Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Nesivos Shalom Yahrtzeit

 Today is 7 Av, the Yahrtzeit of the Nesivos Shalom, previous Rebbe of Slonim.  His work, somehow overflowed fro his branch of Chasidus into the entirety of the Jewish world.  I have no words for my feelings that include gratefulness and go beyond it in response to having his Torah in my life.

Instead of sharing his Torah exclusively here, now, I will share something that I'm thinking about that started with a Torah thought of his (that's a Slonimer tradition, as so much of his teachings are).

The Torah says that G-d said "Let there be light" and there was light.  As he does from time to time, in the Chasidic tradition, the Nesivos Shalom brings out new meaning of a verse by using something other than the conventional punctuation.  In the case, if you put a comma after the first Hebrew word in this verse it can mean that a person says.  Then if you put in quote marks, the statement is "G-d, let there be light," followed by the words, "and then there will be light." So, now, the pasuk is telling us that when we cry out to G-d and tell him we need light in our lives and we can only get it from Him, that is when we will find light enter our lives.

Besides putting the idea in my head of making this verse a mantra, this Torah insight also got me thinking about the Jewish view of spiritual light.  I was recently at a class which discussed what the number one pasuk, so to speak, in the Torah is.  (It comes from a Medrash shared in the introduction to the sefer Ein Yaakov, and the author himself says that he could not find the Medrash.) The presenter suggested we each think about what pasuk we could make an argument for being the most important in the Torah.  Taking a bit of poetic license in re-interpreting the question I want to say that this is a verse that is very important to me and which I think has more depth than people realize.  (This could be said about any pasuk. In fact, in this shiur I attended, we were each instructed to open a Chumash to a seemingly random page and line and then argue for the verse we found being The Line of the Torah!)

It's of interest that light was created on day 1 of the creation we read of in Breishit. The sun was only created on day 4.  So where did this original light emanate from, what was it's nature and purpose?

Rav Kook wrote the book of Orot, Lights and many other books with light in their title and theme.

We praise G-d daily for creating light.  Might this be a spiritual light? 

The Nesivos Shalom points out the the time of the three weeks is a dark time of year spiritually and physically, as reflected by the days getting shorter and the nights longer. (This is the reverse of Chanukah time , which is considered the light time of year becaus ethe very short days start to get longer that that time.)

Some people light one more Shabbos candle for each child born representing the light that person brought into the world.

May the light the Nesivos Shalom's light continue to enlighten us all.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Spine Poems, An Eclectic Collection of Found Verse, For Book Lovers

I recently bought  a book as an impulse by at the cash register of the Upper West Side's Shakespeare and Co.

Spine Poems, An Eclectic Collection of Found Verse, For Book Lovers, by Annette Dauphin Simon is rare in many ways, including that it is everything it claims to be in its title. I was ready to settle for another cute, short book of quick poems where I find one or two that I like, or another light book for bathroom reading. This is on a vastly higher level.

This is an elegant book, in which there is actually something I like on most every page. There's an accurate drawing of the spines of books on top of eachother, and the titles on the spine make a poem. On the facing page is the poem typed out. And then comes the great surprise. there are detailed notes that vary from page to page in what thy cover, including great historical details (like how far back Humpty Dumpty's words actually date) and things about the theme being dealt with, and more.

I keep being called back to this book, which just feels so sincere and generous in how it was written and published. I am so grateful for this book that is truly special for me and bringing me uplift and even joy.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

 If you see see a young child wearing a coat that's way to big for him you'd be wise to conclude the coat for made for someone bigger than him (probably his father). Similarly, we see our depth of emotional, intellectual and spiritual is enormous to such an extent that it would be wise to conclude that it was made for something bigger than simply getting through our physical existence on this plane (which is what lower forms of life do, instinctually, with smaller coats).

An analogy of The Steipler, cited by Rabbi Abraham Twerski in Living Each Day (1988), pg. 276

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Dovid VeShaul


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A Facebook Post From April 29, 2018


Ten Albums That Are Meaningful to Me
My brother tagged me in favorite album challenge. The rule is that you're supposed to share one a day for ten days and tag someone each time you share and then they have to do the same thing. Me being (INFP) me, I'll do this my own way.
My favorites can change from moment to moment. (One of the more beautiful things I ever heard was at a funeral. A mourner said that she couldn't easily tell you her favorite of anything without modifying and explaining it - ut if you asked her who her favorite person in the world was she wouldn't hesitate. She would just tell you that it was her mom.) Favorites are hard. So these won't be my favorites. These are contenders, albums (does anyone remember albums?) that come to mind as meaningful for me.
1. Keep It Together, Guster - This is a relatively new album and group for someone in my age bracket. For me and my contemporaries the seventies doesn't feel like forty plus years ago. So the nineties doesn't feel like twenty years ago. I discovered Guster through The LeeVees, who are a duo that made a fantastic Chanukah album (and half of that duo is in Guster.) Guster's styles vary, and I like pretty much all of their albums and sounds. This one was their most recent when I discovered them and it has a lot of their big songs on it. But like many of these album choices will be, it's a bit random - and it's followed closely by others of theirs including their many live collections, particularly the ones with the classical accompaniment.
2. Time To Dance 2 - I bought this at Schaller's book store as a gift for my mom, circa 1982. It features well done instrumental Jewish music that does not have the kind of Las Vegas-ey sound of so much of the most popular Jewish music. It's a class act. It has many beautiful Chasidish tunes, such as an achingly gorgeous rendition of the Baruch Kel Elyon that people call the dirge. There's one part of the album in particular that I carry with me because it so blew me away. The have a long piece of Jewish songs that sound similar to classical pieces like Scheherazade. Haraman Hu Yizakeinu is paired with a classical piece it resembles. I remember the piece but don't know its name. That album brought me a lot of joy. For a long time I owned the cassette of it, which I played over and over.
3. Quadrophenia, The Who - I don't remember exactly, for sure, how I found The Who, I think from the radio. I went back and bought an earlier album that I had heard was their best, Quadrophenia. I remember my youth leader and friend telling me that the refrain from the album was "Can You See The real me?" I didn't experience that as the refrain, but it's a great song, like so many others on the album. It's more of a masterpiece than Tommy. They have so much good stuff, but this is their best. And it's meaningful for me because they were one of the first and only rock groups of my childhood that I chose as mine, and not just a group i liked after discovering them through my older brother.
4. Gifts from Heaven, Shoshannah - I've said, and stand by it, that if I had to pick one desert island album this would be it. So beautiful. Sounds like so many people performing, when it's the piano playing of one person. It's all instrumental, channeling Reb Shlomo and other classics, while interpreting them as well. When I met Shoshanah I asked if she was THE Shoshannah, and I started humming my favorite (opening) tune from the album. She was flattered. I've listened to this myriad times. Listening to it is, for me, an experience of elevation. I am glad that this album is there as background music for my life. And I'm grateful that I was able to tell the artist how much her music meant to me. May her neshama go ever higher.
5. Bursting Out, Jethro Tull - I discovered them through Songs From the Wood, which was followed by the album of outtakes from that album, Heavy Horses. Then I saw them at "The Garden" twice. All this happened while I was in high school. My first big rock concerts. Bursting Out came out during these same few years and I brought it with me to Israel, post HS. i remember one of my 3 roommates begging me to turn off the long drum solo at bed time. It's a live album of greatest hits up till that point, masterfully done.
6. Shlomo Carlebach Album I Don't Know Name Of - It has the story of him performing at a Catholic School and being approached by a Jewish girl wearing a Jewish star... I may be conflating more than one album. I think it has Pe'er VeKavod on it, and Samcheim. It's an Israeli concert at which he speaks in Hebrew. There are so many recordings of his that have been meaningful to me in my llife. this one reminds me of the 5 and a half years I lived in Israel as a yeshiva student. And it reminds me of some dear friends who shared my love of this music at that time.
7. Storyteller, Ray Davies - This was the inspiration for the VHS show. And it was an album. It has great renditions of old songs with patter that goes a long way. And I like the title song. This choice is emblematic of the many albums and songs of The Kinks that I really like. The depth of feeling, getting greyness, nostalgia, beautiful lyrics. amazing sound. Maybe I should have picked an actual Kinks album, but this will do.
8. THE YESS LEGACY, A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF MOSHE YESS - I could and maybe should have gone with "G-d Is Alive And Well In Jerusalem," or another Megama Duo album. But Moshe Yess was the genius behind it all, and this includes 30 songs sung by others paying respect to (and raising money for) his legacy. One of my favorites, Sukkos In Jerusalem, which he played live for just me and my dad, is not on this album - like many of his songs, it's hard to find. but these songs remind me of that one and others that aren't here. His originals are hard to find. They're better than this (not always, but usually - because his sincerity shined through) but this does a good job of keeping his music alive in my life.
9. Pink Pearl, Jill Sobule - One of the first times I listened to Idiot's Delight I was taken by Vin Scelsa's conversation with Jill about how I Will Survive had become a campfire song. Her newest album was Pink Pearl. I got it and was moved by Rock Me To Sleep and others. She's one of a kind. She did Kickstarter before there was Kickstarter. There are other albums of hers that are great, but this one is the one that started it all for me, and has so many of the slow and beautiful ones that really affect me.
10. Dveykus 1 (Though I think of 1,2,3 as a unit) - Before this I didn't know that there was music on such a different end of the spectrum from Mordechai ben David. In yeshiva I listened to this over and obver again. it was like I'd discovered oxygen. They lose me on their fast songs. but their slow ones are beyond this world. (I like all their albums and I consider the Journeys series
a close cousin that I also love.)
There's much more to say. I want to just add that today I don't listen to albums so much. I listen to Spotify and Pandora and they have introduced me to many groups and songs that are similar to ones I already knew and liked. I am pleased that I don't only listen to the music of my youth (even though the more recent music I like, I like because it sounds like the music of my youth).

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Two Poems By Yehoshua Josh November


Sunday, December 04, 2022

Kids have so much on their minds
sometimes studies get left behind
If teachers try they will find
things go better when they are kind.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Building A Bayit Ne'eman


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Small talk makes me feel small.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

On Rod Serling's In The Presence of Mine Enemies, and Patterns

I'm in this episode and the one before it (and the one before that).

Thursday, September 08, 2022

The Projectionist's Guest Has Semicha

Here I am, talking about A Tree Grows In Brooklyn!

Here's a previous post where I wrote about the book/movie.

And this, from this rich post, in which I write about the King in the field in Ellul:

Beauty Is Truth
In B&N the other day I saw a new unabridged audio version of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. The reader, Carrington MacDuffie does a remarkable job, getting voices and nuances perfectly. Something about that book.
At one point Francie talks about how Saturday is her favorite day. This is my adaptation of her words:

Glad for Saturday
A day which is without fault
Monday far away

This, from this post, about the Lech Lechas of our lives: 

I chose to write about Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Brooklyn (Betty Smith, Harper and Brothers 1943). What jumped out at me from the book was the depiction of different worlds. Francie has many worlds, all of them real: one world in the library, another on her porch, one in school, another at home. Within her home various relationships stand alone for FrancieFrancie’s father Johnny lives in different worlds too. The reality of these worlds is driven home after Johnny dies. When Francie goes to his barbershop to pick up his shaving cup, the barber tells her that her father was a good man. At this moment, Johnny’s worlds of friends and family touch for the first time.

And, see here, for a nice post where I think I am more articulate in talking about Francie and her dad and her entering his barbershop world.

Here, I write about five of my favorite films ever, and include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Here, I include A Tree Grows In Brooklyn in a list of seven films I could watch over and over again.  I recommend reading all the lists of seven in this post, including seven good things to say to me.

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

 “It is difficult

to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.”
William Carlos Williams, Asphodel, That Greeny Flower & Other Love Poems

Just now I wish to say
in a meaningful way,
I think of all I've got
and all that I am not,
I'm tired and awake
comfortable, and I ache
And then G-d sends me news
His angels bring me cues

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

 I always say that the things you remember in life are the things that happen right after you had the butterflies, so you should never avoid the butterflies because they are memory makers. 

- Brian Regan on Comedians In Cars...

Monday, August 01, 2022


Monday, July 11, 2022

 "He preached the gospel at all times; when necessary he used words."

- St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, July 07, 2022

 Happy Birthday Jim Gaffigan, one of my favorite comedians ever.


Thursday, June 23, 2022

 Sick w ear infection, taking comfort from The Cheap Detective.

Found this tidbit on Wikipedia:

Ed Mintz founded CinemaScore in 1979 after disliking The Cheap Detective despite being a fan of Neil Simon, and hearing another disappointed attendee wanting to hear the opinions of ordinary people instead of critics. A Yom Kippur donation card with tabs inspired the survey cards given to audience members.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Four Thoughts On That Came to Me While Davening

 We thank G-d for spreading the land out on top of the water.  Things are often not what they seem. We approach the world as if it is dry land with places that are water.  Really it is water that G-d, miraculously, in some parts keeps covered by land.

We ask to be seen with kindness and mercy through the eyes of G-d and all who see us.  Maybe what we're saying is that we should all be blessed to see each-other with G-d eyes.

We praise G-d for having saved us in order that "kavod" can sing praise to him.  Some say that kavod, here, refers to our soul.  Perhaps, what we are actually saying is that all honor should be a praise to G-d, by being traced back to G-d as honor's source.

In Modim DeRabanan we daily say a form of the brachach of Shechechiyanu, thanking G-d for keeping us alive and sustaining us till this moment - al shehechiyitanu vekiyamtanu.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

June 9, 2012

 Today was the first day of finals. This note at the end of one of paper caught my eye and touched by heart. This is an introverted person who went deep and then shared this in writing. I am grateful beyond grateful.

"Dear Rabbi Fleischmann,
I have had an amazing year in your class. I enjoyed every minute of it and I learned so much.
Aside from regular class I also want to thank you for all the time you spent answering life questions and listening to and editing my poetry.
I am going to miss having you as a teacher so much.
I also wanted to say that I have actually enjoyed taking your tests. I never thought I would say that but it's true. Your tests were interesting and really connected everything we learned.
I really appreciate everything that I learned this year with you/from you.
You are an amazing teacher.
Thanks again,

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

I don't blog daily
Such foolish consistency
Says "I have no life"

- Siobhan Adcock

Monday, May 23, 2022

 I never know what or where to write.  Once I wrote na lot here, more recently on Facebook, always in various diaries and loose pages...

may we all be blessed to share in ways that help us.

Friday, May 20, 2022

My haiku, adapted from this excerpt from Zelda's poem:

Slowly Shabbos comes:
A rose in her hand, she plucks
the descending sun.


Softly the Sabbath has plucked
the sinking sun.

Slowly the Sabbath descends,
the rose of heaven in her hand.

Friday, May 13, 2022

At The Ohel - Written May, 2021

I stood in front of
the wall of lit tea lights.
Feeling the combined heat
of their tiny flames.
Breathing in their smoke.
Taking in the scene
behind the door,
before the grave.
A young fellow was
re-shelving Tehillim
next to the candles.
Exuding the vibe
of a shop keeper:
"What are you looking for?"
"Nothing, " I said
meaning, everything.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Another Pirkei Avot Post

Why does Pirkei Avot start with the chain of tradition back to Moshe and G-d at Sinai?
The answer I've stuck with for years (of R Ovddia of Bartenura and others) is this:
The lesson is that these sayings about ethics and life are not just nice quotes. They are as much a part of Torah from Sinai as any other part of our tradition. (And I just realized that this is probably the inspiration meaning behind the title of my favorite work on Avot, "Ethics From Sinai."
I recently thought of another, related- but I think different, answer:
Perhaps we are reminded of the giving of the whole Torah, here, at the start of Avot for this reason:
To be a person who truly adheres to the Torah it is not peripheral but fundamental that one be a ba'al midot, an ethical mentsch. The directions of this tractate are the undercurrent that flows under all the other tractates. Avot is the subtext of every Toah text and the other texts and Avot all must be learned with this connection kept in mind.


The saying - "be patient in judgment" may mean something other than the conventional explanation that you should be slow and thoughtful in judging others.
Maybe it also means that when you are experiencing a time of din, of judgment, of difficulty, be patient as you go through it.


He'emidu talmidim harbei. This is generally traslated to mean to teach many students. The word used is not the normal word for teaching. The word used means ro cause to stand up. We are told here to influence our students to have a strong and straight spine, and to walk tall. We are to teach and to model Torah in such a way that it accompanies an appropriate sense of confidence.
The implicit message is that we ourselves are to stand upright and unafraid.
This is something I plan and pray to bring in to the classroom and the world tomorrow and everyday.


The mishna in Avot says to stick to the dust of the feet of the rabbis (I have 3 possible meanings for this and would love to hear more) and then it advises us to drink their words with thirst. A student suggested that the image of drinking comes after the image of dust as a purposeful contrast. Studying can be dry, just the nature of it. And it's up to the student sometimes to make things ripe and fresh and wet!


Rabbi Dr. Dovid Katz contends that every saying in Avot is about something specific.
He says that, “Who is a warrior? He who conquers his negative inclinations” is about Alexander The Great. He conquered the world and word has it that he died from a three day celebratory drinking binge.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Four Sons - A Close Reading

The Verse They Use to Ask


Devarim 6:20  - When, in time to come, your children ask you, ‘What mean the decrees, laws, and rules that our God יהוה has enjoined upon you?’


Shemot 12:26 - “And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this rite?”


Shemot:13:14 - “And when, in time to come, a child of yours asks you, saying, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall reply, ‘It was with a mighty hand that יהוה brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage’.”

—----               - She’Eino Yodeiah Lish’ol

The Verse The Hagaddah Tells Us To Cite In Reaction/Response




(Shemot 13:7 quoted here to give context “Throughout the seven days unleavened bread shall be eaten; no leavened bread shall be found with you, and no leaven shall be found in all your territory.”)

Shemot 13:8 - “And you shall explain to your child on that day, ‘It is because of what G-d did for me when I went free from Egypt.’” Stage direction: Said with attitude.



Shemot 13:14 - “And when, in time to come, a child of yours asks you, saying, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall reply, ‘It was with a mighty hand that יהוה brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage’.”

Sh”Y”L    -      Shemot 13:8 - “And you shall explain to your child on that day, ‘It is because of what G-d did for me when I went free from Egypt.’” Stage direction: Said without attitude.



What the Verse Says We Should Say To Them 


Devarim 6:21-25 - You shall say to your children, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and יהוה freed us from Egypt with a mighty hand.G-d wrought before our eyes marvelous and destructive signs and portents in Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household; G-d freed us from there, in order to take us and give us the land promised on oath to our fathers.Then G-d commanded us to observe all these laws, to revere our G-d, for our lasting good and for our survival, as is now the case.It will be therefore to our merit before our G-d to observe faithfully this whole Instruction, as G-d has commanded us.”


 Shemot 12:27  - “You shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to G-d, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when smiting the Egyptians, but saved our houses.’ (Those assembled then bowed low in homage.)” 





Friday, April 15, 2022

Kol HaMarbeh Hagaddah 2022

 If you'd like a goodle doc version of this, email me at nfleischmann1@gmail.com.

Chag Kosher VeSameach


The Kol HaMarbeh Haggadah

Original Hebrew and English text from Sefaria

By Rabbi Neil Fleischmann

תשפ״ב 2022

May we not be jealous,

May we not be insecure,

May we not be lazy,

May we open up our door,

To Elijah and his justice,

To Elijah and his peace,

To Elijah who's returning

With the news of our release

- Rabbi Neil Fleischmann









Introduction to 2022 Edition

The Kol HaMarbeh Hagaddah

By Rabbi Neil Fleischmann


This is the third consecutive year that I’m writing a Covid introduction. The first year I compared it to the makkot.  The second year felt like the start of Yetiat Mitzrayim. This year I feel like we’re lost in the desert.  Torn.  Wanting to go back to how things were because we don’t like how things are.  And also denying that anything ever happened at all.  It seems more important than ever to try to remember and get our story straight.  I’d write more of an introduction but I’m tired.  Tired of the pandemic.  Tired of galus.  May Hashem understand my lack of da’at and my scream without words. The first night of Pesach of 2020 I prayed that after Yom Tov the news would tell me that this new pandemic had disappeared.  And that I would know it was the Pesach power, a Pesach miracle.  May we see this year palpable positive Pechach changes. 


This year, I think and hope there are more additions and improvements than in other recent years.  I am “finishing” and sharing it now for this year.  Though ideas are still coming to me.  I think I will open a doc for 2023 and put new ideas in then, for us to enjoy together next year… in Jerusalem. 


May my collection of hagaddah ideas be le’tovah - of positive effect.


Introduction to 2021 Edition


The Kol HaMarbeh Hagaddah

By Rabbi Neil Fleischmann


Reentry.  That’s where we are. And in this case, this “we” that we speak of includes not only our Jewish community, but the world.  My broken heart is wholeheartedly rooting for everyone’s safety and success as we tiptoe back into waters that have been upgraded to murky. And yet, for the purpose of this piece, with apologies to the 7.7 billion other members of humanity, I will focus on our, Jewish, 0.2% of the population.


As I typed the words above, a siren wailed by my home. I reacted in the perfunctory I too often say blessings on food, with a quick mumbled “Kel nah, refah nah lah - G-d please, please heal that soul.” I don’t hear ambulances and then pray every few minutes as I did a year ago, but when I hear their blare and recite those five Hebrew words I associate them with this pandemic. Maybe I always will. 


My rumination around the sirens may align with things that keep turning over inside your soul as we enter our reentry.  It is a time fraught with tension. I have heard several people speaking of extreme feelings in the last month, enough that I can’t help but connect it to the stage of Covid we're in. The change to Daylight Savings Time, with Spring sauntering in, I think, causes an explosion in our brains every year, which makes a potent cocktail when mixed with Covid fears.


A year ago, this season was accompanied by the rude intrusion of a deadly monster, which like the final plague in Egypt, left no home unaffected by death.  Our balance was removed and I and the tender hearted, honest people I connect to most deeply were terrified. 


This year Covid survivors, those lucky enough to get the for emergency use only vaccination, and others taking the Nike approach and just doing it, will gather together around the family Seder table for the first time in two years.  We venture out with baby steps and a cautious optimism that was misplaced and dangerous six months ago, and might or might not be okay now.  (One of the things I noticed over the last year is the was that the Corona virus has bent everything into the shape of a question mark.)


Last year we hid in our homes hoping for shelter from the plague that was striking the world around us.  Our generation did not need imagination to feel that we were living through the 10 Plague piece  of the Exodus experience.


This year as we open our doors not just for Elijah to come in but for us to step out, we need not pretend that we seek to squeeze out of our narrow straits, because we actually are leaving Egypt, version 2021. 


These thoughts on the Hagaddah have been meaningful to me as I’ve collected them over the years.  I hope they are helpful to you as you embark on reentry.

Introduction to 2020 Edition

This year Pesach is taking place during an international pandemic.  In the U.S, where I am we have been mandated by our government and by our religious authorities to stay home on Pesach, and to only have the Seder and all the rest of the celebrations with people who are already living in our home. Shuls (and other houses of worship)  have been closed for some time.  Workplaces are closed.  Schools are closed.  We’re told the one thing we can to help is to STAY HOME.

Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg has released brilliant ideas inspired by the reality that most everyone will be more alone at their Seder this year.  For each of the 15 parts of the night’s order he shares ideas about loneliness.  And he shows how these manifestations of loneliness, these characters and what they represent, accompany us on the Seder night.You can find his ideas here - The Loneliest Seder Part 1 and continued here - The Loneliest Seder Part 2.  While every year I come across new ideas, and this year many people have put out special thoughts, these really stand out and I hope to include some of them.

I have seen many articles about this year’s Seder and how it is going to be different from any other Seder in our lives, in history.. We’ll be so alone.  We’ll be thinking about the peril the world is in.  We’ll remember it all of our lives. I want to suggest that we focus, also, on what will be the same this year.  We will be using the same text as millions of other Jews, one that has been the same for thousands of years.  

We will remember that faith is redemption, and that this night is a portal into both.  We will go through the same 15 steps we went through last year, and will please G-d, go through next year - stages that lead to elevation. We’ll carry on traditions that belong to our nation, our family, ourselves.  We’ll ask questions and consider answers.  We’ll do the every day mitzvah of remembering our exodus from Egypt in the special way it can only be done on this night. 

We will be grateful to G-d for what we experience as good and cry out to Him to turn around what we see as bad. We will be blessed to read through the Hagadah from start to finish, with a big meal in the middle, surrounded by the Hallel song.  We will do what Jews have done in times that were easier and more comfortable and in times that were even more frightening and dangerous. We will proclaim on this holy day, as we do on Yom Kippur - Next year in Jerusalem!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Introduction: On The Books

(THOUGHT) Why is a seder called a seder? The conventional answer is the ordered schedule of the night that gives the ceremony its name. (This is similar to the reasoning behind the name of the siddur, the ordered compilation of our prayers.) A different approach is that the name serves to remind us to scrutinize the miracles and see order rather than happenstance behind them. This, in turn, helps us to appreciate the miraculous order of daily life. (Based on Chidushei HaRim’s take on MaHaRal as presented in Ma’aynah Shel Torah Haggadah).


What seems to be the earliest souce of a Seder being called a Seder?


The Rambam, who refers to the seder - order of the night.

(THOUGHT) Though it's the holiday of freedom we are not traditionally free to celebrate it any way we want to. There are many rules to Pesach. And there is a set structure, an opening Seder that kicks it off. This is representative of our view of freedom in general. We are freed by rules, but are not free from rules. Everyone must follow the order of the Seder, yet no two Seders are the same. Similarly everyone must keep the mitzvot, yet no-one's traditional Jewish life looks the same.

(Rav Kook)

(THOUGHT) The haggadah is a book. The Seder night is a major time in the Jewish calendar and it features a book. This indicates that reading is key to serious thinking. Do people today, particularly members of Western society value reading? It seems to me that contemporary man does not read enough books or value reading books enough.

(QUOTE) Rabbi Nachman Kahane observed that a Jewish home is traditionally full of books, because that's a major Jewish value. Decorating the house with sefarim (books) is appropriate, even if they aren't learned in full. And, according to many authorities buying holy books is a fulfillment of the obligation of writing a Torah scroll.

(STORY) A woman was walking her young stroller aged son. They passed by a building which she pointed to.

"That's a library", she said, "We'll go there sometime".

"Library." What's a library? he asked.

"That's a place where you borrow books", she explained.

"Borrow books? You mean buy books," her son replied, confused.

"No, no", she assured him, "you go there and take the books out to read and then bring them back when you're finished". He looked at her, confused, and she was at a loss, wondering how to successfully explain this. After a moment's pause she said, "Like DVDs.”. "Oh", he immediately replied, "That sounds nice, let's go one day". 

(Note - When this story appeared the mother said to the son, “It’s like videos.” I’ve updated it to DVDs, but I think today a little kid is probably not familiar with renting DVDs.  It’s different than watching things online.  There just may be no way to explain a library to a young child today other than immersing them, and also modeling use of it oneself, though you can try saying Netflix)

(QUOTE) “If a measure of Jewish affection for a book were to rest with the number of versions there are of it, then clearly the Passover Haggadah is the most popular Jewish book of all time. In the 16th century there were approximately 25 printed versions. This figure rose to 37 in the 17th century and then jumped to 230 versions in the 18th century. In the 19th century the numbers rose by another 1250 and estimates for the 20th century are that there are now over 3000 versions of the haggadah.” - Karen G. R. Roekard writes in her essay The Evolution of the Passover Haggadah (written circa 1991)

(ADDITIONAL QUOTE) “With the exception of prayerbooks, the Pesach Haggadah is the most published Jewish book, with about 5,000 editions having appeared since printing was invented. The earliest known printed Haggadah is from Spain, printed around 1482, with no vowels, commentary or illustrations. The first printed Haggadah with commentary was Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanel’s Zevach Pesach, published in Constantinople in 1505, not long after the author’s death. The Prague Haggadah of 1526 was the first Haggadah printed in Northern or Eastern Europe. It includes vowels and more than sixty illustrations.” - From Gil Student’s review of  People of the Book: Five Hundreds Years of the Hebrew Book From the Beginning of Printing Until the Twentieth Century,    

By Akiva Aaronson, Feldheim Publishers, New York, 2013

[(Extra Credit Question) Can you name the Jewish book that holds second place for most published versions?]

Main Body: The Haggadah

The name of this book is based on Exodus 13:8, “And you shall tell (vehigggadetah) your son on that day, “I do this because of what G-d did for me when I went out from Egypt.”

Kadesh U’Rechatz, Karpas

Kadesh, U’Rechatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Maggid, Rachtzah, Motzi, Matza, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah 

(QUOTE)  “No one that I know sings the table of contents of a book. Rather, there is something about the order, the seder, of the evening that is intrinsically important. The singsong employed to recite the Seder helps all those around the table to give expression to and remember all the items of the Seder in their correct order. As in any song, the melody pulls together the words into a unified whole with a beginning, a middle, and an end...this is because the Seder is just that – a unified, ordered, whole story with a beginning, middle, and end.”  - Leading The Passover Journey, Rabbi Nathan Laufer, page 16

(THOUGHT) The fifteen parts of the Seder parallel the fifteen steps of the Bet HaMikdash on which the fifteen songs of ascent from Tehillim were sung. This drives home the point that the Seder is a process of spiritual ascension. May we be blessed to transform as we progress through every phase of the Seder. (Based on Rabbi Nachman Cohen’s The Historical Haggada)

(THOUGHT) Rabbi Shlomo Kahn in From Twilight to Dawn suggests that when we contemplate kadesh and rechatz (holiness and the preparation it entails) we should seriously consider the karpas (vegetable). A vegetable starts out buried and downtrodden. In time it evolves into an attractive food that finds its place at a beautifully set table as part of a mitzvah. These words can serve to remind us of the development we are all capable of achieving, how we can sanctify and purify ourselves) by making the right efforts in advance.

Here is the list of the order (seder) of this night, with updated very brief explanations from Rav Joey Rosenfeld:

Kadesh: May I believe in my holiness.

Urchatz: May I believe in my purity.

Karpas: May I believe in my tears.

Yachatz: May I believe in my broken wholeness.

Magid: May I believe in my story.

Rachtza: May I believe in my cleanliness.

Motzei Matzah: May I believe in my hunger.

Marror : May I believe in my holy bitterness.

Korech: May I believe in my complexity.

Shulchan Orech: May I believe in my pleasure.

Tzafun: May I believe in my hidden power.

Barech: May I believe in my gratitude.

Hallel: May I believe in my song.

Nirtza: May I believe in my yearning and desire.


(QUESTION) - Why in the song/list of the the 15 parts of the Seder that we sing at the start do we say that Hallel is after the meal, when it actually starts  between Magid and Rachtzah?






















קַדֵּשׁ  - Kadesh

מוזגים כוס ראשון. המצּות מכוסות.

We pour the first cup. The matsot are covered

Make Kiddush

בְּשַׁבָּת מַתְחִילִין

On Shabbat, begin here:

וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי. וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל־צְבָאָם. וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. וַיְבָרֵךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אוֹתוֹ כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת.

And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their host. And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because He rested on it from all of His work which God created in doing (Genesis 1:31-2:3).

בחול מתחילין:

On weekdays, begin here:

סַבְרִי מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ מִכָּל־עָם וְרוֹמְמָנוּ מִכָּל־לָשׁוֹן וְקִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו. וַתִּתֶּן לָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּאַהֲבָה (לשבת: שַׁבָּתוֹת לִמְנוּחָה וּ) מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה, חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשוֹן, (לשבת: אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת הַזֶּה וְ) אֶת יוֹם חַג הַמַּצּוֹת הַזֶּה זְמַן חֵרוּתֵנוּ, (לשבת: בְּאַהֲבָה) מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים, (לשבת:וְשַׁבָּת) וּמוֹעֲדֵי קָדְשֶׁךָ (לשבת: בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן) בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׂשוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has chosen us from all peoples and has raised us above all tongues and has sanctified us with His commandments. And You have given us, Lord our God, [Sabbaths for rest], appointed times for happiness, holidays and special times for joy, [this Sabbath day, and] this Festival of Matsot, our season of freedom [in love] a holy convocation in memory of the Exodus from Egypt. For You have chosen us and sanctified us above all peoples. In Your gracious love, You granted us Your [holy Sabbath, and] special times for happiness and joy.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', מְקַדֵּשׁ (לשבת: הַשַׁבָּת וְ) יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזְּמַנִּים.

Blessed are You, O Lord, who sanctifies [the Sabbath,] Israel, and the appointed times.

בּמוצאי שבת מוסיפים:

On Saturday night add the following two paragraphs:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחֹל, בֵּין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ, בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה. בֵּין קְדֻשַּׁת שַׁבָּת לִקְדֻשַּׁת יוֹם טוֹב הִבְדַּלְתָּ, וְאֶת־יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִשֵּׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה קִדַּשְׁתָּ. הִבְדַּלְתָּ וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ אֶת־עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּקְדֻשָּׁתֶךָ.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the light of the fire. Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who distinguishes between the holy and the profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the six working days. You have distinguished between the holiness of the Sabbath and the holiness of the Festival, and You have sanctified the seventh day above the six working days. You have distinguished and sanctified Your people Israel with Your holiness.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְקֹדֶשׁ.

Blessed are You, O Lord, who distinguishes between the holy and the holy.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life and sustenance and permitted us to reach this season.

שותה בהסיבת שמאל ואינו מברך ברכה אחרונה.

Drink while reclining to the left and do not recite a blessing after drinking.

(QUOTE) (From Rabbi Abraham Twerski's From Bondage to Freedom) "There are people who approach the royal Seder table with no advance spiritual preparation. They may think, ‘I don't really belong here. If anyone knew the real me I certainly wouldn't be invited.’ Therefore, we begin the Seder with the Kiddush, in which we state ‘Mikadesh Yisrael,’ that G-d sanctifies each Jew. There is an element of intrinsic sanctity in every individual. Even though we may not feel worthy and deserving at this point, we have to take G-d's word for it. Each person is holy, sanctified, and unique."

(THOUGHT) Rav Kook notes that this is written as an imperative and in the singular form. Every one of us is implored to sanctify ourselves. Rav Kook says that there is a specific focus to this sanctification. The first mitzvah given to the new Jewish People was to sanctify the new month, that is- to sanctify time. So, Rav Kook says the sanctification we're to work on at the start of and throughout the Seder is the sanctification of our time, our lives.

(QUOTE) “The leaning is a symbol of aristocracy and freedom.  But this is puzzling. Why for our Jewish religious purposes a form or posture that was unique to the Romans of two thousand years ago? Why retain the fossilized Roman custom when we have so many beautiful Jewish customs?

“The answer, I suggest, lies in irony. Why is our Seder lacking and incomplete today? Why do we not observe the Passover sacrifice which was the center of the Seder in the days of independence? Why are we today in exile? It is because the Romans of two thousand years ago destroyed the Temple. But we shall not allow that destruction to rob us of our authenticity and undo us as a people. 

And so, today, we practice that very Roman symbol of freedom, the inclining on the left side. We adopt the Roman posture of leisure - and we thereby celebrate Zecher LeMikdash, remembering everything that occurred in the Temple, while they, the Romans who ravaged the Temple, are no longer in existence!" - Rabbi Norman Lamm, in The Royal Table)

(2020 Covid19 THOUGHT) We start with Kiddush at this Seder which is more solitary and lonely than we are probably used to.  In this Kiddush we describe the seventh day. A point that is not discussed that often is that by the seventh day, Adam and Chava (who were created on the sixth day) have made a major error in judgment and G-d has sent them out of the Garden of Eden. G-d must have, it were, felt betrayed, and lonely.  And G-d understands how we might feel some of that mixed in with our other feelings tonight. - Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg

(THOUGHT) The Torah Temimah, the Vilna Gaon, and other commentaries, stress that the four cups of wine that we are obligated to drink at the seder represent not four synonyms for redemption, but four separate redemptions. Each step along the way formed its own redemption, leading to the next level. That redemption is a process is an important life lesson. The Nesivos Shalom develops this idea, explaining how we were embedded in the low, negative energy of Mitzrayim and G-d pulled us out and lifted us up.  He says that this applies every week as we are redeemed on Shabbos after having become embedded in the physical world during our work week. 

(THOUGHT) Wine is used to represent the four stages of freedom that comprised the process of redemption because wine represents change. Wine comes about through a transformation and affects us by changing our state of being.

(QUESTION)  - What is unique about the mitzvah of this kiddush? 

(ANSWER)  – By saying kiddush and drinking the wine we simultaneously fulfill the mitzvah of drinking one of the four cups of wine we are obliged to drink on the seder night.

4 Cups - (THOUGHT) The Vilna Gaon and others list the 4 redemptions of which the four cups of wine serve as a reminder: 1. Work was decreased. 2. We were totally saved from having to work as slaves.3. G-d declared us to be His People. 4. We were actually taken out of Egypt. (This fits with the translation of each of the 4 phrases).

Rhymes With Orange, April 25, 2005 

Besides finding this cartoon cute, I include it because it is dear to my heart.  For over 15 years I ran two communal Seders at the Isabella Freedman Retreat Center.  During my tenure there it was a crowd of over 100 elderly, traditional Jews.  One year a woman noticed this in that day’s paper, clipped it out, and gave it to me because she thought I’d like it.  I like the cartoon, I cherish that she gifted me with it.

(The fact is that you don't technically fulfill your sacred obligation of drinking the four cups of wine on the first two nights of Passover if you drink all four in a row. According to halachah - Jewish law. The drinking of the four cups must take place in context, sitting in a leaning position, surrounded by the appropriate recitations.)

U’Rechatz - וּרְחַץ

Hand washing for eating a wet vegetable, a halachic hand washing (Pesachim 115a).

נוטלים את הידים ואין מברכים "עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִּם"

Wash your hands but do not say the blessing "on the washing of the hands.”

(THOUGHT) If we were to stretch ourselves up as high as we could in the upright position which is unique to man, we would lift our hands up toward the sky. Thus, hands are the top, starting point, of man. One reason for hand washing is to accentuate our holiness by according proper respect to our starting point which everything else follows. If one neglects the starting point it's a sign of disregard of the whole. This is why the Rabbis (Sotah 4b) severely chastise one who is neglectful regarding the mitzvah of netilat yadayim (saying that one who neglects this mitzvah will be uprooted from the world). On Pesach night, the night of the formation of the Jewish People, we give particular care to hand washing, which acknowledges the special respect due the beginning of any special thing. [MaHaRaL].

(THOUGHT) Some point out that this washing is phrased as a command (Rechatz; “You must wash”), as opposed to the later washing which is described passively. Washing at this point is unusual and therefore we need to be instructed to observe it. The later washing is well known and therefore referred to simply as rachtzah; the washing.

Karpas - כַּרְפַּס

                                               Vegetable dipped in saltwater

לוקח מן הכרפס פחות מכזית – כדי שלא יתחייב בברכה אחרונה – טובל במי מלח, מברך "בורא פרי האדמה", ומכווין לפטור בברכה גם את המרור. אוכל בלא הסבה.

Take from the greens less than a kazayit - so that you will not need to say the blessing after eating it; dip it into the salt water; say the blessing "who creates the fruit of the earth;" and have in mind that this blessing will also be for the bitter herbs. Eat without reclining.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth

(THOUGHT) The saltwater reminds us of our sweat and tears in Mitzrayim. A vegetable is eaten in order to cause kids to be interested. We try to evoke questions from children because if there are no questions there can be no answers. To increase the curiosity factor it was the custom of Rabbi Pinchas Teitz to use a banana for karpas! (He also did this in order to reinforce the fact that the brachah on a banana is borei pri ha’adamah even though it grows on a tree, because the tree does not last from year to year).

(2020 Covid19 THOUGHT) One approach to the Karpas is that it serves to remind us of the Ketonet Pasim (which contains the word pas), which led to our slavery in Egypt.  This was the coat of Yosef that his brothers took and dipped in blood after throwing him in a pit and then having him sold to slavery. As we experience some loneliness mixed into our celebration and reception of redemption we think of Yosef who experienced extreme  isolation before things turned around for him.

(HALACHA) Halachic authorities point out to have in mind the maror when saying the brachah on the karpas. Why is this necessary, given that the maror comes after we said hamotzi, and should be covered as part of the meal? The Aruch HaShulchan explains that since the maror is eaten as the fulfillment of a specific mitzvah it does not count as a real part of the meal.

יַחַץ - Yachatz

Split the middle matsah in two, and conceal the larger piece to use it for the afikoman.   

חותך את המצה האמצעית לשתים, ומצפין את הנתח הגדול לאפיקומן

(THOUGHT) The Best Is Yet To Come

It is customary to save for the afikoman the bigger half of the matzah that is broken in two. The Sfas Emet says that the piece of matzah that is put away as the afikoman represents the redemption (geulah) yet to come. The bigger piece is put aside for the end of the Seder because the Geulah to come will be bigger than the one that we celebrate on Pesach.

Brachot 12b quotes from Yirmiyahu (23:7-8): “Days are coming when people will no longer swear ‘as G-d lives who brought the children of Israel up from the land of Egypt,’ but rather, ‘as G-d lives who brought up and brought back the offspring of the House of Israel from the land of the North and from all the lands wherein He had dispersed them.’”

According to the Chachomim even though the pasuk in Yirmiyahu seems to say that Yetziat Mitzrayim will no longer be remembered after kibutz galuyot – the return of the exiles, it actually means that the future geulah will be so great that it will be the one we primarily remember, but Yetziat Mitzrayim will still be remembered as well. This fits with the explanation of the Chachomim that the command to remember Yetziat Mitzrayim “all the days of our life,” includes an obligation to verbally remember Yetziat Mitzrayim even in Yemot HaMashiach; While Mitzrayim will still be recalled, the geulah of moshiach will be the one primarily remembered.

The Gemorah uses Yaakov to prove that when a pasuk states that something will no longer be said it really means that it will no longer be the primary point mentioned and not that it won’t be referred to at all. Yaakov is told by Hashem that he will no longer be known as Yaakov and will from now on be called Yisrael. But Hashem himself still uses the name Yaakov after this time. Perhaps this example of Yaakov/Yisrael is more than just an example, as the names Yaakov and Yisrael respectively represent the people that went down to and were redeemed from Mitzrayim and the Jewish People that will ultimately be redeemed.

The Gemorah gives the example of a man who is on the road and is saved from a wolf and tells everyone of the miraculous incident. Then he is saved from a lion, and then a snake. With each new salvation the previous incidents pale in comparison. Similarly, Bnei Yisrael's future geulah will make Geulat Mitzrayim secondary in status.

The above cited thoughts fit with the idea that we focus on the bigger half of matzah because the ultimate geulah is what everyone will talk about. There is a beautiful thought suggested by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach that adds on to this: Why is the hidden Afikoman brought back specifically by children? This represents the idea that children will be the ones who bring the ultimate redemption.

This connects to Shabbat 119b, which says that "Al tig'u bi'Mshichai" refers to the learning of young schoolchildren (hevel tinokot shel Beit Raban). Reish Lakish quotes Rabi Yehudah HaNasi as saying that the world is maintained only because of the learning of young children. Abayei adds that the Torah of children is more powerful than the Torah of adults because their mouths have not yet sinned. Reish Lakish adds that the learning of small schoolchildren should not be interrupted even to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash. This can be understood to mean that there is no more potent way to bring the Geulah than through the merit of children. May that time come speedily in our days.

(STORY) Rav Elchanon Wassermann hid with from the Nazis until he was found and murdered. People who were with him asked, "Why?" "Imagine," Rav Elchanon told them, "the following:" "Someone has never seen bread, and a man volunteers to teach him." The teacher picks up a little seed, and the disciple assumes that this is bread. So he's shocked when the man takes this "bread" and buries it in the ground. Then, a pretty plant grows and the man assumes that must be bread. And he's shocked again when the other man cuts down this "bread". Then the teacher takes the plant and picks off the kernels. The spectator thinks that the pile of kernels is what's called bread. But then the other guy throws these pieces in the air and smashes them. The other fellow is again confused. Then the kernels are ground and mixed with water and then they're shaped into a mound, which looks pretty nice. Now the guy figures this is bread. So he's quite shocked when the other man turns up the oven and throws this final product of so much work in, to be burnt. As the moments pass, the air fills with a scent that causes the stranger's mouth to water. He begins to suspect that something good is on its way. And soon he's eating a fresh slice of delicious hot bread with butter on it. And he understands."

All that happens along our many years on the road to redemption are part of the process. Sometimes it’s hard to understand how everything, including suffering, we’ve experienced is part of the positive process. In the end it will become clear.

Maggid - מַגִּיד

The Recitation [of the exodus story]

מגלה את המצות, מגביה את הקערה ואומר בקול רם:

The leader uncovers the matsot, raises the Seder plate, and says out loud:


הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא דִּי אֲכָלוּ אַבְהָתָנָא בְאַרְעָא דְמִצְרָיִם. כָּל דִכְפִין יֵיתֵי וְיֵיכֹל, כָּל דִצְרִיךְ יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח. הָשַּׁתָּא הָכָא, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּאַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל. הָשַּׁתָּא עַבְדֵי, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין.

This is the bread of destitution that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Anyone who is famished should come and eat, anyone who is in need should come and partake of the Pesach sacrifice. Now we are here, next year we will be in the land of Israel; this year we are slaves, next year we will be free people.

(STORY) The Maggid of Dubno addresses this phrase with a moshol: - parable: A poor man returned home nightly with a sack over his shoulder filled with junk he scavenged throughout the day. Dressed in rags he brought home barely enough to provide for his family. One day he found a diamond and he became a rich man. Now he returned home each evening dressed in a fancy suit and bought his wife and children the best of everything. Then one day he came home again dressed in rags. His wife's face fell and his children cried. They were sad until he explained - "It's one year since we became rich and I'm only dressing this way to remember. He reached outside the door where he had special gifts for all. They celebrated on that day for many years to come. Then one day he came home dressed in rags and his kids wanted to know where the presents were and how a year had passed so quickly. They were happy until he explained - "It's not an act, this time I've last the money through a bad investment, we're poor." So too, the Maggid of Dubno explains why we say this is the bread of affliction instead of saying this is like the bread of affliction. Until our ultimate redemption we live incomplete lives. We might not think so and that's part of the problem, but it is so. The matzah is not just a reminder of afflictions and redemptions of the past but it serves as a sobering reminder of our imperfect present and of the redemption still to come.

Rabbi Yisrael Lau (shared below in Hebrew, in his dramatic, homiletic style) says that if someone is in Israel they still speak of being in exile, and of hoping to be in Israel next year, of being a slave, hoping to be free.  The reason for this is that we always pray in plural.  People in Israel are speaking on behalf of Jews in exile, praying for them to be in Israel next year.

מספר הגאון רבי ישראל מאיר לאו: 

אחד מסדרי ליל הפסח ערכתי בחיל האויר, עם למעלה מאלף משתתפים. קראתי את ההגדה – "הא לחמא עניא" בארמית, ותרגמתי אותה לעברית, והנה קם טייס צעיר, ומבקש לשאול שאלה: "כבוד הרב, אני שמעתי את התרגום של 'הא לחמא עניא' מפיך, נדמה לי שאבד הכלח על כל הנוסח הזה, נדמה לי שהטקסט הזה הוא פשוט לא מדבר אלינו. תראה, השתא הכא השנה פה לשנה הבאה בארץ ישראל', מה זה לשנה הבאה בארץ ישראל? אני צבר כל החיים שלי אני בארץ ישראל! השתא עבדי לשנה הבאה בני חורין', מה פתאום 'השתא עבדי'? אני נולדתי כבר בתוך המדינה לא הייתי אחר מאשר בן חורין?" השבתי לו: "הבט באוזני שמעתי את מורי ורבי הרב שך בישיבת פוניבז', את רבי אליהו לופיאן בישיבה בזכרון יעקב ואת רבי שלמה זלמן אויערבך בישיבת 'קול תורה', ביום הכיפורים היום הקדוש ביותר של השנה כשבודאי צריך לומר אמת, ורק את האמת – דבר שהם הקפידו עליו כל ימות השנה - ואני שמעתי במו אוזני אותם עומדים ומכים "על חטא" ואומרים רשימה של ארבעים וארבעה חטאים נוראים האחד יותר מהשני - על חטא שחטאנו לפניך בזה ובזה ובזה... כפי שמופיע במחזור של יום הכיפורים לפי סדר כפול של א'-ב'. כשאתה מסתכל על זה באופן אובייקטיבי אתה משתאה, איך הם יכולים לומר דברים כאלה? חלקן עבירות שעליהן נאמר "יהרג ואל יעבור", הלא כולנו יודעים שהם לא עברו את העבירות האלה? אז התחלתי לחשוב: בדורות קודמים עמד הבעל שם טוב ועמד הגאון מוילנא, עמדו כל גדולי הדורות ואמרו "על חטא שחטאנו לפניך" - וכי הוציאו מפיהם חלילה דבר שהוא לא אמת?

התשובה היא: הם לא חשבו רק על עצמם! לא כל הזמן "אני" ו"אני" ו"אני"! צריך לחשוב על כלל ישראל כי כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה, כאשר הצדיקים הללו בקשו "סלח לנו", "מחל לנו", "כפר לנו", "על חטא שחטאנו לפניך" הם חשבו על הכלל לא על עצמם

כך הדבר - המשכתי ואמרתי – בנוסח הזה של ההגדה, אני צריך תמיד לחשוב על עצמי? "אני צבר", "אני נולדתי בתוך המדינה"?! מה עם אחי ואחיותי אלה הנמצאים עכשיו מעבר למסך הברזל - וזה היה עוד לפני נפילתה של ברית המועצות וקריסת המסך - מה עם אחי ואחיותי בארצות אסיה ואפריקה, שהיו מאוד מאוד רוצים להשתחרר מהעול ומהגלות שם ולבוא הנה?! הם לא יכולים לומר זאת כי אין להם ליל סדר, אין להם מצות ויין, אין להם הגדה של פסח ואין להם אפילו את הידע. בא נהיה להם לפה. נפסיק לחשוב כל הזמן על עצמנו, נתחיל לחשוב על הזולת ולומר פה אחד בשם כולם 'השתא עבדי לשנה הבאה בני חורין, השתא הכא לשנה הבאה בארעא דישראל

About 35 years ago the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote a piece in Hebrew called, “You Call This Freedom?” He suggests that even if someone is in Israel today they are not in Israel in the most ideal way.  They are also living in a time and reality of Galus and pray that next year there will be a Beit HaMikdash, and all that goes along with that. 

" כָּל דִכְפִין יֵיתֵי וְיֵיכֹל- KOL DICHVIN YEITEI VEYEICHOL - Anyone that's hungry should join us and eat. 

(THOUGHT) "On a night when we pray for the ultimate Redemption, even though we may not be meritorious enough to deserve it, we say, 'Let all who are hungry come,' without exception. If we do not discriminate, then we can expect that G-d will not be too discriminating with us." - Rabbi Abraham Twerski

(STORY) The Ba'al Shem Tov would have a special Shalosh - Seudos surrounded by his closest students. One time a poor looking fellow wandered into Shul at Shalosh-Seudos time. The Ba'al Shem Tov invited the man in and sat him at the head table. Later his students asked the Baal Shem Tov why he sat the poor man at the head table and didn't stop at inviting him in. He told them, "When I arrive in heaven at judgment time, I'm going to want to sit up front and I'm afraid I won't deserve it. I hope Hashem will remember my putting this man up front and that He will seat me up front as well." [Ethics From Sinai, I. Bunim]

“If any man is hungry, let him come and eat!” How rich is the man who not only says this, but acts upon it in his daily life! All the wealth, education, and honors that you attempt to win for your children, hardly approach the value of that invitation [to the poor] that is given at the seder table…If a Jew celebrates the festivals, he invites the poor to participate with him… If we consider the secret of our existence and preservation, we will find that unlimited charity…is largely responsible for the continued existence of Israel throughout the centuries. A man is not rich who piles up wealth upon wealth, striving to increase all the time and using it only for his private enjoyment. Such a man is, in fact, very poor… Possession is everything to him and the thought that he must one day part with what he owes, embitters all his pleasure in life. - The Lehmann Haggadah  (Rabbi Dr. Marcus Lehmann 1926, original 1887).

מסיר את הקערה מעל השולחן. מוזגין כוס שני. הבן שואל:

He removes the plate from the table. We pour a second cup of wine. The son then asks:

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת? שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה – כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה. שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה (כֻּלּוֹ) מָרוֹר. שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים. שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין 

יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּנוּ מְסֻבִּין.

What differentiates this night from all [other] nights? On all [other] nights we eat chametz and matzah; this night, only matza? On all [other] nights we eat other vegetables; tonight (only) marror. On all [other] nights, we don't dip [our food], even one time; tonight [we dip it] twice. On [all] other nights, we eat either sitting or reclining; tonight we all recline

(STORY, THOUGHT) - 1981 marked the first visit of Rav Noach Weinberg, Z”TL, the pioneer of outreach work, to Yeshiva University for a student organized "schmooze". One of the things that he said in that talk was that the Mishnah in Avot which states, "Know what to answer" has a dual meaning. On one level it simply means to know how to answer the other. But on a deeper level it means knowing how to answer the questioner inside you.

מחזיר את הקערה אל השולחן. המצות תִהיינה מגלות בִשעת אמירת ההגדה.

He puts the plate back on the table. The matsot should be uncovered during the saying of the Haggadah.

We Were Slaves in Egypt

עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם, וַיּוֹצִיאֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מִשָּׁם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה. וְאִלּוּ לֹא הוֹצִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם, הֲרֵי אָנוּ וּבָנֵינוּ וּבְנֵי בָנֵינוּ מְשֻׁעְבָּדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם. וַאֲפִילוּ כֻּלָּנוּ חֲכָמִים כֻּלָּנוּ נְבוֹנִים כֻּלָּנוּ זְקֵנִים כֻּלָּנוּ יוֹדְעִים אֶת הַתּוֹרָה מִצְוָה עָלֵינוּ לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. וְכָל הַמַּרְבֶּה לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח

We were slaves to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. And the Lord, our God, took us out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched forearm. And if the Holy One, blessed be He, had not taken our ancestors from Egypt, behold we and our children and our children's children would [all] be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt. And even if we were all sages, all discerning, all elders, all knowledgeable about the Torah, it would be a commandment upon us to tell the story of the exodus from Egypt. And anyone who adds [and spends extra time] in telling the story of the exodus from Egypt, behold he is praiseworthy.


(THOUGHT) How do we know that if G-d hadn't taken us out that we wouldn't have freed ourselves eventually? The reason we never would have become free is because we didn't aspire to be free. Before G-d freed us from Egypt He freed us from our own self inflicted slavery of complacency. We felt so stuck that we didn't want to even bother trying to extricate ourselves because we felt that all we had in Egypt was all we'd ever have. The lesson for us is to look and see if our lives are less than we want them to be. As Rabbi Twerski puts it, the question we need to ask ourselves is, "Is it possible that I may be in a rut, but similar to my enslaved ancestors, fail to recognize it?" We would be well served if we took this Pesach as a time to answer this question and try to free ourselves from the myriad of things that enslave us.

Mitzrayim can be seen as a metaphor for all that enslaves us. (The word can be read as i, meaning straights). We need to c all out to G-d from our own personal Mitzrayim. This is what Dovid HaMelech did, “ Min hameitzar karatiKah – From the dire straits I called to G-d.” Had G-d not given us a hand and pulled us out of Mitzrayim, we would today be doomed by having stayed with animal comfort over choosing Divine pleasure.

(STORY) A man who had recently died appears to his friend in a dream. The friend asks him what he does all day. He says, "I eat whenever I want, and I sleep whenever I want, and I fulfill my every desire whenever I want." His friend says, "That's great! Who’d have guessed that you'd go to heaven!" He replies, "I'm not in heaven. I've been reincarnated; I’m a cow in Nebraska!" Our true joy is not to be found in fulfillment of animal passions, rather in what makes us human. What makes us uniquely human is anything we do that is included in our ability to work for and achieve the greatest pleasure possible, that of closeness to G-d.


(THOUGHT) Why is the narration of Yitziat Mitzrayim so important today If the fact is that we are presently eating "bread of affliction" because the independence we acquired didn't last,? The answer to this question is that the connection with G-d that we established by rejecting the pagan beliefs of Egypt and accepting the Torah remains with us. The praiseworthiness of dwelling on this story is predicated upon the fact that appreciating the greatness of the exodus from Egypt reflects our valuing spirituality over materialism.

(SEQUEL STORY) Even though the man lost his wealth, he continued (as best as he could) to celebrate the day on which he had once become rich. His family asked him why he kept up this practice and he replied that while the money was gone the knowledge that he gained from the experience remained. So too, we are again in exile, but we remember the lessons we learned when we were freed and we feel hope based on our past redemption.


I think that knowing that there are others that are different yet similar to you who have their varieties of stuff too is a big part of our mission in life.

This may sound like a stretch, but I think that the idea of seeing ourselves as if we went out of Egypt and the whole Seder and Pesach experience relates to this calling.

The Rambam writes that we need to discuss what happened (irah) and what ws (hayah). Rav Noach Weinberg's insight about this was that one is just the surface facts of what happened (ira) and the other is the details of the inner experience, what it was like (hayah).

With everyone we meet we need to go through these two levels- to see the surface and to see below it.

This connects with the concept of there being an eternal Jewish People. We are part of a whole, yes, but how do we perpetuate this being so, if not by getting one another?

Story of the Five Rabbis

מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר וְרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־עֲזַרְיָה וְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וְרַבִּי טַרְפוֹן שֶׁהָיוּ מְסֻבִּין בִּבְנֵי־בְרַק וְהָיוּ מְסַפְּרִים בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם כָּל־אוֹתוֹ הַלַּיְלָה, עַד שֶׁבָּאוּ תַלְמִידֵיהֶם וְאָמְרוּ לָהֶם רַבּוֹתֵינוּ הִגִּיעַ זְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע שֶׁל שַׁחֲרִית.

It happened once [on Pesach] that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon were reclining in Bnei Brak and were telling the story of the exodus from Egypt that whole night, until their students came and said to them, "The time of [reciting] the morning Shema has arrived."

אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־עֲזַרְיָה הֲרֵי אֲנִי כְּבֶן שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְלֹא זָכִיתִי שֶׁתֵּאָמֵר יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם בַּלֵּילוֹת עַד שֶׁדְּרָשָׁהּ בֶּן זוֹמָא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ. יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ הַיָּמִים. כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ הַלֵּילוֹת. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה. כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ לְהָבִיא לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ:

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said, "Behold I am like a man of seventy years and I have not merited [to understand why] the exodus from Egypt should be said at night until Ben Zoma explicated it, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 16:3), 'In order that you remember the day of your going out from the land of Egypt all the days of your life;' 'the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked during] the days, 'all the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked also during] the nights." But the Sages say, "'the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked in] this world, 'all the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked also in] the next world."

בָּרוּךְ הַמָּקוֹם, בָּרוּךְ הוּא, בָּרוּךְ שֶׁנָּתַן תּוֹרָה לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. כְּנֶגֶד אַרְבָּעָה בָנִים דִּבְּרָה תוֹרָה: אֶחָד חָכָם, וְאֶחָד רָשָׁע, וְאֶחָד תָּם, וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל.

Blessed is the Place [of all], Blessed is He; Blessed is the One who Gave the Torah to His people Israel, Blessed is He. Corresponding to four sons did the Torah speak; one [who is] wise, one [who is] evil, one who is innocent and one who doesn't know to ask.

(THOUGHT) Rav Soloveichik and others explain that this is a form of birchat hatorah, a blessing before we begin studying Torah as part of the Seder.

The Nesivos Shalom points out that the word Baruch is stated here 4 times, paralleling the 4 sons. The lesson is that each of the sons is a blessed son of G-d. 

Rabbi Soloveitchik says this is a version of birchas hatorah, the blessing said before we study Torah, as we’re about to delve into Torah verses.

Nesivos Shalom says that when we say words of Torah about Yetziat Mitzrayim we access the light/energy of exodusing.  So before we access that, and relive the experience through the verses, we thank G-d for the Torah, our life.

The Four Sons



(QUESTION) Why, when speaking of the four sons, does the Haggadah say the Torah speaks of four sons, and then says, counts them in an unusual way saying echad X, echad Y, (one is X, one is Y), etc? When the mishnah says there are a certain number of things - for example, four types of damages, it doesn't say that one is this and one is that, it simply lists the four categories in a normal way, one then two, then three, etc.. So what is the meaning here behind this repeatedly added word - echad/one - that precedes each kind of son.

(ANSWER) The idea here is that every type of person stands as one, all their own. When addressing someone you need to remember that they are a unique individual, one person is insightful, one has a lively wild side, one is shy, one is verbally challenged. None of them are invalid or undeserving of answers to their questions. They may not be like you, they may not jive with your particular taste, but they are one, like the different other ones around them, like you who are not them. This is the point of prefacing each personality portrayed here with the word "one."

Sibling rivalry is often on full display at the Seder table. A big family gathering like this is a time when tensions often run high. It's tempting to be pulled more toward certain kids over others when each is vying for attention in what can be a chaotic setting. It's easier to focus on certain types of kids one on one. This is a reminder not to let anyone get lost in the crowd. When presented with group dynamics remember that each person is a singular one. (Rabbi Nachman Cohen, The Historical Haggadah)

(THOUGHT) You might expect that on this night which marks the establishment of a bond between G-d and the Jewish People we would focus exclusively on the relationship between G-d and us. The Seder includes a surprisingly heavy focus on our relationship with other Jews. The four sons represent all kinds of Jews with all sorts of attitudes. We want them all at the Seder. These are the people that we invited and embrace, without checking IDs. As we commemorate our beginning as a People we immediately adapt a dual focus: exerting energy not only on our relationship with Hashem, but also working hard on reaching out to our fellow Jews. [Lubavitcher Rebbe]

(THOUGHT) It has been suggested that the four sons parallel four generations of American Jewish life. The Chacham represents the old school piety of the generations of the forties and fifties. The Rashah is strikingly similar to the rebellious sons of The fifties and sixties who rejected their father’s Judaism with the rhetorical question “what is all this ritual of yours?” The sixties eased into the disinterested, isolated seventies, the “tam” generation. And then there’s the oblivious generation that doesn’t know how to ask. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin adds that today there is the fifth son who sadly does not attend the Seder at all.

(THOUGHT) It is also suggested that these are elements of 4 parts that are inside each one of us.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz wrote a Hagaddah which approaches each aspect of the seder through the lenses of each of the four sons!

2022 Thought - I am thinking about the smart and the bad sons.  Why are they paired as contrasts to one another? You can be considered smart and not be good.  And you can be labeled bad, but be intelligent. And what about the fact that what the chochom and the rasha ask are almost identical questions? There are answers offered, as to why we hit one in the face and give the other a nice rational response.  I think the question of this different treatment is better and maybe more important than any of the many answers offered.  Do we tend to take the "smart" kids' side? Do we tend to be negatively reactive to the “bad” kid? Worth thinking about…

There are many takes on the four sons, the important thing is to discuss and read and learn and think and take something from our talk about them.  

Some say that the four sons parallel 4 generations in America - religious, rebellious, uninterested, completely lost.  

Another take is that these are not 4 people, but 4 elements inside each of us that we need to address.  

חָכָם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֵדוֹת וְהַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֶתְכֶם. וְאַף אַתָּה אֱמוֹר לוֹ כְּהִלְכוֹת הַפֶּסַח: אֵין מַפְטִירִין אַחַר הַפֶּסַח אֲפִיקוֹמָן:

What does the wise [son] say? "'What are these testimonies, statutes and judgments that the Lord our God commanded you?' (Deuteronomy 6:20)" And accordingly you will say to him, as per the laws of the Pesach sacrifice, "We may not eat an afikoman [a dessert or other foods eaten after the meal] after [we are finished eating] the Pesach sacrifice. (Mishnah Pesachim 10:8)"

(QUESTION) Why is the wise son listed first?

(ANSWER) Some suggest that the Chacham comes first because this follows the story we just told of the rabbinic scholars who engaged in discussions all night.  (Rabbi Allen Schwartz)

רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבוֹדָה הַזּאֹת לָכֶם. לָכֶם – וְלֹא לוֹ. וּלְפִי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִן הַכְּלָל כָּפַר בְּעִקָּר. וְאַף אַתָּה הַקְהֵה אֶת שִׁנָּיו וֶאֱמוֹר לוֹ: "בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה ה' לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם". לִי וְלֹא־לוֹ. אִלּוּ הָיָה שָׁם, לֹא הָיָה נִגְאָל:

What does the evil [son] say? "'What is this worship to you?' (Exodus 12:26)" 'To you' and not 'to him.' And since he excluded himself from the collective, he denied a principle [of the Jewish faith]. And accordingly, you will blunt his teeth and say to him, "'For the sake of this, did the Lord do [this] for me in my going out of Egypt' (Exodus 13:8)." 'For me' and not 'for him.' If he had been there, he would not have been saved.

The Nesivos Shalom cites a Slonim tradition that the Rasha’s problem, more than being a rashah is that he's standing alone, and he would have stood alone for Y"M and not been worthy of redemption, but he could be now and could have been then by connecting with the holy klal...

Al tehu rasha bifnei atzmechah may not just mean don't be rashah in your own eyes. it means don't be a rashah alone, join the community and this helps you (presumably there's somebody good and connected to G-d in there and by connecting to them you connect to G-d). 


(THOUGHT) Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach quotes a Belzer tradition that interprets this line in a homiletic vein: The advice given as to how to respond to the rashah is to knock out his teeth. The Hebrew word used to mean his teeth is shinav, which can be interpreted to mean "his Hebrew letter shin. The lettershin’s three prongs represent the three pillars of the Jewish nation: Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. Every day in our prayers we beseech G-d while referencing the merit of our forefathers. We do not only mean to remind G-d of their goodness, but we are reminding Him and ourselves that the attributes of our forefathers are our values. Their essence lives inside us. A father is instructed to shake the three pronged values of our ancestors, the traits of Torah, Avodah, and Gemilut Chasadim out from within even the child that’s called "wicked."

תָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה זּאֹת? וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו "בְּחוֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ ה' מִמִּצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים".

What does the innocent [son] say? "'What is this?' (Exodus13:14)" And you will say to him, "'With the strength of [His] hand did the Lord take us out from Egypt, from the house of slaves' (Exodus 13:14).'"

The Nesivos Shalom explains that the TAM is apathetic to Judaism. This is alluded to by the letters of his name that, when reversed, also spell MEIT, one who is not alive.  Thus our answer to him is saying that he needs to awaken his passion.

וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל – אַתְּ פְּתַח לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה ה' לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם.

And [regarding] the one who doesn't know to ask, you will open [the conversation] for him. As it is stated (Exodus 13:8), "And you will speak to your your son on that day saying, for the sake of this, did the Lord do [this] for me in my going out of Egypt."use cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site. 

יָכוֹל מֵראשׁ חֹדֶשׁ? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא. אִי בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יָכוֹל מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר בַּעֲבוּר זֶה – בַּעֲבוּר זֶה לֹא אָמַרְתִּי, אֶלָּא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר מֻנָּחִים לְפָנֶיךָ.

It could be from Rosh Chodesh [that one would have to discuss the Exodus. However] we learn [otherwise, since] it is stated, "on that day." If it is [written] "on that day," it could be from while it is still day [before the night of the fifteenth of Nissan. However] we learn [otherwise, since] it is stated, "for the sake of this." I didn't say 'for the sake of this' except [that it be observed] when [this] matzah and maror are resting in front of you [meaning, on the night of the fifteenth].


MATCHIL BE’GNUT U’MESAYEM BE’SHVACH - We start with the negative and end with the positive.  Why is so this so important? The Nesivos Shalom says that it is important to stress that G-d chose us when we were unworthy, and not because of some specific thing we had or did. This means that it’s a love that is not dependent on a matter, and such a love lasts forever. When we say that had G-d not taken us out we’d still be slaves to Pharoh, we mean to someone, not necessarily Pharoh - meaning the freedom is everlasting. G-d chose us and called us his first born son even while we were still embedded in the low atmosphere of Egypt, in order to show it was not based on the reason of our worthiness, but above any rational reason, like true love tends to be.

The Nesivos Shalom also says that the more something can and does evolve and grow in life, the higher and more sophisticated it is. So we stress our low beginnings in order to accentuate how much we could and did grow and how holy we became.

Rav said this means that we begin by speaking of how we descend from idol worshippers.  

Shmuel took this to mean that we begin by speaking of how we were slaves in Egypt. 

Rav is saying that the most important thing for a Jew is faith, and therefore we start with how we gained faith, overcoming our idolatrous roots.

Shmuel is saying that the most important thing for a Jew is holiness, and therefore we start with how we overcame the impurity (it wasn’t just slavery but it’s that we were depleted of holiness and stuck in lowliness) of Egypt and became a holy nation. 

We say both because the truth is that the key for us is a combination of these two interconnected elements. 

“In the Beginning Our Fathers Were Idol Worshipers”

Rabbi Betzalel Naor cites many later authorities, who (based on the Gemorah that says in rabbinic literature avot always refers to our first 3 forefathers) interpret the line "Bitchilah ovdei avodah zarah hayu avotainu"- "Originally our forefathers were idol worshipers," as referring to Avraham himself and not his ancestors.  He cites Rav Kook and develops the idea that, rather than speaking inappropriately about Avraham Avinu for no reason this approach serves to teach us an important lesson. "In the lowest depth of faith  there is found that base quality of the inclination to idolatry, which in its day was of some use to the world," Rav Kook wrote.

Rabbi Naor writes that Rav Kook explained "that the siman bracha-sign of blessing that the idolaters possessed was their passion... The proof that Avraham had not lost the vitality, the fervor of his pagan youth even after he arrived at the monotheistic faith was The Binding of Isaac. As abominable a practice as it was, child sacrifice, practiced throughout the ancient world , was the ultimate  expression of the idolater's passionate faith.  The idolaters of the world could not imagine that a man such as Abraham, who had systemically stripped away all the externals of idolatry for an abstract belief in an invisible G-d, would be capable of mustering the same passion as they. The Binding of Isaac was a visible demonstration to the entire world that the new monotheistic faith was not lacking in resolve and the spirit of sacrifice. The phylogenetic 'memory' of the Binding of Isaac was passed down to Abraham's posterity..."

מִתְּחִלָּה עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה הָיוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וְעַכְשָׁיו קֵרְבָנוּ הַמָּקוֹם לַעֲבדָתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹאמֶר יְהוֹשֻעַ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָם, כֹּה אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: בְּעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר יָשְׁבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם מֵעוֹלָם, תֶּרַח אֲבִי אַבְרָהָם וַאֲבִי נָחוֹר, וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים.

From the beginning, our ancestors were idol worshipers. And now, the Place [of all] has brought us close to His worship, as it is stated (Joshua 24:2-4), "Yehoshua said to the whole people, so said the Lord, God of Israel, 'over the river did your ancestors dwell from always, Terach the father of Avraham and the father of Nachor, and they worshiped other gods."


Two men were having a debate, one being secular, and the other being a traditional, observant Jew. The former berated the latter calling him old fashioned, and questioning why he adhered to ritualistic Judaism. The "frum"Jew responded that in fact his friend was the one who was old fashioned, citing this line from the Haggadah. It says here, the Jews worshipped foreign values –avodah zarah - in the past, and only now in "modern times" did G-d bring us close to His service.

This is something worth thinking about at the Seder: What is Avoda Zara? Are we guilty of it today? Who is modern and who is old fashioned?

וָאֶקַּח אֶת־אֲבִיכֶם אֶת־אַבְרָהָם מֵעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר וָאוֹלֵךְ אוֹתוֹ בְּכָל־אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן, וָאַרְבֶּה אֶת־זַרְעוֹ וָאֶתֵּן לוֹ אֶת־יִצְחָק, וָאֶתֵּן לְיִצְחָק אֶת־יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת־עֵשָׂו. וָאֶתֵּן לְעֵשָׂו אֶת־הַר שֵּׂעִיר לָרֶשֶׁת אתוֹ, וְיַעֲקֹב וּבָנָיו יָרְדוּ מִצְרָיִם.

And I took your father, Avraham from over the river and I made him walk in all the land of Canaan and I increased his seed and I gave him Yitschak. And I gave to Yitschak, Ya'akov and Esav, and I gave to Esav, Mount Seir [in order that he] inherit it; and Yaakov and his sons went down to Egypt.'"


(THOUGHT) Why does the Haggadah include the fact that Eisav inherited Har Sei'ir? If it's going to be so detailed, why not include Yishmael rather than going from Terach (the forefather idol worshipper mentioned above) to Avraham, then mentioning only Yitzchak, and then specifying both Eisav and Yaakov as Avraham's sons? The Brisker Rav answered this question by citing the pasuk in which Hashem tells Avraham that his genealogy, his nation, will be through Yitzchak ("Ki beYitzchak yikra lecha zera"). G-d did not, however, specify to Yitzchak which of his sons would be the progenitor of this chosen nation. But, He gave him a sign: The sign was that the son that was the father of the nation would be exiled into a strange land and suffer there for some time. So, the fact that Eisav settled peacefully into his inheritance, while Yaakov and his children went to Mitzrayim and spent years of servitude there is quite significant. This detail provides proof that Yaakov and not Eisav's family are the chosen nation promised to Avraham. (From The Brisker Rav)

בָּרוּךְ שׁוֹמֵר הַבְטָחָתוֹ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חִשַּׁב אֶת־הַקֵּץ, לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶּׁאָמַר לְאַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ בִּבְרִית בֵּין הַבְּתָרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָם, יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע כִּי־גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָהֶם, וַעֲבָדוּם וְעִנּוּ אֹתָם אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה. וְגַם אֶת־הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹדוּ דָּן אָנֹכִי וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן יֵצְאוּ בִּרְכֻשׁ גָּדוֹל.

Blessed is the One who keeps his promise to Israel, blessed be He; since the Holy One, blessed be He, calculated the end [of the exile,] to do as He said to Avraham, our father, in the Covenant between the Pieces, as it is stated (Genesis 15:13-14), "And He said to Avram, 'you should surely know that your seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation for which they shall toil will I judge, and afterwards they will will go out with much property.'"

מכסה המצה ומגביה את הכוס בידו, ואומר:

He covers the matzah and lifts up the cup and says:

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ. שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד עָמַד עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר עוֹמְדִים עָלֵינוּ לְכַלוֹתֵנוּ, וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם.

And it is this that has stood for our ancestors and for us, since it is not [only] one [person or nation] that has stood [against] us to destroy us, but rather in each generation, they stand [against] us to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hand.

G-d told Avraham we will always be outsiders.  As we lift the cup and say VeHi She'Andah, we thank G-d for that promise. The Netziv stresses how this paragraph is about how we've never integrated in the outside world.  And that's good news - that we never assimilated, that's the Vehi, the thing that has stood up for our survival.


The Shlah HaKadosh says Vehi She'amdah is speaking of the hi, the women.  They got us through Egypt,  At the start the heroes were the Jewish midwives, Moshe's sister and mother, and Bat Paroh.  And later Miriam's faith is packing a musical instrument etc.


Sefer HaToda'ah says The Vehi is the connection I've kept to my pure soul, to G-d inside me, my emunah.


Shlomo Katz's father says on the words before this, that we left Egypt with grand wealth, that this really means the next word (the vehi that follows) Vav = 6 0f Mishnah, Heh = 5 of Torah, yud = 10 Dibrot, Alef is Hashem, One.


On a related note, at the Seder, it's family time, generations joining together.  Bechol dor vador chayav adam, and bechol doe var omdim aleinu... We say vehi, and we refer to the continuation through the generations, seeing the connections of generation to generation, the fact that we're still keeping this, this continuity in itself gives us strength to go on.


1850, the Rhiziner Rebbe said: Ha Lach ma'anyah - what we eat in exile, not meriting the great home of G-d, while we're guests at someone else's table.  So, our bread is poor bread, even if we're well off, we're exiled, so we're enslaved to others.


Only in Israel under malchut Yisrael will we be free.


He asked what we're doing to change things.  (He was a powerful presence, grandson of Maggid of Mezerich).


He repeated Vehi She'amdah 60 times, changing face color each time. 


He said eventually all lands will exile us and we'll be in Israel, and it will be an embarrassment that that's how it happened. But, one way or another it will happen, and we will be saved and returned.


He said we're not looking for miracles.  LIke Moshe.  He resisted for 7 days.  He didn't want the role, wanted it for Aharon or Elyahu, some say.  But Rhiziner rebbe says Moshe was arguing against a supernatural redempion, wanting the geulah to happen naturally.


The goes back to vehi - all the vehis we mentioned above are natural things that preserved us. Our redemption, despite miracles, really does come about, our survival continues, due to our natural efforts.( Rabbi Shlomo Katz)

יניח הכוס מידו ויגלה אֶת הַמצות.

He puts down the cup from his hand and uncovers the matzah.

First Fruits Declaration

צֵא וּלְמַד מַה בִּקֵּשׁ לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לְיַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ: שֶׁפַּרְעֹה לֹא גָזַר אֶלָּא עַל הַזְּכָרִים, וְלָבָן בִּקֵּשׁ לַעֲקֹר אֶת־הַכֹּל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי, וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה וַיָּגָר שָׁם בִּמְתֵי מְעָט, וַיְהִי שָׁם לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, עָצוּם וָרָב.

Go out and learn what what Lavan the Aramean sought to do to Ya'akov, our father; since Pharaoh only decreed [the death sentence] on the males but Lavan sought to uproot the whole [people]. As it is stated (Deuteronomy 26:5), "An Aramean was destroying my father and he went down to Egypt, and he resided there with a small number and he became there a nation, great, powerful and numerous."


(THOUGHT) Unlike Edom (Eisav) whose name betrays his true nature, Lavan's name paints a deceptively pure, white picture of an evil man. While the Haggadah describes Lavan as wanting to totally destroy the Jewish People, the Torah is lacking in any overt reference to such a desire. And that's the point. We as a nation (as well as we as individuals) have enemies that dress in white, feigning diplomacy and niceties. On the other hand, we have enemies like Eisav, who come openly wanting blood. We must be on the look out for enemies of all types. As the Chovot HaLevavot writes, in regard to some people, our attitude needs to be “respect but suspect" (chabdeihu vechashdeihu).

וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה – אָנוּס עַל פִּי הַדִּבּוּר. וַיָּגָר שָׁם. מְלַמֵּד שֶׁלֹא יָרַד יַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ לְהִשְׁתַּקֵּעַ בְּמִצְרַיִם אֶלָּא לָגוּר שָׁם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹה, לָגוּר בָּאָרֶץ בָּאנוּ, כִּי אֵין מִרְעֶה לַצֹּאן אֲשֶׁר לַעֲבָדֶיךָ, כִּי כָבֵד הָרָעָב בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן. וְעַתָּה יֵשְׁבוּ־נָא עֲבָדֶיךָ בְּאֶרֶץ גֹּשֶן.

"And he went down to Egypt" - helpless on account of the word [in which God told Avraham that his descendants would have to go into exile]. "And he resided there" - [this] teaches that Ya'akov, our father, didn't go down to settle in Egypt, but rather [only] to reside there, as it is stated (Genesis 47:4), "And they said to Pharaoh, to reside in the land have we come, since there is not enough pasture for your servant's flocks, since the famine is heavy in the land of Canaan, and now please grant that your servants should dwell in the land of Goshen."

בִּמְתֵי מְעָט. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: בְּשִׁבְעִים נֶפֶשׁ יָרְדוּ אֲבוֹתֶיךָ מִצְרָיְמָה, וְעַתָּה שָׂמְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם לָרֹב.

"As a small number" - as it is stated (Deuteronomy 10:22), "With seventy souls did your ancestors come down to Egypt, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky."

וַיְהִי שָׁם לְגוֹי. מְלַמֵד שֶׁהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מְצֻיָּנִים שָׁם. גָּדוֹל עָצוּם – כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל פָּרוּ וַיִּשְׁרְצוּ וַיִּרְבּוּ וַיַּעַצְמוּ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד, וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ אֹתָם.

"And he became there a nation" - [this] teaches that Israel [became] distinguishable there. "Great, powerful" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:7), "And the children of Israel multiplied and swarmed and grew numerous and strong, most exceedingly and the land became full of them."

וָרָב. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: רְבָבָה כְּצֶמַח הַשָּׂדֶה נְתַתִּיךְ, וַתִּרְבִּי וַתִּגְדְּלִי וַתָּבֹאִי בַּעֲדִי עֲדָיִים, שָׁדַיִם נָכֹנוּ וּשְׂעָרֵךְ צִמֵּחַ, וְאַתְּ עֵרֹם וְעֶרְיָה. וָאֶעֱבֹר עָלַיִךְ וָאֶרְאֵךְ מִתְבּוֹסֶסֶת בְּדָמָיִךְ, וָאֹמַר לָךְ בְּדָמַיִךְ חֲיִי, וָאֹמַר לָךְ בְּדָמַיִךְ חֲיִי.

"And numerous" - as it is stated (Ezekiel 16:7), "I have given you to be numerous as the vegetation of the field, and you increased and grew and became highly ornamented, your breasts were set and your hair grew,  and you were naked and barren;" "And I passed over you and I saw you wallowing in your blood, and I said to you, you shall live in your blood, and I said to you, you shall live in your blood" (Ezekiel 16:6).

וְאַתְּ עֵרֹם וְעֶרְיָה

And you were naked and barren  


The Midrash, Shemot Rabbah 1:35 references this line, saying that when G-d took the Jewish People out of Egypt they were bare and naked of mitzvot. On a related note Pesikta DeRav Kahana 5 states that the people asked Moshe how they could be redeemed given that they had no good deeds in their merit.  Moshe told them that since Hashem decided that he wanted to redeem them He would not look at their evil deeds. Rather, He would suddenly come leaping over the mountains, as per Shir HaShirim 2:8. 

It is important for us to remember that in our times, just like in those times we feel unworthy to be redeemed.  And yet, just as G-d redeemed them despite their great flaws because he desired to do so, so too our redemption can despite our misdeeds.  

Rav Avraham Pam liked to point out that we are not worse than the generation of Yeravam Ben Yoash who extended the borders of Israel. The Navi states (Melachim 14:26) that G-d saw that Israel’s suffering was very severe… and there was no helper for Israel.” Just as G-d brought salvation to that generation and to the Jews Mitzrayim, so too our redemption will come, despite our shortcomings. (Rabbi Yissocher Frand on the Haggadah, pages 122-124)


 This relates to the story told in Shemot 3:13,14: 

וַיֹּ֨אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֜ה אֶל־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֗ים הִנֵּ֨ה אָנֹכִ֣י בָא֮ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וְאָמַרְתִּ֣י לָהֶ֔ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י אֲבוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם שְׁלָחַ֣נִי אֲלֵיכֶ֑ם וְאָֽמְרוּ־לִ֣י מַה־שְּׁמ֔וֹ מָ֥ה אֹמַ֖ר אֲלֵהֶֽם׃ 

Moses said to God, “When I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers’ [house] has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is [God’s] name?’ what shall I say to them?”

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה וַיֹּ֗אמֶר כֹּ֤ה תֹאמַר֙ לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה שְׁלָחַ֥נִי אֲלֵיכֶֽם׃

And God said to Moses, “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh,” “I Will Be What I Will Be”, “Thus shall you say to the Israelites, ‘Ehyeh - “I Will Be” sent me to you.’”

QUESTION - Given that they were told who was sending him - the G-d of their fathers, why question this, asking his name? Why does the name matter? In their dire situation they’re concerned with G-d’s name!?! Further, why does Moshe himself ask what to tell them? What is the meaning of G-d’s answer and why does it put Moshe at ease?

The Arizal explains that Moshe thought the redemption would come via the known 4 letter name of G-d (yud -keh - vav - keh), which is valued a 26 in Gematria.  If that were so then the galus would be 260 years, which is ten times that name of G-d. Moshe thought redemption had not yet come when only 210 years had passed. That’s a meaning behind it saying that G-d saw that Moshe was SA”R lirot - samech-reish, which is 260, what Hashem saw was what Moshe thought the number of years would be. Hashem told him the name He did, which is 21, telling him that the redemption was to be ten times that, 210, which was the present time. 

This explains why the JP asked His name.  They thought the Geulah would come with the Yud-keh name of G-d, and had a tradition that the years would be ten times this number, 260. So they asked how they could be told that redemption was coming now, as it was early.  And Hashem replied with the name Ehe-keh, bringing the redemption with this name, ten times this name’s number, 210.

We can explain this in a meaningful, deep way via Chazal: (As mentioned above) When Moshe said they would be redeemed, the Jewish People asked how it could be, as all of Egypt was covered with the filth of their idol worship.  Moshe answered, since Hashem wants to redeem you he is not looking at the dirtiness of your Avodah Zarah.

But Galut comes about because of Avodah Zarah, so how can it be that Hashem doesn’t look at the Avodah Zarah now? And there’s the Gemorah Bava Kamma 50a that says that if you say Hashem overlooks things, then your life gets overlooked (erased). 

This can be understood via B”R regarding Yaakov saying Eisav had hair, while he was smooth.  It’s like two standing by the threshing floor, one hairy, and one smooth, when the chaff goes flying it gets stuck the hair of the hairy one, while the smooth one just wipes it away.  Thus, Eisav gets sins stuck within him every day and has no way to atone.  On the other hand, Yaakov sins, but there comes a day, Yom Kippur, and he can find atonement.  

The idea is that there is the realm of the sins of Yaakov, which is that a Jew sins and does teshuva.  He says to G-d, it’s known before you that our will is to do your will, but the yetzer harah gets aroused in us.  This is the idea of the chataim of the smooth skinned Yaakov, that he can wipe the dirt away, and accept on himself to not let it happen again.  And G-d forgives him for what was in the past. The realm of the sins of Eisav is to sin and get deeply involved in it and doesn’t know how to get out, like the hairy person for whom the dirt gets stuck and he can’t get it out.


This explains the question of the JP, thinking that redemption would come via the name Yud-heh, because the idea of that is that He was, is, will be.  He sees all. And thus, the question was for them, how could redemption be possible, as Egypt was full of their misbehavior.  How could they be redeemed from being sunk into such a low 49th level  of Tum’ah.  So G-d says, tell them that you were sent by I SHALL BE. 

The Beis Avraham explains that Ek-yeh - I SHALL BE - is the name of teshuva, leaving the past and saying from now on I will be good. Thus G-d says Geulah will come via this name, the name of the future, accepting from this moment on to be different. The idea is to accept from now on.  That’s the idea of Hashem not looking on the Avodah Zarah you did.  If you accept moving forward, he won’t look at the past. 

The key here is that G-d is coming to redeem the Jewish People as the G-d of Teshuvah, moving forward, letting them know that they can start fresh.  This also explains why G-d first says I will be what I will be, and then says only I will be.  He decided (via Moshe) to tell them that they can do Teshvah at this time.  The truth was that they could do Teshuva the amount of time of Eheye times Eheye, 21 X 21, which is 441, which is the Gematriah of EMET - Tuth.  The truth is that we have many chances to do Teshuvah, but at the time of the start of our relationship with G-d we only had to be told that we had the chance to do Teshuvah at that time. (Nesivos Shalom)

וַיָּרֵעוּ אֹתָנוּ הַמִּצְרִים וַיְעַנּוּנוּ, וַיִתְּנוּ עָלֵינוּ עֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה. וַיָּרֵעוּ אֹתָנוּ הַמִּצְרִים – כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: הָבָה נִתְחַכְּמָה לוֹ פֶּן יִרְבֶּה, וְהָיָה כִּי תִקְרֶאנָה מִלְחָמָה וְנוֹסַף גַּם הוּא עַל שֹׂנְאֵינוּ וְנִלְחַם־בָּנוּ, וְעָלָה מִן־הָאָרֶץ.

"And the Egyptians did bad to us and afflicted us and put upon us hard work" (Deuteronomy 26:6). "And the Egyptians did bad to us" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:10), "Let us be wise towards him, lest he multiply and it will be that when war is called, he too will join with our enemies and fight against us and go up from the land."

וַיָּרֵעוּ אֹתָנוּ

(THOUGHT) While this is usually translated (as above) to mean that the Egyptians acted in an evil way towards us, this does not seem to be how The Haggadah understands these words.  The Haggadah’s understanding of these words is not that they treated us in an evil way but that they considered us evil. This fits with the word used, not lanu - acting in an evil way towards us, but otanu - framing us as evil. Because they viewed us badly they planned to oppose us lest we cause harm to them.  (This is how Abarbanel understands this phrase.) 

One could take this further and not say that they considered us evil but that they made us into people who were evil! By making us slaves they caused us to have a slave mentality, a negative attitude. This caused the extreme sin of The Golden Calf.  It also caused us to wish to run back to Egypt (see Shemot 16:2, Bamidbar 24:2-4). “The dejection and humiliation ruined our character, creating in us what is called today ‘the galut mentality,’ in that we wanted to return to Egypt, that we did not strive for freedom and independence.”

(Necham Leibowitz Haggadah, page 59, and earlier in Tashbetz (Rashbatz) in his perush on the haggadah)

וַיְעַנּוּנוּ. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו שָׂרֵי מִסִּים לְמַעַן עַנֹּתוֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָם. וַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מִסְכְּנוֹת לְפַרְעֹה. אֶת־פִּתֹם וְאֶת־רַעַמְסֵס.

"And afflicted us" - as is is stated (Exodus 1:11); "And they placed upon him leaders over the work-tax in order to afflict them with their burdens, and they built storage cities, Pitom and Ra'amses."

לְמַעַן עַנֹּתוֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָם

Though often understood to mean that the Egyptians afflicted the Jews with their burdens, meaning with the burdens that the Jews experienced, it makes more sense for it to mean something else. וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו שָׂרֵי מִסִּי, the Hebrew words that say that the Jews were afflicted refers to the Jewish People in a singular fashion, the point was to afflict HIM.  Since the burdens are referred to as THEIR burdens - סִבְלֹתָם, then it must be speaking of the Egyptians and the burdens they placed on the Jews.  

Nechamah Leibowitz Haggadah, page 62

My thought on this is that maybe we all tend to torment others, in some way, with our own burdens. 

וַיִתְּנוּ עָלֵינוּ עֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה. כְּמָה שֶֹׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיַּעֲבִדוּ מִצְרַיִם אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּפָרֶךְ.

"And put upon us hard work" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:11), "And they enslaved the children of Israel with breaking work."

(THOUGHT) The Haggadah uses the words avodah kashah (from Devarim 26:6), which is the straightforward way of describing hard work. The Torah itself uses the words avodat parech (Shemot: 1:13, 26:31), which better elucidates   the nature of this work. The Encyclopedia Biblica (pgs. 583-584) that parech relates to pirchu, an ancient concept of the Near East which refers to the assigning of slave work to free people. The Medrash (Vayikra Rabbah 37:2) gives other examples of inappropriately assigned work that falls under the umbrella of this phrase: giving women the work of men and vice versa, the work of large people to small people, the work of young people to old people. This word makes clear that the point of the work was to torture and frustrate rather than to get productivity. This is clear from the fact that Pharoh, in a moment of anger, does not take actions to increase the Jews’ productivity, such as giving them more resources. He does the opposite, he limits their resources in order to make their work harder and cause them to lose hope (Shemot 5: 6-19).

This word is explained by The Rambam (Hilchot Avadim 1:6) in relation to the prohibition of imposing avodat parech on an Eved Ivri - Hebrew Servant (Vayikrah 25: 43, 46, 53). He defines it as work that has no endpoint or purpose other than to to burden the slave with busyness. 

There is a contrast between the forced, tortuous labor of Egypt to the voluntary, purposeful work toward building the Mishkan.  (Tosafot of Pesachim 117b cites a Medrash, which notes that the numerical value of parech in AT-BASH [a form of Gematria where the first letter of the Aleph-Bet is replaced with the last, the second with the second to last, and so on] is 39/VeGaL! The Medrash says that the Jewish People were spared these forms of work on Shabbos as compensation for having been forced to do them in Egypt (and doing them by choice in order to build the Mishkan). 

  • Go Forth and Learn Hagaddah, pg. 22

וַנִּצְעַק אֶל־ה' אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵינוּ, וַיִּשְׁמַע ה' אֶת־קֹלֵנוּ, וַיַּרְא אֶת־עָנְיֵנוּ וְאֶת עֲמָלֵנוּ וְאֶת לַחֲצֵנוּ.

"And we we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice, and He saw our affliction, and our toil and our duress" (Deuteronomy 26:7).

וַנִּצְעַק אֶל־ה' אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵינוּ – כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָרַבִּים הָהֵם וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, וַיֵּאָנְחוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִ־הָעֲבוֹדָה וַיִּזְעָקוּ, וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעָתָם אֶל־הָאֱלֹהִים מִן הָעֲבֹדָה.

"And we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors" - as it is stated (Exodus 2:23); "And it was in those great days that the king of Egypt died and the Children of Israel sighed from the work and yelled out, and their supplication went up to God from the work."

וַיִּשְׁמַע ה' אֶת קלֵנוּ. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶת־נַאֲקָתָם, וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת־בְּרִיתוֹ אֶת־אַבְרָהָם, אֶת־יִצְחָק וְאֶת־יַעֲקֹב.

"And the Lord heard our voice" - as it is stated (Exodus 2:24); "And God heard their groans and God remembered his covenant with Avraham and with Yitschak and with Ya'akov."

(THOUGHT) Two different versions of our crying out are cited here.  In Shemot it simply says that G-d heard our cries.  It does not say that we cried out to Him.  In Devarim it says that we cried out to Him.  It could be that in Shemot it is implied that we cried out to G-d. The Nesivos Shalom says, though, that we were on such a weakened level of connection to G-d that we were unable to cry out to Him. He compares it to a baby that lacks the ability to speak and can only cry.  And yet, his parents understand that he is crying to them and they understand what he is asking for.  So too G-d heard that our cries were directed towards Him even though we were so lacking in da’at-connection that we could not clearly earmark our cry, or our words to G-d.

וַיַּרְא אֶת־עָנְיֵנוּ. זוֹ פְּרִישׁוּת דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּדַע אֱלֹהִים.

"And He saw our affliction" - this [refers to] the separation from the way of the world, as it is stated (Exodus 2:25); "And God saw the Children of Israel and God knew."

The Egyptians feared that the Jews would become a problematic enemy  as they multiplied (Shemot 1:10). They succeeded in preventing this by making the Jewish People so worn out from their work that they abstained from marital relations. The cryptic phrasing here is telling us that only G-d could possibly know, and did know, how many Jewish births were blocked from happening due to the King’s decree.

  • Shemen HaTov HaGaddah

וְאֶת־עֲמָלֵנוּ. אֵלּוּ הַבָּנִים. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: כָּל־הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד הַיְאֹרָה תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ וְכָל־הַבַּת תְּחַיּוּן.

"And our toil" - this [refers to the killing of the] sons, as it is stated (Exodus 1:24); "Every boy that is born, throw him into the Nile and every girl you shall keep alive."

וְאֶת לַחָצֵנוּ. זֶו הַדְּחַק, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְגַם־רָאִיתִי אֶת־הַלַּחַץ אֲשֶׁר מִצְרַיִם לֹחֲצִים אֹתָם.

"And our duress" - this [refers to] the pressure, as it is stated (Exodus 3:9); "And I also saw the duress that the Egyptians are applying on them."

וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ ה' מִמִצְרַיִם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה, וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה, וּבְמֹרָא גָּדֹל, וּבְאֹתוֹת וּבְמֹפְתִים.

"And the Lord took us out of Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched forearm and with great awe and with signs and with wonders" (Deuteronomy 26:8).

וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ ה' מִמִּצְרַיִם. לֹא עַל־יְדֵי מַלְאָךְ, וְלֹא עַל־יְדֵי שָׂרָף, וְלֹא עַל־יְדֵי שָׁלִיחַ, אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּכְבוֹדוֹ וּבְעַצְמוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה, וְהִכֵּיתִי כָּל־בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֵאָדָם וְעַד בְּהֵמָה, וּבְכָל אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים. אֲנִי ה'.

"And the Lord took us out of Egypt" - not through an angel and not through a seraph and not through a messenger, but [directly by] the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself, as it is stated (Exodus 12:12); "And I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and I will smite every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from men to animals; and with all the gods of Egypt, I will make judgements, I am the Lord."

וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה – אֲנִי וְלֹא מַלְאָךְ; וְהִכֵּיתִי כָל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ־מִצְרַים. אֲנִי וְלֹא שָׂרָף; וּבְכָל־אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים. אֲנִי וְלֹא הַשָּׁלִיחַ; אֲנִי ה'. אֲנִי הוּא וְלֹא אַחֵר.

"And I will pass through the land of Egypt" - I and not an angel. "And I will smite every firstborn" - I and not a seraph. "And with all the gods of Egypt, I will make judgements" - I and not a messenger. "I am the Lord" - I am He and there is no other.

בְּיָד חֲזָקָה. זוֹ הַדֶּבֶר, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: הִנֵּה יַד־ה' הוֹיָה בְּמִקְנְךָ אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה, בַּסּוּסִים, בַּחֲמֹרִים, בַּגְּמַלִים, בַּבָּקָר וּבַצֹּאן, דֶּבֶר כָּבֵד מְאֹד. וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה. זוֹ הַחֶרֶב, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ, נְטוּיָה עַל־יְרוּשָלָיִם.

"With a strong hand" - this [refers to] the pestilence, as it is stated (Exodus 9:3); "Behold the hand of the Lord is upon your herds that are in the field, upon the horses, upon the donkeys, upon the camels, upon the cattle and upon the flocks, [there will be] a very heavy pestilence."

"And with an outstretched forearm" - this [refers to] the sword, as it is stated (I Chronicles 21:16); "And his sword was drawn in his hand, leaning over Jerusalem.”

(QUESTION) Why does The Haggadah zero in on pestilence and sword as what is meant here, when the Torah seems to be referring to all ten plagues?

(ANSWER) The following words, spoken by Moshe and Aharon to Pharoh are at first hard to understand, but the Haggadah is here explaining that they were using pestilence and sword as a metaphor for the ten plagues:

"וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ אֱלֹהֵ֥י הָעִבְרִ֖ים נִקְרָ֣א עָלֵ֑ינוּ נֵ֣לֲכָה נָּ֡א דֶּרֶךְ֩ שְׁלֹ֨שֶׁת יָמִ֜ים בַּמִּדְבָּ֗ר וְנִזְבְּחָה֙ לַֽיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ פֶּ֨ן־יִפְגָּעֵ֔נוּ בַּדֶּ֖בֶר א֥וֹ בֶחָֽרֶב׃

The God of the Hebrews has manifested Himself to us. Let us go, we pray, a distance of three days into the wilderness to sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest He strike us with pestilence or sword.”


They say that Pharoh should let them go for 3 days so they don't get struck with Dever and Cherev.  Some explain that when they say them it's euphemistic for him, others say that them means all of them would be affected by the hit.  There's a strange holily amidst the many groupings of the makkot.  It says that when G-d says he'll hit Mitzrayim with a yad Chazakah it means Dever and when He says he'll hit them with Zeroa Netuyah it means Cherev.  What's this talking about? Dever and Cherev are a pair of code words for the ten makkot.

As Rabbi Silber further explains the logic behind the interpretation of "Yad Chazakah" being 2, "Zeroah Netuyah" being 2, "Morah Gadol" being 2, "Otot" being 2, and "Moftim being 2.  They are pairs: 1,2: Water related, 3,4: Hordes (according to some, both insect related), 5,6: diseases, 7,8: vehicles of destruction of crops, 9,10: final destruction (one of several similarities to destruction of Sedom, see Breishit 19)

וּבְמוֹרָא גָּדֹל. זוֹ גִּלּוּי שְׁכִינָה. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר, אוֹ הֲנִסָּה אֱלֹהִים לָבוֹא לָקַחַת לוֹ גּוֹי מִקֶּרֶב גּוֹי בְּמַסֹּת בְּאֹתֹת וּבְמוֹפְתִים וּבְמִלְחָמָה וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה וּבְמוֹרָאִים גְּדוֹלִים כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה לָכֶם ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם בְּמִצְרַיִם לְעֵינֶיךָ.

"And with great awe" - this [refers to the revelation of] the Divine Presence, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 4:34); Or did God try to take for Himself a nation from within a nation with enigmas, with signs and with wonders and with war and with a strong hand and with an outstretched forearm and with great and awesome acts, like all that the Lord, your God, did for you in Egypt in front of your eyes?"

וּבְאֹתוֹת. זֶה הַמַּטֶּה, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְאֶת הַמַּטֶּה הַזֶּה תִּקַּח בְּיָדְךָ, אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה־בּוֹ אֶת הָאֹתוֹת.

"And with signs" - this [refers to] the staff, as it is stated (Exodus 4:17); "And this staff you shall take in your hand, that with it you will preform signs."

וּבְמֹפְתִים. זֶה הַדָּם, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְנָתַתִּי מוֹפְתִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

"And with wonders" - this [refers to] the blood, as it is stated (Joel 3:3); "And I will place my wonders in the skies and in the earth:

The Ten Plagues

The foundation of the Egypt experience is the Brit Bein HaBetarim - the covenant G-d made with Avraham.  He told Avraham that a nation would first make Avraham’s children feel like strangers in the land (geirut), then enslave Avraham’s descendants (avdut), and then cause them great suffering (Inui).

The plagues are groups of three followed by a grand finale. Each group of three paid the Egyptians back for the three things they inflicted on the Jews.  First there is a plague that made them feel out of their element in their own land- Geirut, then a plague that knocked them off their high horse (one of them literally) of mastery- Avdut, and finally a painful blow that caused suffering- Inui. - Rabbi SR Hirsch (see his commentary for a brilliant expansion of this idea).

Each plague contained an element of miracles and wonders and also of punishment on the Egyptians. - Rabbi Dr. Yonatan Grossman 

There is only light in heaven.  And yet the Medrash says that the plague of darkness came from heaven.  The Nesivos Shalom says that it was light that came from heaven, but when you can’t handle light it blinds you and you experience it as darkness.  The Egyptians were spiritually unable to handle this heavenly light, but the Jews were able to handle it.  This is why there was darkness for the Egyptians and light for the Jews. - Nesivos Shalom

כשאומר דם ואש ותימרות עשן, עשר המכות ודצ"ך עד"ש באח"ב – ישפוך מן הכוס מעט יין:

And when he says, "blood and fire and pillars of smoke" and the ten plagues and "detsakh," "adash" and "ba'achab," he should pour out a little wine from his cup.

דָּם וָאֵשׁ וְתִימְרוֹת עָשָׁן.

"blood and fire and pillars of smoke."

דָבָר אַחֵר: בְּיָד חֲזָקָה שְׁתַּיִם, וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה שְׁתַּיִם, וּבְמֹרָא גָּדֹל – שְׁתַּיִם, וּבְאֹתוֹת – שְׁתַּיִם, וּבְמֹפְתִים – שְׁתַּיִם.

Another [explanation]: "With a strong hand" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with an outstretched forearm" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with great awe" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with signs" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with wonders" [corresponds to] two [plagues].

אֵלּוּ עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת שֶׁהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל־הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם, וְאֵלוּ הֵן:

These are [the] ten plagues that the Holy One, blessed be He, brought on the Egyptians in Egypt and they are:








[The] Mixture [of Wild Animals]











מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

Slaying of [the] Firstborn

רַבִּי יְהוּדָה הָיָה נוֹתֵן בָּהֶם סִמָּנִים: דְּצַ"ךְ עַדַ"שׁ בְּאַחַ"ב.

Rabbi Yehuda was accustomed to giving [the plagues] mnemonics: Detsakh [the Hebrew initials of the first three plagues], Adash [the Hebrew initials of the second three plagues], Beachav [the Hebrew initials of the last four plagues].

These groupings are not just a mnemonic device, as they are often taken to be. They are the basis for the explanation of the three groupings discussed above.

רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלָּקוּ הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת? בְּמִצְרַיִם מַה הוּא אוֹמֵר? וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַחַרְטֻמִּם אֶל פַּרְעֹה: אֶצְבַּע אֱלֹהִים הִוא, וְעַל הַיָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה' בְּמִצְרַיִם, וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת־ה', וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּיי וּבְמשֶׁה עַבְדוֹ. כַּמָה לָקוּ בְאֶצְבַּע? עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת. אֱמוֹר מֵעַתָּה: בְּמִצְרַים לָקוּ עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת.

Rabbi Yose Hagelili says, "From where can you [derive] that the Egyptians were struck with ten plagues in Egypt and struck with fifty plagues at the Sea? In Egypt, what does it state? 'Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh: ‘This is the finger of God' (Exodus 8:15). And at the Sea, what does it state? 'And Israel saw the Lord's great hand that he used upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord; and they believed in the Lord, and in Moshe, His servant' (Exodus 14:31). How many were they struck with with the finger? Ten plagues. You can say from here that in Egypt, they were struck with ten plagues and at the Sea, they were struck with fifty plagues."

רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֲר אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן שֶׁכָּל־מַכָּה וּמַכָּה שֶׁהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם הָיְתָה שֶׁל אַרְבַּע מַכּוֹת? שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: יְשַׁלַּח־בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ, עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים. עֶבְרָה – אַחַת, וָזַעַם – שְׁתַּיִם, וְצָרָה – שָׁלשׁ, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים – אַרְבַּע. אֱמוֹר מֵעַתָּה: בְּמִצְרַיִם לָקוּ אַרְבָּעִים מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ מָאתַיִם מַכּוֹת.

Rabbi Eliezer says, "From where [can you derive] that every plague that the Holy One, blessed be He, brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt was [composed] of four plagues? As it is stated (Psalms 78:49): 'He sent upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and fury, and trouble, a sending of messengers of evil.' 'Wrath' [corresponds to] one; 'and fury' [brings it to] two; 'and trouble' [brings it to] three; 'a sending of messengers of evil' [brings it to] four. You can say from here that in Egypt, they were struck with forty plagues and at the Sea, they were struck with two hundred plagues."

רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן שֶׁכָּל־מַכָּה וּמַכָּה שֶהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם הָיְתָה שֶׁל חָמֵשׁ מַכּוֹת? שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: יְִשַׁלַּח־בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ, עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצַרָה, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים. חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ – אַחַת, עֶבְרָה – שְׁתָּיִם, וָזַעַם – שָׁלוֹשׁ, וְצָרָה – אַרְבַּע, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים – חָמֵשׁ. אֱמוֹר מֵעַתָּה: בְּמִצְרַיִם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּות וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם מַכּוֹת.

Rabbi Akiva says, says, "From where [can you derive] that every plague that the Holy One, blessed be He, brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt was [composed] of five plagues? As it is stated (Psalms 78:49): 'He sent upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and fury, and trouble, a sending of messengers of evil.' 'The fierceness of His anger' [corresponds to] one; 'wrath' [brings it to] two; 'and fury' [brings it to] three; 'and trouble' [brings it to] four; 'a sending of messengers of evil' [brings it to] five. You can say from here that in Egypt, they were struck with fifty plagues and at the Sea, they were struck with two hundred and fifty plagues."


כַּמָה מַעֲלוֹת טוֹבוֹת לַמָּקוֹם עָלֵינוּ!

How many degrees of good did the Place [of all bestow] upon us!

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִצְרַיִם וְלֹא עָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had taken us out of Egypt and not made judgements on them; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים, וְלֹא עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had made judgments on them and had not made [them] on their gods; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, וְלֹא הָרַג אֶת־בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had made [them] on their gods and had not killed their firstborn; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ הָרַג אֶת־בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת־מָמוֹנָם, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had killed their firstborn and had not given us their money; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת־מָמוֹנָם וְלֹא קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת־הַיָּם, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had given us their money and had not split the Sea for us; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת־הַיָּם וְלֹא הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had split the Sea for us and had not taken us through it on dry land; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה וְלֹא שִׁקַּע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had taken us through it on dry land and had not pushed down our enemies in [the Sea]; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ שִׁקַּע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ וְלֹא סִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בַּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had pushed down our enemies in [the Sea] and had not supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ סִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בְּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וְלֹא הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת־הַמָּן דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years and had not fed us the manna; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת־הַמָּן וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת־הַשַׁבָּת, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had fed us the manna and had not given us the Shabbat; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת־הַשַׁבָּת, וְלֹא קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had given us the Shabbat and had not brought us close to Mount Sinai; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, וְלא נַתַן לָנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה. דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had brought us close to Mount Sinai and had not given us the Torah; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ נַתַן לָנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had given us the Torah and had not brought us into the land of Israel; [it would have been] enough for us.

אִלּוּ הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא בָנָה לָנוּ אֶת־בֵּית הַבְּחִירָה דַּיֵּנוּ.

If He had brought us into the land of Israel and had not built us the 'Chosen House' [the Temple; it would have been] enough for us.

עַל אַחַת, כַּמָה וְכַּמָה, טוֹבָה כְפוּלָה וּמְכֻפֶּלֶת לַמָּקוֹם עָלֵינוּ: שֶׁהוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, וְעָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים, וְעָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, וְהָרַג אֶת־בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם, וְנָתַן לָנוּ אֶת־מָמוֹנָם, וְקָרַע לָנוּ אֶת־הַיָּם, וְהֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה, וְשִׁקַּע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ, וְסִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בַּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה, וְהֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת־הַמָּן, וְנָתַן לָנוּ אֶת־הַשַּׁבָּת, וְקֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, וְנַתָן לָנוּ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה, וְהִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּבָנָה לָנוּ אֶת־בֵּית הַבְּחִירָה לְכַפֵּר עַל־כָּל־עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ.

How much more so is the good that is doubled and quadrupled that the Place [of all bestowed] upon us [enough for us]; since he took us out of Egypt, and made judgments with them, and made [them] with their gods, and killed their firstborn, and gave us their money, and split the Sea for us, and brought us through it on dry land, and pushed down our enemies in [the Sea], and supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years, and fed us the manna, and gave us the Shabbat, and brought us close to Mount Sinai, and gave us the Torah, and brought us into the land of Israel and built us the 'Chosen House' [the Temple] to atone upon all of our sins.

(THOUGHT) One line here that seems to receive the most attention (though, as we will explain, all the lines are worthy of being questioned and paid attention to)  is –


(THOUGHTS) Why would being brought to the mountain and then not receiving the Torah have been worth anything?

One answer to this question is that the aura of the shechina would have affected us positively, and that itself would have provided sufficient reason for being brought to the mountain of Sinai.

Another answer is that the Jews, for were unified (Ke’ish echad be’lev echad), and that is something amazing that would have made the trip to Sinai worthwhile.

A unique and deep (and also dangerously easily misunderstood) answer to this question is that what we're saying is that if G-d would have brought us to Har Sinai but not given us the Torah it would have been enough. The point is that we're here thanking G-d for placing the Torah under our auspices, rather than giving it to us to obey, but maintaining it Himself.

Ilu.../Dayeinu - (THOUGHT) (Translated and adapted from The Shemen HaTov Haggadah) All of the previous content is exclusively focused on the miracles and wonders that Hashem did in taking us out if Egypt, from slavery to freedom and from darkness to light.  From here on in the haggadah emphasizes than one has not completely fulfilled the mitzvah of speaking about Yetziat Mitzrayim - the exodus from Egypt because it is beyond our grasp.  We need to go further than we have gone so far and begin to understand that Yetziat Mitzrayim was the beginning and also the trailblazer for all the miracles and wonders that G-d has done for us throughout all our generations.  Now the author of the haggadah calculates the 15 progressive steps of miracles and wonders that Hashem did for us filling the exodus from Egypt. It all grows out of the first step of having been taken out of Egypt,which is actually only the beginning of all the stages of miracles that G-d for us later on. 

The Exodus G-d illustrates how nature and miracles are  two sides of one coin in G-d's hand that He flips at any time according to His will. And now we appreciate all of the miracles G-d had continually done for us.

And don't think that what is being said here (Ilu/Dayeinu) is like someone calling in a loan of 200 zuz from a friend and he says it will be enough (dayeinu) if you give me 100, and then he'll leave his friend alone and not ask for payment - at least for a little while - as if we have a claim on HaKadosh baruch Hu - The Holy One Blessed Be He that He was obligated to do more for us - chas veshalom - Heaven forbid.

One should not learn the pshat - straightforward explanation in this way.  Each one of the 15 Ilu/Dayeinus is difficult on its own, and there's no good explanation for any of them. Because G-d forbid  that we should say that it would have been enough without kriat yam suf, Shabbos, Monn, Eretz Yisrael, Torah, Beit Habechira. And even the opening line - If G-d would have just taken us out of Egypt and not done signs against them" is questionable because more was promised to Avraham in the Brit Bein Habetarim. And similarly, "If G-d had split the sea, but not passed us through it..." Each one is difficult to understand.

Therefore, it seems to me that the whole song of Dayeinu is presented by the compiler of the Hagaddah as a preface to the reciting of "Lefichach anachnu chayavim..." and to Hallel. He is telling us that each miracle is enough of a reason to be called a maalah/step that Hashem did for us. Each one alone is worthy of thanks and praise to HKBH for what he did for our benefit." 

(STORY) One Amora was disagreeing with several others. He was sure that his view made sense, but couldn't convince the others. Finally, he used signs to prove he was right (first a tree tilted, then a stream flowed backwards, then the walls caved in). The Rabbis were unimpressed. So, he asked for a voice to resound from Heaven announcing he was right. It happened. But the Rabbis insisted that "It is not in heaven" (Lo bashamayim hee) and they did not accept his view. The end of the story is that G-d was very pleased with how all this went.

(The modern, humorous version of this is: Three rabbis were arguing against another rabbi. The one Rabbi gets G-d to announce that He agrees with him. The other Rabbis remain unfazed. "Fine," they say, "Now, it's three against two!")

Another point of note in this song is the fact that it goes way past the leaving of Egypt all the way up until the building of the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim. This indicates the strong connection between leaving Egypt and not only the receiving of the Torah, but the culminating event of the Temple’s construction and use.

Rabban Gamliel's Three Things

רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הָיָה אוֹמֵר: כָּל שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר שְׁלשָׁה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בַּפֶּסַח, לא יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן: פֶּסַח, מַצָּה, וּמָרוֹר.

Rabban Gamliel was accustomed to say, Anyone who has not said these three things on Pesach has not fulfilled his obligation, and these are them: the Pesach sacrifice, matsa and marror.

פֶּסַח שֶׁהָיוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אוֹכְלִים בִּזְמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָּם, עַל שׁוּם מָה? עַל שׁוּם שֶׁפָּסַח הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל בָּתֵּי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְּמִצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח הוּא לַיי, אֲשֶׁר פָּסַח עַל בָּתֵּי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמִצְרַיִם בְּנָגְפּוֹ אֶת־מִצְרַיִם, וְאֶת־בָּתֵּינוּ הִצִּיל וַיִּקֹּד הָעָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחווּ.

The Pesach [passover] sacrifice that our ancestors were accustomed to eating when the Temple existed, for the sake of what [was it]? For the sake [to commemorate] that the Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the homes of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is stated (Exodus 12:27); "And you shall say: 'It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for that He passed over the homes of the Children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and our homes he saved.’ And the people bowed the head and bowed."

אוחז המצה בידו ומראה אותה למסובין:

He holds the matza in his hand and shows it to the others there.

מַצָּה זוֹ שֶׁאָנוֹ אוֹכְלִים, עַל שׁוּם מַה? עַל שׁוּם שֶׁלֹּא הִסְפִּיק בְּצֵקָם שֶׁל אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהַחֲמִיץ עַד שֶׁנִּגְלָה עֲלֵיהֶם מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים, הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וּגְאָלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאפוּ אֶת־הַבָּצֵק אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיאוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם עֻגֹת מַצּוֹּת, כִּי לֹא חָמֵץ, כִּי גֹרְשׁוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ, וְגַם צֵדָה לֹא עָשׂוּ לָהֶם.

This matsa that we are eating, for the sake of what [is it]? For the sake [to commemorate] that our ancestors' dough was not yet able to rise, before the King of the kings of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed [Himself] to them and redeemed them, as it is stated (Exodus 12:39); "And they baked the dough which they brought out of Egypt into matsa cakes, since it did not rise; because they were expelled from Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they made for themselves provisions."

אוחז המרור בידו ומראה אותו למסובין:

He holds the marror in his hand and shows it to the others there.

מָרוֹר זֶה שֶׁאָנוּ אוֹכְלִים, עַל שׁוּם מַה? עַל שׁוּם שֶׁמֵּרְרוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת־חַיֵּי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְּמִצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיְמָרְרוּ אֶת חַיֵּיהם בַּעֲבֹדָה קָשָה, בְּחֹמֶר וּבִלְבֵנִים וּבְכָל־עֲבֹדָה בַּשָּׂדֶה אֶת כָּל עֲבֹדָתָם אֲשֶׁר עָבְדוּ בָהֶם בְּפָרֶךְ.

This marror [bitter greens] that we are eating, for the sake of what [is it]? For the sake [to commemorate] that the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is stated (Exodus 1:14); "And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor."



(THOUGHT) Rav Yitzchak Mirsky says that the reason why the Rabbi’s considered having us start telling the story of Yetziat Mitzrayim on the day of the fourteenth is because that’s when the Korban Pesach was slaughtered. That preparation made the statement that we were rejecting the false gods of Egypt. There are many such symbolic acts included in the details surrounding the Korban Pesach: We are told to pull the animal towards us, which Chazal say hints to the idea that we need to pull ourselves away from the god of Egypt. Also we barbequed it, so that the smell filled the land. There were many separate sacrifices prepared and eaten, not one symbolic one for the nation. And we ate the quality parts of the best sheep, and couldn’t tell the Egyptians we were only taking the bad ones.

Rav Noach Weinberg points out that G-d did all the work when it came to getting us out of Egypt. The one thing we had to do was repudiate their values (by publicly displaying lamb blood as a signal to G-d to come and save us).

If we want to speed up the redemption still to come, and want to insure our inclusion in it, we must be brave enough to clearly and openly signal to G-d that we reject alien values of today's culture.

(THOUGHT) The Midrash says that when G-d passed over our homes, two bloods intermingled: the blood of Mila and the blood of Korban Pesach. Mila takes place at the start of life, when a person is basically all future. Korban Pesach is a mitzvah that was facilitated by the head of the household, the family's patriarch, and this means it comes after time, when a person already has a past that has led him to the achievement of the place that he presently calls his own life. A major challenge we constantly face, and a challenge represented by the mixing of the blood of these 2 mitzvot, is to combine the freshness of youth that focuses us on the future together with the experienced years of middle age and beyond. [Lubavitcher Rebbe]

MATZAH - Conventional Torah wisdom has it that chametz represents an over emphasis on our ego, while matzah represents humble subservience to G-d. The only letter which is different in the Hebrew word chameitz and the Hebrew word matzah reflects the difference between what chameitz and matzah each represent. The chet of chametz is self contained, tightly sealed, representing an attitude of "I can do it all myself". The heh of matzah represents an opening. Like a pressure cooker's escape valve that protects it from exploding, the human psyche needs to have an opening, a portal in order to survive and thrive. Through that opening we take in G-d and rise above our physical selves.

(THOUGHT) Matzah reminds us that G-d took us out of Mitzrayim quickly. Tradition has it that we were on the forty-ninth level of impurity and had we fallen to the fiftieth level of impurity we would have become irredeemable. So G-d had to take us out quickly, before it was too late. But the question is that G-d did not truly "have to" take us out quickly. Unlike human beings, G-d does not procrastinate. It would seem that He could have taken us out before we fell so low. The real reason why he took us out when we'd already fallen to level forty-nine is that the falling was a necessary preparation for the redemption.[MaHaRaL as cited in Hegyonei Halacha]

(STORY- MOSHOL) What happens inside a chicken's egg is a process of putrification. Just when it is about to pass the point of no return - the chic emerges from the egg. If you were to break it open early - the chick would not live. If you were to seal the egg so that the chick couldn't break out at the right moment, the chick would die. Similarly, galut is part of the redemption process. The falling low in Mitzrayim was necessary for the redemption to follow. This is important to remember today. The deterioration and suffering that we see and feel is all a necessary part of the process of redemption presently taking place. [Ibid.] The Nesivos Shalom develops the same idea with the analogy of a seed in dirt and how it must rot before it gets to the short window of time during which it can grow.

(THOUGHT) G-d told Avraham that his descendants' slavery would last for four hundred years. Yet, we were released after two hundred and ten years. The reason most often given for this is that two hundred and ten very difficult years of concentrated slavery served as the equivalent of four hundred years of average intensity slavery. The Vilna Gaon points out that the musical notes under the words in the Torah - "And they made their lives bitter" (vayimoreru chayeihem) are the notes called KADMA VE'A ZLA which means to precede and to go, in other words to go earlier. The “trup” substantiates the theory that the intense bitter slavery was cause for an early redemption. May it be G-d's will to hasten our redemption again due to terrible suffering we endured in the Holocaust. .[The Vilna Gaon as cited and embellished upon by R Shlomo Kahn in From Twilight to Dawn]

(QUOTE) "May we not hopefully assume that the unprecedented holocaust of Nazi Germany led to a hastening of the messianic redemption in the establishment of the State of Israel?" - Rabbi Shlomo Kahn


Mah She'Irah/Mah She'Hayah (Or, A Poem In Progress) By Me

The Rambam writes

that on the Seder night

we must speak of what happened 

and we must speak of what was

what happened happened

and what was was

what happened lives in us

the way it happened in us

and what was disappears

the actual fact was and left

and yet G-d says remember

the going out from Egypt

and the Rambam explains

know the fact that's gone

and know the live story

and so too with our life

our own life exoduses

what was was, now gone

then there's what happened

and happens- again, again

and yes, G-d says- remember

even if it's not what was

remember what happened.

(THOUGHT) Can we possibly imagine that we left Egypt? Many commentators suggest that this is the most challenging of all the mitzvot of the seder night.

Rabbi Mayer Twersky explains that Jewish holidays do not simply commemorate historical events. The theme of the day precedes the holiday. This idea helps explain the obligation that each of us has to view our self as if we went out of Mitzrayim. It is because of the energy of the day, which was present even before The Exodus that we can be expected to tap into the mood of the day and feel like we left Mitzrayim.

There are two aspects to the Jewish people: Each of us has a potential role to fulfill both as an individual and as part of a nation. This is symbolized by the 2 images that G-d projects to Avraham that his descendants will resemble: sand and stars. Though both are myriad in number, the difference between these two entities is that grains of sand all mesh together, while stars can be individually distinguished.

On this night when we focus on our creation as a nation, we run the risk of forgetting our value as individuals. We must never lose sight of G-d's singular love and concern for each one of us. Yitziat Mitzrayim was not only a communal experience, but something that every Jew at the time went through. We owe it to ourselves and to G-d to recognize today that each of us have our own Mitzrayim to overcome, and that G-d is with each of us - carrying us out of our Mitzrayim. G-d loves each of us.

The Gemorah explains that Purim is celebrated in the second Adar during a leap year: so that the redemption of Purim connects to the redemption of Pesach. I believe that the true meaning of this is that Pesach is about an open, spectacular, communal miracle, while Purim more overtly serves to remind us of G-d's involvement in each of our individual lives. Purim should be kept nearby to help us not miss the point of Pesach - that our lives are collections of personal miracles.

Regarding what other holiday is there a guide book to walk us through the miracle? Regarding what other holiday is there a multiple choice list of how to explain it to different types of Jews? Regarding what other holiday to we have to go through a list of questions and answers about the day, even if we sit alone? Regarding what other holiday are we addressed as individuals and told, if any one Jew neglects to mention the major themes of this miracle, then he or she does not get credit for the celebration. All this substantiates the idea that we all have a personal lesson, our own specific work to accomplish on this night.

Behind this unique obligation of feeling like we ourselves were taken out of Egypt is a mandate to always remember how much G-d loves us. We repeat this often in our prayers and yet we sometimes forget the “abundant love G-d has for us (“Ahava rabbah ahavtanu"). [Rabbi Neil Fleischmann]

(STORY) A man sees all the scenes of his life flash before his eyes. In each scene he sees 2 sets of footsteps, one clearly is G-d's and the other is his own. However, when he sees the most difficult scenes of his life, there is only one set of footsteps. He feels that G-d abandoned him when he needed Him most. He asks G-d for the explanation and G-d tells him, "During the hardest times in your life, I was carrying you"

(STORY) A girl that went through 12 years of Jewish schooling, later left Judaism and adapted Christianity. One day she met a rabbi from her past, and he asked her what had attracted her to Christianity. She told him that at a hard time in her life she was approached by a Christian missionary in a bus station. The missionary told her, "G-d loves you." She told the Rabbi the following tragically sad words: "Despite all my years of Jewish education and Jewish upbringing that was the first time that I was ever told that G-d loves me."

בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה ה' לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרַיִם. לֹא אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בִּלְבָד גָּאַל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אֶלָּא אַף אוֹתָנוּ גָּאַל עִמָּהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְאוֹתָנוּ הוֹצִיא מִשָּׁם, לְמַעַן הָבִיא אוֹתָנוּ, לָתֶת לָנוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשָׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ.

In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see himself as if he left Egypt, as it is stated (Exodus 13:8); "For the sake of this, did the Lord do [this] for me in my going out of Egypt." Not only our ancestors did the Holy One, blessed be He, redeem, but rather also us [together] with them did he redeem, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 6:23); "And He took us out from there, in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He swore unto our fathers.”

First Half of Hallel

(REPEAT QUESTION) - Why in the song/list of the the 15 parts of the Seder that we sing at the start do we say that Hallel is after the meal, if it actually starts here, between Magid and Rachtzah?

יאחז הכוס בידו ויכסה המצות ויאמר:

He holds the cup in his hand and and he covers the matsa and says:

לְפִיכָךְ אֲנַחְנוּ חַיָּבִים לְהוֹדוֹת, לְהַלֵּל, לְשַׁבֵּחַ, לְפָאֵר, לְרוֹמֵם, לְהַדֵּר, לְבָרֵךְ, לְעַלֵּה וּלְקַלֵּס לְמִי שֶׁעָשָׂה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ אֶת־כָּל־הַנִסִּים הָאֵלּוּ: הוֹצִיאָנוּ מֵעַבְדוּת לְחֵרוּת מִיָּגוֹן לְשִׂמְחָה, וּמֵאֵבֶל לְיוֹם טוֹב, וּמֵאֲפֵלָה לְאוֹר גָּדוֹל, וּמִשִּׁעְבּוּד לִגְאֻלָּה. וְנֹאמַר לְפָנָיו שִׁירָה חֲדָשָׁה: הַלְלוּיָהּ.

Therefore we are obligated to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, lavish, bless, raise high, and acclaim He who made all these miracles for our ancestors and for us: He brought us out from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to [celebration of] a festival, from darkness to great light, and from servitude to redemption. And let us say a new song before Him, Halleluyah!

הַלְלוּיָהּ הַלְלוּ עַבְדֵי ה', הַלְלוּ אֶת־שֵׁם ה'. יְהִי שֵׁם ה' מְבֹרָךְ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם. מִמִּזְרַח שֶׁמֶשׁ עַד מְבוֹאוֹ מְהֻלָּל שֵׁם ה'. רָם עַל־כָּל־גּוֹיִם ה', עַל הַשָּׁמַיִם כְּבוֹדוֹ. מִי כַּיי אֱלֹהֵינוּ הַמַּגְבִּיהִי לָשָׁבֶת, הַמַּשְׁפִּילִי לִרְאוֹת בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ? מְקִימִי מֵעָפָר דָּל, מֵאַשְׁפֹּת יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן, לְהוֹשִׁיבִי עִם־נְדִיבִים, עִם נְדִיבֵי עַמּוֹ. מוֹשִׁיבִי עֲקֶרֶת הַבַּיִת, אֵם הַבָּנִים שְׂמֵחָה. הַלְלוּיָהּ.

Halleluyah! Praise, servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. May the Name of the Lord be blessed from now and forever. From the rising of the sun in the East to its setting, the name of the Lord is praised. Above all nations is the Lord, His honor is above the heavens. Who is like the Lord, our God, Who sits on high; Who looks down upon the heavens and the earth? He brings up the poor out of the dirt; from the refuse piles, He raises the destitute. To seat him with the nobles, with the nobles of his people. He seats a barren woman in a home, a happy mother of children. Halleluyah! (Psalms 113)

בְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִצְרַיִם, בֵּית יַעֲקֹב מֵעַם לֹעֵז, הָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקָדְשׁוֹ, יִשְׂרָאֵל מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו. הַיָּם רָאָה וַיַּנֹס, הַיַּרְדֵּן יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר. הֶהָרִים רָקְדוּ כְאֵילִים, גְּבַעוֹת כִּבְנֵי צֹאן. מַה לְּךָ הַיָּם כִּי תָנוּס, הַיַּרְדֵּן – תִּסֹּב לְאָחוֹר, הֶהָרִים – תִּרְקְדוּ כְאֵילִים, גְּבַעוֹת כִּבְנֵי־צֹאן. מִלְּפְנֵי אָדוֹן חוּלִי אָרֶץ, מִלְּפְנֵי אֱלוֹהַ יַעֲקֹב. הַהֹפְכִי הַצּוּר אֲגַם־מָיִם, חַלָּמִיש לְמַעְיְנוֹ־מָיִם.

In Israel's going out from Egypt, the house of Ya'akov from a people of foreign speech. The Sea saw and fled, the Jordan turned to the rear. The mountains danced like rams, the hills like young sheep. What is happening to you, O Sea, that you are fleeing, O Jordan that you turn to the rear; O mountains that you dance like rams, O hills like young sheep? From before the Master, tremble O earth, from before the Lord of Ya'akov. He who turns the boulder into a pond of water, the flint into a spring of water. (Psalms 114)

Magid, Second Cup of Wine

מגביהים את הכוס עד גאל ישראל.

We raise the cup until we reach "who redeemed Israel"

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר גְּאָלָנוּ וְגָאַל אֶת־אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, וְהִגִּיעָנוּ הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה לֶאֱכָל־בּוֹ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר. כֵּן ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ יַגִּיעֵנוּ לְמוֹעֲדִים וְלִרְגָלִים אֲחֵרִים הַבָּאִים לִקְרָאתֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם, שְׂמֵחִים בְּבִנְיַן עִירֶךְ וְשָׂשִׂים בַּעֲבוֹדָתֶךָ. וְנֹאכַל שָׁם מִן הַזְּבָחִים וּמִן הַפְּסָחִים אֲשֶׁר יַגִּיעַ דָּמָם עַל קִיר מִזְבַּחֲךָ לְרָצון, וְנוֹדֶה לְךָ שִׁיר חָדָש עַל גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ וְעַל פְּדוּת נַפְשֵׁנוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', גָּאַל יִשְׂרָאֵל.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who redeemed us and redeemed our ancestors from Egypt, and brought us on this night to eat matzah and marror; so too, Lord our God, and God of our ancestors, bring us to other appointed times and holidays that will come to greet us in peace, joyful in the building of your city and happy in your worship; that we should eat there from the offerings and from the Pesach sacrifices, the blood of which should reach the wall of your altar for favor, and we shall thank you with a new song upon our redemption and upon the restoration of our souls. Blessed are you, Lord, who redeemed Israel.

שותים את הכוס בהסבת שמאל.

We say the blessing below and drink the cup while reclining to the left

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, who creates the fruit of the vine.




נוטלים את הידים ומברכים:

We wash the hands and make the blessing.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the washing of the hands.

Motzi Matzah

מוֹצִיא מַצָּה

Motzi Matzah

יקח המצות בסדר שהניחן, הפרוסה בין שתי השלמות, יאחז שלשתן בידו ויברך "המוציא" בכוונה עַל העליונה, ו"על אכילת מַצָּה" בכוונה על הפרוסה. אחר כך יבצע כזית מן העליונה השלמה וכזית שני מן הפרוסה, ויטבלם במלח, ויאכל בהסה שני הזיתים:

He takes out the matsa in the order that he placed them, the broken one between the two whole ones; he holds the three of them in his hand and blesses "ha-motsi" with the intention to take from the top one and "on eating matsa" with the intention of eating from the broken one. Afterwards, he breaks off a kazayit from the top whole one and a second kazayit from the broken one and he dips them into salt and eats both while reclining.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the ground.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the eating of matsa.



כל אחד מהמסבִים לוקח כזית מרור, ּמטבִלו בַחרוסת, ּמנער החרוסת, מברך ואוכל בלי הסבה.

All present should take a kazayit of marror, dip into the haroset, shake off the haroset, make the blessing and eat without reclining.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מָרוֹר.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the eating of marror.

This is as good a place as any to discuss Charoset. 

The Rambam writes (Laws of Pesach 8:8) that after saying the brachah on the matzah “one dips the matzah into charoset and eats.” The Sefer HaManhig is among those who wonder about this ruling of the Rambam, saying that no-one else says this.  He writes:

“If matzah requires leaning because it is a remembrance of freedom, and charoset is a remembrance of the clay of slavery, how can the contradictory values of freedom and slavery be combined? It is possible that The Rambam is teaching us that very point - on this night it is important to combine servitude and redemption. Although it is not our custom to dip matzah into charoset, we do express this connection in other ways. When we eat maror directly after matzah, as well as by eating korech, we demonstrate that slavery and redemptionare intertwined.” Cited in Shirat Miriam, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon Family Hagaddah Pages 146-147

Charoset - (THOUGHT) 

The Mishna (Pesachim 114a) presents a disagreement between the Sages and Rav Elazar ben Tzadok as to whether Charoset constitutes a Mitzvah.  The Sages argue that it does not, while Rav Elazar ben Tzadok argues that it does.  

The Gemara (Pesachim 116a) explains that the Sages believe that Charoset merely serves to blunt the bitter taste of the Maror.  The Gemara offers two explanations of Rav Elazar ben Tzadok's opinion.  One explanation is that the Charoset serves to remind us of the mortar used by our ancestors in Egypt to build for Paroh when they were slaves.  A second explanation is that the Charoset serves to remind us of the Tapuchim (apple trees) in Egypt ((I woke you under the apple tree - Shir HaShirim 8:5). (Rashi and Rashbam explain that the Jewish women in Egypt would painlessly and quietly give birth beneath the apple trees so that the Egyptians would not discover that a Jewish male was born.)

We should note that the second explanation is the source of the practice of Ashkenazic Jews to use apples to make Charoset.  Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, (Nefesh Harav pp. 209-210) however, argues that the word Tapuach refers to a citrus fruit such as an Etrog (see Tosafot Taanit 29b s.v. Shel Tapuchim, which supports Rav Soloveitchik's argument).  Based on this point, Rav Hershel Schachter places a citrus fruit in his Charoset instead of apples.  This practice is supported by the Gemara (Pesachim 116a), which mentions that since the Charoset serves as a reminder of the Tapuach, the Charoset should be acidic.  Citrus fruits are distinctively acidic but apples are not. 

The Gemara in Pesachim continues and teaches that we should add spices to the Charoset to remind us of the straw in Egypt.  Before spices are ground up, they are long and stringy and thus resemble straw.  The straw that we remember likely refers to the decree made by Paroh that we must gather our own straw for building (Shemot 5:7).  

The Gemara concludes with a quote from Rav Elazar ben Tzadok.  He notes the practice of the merchants of Jerusalem, who would announce before Pesach, "Come and get spices for the sake of the mitzvah." (Rabbi Chaim Jachter)




(THOUGHT) Rabbi Kook points out that it is no coincidence that the one ritual that we do in the hagaddah that is "zecher lemikdash" is "keHillel." Hillel's essence was love and patience and we remember the mikdash as he did because through being like Him is the way we will merit having it again.

(THOUGHT) MORE ON KOREICH - Rav Kook says that the idea of Hillel's putting the Matza and maror together is that we don't simply recognize exile and redemption and separate entities. Suffering and freedom and parts of the same whole, there is no one without the other. by putting the two together we represent how they can each only be fully accepted and understood when taken together. (from Light of Redemption, By Gideon Weitzman, based on the writings of Rav Kook.)

כל אחד מהמסבים לוקח כזית מן המצה השְלישית עם כזית מרור, כורכים יחד, אוכלים בהסבה ובלי ברכה. לפני אכלו אומר.

All present should take a kazayit from the third whole matsa with a kazayit of marror, wrap them together and eat them while reclining and without saying a blessing. Before he eats it, he should say:

זֵכֶר לְמִקְדָּשׁ כְּהִלֵּל. כֵּן עָשָׂה הִלֵּל בִּזְמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָּם:

In memory of the Temple according to Hillel. This is what Hillel would do when the Temple 


הָיָה כּוֹרֵךְ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר וְאוֹכֵל בְּיַחַד, לְקַיֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרוׂרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ.

He would wrap the matsa and marror and eat them together, in order to fulfill what is stated, (Exodus 12:15): "You should eat it upon matsot and marrorim."

Question: Where in the hagadah do we quote from the section in the Torah about Pesach Sheni (the make up day for the Korban Pesach one month later)?

Answer: We quote “al matzot u’merorim yochluhu” - “Eat it (the Pesach offering) together with unleavened breads and bitter herbs.” - Bamidbar 9:11 This pasuk is in Parshat Beha’alotcha, in the small section about Pesach Sheini.

Question: Why, when we eat the “Hillel Sandwitch,” which reminds us of The Mikdash, do we reference a source regarding Pesach Sheini, and not from Parshat Bo (Shemot 12:8) regarding Pesach itself?

Answer: As we mention what was done in the Beit haMikdash we access our yearning for it.  And so we make reference to Pesach Sheini, saying that since we only merited on Pesach to do a remembrance of the Mikdash, we hope that by Pesach Sheini we will be able to actually have the Korban Pesach in the Beit haMikdash. (Rav Yitzchak Mirsky in Hegyonei Halachah 3, citing The Beis Belz Hagadah in the name of Mahari, Admor of Belz (which I think is Rav Yissachar Dov Rokeach, the third Belzer Rebbe). 

שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ

The Set Table

אוכלים ושותים.

We eat and drink.

Eggs - After a long wait for real food, Jews around the world eat a lot of hard boiled eggs.

(THOUGHTS) An egg is the only thing that's born, and then reborn. Similar to the chick, The Jewish People were taken out of Egypt, but then we were re-redeemed when we received the Torah. [Hegyonei Halacha]

Unlike other foods, an egg becomes harder the more it is cooked. So too, the Jewish People survive and thrive even after continuous persecution.

An egg is a reminder of the circle of life and thus of mourning. It is an indication of the deep connection between the redemption from Egypt and the life we were granted in Israel. On this night we look toward the ultimate redemption being granted to us speedily in our time.

(THOUGHT)Rav Kook says that it's not enough to not be enslaved in order to be free. Freedom means enjoying life within the proper context. That's why the Seder is not simply a prayer or a ritual for the Synagogue or home. The centerpiece of the Seder is an aesthetically pleasing lavish meal, celebrating our holy freedom.

Enjoy Your Meal


The Concealed [Matsa]

אחר גמר הסעודה לוקח כל אחד מהמסבים כזית מהמצה שהייתה צפונה לאפיקומן ואוכל ממנה כזית בהסבה. וצריך לאוכלה קודם חצות הלילה.

After the end of the meal, all those present take a kazayit from the matsa, that was concealed for the afikoman, and eat a kazayit from it while reclining

.לפני אכילת האפיקומן יאמר: זֵכֶר לְקָרְבָּן פֶּסַח הָנֶאֱכַל עַל הָשוֹׁבַע.

Before eating the afikoman, he should say: "In memory of the Pesach sacrifice that was eaten upon being satiated."

Barech, Birkat Hamazon


מוזגים כוס שלישִי ומבָרכים בִרכַת המזון.

We pour the third cup and recite the Grace over the Food

שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת, בְּשוּב ה' אֶת שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן הָיִינוּ כְּחֹלְמִים. אָז יִמָּלֵא שְׂחוֹק פִּינוּ וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה. אָז יֹאמְרוּ בַגּוֹיִם: הִגְדִּיל ה' לַעֲשׂוֹת עִם אֵלֶּה. הִגְדִּיל ה' לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמָּנוּ, הָיִינוּ שְׂמֵחִים. שׁוּבָה ה' אֶת שְׁבִיתֵנוּ כַּאֲפִיקִים בַּנֶּגֶב. הַזֹּרְעִים בְּדִמְעָה, בְּרִנָּה יִקְצֹרוּ. הָלוֹךְ יֵלֵךְ וּבָכֹה נֹשֵׂא מֶשֶךְ הַזָּרַע, בֹּא יָבֹא בְרִנָּה נֹשֵׂא אֲלֻמֹּתָיו.

A Song of Ascents; When the Lord will bring back the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers. Then our mouth will be full of mirth and our tongue joyful melody; then they will say among the nations; "The Lord has done greatly with these." The Lord has done great things with us; we are happy. Lord, return our captivity like streams in the desert. Those that sow with tears will reap with joyful song. He who surely goes and cries, he carries the measure of seed, he will surely come in joyful song and carry his sheaves.(Psalms 126)

שלשה שֶאכלו כאחד חיבים לזמן והמזַמן פותח:

Three that ate together are obligated to introduce the blessing and the leader of the introduction opens as follows:

רַבּוֹתַי נְבָרֵךְ:

My masters, let us bless:

המסבים עונים:

All those present answer:

יְהִי שֵׁם ה' מְבֹרָךְ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם.

May the Name of the Lord be blessed from now and forever. (Psalms 113:2)

הַמְזַמֵן אומֵר:

The leader says:

בִּרְשׁוּת מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי, נְבָרֵךְ [אֱלֹהֵינוּ] שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ.

With the permission of our gentlemen and our teachers and my masters, let us bless [our God] from whom we have eaten.

המסבים עונים:

Those present answer:

בָּרוּךְ [אֱלֹהֵינוּ] שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ

Blessed is [our God] from whom we have eaten and from whose goodness we live.

המזמן חוזר ואומר:

The leader repeats and says:

בָּרוּךְ [אֱלֹהֵינוּ] שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ

Blessed is [our God] from whom we have eaten and from whose goodness we live.

כלם אומרים:

They all say:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַזָּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בְּטוּבוֹ בְּחֵן בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים, הוּא נוֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדוֹ. וּבְטוּבוֹ הַגָּדוֹל תָּמִיד לֹא חָסַר לָנוּ, וְאַל יֶחְסַר לָנוּ מָזוֹן לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. בַּעֲבוּר שְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל, כִּי הוּא אֵל זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס לַכֹּל וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל, וּמֵכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל בְּרִיּוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who nourishes the entire world in His goodness, in grace, in kindness and in mercy; He gives bread to all flesh since His kindness is forever. And in His great goodness, we always have not lacked, and may we not lack nourishment forever and always, because of His great name. Since He is a Power that feeds and provides for all and does good to all and prepares nourishment for all of his creatures that he created. Blessed are You, Lord, who sustains all.

נוֹדֶה לְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל שֶׁהִנְחַלְתָּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָה טוֹבָה וּרְחָבָה, וְעַל שֶׁהוֹצֵאתָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וּפְדִיתָנוּ מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים, וְעַל בְּרִיתְךָ שֶׁחָתַמְתָּ בְּבְשָׂרֵנוּ, וְעַל תּוֹרָתְךָ שֶׁלִּמַּדְתָּנוּ, וְעַל חֻקֶּיךָ שֶׁהוֹדַעְתָּנוּ, וְעַל חַיִּים חֵן וָחֶסֶד שֶׁחוֹנַנְתָּנוּ, וְעַל אֲכִילַת מָזוֹן שָׁאַתָּה זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס אוֹתָנוּ תָּמִיד, בְּכָל יוֹם וּבְכָל עֵת וּבְכָל שָׁעָה:

We thank you, Lord our God, that you have given as an inheritance to our ancestors a lovely, good and broad land, and that You took us out, Lord our God, from the land of Egypt and that You redeemed us from a house of slaves, and for Your covenant which You have sealed in our flesh, and for Your Torah that You have taught us, and for Your statutes which You have made known to us, and for life, grace and kindness that You have granted us and for the eating of nourishment that You feed and provide for us always, on all days, and at all times and in every hour.

וְעַל הַכּל ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ, אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים לָךְ וּמְבָרְכִים אוֹתָךְ, יִתְבָּרַךְ שִׁמְךָ בְּפִי כָּל חַי תָּמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. כַּכָּתוּב: וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבַעְתָּ וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֵיךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶּׁר נָתַן לָךְ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל הַמָּזוֹן:

And for everything, Lord our God, we thank You and bless You; may Your name be blessed by the mouth of all life, constantly forever and always, as it is written (Deuteronomy 8:10); "And you shall eat and you shall be satiated and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land that He has given you." Blessed are You, Lord, for the land and for the nourishment.

רַחֵם נָא ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאַל עַמֶּךָ וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִירֶךָ וְעַל צִיּוֹן מִשְׁכַּן כְּבוֹדֶךָ וְעַל מַלְכוּת בֵּית דָּוִד מְשִׁיחֶךָ וְעַל הַבַּיִת הַגָּדוֹל וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ שֶׁנִּקְרָא שִׁמְךָ עָלָיו: אֱלֹהֵינוּ אָבִינוּ, רְעֵנוּ זוּנֵנוּ פַרְנְסֵנוּ וְכַלְכְּלֵנוּ וְהַרְוִיחֵנוּ, וְהַרְוַח לָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מְהֵרָה מִכָּל צָרוֹתֵינוּ. וְנָא אַל תַּצְרִיכֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ, לֹא לִידֵי מַתְּנַת בָּשָׂר וָדָם וְלֹא לִידֵי הַלְוָאתָם, כִּי אִם לְיָדְךָ הַמְּלֵאָה הַפְּתוּחָה הַקְּדוֹשָׁה וְהָרְחָבָה, שֶׁלֹא נֵבוֹשׁ וְלֹא נִכָּלֵם לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.

Please have mercy, Lord our God, upon Israel, Your people; and upon Jerusalem, Your city; and upon Zion, the dwelling place of Your Glory; and upon the monarchy of the House of David, Your appointed one; and upon the great and holy house that Your name is called upon. Our God, our Father, tend us, sustain us, provide for us, relieve us and give us quick relief, Lord our God, from all of our troubles. And please do not make us needy, Lord our God, not for the gifts of flesh and blood, and not for their loans, but rather from Your full, open, holy and broad hand, so that we not be embarrassed and we not be ashamed forever and always.

בשבת מוסיפין:

On Shabbat, we add the following paragraph

רְצֵה וְהַחֲלִיצֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּמִצְוֹתֶיךָ וּבְמִצְוַת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי הַשַּׁבָּת הַגָּדול וְהַקָּדוֹשׂ הַזֶּה. כִּי יוֹם זֶה גָּדוֹל וְקָדוֹשׁ הוּא לְפָנֶיךָ לִשְׁבָּת בּוֹ וְלָנוּחַ בּוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה כְּמִצְוַת רְצוֹנֶךָ. וּבִרְצוֹנְךָ הָנִיחַ לָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא צָרָה וְיָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה בְּיוֹם מְנוּחָתֵנוּ. וְהַרְאֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּנֶחָמַת צִיּוֹן עִירֶךָ וּבְבִנְיַן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ כִּי אַתָּה הוּא בַּעַל הַיְשׁוּעוֹת וּבַעַל הַנֶּחָמוֹת.

May You be pleased to embolden us, Lord our God, in your commandments and in the command of the seventh day, of this great and holy Shabbat, since this day is great and holy before You, to cease work upon it and to rest upon it, with love, according to the commandment of Your will. And with Your will, allow us, Lord our God, that we should not have trouble, and grief and sighing on the day of our rest. And may You show us, Lord our God, the consolation of Zion, Your city; and the building of Jerusalem, Your holy city; since You are the Master of salvations and the Master of consolations.

אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא וְיַגִּיעַ וְיֵרָאֶה וְיֵרָצֶה וְיִשָּׁמַע וְיִפָּקֵד וְיִזָּכֵר זִכְרוֹנֵנוּ וּפִקְדּוֹנֵנוּ, וְזִכְרוֹן אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וְזִכְרוֹן מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד עַבְדֶּךָ, וְזִכְרוֹן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ, וְזִכְרוֹן כָּל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאַל לְפָנֶיךָ, לִפְלֵיטָה לְטוֹבָה לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים, לְחַיִּים וּלְשָׁלוֹם בְּיוֹם חַג הַמַּצּוֹת הַזֶּה זָכְרֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בּוֹ לְטוֹבָה וּפָקְדֵנוּ בוֹ לִבְרָכָה וְהושִׁיעֵנוּ בוֹ לְחַיִּים. וּבִדְבַר יְשׁוּעָה וְרַחֲמִים חוּס וְחָנֵּנוּ וְרַחֵם עָלֵינוּ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ, כִּי אֵלֶיךָ עֵינֵינוּ, כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה. וּבְנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', בּוֹנֶה בְרַחֲמָיו יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. אָמֵן.

God and God of our ancestors, may there ascend and come and reach and be seen and be acceptable and be heard and be recalled and be remembered - our remembrance and our recollection; and the remembrance of our ancestors; and the remembrance of the messiah, the son of David, Your servant; and the remembrance of Jerusalem, Your holy city; and the remembrance of all Your people, the house of Israel - in front of You, for survival, for good, for grace, and for kindness, and for mercy, for life and for peace on this day of the Festival of Matsot. Remember us, Lord our God, on it for good and recall us on it for survival and save us on it for life, and by the word of salvation and mercy, pity and grace us and have mercy on us and save us, since our eyes are upon You, since You are a graceful and merciful Power. And may You build Jerusalem, the holy city, quickly and in our days. Blessed are You, Lord, who builds Jerusalem in His mercy. Amen.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הָאֵל אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ אַדִירֵנוּ בּוֹרְאֵנוּ גּוֹאֲלֵנוּ יוֹצְרֵנוּ קְדוֹשֵׁנוּ קְדוֹשׁ יַעֲקֹב רוֹעֵנוּ רוֹעֵה יִשְׂרָאַל הַמֶּלֶךְ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב לַכּל שֶׁבְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם הוּא הֵטִיב, הוּא מֵטִיב, הוּא יֵיטִיב לָנוּ. הוּא גְמָלָנוּ הוּא גוֹמְלֵנוּ הוּא יִגְמְלֵנוּ לָעַד, לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים וּלְרֶוַח הַצָּלָה וְהַצְלָחָה, בְּרָכָה וִישׁוּעָה נֶחָמָה פַּרְנָסָה וְכַלְכָּלָה וְרַחֲמִים וְחַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם וְכָל טוֹב, וּמִכָּל טוּב לְעוֹלָם עַל יְחַסְּרֵנוּ.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, the Power, our Father, our King, our Mighty One, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Shaper, our Holy One, the Holy One of Ya'akov, our Shepard, the Shepard of Israel, the good King, who does good to all, since on every single day He has done good, He does good, He will do good, to us; He has granted us, He grants us, He will grant us forever - in grace and in kindness, and in mercy, and in relief - rescue and success, blessing and salvation, consolation, provision and relief and mercy and life and peace and all good; and may we not lack any good ever.

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִמְלוֹךְ עָלֵינוּ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִתְבָּרַךְ בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁתַּבַּח לְדוֹר דּוֹרִים, וְיִתְפָּאַר בָּנוּ לָעַד וּלְנֵצַח נְצָחִים, וְיִתְהַדַּר בָּנוּ לָעַד וּלְעוֹלְמֵי עוֹלָמִים. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְפַרְנְסֵנוּ בְּכָבוֹד. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁבּוֹר עֻלֵּנוּ מֵעַל צַּוָּארֵנוּ, וְהוּא יוֹלִיכֵנוּ קוֹמְמִיּוּת לְאַרְצֵנוּ. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁלַח לָנוּ בְּרָכָה מְרֻבָּה בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה, וְעַל שֻׁלְחָן זֶה שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ עָלָיו. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁלַח לָנוּ אֶת אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא זָכוּר לַטּוֹב, וִיבַשֶּׂר לָנוּ בְּשׂוֹרוֹת טוֹבוֹת יְשׁוּעוֹת וְנֶחָמוֹת. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בַּעֲלִי / אִשְתִּי. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת [אָבִי מוֹרִי] בַּעַל הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה. וְאֶת [אִמִּי מוֹרָתִי] בַּעֲלַת הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה, אוֹתָם וְאֶת בֵּיתָם וְאֶת זַרְעָם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם. אוֹתָנוּ וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָנוּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּרְכוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב בַּכֹּל מִכֹּל כֹּל, כֵּן יְבָרֵךְ אוֹתָנוּ כֻּלָּנוּ יַחַד בִּבְרָכָה שְׁלֵמָה, וְנֹאמַר, אָמֵן. בַּמָּרוֹם יְלַמְּדוּ עֲלֵיהֶם וְעָלֵינוּ זְכוּת שֶׁתְּהֵא לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת שָׁלוֹם. וְנִשָּׂא בְרָכָה מֵאֵת ה', וּצְדָקָה מֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ, וְנִמְצָא חֵן וְשֵׂכֶל טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי אֱלֹהִים וְאָדָם. בשבת: הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יַנְחִילֵנוּ יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלּוֹ שַׁבָּת וּמְנוּחָה לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָמִים. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יַנְחִילֵנוּ יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלוֹ טוֹב.[יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלוֹ אָרוּךְ. יוֹם שֶׁצַּדִּיקִים יוֹשְׁבִים וְעַטְרוֹתֵיהֶם בְּרָאשֵׁיהֶם וְנֶהֱנִים מִזִּיו הַשְּׁכִינָה וִיהִי חֶלְקֵינוּ עִמָּהֶם]. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְזַכֵּנוּ לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ וּלְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. מִגְדּוֹל יְשׁוּעוֹת מַלְכּוֹ וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לִמְשִׁיחוֹ לְדָוִד וּלְזַרְעוֹ עַד עוֹלָם. עשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאַל וְאִמְרוּ, אָמֵן. יִרְאוּ אֶת ה' קְדֹשָׁיו, כִּי אֵין מַחְסוֹר לִירֵאָיו. כְּפִירִים רָשׁוּ וְרָעֵבוּ, וְדֹרְשֵׁי ה' לֹא יַחְסְרוּ כָל טוֹב. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ, וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל חַי רָצוֹן. בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיי, וְהָיָה ה' מִבְטַחוֹ. נַעַר הָיִיתִי גַם זָקַנְתִּי, וְלֹא רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק נֶעֱזָב, וְזַרְעוֹ מְבַקֶּשׁ לָחֶם. יי עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן, ה' יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם.

May the Merciful One reign over us forever and always. May the Merciful One be blessed in the heavens and in the earth. May the Merciful One be praised for all generations, and exalted among us forever and ever, and glorified among us always and infinitely for all infinities. May the Merciful One sustain us honorably. May the Merciful One break our yolk from upon our necks and bring us upright to our land. May the Merciful One send us multiple blessing, to this home and upon this table upon which we have eaten. May the Merciful One send us Eliyahu the prophet - may he be remembered for good - and he shall announce to us tidings of good, of salvation and of consolation. May the Merciful One bless my husband/my wife. May the Merciful One bless [my father, my teacher,] the master of this home and [my mother, my teacher,] the mistress of this home, they and their home and their offspring and everything that is theirs. Us and all that is ours; as were blessed Avraham, Yitschak and Ya'akov, in everything, from everything, with everything, so too should He bless us, all of us together, with a complete blessing and we shall say, Amen. From above, may they advocate upon them and upon us merit, that should protect us in peace; and may we carry a blessing from the Lord and charity from the God of our salvation; and find grace and good understanding in the eyes of God and man. [On Shabbat, we say: May the Merciful One give us to inherit the day that will be completely Shabbat and rest in everlasting life.] May the Merciful One give us to inherit the day that will be all good. [The day that is all long, the day that the righteous will sit and their crowns will be on their heads and they will enjoy the radiance of the Divine presence and my our share be with them.] May the Merciful One give us merit for the times of the messiah and for life in the world to come. A tower of salvations is our King; may He do kindness with his messiah, with David and his offspring, forever (II Samuel 22:51). The One who makes peace above, may He make peace upon us and upon all of Israel; and say, Amen. Fear the Lord, His holy ones, since there is no lacking for those that fear Him. Young lions may go without and hunger, but those that seek the Lord will not lack any good thing (Psalms 34:10-11). Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever (Psalms 118:1). You open Your hand and satisfy the will of all living things (Psalms 146:16). Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and the Lord is his security (Jeremiah 17:7). I was a youth and I have also aged and I have not seen a righteous man forsaken and his offspring seeking bread (Psalms 37:25). The Lord will give courage to His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).

Barech, Third Cup of Wine

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

ושותים בהסיבה ואינו מברך ברכה אחרונה.

We drink while reclining and do not say a blessing afterwards.

SHFOCH CHAMATCHAH Pour Out Thy Wrath  - Door is Opened 

מוזגים כוס של אליהו ופותחים את הדלת:

We pour the cup of Eliyahu and open the door.

Poem For Elijah

May we not be jealous, 

May we not be insecure, 

May we not be lazy, 

May we open up our door,

To Elijah and his justice, 

To Elijah and his peace,

To Elijah who's returning 

With the news of our release

I heard that Rav Yaakov Medan was asked by his young son why Eliyahu didn't come in, and he explained that they had to go out, not wait for Elyahu. They had to go out and join in to bring the geulah. Now their custom at that part of the seder is to change into hiking boots and go out.


Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, very similarly wrote (The Jewish Week, March 29, 2002, p. 43):  “On this basis, my wife explains our custom of opening the door for Elijah. After all, if Elijah can manage to visit every seder, he can also manage to get into every household! My wife suggests that we don’t open the door to let Elijah in; we open the door to let ourselves out, to return with the herald of Redemption. Only by doing this do we prove that we have truly internalized the historical message and meaning of our freedom” (Thank you to Rabbi Uri Cohen for sharing this.)




שְׁפֹךְ חֲמָתְךָ אֶל־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יְדָעוּךָ וְעַל־מַמְלָכוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּשִׁמְךָ לֹא קָרָאוּ. כִּי אָכַל אֶת־יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת־נָוֵהוּ הֵשַׁמּוּ. שְׁפָךְ־עֲלֵיהֶם זַעֲמֶךָ וַחֲרוֹן אַפְּךָ יַשִּׂיגֵם. תִּרְדֹף בְּאַף וְתַשְׁמִידֵם מִתַּחַת שְׁמֵי ה'.

Pour your wrath upon the nations that did not know You and upon the kingdoms that did not call upon Your Name! Since they have consumed Ya'akov and laid waste his habitation (Psalms 79:6-7). Pour out Your fury upon them and the fierceness of Your anger shall reach them (Psalms 69:25)! You shall pursue them with anger and eradicate them from under the skies of the Lord (Lamentations 3:66).

Second Half of Hallel


מוזגין כוס רביעי וגומרין עליו את ההלל

We pour the fourth cup and complete the Hallel

לֹא לָנוּ, ה', לֹא לָנוּ, כִּי לְשִׁמְךָ תֵּן כָּבוֹד, עַל חַסְדְּךָ עַל אֲמִתֶּךָ. לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ הַגּוֹיִם אַיֵּה נָא אֱלֹהֵיהֶם. וְאֱלֹהֵינוּ בַּשָּׁמַיִם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר חָפֵץ עָשָׂה. עֲצַבֵּיהֶם כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אָדָם. פֶּה לָהֶם וְלֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ, עֵינַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִרְאוּ. אָזְנָיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָעוּ, אַף לָהֶם וְלֹא יְרִיחוּן. יְדֵיהֶם וְלֹא יְמִישׁוּן, רַגְלֵיהֶם וְלֹא יְהַלֵּכוּ, לׁא יֶהְגּוּ בִּגְרוֹנָם. כְּמוֹהֶם יִהְיוּ עֹשֵׂיהֶם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בֹּטֵחַ בָּהֶם. יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּטַח בַּיי, עֶזְרָם וּמָגִנָּם הוּא. בֵּית אַהֲרֹן בִּטְחוּ בַיי, עֶזְרָם וּמָגִנָּם הוּא. יִרְאֵי ה' בִּטְחוּ בַיי, עֶזְרָם וּמָגִנָּם הוּא. יי זְכָרָנוּ יְבָרֵךְ. יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בֵּית אַהֲרֹן, יְבָרֵךְ יִרְאֵי ה', הַקְּטַנִים עִם הַגְּדֹלִים. יֹסֵף ה' עֲלֵיכֶם, עֲלֵיכֶם וְעַל בְּנֵיכֶם. בְּרוּכִים אַתֶּם לַיי, עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ. הַשָּׁמַיִם שָׁמַיִם לַיי וְהָאָרֶץ נָתַן לִבְנֵי אָדָם. לֹא הַמֵּתִים יְהַלְלוּ יָהּ וְלֹא כָּל יֹרְדֵי דוּמָה. וַאֲנַחְנוּ נְבָרֵךְ יָהּ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם. הַלְלוּיָהּ.

Not to us, not to us, but rather to Your name, give glory for your kindness and for your truth. Why should the nations say, "Say, where is their God?" But our God is in the heavens, all that He wanted, He has done. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have a mouth but do not speak; they have eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear; they have a nose but do not smell. Hands, but they do not feel; feet, but do not walk; they do not make a peep from their throat. Like them will be their makers, all those that trust in them. Israel, trust in the Lord; their help and shield is He. House of Aharon, trust in the Lord; their help and shield is He. Those that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; their help and shield is He. The Lord who remembers us, will bless; He will bless the House of Israel; He will bless the House of Aharon. He will bless those that fear the Lord, the small ones with the great ones. May the Lord bring increase to you, to you and to your children. Blessed are you to the Lord, the maker of the heavens and the earth. The heavens, are the Lord's heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of man. It is not the dead that will praise the Lord, and not those that go down to silence. But we will bless the Lord from now and forever. Halleluyah! (Psalms 115)

אָהַבְתִּי כִּי יִשְׁמַע ה' אֶת קוֹלִי תַּחֲנוּנָי. כִּי הִטָּה אָזְנוֹ לִי וּבְיָמַי אֶקְרָא. אֲפָפוּנִי חֶבְלֵי מָוֶת וּמְצָרֵי שְׁאוֹל מְצָאוּנִי, צָרָה וְיָגוֹן אֶמְצָא. וּבְשֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא: אָנָּא ה' מַלְּטָה נַפְשִׁי. חַנוּן ה' וְצַדִּיק, וֵאֱלֹהֵינוּ מְרַחֵם. שֹׁמֵר פְּתָאִים ה', דַּלוֹתִי וְלִי יְהושִׁיעַ. שׁוּבִי נַפְשִׁי לִמְנוּחָיְכִי, כִּי ה' גָּמַל עָלָיְכִי. כִּי חִלַּצְתָּ נַפְשִׁי מִמָּוֶת, אֶת עֵינִי מִן דִּמְעָה, אֶת רַגְלִי מִדֶּחִי. אֶתְהַלֵךְ לִפְנֵי ה' בְּאַרְצוֹת הַחַיִּים. הֶאֱמַנְתִּי כִּי אֲדַבֵּר, אֲנִי עָנִיתִי מְאֹד. אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְחָפְזִי כָּל הָאָדָם כּזֵֹב.

I have loved the Lord - since He hears my voice, my supplications. Since He inclined His ear to me - and in my days, I will call out. The pangs of death have encircled me and the straits of the Pit have found me and I found grief. And in the name of the Lord I called, "Please Lord, Spare my soul." Gracious is the Lord and righteous, and our God acts mercifully. The Lord watches over the silly; I was poor and He has saved me. Return, my soul to your tranquility, since the Lord has favored you. Since You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I will walk before the Lord in the lands of the living. I have trusted, when I speak - I am very afflicted. I said in my haste, all men are hypocritical. (Psalms 116:1-11)

מָה אָשִׁיב לַיי כֹּל תַּגְמוּלוֹהִי עָלָי. כּוֹס יְשׁוּעוֹת אֶשָּׂא וּבְשֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא. נְדָרַי לַיי אֲשַׁלֵּם נֶגְדָה נָּא לְכָל עַמּוֹ. יָקָר בְּעֵינֵי ה' הַמָּוְתָה לַחֲסִידָיו. אָנָּה ה' כִּי אֲנִי עַבְדֶּךָ, אֲנִי עַבְדְּךָ בֶּן אֲמָתֶךָ, פִּתַּחְתָּ לְמוֹסֵרָי. לְךָ אֶזְבַּח זֶבַח תּוֹדָה וּבְשֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא. נְדָרַי לַיי אֲשַׁלֵּם נֶגְדָה נָּא לְכָל עַמּוֹ. בְּחַצְרוֹת בֵּית ה', בְּתוֹכֵכִי יְרוּשָלַיִם. הַלְלוּיָהּ.

What can I give back to the Lord for all that He has favored me? A cup of salvations I will raise up and I will call out in the name of the Lord. My vows to the Lord I will pay, now in front of His entire people. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His pious ones. Please Lord, since I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have opened my chains. To You will I offer a thanksgiving offering and I will call out in the name of the Lord. My vows to the Lord I will pay, now in front of His entire people. In the courtyards of the house of the Lord, in your midst, Jerusalem. Halleluyah! (Psalms 116:12-19)

הַלְלוּ אֶת ה' כָּל גּוֹיִם, שַׁבְּחוּהוּ כָּל הָאֻמִּים. כִּי גָבַר עָלֵינוּ חַסְדּוֹ, וֶאֱמֶת ה' לְעוֹלָם. הַלְלוּיָהּ. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. יֹאמַר נָא יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. יֹאמְרוּ נָא בֵית אַהֲרֹן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. יֹאמְרוּ נָא יִרְאֵי ה' כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.

Praise the name of the Lord, all nations; extol Him all peoples. Since His kindness has overwhelmed us and the truth of the Lord is forever. Halleluyah! Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever. Let Israel now say, "Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever." Let the House of Aharon now say, "Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever." Let those that fear the Lord now say, "Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever." (Psalms 117-118:4)

מִן הַמֵּצַר קָרָאתִי יָּהּ, עָנָנִי בַמֶּרְחַב יָהּ. ה' לִי, לֹא אִירָא – מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה לִי אָדָם, ה' לִי בְּעֹזְרָי וַאֲנִי אֶרְאֶה בְּשׂנְאָי. טוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיי מִבְּטֹחַ בָּאָדָם. טוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיי מִבְּטֹחַ בִּנְדִיבִים. כָּל גּוֹיִם סְבָבוּנִי, בְּשֵׁם ה' כִּי אֲמִילַם. סַבּוּנִי גַם סְבָבוּנִי, בְּשֵׁם ה' כִּי אֲמִילַם. סַבּוּנִי כִדְּבֹרִים, דֹּעֲכוּ כְּאֵשׁ קוֹצִים, בְּשֵׁם ה' כִּי אֲמִילַם. דָּחֹה דְּחִיתַנִי לִנְפֹּל, וַיי עֲזָרָנִי. עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ וַיְהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה. קוֹל רִנָּה וִישׁוּעָה בְּאָהֳלֵי צַדִּיקִים: יְמִין ה' עֹשָׂה חָיִל, יְמִין ה' רוֹמֵמָה, יְמִין ה' עֹשָׂה חָיִל. לֹא אָמוּת כִּי אֶחְיֶה, וַאֲסַפֵּר מַעֲשֵׂי יָהּ. יַסֹּר יִסְּרַנִי יָּהּ, וְלַמָּוֶת לֹא נְתָנָנִי. פִּתְחוּ לִי שַׁעֲרֵי צֶדֶק, אָבֹא בָם, אוֹדֶה יָהּ. זֶה הַשַּׁעַר לַיי, צַדִּיקִים יָבֹאוּ בוֹ.

From the strait I have called, Lord; He answered me from the wide space, the Lord. The Lord is for me, I will not fear, what will man do to me? The Lord is for me with my helpers, and I shall glare at those that hate me. It is better to take refuge with the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge with the Lord than to trust in nobles. All the nations surrounded me - in the name of the Lord, as I will chop them off. They surrounded me, they also encircled me - in the name of the Lord, as I will chop them off. They surrounded me like bees, they were extinguished like a fire of thorns - in the name of the Lord, as I will chop them off. You have surely pushed me to fall, but the Lord helped me. My boldness and song is the Lord, and He has become my salvation. The sound of happy song and salvation is in the tents of the righteous, the right hand of the Lord acts powerfully. I will not die but rather I will live and tell over the acts of the Lord. The Lord has surely chastised me, but He has not given me over to death. Open up for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them, thank the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous will enter it. (Psalms 118:5-20)

אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי וַתְּהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה. אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי וַתְּהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה. אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים הָיְתָה לְראשׁ פִּנָּה. אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים הָיְתָה לְראשׁ פִּנָּה. מֵאֵת ה' הָיְתָה זֹּאת הִיא נִפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ. מֵאֵת ה' הָיְתָה זֹּאת הִיא נִפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ. זֶה הַיּוֹם עָשָׂה ה'. נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בוֹ. זֶה הַיּוֹם עָשָׂה ה'. נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בוֹ.

I will thank You, since You answered me and You have become my salvation. The stone that was left by the builders has become the main cornerstone. From the Lord was this, it is wondrous in our eyes. This is the day of the Lord, let us exult and rejoice upon it. (Psalms 118:21-24)

אָנָּא ה', הוֹשִיעָה נָּא. אָנָּא ה', הוֹשִיעָה נָּא. אָנָּא ה', הַצְלִיחָה נָא. אָנָּא ה', הַצְלִיחָה נָא.

Please, Lord, save us now; please, Lord, give us success now! (Psalms 118:25)

בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם ה', בֵּרַכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית ה'. בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם ה', בֵּרַכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית ה'. אֵל ה' וַיָּאֶר לָנוּ. אִסְרוּ חַג בַּעֲבֹתִים עַד קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. אֵל ה' וַיָּאֶר לָנוּ. אִסְרוּ חַג בַּעֲבֹתִים עַד קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. אֵלִי אַתָּה וְאוֹדֶךָּ, אֱלֹהַי – אֲרוֹמְמֶךָּ. אֵלִי אַתָּה וְאוֹדֶךָּ, אֱלֹהַי – אֲרוֹמְמֶךָּ. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.

Blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord, we have blessed you from the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, and He has illuminated us; tie up the festival offering with ropes until it reaches the corners of the altar. You are my Power and I will Thank You; my God and I will exalt You. Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever.(Psalms 118:26-29)

יְהַלְלוּךָ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ כָּל מַעֲשֶׂיךָ, וַחֲסִידֶיךָ צַדִּיקִים עוֹשֵׂי רְצוֹנֶךָ, וְכָל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרִנָה יוֹדוּ וִיבָרְכוּ, וִישַׁבְּחוּ וִיפָאֲרוּ, וִירוֹמְמוּ וְיַעֲרִיצוּ, וְיַקְדִּישׁוּ וְיַמְלִיכוּ אֶת שִׁמְךָ, מַלְכֵּנוּ. כִּי לְךָ טוֹב לְהוֹדותֹ וּלְשִׁמְךָ נָאֶה לְזַמֵּר, כִּי מֵעוֹלָם וְעַד עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל.

All of your works shall praise You, Lord our God, and your pious ones, the righteous ones who do Your will; and all of Your people, the House of Israel will thank and bless in joyful song: and extol and glorify, and exalt and acclaim, and sanctify and coronate Your name, our King. Since, You it is good to thank, and to Your name it is pleasant to sing, since from always and forever are you the Power.

הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לֵאלהֵי הָאֱלהִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לָאֲדֹנֵי הָאֲדֹנִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְעֹשֵׂה נִפְלָאוֹת גְדֹלוֹת לְבַדּוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְעֹשֵׂה הַשָּׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְרוֹקַע הָאָרֶץ עַל הַמָּיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְעֹשֵׂה אוֹרִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת בַּיּוֹם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. אֶת הַיָּרֵחַ וְכוֹכָבִים לְמֶמְשְׁלוֹת בַּלַּיְלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְמַכֵּה מִצְרַיִם בִּבְכוֹרֵיהֶם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וַיוֹצֵא יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתּוֹכָם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְגֹזֵר יַם סוּף לִגְזָרִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וְהֶֶעֱבִיר יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹכוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וְנִעֵר פַּרְעֹה וְחֵילוֹ בְיַם סוּף כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְמוֹלִיךְ עַמּוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְמַכֵּה מְלָכִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וַיַּהֲרֹג מְלָכִים אַדִּירִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְסִיחוֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וּלְעוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וָנָתַן אַרְצָם לְנַחֲלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. נַחֲלָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. שֶׁבְּשִׁפְלֵנוּ זָכַר לָנוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וַיִפְרְקֵנוּ מִצָּרֵינוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. נֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לְאֵל הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.

Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever. Thank the Power of powers since His kindness is forever. To the Master of masters, since His kindness is forever. To the One who alone does wondrously great deeds, since His kindness is forever. To the one who made the Heavens with discernment, since His kindness is forever. To the One who spread the earth over the waters, since His kindness is forever. To the One who made great lights, since His kindness is forever. The sun to rule in the day, since His kindness is forever. The moon and the stars to rule in the night, since His kindness is forever. To the One that smote Egypt through their firstborn, since His kindness is forever. And He took Israel out from among them, since His kindness is forever. With a strong hand and an outstretched forearm, since His kindness is forever. To the One who cut up the Reed Sea into strips, since His kindness is forever. And He made Israel to pass through it, since His kindness is forever. And He jolted Pharaoh and his troop in the Reed Sea, since His kindness is forever. To the One who led his people in the wilderness, since His kindness is forever. To the One who smote great kings, since His kindness is forever. And he killed mighty kings, since His kindness is forever. Sichon, king of the Amorite, since His kindness is forever. And Og, king of the Bashan, since His kindness is forever. And he gave their land as an inheritance, since His kindness is forever. An inheritance for Israel, His servant, since His kindness is forever. That in our lowliness, He remembered us, since His kindness is forever. And he delivered us from our adversaries, since His kindness is forever. He gives bread to all flesh, since His kindness is forever. Thank the Power of the heavens, since His kindness is forever. (Psalms 136)

נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי תְּבַרֵךְ אֶת שִׁמְךָ, ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ, וְרוּחַ כָּל בָּשָׂר תְּפָאֵר וּתְרוֹמֵם זִכְרְךָ, מַלְכֵּנוּ, תָמִיד. מִן הָעוֹלָם וְעַד הָעוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל, וּמִבַּלְעָדֶיךָ אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ גּוֹאֵל וּמוֹשִיעַ, פּוֹדֶה וּמַצִּיל וּמְפַרְנֵס וּמְרַחֵם בְּכָל עֵת צָרָה וְצוּקָה. אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּא אַתָּה. אֱלהֵי הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְהָאַחֲרוֹנִים, אֱלוֹהַּ כָּל בְּרִיּוֹת, אֲדוׁן כָּל תּוֹלָדוֹת, הַמְּהֻלָּל בְּרֹב הַתִּשְׁבָּחוֹת, הַמְנַהֵג עוֹלָמוֹ בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרִיּוֹתָיו בְּרַחֲמִים. וַיי לֹא יָנוּם וְלא יִישָׁן – הַמְּעוֹרֵר יְשֵׁנִים וְהַמֵּקִיץ נִרְדָּמִים, וְהַמֵּשִׂיחַ אִלְּמִים וְהַמַּתִּיר אֲסוּרִים וְהַסּוֹמֵךְ נוֹפְלִים וְהַזּוֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים. לְךָ לְבַדְּךָ אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים.

The soul of every living being shall bless Your Name, Lord our God; the spirit of all flesh shall glorify and exalt Your remembrance always, our King. From the world and until the world, You are the Power, and other than You we have no king, redeemer, or savior, restorer, rescuer, provider, and merciful one in every time of distress and anguish; we have no king, besides You! God of the first ones and the last ones, God of all creatures, Master of all Generations, Who is praised through a multitude of praises, Who guides His world with kindness and His creatures with mercy. The Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps. He who rouses the sleepers and awakens the dozers; He who makes the mute speak, and frees the captives, and supports the falling, and straightens the bent. We thank You alone.

אִלּוּ פִינוּ מָלֵא שִׁירָה כַיָּם, וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה כֲּהַמוֹן גַּלָּיו, וְשִׂפְתוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁבַח כְּמֶרְחֲבֵי רָקִיעַ, וְעֵינֵינוּ מְאִירוֹת כַּשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְכַיָּרֵחַ, וְיָדֵינוּ פְרוּשׂות כְּנִשְׂרֵי שָׁמַיִם, וְרַגְלֵינוּ קַלּוֹת כָּאַיָּלוֹת – אֵין אֲנַחְנוּ מַסְפִּיקִים לְהוֹדוֹת לְךָ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וּלְבָרֵךְ אֶת שִׁמְךָ עַל אַחַת מֵאֶלֶף, אַלְפֵי אֲלָפִים וְרִבֵּי רְבָבוֹת פְּעָמִים הַטּוֹבוֹת שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ עִם אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְעִמָּנוּ. מִמִּצְרַים גְּאַלְתָּנוּ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ, וּמִבֵּית עֲבָדִים פְּדִיתָנוּ, בְּרָעָב זַנְתָּנוּ וּבְשָׂבָע כִּלְכַּלְתָּנוּ, מֵחֶרֶב הִצַּלְתָּנוּ וּמִדֶּבֶר מִלַּטְתָּנוּ, וּמֵחָלָיִם רָעִים וְנֶאֱמָנִים דִּלִּיתָנוּ.

Were our mouth as full of song as the sea, and our tongue as full of joyous song as its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the breadth of the heavens, and our eyes as sparkling as the sun and the moon, and our hands as outspread as the eagles of the sky and our feet as swift as deers - we still could not thank You sufficiently, Lord our God and God of our ancestors, and to bless Your Name for one thousandth of the thousand of thousands of thousands, and myriad myriads, of goodnesses that You performed for our ancestors and for us. From Egypt, Lord our God, did you redeem us and from the house of slaves you restored us. In famine You nourished us, and in plenty you sustained us. From the sword you saved us, and from plague you spared us; and from severe and enduring diseases you delivered us.

עַד הֵנָּה עֲזָרוּנוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ וְלֹא עֲזָבוּנוּ חֲסָדֶיךָ, וְאַל תִּטְּשֵׁנוּ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ, לָנֶצַח. עַל כֵּן אֵבָרִים שֶׁפִּלַּגְתָּ בָּנוּ וְרוּחַ וּנְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּפַחְתָּ בְּאַפֵּינוּ וְלָשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתָּ בְּפִינוּ – הֵן הֵם יוֹדוּ וִיבָרְכוּ וִישַׁבְּחוּ וִיפָאֲרוּ וִירוֹמְמוּ וְיַעֲרִיצוּ וְיַקְדִּישׁוּ וְיַמְלִיכוּ אֶת שִׁמְךָ מַלְכֵּנוּ. כִּי כָל פֶּה לְךָ יוֹדֶה, וְכָל לָשׁוֹן לְךָ תִּשָּׁבַע, וְכָל בֶּרֶךְ לְךָ תִכְרַע, וְכָל קוֹמָה לְפָנֶיךָ תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה, וְכָל לְבָבוֹת יִירָאוּךָ, וְכָל קֶרֶב וּכְלָיּוֹת יְזַמֵּרוּ לִשְמֶךָ. כַּדָּבָר שֶׁכָּתוּב, כָּל עַצְמֹתַי תֹּאמַרְנָה, ה' מִי כָמּוֹךָ מַצִּיל עָנִי מֵחָזָק מִמֶּנוּ וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן מִגּזְלוֹ. מִי יִדְמֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יִשְׁוֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יַעֲרֹךְ לָךְ הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל, הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא, אֵל עֶלְיוֹן, קנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ. נְהַלֶּלְךָ וּנְשַׁבֵּחֲךָ וּנְפָאֶרְךָ וּנְבָרֵךְ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשֶׁךָ, כָּאָמוּר: לְדָוִד, בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי אֶת ה' וְכָל קְרָבַי אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשׁוֹ. הָאֵל בְּתַעֲצֻמוֹת עֻזֶּךָ, הַגָּדוֹל בִּכְבוֹד שְׁמֶךָ, הַגִּבּוֹר לָנֶצַח וְהַנּוֹרָא בְּנוֹרְאוֹתֶיךָ, הַמֶּלֶךְ הַיּוׁשֵׁב עַל כִּסֵּא רָם וְנִשִֹּא. שׁוֹכֵן עַד מָּרוֹם וְקָּדוֹשׁ שְׁמּוֹ. וְכָתוּב: רַנְּנוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּיי, לַיְשָׁרִים נָאוָה תְהִלָּה. בְּפִי יְשָׁרִים תִּתְהַלָּל, וּבְדִבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים תִּתְבָּרַךְ, וּבִלְשׁוֹן חֲסִידִים תִּתְרוֹמָם, וּבְקֶרֶב קְדושִׁים תִּתְקַדָּשׁ.

Until now Your mercy has helped us, and Your kindness has not forsaken us; and do not abandon us, Lord our God, forever. Therefore, the limbs that You set within us and the spirit and soul that You breathed into our nostrils, and the tongue that You placed in our mouth - verily, they shall thank and bless and praise and glorify, and exalt and revere, and sanctify and coronate Your name, our King. For every mouth shall offer thanks to You; and every tongue shall swear allegiance to You; and every knee shall bend to You; and every upright one shall prostrate himself before You; all hearts shall fear You; and all innermost feelings and thoughts shall sing praises to Your name, as the matter is written (Psalms 35:10), "All my bones shall say, ‘Lord, who is like You? You save the poor man from one who is stronger than he, the poor and destitute from the one who would rob him.'" Who is similar to You and who is equal to You and who can be compared to You, O great, strong and awesome Power, O highest Power, Creator of the heavens and the earth. We shall praise and extol and glorify and bless Your holy name, as it is stated (Psalms 103:1), " [A Psalm] of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, His holy name." The Power, in Your powerful boldness; the Great, in the glory of Your name; the Strong One forever; the King who sits on His high and elevated throne. He who dwells always; lofty and holy is His name. And as it is written (Psalms 33:10), "Sing joyfully to the Lord, righteous ones, praise is beautiful from the upright." By the mouth of the upright You shall be praised; By the lips of the righteous shall You be blessed; By the tongue of the devout shall You be exalted; And among the holy shall You be sanctified.

וּבְמַקְהֲלוֹת רִבְבוֹת עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרִנָּה יִתְפָּאֵר שִׁמְךָ, מַלְכֵּנוּ, בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, שֶׁכֵּן חוֹבַת כָּל הַיְצוּרִים לְפָנֶיךָ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, לְהוֹדוֹת לְהַלֵּל לְשַׁבֵּחַ, לְפָאֵר לְרוֹמֵם לְהַדֵּר לְבָרֵךְ, לְעַלֵּה וּלְקַלֵּס עַל כָּל דִּבְרֵי שִׁירוֹת וְתִשְׁבְּחוֹת דּוִד בֶּן יִשַׁי עַבְדְּךָ מְשִׁיחֶךָ.

And in the assemblies of the myriads of Your people, the House of Israel, in joyous song will Your name be glorified, our King, in each and every generation; as it is the duty of all creatures, before You, Lord our God, and God of our ancestors, to thank, to praise, to extol, to glorify, to exalt, to lavish, to bless, to raise high and to acclaim - beyond the words of the songs and praises of David, the son of Yishai, Your servant, Your anointed one.

יִשְׁתַּבַּח שִׁמְךָ לעַד מַלְכֵּנוּ, הָאֵל הַמֶלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ, כִּי לְךָ נָאֶה, ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שִׁיר וּשְׁבָחָה, הַלֵּל וְזִמְרָה, עֹז וּמֶמְשָׁלָה, נֶצַח, גְּדֻלָּה וּגְבוּרָה, תְּהִלָּה וְתִפְאֶרֶת, קְדֻשָּׁה וּמַלְכוּת, בְּרָכוֹת וְהוֹדָאוֹת מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֵל מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל בַּתִּשְׁבָּחוֹת, אֵל הַהוֹדָאוֹת, אֲדוֹן הַנִפְלָאוֹת, הַבּוֹחֵר בְּשִׁירֵי זִמְרָה, מֶלֶךְ אֵל חֵי הָעוֹלָמִים.

May Your name be praised forever, our King, the Power, the Great and holy King - in the heavens and in the earth. Since for You it is pleasant - O Lord our God and God of our ancestors - song and lauding, praise and hymn, boldness and dominion, triumph, greatness and strength, psalm and splendor, holiness and kingship, blessings and thanksgivings, from now and forever. Blessed are You Lord, Power, King exalted through laudings, Power of thanksgivings, Master of Wonders, who chooses the songs of hymn - King, Power of the life of the worlds.

Hallel, Fourth Cup of Wine

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

וְשׁותה בהסיבת שמאל.

We drink while reclining to the left

בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עַל הַגֶּפֶן וְעַל פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן, עַל תְּנוּבַת הַשָּׂדֶה וְעַל אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָּה טוֹבָה וּרְחָבָה שֶׁרָצִיתָ וְהִנְחַלְתָּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ לֶאֱכוֹל מִפִּרְיָהּ וְלִשְׂבֹּעַ מִטּוּבָהּ. רַחֶם נָא ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִירֶךָ וְעַל צִיּוֹן מִשְׁכַּן כְּבוֹדֶךָ וְעַל מִזְבְּחֶךָ וְעַל הֵיכָלֶךָ וּבְנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ וְהַעֲלֵנוּ לְתוֹכָהּ וְשַׂמְּחֵנוּ בְּבִנְיָנָהּ וְנֹאכַל מִפִּרְיָהּ וְנִשְׂבַּע מִטּוּבָהּ וּנְבָרֶכְךָ עָלֶיהָ בִּקְדֻשָׁה וּבְטָהֳרָה [בשבת: וּרְצֵה וְהַחֲלִיצֵנוּ בְּיוֹם הַשַׁבָּת הַזֶּה] וְשַׂמְּחֵנוּ בְּיוֹם חַג הַמַּצּוֹת הַזֶּה, כִּי אַתָּה ה' טוֹב וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל, וְנוֹדֶה לְּךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, for the vine and for the fruit of the vine; and for the bounty of the field; and for a desirable, good and broad land, which You wanted to give to our fathers, to eat from its fruit and to be satiated from its goodness. Please have mercy, Lord our God upon Israel Your people; and upon Jerusalem, Your city: and upon Zion, the dwelling place of Your glory; and upon Your altar; and upon Your sanctuary; and build Jerusalem Your holy city quickly in our days, and bring us up into it and gladden us in its building; and we shall eat from its fruit, and be satiated from its goodness, and bless You in holiness and purity. [On Shabbat: And may you be pleased to embolden us on this Shabbat day] and gladden us on this day of the Festival of Matsot. Since You, Lord, are good and do good to all, we thank You for the land and for the fruit of the vine.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', עַל הַגֶּפֶן וְעַל פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Blessed are You, Lord, for the land and for the fruit of the vine

Nirtzah, Chasal Siddur Pesach


חֲסַל סִדּוּר פֶּסַח כְּהִלְכָתוֹ, כְּכָל מִשְׁפָּטוֹ וְחֻקָּתוֹ. כַּאֲשֶׁר זָכִינוּ לְסַדֵּר אוֹתוֹ כֵּן נִזְכֶּה לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ. זָךְ שׁוֹכֵן מְעוֹנָה, קוֹמֵם קְהַל עֲדַת מִי מָנָה. בְּקָרוֹב נַהֵל נִטְעֵי כַנָּה פְּדוּיִם לְצִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה.

Completed is the Seder of Pesach according to its law, according to all its judgement and statute. Just as we have merited to arrange it, so too, may we merit to do [its sacrifice]. Pure One who dwells in the habitation, raise up the congregation of the community, which whom can count. Bring close, lead the plantings of the sapling, redeemed, to Zion in joy.

Nirtzah, L'Shana Ha’Ba’a

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָלָיִם הַבְּנוּיָה.

Next year, let us be in the built Jerusalem!

Nirtzah - Leshanah Habaah BeYerushalayim HaBenuyah

Even as we celebrate our redemption from Egypt we recognize that we are still in exile today. We acknowledged this at the start of the seder when we pointed to the matzah and said, in present tense, "This is the bread of affliction." We did not simply say that this is a reminder of the slavery of Egypt, we rather use to matzah as a symbol of our unredeemed state, which we are presently living in as we await complete redemption.

In Dayeinu we don't end the song until we mention being taken to Eretz Yisrael and having the Beit HaMikdash. The geulah was not merely about leaving Egypt but was the start of a process, which is not complete until we are free in out own land, in its entire splendor. This is a pinnacle we reached, but sadly lost.

Now, at the very end of the seder we say "leshanah haba'ah be’Yeryshalayim” - next year in Jerusalem." Once again, while we celebrate Yetziat Mitzrayim, we acknowledge that we don't have the complete redemption we hope for. We yearn to have a rebuilt Beit HaMikdach by this time next year and we pray for all the clarity and holiness that the time of Mashiach will bring. We sing with joy, hope, and even confidence that next year we will be in Yerushalayim.

The Gemorah in Ta'anit says that anyone who mourns for Yerushalayim will merit seeing its joy. The Gemorah speaks in the present tense, as if someone who mourns for Jerusalem is right now witnessing the joy of the rebuilt city. The Vilna Gaon explains that - as Rashi writes about Yosef and why Yaakov could not stop missing him - a dead person is forgotten, but a person who is still alive cannot be forgotten. When we mourn for Yerushalayim we testify that the city and all she represents is not dead. As long as people are able to continue mourning for Yerushalayim it stays alive. This is why the Gemorah says one who mourns for Jerusalem is already rejoicing. We celebrate that Jerusalem is still in our hearts. This explains why, even though we always have some sadness over not yet having a fully rebuilt Yerushalayim, we also are moved to joy by the very mention of the holy city. We know that it is not lost forever; we know that Yerushalayim will soon be revived and we will all eat the Korban Pesach together. Leshanah haba’ah beYerushalayim!

Closing Songs (Followed by Closing Thoughts)

And It Happened at Midnight

בליל רִאשון אומרים:

On the first night we say:

וּבְכֵן וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

And so, it was in the middle of the night.

אָז רוֹב נִסִּים הִפְלֵאתָ בַּלַּיְלָה, בְּרֹאשׁ אַשְׁמוֹרֶת זֶה הַלַּיְלָה.

Then, most of the miracles did You wondrously do at night, at the first of the watches this night.

גֵר צֶדֶק נִצַּחְתּוֹ כְּנֶחֶלַק לוֹ לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

A righteous convert did you make victorious when it was divided for him at night [referring to Avraham in his war against the four kings - Genesis 14:15], and it was in the middle of the night.

דַּנְתָּ מֶלֶךְ גְּרָר בַּחֲלוֹם הַלַּיְלָה, הִפְחַדְתָּ אֲרַמִּי בְּאֶמֶשׁ לַיְלָה.

You judged the king of Gerrar [Avimelekh] in a dream of the night; you frightened an Aramean [Lavan] in the dark of the night;

וַיָּשַׂר יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַלְאָךְ וַיּוּכַל לוֹ לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

and Yisrael dominated an angel and was able to withstand Him at night [Genesis 32:25-30], and it was in the middle of the night.

זֶרַע בְּכוֹרֵי פַתְרוֹס מָחַצְתָּ בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, חֵילָם לֹא מָצְאוּ בְּקוּמָם בַּלַּיְלָה, טִיסַת נְגִיד חֲרֹשֶׁת סִלִּיתָ בְּכוֹכְבֵי לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

You crushed the firstborn of Patros [Pharaoh, as per Ezekiel 30:14] in the middle of the night, their wealth they did not find when they got up at night; the attack of the leader Charoshet [Sisera] did you sweep away by the stars of the night [Judges 5:20], and it was in the middle of the night.

יָעַץ מְחָרֵף לְנוֹפֵף אִוּוּי, הוֹבַשְׁתָּ פְגָרָיו בַּלַּיְלָה, כָּרַע בֵּל וּמַצָּבוֹ בְּאִישׁוֹן לַיְלָה, לְאִישׁ חֲמוּדוֹת נִגְלָה רָז חֲזוֹת לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

The blasphemer [Sancheriv whose servants blasphemed when trying to discourage the inhabitants of Jerusalem] counseled to wave off the desired ones, You made him wear his corpses on his head at night [II Kings 19:35]; Bel and his pedestal were bent in the pitch of night [in Nevuchadnezar's dream in Daniel 2]; to the man of delight [Daniel] was revealed the secret visions at night, and it was in the middle of the night.

מִשְׁתַּכֵּר בִּכְלֵי קֹדֶשׁ נֶהֱרַג בּוֹ בַלַּיְלָה, נוֹשַׁע מִבּוֹר אֲרָיוֹת פּוֹתֵר בִּעֲתוּתֵי לַיְלָה, שִׂנְאָה נָטַר אֲגָגִי וְכָתַב סְפָרִים בַּלַּיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

The one who got drunk [Balshatsar] from the holy vessels was killed on that night [Daniel 5:30], the one saved from the pit of lions [Daniel] interpreted the scary visions of the night; hatred was preserved by the Agagite [Haman] and he wrote books at night, and it was in the middle of the night.

עוֹרַרְתָּ נִצְחֲךָ עָלָיו בְּנֶדֶד שְׁנַת לַיְלָה. פּוּרָה תִדְרוֹךְ לְשׁוֹמֵר מַה מִּלַיְלָה, צָרַח כַּשּׁוֹמֵר וְשָׂח אָתָא בֹקֶר וְגַם לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

You aroused your victory upon him by disturbing the sleep of night [of Achashverosh], You will stomp the wine press for the one who guards from anything at night [Esav/Seir as per Isaiah 21:11]; He yelled like a guard and spoke, "the morning has come and also the night," and it was in the middle of the night.

קָרֵב יוֹם אֲשֶׁר הוּא לֹא יוֹם וְלֹא לַיְלָה, רָם הוֹדַע כִּי לְךָ הַיּוֹם אַף לְךָ הַלַּיְלָה, שׁוֹמְרִים הַפְקֵד לְעִירְךָ כָּל הַיּוֹם וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה, תָּאִיר כְּאוֹר יוֹם חֶשְׁכַּת לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.

Bring close the day which is not day and not night [referring to the end of days - Zechariah 14:7], High One, make known that Yours is the day and also Yours is the night, guards appoint for Your city all the day and all the night, illuminate like the light of the day, the darkness of the night, and it was in the middle of the night.

Zevach Pesach

בְליל שני בחו"ל: וּבְכֵן וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

On the second night, outside of Israel: And so "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"(Exodus 12:42).

אֹמֶץ גְּבוּרוֹתֶיךָ הִפְלֵאתָ בַּפֶּסַח, בְּרֹאשׁ כָּל מוֹעֲדוֹת נִשֵּׂאתָ פֶּסַח. גִּלִיתָ לְאֶזְרָחִי חֲצוֹת לֵיל פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

The boldness of Your strong deeds did you wondrously show at Pesach; at the head of all the holidays did You raise Pesach; You revealed to the Ezrachite [Avraham], midnight of the night of Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"

דְּלָתָיו דָּפַקְתָּ כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם בַּפֶּסַח, הִסְעִיד נוֹצְצִים עֻגּוֹת מַצּוֹת בַּפֶּסַח, וְאֵל הַבָּקָר רָץ זֵכֶר לְשׁוֹר עֵרֶךְ פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

Upon his doors did You knock at the heat of the day on Pesach [Genesis 18:1]; he sustained shining ones [angels] with cakes of matsa on Pesach; and to the cattle he ran, in commemoration of the bull that was set up for Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"

זוֹעֲמוּ סְדוֹמִים וְלוֹׁהֲטוּ בָּאֵשׁ בַּפֶּסַח, חֻלַּץ לוֹט מֵהֶם וּמַצּוֹת אָפָה בְּקֵץ פֶּסַח, טִאטֵאתָ אַדְמַת מוֹף וְנוֹף בְּעָבְרְךָ בַּפֶּסַח. וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

The Sodomites caused Him indignation and He set them on fire on Pesach; Lot was rescued from them and matsot did he bake at the end of Pesach; He swept the land of Mof and Nof [cities in Egypt] on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"

יָהּ רֹאשׁ כָּל הוֹן מָחַצְתָּ בְּלֵיל שִׁמּוּר פֶּסַח, כַּבִּיר, עַל בֵּן בְּכוֹר פָּסַחְתָּ בְּדַם פֶּסַח, לְבִלְתִּי תֵּת מַשְׁחִית לָבֹא בִּפְתָחַי בַּפֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

The head of every firstborn did You crush on the guarded night of Pesach; Powerful One, over the firstborn son did You pass over with the blood on Pesach; so as to not let the destroyer come into my gates on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"

מְסֻגֶּרֶת סֻגָּרָה בְּעִתּוֹתֵי פֶּסַח, נִשְׁמְדָה מִדְיָן בִּצְלִיל שְׂעוֹרֵי עֹמֶר פֶּסַח, שׂוֹרָפוּ מִשְׁמַנֵּי פּוּל וְלוּד בִּיקַד יְקוֹד פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

The enclosed one [Jericho] was enclosed in the season of Pesach; Midian was destroyed with a portion of the omer-barley on Pesach [via Gideon as per Judges 7]; from the fat of Pul and Lud [Assyrian soldiers of Sancheriv] was burnt in pyres on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"

עוֹד הַיּוֹם בְּנֹב לַעֲמוֹׁד עַד גָּעָה עוֹנַת פֶּסַח, פַּס יַד כָּתְבָה לְקַעֲקֵעַ צוּל בַּפֶּסַח, צָפֹה הַצָּפִית עֲרוֹךְ הַשֻּׁלְחָן בַּפֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

Still today [Sancheriv will go no further than] to stand in Nov [Isaiah 10:32], until he cried at the time of Pesach; a palm of the hand wrote [Daniel 5:5] to rip up the deep one [ the Bayblonian one - Balshatsar] on Pesach; set up the watch, set the table [referring to Balshatsar, based on Psalms 21:5] on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"

קָהָל כִּנְּסָה הֲדַּסָּה לְשַׁלֵּשׁ צוֹם בַּפֶּסַח, רֹאשׁ מִבֵּית רָשָׁע מָחַצְתָּ בְּעֵץ חֲמִשִּׁים בַּפֶּסַח, שְׁתֵּי אֵלֶּה רֶגַע תָּבִיא לְעוּצִית בַּפֶּסַח, תָּעֹז יָדְךָ תָּרוּם יְמִינְךָ כְּלֵיל הִתְקַדֵּשׁ חַג פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.

The congregation did Hadassah [Esther] bring in to triple a fast on Pesach; the head of the house of evil [Haman] did you crush on a tree of fifty [amot] on Pesach; these two [plagues as per Isaiah 47:9] will you bring in an instant to the Utsi [Esav] on Pesach; embolden Your hand, raise Your right hand, as on the night You were sanctified on the festival of Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"

Ki Lo Na'eh

כִּי לוֹ נָאֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited.

אַדִּיר בִּמְלוּכָה, בָּחוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, גְּדוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Mighty in rulership, properly chosen, his troops shall say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

דָּגוּל בִּמְלוּכָה, הָדוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, וָתִיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Noted in rulership, properly splendid, His distinguished ones will say to him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

זַכַּאי בִּמְלוּכָה, חָסִין כַּהֲלָכָה טַפְסְרָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Meritorious in rulership, properly robust, His scribes shall say to him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

יָחִיד בִּמְלוּכָה, כַּבִּיר כַּהֲלָכָה לִמּוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Unique in rulership, properly powerful, His wise ones say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

מוֹשֵׁל בִּמְלוּכָה, נוֹרָא כַּהֲלָכָה סְבִיבָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Reigning in rulership, properly awesome, those around Him say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

עָנָיו בִּמְלוּכָה, פּוֹדֶה כַּהֲלָכָה, צַדִּיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Humble in rulership, properly restoring, His righteous ones say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

קָּדּוֹשׁ בִּמְלוּכָה, רַחוּם כַּהֲלָכָה שִׁנְאַנָּיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Holy in rulership, properly merciful, His angels say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

תַּקִיף בִּמְלוּכָה, תּוֹמֵךְ כַּהֲלָכָה תְּמִימָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.

Dynamic in rulership, properly supportive, His innocent ones say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."

Adir Hu

אַדִּיר הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

Mighty is He, may He build His house soon. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

בָּחוּר הוּא, גָּדוֹל הוּא, דָּגוּל הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

Chosen is He, great is He, noted is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

הָדוּר הוּא, וָתִיק הוּא, זַכַּאי הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

Splendid is He, distinguished is He, meritorious is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

חָסִיד הוּא, טָהוֹר הוּא, יָחִיד הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

Pious is He, pure is He, unique is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

כַּבִּיר הוּא, לָמוּד הוּא, מֶלֶךְ הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

Powerful is He, wise is He, A king is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

נוֹרָא הוּא, סַגִּיב הוּא, עִזּוּז הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

Awesome is He, exalted is He, heroic is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

פּוֹדֶה הוּא, צַדִּיק הוּא, קָּדוֹשׁ הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

A restorer is He, righteous is He, holy is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

רַחוּם הוּא, שַׁדַּי הוּא, תַּקִּיף הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.

Merciful is He, the Omnipotent is He, dynamic is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.

Nirtzah, Sefirat HaOmer

ספירת העמר בחוץ לארץ, בליל שני של פסח:

The counting of the omer outside of Israel on the second night of Pesach:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹֹּתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר. הַיּוֹם יוֹם אֶחָד בָּעֹמֶר.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the counting of the omer. Today is the first day of the omer.

Echad Mi Yodea

אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ? אֶחָד אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

שְׁנַיִם מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁנַיִם אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית. אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

שְׁלֹשָׁה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

אַרְבַּע מִי יוֹדֵעַ? אַרְבַּע אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

חֲמִשָּׁה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? חֲמִשָּׁה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

שִׁשָּׂה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שִׁשָּׂה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

שִׁבְעָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שִׁבְעָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

שְׁמוֹנָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁמוֹנָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

תִּשְׁעָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? תִּשְׁעָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

עֲשָֹרָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? עֲשָֹרָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ. עֲשָֹרָה אַחַד עָשָׂר מִי יוֹדֵעַ? אַחַד עָשָׂר אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: אַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכְבַיָּא, עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שִׁבְטַיָּא, אַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכְבַיָּא, עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

שְׁלשָׁה עֶשָׂר מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁלשָׁה עָשָׂר אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁלשָׁה עָשָׂר מִדַּיָּא. שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שִׁבְטַיָּא, אַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכְבַיָּא, עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.

Who knows one? I know one: One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows two? I know two: two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows three? I know three: three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows four? I know four: four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows five? I know five: five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows six? I know six: six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows seven? I know seven: seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows eight? I know eight: eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows nine? I know nine: nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows ten? I know ten: ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows eleven? I know eleven: eleven are the stars, ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows twelve? I know twelve: twelve are the tribes, eleven are the stars, ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows thirteen? I know thirteen: thirteen are the characteristics, twelve are the tribes, eleven are the stars, ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth.

Chad Gadya

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

One kid, one kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא שׁוּנְרָא וְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came a cat and ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא כַלְבָּא וְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came a dog and bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא חוּטְרָא וְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came a stick and hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא נוּרָא וְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came fire and burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא מַיָּא וְכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came water and extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא תוֹרָא וְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came a bull and drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא הַשׁוֹחֵט וְשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came the schochet and slaughtered the bull, that drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא מַלְאָךְ הַמָּוֶת וְשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט, דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came the angel of death and slaughtered the schochet, who slaughtered the bull, that drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

וְאָתָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְשָׁחַט לְמַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת, דְּשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט, דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.

Then came the Holy One, blessed be He and slaughtered the angel of death, who slaughtered the schochet, who slaughtered the bull, that drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.

(STORY) The Seder As A Metaphor For Jewish History 

There once was a homeless man who was given a tip by his friend. He was told, "If you go to a Jewish house on a certain night, you'll get the best meal of your life." So he goes, expecting the best meal ever, and he is disappointed by what he finds. on the table is some wine and not much else. they drink one cup of wine and then it's talk, talk talk for a long time. His stomach is rumbling, he's starving.

Time goes on and someone tells him that they're going to have some food. They all take a bit of parsley and dip it in salt water and eat it- not filling. Then it's more talk ann more talk, on and on. After a long time he's told that food is coming. It's a cardboard box filled with a food that looks like more cardboard and tastes like it too. Then they say there's more food- it's a bitter thing that makes him cry. Then he's told that they're going to have a sandwich. He's thinking hot pastrami. But no. it's a sandwich of the bitter stuff of the cardboard.

He runs out of there, furious. He goes to his friend and complains, "You lied to me. You tricked me. You said that I'd have a great meal there and at this house the meal was terrible- the worst meal i ever had." "When did you leave?" his friend asked. He says that he left right after the strange sandwich. His friend says, "You left just a minute too soon. If you would have stayed they were about to bring out soup and fish and meat and it really would have been the best meal you ever had."

This, ironically, applies to us. The Jewish People have been through hard times. And we await the ge'ulah-redemption impatiently. Sometimes it gets hard and we're ready to give up. But if we just wait a little longer, the geulah is coming very soon. It will be bigger and better than Yetziat Mitzrayim. Let's hold on a wait a bit long. And please G-d we'll all be together in Yerushalayim.

The Four Songs of Now

The number four is associated with Passover. The connection to the number four for many people is prompted by the Four Questions of the seder night. Those questions, and other examples of “four” at the seder (four cups, four sons) actually go back to the Torah itself. When God tells Moses that he will save the Jewish People he uses four different words to represent the four separate stages of their redemption [Exodus 6:6-7]: They were “removed” from slavery, then “saved” from having the prisoner’s state of mind, then they were physically “extracted” from Egypt, and finally they were “taken” as God’s nation. And there is a fifth phrasing which is above and beyond all the others, referring to us being brought into future times of perfection.

Tradition teaches that we are to see ourselves as if we, too, are leaving our own personal Egypt. This means that we need to see how God helps us go from feeling stuck and enslaved to being spiritually free. One way to see this is to look at how we go through this process each week, going from being stuck in the physicality of our week until Shabbat comes and redeems us.

Another way to see these stages of redemption is to see how we, and the world, are reborn as this season of Passover and springtime arrives. This brings to mind a poetic presentation by Rav Abraham Isaac Kook about the four stages of being a Jew. Rav Kook wrote in Orot HaKodesh (“The Holy Lights”) of four songs that emanate from inside of us.

The first level is to sing the song of one’s own soul, which means to seek and find satisfaction within oneself. We all need to heed this voice, working on ourselves. Passover and springtime provide an auspicious time to deal with our own personal Mitzrayim (Egypt) — from the word Meitzarim (our dire straits) — and to orchestrate our personal exodus from our own individual Egypt. This is symbolized, on the one hand, by the unleavened, deflated matzah representing a return to humility and a tempering of our ego, and on the other hand, returning to spiritual basics and adherence to God’s Torah and mitzvot.

Then there is a person who sings a broader song, the Song of Nation Israel. At Passover time, this individual thinks of the greater Jewish community. At the seder, and beyond, this singer’s thoughts turn to the story of the small family that became the Jewish People thousands of years ago and lives on today to joyfully tell of our survival and hope. He or she focuses on the essence of our people and shares in its highs and lows. Such a person is reminded at Passover of the birth and rebirth of our nation and commits lovingly to the Jewish past, present, and future through a commitment to God and his Torah as it applies to his people.

The third song is sung for all of humanity. The soul of one who sings this song expands sensitivities beyond the borders of our Jewish family and yearns for the enlightenment and redemption of all mankind. A Jew who hears this song sees all of his or her Torah observance through a broad lens. All of his or her visions and ideals are directed to and inspired by the totality of humanity. At Passover, such a person remembers, as God has implored us to do, how we suffered in Egypt, and now channel that experience toward kindness and empathy to all who are weak and vulnerable.

Then there is someone who connects with all creatures and all of existence and sings their holy song along with them. A person who knows and lives this song is tuned in not only to God’s word but God’s world. At Pesach time, the world blossoms and we recite a special blessing when we witness the miracle of the first appearance of a fruit tree’s buds. As winter fades away, and spring comes in and redeems, this person’s every word of prayer and study, fulfillment of each mitzvah, is synced in to a broad ecology which includes all of this world and even the World-to-Come.

Just as there is a fifth redemption that goes beyond the other four there is also a fifth song. There is the person who combines all of these songs into one song with the sound of sweet, symbiotic symphony. Now the songs of the individual soul, of the nation, of humanity, and of the world merge into one song.

In this spirit, on Passover we read Shir HaShirim (“The Song of Songs”) and remember that we have the chance to start fresh, becoming the holiest of holy singers, singing the holiest of God’s holy song. May we be so blessed.