בסיעתא דשמיא

פסח | A reflection on despair and suicide awareness to be read upon opening the door for Elijah at the Passover seder

Although God often speaks to humanity in the rumble of earthquakes, the roaring of wind and the thunder of storms, God spoke to Elijah, instead, in a still small voice. And, it was the nurturing power of the still small voice that slowly gave Elijah the courage and strength to be able to peek out of his deep abyss. On this night when we welcome Elijah to join our celebration, we acknowledge those who are so pained that they cannot fully celebrate, for joy eludes them. Although we may witness their physical wound with our eyes, we must also find ways to become attuned to their spiritual hurt and their emotional despair. The blood from the wound in their heart may not be visible and the cry in the depth of their throat may not be audible unless we train ourselves to attend to them. But, they are there. Our challenge is see and hear the pain of those whose depression affects their lives. Our response does not have to be bold in order to make a difference. A still small voice can transform a frown into a smile. A caring whisper that says, “I care” can raise a stooped head. A tender embrace can provide salve to a soul racked with pain. . . .

פסח | Haggadah of the inner Seder by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

The Haggadah of the Inner Seder focuses on revealing the inner structure of the seder. This haggadah gives signposts and cues as to where the important shifts in meaning are happening. It also makes clear the seder’s structure and adds in some commentaries that will make sense of not just what things mean but how they work. It also includes some of the customs I am fond of. It does not include a lot of material meant to update the seder or to bring in contemporary issues (though it does have a few commentaries related to peace between Israelis and Palestinians). The Haggadah is 18 pages long. . . .

פסח | Ḥad Gadya (ca. 1526 CE)

Making sense of Ḥad Gadya beyond its explicit meaning has long inspired commentary. For me, Ḥad Gadya expresses in its own beautiful and macabre way a particularly important idea in Judaism that has become obscure if not esoteric. While an animal’s life may today be purchased, ultimately, the forces of exploitation, predation, and destruction that dominate our world will be overturned. Singing Ḥad Gadya is thus particularly apropos for the night of Passover since, in the Jewish calendar, this one night, different from all other nights, is considered the most dangerous night of the year — it is the time in which the forces of darkness in the world are strongest. Why? It is on this night that the divine aspect of Mashḥit, the executioner, is explicitly invoked (albeit, only in the context of the divine acting as midwife and guardian/protector of her people), as explained in the midrash for Exodus 12:12 . . .

פסח | The Seder’s Innermost Secret — Ḥaroset: Earth & Eros in the Pesaḥ Celebration by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

There it sits on the Seder plate: ḥaroset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine. So the question would seem obvious: “Why is there ḥaroset on the Seder plate?” That’s the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s got the most secret answer: none. . . .

פסח | The Plotke Family Haggadah

A haggadah shared by Michael Plotke that he made for his family many years ago based on the haggadah of the late Rebbe of ḤaBaD, R’ Menachem Mendel Schneerson. . . .

פסח | Haggadah for Pesaḥ with an English translation by Eve Feinstein

A tale is told of Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar son of Azariah, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon, who held a seder [lit: reclined] in Bnai Brak. They discussed the exodus from Egypt all that night, until their students came and said to them, “Rabbis, the time has come to recite the morning shema.” . . .

פסח | Preparations for the Pesaḥ Seder by Gabriel Wasserman

Preparation for the Passover seder, part one (of four) of Gabriel Wasserman’s extensive haggadah for Passover. . . .

פסח | The Pesaḥ Seder: Maggid by Gabriel Wasserman

The storytelling portion of the Passover seder, part three (of four) of Gabriel Wasserman’s extensive haggadah for Passover. . . .

פסח | The Other Side of the Sea: A Haggadah on Fighting Modern-Day Slavery by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

“The wicked child asks: What does this work mean to you? Mah ha’avodah ha’zot lachem” (Exodus 12:26). I think about this question a great deal as a rabbi whose core work involves fighting modern-day slavery. I think about it when I talk to my children about what I do every day, when I call anti-trafficking activists and say, “What can rabbis do to support you?” or when I stand before Jewish audiences and urge them to put their energy behind this critical human rights issue. The answer must go deeper than simply saying, “We were slaves in Egypt once upon a time.” The memory of bitterness does not necessarily inspire action. What inspires me is not slavery but redemption. God could part the Sea of Reeds, but the Israelites could not truly be free until they had liberated themselves, after 40 years in the desert, from slavery. . . .

פסח | Seder in the Streets ֔Passover Haggadah, compiled by Danielle Gershkoff, Rachel Lerman, Rachel Beck, and Margot Seigle (5774/2014)

This Haggadah was created specifically for a seder that took place April 20, 2014 outside the White House as an act of solidarity with the #not1more deportation campaign hunger strikers. While it is created for a seder without food, in a cross cultural setting, framed around the issue of deportation, there are many gems that can be adapted to work for any seder. This is a work of love. We hope you enjoy, use, and share! We would love to hear from you! Email us at jewssayno2deportation@gmail.com to get in touch or to share how you adapt it for your community. Check out some reflects on the seder here. . . .

פסח | The Wandering is Over Haggadah by Jewish Boston

We are pleased to announce that the first copyleft licensed haggadot are coming online. First, our friends at Haggadot.com began sharing contributed content with the Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC-BY) license. Today, Jewish Boston announced that their new haggadah, “The Wandering is Over Haggadah,” is free for download and free as in freedom — it’s being shared with a CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported license — so it’s adoptable, adaptable, and derivative works are freely redistributable so long as they correctly credit and attribute the original author and work, and are also licensed CC-BY-SA. . . .


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