FIFTEEN STEPS TO A VERY DIFFERENT NIGHT.
By Chani Rosenblum | Tableware courtesy of C.A.S.A. | Photography The Lunch Box Studio
We begin by reciting the Kiddush. Everyone holds their cup of wine.
We drink the first of the four cups while reclining on our left side at the Seder.
We wash our hands three times on the right and three on the left. No blessing is said.
We dip small pieces of root vegetables such as onion, boiled potato or celery into salt water. We recite Baruch ata Ado-nay Elo-heynu melech haolam borey pri haadama and eat it.
We break in two the middle matzah on the Seder plate. The larger part is put aside for later use as the Afikoman. We return the smaller part to the Seder plate.
The youngest at the table asks the question: “Mah nishtanah? Why is different tonight?” We uncover the matzah and fill the second cup of wine. We’re at the first part of the Haggadah that tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Then we drink while reclining, the second cup of wine.
We wash our hands again, three times on the right and three times on the left, we say “Baruch ata Ado-nay Elo-heynu melech haolam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadaim.”
Taking hold of the three matzot, with the broken one in between the two whole ones, we recite the customary blessing before bread, “Baruch ata Ado-nay Elo-heynu melech haolam hamotzi lechem min haaretz.”
Then, letting the bottom matzah drop back onto the plate, and holding the top whole matzah with the broken middle one, we recite the special blessing, “Baruch ata Ado-nay Elo-heynu melech haolam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al achilat Matzah.” Then we break at least one ounce from each matzah and eat the two pieces together, while reclining.
We take approximately one ounce of the bitter herbs. We dip them in the charoset, and say the blessing, “Baruch ata Ado-nay Elo-heynu melech haolam asher kidshanu bemitzvosav vetzivanu al achilat Maror.”
We break off two pieces of the bottom matzah, which together should be at least an ounce. Again, we dip about one ounce of bitter herbs in the charoset. As we place this between the two pieces of matzah, we say, “Kein asah Hillel bizman shebeit hamikdash haya kayam, haya korech pesach, matzah umaror.” We eat the sandwich while reclining.
The holiday meal is now served. Many begin the meal with a hardboiled egg dipped in salt water.
After the meal, the half matzah which had been “hidden,” set aside for the Afikoman, is taken out and eaten. Everyone should eat a total of at least one-and-a-half ounces of matzah, reclining, before midnight. After eating the Afikoman, we do not eat or drink anything except for the two remaining cups of wine.
We pour the third cup of wine and we recite Birkat Hamazon after the meal. After finishing the Grace, we recite the blessing over wine and drink the third cup while reclining. Now we fill our last cup as well as the cup of Elijah. We open the door and recite the passage which symbolizes an invitation to Eliyahu Hanavi, the harbinger of the coming of Moshiach. To see a miracle, you need an open heart and an open mind.
At this point, having recognized the Almighty, and all the good He does for us, we sing Him praises. After reciting the Hallel, we again recite the blessing over wine and drink the last cup, reclining.
Having carried out the Seder service properly, we are sure that it has been well received by G-d.
We then joyfully say “Leshanah haba’ah Be’Yerushalaim —Next year in Jerusalem.”