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 Holiday Central > Passover > The Haggadah

The Passover Haggadah
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The text of the Pesach Seder is written in the Haggadah.
The content of the Seder can be summed up by the following Hebrew rhyme:

Kaddesh, Urechatz
Karpas, Yachatz
Maggid, Rachtza
Motzi, Matzah
Maror, Korech
Shulchan Orech
Tzafun, Barech
Hallel, Nirtzah

  1. Kaddesh: Sanctification
     This is a blessing over wine in honor of the holiday. Four cups of wine are drunk during the Seder.
     
  2. Urechatz: Washing
    Washing of the hands without a blessing, in preparation for eating the Karpas.
     
  3. Karpas: Vegetable
    A vegetable, usually potatoes or parsely which are dipped in salt water and eaten. The vegetable symbolizes the lowly origins of the Jewish people; the salt water symbolizes the tears we shed as during or suffering of slavery.
     
  4. Yachatz: Breaking
    The middle of the three matzahs on the table is broken. The smaller part is returned to the pile, and the larger is set aside for the afikomen (see below).
     
  5. Maggid: The Story
    A retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the first Pesach. This begins with the youngest person asking The Four Questions, a set of questions about the proceedings designed to encourage participation in the seder.
     
  6. Rachtzah: Washing
    A second washing of the hands, this time with a blessing, in preparation for eating the matzah and the Seder meal
     
  7. Motzi: Blessing over Grain Products
    The usual blessing that is recited before the consumption of bread / challah, or grain products.
     
  8. Matzah: Blessing over Matzah
    A blessing specific to matzah is recited, and a bit of matzah is eaten.
     
  9. Maror: Bitter Herbs
    Bitter vegetable (usually raw horseradish or romaine lettuce) it is eaten, to symbolize the bitterness of slavery. The maror is dipped charoset, a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine, to remind us of the mortar used by the Jews in building during their slavery.
     
  10. Korech: The Sandwich
    The maror is eaten together with matzah and the paschal offering in a sandwich. This is done in honor of the great sage, Hillel, who recommended this ritual.
     
  11. Shulchan Orech: Dinner
    A festive meal is eaten. There is no particular requirements, yet traditions have emerged over the generation, and especially amongst Ashkenazic Jews (Jews of Eastern European decent), where gefilte fish and matzah ball soup are the delicates de jour.
     
  12. Tzafun: The Afikomen
    The piece of matzah set aside earlier is eaten as "desert," the last food of the meal. Different families have different traditions relating to the afikomen. Some have the children hide it, while the parents have to either find it or ransom it back. Others have the parents hide it. The idea is to keep the children awake and attentive throughout the pre-meal proceedings, waiting for this part.
     
  13. Barech: Grace after Meals
    Grace after meals is recited thanking God for the meal.
     
  14. Hallel: Praises
    Several psalms are recited, in praise of God.
     
  15. Nirtzah: Closing
    The official conclusion of the Seder, that ends with the expression of hope the we may celebrate Pesach "next year in Jerusalem."

The Ten Plagues of Egypt - a Passover (Pesach) brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.


 

 
     
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