PASSOVER III – Haggadah for the Seder

HAGGADAH ~ of the Lord’s Passover

[Welcome the guests. A shofar can be blown, if possible and suitable, to signal the start of the Passover “journey” together.]

>Leader: B’ruchim Ha’Baim! A warm welcome to all at this table. May we unite our hearts in reverence and thanksgiving as we remember and retell the powerful salvation brought about by our Almighty God when He delivered His people from slavery in Egypt and brought them to Himself by His outstretched arm and with many wonders and miracles.

How blessed, happy, to be envied are the people who know the joyful sound; the people who understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts.

(Psalm 89:15 Amplified)

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Light the Festival Lights

[As on all Shabbats and Festivals, the woman of the home, or a representative, lights two candles with a blessing. This blessing is one that may be said at the Passover Seder.]

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-olam,
she’shelach et bincha, Yeshua Hamashiach, lehiyot ohr ha-olam
ve’zeh ha-Pesach shelanu. Amen.

Blessed are you O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sent Your Son, Yeshua the Messiah, to be the light of the world and our Passover Lamb. Amen.

Begin Narration

>Leader: [Note: To encourage participation, the Seder leader is advised to appoint others, preferably ahead of time, to read certain verses or commentary.]

“The returned exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Passover lamb… was eaten by the Israelites who had returned from exile and by all who had joined them and separated themselves from the pollutions of the peoples of the land to seek the Lord, the God of Israel” (Ezra 6:20-21).

Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover” (Luke 22:8).

Yeshua knew that this would be his last earthly Passover meal with his friends, and he approached it with great anticipation. Although it has serious spiritual implications, it is always a celebratory fellowship meal with cause for laughter, song and, of course, feasting!
[Leader can give a friendly alert. E.g. “By the way, please don’t eat any matzah until we say the special blessing for matzah!”]

We will be drinking four cups of wine/grape juice during the Seder. These reflect the four stages of deliverance wrought by God when He brought His people from slavery to freedom, as recorded in the book of Exodus, chapter 6, verses 6-7:

  1. The Cup of Salvation – “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of Egypt.”
  2. The Cup of Deliverance – “I will rid you of their bondage.”
  3. The Cup of Redemption – “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great judgments.”
  4. The Cup of Restoration – “I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God.”

1. KADESH – The Cup of Salvation and Sanctification

Passover3-2 >Leader: During this season of Passover may our hearts and minds realize more fully our gratitude to God for His goodness, grace and redeeming power. We thank Him for giving us this festival to remind us of our deliverance from the Egypt of sin and death and for sending His Son to draw all mankind closer to God. In gratitude we now say the Kiddush blessings.

Wine is a biblical symbol of joy. Let us raise the Cup of Salvation and give thanks for the joy that is given to those who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this special season. All: Amen.

Blessed are You, O Lord, Who has chosen us from all nations and set us apart by Your commandments. In love You have given us specially appointed times for gladness, feasts, and seasons for joy; You have given us this Festival of Unleavened Bread, the time of our freedom, a holy assembly to remember the Exodus from Egypt.

Blessed are You, O Lord, who sanctifies Israel and the Festival Seasons. All: Amen.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-Olam, Borei P’ri ha-Gafen.

“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who Creates the Fruit of the Vine.” All: Amen.

[Drink first cup while reclining to the left. Slaves don’t recline, so this is a gesture to indicate that we are free indeed!]

2. UR’CHATZ – Washing

[Servers take bowl/s, jug/s of water, towel/s around to guests. To wash, hold hands over bowl while server pours water over them, dry hands with towel provided by server. If this is too difficult to implement, the leader’s hands can be washed on behalf of all.]

>Leader: We wash our hands to indicate a dedication of ourselves and our time together this evening in honor of the Lord and for His purposes. This was the time, at his Last Seder, that Yeshua astonished his disciples when he assumed the role of a servant and he washed their feet. Let us wash in humble dedication.

3. KARPAS– Green Vegetable

>Leader: Take a small piece of parsley and dip it into the bowl with salt water. The salt water reminds us of the tears caused by slavery and the green of the parsley represents freedom and new life.

The simple vegetable is also a sign of humility and the water symbolizes tears of repentance. The journey to new life and holiness must begin with repentance and a humble heart.

[Leader says blessing, then all dip and eat.]

Baruch Atah Adonai ELoheinu, Melech ha-Olam, Borei P’ri ha-Adamah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who Creates the Fruit of the Earth. All: Amen.

4. YACHATZ – Break Middle Matzah

[Lift matzah bag]

These three matzot can represent our forefathers Abraham, Isaac (who lay himself on the altar and was prepared to be sacrificed) and Jacob; also, the unity of the Godhead – the Father, the Son (who indeed lay down his life as the perfect sacrifice) and the Holy Spirit.

[Remove the middle of the three matzot. Replace bag and hold up matzah.]

I have removed the middle matzah that represents Yeshua as our sacrifice. Notice that it is striped and pierced and is unleavened, denoting the absence of sin. It is a perfect picture of Isaiah’s description of Messiah the Suffering Servant:

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief… Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded [pierced] for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:3-5).

It is broken in two uneven pieces. [Break matzah and hold pieces up.]

The larger one will be wrapped in a white napkin and hidden as the Afikoman – which represents the burial of Yeshua after his crucifixion. The children will hunt for it after the meal. We will then all eat a small piece of it as the final ‘dessert’. As a symbol of the Risen Lord of whom we all partake and in whom we all are united as one flock under one Shepherd, this sharing of the larger piece will complete the ‘big picture’ of the redemption story.

The smaller piece, which represents all the intervening steps of the Seder, reminds us that in order to successfully complete our journey of freedom and sanctification we need to take one small step at a time.

[Wrap larger piece in a white cloth/napkin. Remind children not to peep and hide the Afikoman. Return the smaller piece to the middle section of the Matzah bag.]

5. MAGGID – The Story

[Hold up a piece of regular matzah and say the following:]
This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All who are hungry come and eat; come and join in celebrating Passover!

[Raise the Seder plate and, indicating the elements in turn, say the following:]
These are the symbols that remind us of the Exodus from Egypt, the liberation from slavery, the journey from darkness to light! Each element illustrates key concepts of the Passover story, and hence our own journey of spiritual freedom.

1. The Beitzah – An egg symbolizes new life. It is brown/browned to represent the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the sacrificial offerings that were burnt on the altar to illustrate the eradication of the sin of the repentant sinner.

2. The Chazeret – horseradish, and 3. The Maror – romaine lettuce, represent bitter herbs that remind us of the bitterness suffered by the Israelites as slaves in Egypt, and by all who are enslaved to sin.

4. The Zeroah – represents the Passover Lamb that was slain.

5. The Charoset – reminds us of the mortar and clay used by the slaves.

6. The Karpas – parsley, represents the hyssop used by the Israelites to paint the blood on their doorposts; a key tool in receiving a new life of freedom. The hyssop is the most humble of biblical plants and reminds us of the humility that is necessary to apply the blood of the Lamb on one’s heart.

Ma Nishtanah? The Four Questions

[Pour the second cup of wine. The appointed child, or children – usually beginning with the youngest, now ask/s the questions. Have their question numbered and written on a piece of paper and ensure they are prepared in advance!]

>Children, or youngest at the Seder!

  1. Why is this night different from all other nights?
  2. On all other nights we may eat leavened or unleavened bread, and on this night why can we only eat matzah?
  3. On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, why on this night do we make sure to eat bitter herbs?
  4. On all other nights may we eat sitting upright or reclining, and on this night why do we all recline?

>Leader: 

The answers to these questions are to be found in the history of the people of Israel, which is God’s plan of redemption for all. We remember that it is through His great love and faithfulness that we are set free, as we read in
Deuteronomy 7:8,
…It is because the Lord loves you, and is keeping the oath which He swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of
Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Let us read together a short account of the amazing story of deliverance. The first person plural “we” is used to underscore the fact that we all were “slaves” and ate the bread of affliction while in Egypt, the kingdom of darkness. ‘In every generation all individuals should regard themselves as if they had personally gone out from Egypt, as it is said: “And you shall tell your son on that day, It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt”’ (Exodus 13:8).

>All:
We all were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. We were treated harshly and we were afflicted with hard labor. We cried out to the Lord, the God of our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Lord heard our cries and saw our affliction, our toil and oppression.
The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand, with great signs and wonders. Therefore tonight we recline at table, in the manner of free men, to remind ourselves that if God had not saved us out of Egypt, we would still be slaves to sin.

Thanks be to God for freedom and new life in our Messiah, Yeshua.

The Ten Plagues

[If there are young children present much fun can be had with the plagues if “visual aids” are prepared in advance. For example: red food dye can be dropped into a glass of water for no.1; candy/gummy frogs, insects can be thrown for nos. 2 & 3 & 8; toy jungle animals for no.4; ping pong balls can be thrown in the air for no.7; the lights can be turned off for a second or two at no. 9]

>Leader:

We now recall the miracles that God did on our behalf against the wicked Pharaoh. Each time a plague is mentioned, take a drop of wine or juice from your cup with the tip of your little finger, and deposit it on your plate. This shows that a measure of our joy is lost at the suffering of our enemies. Let us now declare the plagues together:

  1. Blood!
  2. Frogs!
  3. Lice!
  4. Wild beasts!
  5. Pestilence!
  6. Boils!
  7. Hail!
  8. Locusts!
  9. Darkness!
  10. Death!

How abundant are the blessings the Almighty has bestowed upon us in delivering us from our enemies! And let us all say, “Amen.”

Dai’yeinu! It Would Have Been Enough!

>Leader:

After the mention of each mighty act of the God of Israel, let us shout, “Dai’yeinu!” (It would have been enough!) and sing the refrain together.

[It is well worth learning and teaching the simple one word refrain that all can sing with gusto. Safe Link: Dai’yeinu

Had He brought us out of Egypt and not judged the Egyptians … Dai’yeinu!

Had He judged the Egyptians and not divided the sea to let us pass through … Dai’yeinu!

Had He divided the sea and not sunk our foes into the depths … Dai’yeinu!

Had He sunk our foes into the depths and not given us the manna … Dai’yeinu!

Had He given us the Torah on Mt. Sinai and not brought us into the Promised Land … Dai’yeinu!

HalleluYah! For all God’s blessings we give thanks. He has done above and beyond all that we could ask or imagine.

Thanks be to God for freedom and new life in our Messiah, Yeshua.

The Second Cup – the Cup of Deliverance.

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>Leader: Let us raise the Cup of Deliverance with a blessing:
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who redeemed us from Egypt with Your outstretched arm and by the blood of the Lamb, and brought us to this night so that we could eat Matzah and Maror.

O Lord, God of Israel, enable us to experience future holidays and festivals in peace; to take joy in the rebuilding of Jerusalem Your holy city; and to be happy in Your service. In Your honor we will sing a new song that will celebrate our redemption and spiritual freedom. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who will redeem all of Israel. All: Amen.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-Olam, Borei P’ri ha-Gafen.

“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who Creates the Fruit of the Vine.” All: Amen. [Drink second cup].

6. RACH’TZAH – Washing Before Meal

>Leader: We will now wash our hands, with a blessing, before eating the meal: [Leader to wash hands first before reciting blessing]

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-Olam, she’kiddishanu b’mitzvotav ve’tzivanu al netilat yadaim.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, who has sanctified us by His commandments and has commanded us regarding the washing of hands.

[Repeat procedure in step 2.]

7. MOTZI – Blessing for Food/Bread

[Leader hold up the Matzah bag containing the remaining matzot and recite blessing]

>Leader: Let us give thanks to God:

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-Olam, ha’Motzi lechem min ha’Aretz.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

All: Amen.

8. MATZAH – Special Blessing for Matzah

>Leader: Let us now say a special blessing as we eat our first piece of Matzah!

[All hold up a piece of Matzah. Leader recite blessing]

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-Olam, asher kid’eshanu be’mitzvotav, ve’tzivanu al achilat matzah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us regarding eating matzah.

All: Amen. [All eat a small piece of matzah.]

9. MAROR – Bitter Herbs

>Leader: Using a piece of Matzah as a spoon, dip into the Maror (horseradish) and eat it, remembering the bitterness of sin and exile from the Presence of the Lord.

It is possible that it was at this juncture that Yeshua handed the Matza with Maror upon it to Judas, and said, “The one who dips his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.” (Matthew 26:23)

10. KORECH – “Hillel” Sandwich

[Make a sandwich by adding charoset and maror (romaine lettuce and horseradish) between two pieces of Matzah. If available in bowls on table, slices of boiled egg can be added. Make sure salt and pepper shakers are also handy. This serves as an appetizer.]

>Leader: As a remembrance of the days of the Temple, we now do as the Sage Hillel did. He would combine the Passover Offering, Matzah, and Maror in a sandwich and eat them together, in fulfillment of the verse in the Torah: “They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” (Exodus 12:8)

11. SULCHAN ORECH – Serve the Meal

>Leader: At long last! Time to feast on the Passover Meal as we celebrate this Season of our Freedom.

B’tei’avon! (Good Appetite!)

12. TZAFUN – Eating the Afikoman

[After the meal it is time for the children to search for the hidden Afikoman.
When it is found, the leader proclaims the following then breaks off a small piece for each person. It is the last food eaten. Make sure third cups are filled.]

>Leader: Yeshua, on the night that He was betrayed, took the unleavened bread and proclaimed a blessing. Then He broke the bread, and handed it to His disciples, saying: “Take and eat, this is my body” (Matthew 26:26).

The Third Cup – The Cup of Redemption.

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>Leader: Let us raise the Cup of Redemption:

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Luke 22:20)

Let us drink the Third Cup, in remembrance of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-Olam, Borei P’ri ha-Gafen.

“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who Creates the Fruit of the Vine.” All: Amen. [Drink third cup].

13. BARECH – Blessings After the Meal
[Different readers can be allocated to read a blessing.]

>Leader: My friends, may the Name of God be blessed from now unto eternity, With your permission, let us bless the One of whose food we have eaten.
“Blessed is the One of whose food we have eaten and through whose goodness we live.” And let us say, “Amen”.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who nourishes the whole world. In Your goodness, with favor, with loving-kindness, and with compassion You give sustenance to all flesh, for Your steadfast love is eternal. You are the God Who nourishes and sustains all beings and prepares food for all the creatures that You have made. Blessed are You, Who provides food for all. And let us say, “Amen.”

We thank You, O Lord our God, because you brought us forth from bondage in Egypt, and have given us a godly heritage in Messiah. We thank You for Your Torah which teaches us, and for the life, favor and kindness You grant us; and for the food with which You feed and sustain us constantly, every day, in every season, and in every hour. And let us say, “Amen.”

For all this, O Lord our God, we thank You and bless You. May Your Name be blessed continuously and forever by the mouth of all living things. And let us say, “Amen.”

Have mercy, O Lord our God, upon Your people Israel, upon Jerusalem Your city, and on Zion the resting place of Your Glory. Remember all of Israel for survival, for well-being, for favor and kindness, for life and for peace on this day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. And let us say, “Amen.”

May the Merciful God reign over us forever. May the Merciful God send abundant blessings to this house and upon this table at which we have eaten. May the Merciful God send us Elijah the Prophet to proclaim to us good tidings of Messiah. May He Who makes peace in the highest heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel. And let us say, “Amen.”

14. HALLEL – Psalms of Praise

>Leader: Psalms 113 – 118, the “Hallel,” were sung at the Passover festival to echo the songs that were sung in the Temple during the slaying of the Passover lambs. Yeshua and His disciples would have sung Psalm 118 at the conclusion of the Seder in the Upper Room:
“After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mt. Of Olives” (Matthew 26:30). They would therefore have sung the words,

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in Him” (Psalm 118:24).

[Optional: Sing songs in accord with these Psalms and/or recite selected verses from Bible.]

>Leader: Let us unite our hearts, joyfully giving thanks to God for the Passover Lamb who was slain for the forgiveness of our sins, who rescues us from the Egypt of sin and death, and who sets us free to become the People of God. Let us declare together:

>All:
From slavery … to freedom
From sorrow … to joy
From mourning … to festivity
From bondage … to redemption
From darkness … to light !
HalleuYah!

The Fourth Cup – The Cup of Restoration

>Leader: [Make sure fourth cups are filled and alert the children to get ready for your signal to run to the door to check whether Elijah has arrived to signal Messiah’s return!]

The Cup of Restoration is also known as Elijah’s cup. According to the Scriptures, a prophet like Elijah will announce the coming of Messiah. We know that the Son of Man is coming again and the Kingdom of God will be fully restored under his Kingship.

During his last Passover Seder, Yeshua spoke about his return, saying:

“I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

The prophet Zecharaih tells us:

On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east… And the Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one (Zechariah 14:4,9).

We must always be prepared to receive Him. Children, quickly run to the door. See if Elijah is there!

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Let us drink the fourth cup, Elijah’s cup, in anticipation of the soon return of Messiah Yeshua to be crowned as King and to reign in all the earth.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-Olam, Borei P’ri ha-Gafen.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who Creates the Fruit of the Vine. All: Amen. [Drink fourth cup].

15. NIRTZAH – Conclusion of Seder

We have been blessed to experience this Passover Seder, and now may we go forth from here to be a blessing.

O Lord, quickly bring all Your children to Zion, and may our hearts be filled with excitement, with joy and with song, as we welcome Messiah to the City of the Great King. Then we shall say:

Baruch ha’ba b’Shem Adonai!

“Blessed be he who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Matthew 23:39).

With God’s people around the world, we end our Passover Seder tonight with this declaration:

Le’Shanah haba’ah b’Yerushalayim!

Next year in Jerusalem!

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Artwork: New Jerusalem, Ligtenberg, Blue and White Gallery, Jerusalem.

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