A DIY Haggadah: Our Liberation Seder

Bloom / Heiblum Family 2016

      2) Introduction

Lighting the Candles -

This Little Light Of Mine

3) The Washing of Hands - Urchatz

4) The 1st Cup of Wine

[Passage] Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

5) Redemption Song

6) Karpas — Dipping of the Vegetable

    Soup is served!

7) Introducing the Seder Plate- An Orange on the Plate — And Spit Out Seeds of Hate

8) Breaking the first piece of Matzah

Introducing the Maror

10) Second cup of wine

11) The Plagues

12) Breaking Matzah

13) Don't Believe The (Marijuana) Hype

14) The Secret Jewish History of Prince

15) DINNER IS SERVED: LET’S EAT, Y’ALL

16) The Afikomen

17) 3rd cup of wine

Welcome in Elijah and Miriam

18) Bernie Sanders on what religion means to him

19) 4th cup of wine

20) Our final question:

21) Lo Dayenu

22) Conclusion

25) Chad Gadya -


Introduction

Welcome to our seder.

Seder means “order,” literally an ordering of symbols that amount to an epic story about a progression, a transformation, from slavery to freedom. The seder revolves around rich symbols like matzah — which represents slavery and freedom, the journey from one to the other.

The formal telling of this story revolves around a series of questions and answers. This reflects a proud tradition of Judaism: we ask questions for which there are not easy answers. For some of you this is familiar, and for some this is all new. But everyone is encouraged — even expected — to ask questions.

There’s a tradition in that the youngest person asks four questions about the nature of this ritual and the meanings of the symbols. This is intended to reflect the centrality of involving everyone in the seder. We’re going to honor that tradition by remixing it. Our youngest will ask key questions throughout the seder. We’ll discuss these questions in small groups with our tablemates, and then we’ll share with a whole table. Please help each other in these conversations; if you don’t understand why someone said something, ask them. Note that we welcome disagreement, but we discourage debate.

Let’s begin:

 ַמה נִּ ְׁש ַתּנָּה ַהלַּֽיְלָה ַהזֶּה ִמכָּל ַהלֵּילות

Ma nishtana halaila hazeh mikol haleilot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

Lighting the Candles -

As darkness falls, we kindle lights. We do so to remember that our ancestors discovered freedom in the midst of the dark final night in Egypt. We praise the Source of Light that keeps alive the hope of freedom amidst the darkness of oppression. Let the candles we now light be a reflection of the light that shines within each one of us, and let that light radiate throughout our home. Let’s recite:

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha'olam asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner shel yom tov. Blessed are you, Eternal One our God, sovereign of all world, who has made us holy with your mitzvot and commanded us to kindle the festival lights.

This Little Light Of Mine

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, shine, shine, let it shine!

All up in my house, I'm gonna let it shine.

All up in my house, I'm gonna let it shine.

All up in my house, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, shine, shine, let it shine!

Out there in the dark, I'm gonna let it shine.

Out there in the dark, I'm gonna let it shine.

Out there in the dark, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, shine, shine, let it shine!

Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine.

Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine.

Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, shine, shine, let it shine!

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, shine, shine, let it shine!

The Washing of Hands - Urchatz

We wash each others' hands to ready ourselves for this ceremony. This also reminds us of the work it takes to prepare our houses for Pesach. Work understood as a sacred act of creation.

Urchatz is a cleansing ritual. We dedicate it to the chametz that we’ve expelled from our house. First we’ll discuss among ourselves: reflect over the past year before cleansing it away.

In small groups:

What have you been working hard on this year?  

Then:

What are you ready to let go of?

When each person shares their wish, and washes their hands, the rest will say:

Ken yihei ratzon

(may it come to be)

What do we not wash from our hands?

“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” — Paolo Freire


The 1st Cup of Wine

[Passage] Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

A careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship at any level, inside or outside the school, reveals its fundamentally narrative character. The relationship involves a narrating Subject (the teacher) and patient, listening objects (the students) …

Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse still, it turns them into ‘containers’, into receptacles to be filled by the teacher. The more completely he fills the receptacles, the better a teacher he is. The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are. Education becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositaries and the teacher is the depositor. ... This is the ‘banking’ concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. [People themselves] are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry... [people] cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other …

The truly committed must reject the banking concept in its entirety, adopting instead a concept of [people] as conscious beings, and consciousness as consciousness directed towards the world. They must abandon the educational goal of deposit-making and replace it with the posing of the problems of [people] in their relations with the world. ‘Problem-posing’ education, responding to the essence of consciousness—intentionality—rejects communiqués and embodies communication. It epitomizes the special characteristic of consciousness: being conscious of, not only as intent on objects but as turned in upon itself … as consciousness of consciousness.

Problem-posing education affirms men as beings in the process of becoming—as unfinished, uncompleted beings in and with a likewise unfinished reality. Problem-posing education affirms people as beings who transcend themselves, who move forward and look ahead, for whom immobility represents a fatal threat. For whom looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.” 

“We are not merely telling a story here. We are being called to a radical act of empathy.” Jonathan Safran Foer

[1]The Fearful Adult asks: Why should I care about ‘those people’ when they don’t care about me? If I share what I have, there won’t be enough and I will end up suffering.”

Martin Luther King said:

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.

Redemption Song

by Bob Marley

Oh pirates, yes, they rob I,

Sold I to the merchant ships,

Minutes after they took I

From the bottomless pit.

But my hand was made strong

By the hand of the Almighty.

We forward in this generation

Triumphantly.

Won't you help to sing

These songs of freedom?

'Cause all I ever have,

Redemption songs,

Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,

None but our self can free our minds.

Have no fear for atomic energy,

'Cause none of them can stop the time.

How long shall they kill our prophets,

While we stand aside and look?

Some say it's just a part of it,

We've got to fulfill de book.

Won't you help to sing

These songs of freedom?

'Cause all I ever have,

Redemption songs,

Redemption songs,

Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,

None but our self can free our mind.

Have no fear for atomic energy,

'Cause none of them can stop the time.

How long shall dey kill our prophets,

While we stand aside and look?

Some say it's just a part of it,

We've got to fulfill de book.

Won't you help to sing,

These songs of freedom?

'Cause all I ever had,

Redemption songs.

All I ever had,

Redemption songs

These songs of freedom

Songs of freedom


Karpas — Dipping of the Vegetable

Soup is served!

We dip green vegetables in the soup twice, while saying this prayer:

 ֶׁשבְּכָל ַהלֵּיל ֹות ֵאין ָֽאנו ּ ַמ ְטבִּילִין ֲא ִפילו ּ ַּֽפ ַעם אחָת ַהלַּֽיְלָה ַהזֶּה ְׁש ֵתּי ְפעמים

Shebichol haleilot ain anu matbilin afilu pa-am echat. Halaila hazeh shtei fi-amim.

On all other nights we aren’t expected to dip our vegetables at all. Tonight we do it twice. Why?

 

Group discussions:

What is different about this time — our time?

What are new opportunities that we have today?

Introducing the Seder Plate

An Orange on the Plate — And Spit Out Seeds of Hate

Passover was high drama in my childhood. Preparations began weeks in advance, with meticulous scrubbing, shopping and organizing. Strong emotions came out in the days before the holiday, when every crumb of hametz had to be removed, and we had to tread very carefully. One mistake could bring calamity. When we finally sat down for the Seder, my mother would always claim that only women understood the Exodus, having slaved away in the kitchen for weeks and then been finally liberated when the holiday began, but too exhausted to enjoy it.

I love the Haggadah, the Hebrew text as well as all the special actions we take at the Seder; eating, drinking, reclining, discussing and debating. In my home… [w]hile we carefully follow all the traditions, we also recognize that over the centuries, Jews have often added new customs to Passover.

At the height of the Jewish feminist movement of the 1980s, inspired by the abundant new customs expressing women’s viewpoints and experiences, I started placing an orange on the Seder plate.

At an early point in the Seder, when stomachs were starting to growl, I asked each person to take a segment of the orange, make the blessing over fruit and eat the segment in recognition of gay and lesbian Jews and of widows, orphans, Jews who are adopted and all others who sometimes feel marginalized in the Jewish community.

When we eat that orange segment, we spit out the seeds to repudiate homophobia and we recognize that in a whole orange, each segment sticks together. Oranges are sweet and juicy and remind us of the fruitfulness of gay and lesbian Jews and of the homosociality that has been such an important part of Jewish experience, whether of men in yeshivas or of women in the Ezrat Nashim.

Strangely, I discovered some years ago that an urban legend was circulating: Strangers told me they placed an orange on their Seder plate because of an incident in Miami Beach in which a man angrily denounced me when I gave a lecture, saying that a woman belongs on the bimah of a synagogue no more than an orange belongs on the Seder plate.

That incident never happened! Instead, my custom had fallen victim to a folktale process in which my original intention was subverted. My idea of the orange was attributed to a man, and my goal of affirming lesbians and gay men was erased. Moreover, the power of the custom was subverted: By now, women are on the bimah, so there is no great political courage in eating an orange, because women ought to be on the bimah.

For years, I have known about women whose scientific discoveries were attributed to men, or who had to publish their work under a male pseudonym. That it happened to me makes me realize all the more how important it is to recognize how deep and strong patriarchy remains, and how important it is for us to celebrate the contributions of gay and lesbian Jews, and all those who need to be liberated from marginality to centrality. And Passover is the right moment to ensure freedom for all Jews.

Susannah Heschel is a professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College, and author of "Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential -- and Endangered"

Breaking the first piece of Matzah

 ֶׁשבְּכָל ַהלֵּיל ֹות ָֽאנו ּא ֹוכלין חָ ֵמץ ו ַּמצָּה ַהלַּֽיְלָה ַהזֶּה כֻּלּ ֹו מצה

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin chameitz u-matzah. Halaila hazeh kulo matzah.
On all other nights we eat both leavened bread and matzah. Tonight we only eat matzah. Why?

This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in Egypt.

Anyone who is hungry, let them come and eat. Anyone who is in need, come and join our Passover celebration.

This year, we are slaves. Next year, let us be free.

What do we mean by that?

Who are ‘we’?

What is freedom?

Introducing the Maror

 ֶׁשבְּכָל ַהלֵּיל ֹות ָֽאנו ּא ֹוכְלִין ְׁש ָאר יְָרק ֹות ַהלַּֽיְלָה ַהזֶּה ָמר ֹור

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin shi’ar yirakot haleila hazeh maror.
On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but tonight we eat bitter herbs
.

Maror represents bitterness and hard situations.

Are there ways in which we are not truly free today?

Are there ways in which our freedom comes at the expense of others?

If so, what is our responsibility to ourselves, and what is our responsibility to others?

The Ashamed Adult – I’m so ashamed of what my people are doing that I have no way of dealing with it! Where could we possibly even begin?

Marianne Williamson said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of G-d. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of G-d that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Bitter Herb Salad is served!

Go Down Moses by Louis Armstrong

Go down Moses way down in Egypt land

Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go

When Israel was in Egypt land

Let My people go

Oppressed so hard they could not stand

Let My people go

So the God seyeth, Go down, Moses way down in Egypt land

Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go

So Moses went to Egypt land

Let My people go

He made all Pharaohs understand

Let My people go

Yes The Lord said, Go down, Moses way down in Egypt land

Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go

Thus spoke the Lord, bold Moses said

Let My people go

If not I'll smite, your firstborns dead

Let My people go

God, The Lord said, Go down, Moses way down in Egypt land

Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go

Tell all Pharaohs to let My people go

Second cup of wine

By Ruth Bader Ginsburg

On Passover, Jews are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus and to see ourselves as having lived through that story, so that we may better learn how to live our lives today. The stories we tell our children shape what they believe to be possible—which is why at Passover, we must tell the stories of the women who played a crucial role in the Exodus narrative.

The Book of Exodus, much like the Book of Genesis, opens in pervasive darkness. Genesis describes the earth as “unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep.” In Exodus, darkness attends the accession of a new Pharaoh who feared the Israelites and so enslaved them. God alone lights the way out of the darkness in Genesis. But in Exodus, God has many partners, first among them, five brave women.

There is Yocheved, Moses’ mother, and Shifra and Puah, the famous midwives. Each defies Pharaoh’s decree to kill the Israelite baby boys. And there is Miriam, Moses’ sister, who... [
prophesied] “my mother is destined to bear a son who will save Israel.” Finally, there is Pharaoh’s daughter Batya, who defies her own father and plucks baby Moses out of the Nile.

These women had a vision leading out of the darkness shrouding their world. They were women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality bathed in the light of the day. Retelling the heroic stories of Yocheved, Shifra, Puah, Miriam and Batya reminds our daughters that with vision and the courage to act, they can carry forward the tradition those intrepid women launched.

While there is much light in today’s world, there remains in our universe disheartening darkness, inhumanity spawned by ignorance and hate. The Passover story recalls to all of us—women and men—that with vision and action we can join hands with others of like mind, kindling lights along paths leading out of the terrifying darkness.

The Passover story is commonly associated with Moses. But RBG tells us that the liberation of Jews from Egypt is really the work of women. In what ways do women hold the keys to liberation?


The Plagues

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

Blood | dam צְ ַפ ְר ֵֽדַּע  

Frogs | tzfardeiya כִּנִּים

Lice | kinim ָער ֹוב

Beasts | arov ֶֽדּבֶר

Cattle disease | dever

Boils | sh’chin | יןִשחְׁ בָָּרד

Hail | barad ַא ְרבֶּה

Locusts | arbeh ֹחֽ ֶׁשךְ

Darkness | choshech

Death of the Firstborn | makat b’chorot | ותֹ ורֹ כְּב תַּמכַ

Why did there need to be ten plagues? 

Egyptians needed ten plagues because after each one they came up with excuses and explanations — rather than change their behavior.

What are some similar plagues in our world today? What are the things that might be telling us to change our behavior?

The Angry Adult – Violent and oppressive things are happening to me, the people I love and people I don’t even know. Why can’t we make the people in power hurt the way we are all hurting?

Cambodian Buddhist monk Maha Ghosananda, whose family was killed by the Khmer Rouge, has written: It is a law of the universe that retaliation, hatred, and revenge only continue the cycle and never stop it. Reconciliation does not mean that we surrender rights and conditions, but means rather that we use love in all our negotiations. It means that we see ourselves in the opponent -- for what is the opponent but a being in ignorance, and we ourselves are also ignorant of many things. Therefore, only loving kindness and right-mindfulness can free us.

Breaking Matzah

From Smithsonian Magazine:
Born in 1822 in Maryland, [Harriet] Tubman suffered a serious head injury as a girl, when an overseer hurled a scale counterweight at another slave, hitting Tubman. The injury caused lifelong seizures and hallucinations that the young woman would interpret as religious visions.

In 1849, she fled Maryland to Philadelphia. Soon after, Tubman began her exploits—acts of bravery that would make her a legend. She returned secretly to Maryland to begin escorting other slaves to freedom. She often traveled at night to avoid capture by reward-seeking trackers. During the course of 13 such missions, she led nearly 70 slaves out of bondage. Even after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 required free states to return runaway slaves, Tubman continued to guide her charges along the Underground Railroad north to Canada, earning the nom de guerre “Moses.” She would later recall with pride that she “never lost a passenger.”

“She believed in freedom when she shouldn’t have had a chance to believe in freedom,” says Bunch. Just as important, he adds, was that her increasingly famous acts of daring “belied the Southern contention that slaves actually liked their lives.”

When a passenger wanted to turn back due to fear or exhaustion, Tubman would pull out her gun and declare, “You’ll be free or die!” In all of her journeys on the Underground Railroad, she never lost a single passenger.  http://liberationschool.org/07-04-20-harriet-tubman-liberator-enslav-html/ 

They cried to Moses, “What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt ... it is better to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:11-12).


Introduce the Haroset and Make Sandwiches.


Don't Believe The (Marijuana) Hype

By Maia Szalavitz 01/13/14 | https://www.thefix.com/

Why are we so gullible in this area, when reporters are supposed to be skeptical? One reason has got to be the fact that over the last 40 years, the government has spent billions of dollars on advertising and even planted media articles and messages in TV shows aiming to get us all to “just say no.” While these campaigns are often ineffective at preventing use, they do seem to work at clouding perception. ...

Rare is the journalist who will admit to having fallen for this outright propaganda, which is why last year’s confession by CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta that he was wrong about marijuana was so stunning. He wrote:

I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse." They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true.

The truth is that our perceptions of marijuana—and in fact all of our drug laws—are based on early 20th century racism and “science” circa the Jim Crow era. In the early decades of the 20th century, the drug was linked to Mexican immigrants and black jazzmen, who were seen as potentially dangerous.

Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (an early predecessor of the DEA), was one of the driving forces behind pot prohibition. He pushed it for explicitly racist reasons, saying, “Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men,” and: "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others." The main reason to prohibit marijuana, he said was “its effect on the degenerate races.”

Although it sounds absurd now, it was this type of propaganda that caused the drug to be outlawed in 1937—along with support from the Hearst newspapers, which ran ads calling marijuana “the assassin of youth” and published stories about how it led to violence and insanity. Anslinger remained as head of federal narcotics efforts as late as 1962, whereafter he spread his poisonous message to the world as the American representative to the U.N. for drug policy for a further two years.

Before marijuana was made illegal, the American Medical Association’s opposition to prohibition was ignored, as was an earlier report on marijuana in India by the British government, which did not find marijuana to be particularly addictive or dangerous. That “Indian Hemp Drugs Committee” report had concluded way back in 1894 that, “The moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all.”  

The Secret Jewish History of Prince

Seth Rogovoy - July 14, 2014 - FORWARD. COM

In 1993, at the height of his fame, after selling millions of albums, collecting a closetful of Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy awards, and establishing himself as one of the all-time greats of rock ’n’ roll, Prince did an odd thing: He changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph.

Changing one’s name, of course, has a long and venerable history, going back at least as far as biblical times, and often reflects inner or outer turmoil, such as when Abram and Jacob became Abraham and Israel. In Prince’s case, replacing his name with what he called the “love symbol” — something approximating a union of the symbols for male and female, but not quite — was meant as a protest against the executives at his label, Warner Records, with whom he was struggling for creative and financial control of his career. Imagine you were one of those record label honchos — how infuriating it would be for your biggest star and cash cow to refuse to allow his recordings to bear his name, or any name! Prince — or at this point, “the Artist Formerly Known as Prince” — even began writing the word “slave” on his cheek whenever going out in public.

For the man born Prince Rogers Nelson, this was ultimately an act of self-emancipation; indeed, he titled an album “Emancipation” in 1996. A year earlier, his offshoot band, the New Power Generation, released an album called “Exodus.” Also in 1996, Prince released an album called “Chaos and Disorder,” a loose translation of two key words in the second verse of the Bible — “the earth was tohu v’vohu” — probably a good description of what it felt like to be sitting in a marketing meeting at Warner trying to figure out how to promote the star’s next album without using the name “Prince.” ...

A Jewish Tribute to Prince, Holy Unifier of Spirit and Sex

Jay Michaelson, FORWARD.COM | April 21, 2016

We get older when those we love — first parents, then peers and friends — pass away. Death becomes real, not an abstraction. Not only can it happen anytime; it does happen anytime.

For rock stars, in particular, the shock is acute because they tend to become famous when they’re young — young and sexual. That was certainly true for Prince. Prince himself spent decades trying to unite spirituality and sexuality, ethics and eros, in his music. Adam Sher of Hazon called him “the purple rebbe whose Torah was connection and love.” Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein, who directs a teen Beit Midrash in Chicago, instantly connected Prince’s music to spiritual concerns:

For the love of God, the 5-foot Minnesotan has cut to the essence of the problem of sin: It is loneliness. When I sin against U, I am ruptured & alienated from U, from the suppressed, best, true version of myself, from humanity, & from God, the 1 Who always sees me in my potential goodness, no matter how far and how persistently I stray. This is the deepest loneliness. Dealing with guilt and brokenness is at its core about treating our alienation and restoring solidarity, about reviving the truth that we are 1 with our fellow humans and with our best potential.

Traditions often seek to regulate, repress and diminish the forbidden fruit of spiritual eros — but for us, it is the source of our greatest spiritual strength. There are many Jewish metaphors for this work: the Kabbalistic yichud of the Holy One and the Shechinah; the two triangles of the Jewish star; the fertility symbols at Passover. It is also the redemptive joining of power and responsibility. As Aryeh wrote to me today, “We are not slaves to our bad habits or hurtful relationships. The way out of sin is the fundamental human posture: solidarity, responsibility, and love.”

DINNER IS SERVED: LET’S EAT, Y’ALL

If I Should Fall Behind
By Bruce Springsteen

We said we'd walk together baby come what may

That come the twilight should we lose our way

If as we're walking a hand should slip free

I'll wait for you

And should I fall behind

Wait for me

We swore we'd travel darlin' side by side

We'd help each other stay in stride

But each lover's steps fall so differently

But I'll wait for you

And if I should fall behind

Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true

But you and I know what this world can do

So let's make our steps clear that the other may see

And I'll wait for you

If I should fall behind

Wait for me

Now there's a beautiful river in the valley ahead

There 'neath the oak's bough soon we will wed

Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees

I'll wait for you

And should I fall behind

Wait for me

Darlin' I'll wait for you

Should I fall behind

Wait for me

The Afikomen

Traditionally, the Afikomen is a piece of Matzoh hidden somewhere in the house by the parents as the children search for it, hoping for reward.

We are going to do something different.

Our hunt for the afikomen will involve hiding the sacred middle matzah not in some dusty nook and cranny of your house, but rather hiding it somewhere in history. The guests then have to guess where it has been hidden by asking, in turn, a single question that can answered with yes or no.

Here’s your hint:

The Afikomen is held in the hands of people who seized their own liberation.



3rd cup of wine

Welcome in Elijah and Miriam

The cup of Elijah is a symbol of hope that the world, now broken, will one day be healed, and that all people can play a role in that redemption. By placing a cup of wine on the seder table and opening the door after our festive meal, we recognize the legend that the prophet Elijah visits every seder table to announce the coming of redemption.

Elijah the prophet watches us. It sounds creepy. But actually he’s watching us to gage: are we ready for the Messiah? Specifically, that means: are we practicing justice? Are we earning our freedom?

Next year, what might we do so that we could truly say we will meet ‘in Jerusalem?’

Let us open the door for Elijah and sing: Eiliyahu Hanavi, Eliahu hatishbi, Eliahu, Eliahu, Eliahu hagiladi. Bimhera biyamenu, yavo aylenu, Im Mashiach ben David, Im Mashiach ben David.


By placing a cup of water on the seder table we also remember Miriam the prophet, who legend says danced at the Sea of Reeds to celebrate the Exodus. It is said that a well of fresh water followed her in the desert so the Jewish people always had water to drink. Where Elijah represents the movement of history and path to redemption, Miriam represents ongoing healing, renewal and sustenance. Elijah is time, Miriam is place. Elijah is the mountain, Miriam is the sea.

Miriam provides. She invites us to ask: what do we still need to be free?

For Miriam, we lift our water glasses and say: Zot be’er Miriam, kos mayim chayim. This is the well of Miriam, the cup of living waters.

Bernie Sanders on what religion means to him

Every great religion in the world — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism — essentially comes down to: “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” I believed it when I was a 22-year-old kid getting arrested in Chicago fighting segregation — I’ve believed it in my whole life. That we are in this together — not just, not words.

The truth is at some level when you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt. I hurt. And when my kids hurt, you hurt. And it’s very easy to turn our backs on kids who are hungry, or veterans who are sleeping out on the street, and we can develop a psyche, a psychology which is “I don’t have to worry about them; all I’m gonna worry about is myself; I need to make another 5 billion dollars.”

But I believe that what human nature is about is that everybody in this room impacts everybody else in all kinds of ways that we can’t even understand. It’s beyond intellect. It’s a spiritual, emotional thing. So I believe that when we do the right thing, when we try to treat people with respect and dignity, when we say that that child who is hungry is my child, I think we are more human when we do that, than when we say “hey, this whole world is me, I need more and more, I don’t care about anyone else.” That’s my religion. That’s what I believe in.

And I think most people around the world — whatever their religion, their color — share that belief. That we are in it together as human beings. And it becomes more and more practical. If we destroy the planet because we don’t deal with climate change. Trust me, we are all in it together… and that is what my spirituality is about.

4th cup of wine

We are approaching the end of our ceremony. So let’s consider the future. Our fourth cup of wine is a promise to the future: we will, as individuals, families, and communities, be free. How?

First, let’s bless the wine:

ָבּרוּךְ ַא ָתה יי, ֱאל ֵהינוּ ֶמ ֶלךְ ָהעו ָלם, בּו ֵרא ְפ ִרי ַה ֶג ֶפן.

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen

Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

The Compassionate Adult – How can I struggle for justice with an open heart? How can we live in a way that builds the world we want to live in, without losing hope?

ANSWER: This is the question that we answer with our lives.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote: Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy. And yet being alive is no answer to the problems of living. To be or not to be is not the question. The vital question is: how to be and how not to be...to pray is to recollect passionately the perpetual urgency of this vital question.

Anne Frank wrote: It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all of my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too; I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end and that peace and tranquility will return again. In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out."

We’ve heard questions from four different ‘children.’ Each of us bears in our own belly the angry one, the ashamed one, the frightened one, the compassionate one. Which of these children shall we bring to birth? Only if we can deeply hear all four of them can we truthfully answer the fourth question. Only if we can deeply hear all four of them can we bring to birth a child, a people that is truly wise.

Our final question:

ֶׁשבְּכָל ַהלֵּיל ֹות ָֽאנו ּא ֹוכְלִין בֵּין י ֹו ְׁשבִין ו ּבֵין ְמ ֻסבִּין. : ַהלַּֽיְלָה ַהזֶּה כֻּלָּֽנו ּ ְמ ֻסבין

Shebichol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin. Halaila hazeh kulanu m’subin.

On all other nights we eat either sitting normally or reclining. Tonight we recline. Why?

Reclining represents reclining like royalty. Here, we’re not leaning on pillows, we lean on our community. We do so to celebrate our freedom.

Tomorrow we return to the regular world.

How should we bring these lessons forth?

How do we want to expand our community? 

Is there hope for the future of our planet, for our children and our children’s children, to inherit a healthy, habitable earth?

Dessert is Served!


Lo Dayenu

Chorus: Lo Dayenu (3x)

If the banks had helped homeowners

Who the Great Recession crippled

If they’d saved folks from foreclosure

It would not be enough.

Chorus

If we struck down Citizens United

Sent the Super-PACS all packing

If we publicly financed elections

It would not be enough.

Chorus

If we repealed mandatory minimums

Restored voting for ex-offenders

If we ended the death penalty

It would not be enough.

Chorus

Pharaohs rode the backs of poor folks

Now the rich do all the riding

Control the votes, the laws, and Justice

They never have enough.

Chorus Change: Lo Dayenu (3x)

We must act to get our fair share

We must vote to have our needs met

We must choose much better leaders

We must demand enough.

Chorus Change: Dai, dayenu (3x)

Conclusion

Next year in jerusalem!

What did you like about this ceremony?

What would you like to do more of in the future?


Prince - When Doves Cry

How can you just leave me standing?

Alone in a world that's so cold? (So cold)

Maybe I'm just too demanding

Maybe I'm just like my father too bold

Maybe you're just like my mother

She's never satisfied (She's never satisfied)

Why do we scream at each other

This is what it sounds like

When doves cry

Touch if you will my stomach

Feel how it trembles inside

You've got the butterflies all tied up

Don't make me chase you

Even doves have pride

How can you just leave me standing?

Alone in a world so cold? (World so cold)

Maybe I'm just too demanding

Maybe I'm just like my father too bold

Maybe you're just like my mother

She's never satisfied (She's never satisfied)

Why do we scream at each other

This is what it sounds like

When doves cry

How can you just leave me standing?

Alone in a world that's so cold?

Maybe I'm just too demanding

Maybe I'm just like my father too bold (Ya know he's too bold)

Maybe you're just like my mother

She's never satisfied (She's never, never satisfied)

Why do we scream at each other (Why do we scream, why)

This is what it sounds like

When doves cry

When doves cry (Doves cry, doves cry)

When doves cry (Doves cry, doves cry)

Don't cry (Don't Cry)


YERUSHALAYIM SHEL ZAHAV

JERUSALEM OF GOLD

Verse 1 

Avir harim tsalul k'yayin

Vereiyach oranim

Nissah beru'ach ha'arbayim

Im kol pa'amonim.

U'vtardemat ilan va'even

Shvuyah bachalomah

Ha'ir asher badad yoshevet

Uvelibah - chomah.

Verse 1 

The mountain air is clear as water

The scent of pines around

Is carried on the breeze of twilight,

And tinkling bells resound.

The trees and stones there softly slumber,

A dream enfolds them all.

So solitary lies the city,

And at its heart -- a wall.

Chorus: 

Yerushalayim shel zahav

Veshel nechoshet veshel or

Halo lechol shirayich Ani kinor.

Chorus: 

Oh, Jerusalem of gold,

and of light and of bronze,

I am the lute for all your songs.

Chad Gadya -

Chad gadya, chad gadya
Dizabin abah bitrei zuzei
Chad gadya, chad gadya.

One little goat, one little goat:
Which my father brought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
cat came and ate the goat,
Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
dog came and bit the cat that ate the goat,
Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
stick came and beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the goat, which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
fire came and burned the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the goat, which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
water came and extinguished the fire that burned the stick That beat the dog that bit the cat That ate the goat, my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
ox came and drank the water that extinguished the fire that burned the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the goat,
Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
butcher came and killed the ox, that drank the water that extinguished the fire that burned the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the goat, which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The
angel of death came and slew the butcher who killed the ox, that drank the water that extinguished the fire that burned the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the goat,
Which my father bought for two zuzim.

One little goat, one little goat:
The Holy One, Blessed Be He came and
Smote the angel of death
who slew the butcher who killed the ox,
That drank the water
That extinguished the fire
That burned the stick that beat the dog
That bit the cat that ate the goat,
Which my father bought for two zuzim.


[1] Four Adults by Eileen Levinson | Source : Love and Justice Haggadah, compiled and created by Dara Silverman and Micah Bazant