The First Battlestar Galactica Seder Haggadah [for Passover] (2008)

“All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.”

״מַה־שֶּׁהָיָה הוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה וּמַה־שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה הוּא שֶׁיֵּעָשֶׂה״ קהלת א:ט חלק
“All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.”[1]Alternately, “Only that shall happen that has happened; only that will occur that has occurred.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 partial) H/T Judd Maltin. (Kohelet 1:9 part)
संस्कृतम् English

Now in the presence of loved ones and friends,
before us the emblems of festive rejoicing,
we gather for our sacred celebration.

With the households of the Lords of Kobol,
our elders and young ones,
linking and bonding the past with the future,
we heed again the divine call to service.

Living our story that is told for all peoples,
whose shining conclusion has yet to unfold,
we gather to observe this Battlestar Seder.

Let us all chant the opening (credits) prayer:
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ।
तत्स॑वि॒तुर्वरेण्यं॒
भर्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑धीमहि ।
धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥
oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tatsaviturvareṇyaṃ
bhargo devasyadhīmahi
dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt[2]This prayer is the Gâyatrî Mantra, from the Rigveda 3.62.10. Refer here for possible translations/interpretations of this prayer.

O Earth, atmosphere, heaven:
May we attain that excellent glory
Of the gods:
So they may stimulate our prayers.[3]A non-literal translation of the Gâyatrî Mantra.

So say we all!

First Cup

We raise our cups of Ambrosia and recite together:

Praised are you O Gods, Lords of Kobol, who have kept us in life, and sustained us to this day.

[Crypto-Cylons say:
Blessed are you, the One True God, Cosmic Majesty, who has kept us in life, and sustained us to this day.]

So say we all.

THE SEDER PLATE

The Green

We each take a sprig of parsley and dip it in salt water. The parsley represents the spring time, renewal, the lush verdancy of our home world, Kobol. Also, the algae slop we have been eating for the past three years. The saltwater signifies the tears we have shed for love ones lost in the destruction of our colonies.

We say together:

Praised are you O Gods, Lords of Kobol, for creating the bounty of the planets.

[Crypto-Cylons say:
Blessed are you, the One True God, Cosmic Majesty, for creating the bounty of the planets.]

The Matzo

Let us each take-up a piece of Matzo and in keeping with our tradition, break off the four corners.

We hold it aloft and say:

This is the bread of affliction,
the poor bread that our ancestors ate as they fled Kobol.
Let all who are hungry come and eat.
Let all who are in fear
share the hope of our celebration.
This year we celebrate on Galactica.
Next year on Earth!
This year we are running for our lives.
Next year may we all be at peace.

Praised are you O Gods, Lords of Kobol, for providing us with these now cornerless crackers.

[Crypto-Cylons say:
Blessed are you, the One True God, Cosmic Majesty, for providing us with these now cornerless crackers.]

So say we all!

The Bitter Herb

Our ancient Scrolls teach that the bitter Chamalla root has healing properties, and allows us to see visions from the Gods. Our President, Laura Roslin, took Chamalla to combat her cancer and was granted a second life and visions that have guided us to Kobol and beyond towards the lost 13th Colony of Earth.

We eat of the Chamalla root and say:

Praised are you O Gods, Lords of Kobol, for blessing us with the visions of your divine wills.

[Crypto-Cylons say:
Blessed are you, the One True God, Cosmic Majesty, for blessing us with the vision of your divine will.]

Second Cup

We raise our glasses of Ambrosia and recite:

To Galactica!
To the men and women of Galactica!
To the Admiral who commands the men and women of Galactica!
To our sweethearts, husbands and wives!
To absent friends.
We drink.

Recounting of the Exodus

All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. Therefore we are obligated to recount the history of our people lest we forget that we were fugitives from Kobol, fugitives from the Colonies, fugitives from New Caprica. At every turn, our foes have risen up against us, yet it is the will of the Gods that we survive to continue the fight.

Our Sacred Scrolls begin with the words “life here began out there.”

In the beginning our people lived in harmony with the Gods on Kobol. In the early days the 13th Tribe left Kobol and its sister tribes behind. They traveled far and made their home upon a planet called Earth which circled a distant and unknown star. When the thirteenth tribe landed on Earth, they looked up into the heavens and they saw their twelve brothers.

Humanity did not remain in peace on Kobol. One jealous god began to desire that he be elevated above all the other gods, and the war on Kobol began. Goddess Athena threw herself off a cliff in despair, and the remaining Gods abandoned Kobol. The people of Kobol soon followed suit and the blaze pursued them, and the people of Kobol had a choice: to board the great ship, or take the high road through the rocky ridge.

And the body of each tribe’s leader was offered to the gods in the tomb of Athena. And the great ship was the galleon that departed from Kobol. And it took the founders of the Thirteen Colonies to their destiny. And the Lords anointed a leader to guide the caravan of the heavens to their new homeland. And unto the leader, they gave a vision of serpents, numbering two and ten, as a sign of things to come.

And Zeus warned the leaders of the twelve tribes that any return to Kobol would exact a price in blood.

Opera House Ruins, City of the Gods, Kobol

And humanity settled on the 12 Colonies and were at peace until the coming of the Cylon.

The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human. They are many copies. Seven are known. Four live in secret. One will be revealed. And they have a plan.

The Third Cup

The third cup is the cup of guilt. When we fight the Cylons, we fight to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question, why? Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed, spite, jealousy. And we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we’ve done. Like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn’t our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can’t hide from the things that you’ve done anymore.

So say we all.

We drink.

The Cup of the Final Cylon

Our hearts and bellies are full, O Lords of Kobol. And we now look towards the future in expectation of that day of days when all will be revealed. Let us open the hatch, and invite the spirit of the final cylon to visit our seder, to reveal its presence as it revealed itself to D’Anna.

Know Your Enemy

Who knows one?
I know one. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed

Who knows two?
I know two. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows three?
I know three. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows four?
I know four. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows five?
I know five. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows six?
I know six. Six is six, malevolent, monotheistic super model. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows seven?
I know seven. Seven is Doral, sneaky, sniveling PR Guy. Six is six, malevolent, monotheistic super model. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows eight?
I know eight. Eight is Boomer, baby mama of things to come. Seven is Doral, sneaky, sniveling PR Guy. Six is six, malevolent, monotheistic super model. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows nine?
I know nine. Nine is Tyrol, Chief Fatty Q. Workingstiff. Eight is Boomer, baby mama of things to come. Seven is Doral, sneaky, sniveling PR Guy. Six is six, malevolent, monotheistic super model. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows ten?
I know ten. Ten is Tigh, eyepached alcoholic. Nine is Tyrol, Chief Fatty Q. Workingstiff. Eight is Boomer, baby mama of things to come. Seven is Doral, sneaky, sniveling PR Guy. Six is six, malevolent, monotheistic super model. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows eleven?
I know eleven. Eleven is Tory, unstable wonkette. Ten is Tigh, eyepached alcoholic. Nine is Tyrol, Chief Fatty Q. Workingstiff. Eight is Boomer, baby mama of things to come. Seven is Doral, sneaky, sniveling PR Guy. Six is six, malevolent, monotheistic super model. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

Who knows twelve?
I know twelve. Twelve is Anders, insurgent baller. Eleven is Tory, unstable wonkette. Ten is Tigh, eyepached alcoholic. Nine is Tyrol, Chief Fatty Q. Workingstiff. Eight is Boomer, baby mama of things to come. Seven is Doral, sneaky, sniveling PR Guy. Six is six, malevolent, monotheistic super model. Five is Simon, scheming egg stealer. Four is Leoben, Starbuck’s stalker. Three is D’Anna, the warrior princess. Two is Kavil, the draconian priest. One is the final Cylon who will be revealed.

The Fourth Cup

The fourth cup is the cup of fellowship. We must always remember our responsibility to this fleet and to the survival of the human race. As it is written:

Their enemies will divide them. Their colonies broken in the fiery chasm of space. Their shining days renounced by a multitude of dark sacrifices. Yet still they will remain always together.

The Gods shall lift those who lift each other.

So say we all.

We drink.
अस्तो मा सद् गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर् मा अमृतं गमय
asato mā sad gamaya
tamaso mā jyotir gamaya
mṛtyor mā amṛtaṃ gamaya

Lead us from Falsehood to Truth
Lead us from Darkness to Light
Lead us from Death to Immortality[4]This is a common Sanskrit prayer, found in Part I, Chapter III, Verse 28 of the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad.

Next year on Earth!


With gratitude to the One True God, and to the original creators, this is a derivation of the “Battlestar Seder Haggadah” prepared by David “Razor” Lieberman, Alison “Fat Six” Ogden, and Mary “Actual” Bruch, for “A Seder on Battlestar Galactica,” an event held on Saturday, 26 April 2008, on Earth. The seder was first posted to galacticahaggadah.com and later to battlestarseder.org under a GNU Free Document License. Both of these domains having gone to ruin, the Haggadah was thankfully preserved on the Wayback Machine thanks to the Internet Archives. I resurrected the Haggadah, adding the following: 1) alternate blessings for crypto-Cylons, 2) Devangari sourcetext in Sanskrit script along with annotation indicating the source of the prayer/mantra included, 3) a short prayer that Priestess Elosha recites at the very beginning of the funeral scene near the end of the miniseries. –Aharon Varady

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Alternately, “Only that shall happen that has happened; only that will occur that has occurred.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 partial) H/T Judd Maltin.
  2. This prayer is the Gâyatrî Mantra, from the Rigveda 3.62.10. Refer here for possible translations/interpretations of this prayer.
  3. A non-literal translation of the Gâyatrî Mantra.
  4. This is a common Sanskrit prayer, found in Part I, Chapter III, Verse 28 of the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad.
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