FIFTEEN STEPS TO A VERY DIFFERENT NIGHT.
By Chani Rosenblum
Photography by The Lunch Box
The Passover Seder
1. KADESH – BENEDICTION
We begin by reciting the Kiddush. Everyone holds their cup of wine while reclining on our left side at the Seder.
2. URCHATZ – WASHING
We wash our hands three times on the right and three on the left. No blessing is said.
3. KARPAS – FIRST DIP
We dip small pieces of root vegetables such as onion, boiled potato or celery into salt water. We recite “Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha’olam borei pri ha’adamah” and eat it.
4. YACHATZ – BREAKING THE MATZAH
We break the middle matzah on the Seder plate in two. The larger part is put aside for later as the afikoman, and the smaller part returns to the Seder plate between the two matzot.
5. MAGGID – THE HAGGADAH
The youngest at the table asks the question: “Mah nishtanah? Why is this night different from all other nights?” Haggadah tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Then we drink the second cup of wine while reclining.
6. ROCHTZAH – WASHING BEFORE THE MEAL
We wash our hands again, three times on the right and three times on the left, we say “Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.”
7/8. MOTZI MATZAH – MAKE THE BLESSING OF HAMOTZI ON THE MATZA
Taking hold of the three matzot, with the broken one in between the two whole ones, we recite the customary blessing before bread, “Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha’olam hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz.” 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 Atah Ado-nai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam 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.
9. MAROR – THE BITTER HERBS
We take approximately one ounce of the bitter herbs. We dip them in the charoset, and say the blessing, “Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al achilat Maror.”
10. KORECH – THE SANDWICH
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 hayah kayam, hayah korech pesach, matzah umaror.” We eat the sandwich while reclining.
11. SHULCHAN ORECH – THE BANQUET
The holiday meal is now served. Many begin the meal with a hard boiled egg dipped in salt water.
12. TZAFUN – OUT OF HIDING
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.
13. BARECH – BLESSINGS AFTER THE MEAL
We pour the third cup of wine and we recite Birkat Hamazon after the meal. 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 Eiyahu. 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.
14. HALLEL – SONGS OF PRAISE
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.
15. NIRTZAH – ACCEPTANCE
Having carried out the Seder service properly, we are sure that it has been well received by G-d. We then joyfully say “L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim—Next year in Jerusalem.”
PREPARING THE PLATE
- Beitzah – Roasted egg.
- Z’roa – Roasted bone.
- Karpas – Vegetable (celery, parsley, boiled potato, carrot).
- Maror – Bitter Herbs. (Most people use romaine lettuce or horseradish).
- Charoset – Combination of apples, walnuts and wine.
- Chazeret – Bitter herbs. (Most people use romaine lettuce).