH TOWARD AN EQUITABLE, SHARED FUTURE Editors: Ignat A., Iyad Rafidi, Rebecca Sealfon, Walid Siam Music: Paul Storfer Layout: Amalya Sherman Dedication This Peace Haggadah honors the victims of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and all who seek peace. While preparing this Haggadah, we have witnessed unprecedented atrocities. Passover represents a time for freedom from all forms of bondage, be they physical, mental, or emotional. Let us open our minds and hearts to humanity, deliver the region from hatred and violence, and bring peace. Disclaimer The Peace Haggadah presented here is the result of a collective effort. The views and opinions expressed in it are solely those of the individual authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of any other entity, organization, or individual associated with its creation or distribution. Note From the Editors We extend heartfelt thanks to Wendy Kalman, Nina Judith Katz, and Penny S. Tee. Their valuable ideas and diligent efforts have significantly strengthened this project. We are deeply grateful for their contributions. This Haggadah was used as the basis for the Peace Seders held via Zoom on April 7, 2024 and April 14, 2024 and sponsored by Unity is Strength, the Federation Movement, PEACE with Penny and Unity Made Visible.
  • 3. 4 Preface: Why is This Haggadah Different from All Other Haggadahs? Emanuel Shahaf 5 Guest Essay: Another Kind of Passover - Avrum Burg 11 Intodduction: Why is This Night Different from All Other Nights? Ignat 22 CANDLE LIGHTING CEREMONY 26 KADESH 27 Commentary The Meaning of Chosenness Ignat A. 32 Commentary A Life- Changing Trip Penny S. Tee 36 URCHATZ 37 Commentary Is Purism Pure? Rebecca Sealfon 39 KARPAS 42 Commentary Karpas Wendy Kalman 44 YACHATZ 46 MAGGID 55 Commentary A Palestinian Odyssey Iyad Rafidi 76 Commentary From Algeria to Palestine: The Long Path from Blood to Freedom D.A.B. Al Shamal 78 Commentary Massacre- Plagues Nina Judith Katz 102 RAḤTZA 104 MOTZI MATZAH 108 Commentary Why Are We Ignoring Peace’s Most Valuable Players? Penny S. Tee 113 MAROR 114 Commentary Where? To Ramallah! Walid K. Siam 120 KORECH 121 SHULḤAN OREKH 122 Commentary Federation/ Confederation Proposals Ignat 127 Commentary War and Resolution Youssef 131 TZAFUN 133 Commentary Voices of Courage: Gaza Youth Committee’s Quest for Peace Rami Aman 138 Commentary Proposal for the Establishment of a Joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial at the Nova Festival Site Walid & Ignat 142 Commentary Discovering Peace in the Middle East Penny S. Tee 146 BARECH 150 HALLEL 152 Commentary Love is My Shepherd Lee Boueri 158 NIRTZAH -- CONCLUSION 165 Commentary A Path to a Future in Shared Jerusalem Rebecca Sealfon 168 Additional Songs 175 Contributor Bios 180 Resources Table of Contents
  • 4. preface Why is this Haggadah different from all other Haggadahs? Emanuel Shahaf Welcome to this unique and transformative Passover Haggadah, a testament to the power of unity, understanding, and the shared pursuit of peace in these uniquely difficult times. As a diverse group of Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, Jews, and others, we came together from many different backgrounds and geographical locations around the common theme of a shared and peaceful society. We will explore the possibility of a federal solution to the longstanding violence in Israel- Palestine.This project has brought a variety of individuals and perspectives to craft this distinctive Passover Haggadah. We aim for this initiative to evolve into an annual tradition, thereby transforming the festival into a significant step toward the solution we seek to develop. Passover is a time-honored celebration of liberation, resilience, and the triumph of hope over adversity. It commemorates the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, a journey fraught with challenges, yet one that ultimately led to freedom and the promise of a better future. As we gather around the Seder table, we draw inspiration from this ancient story to envision a collective journey towards coexistence, understanding, and a shared destiny for Israelis and Palestinians. Just as the exodus brought disparate tribes together to form a cohesive nation, we aspire to explore the potential for a federated approach that respects the autonomy of both Israelis and Palestinians while cultivating shared governance that promotes cooperation and coexistence. P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 4
  • 5. Our Haggadah is a reflection of the variety of narratives that make up the complex history of this region. It is an acknowledgment that each voice, be it Israeli or Palestinian, Arab or Jew, contributes a unique thread to the fabric of shared existence. In the spirit of Pesach, we embrace the diversity of our backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, weaving them together into a harmonious narrative of hope, collaboration, and the pursuit of lasting peace. This Peace Haggadah invites us to engage in thoughtful reflection and open dialogue, challenging us to consider new possibilities and envision a future where Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace and prosperity. As we recite the timeless words of the Haggadah, let us also reflect on the relevance of its message to the contemporary challenges we face. May this Passover Seder be a symbol of our commitment to building bridges and working towards a federated solution that honors the dignity and rights of all inhabitants of this land. May the themes of liberation and renewal inspire us to forge a path toward a shared future, where the exodus from conflict leads to the promised land of harmony. Lishana Haba-ah Biyirushalayim Habinuyah – Next year in a shared Jerusalem. guest essay Another kind of Passover Avrum Burg Each generation sees holidays in its own way. Over time, their importance shifts, making it hard to know what part of tradition will endure. Some holidays just fade away, while others stay with us no 5
  • 6. matter how things change. For example, who still remembers “Nicanor Day” or ponders the fate of his severed head and right hand, paraded by Judah the Maccabee after the Battle of Beth Horon? Few today are even aware that the seventeenth of the Hebrew month of Marheshvan signals the beginning of fasting when rains have not yet begun to fall. Similarly, the once- popular day of gratitude known as “Second Purim” has slipped into obscurity. But Tu B’Shvat has undergone a modern revival, shifting from a peripheral observance to a prominent holiday in the Jewish calendar (in Israel). Likewise, Hanukkah has transitioned from a historical event to a celebration of Jewish power, land, and nationalism. At first glance, Passover emerges as one of the most enduringly celebrated Jewish holidays globally, yet its significance is ready for profound change. Passover serves as our original Independence Day—a commemoration of the transformative journey of the Israelites from slavery to sovereignty.The Seder night and the reading of the Haggadah play a crucial role in maintaining the tradition of Passover; they provide a narrative that offers a different perspective, highlighting the unique aspects of this holiday as a celebration of Jewish identity, hope, and the promise of redemption. Despite challenges and persecution, as during the Spanish Inquisition, Passover has remained a vital symbol of resilience, reflecting both the struggles and the enduring hope that are central to Jewish life. Over the years, Passover has continued to represent the journey from hardship to hope and to incorporate the deep-seated aspirations and concerns that shape the Jewish experience. Thus, Passover naturally evolved into a spiritual practice that mirrors a potent collective self-image and acts as a P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 6
  • 7. counterbalance to actual collective powerlessness. In the traditional Haggadah, the recounting of the ten plagues of Egypt expands dramatically, symbolizing an overwhelming force.This allows for the temporary embrace of the illusion of sovereign power, sidestepping the fear of its consequences as imagined aggression stands in for real strength. Before the “Pour out Your Wrath” segment of the traditional Seder following the afikoman, the door is opened to welcome the Prophet Elijah with joy in a moment of fulfillment. Yet underlying this joy, the fear of external threats lurks about in the dark of the night. Over the years, the collective memory of the Exodus kept alive the hope for the future redemption of the Jewish people, upholding national aspirations amid times of foreign domination, destruction, loss of sovereignty, and exile. This prompts the question: what does celebrating such a holiday mean for a generation that has achieved sovereign power and has shed its “iron chains”? In an era when Jewish identity is chosen and Jewish power can be oppressive, the future of Passover as we know it risks fading away, as “Nicanor Day” did, unless we find ways to imbue it with new meaning. The question of survival for previous generations was how to endure and persist amid many enemies. In our generation, it seems that we are at the beginning of an era when the most important question is whether the Jewish people can survive without an enemy. Do we have the tools to continue and to exist as a people and culture in conditions of peace, global acceptance, prosperity, and equality, without constant otherness or othering? One answer is “no.”The people will not continue to exist but will assimilate and merge like many other nations that intermingle and lose their distinct cultural identity.The other option is isolation from the rest of the world while creating constant and staged conflicts that will repeatedly prove the claim that “the whole world is against us.”Thus, the modern Passover, like 7
  • 8. its ancient predecessor, will continue to be a holiday about the endless confrontation between Israel and the world. Yet, there is a potential for Passover to undergo a transformation akin to what modernity has done for Hanukkah and Tu B’Shvat. Can Passover hold significance for the contemporary individual, embodying redemption as complete freedom? To achieve this, we must reimagine the Exodus from Egypt not merely as a national struggle against an oppressor, but as a profound clash of worldviews—the triumph of human rights over the lust for conquest and dominance inherent in every power structure.This reimagining invites us to consider contemporary struggles through a similar lens, such as the Palestinian liberation struggle.This movement, at its core, asserts the rights to self-determination, land, and sovereignty, as it challenges systems of control and occupation. By drawing parallels between the ancient quest for freedom and modern human rights struggles, we can enrich our understanding of Passover as a universal symbol of liberation from oppression that resonates with the ongoing fight for dignity and rights for all people, including Palestinians. From this perspective, the Exodus is a universal call resonating from ancient times to the present day that could not have occurred without five courageous women: Yocheved, who defied Pharaoh’s order to kill her son Moses; Shifra and Puah, the midwives who refused to carry out Pharaoh’s cruel commands of killing the first-born; Miriam, Moses’s sister, who watched over him in the Nile; and Batya, Pharaoh’s daughter, who rescued Moses from the river.These women grasped the essence of the struggle and spearheaded a human, national, and feminist revolution of their era.Their message was clear: if Pharaoh holds unchecked power, then true existence is denied. They asserted that only by limiting power can freedom emerge, P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 8
  • 9. benefiting humanity as a whole.The freedom of one is incomplete without the freedom of all.True freedom lies in inclusivity. It is about respecting the dignity of every individual. For many, too many, even in the most egalitarian societies, women are still merely the first among the “others” and “unequals.” Passover is, therefore, not a celebration of power but of freedom after successfully limiting power. It commemorates the overthrow of Egyptian oppression and of exclusion, and thus it heralds the dawn of a global conscience demanding respect, dignity, and equality for all, without exception. From a national point of view, this is an extremely important message, especially in light of the new nationalistic winds blowing throughout the world today. From a Jewish point of view, it is not less important, possibly more so, as the transition from the status of slavery to the status of freedom took place not only in the land of Egypt but also in our personal lives. What makes us slaves today? What are we slaves to? Our phones, our prejudices, our fears, our work, our ambitions? Passover is the time to question these things, to break free from the bonds that hold us back, and to embrace a renewed sense of freedom, not solely as a chapter in history, but as a personal experience. Passover’s significance has transcended the anticipation of a time when blessings are ours alone, and our adversaries are struck with endless adversities. Such scenarios are neither plausible nor desired. Today’s interpretation of Passover endorses a more modest, equitable, and merciful principle, advocating for universal rights.The journey to overcome our metaphorical “Egyptian-ness”—the individual and collective hurdles we encounter—resides within each of us. Our freedom is found not through miraculous deeds but through embracing the philosophy of thinkers like Maimonides, who sought a redemption beyond personal salvation and aimed for a world devoid of dominion and oppression.This renewed vision imagines a society where nations coexist peacefully, individuals respect one another, 9
  • 10. gender equality is the norm, and the majority honors the rights of the minority. Freedom for one must mean freedom for all and we must acknowledge that the oppressor and the oppressed are alike constrained by injustice. Reinterpreting ancient texts without the bias of centuries of domination reveals a message of modern redemption—a plea for equality among genders, races, beliefs, and origins.Thus, Passover becomes an ode to myriad diversities, featuring four sons, four daughters, four strangers, four others—all unique, yet all equal, all valued members of the cosmic family. The meaning of Passover can evolve and adapt to the needs and context of each generation. While its historical significance as a celebration of liberation from Egyptian bondage remains central, its contemporary relevance can focus on broader themes of freedom, human rights, and the pursuit of equality. Passover can serve as a reminder to confront oppressive forces in our lives and society, to strive for justice and inclusion, and to reflect on what it means to be truly free. Its enduring message of hope, resilience, and the potential for positive change can continue to inspire people of all backgrounds in the modern world. P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 10
  • 11. introduction Why is this night different from all other nights? Ignat A. The Haggadah emerges as a unique jewel among Jewish ritual texts, as it spotlights the traditions of family and home over those typically observed in the synagogue. Enriched with blessings, prayers, legends, commentaries, psalms, and songs, it serves as an anthology that weaves together biblical,Talmudic, and Midrashic texts, alongside a colorful patchwork of folklore and symbolic art. Crafted to captivate laypeople and children alike, the Haggadah stands as one of the most cherished cultural artifacts, with a remarkable ability to connect generations and knit families together across millennia at the Seder table. The Haggadah’s theme, of marking the passage from bondage to freedom, resonates through the ages in the Jewish collective memory as exile and redemption.This theme finds a modern echo in the struggles faced by the Palestinian people.The well-established tradition of utilizing the Haggadah to advocate for a spectrum of causes, from human rights to civil rights, makes it a fitting instrument for bridging the deep divides that history, culture, and violence have created between Israelis and Palestinians.1 Thus, this Peace Haggadah champions a vision of a future where various communities within the region can thrive in unison, proposing a binational or multiethnic/ multicultural federation as a peaceful resolution to the ongoing violence. Our contributors, hailing from across Israel-Palestine, the Middle East, and beyond, bring a wealth of viewpoints, all seeking reconciliation as the way forward.This inclusive Haggadah stands out in three interrelated ways: 1 Modern Haggadahs show a wide spectrum of perspectives, shaped by their unique contexts of place, time, and ideology. Notable examples include Reform Jewish, Kibbutz, and even “neopagan” versions, as described by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Haggadah and History (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1975), 70. 11
  • 12. • Its collaborative effort highlights the shared experiences of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, and points toward a shared and interdependent future. • Its joint authorship signifies a collective endeavor towards a binational or multicultural solution for the region. • The inclusive approach culminates in the act of reading and experiencing the Haggadah, perhaps at a seder uniting Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others at the same table to generate conversation among diverse communities. This Peace Haggadah is a complex construct that transcends traditional boundaries. It merges spiritual and political discourse. Mixing old rituals with today’s values, it brings a new angle to discuss society and connect with people from all walks of life and across denominations in Jewish communities and beyond. By transforming participatory rituals into avenues for social engagement, it invites everyone to take on roles as leaders, observers, and participants. Far more than a ceremonial script, it seeks social change through open, inclusive discussions that address and bridge deep-rooted divides. While it diverges from the traditional Haggadah, it is also cross-denominational and may serve as a complementary text, enriching it with sections designed to provoke thoughtful conversation. Ultimately, the Peace Haggadah is dedicated to uniting people and promoting a positive social change. Haggadah and Belonging The Haggadah captures a profound aspiration toward a goal not yet realized, symbolized by the longing expression “Next Year in Jerusalem!”This simple statement at the end of the P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 12
  • 13. Seder expresses persistence, portraying Passover not just as a festivity of liberation, but as preserving the notion of a geographical location, a concept deeply embedded in the Jewish collective consciousness. Within the framework of the Israel-Palestine conflict, this notion, together with that of exile and redemption, and the Jewish migration to Palestine in general, acquires layers of complexity and nuance. For Jews, returning to this land signifies a homecoming to a place rich in historical, cultural, and religious importance. Yet, this homecoming significantly impacted the Arab population of Palestine.The establishment of the State of Israel has led to more displacement and wars, precipitating the deep moral and political challenges faced by Israelis, Palestinians, and the world at large.The violence, which has spanned over a century, pits two distinct groups against each other as both claim the same territory. More pointedly, it involves two groups with overlapping but profoundly different languages, economies, cultures, and histories. Clashes have been inevitable, largely because integration has never yet been feasible. Nor has there been substantial solidarity in creating a binational state. Yet these groups must find a way to live together. This Haggadah aims to reconcile the Jewish traditional connection to the land with the objective reality of the Palestinian people. Efforts toward peace, coexistence, and bridge-building are crucial in navigating these complexities.They involve seeking a middle ground that respects the historical and emotional ties each community has to the land.The ongoing violence and the policies pursued by Israel have significantly shaped the identities and narratives of both Israelis and Palestinians and complicated the prospects for peaceful resolution of the conflict. Acknowledging these complexities is essential to understanding the profound impact of history on the sense of belonging and identity for both Jews and Arabs in Palestine-Israel. 13
  • 14. The Haggadah And The Seder More than any other ceremonial object, the Haggadah exemplifies the continuous evolution of the Jewish symbolic tradition. It is one of the most enduring texts, akin to the Torah (Hebrew Bible) and the Siddur (prayer book), evincing remarkable uniformity across communities worldwide. Scholars attribute this consistency to its standardization around the time of the Herodian Temple or shortly after its destruction.2 In the Torah, Passover is one of the three pilgrimage festivals, closely tied to the land’s agricultural rhythms, marked by the presentation of the first fruits of the “Seven Species”—barley, wheat, dates, figs, olives, pomegranates, and grapes—to the Temple in Jerusalem during their respective seasons. However, for Passover, each family was also required to bring a lamb or goat to be sacrificed at the Temple, with the meat consumed at the seder, accompanied by matzah (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs).3 On the eve of their exodus from Egypt, the Israelites smeared the blood of a slaughtered lamb on their doorposts.This act served as a signal for the angel of death to “pass over” their homes during the last of the plagues, the slaying of Egypt’s firstborn. Following the Temple’s destruction, the Passover Seder preserved the narrative surrounding the historical memory of the paschal lamb, which symbolized purity, sacrifice, and redemption. In particular, the consumption of symbolic foods and the recounting of the Exodus story ensure that the memory survives.The decision to hold the Seder in homes rather than synagogues also harks back to the 2 The transition of the Hebrew word for “cup” from feminine in Biblical Hebrew to masculine in Rabbinic Hebrew provides key insights into the provenance of the Haggadah.The feminine use of “cup” in the Haggadah points to its very early rabbinic origins, the time of the canonization of the Hebrew Bible, and the translation of Hebrew scriptures into Greek in the third–second centuries BCE. 3 The commandment and its details are outlined in the Torah, particularly in the book of Exodus 12:1–14, 21–28; and reiterated with additional details in Deuteronomy 16:1–8. P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 14
  • 15. tradition of individual households bringing their paschal offerings to the Temple. The Haggadah bases the Seder on a Greco-Roman symposium (“convivium” in Latin), a blend of relaxation, fine dining, and socializing. In contrast to the symposium’s leisurely reclining and foods that served as status symbols, the Seder uses these elements to signify freedom and invoke conversation about collective memory.4 As the famous Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria (first century CE) explains, “[The guests] are there not as in other festive gatherings, to indulge the belly with wine...but to fulfill with prayers and hymns the custom handed down by their fathers.”5 The Haggadah transcends mere storytelling of liberation to engage guests in personal reflection and intergenerational dialogue. It serves as a guide for guests, prompting questions and deeper insights, akin to an educational manual.This parallels the interactive entertainment of the Greco- Roman symposium.The Haggadah could be likened to an interactive screenplay, with guests navigating the evening through symbolic items or props on the table.This approach transforms the recounting into a dynamic, immersive experience, inviting personal and communal exploration of its themes annually, much like the active participation and dialogue encouraged in a workshop or seminar. 4 Reclining is an old west Mesopotamian custom (criticized by Amos, 6:4), which spread to Persians (Esther 1:6), Greeks, and Romans.The word that is used in the Haggadah for “recline,” mesubin, was the term used in antiquity; its literal meaning is “encircle” because couches were arranged in a circle in the classical dining hall. 5 Philo, Special Laws, 2:145–148. 15
  • 16. The Symbolic Props on the Seder Table Each of these items serves to fulfill the commandment to retell the story of the Exodus and engage participants in a multi- sensory experience designed to connect them personally to the narrative of slavery and liberation .The Seder table is a tableau of teaching and remembrance ,inviting all to explore the human yearning for freedom. The Seder Plate (Ki-arah or Qi3ara) is the central item on the table, holding specific symbolic foods: • Maror: Bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of slavery the Israelites endured in Egypt. • Ḥaroset: A sweet, dark mixture of fruits, nuts, and often grape juice or wine, representing the mortar used by the Israelite slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt. • Karpas: An herb or vegetable (often parsley) to be dipped in salt water at the beginning of the Seder, symbolizing the tears and pain of slavery, and also spring. • Zeroa: A shank bone or beet representing the sacrificial lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem to commemorate the Israelites’ use of the lamb’s blood to mark their doorposts so that the final plague would pass over their homes. • Beitzah: A roasted egg symbolizing both the festival sacrifice brought in the days of the Temple, and also mourning for the destruction of the Temple. In addition, the roundness of the egg represents the cycle of life and renewal. • Ḥazeret: Often a second bitter herb, such as romaine lettuce, also representing the bitterness of slavery. P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E  H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 16
  • 17. The practice of placing an orange on the Seder plate is a modern symbol of inclusivity within Judaism, emphasizing the value and necessity of embracing marginalized groups, such as women and LGBTQ+ individuals.There is a popular but inaccurate legend that this practice originated from a man’s derogatory remark to Susannah Heschel, a well-known feminist, Jewish studies scholar, and daughter of the famous rabbi and civil rights activist, Abraham Joshua Heschel. According to the legend, the man claimed that a woman's presence on the bimah (the platform in a synagogue from which services are led) was as appropriate as an orange on the Seder plate. In truth, Heschel was inspired by a story by Shifra Freewoman, née Susan Fielding, titled “A Crust of Bread at the Seder Table,” which portrays a young Jewish lesbian who, after being dismissively told by her Hasidic rebbe that lesbians belong in Judaism as much as hametz (leavened bread, which is forbidden during Passover) belongs at the Seder table, places a crust of bread on her Seder plate in defiance. Freewoman’s fictional account was featured in the Oberlin Haggadah. However, at the Oberlin Seder, the students innovated by designating a space on the Seder plate for Maqom, a term meaning space and also one of the names for God, as a gesture of inclusion for all who have felt excluded, linking this act to the Divine. A few years later, during a visit to Oberlin, Heschel encountered the story in the Oberlin Haggadah but mistakenly thought that the students had placed a crust of bread on the Seder table. Uncomfortable with this gesture (since bread is hametz), Heschel introduced the orange on the Seder plate as a new symbol of solidarity and acceptance.6 6 Deborah Eisehnbach-Budner and Alex Borns-Weil, “The Background to the Background of the Orange on the Seder Plate and a Ritual of Inclusion.” Ritualwell, https://ritualwell.org/ritual/background-background-orange-seder-plate-and- ritual-inclusion/; Susan Fielding, “A Crust of Bread at the Seder Table.” Ritualwell, https://ritualwell.org/ritual/crust-bread-seder-table/?_gl=1*13f1m2j*_gcl_ au*MTAzNDU2NTczOC4xNzA3Mjk1MzE3*_ga*MTMzNTU2MDcwOS4xNzA3Mjk1MzE3*_ ga_WRW9SLZZ22*MTcwNzI5NTMxNy4xLjAuMTcwNzI5NTMxNy4wLjAuMA.. Freewoman’s story was a response to a brief article in the New Women’s Times about a group of women who asked a rabbi, “What is the place of a lesbian in Judaism?” He replied, “There is as much place for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for ḥametz at the seder table.”Thanks to Shifra Freewoman for her help with the details of this story. 17
  • 18. The addition of an olive to the Seder plate is also a relatively recent innovation, symbolizing a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Initiated by the writer-poet, Elliott batTzedek, in Philadelphia in 2002, this addition has grown to symbolize the broader aspirations for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.The olive, emblematic of the olive trees that have been uprooted in Palestine, serves as a powerful call to remember and act towards peace.This practice gained further visibility through the play “An Olive on the Seder Plate” (2008), directed by Deb Shoval, as well as a Jewish Voice for Peace Haggadah supplement released in the same year and advocating for the inclusion of the olive as a symbol of peace. Some in the Jewish community consider this act of adding an olive a meaningful addition to their Seder rituals that reflects a commitment to addressing and contemplating the complexities of the Israel-Palestine conflict within the context of a tradition that celebrates freedom and justice. The other props on the Seder table: Three Matzot of Humility: Matzah is unleavened bread.Three matzot are stacked on a separate plate on the table and covered. They symbolize the haste with which the Israelites left Egypt without waiting for their bread to rise. Ḥametz is bread made with sourdough or yeast.The traditional Seder presupposes the removal of Ḥametz from the household prior to the start of the holiday.This is done in two ways: first practically, and then ritually, by searching for it by candlelight throughout the home, in every nook and cranny, wherever it may possibly be found; a candle is used , because “the human soul is a Divine candle " (Proverbs 20:27). Matzah is known as the “Bread of Affliction” or the “Bread of Poverty.”The ambiguity in the meaning stems not only from the Hebrew-Aramaic term Leḥem 3oni, which has both connotations, but also from it symbolizing freedom in P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E  H O W T O C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 18
  • 19. the Seder ritual.The ambiguity is resolved through understanding that the Seder is not simply a celebration, but also an introspective exercise. Ḥametz is traditionally understood as symbolic of ego, haughtiness, and selfishness.The practice of refraining from consuming ḥametz, as in the saying, “you are what you eat,” means that one must remove ego and selfishness. “No flour offering to God shall be processed with ḥametz” (Leviticus 2:11). Rabbi Alexander echoes this idea in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot 17a: “What hinders” is “the sour matter in the dough and our enslavement by governments!” Four Cups of Freedom: The participants drink the “fruit of the vine” four times at the Seder, and traditionally they drink a full cup each time. Each cup represents a line from Exodus 6:6-7 expressing freedom: “I will liberate you from under the burdens of the Egyptians…,”“I will deliver you from their bondage…,”“I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments…,”“I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be your God….”7 For the purposes of this Haggadah, • liberation from slavery is represented by the Cup of Liberation • deliverance from oppression is represented by the Cup of Deliverance • redemption through intervention is represented by the Cup of Redemption • the establishment of a new relationship is represented by the Cup of Covenant Cup of Eliyahu: Elijah the Prophet is said to visit every Jewish home during the Seder, symbolizing the hope for redemption and the coming of the Messiah.The opening of the door for Elijah during the Seder is a ritual act that expresses faith in God's future redemption of 7 The rabbis made up the ritual of four cups on the basis of this verse, but they were also referring to the four cups that are explicitly mentioned in the Hebrew Bible: a cup of wrath (Jeremiah 25:15) , a cup of stupor (Isaiah 51:17), a cup of salvation (Psalms 116:13), and a cup of consolation (Jeremiah 16:7). 19
  • 20. the Jewish people.This tradition is rooted in the Jewish belief that Elijah will resolve all doubts and herald the arrival of the Messiah; it expresses optimism for a future era of peace and divine justice and symbolizes hope for a better world. Notably, in the Mishnah, Elijah is known as the “peacemaker” (Edduyot 8:7). Cup of Miriam: The Cup of Miriam was introduced to celebrate and recognize the pivotal role of women, such as Miriam, in Jewish history. It has become a contemporary feature at many Passover Seder tables.This addition draws inspiration from the legend of Miriam’s Well, a miraculous water source that, according to Jewish lore, God granted because of Miriam’s virtuousness; legend says that it accompanied the Israelites throughout their forty-year wanderings in the desert. Miriam's Cup, filled with water, serves not only as a symbol of Miriam's contribution to the Passover story of liberation, but also represents the essential, life-giving role of water; thus, it underscores themes of sustenance, purification, and renewal. How to use this Haggadah This Haggadah can be used in many ways—not only as a guide for the first or second night of Passover within the Jewish family home or at an interfaith gathering but also as a meaningful document beyond its traditional use. Its stories and symbols can shape discussions on politics, conflict resolution, ethics, gender equality, lived experiences, and the future. It is adaptable for any seder, whether as the main Haggadah or as a supplement to enrich a more traditional Seder experience. Additionally, it can serve as a basis for conversation on any night during Passover, or even beyond the holiday. On any day of the year, it urges us to contemplate the shared struggle for liberty and dignity while championing principles of freedom, P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O  C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 20
  • 21. empathy, and justice. Its core narrative resonates with modern liberation movements, advocating for reconciliation and inclusivity. It beckons us to envision a future marked by shared sovereignty in Israel-Palestine.The hopeful cry of “Next Year in Jerusalem!” encapsulates the Haggadah ethos—a yearning for a society where all can thrive in freedom, peace, and belonging.This call challenges us to translate principles into action as we strive to build such a society. May this Peace Haggadah inspire us to pursue justice, compassion, and peace. May its teachings lead us toward understanding as we work together to achieve our shared aspirations for humanity. You can find notes on Translation and Prayer Language at the back of the Haggadah. Note on transliteration: We are providing two different transliterations for the Hebrew in this Haggadah. Depending on your background, you may find one, both, or elements of both familiar, and the other elements unfamiliar and perhaps even a bit strange. We hope that your use of the Peace Haggadah encourages you to become more comfortable embracing the unfamiliar—but this is not why we chose to do the transliterations this way. On the left-hand side, you will find simplified transliterations intended primarily for Ashkenazi anglophones.These will be labeled “Transliteration A.” On the right-hand side, labeled “Transliteration 1,” you will find transliterations that follow fairly standard academic conventions for most of the letters and take inspiration from 3arabizi, the Arabic chat alphabet, for two letters.1 This transliteration system lets those who 1 3Arabizi, sometimes called Arabizi, 3Arabglizi, Arabglizi, 3Arablish, Arabish, or the Arabic chat alphabet, is a spelling system developed creatively by Arabic-speaking users of early cell phones in the 1990s and the early 2000s.These phones offered numbers and Roman letters (the ones used in English), but no Arabic letters, so users had to come up with creative ways to render Arabic letters and sounds with what they had.Their solutions work well enough that they have only grown in use since, and they are now widely used in the Arabic-speaking world and among students of the language. 21
  • 22. grew up with non-Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew use their pronunciation.These transliterations should be easy to follow for most people, including those used to either 3arabizi or standard academic transliterations.They should also be useful for anyone wishing to pronounce the Hebrew accurately and to recognize words and cognates.This transliteration system is based on one introduced in the book Jewish Africans Describe Their Lives.2 Why two systems? Different readers have different needs, and it is important to us to honor all of them.The Haggadah focuses on inclusion, and inclusion needs to include in as many areas and ways as possible. It is also important in this Haggadah to emphasize the similarities between Hebrew and Arabic, and the 1. transliterations do that. At the same time, we understand that there are readers who will find the Transliteration 1. system too unfamiliar to follow and so we are providing the Transliteration A. option as well. In the Transliteration A. system, a hyphen (-) is used to represent a pause, like the one in “uh-oh.” (Technically, this pause is called a glottal stop.) A kh is used to represent the fricative sound indicated by ch in “Bach” and “Loch Ness monster.”The r may be pronounced like the uvular r of Yiddish, or like the trill r of Spanish and Italian, or like the flap that Americans use for the tt of “letter.” If you are not comfortable with any of the other rs, try the flap.The Hebrew schwa, pronounced like the i in “community,” is usually represented with an “i,” but sometimes omitted. We are adopting only two symbols of this system, and otherwise combining it with systems commonly used for Hebrew transliteration; see footnote 9 below for more. For more on 3Arabizi, see https://www.etoninstitute.com/blog/arabizi. 2 See Nina Judith Katz, “Note on Transliteration System,” in Jewish Africans Describe Their Lives: Evidence of an Unrecognized Indigenous People, edited by Marla Brettschneider and Bonita Nathan Sussman (Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2023). P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O  C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 22
  • 23. The Transliteration 1. system follows standard academic conventions in its representations of most letters. It uses the number 2 for alef (‫;)א‬ this represents a glottal stop, familiar to English speakers as the pause in the middle of “uh-oh.”This use of 2 for alef follows 3arabizi, which uses 2 to represent the ḥamza in Arabic. Similarly, the number 3 represents an ayin (3ayin, ‫ע‬, cognate with ‫)ع‬. In Hebrew, this may be pronounced as either a glottal stop or a pharyngeal stop. Like a glottal stop (again, as in uh-oh) a pharyngeal stop is a very short pause, but made further back in the throat.The pharyngeal stop is the original pronunciation of this letter.The ḥ symbol, an h with a dot under it, represents the letter ḥet (‫)ח‬.This may be pronounced either as a fricative kh, as in “Bach” and “Loch Ness monster,” or as a breathier, “heavier” h sound, pronounced in the back of the throat; this is a voiceless pharyngeal fricative, cognate with and equivalent to ‫ح‬. Kh also represents the fricative sound of “Bach” and “Loch Ness”; in this transliteration system, it is used to represent the letter ‫כ‬, cognate with and equivalent to ‫خ‬.The q represents the letter quf (‫)ק‬, which is cognate with ‫;ق‬ in Hebrew, this may be pronounced either like a regular k or like a k that comes from the back of mouth, a uvular k.The letter i is used to represent the Hebrew schwa when it is pronounced; in Hebrew, this sounds like the i in “community.”The ī is used to represent a longer i sound, as in the word “elite,” i.e. an ee sound.The r sound is different from the English r.The r pronunciations commonly used in Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic are all commonly used for Hebrew. For American English speakers, the easiest option will be to use the pronunciation you use for the tt in “better” and for the dd in “ladder”—but if you say these words carefully, the sound changes; it’s the sound from rapid speech that is the same as an r in many languages, and will work for Hebrew as well. In linguistic terms, a Hebrew r may be pronounced as a uvular approximate, a uvular fricative, a uvular trill, or as an alveolar flap or trill. 23
  • 24. The more common convention for distinguishing between the alef and the ayin in Hebrew transliteration is to use apostrophes and let the subtle difference between ‘ and ’ differentiate between them.The problem with this convention is that the difference is hard to see on the page; this means that it is not an accessible option. In addition, many transliterations also use apostrophes to indicate the schwa, so the symbol has three potential interpretations instead of one.The difference between 2 and 3, on the other hand, is readily visible, and this system is familiar to most speakers and students of Arabic. It is also easier to learn and remember than the two apostrophe directions.The numbers look more similar to the corresponding Arabic letters than to their Hebrew equivalents, but if you picture the Hebrew letters rotated 90º, you can see a resemblance to their corresponding numbers. Finally, borrowing this use of 2 and 3 for these letters from 3arabizi lets us emphasize the similarity between Hebrew and Arabic. (Interestingly, 3 is sometimes used in Middle English as well, but in Middle English it represents a Y.) For the most part, the transliterations follow the practice of Hebrew and other Semitic languages in not using capital letters. The only exceptions are when a transliteration is incorporated into an English sentence, and more generally to mark the beginning of sentences. Finally, for Hebrew words used in English sentences and in section headings, we sometimes depart from both of these systems, because the choices here are influenced by English spelling conventions, sometimes adapted slightly in light of considerations discussed here. In addition, transliterations in song lyrics and song titles often follow those used by the songwriter, and may differ greatly from all the other transliterations. P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O  C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 24
  • 25. Note on the prayer language: The traditional prayers follow a set formula, which we offer here with variations. Feel free to use whichever variant speaks to you in the moment, or to create your own.The traditional variant uses masculine-gendered language for God.To this we add variants in the, feminine and in language as close to gender-neutral as we can coax Hebrew into; this usually means abstract.The decision to include all three versions, and the decision to keep the masculine version completely unchanged, were made with a view to maximal inclusivity. We have opted for gender-neutral English translations of all three versions.This means that in English, the feminine and masculine versions will sometimes be identical, e.g. when the feminine merely substitutes queenship for kingship; they will be different when the feminine version offers other epithets for the divine relationship to the world.The gender-neutral version begins with “Let us bless” and uses more abstract language. This is because of the quirks of Hebrew gender. Almost all verb forms in Hebrew are gendered, as are most other words.The main exception is first-person verbs, i.e. the verb forms for “we” and “I.” (The present tense, which uses participle forms, is an exception to the exception). Because the first-person forms are common gender, we follow Marcia Falk’s lead in using the first-person plural ‫נברך‬, nivarekh, to begin the gender-neutral blessings, and then we use largely abstract nouns to refer to God. We also use gerunds instead of verb forms to refer to God’s actions, because this again lets us avoid gendering (i.e., misgendering) God.The gerunds themselves have gender, like all Hebrew nouns, but their gender does not reflect any conceptions about God or people. One word in the standard prayer formula appears in all the variations, but is never pronounced; this is the tetragrammaton, the four-letter 25
  • 26. name of God (‫)יהוה‬, which is considered ineffable. It is often abbreviated as ‫יי‬ or ‫;ה׳‬ these abbreviations are also not pronounced.The name means approximately “Causer of Being.” Another God name is always said instead of pronouncing this name. Most often, people substitute “2Adonai,” which means “my Lords.” (Yes, it really is plural, but used with singular agreement and understood as singular.) Some people now substitute the similar word “2Adanai,” which means “my foundations”; and we use this in several of the transliterations. Another traditional option is to say “Yah,” the God name in halleluYah; this is essentially a nickname for the four- letter name, but one that it is permitted to pronounce. Other options include “Shekhinah,” which means “immanent Divine Presence,” or “2Ein Sof,” meaning “Infinity” or “the Infinite.” Feel free to use the name of your preference, regardless of the name in the transliteration.The translations offered for the tetragrammaton in the prayers in this Haggadah do not always correspond to literal translations of the God names chosen for the transliterations.3 3 Many of the blessings used here were inspired by the mutkan blessings in Siddur Birkat Shalom, 2nd ed. (Somerville, MA: Havurat Shalom Siddur Project, 2021), the practices of the Havurat Shalom community, and by Marcia Falk’s work, particularly her The Book of Blessings (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1996). We are also inspired by the work of Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater in her Haggadah Shir Ge’ulah—The Song of Liberation Haggadah (US: Vatichtov Press, 2014).The use of 2Adanai for the tetragrammaton was introduced by Aliza Arzt at the Havurat Shalom community; thanks are also due to Aliza Arzt for consultations on the gender-neutral ‫חיינו‬ ‫על‬ blessing and on the additions to ‫עניא‬ ‫לחמא‬ ‫הא‬. At this point, a growing number of communities and liturgists are experimenting with variations in the language and gender choices in our blessings. P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O  C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 26
  • 27. 27
  • 28. CANDLE LIGHTING CEREMONY INSTRUCTIONS In the Jewish calendar, a day commences at nightfall. We mark the onset of festivals in the evening with the ceremonial lighting of candles and a blessing is said over the lights: Traditional version ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ָ�‫ָׁש‬ְ�‫ְּד‬ ִ ‫ִק‬ ‫ר‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,ָ‫ָי‬ְ‫ְי‬ ‫ה‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָר‬�‫ָּב‬ .‫ב‬ ֹ ‫טֹו‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ ‫יֹו‬ ]‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫ָת‬�‫ָּב‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬[ ‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ֵר‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫יק‬ִ‫ִל‬ְ‫ְד‬ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ָּו�ָנ‬ִ‫ְִצ‬‫ְו‬ ‫יו‬ ָ‫ָת‬ ֹ ‫ְֹו‬‫ְצ‬ ִ ‫ְִמ‬�‫ְּב‬ Transliteration A. Barukh atah adonai, eloheinu melekh ha- olam, asher kidshanu bimitzvotav vitzivanu lihadlik ner shel [shabbat veshel] yom tov. Transliteration 1. Barukh 2atah 2adonai, 2eloheinu melekh ha3olam, 2asher qīdshanu bimītzvotav vitzīvanu lihadlīq ner shel [shabbat vishel] yom tov. Translation: Blessed are you, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the [Shabbat and] festival lights. P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O  C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 28
  • 29. Feminine version ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְת‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬ְ�‫ְּד‬ ִ ‫ִק‬ ‫ר‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ,‫ִים‬‫ִי‬ ַ‫ַח‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ר‬ ֹ ‫קֹו‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬ .‫ב‬ ֹ ‫טֹו‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ ‫יֹו‬ ]‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫ָת‬�‫ָּב‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬[ ‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶשׁ‬ ‫ֵר‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫ק‬ִ‫ִל‬ְ‫ְד‬ ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ַּו�ְַת‬ִ‫ְִצ‬‫ְו‬ ‫יה‬ ֶ‫ֶת‬ ֹ ‫ְֹו‬‫ְצ‬ ִ ‫ְִמ‬�‫ְּב‬ Transliteration A. Birukhah at adonai, elohateinu mikor hakhayyim, asher kidshatnu bimitzvoteha vitsivatnu lihadlik ner shel [shabbat veshel] yom tov. Transliteration 1. Birukhah 2at 2adonai 2elohateinu miqor haḥayyīm 2asher qidshatnu bimītzvoteha vitzivatnu lihadlīq ner shel [shabbat vishel] yom tov. Translation: Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Source of life, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the [Shabbat and] festival lights. Gender-neutral version ‫ת‬ ֹ ‫ְוֹו‬‫ְצ‬ ִ ‫ְּב�ִּמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ ָ�‫ָּד�ָּשׁ‬ ְ ‫ְק‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ּח‬‫ּו‬‫ר‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ�‫ְְך‬ ֶ ‫ֶָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬ .‫ב‬ ֹ ‫טֹו‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ ‫יֹו‬ ]‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫ָת‬�‫ָּב‬ַ�‫ַׁש‬[ ‫ל‬ ֶ�‫ֶשׁ‬ ‫ֵר‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫ת‬ ַ ‫ַָק‬‫ָל‬ְ‫ְד‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ַת‬‫ַו‬ְ‫ְצ‬ ִ ‫ִמ‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ְַע‬‫ְו‬ Transliteration A. Nivarekh et yah, elohuteinu ruakh ha-olam, al hakdashateinu bimitzvot vi- al mitzvat hadlakat ner shel [shabbat veshel] yom tov. Transliteration 1. Nivarekh 2et yah, 2elohuteinu ruaḥ ha3olam, 3al haqdashateinu bimītzvot vi3al mitzvat hadlaqat ner shel [shabbat vishel] yom tov. Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, Spirit of the world, for making us holy with the commandment to kindle the [Shabbat and] festival lights. 29
  • 30.  INSTRUCTIONS: The Haggadah is read collectively, guided by a leader who orchestrates the reading or by participants taking turns at points designated “Read Aloud.” Once everyone is seated, with the Seder Plate and the three matzot on the table, all sing in unison: ‫ב‬ ֹ ‫ֹו‬ ּ‫ה–ּט‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ‫ֵה‬�‫ֵּנ‬ ִ ‫ִה‬ ‫ֶת‬‫ֶׁב‬�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ים‬ ִ ‫ָּנ�ִּע‬-‫ה‬ ַ‫ַּמ‬‫ּו‬ ‫ד‬ ַ‫ַַח‬‫ַי‬-‫ם‬ּ�‫ַּג‬ ‫ים‬ ִ ‫ִח‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ב‬ ֹ ‫ֹו‬ ּ‫ה–ּט‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ‫ֵה‬�‫ֵּנ‬ ִ ‫ִה‬ ‫ֶת‬‫ֶׁב‬�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ים‬ ִ ‫ָּנ�ִּע‬-‫ה‬ ַ‫ַּמ‬‫ּו‬ ‫ד‬ ַ‫ַַח‬‫ַי‬-‫ם‬ּ�‫ַּג‬ ‫ת‬ ֹ ‫יֹו‬ ָ‫ָח‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ‫ב‬ ֹ ‫ֹו‬ ּ‫ה–ּט‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ‫ֵה‬�‫ֵּנ‬ ִ ‫ִה‬ ‫ֶת‬‫ֶׁב‬�‫ֶׁש‬ ‫ים‬ ִ ‫ָּנ�ִּע‬-‫ה‬ ַ‫ַּמ‬‫ּו‬ ‫ד‬ ַ‫ַַח‬‫ַי‬-‫ם‬ּ�‫ַּג‬ ‫ים‬ ִ�‫ִּמ‬ַ‫ַע‬ How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. [Psalm 133:1] How good and how pleasant it is for sisters to dwell together in unity. How good and how pleasant it is for peoples to dwell together in unity. Transliteration A. Hinei mah tov umah na-im shevet akhim gam yakhad. Hinei mah tov umah na-im shevet akhayot gam yakhad. Hinei mah tov umah na-im shevet amim gam yakhad. Transliteration 1. Hīnei mah tov umah na3im shevet 2aḥim gam yaḥad. Hīnei mah tov umah na3īm shevet 2aḥayot gam yaḥad. Hīnei mah tov umah na3īm shevet 3amīm gam yaḥad. The song, based on Psalm 133:1, starts with the theme of brotherhood and has been expanded to include sisters and nations, promoting inclusivity and unity on a micro- and macro-scale. It expresses a universal longing for peace and harmony, extending beyond personal and communal relationships to embrace a broader spectrum of human P R E F A C E E S S A Y I N T R O S E D E R P L A T E H O W T O  C A N D L E L I G H T I N G 30
  • 31. connections.This adaptation honors the essence of the original Psalm while incorporating the diversity of humanity in a unified spirit. Todd Herzog, serving as a Cantorial Soloist at Temple Solel in Phoenix, brings a fresh perspective to “Hinei Ma Tov Umah Na-im,” a song celebrating togetherness.This version of the song at the start of the Seder foreshadows the song “Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu” at its conclusion, seamlessly linking the themes of peace and togetherness that resonate throughout both songs. Hinei Mah Tov - Key: Eb Todd Herzog Hinei mah tov umah na-im shevet akhim gam yakhad (2x) How beautiful it is to be here Feeling like we belong Arm in arm just like sisters and brothers Joined together in song Hinei mah tov umah na-im shevet akhim gam yakhad. (2x) shevet akhayot gam yakhad. shevet amim gam yakhad. 31
  • 32. KADESH BLESSING OVER THE FRUIT OF THE GRAPEVINE The Kiddush blessing, recited over drinking the “fruit of the grapevine,” introduces the Cup of Liberation, an important moment in setting the tone and intention of the Seder night and sanctifying the space for shared humanity, responsibility, and values. According to custom, participants pour drinks for one another so as to care for the needs of others rather than serving themselves.This symbolic interaction encourages a sense of unity among people from diverse backgrounds and a stronger commitment to active listening. The traditional Kiddush may create ambiguity with its exclusionary assertion: “Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, who has chosen us from all peoples, and exalted us above all tongues, and sanctified us with the commandments. You have lovingly given us, Infinite One our God, appointed times for joy….” This wording, derived from various biblical texts, raises the oft-repeated (and misunderstood) concept of “chosenness.” To address these concerns and encourage unity, we introduce an alternative Kiddush from the Tosefta, dating from the second- century CE; this version of the Kiddush refers to love and mercy instead of chosenness. READ ALOUD As we recite this Kiddush, we aim to embrace a more inclusive understanding of chosenness. We believe that each person has unique talents and is chosen to contribute positively to our M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 32
  • 33. world.The Kiddush also mentions the idea of the “covenant” from the Hebrew Bible, which established rules for both God and people. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, radical British thinkers used this concept to argue for the need for a system of limited government with separate powers (branches of government) and checks and balances.They wanted to limit government power in order to protect people’s rights.Their ideas influenced the development of the first modern federal system in the US Constitution. With this Kiddush, we aspire to build a new community based on democracy and ensuring that everyone's rights are protected. Commentary: The Meaning of Chosenness By Ignat A. The concept of "chosenness" in Judaism is a multifaceted phenomenon, intertwining spiritual, emotional, and political dimensions in a manner that resists simplistic classification. This concept raises the debate over whether "chosenness" is an inherent attribute of Jewish identity or a goal. Historically, these interpretations have coexisted, merging seamlessly without necessitating a clear separation. Yet, within the Israel-Palestine context, the interpretation of "chosenness" has undergone significant evolution, linking Jewish sovereignty with a mix of secular and religious readings and leading to tangible political consequences. The practice among ancient Near Eastern city-states of adopting a patron deity, whom they credited for military triumphs as evidence of divine favor, reflects the "Chosen People" ideology. The Haggadah reinforces this by crediting rescue from slavery to God's intervention, which challenged the deities of Egypt through the plagues and reaffirmed a covenant that implies mutual selection between God and the Israelites. This backdrop, together with the Judeans' conviction of divine providence during their exile, highlights a dynamic covenant-based relationship rather than one founded on conquest. 33
  • 34. In the Hebrew Bible, "chosenness" is depicted as conditional, linked to the observance of God's commandments, with Jewish identity being shaped by law and covenant rather than by race or geography. This concept entails both a continuous challenge to comply with divine laws and a core aspect of Jewish identity, predating but continuing to evolve in parallel with Zionism, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the ongoing conflict with Palestinians. The stakes surrounding this notion are significant. It prompts reflection on how "chosenness" might either challenge or bolster the aims and duties of individuals and communities. Furthermore, it raises questions about its impact on the potential for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. INSTRUCTION One participant rises to recite the Kiddush over the Cup of Liberation. Following this, the prayer “Who has granted us life” (Sheḥekheyanu) is offered, a heartfelt acknowledgment of gratitude for life’s blessings. After these recitations, drink from the cup. It is customary to drink while reclining to the left, mirroring the practices of the symposium in antiquity. This act symbolizes freedom, leisure, and control over our collective destiny. ,ָ‫ָך‬ ֶ�‫ֶּמ‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫ל‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ָ ‫ָר‬ְ�‫ְׂש‬ִ‫ִי‬ ‫ת‬ ֶ‫ֶא‬ ָ�‫ְָּת‬‫ְב‬ַ‫ַה‬ ָ‫ָא‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ,ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ‫יי‬ ,ָ‫ָך‬ ְ‫ְָת‬‫ָב‬ֲ‫ֲה‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ֵ‫ֵמ‬ ,ּ‫ּו‬‫ָנ‬�‫ָּל‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַָת‬‫ָנ‬ ,ָ‫ָך‬ ֶ‫יֶת‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬‫ְב‬ ‫ֵי‬‫ֵנ‬ְ�‫ְּב‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ָ�‫ְָּת‬‫ְל‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ֲ‫ֲח‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ,ּ‫ּו‬‫ֵנ‬�‫ֵּכ‬ְ‫ְל‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ ָ‫ָך‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ְ‫ְל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ ֲ‫ֲח‬ ֵ‫ֵּמ‬‫ּו‬ ‫ֶה‬ � ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ׁ‫ׁש‬ ֹ ‫דֹו‬ ָ�‫ָּק‬ ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְו‬ ‫ל‬ ֹ ‫ָדֹו‬�‫ָּג‬ַ‫ַה‬ )‫י‬ ִ ‫יִע‬ִ‫ִב‬ְ��‫ְּׁש‬ַ‫(ַה‬ ‫ם‬ ֹ ‫יֹו‬ ‫ת‬ ֶ‫ֶא‬ ,ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ’‫ה‬ .‫ָה‬‫ָב‬ֲ‫ֲה‬ ַ‫ְַא‬�‫ְּב‬ Transliteration 1. Me2ahavatkha, 2adonai 2eloheinu, she2ahavta 2et Yīsra2el 3ameḥa, umeḥameltkha malkeinu, sheḥamalta 3al Transliteration A. Me-ahavatkha, adonai eloheinu, she-ahavta et yisra-el amekha, umeikhameltkha malkeinu, shekhamalta M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 34
  • 35. binei virītekha, natata lanu, 2adonai 2eloheinu, 2et yom (hashvī3ī) hagadol vihaqadosh hazeh bi2ahavah. al binei viritekha, natata lanu, adonai eloheinu, et yom (hashvi-i) hagadol vihakadosh hazeh b-ahavah. Translation: Because of your love, Divine One, our God, for your people Israel, and the mercy you showed to the people of your covenant, you gave us this great and holy day in love. (Tosefta Berakhot III, 11). Traditional version .‫ֶן‬‫ֶפ‬ּ�‫ָּג‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫י‬ ִ ‫ְּפ�ִּר‬ ‫א‬ ֵ ‫ֵר‬ ֹ ‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ה‬ ּ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָּב�ּר‬ Transliteration A. Barukh atah adonai, eloheinu melekh ha-olam, borei pri hagafen. Transliteration 1. Barukh 2atah 2adonai, 2eloheinu melekh ha3olam, borei2 pirī hagafen. Translation: Blessed are You, Source of Being, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. Feminine version: .‫ֶן‬‫ֶפ‬ָ‫ָג‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫י‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫את‬ ֵ ‫ֵר‬ ֹ ‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ַת‬�‫ַּכ‬‫ל‬ ַ‫ַמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬ Transliteration A. Birukhah at yah, elohateinu malkat ha-olam, boreit pri hagafen. Transliteration 1. Birukhah 2at yah, 2elohateinu malkat ha3olam, borei2t pirī hagafen. 35
  • 36. Translation: Blessed are You, Source of Being, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. Gender-neutral version: ‫י‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫ת‬ ַ‫יַא‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬�‫ְּב‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ים‬ ִ ‫ִַמ‬‫ַל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵח‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ�‫ְְך‬ ֶ ‫ֶָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬ .‫ֶן‬‫ֶפ‬ָ�‫ָּג‬ַ‫ַה‬ Transliteration A. Nivarekh et yah, elohuteinu khei ha- olamim, al biri-at pri hagafen. Transliteration 1. Nivarekh 2et yah, 2elohuteinu ḥei ha3olamīm, 3al birī2at pirī hagafen. Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, Life of all worlds, for the creation of the fruit of the vine. THE SHEHEḤIYANU PRAYER Traditional version: ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ָ‫ְָמ‬�‫ְּי‬ ִ ‫ְִק‬‫ְו‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ָנ‬‫ָי‬ ֱ‫ֱח‬ ֶ‫ֶה‬ ֶ�‫ֶׁש‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,ָ‫ָי‬ְ‫ְי‬ ‫ה‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָר‬�‫ָּב‬ .‫ֶה‬ � ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ן‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬ �‫ְַּז‬‫ַל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ָ‫יָע‬ִ�‫ִּג‬ ִ ‫ְִה‬‫ְו‬ Transliteration A. Barukh atah adanai, eloheinu melekh ha-olam, shehekheyanu Vikiyimanu vihigi-anu lazman hazeh. Transliteration 1. Barukh 2atah 2adanai, 2eloheinu melekh ha3olam, sheheḥeyanu viqīyimanu vihigī3anu lazman hazeh. Translation: Blessed are You, Source of Being, our God, Ruler of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion. M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 36
  • 37. Feminine version: ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְת‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬�‫ְּי‬ ִ ‫ְִק‬‫ְו‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְַת‬‫ַי‬ ֶ‫ֶח‬ ֶ‫ֶה‬ ֶ�‫ֶשׁ‬ ,‫ִים‬‫ִי‬ ַ‫ַח‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ר‬ ֹ ‫קֹו‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ�‫ְּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬ .‫ֶה‬ � ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ן‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬‫ְז‬ַ‫ַל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ְ‫ְת‬ַ‫יַע‬ִ�‫ִּג‬ ִ ‫ְִה‬‫ְו‬ Transliteration A. Birukhah at adanai, elohateinu mikor hakhayyim, shehekheyatnu vikiyimatnu Vihigi-atnu lazman hazeh. Transliteration 1. Birukhah 2at 2adanai, 2elohateinu miqor haḥayyīm, sheheḥeyatnu viqīyimatnu vihigī3atnu lazman hazeh. Translation: Blessed are You, Creator, our God, Source of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion. Gender-neutral version: ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּמ‬‫ּו‬ּ‫ּי‬ ִ ‫ְִק‬‫ְו‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ֵינ‬‫ֵי‬ ַ‫ַח‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ּח‬‫ּו‬‫ר‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ‫ְך‬ ֵ ‫ֵָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬ .‫ֶה‬ � ‫ֶּז‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ן‬ ַ‫ְַמ‬‫ְז‬ַ‫ַל‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ָ‫יָע‬ִ�‫ִּג‬ ַ‫ְַה‬‫ְו‬ Transliteration A. Nivarekh et yah, elohuteinu ruakh ha-olam, al khayeinu vikiyumeinu vihagi-ateinu lazman hazeh. Transliteration 1. Nivarekh 2et yah, 2elohuteinu ruaḥ ha3olam, 3al ḥayeinu viqīyumeinu vihigi3ateinu lazman hazeh. Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, for our lives and our existence and our reaching this time. 37
  • 38. Commentary: A Life-Changing Trip By Penny S. Tee Note: Regardless of convention, I always capitalize “Peace”; Peace is so important! In 2014, I was a stay-at-home American Jewish mom, wanting our son to bond with Israel. I can’t believe it’s already been a decade. I had been a corporate executive and consultant in my single days with one hundred people reporting to me and multi-million- dollar budgets, but I was lucky afterwards to be able to choose to stay home and raise our son. This is what happened and how it changed me. I’m still trying to get over the Jewish guilt of taking my son to war for his bar mitzvah present! I didn’t plan it that way, but Elohim had other ideas. It was the fourth of July, and instead of enjoying fireworks, we saw Palestinian missiles exploding in the sky. It was unsurprising, yet disappointing that Israel was being portrayed as this ill-intentioned Goliath. But what other nation at war forewarns the enemy before bombing their area by dropping leaflets, calling, and texting the residents with their plans and intended timing? Please remember, I’m talking about a decade ago. I must also address what’s happening today; what was taking place then was not equivalent, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the current (2023-2024) Israel-Hamas war. During this new Israel-Hamas war, situations are even more complicated. There’s too much grief on all sides, and just as many perspectives sure to get someone upset with your viewpoint. The extreme atrocities of murder, mutilation, rapes, taking of hostages, and barbaric, intentional cruelty that occurred on October 7th against Israeli civilians, as well M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 38
  • 39. as soldiers, should only be described as evil. They even ensured it was well-documented and the terrorists called their parents with pride, sharing the violence they had perpetrated, and offering praises to Allah for their brutality. The heinous acts are often denied and called mere “resistance.” Witnessing the nightly scenes of dead Gazan children with parents screaming in pain at their loss is too much to bear. Hamas uses their own people as human shields without regard for the lives of their citizens. Hamas has built tunnels intentionally below schools, hospitals, and mosques, which the IDF is determined to destroy. This situation adds to Israel’s vilification as it seeks to eliminate Hamas’s military infrastructure. Now Israel has been accused of genocide. At what point should we say “intention be damned” and let the numbers speak for themselves? It takes a concerted effort to sort through the overlay of politics, propaganda from one-sided viewpoints, and intentional lying; most people won’t take the time because of their own busy schedules. It’s a vile mess, but please follow me back to my story in 2014, before these situations had escalated even further… Back in 2014, we saw incredible sacred sites and repeatedly ran to bomb shelters. I tried to convince my fellow travelers that since the next leg of our journey was to France, a few more days on the Champs-Élysées could be a great substitute, but they wouldn’t go for it. Let’s just say I had had too many bowls of chicken soup in my lifetime to want to stay. But could you blame me? When the missiles explode in the sky and you’re in a bomb shelter, you can feel the percussion on your skin. Others were scared but seemed to take on the Israeli mindset of feeling protected by Iron Dome. Yes, Iron Dome is a life-saver, but sometimes Iron Dome misses. While we were there, I was sending out detailed emails lest God forbid, something tragic should happen. One morning in the parking lot, we passed by a Palestinian rocket, half below the pavement with the tail up in the air like it was pointing a finger at us as we passed by. You know which one. I’m still not over my reaction to this unforgettable experience, but strangely, the 39
  • 40. impact of this horror developed into one of the most meaningful parts of my life. I have an MBA from ancient times, and after I returned home, one of my friends from grad school said, “Oh, you’ve got to write a book!” Did I know how to write a book? No; it took me five years between revisions and editors. And after I finished my book, I became a speaker, and then for the last three years, I have interviewed over 100 Peace organizations and activists for my vodcast, PEACE with Penny, including the ones listed under Resources at the back of this Peace Haggadah. Unfortunately, by continuously reporting the gruesome violence, prioritizing the more shocking and graphic stories, and ignoring the rays of sunshine of the grassroots Peace organizations, the media have convinced the world that there will never be Peace in the Middle East. I believe this has been a grave disservice. What I know for a fact is that there are positive, Peaceful enclaves, that are hopeful, even during this horrific Israel-Hamas War. Working on Peace is not the easiest path, but there is no other sane choice. After working on Peace for a decade, I feel a sense of post- traumatic growth, a concept I recently learned about. Psychology Today defines PTG as “the positive psychological change that some individuals experience after a life crisis or traumatic event.” I believe that is what’s happened to me. Consequently, I have devoted my life to Peace ever since. Both Israeli and Palestinian parents want their kids to play safely in their backyards. Instead of cries of anti-normalization, and dehumanizing the “other” which can only end badly, we need to promote learning about each other and looking for similarities and points of connection. It’s surprised me over the years how many Israelis and Palestinians may live near or work together, but they still don’t socialize. Although in the Peace world dialogue may incur M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 40
  • 41. some flak with descriptions of the wine and hummus crowd, the impact of establishing a one-on-one relationship with the “other” cannot be overstated. May you live in Peace, ‫שלום‬ and ‫سالم‬.  41
  • 42. URCHATZ WASHING OF THE HANDS When the Temple was in Jerusalem, there was a key focus on ritual purity, particularly for foods dipped in liquids, due to their susceptibility to ritual impurity.The act of washing hands before dipping vegetables in saltwater (in the next step, Karpas), emphasizes the connection to the ancient version of the Seder ritual in the Temple. But it also takes on a playful aspect, intended to pique curiosity and encourage questions, especially from children. While the typical practice is to wash hands after Kiddush before eating bread, during the Seder, hands are washed after Kiddush before eating vegetables, adding a unique twist that allows every generation to impart new meaning and abstract the theme of liberation to other contexts. READ ALOUD The ritual of handwashing symbolizes purity and the importance of pure intentions. Just as water cleanses our hands, we hope it also helps to cleanse our hearts and minds of deep-seated resentments, past animosities, and prejudices. This act is a reminder of how closely linked our destinies are; it emphasizes that purifying oneself can have a positive impact on everyone around us. It’s a moment of reflection and commitment to start anew, in the spirit of unity and mutual understanding. INSTRUCTIONS: Participants wash their hands while being mindful of this intention and then make their way back to their seats. Parsley, celery, or other spring greens are distributed, to be eaten after we say the blessing. M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 42
  • 43. Commentary: Is Purism Pure? By Rebecca Sealfon While gathering for song can unite us, some of the traditions you may have seen at this Seder separate us. Many of the Jewish commandments, revealed after the Israelites had fled from Egypt and when they were wandering on their journey to the Land of Canaan, set Jews apart from other peoples. The Jewish dietary restrictions are some. They forbid Jews from consuming pork, shellfish, mixtures of meat and dairy, animals that were not slaughtered in a special ritual way, and even food from dishes and ovens that had these forbidden ingredients. Under the commandments, these foods are impure. “You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves with any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those that I have set apart as unclean for you. You are to be holy to me because I, the Eternal, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own” (Leviticus 20:25-26). The Jews are not merely set apart from other peoples, but they are set even farther apart from animals. These and other laws are intended to temper their animal instincts. Their interpretations of these rules were further refined during the thousands of years of Jewish wandering when Jews were mostly at the mercy of other countries. After modern Jews returned to the land now called Palestine, they became the rulers rather than the ruled. And so they found themselves in quite a different situation, one that Jewish tradition does not say a whole lot about. But it is a situation with parallels to what a particular wild animal—the laughing hyena—faces. The laughing hyena has a reputation for unclean voracity. It is set apart from other animals, but in ways that seem nearly opposite to how the 43
  • 44. Israelites were set apart. Rather than regarding carcasses as unclean, it will joyously consume them—from almost any kind of animal. In addition to being versatile scavengers that clean up the African savanna, laughing hyenas are also formidable hunters, intelligent, and family-oriented. A hyena clan consists of several dozen individuals from related lineages who are all descended from a common ancestor. The clan defends a territory, and the different lineages within it struggle for dominance over it. Dominance brings advantages in how well a hyena can eat and feed its cubs. Ultimately Israel-Palestine is also a struggle between separate branches of a larger family, the Jews and the Palestinians, for political, economic, and cultural dominance over the land. And beneath the veneer of holiness, the conflict is rooted in the instincts of living creatures. It has already transformed our cultures. Hopefully, it will transform us and make us less purist, so we may stop setting one another far apart.  M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 44
  • 45. KARPAS EATING A GREEN VEGETABLE In Greco-Roman Judea and Palestine, where the Seder was originally set, appetizers were often consumed during festive meals.This practice was part of a specific sequence in which guests would enter, take their seats on chairs, and wash one hand before being served appetizers. After enjoying these appetizers, they would then transition to the dining hall and recline on couches to partake in the main meal. Karpas is a mispronunciation of the Aramaic and Arabic word “karafs,” ‫كرفس‬ , meaning celery.This confusion likely arose due to the absence of vowels in the early Hebrew script, which received vowels only around the eighth century CE.The choice of dipping for karpas varies among communities. Mizraḥim.ot traditionally dip celery in ḥaroset, a paste-like mixture of fruit and nuts symbolizing the mortar used by slaves to build the cities of Pithom and Raamses, as described in the Hebrew Bible. Other Sephardim.ot and Ashkenazot.im dip it in salt water, representing tears of suffering at the time of slavery. At the very beginning of the Seder, with the appetizer of karpas, we are immediately introduced to the central theme of the evening: reliving the liberation journey from enslavement to freedom.This act sets the tone for the Seder. Because the Jewish calendar combines lunar and solar cycles, Passover consistently occurs around the time of the Spring Equinox.This connection to the equinox links Passover with spring and the concept of rebirth.The lush green of karpas symbolizes the regeneration characteristic of this season of growth and transformation. By partaking in the earth’s bounty, we forge a deep bond with life-giving soil that has sustained generations irrespective of their origins or faiths.This practice serves as a poignant acknowledgment that the soil of the land of Israel and Palestine bears the memories and legacies 45
  • 46. of many generations of both peoples and emphasizes our collective duty to treasure and safeguard it. INSTRUCTIONS: Parsley or celery is commonly used for karpas during the Passover seder; other spring greens are fine as well or instead. We dip the greens in salt water to remind ourselves of past suffering while also anticipating renewal. We recite a blessing before consuming vegetables to acknowledge the gift grown in the soil. READ ALOUD Dipping karpas in saltwater during Passover symbolizes tears of suffering and underscores the significance of acknowledging our past as we embrace new beginnings.This act can also serve as an expression of compassion for those enduring hardship, such as displaced and injured Palestinians in Gaza, Palestinians living under military occupation and in refugee camps, Israeli hostages in Gaza, Israelis displaced from the south and the north of the country, and all people who have lost dear ones. As we dip and taste their salty tears, we also partake in the fresh greenery, representing the earth that has absorbed so much blood, yet insists on giving back life. M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 46
  • 47. Traditional version .‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ָד‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫א‬ ֵ ‫ֵר‬ ֹ ‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ָם‬‫ָל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ְ‫ְֶך‬‫ֶל‬ ֶ‫ֶמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ינ‬ ֵ‫ֵֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָו‬‫ְה‬‫ְי‬ ‫ה‬ ָ�‫ָּת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ְ‫ְּך‬‫ּו‬‫ָר‬�‫ָּב‬ Transliteration A. Barukh atah adanai, eloheinu, melekh ha-olam, borei pri ha-adamah. Transliteration 1. Barukh 2atah 2adanai, 2eloheinu melekh ha3olam, borei2 pirī ha2adamah. Translation: Blessed are You, Infinite One, our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth. Feminine version .‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ָד‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫את‬ ֵ ‫ֵר‬ ֹ ‫ֹּו‬‫ּב‬ ,‫ים‬ ִ ‫ִַמ‬‫ַל‬ ֹ ‫עֹו‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵח‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵת‬ַ‫ַֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ְ‫ְת‬ ַ‫ַא‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָכ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ְר‬�‫ְּב‬ Transliteration A. Birukhah at adanai, elohateinu hei ha-olamim, boreit pri ha-adamah. Transliteration 1. Birukhah 2at 2adanai, 2elohateinu ḥei ha3olamim, borei2t pirī ha2adamah. Translation: Blessed are You, Infinite One, our God, Life of all worlds, who creates the fruit of the earth. Gender-neutral version .‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ָד‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫י‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬�‫ְּפ‬ ‫ת‬ ַ‫יַא‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬�‫ְּב‬ ‫ל‬ַ‫ַע‬ ,‫ִים‬‫ִי‬ַ‫ַח‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ר‬ ֹ ‫קֹו‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ּ‫ּו‬‫נ‬ ֵ‫ֵּת‬‫ּו‬‫ֹה‬‫ֹל‬ ֱ‫ֱא‬ ,‫יי‬ ‫ת‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ְ‫ְך‬ ֶ ‫ֶָר‬‫ָב‬ְ‫ְנ‬ Transliteration A. Nivarekh et yah, elohuteinu mikor hakhayyim, al biri-at pri ha-adamah. Transliteration 1. Nivarekh 2et yah, 2elohuteinu miqor haḥayyīm, 3al birī2at pirī ha2adamah. Translation: Let us bless Yah, our Divinity, for the creation of the fruit of the earth. 47
  • 48. Commentary: Karpas By Wendy Kalman For Karpas, we dip a green vegetable, such as celery or parsley, into salt water. Why would we dip the earth’s vibrant produce into something so salty? Some sources connect the greens to spring renewal. Others tie the significance of these vegetables to hope. Still others link the greens to the land and what grows from it. But then why salt water? With this, we acknowledge the bitter tears our ancestors, the Israelites, shed when they were slaves in Egypt, away from their land. The greens and salt water are paired for a reason. And so, I think about all of this—about land, about rebirth and renewal, and about acknowledging pain and suffering. And then I think about Israelis and Palestinians today. To me, it is especially heartbreaking that in three quarters of a century, this conflict between two peoples has not been resolved. To me it is clear: both peoples are tied to the land; neither is going anywhere; each intends to stay. At the same time, whether because of terror or because of oppression, both Israelis and Palestinians have shed tears, and each has been in pain due to actions of the other. But how often has either side acknowledged the other side’s pain or taken responsibility for contributing to it? A few years ago in a class at Hebrew University, I learned about the psychological toll incurred by Israelis and Palestinians living under this intractable conflict, and about what it does to and means for each society as a whole, as well as to individuals. I must state that just because a conflict is at present intractable does not mean it M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 48
  • 49. must remain unresolved. It does not mean we must give up hope. Hope, like newly grown vegetables, can sprout, even in the Middle East. At any rate, a few studies that we read in class stood out. One in particular stressed not only the importance of empathy for the other and of taking responsibility, but also—critically—of doing it credibly. When each side feels the other side truly sees it and hears its pain, reconciliation can take place. Without trust, this cannot happen.8 This is where efforts like seders built around this Haggadah matter. Individual connections humanize, and hopefully allow us not only to hear but also to think about what we are hearing. To put ourselves in another’s place. During the seder we retell what happened in order to relive it. We see events from a perspective and a time other than our own. Likewise, in creating this Haggadah and sharing our seder table with each other, we are embracing the same. Today. And in dipping our green vegetable, born of the land, into the salt water reminiscent of bitter tears, we can not only understand how important the land is to both peoples but also feel each other’s pain. If we can put ourselves in each other’s place, we can find a way to want to help each other make our home here side by side. Perhaps, this year as we dip our karpas into salty water, we can jointly find a way to share our love and reverence for the land instead of sharing tears. 8 A. Nadler and I. Liviatan, “Intergroup Reconciliation: Effects of Adversary’s Expressions of Empathy, Responsibility, and Recipients’ Trust,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, (2006): 32(4):459-70. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7263760_Intergroup_Reconciliation_ Effects_of_Adversary's_Expressions_of_Empathy_Responsibility_and_Recipients'_Trust 49
  • 50. YACHATZ BREAKING THE BREAD There are three pieces of matzah on the table corresponding to the three matzot that were eaten together with the sacrificial offering at the Temple on the first night of Passover, according to the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 12, Leviticus 23).The middle matzah is broken before the start of the festive meal and the biggest broken piece is set aside to be served at the end of the meal in the section of the seder called “Tzafun”—meaning “hidden.”This piece is called the afikoman, from a Greek word meaning “aftermeal songs and entertainment” or “dessert.”The Seder cannot conclude until all guests have eaten a piece of the afikoman. One of the main objectives of the seder is to engage and teach the next generation.Teaching means engaging, and so, at this point in the Seder, the leader hides the afikoman so that the youngest participants can find it right before Tzafun. At that point, the leader will redeem it, usually by giving a present to the child who found it. It is more than a playful hide-and-seek ritual; it becomes a powerful metaphor about the importance of seeking out, understanding, and addressing suppressed narratives. Referred to as the “bread of affliction” or of “poverty,” matzah represents the hardships of slavery in Egypt. Yet, it also represents freedom; it embodies a profound dual symbolism. After the tenth and worst plague, when the Egyptians urged the Hebrews to leave so that they could avoid further calamity, the Hebrews did not have time to let their bread rise and so they took their dough with them.To commemorate this “hurry” (ḥipazon) to freedom, the Hebrew Bible mandates “Seven days M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 50
  • 51. shall you eat matzot” (Deuteronomy 16:3) so that one may “remember that you were a slave in Egypt…” (Deuteronomy 16:12). The leaven, or “ḥametz,” in ordinary bread is often seen as a metaphor for ego and arrogance that can “puff up” a person.The absence of leavening makes matzah a symbol of humility and the shedding of arrogance.This inherent humility of matzah, contrasting with the ego represented by yeast or sourdough, serves as a powerful reminder to embark on shared journeys with humility, openness, compassion, and understanding, free from the constraints of the ego. READ ALOUD The act of breaking bread transcends boundaries, embodying a universal gesture of humanity.Together, as we break this matzah, the participants commit to a unified path leading to peace and justice.The act of breaking and hiding the matzah will culminate in the return of the afikoman as the Seder draws to a close. And we set aside the broken portion of matzah to remember that what seems lost may be recovered, and what seems broken may be repaired. It is a reminder that what is broken off is not really lost to us as long as we remember and search for it. INSTRUCTIONS: The leader breaks the middle matzah. The larger piece is then carefully wrapped in a special cloth and hidden. The second cup, the Cup of Deliverance, is poured. Each participant pours for another.  51
  • 52. MAGGID TELLING THE STORY The Judeo-Aramaic phrase “Ha lakhma anya” (ha2 laḥma2 3anya2) or “This is the bread of affliction” at the start of the Maggid section in the Passover Seder is a thought- provoking contradiction. It invites the hungry to eat matzah, the unleavened bread of Passover, which is a symbol of both deprivation and nourishment.The paradox is in offering “this bread of affliction” instead of calling it “bread of deliverance,” as befits a celebration of freedom. However, the Seder is also the remembrance of past hardships. Referring to matzah as the “bread of affliction” ensures that the struggles of slavery are not forgotten since liberation rests on the memory of oppression.The reminder of oppression also serves as a humbling counterbalance to any potential triumphalism in the celebration of deliverance. By extending an invitation to all who are hungry for liberation, the Seder transcends its particular Jewish context, offering a universal message about the human condition, in which suffering and hope always coexist, as do oppression and liberation.The seder also reinforces the importance of remembering, or re-telling. In some Mizraḥi and Sefardic Seders, the leader raises the Seder plate over and taps the heads of each participant before Ha lakhma anya to further drive home how this collective retelling impacts each and every one of us. INSTRUCTION: Uncover the matzah, lift up the Seder plate, and say loudly: M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 52
  • 53. ‫ין‬ ִ‫ְִפ‬‫ְכ‬ ִ ‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ .‫ִם‬‫ִי‬ ָ ‫ְָר‬‫ְצ‬ ִ ‫ִמ‬ְ‫ְד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ ‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְַא‬‫ְב‬ ‫ָא‬‫ָנ‬ ָ‫ָת‬ ָ‫ְָה‬‫ְב‬ ַ‫ַא‬ּ‫ּו‬‫ָל‬‫ָכ‬ ֲ‫ֲא‬ ‫י‬ ּ�‫ִּד‬ ‫ָא‬‫ָי‬ְ‫ְנ‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ְ‫ְַח‬‫ַל‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬ ,‫ָא‬‫ָכ‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫א‬ ּ�‫��ָּּת‬‫ַּׁש‬ ָ‫ָה‬ .‫ח‬ ַ‫ְַס‬‫ְפ‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬ ְ‫יְך‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬‫ְצ‬ ִ ‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ ,‫ֹל‬‫ֹכ‬‫ֵי‬‫ֵי‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬ .‫ין‬ ִ ‫ִר‬ ֹ ‫חֹו‬ ‫ֵי‬‫ְּב�ֵּנ‬ ‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬ ,‫י‬ ֵ‫ְֵד‬‫ְב‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫א‬ ּ�‫��ָּּת‬‫ַּׁש‬ ָ‫ָה‬ .‫ל‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ָ ‫ָׂר‬�‫ְׂש‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ ‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּא‬ Transliteration A. Ha lakhma anya di akhalu avhatana bi-ara dimitzrayim. Kol dikhfin yeitei viyeikhol, kol ditzrikh yeitei viyifsakh. Hashata hakha, lishanah haba-ah bi-ar-a diYisrael. Hashata avdei, lishanah haba-ah binei khorin. Transliteration 1. Ha2 laḥma2 3anya2 dī 2akhalu 2avhatana2 bi2ar3a2 dimitzrayīm. Kol dikhfīn yeitei viyeikhol, kol ditzrīkh yeitei viyifsaḥ. Hashata2 hakha2, lishanah haba2ah bi2ar3a2 diyisra2el. Hashata2 3avdei, lishanah haba2ah binei ḥorīn. Translation: This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all who are in need come and commemorate the Passover.This year, we are here; next year, may we be in the land of Israel.This year, we are slaves; next year, may we be free people. READ ALOUD This dual nature of the matzah as both the bread of affliction and a symbol of liberation connects us with all who are oppressed and hungry for freedom today. We invite them to share in both the pain and the support it brings as we say, “This is the bread of affliction. Come, let us share this burden together and find strength in unity.” Therefore let us all say together: 53
  • 54. ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬ ְ‫יְך‬ ִ ‫ְִר‬‫ְצ‬ ִ ‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ ,‫ֹל‬‫ֹכ‬‫ֵי‬‫ֵי‬ְ‫ְו‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵת‬‫ֵי‬ ‫ין‬ ִ‫ְִפ‬‫ְכ‬ ִ ‫ִד‬ ‫ָּכ�ּל‬ .‫ָא‬‫ָי‬ְ‫ְנ‬ַ‫ַע‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ְ‫ְַח‬‫ַל‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬ ;‫ה‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ָ‫ְָח‬‫ְל‬ ִ ‫ִמ‬ ‫ּת‬‫ּו‬‫ע‬ִ‫ִצ‬ ְ‫ְמ‬ִ�‫ִּב‬ ‫ָא‬‫ָכ‬ ָ‫ָה‬ ‫א‬ ּ�‫ָּׁת‬�‫ַׁש‬ ָ‫ָה‬ .‫ח‬ ַ‫ְַס‬‫ְפ‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְו‬ ;‫ָה‬‫ָב‬ ָ ‫ָר‬ ְ ‫ְּק‬‫ּו‬ ‫ת‬ ֶ ‫ֶק‬ ֹ ‫לֹו‬ ֲ‫ֲח‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּמ‬ ‫ים‬ ִ ‫ִא‬ ָ ‫ָק‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָמ‬ ֹ ‫יֹו‬ ‫א‬ ָ‫ָה‬ . ‫א‬ ָ‫ָָמ‬‫ָל‬ְ�‫ְשׁ‬ ִ ‫ִד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ ‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּא‬ .‫ָא‬‫ָנ‬‫י‬ ִ ‫�ִׂט‬‫ְׂש‬ַ‫ַל‬ַ‫ַפ‬ּ‫ּו‬ ‫ל‬ ֵ‫ֵא‬ ָ ‫ָׂר‬�‫ְׂש‬ִ‫ִי‬ְ‫ְד‬ ‫א‬ָ‫ָע‬ ְ ‫ְר‬ ַ‫ְּב�ַּא‬ ‫ין‬ִ‫ִו‬ ָ�‫ָשׁ‬ְ�‫ְּכ‬ ‫י‬ ֵ‫ֵיֵח‬‫ֵנ‬ ‫ה‬ ָ‫ָּב�ָּא‬ַ‫ַה‬ ‫ָה‬‫ָׁנ‬�‫ָׁש‬ְ‫ְל‬ Transliteration A. Ha lakhma anya. Kol dikhfin yeitei viyeikhol, kol ditzrikh yeitei viyifsakh. Hashata hakha bimitzi-ut milkhamah; lishana haba-ah bi-ar-a dishilama. Ha yoma ka- im bimakhloket ukirava; lishana haba-ah neikhei kishavin bi-ar-a diyisra-el ufalastina. Transliteration 1. Ha2 laḥma2 3anya2. Kol dikhfīn yeitei viyeikhol, kol ditzrīn yeitei viyifsaḥ. Hashata2 hakha2 bimitzi3ut milḥama; lishanah haba2ah bi2ar3a2 dishilama2. Ha2 yoma2 q12īm bimaḥaloqet uqiravah; lishanah haba2ah neiḥei kishavīn bi2ar3a2 diyisra2el ufalastina2. READ ALOUD This is the bread of affliction. Let all who are hungry come and eat; let all who are in need come.This year, we are in the midst of war; next year, may we be in a land of peace.Today we are in strife and battle; next year may we live as equals in the land of Israel and Palestine. Kol dikhfin, let those yearning for a new understanding come and learn. Kol ditzrikh, let all in search of meaning join us. INSTRUCTIONS: Put the Seder plate down and cover the matzah. M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H M A R R O R K O R E C H S H U L C H A N O R E C H T Z A F U N B A R E C H H A L L E L N I R T Z A H K A D E S H U R C H A T Z K A R P A S Y A C H A T Z M A G G I D R A C H T Z A H M O T Z E I M A T Z A H 54
  • 55. Solomon Burke (March 21, 1940–October 10, 2010) was an American singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s. He was crowned the "King of Rock 'n' Soul," has been called "a key transitional figure bridging R&B and soul," and was known for his "prodigious output." The song “None of Us Are Free” is a powerful anthem about social and political solidarity and the interconnectivity of human rights and freedom. While not written by Burke himself (it was written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell), his version of the song carries significant weight due to his broader engagement with civil rights.The song emphasizes the idea that as long as some individuals are oppressed or denied their rights, the concept of freedom is incomplete for everyone. None of Us Are Free - Key: F#m Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell Well, you better listen, my sisters and brothers ‘Cause if you do you can hear There are voices still calling across the years. And they’re all crying across the ocean And they’re crying across the land And they will till we all come to understand Chorus: None of us are free (2x) None of us are free if one of us is chained None of us are free. And there are people still in darkness And they just can’t see the light If you don’t say it’s wrong then that says it’s right. We got to try to feel for each other Let our brothers know we care Got to get the message, send it out loud and clear. 55