סֵדֶר לְיוֹם הַשׁוֹאָה | Seder for Yom haSho’ah, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

The most traumatic event in recent Jewish history is the Holocaust. At this time, the survivors of the camps are aging, and in the lifespan of people alive today it is likely that the last survivor will die. We say we must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, but if we think of it as a tragedy that happened to our ancestors we will forget. But it has been 3000 years since the Exodus from Egypt, and the Haggadah keeps its history vivid and alive. We are taught that in each and every generation we are to think of ourselves as having been slaves in Egypt. May it be that just as we never forgot the wonders of the Exodus, so too we never forget the horrors of the Holocaust, and continue to strive that such horrors may never happen again until all live in freedom and peace.
Hebrew English

סֵדֶר לְיוֹם הַשׁוֹאָה
SEDER FOR YOM HASHOAH

Instructions:

Bold text is read by everyone in unison
Italicized text is instructions that are not read
UPPERCASE TEXT (followed by text in parentheses) is a title

SEDER PLATE

The peels from three potatoes (in the place of the matzah)
A cup of cold chicken soup mixed with water (in the place of the wine)
A crust of stale bread dipped in canola oil (in the place of the z’roa)[1]Always visible, but not mentioned or referred to at any time in the seder. As they went without a crust of bread, so do we.
Several blades of grass (in the place of the maror)

קדש

KADESH

(first cup of soup)

Pour cup half full of cold chicken soup and half full of water. Lift the cup up high, and say,

אֵיפֹה אַתָּה,
ייי אֱלֹהֵינוּ,
בָּעוֹלָם,
הַמְסַפֵּק מָרָק קַר וּמֵימִי,
אוֹ לֹא מְסַפֵּק כְּלוּם,
לַעֲבָדֶיךָ?
Where are You,
YHVH (haShem) our god,
in the world,
who provides cold and watery soup,
or does not provide anything,
to Your servants?

כרפס

KARPAS

(grass)

Our predecessors in the Holocaust often went without food. No parsley, no celery, no green vegetables that we take for granted today. After the Nazis fled, leaving the concentration camp inmates to starve, even their meager portions dried up. Many were reduced to eating grass. To remember the lack of food, we eat a blade of grass, dipped in cold watery soup.

מגיד

MAGGID

(telling the story)


בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר
B’chol dor vador. In each and every generation we must think of ourselves as having suffered in the Holocaust. When we forget, our survival will have been in vain.

After the destruction of our home in Zion, we were dispersed all over the world. The world was turned against us, yet we prospered. But in 1933 a new ruler arose in Germany who did not know acceptance. His ideology spread by force across a continent, sending us to death and destruction.

Pour the second cup of soup mixed with water.

We were cursed with death in places beyond count, camps without number, ghettos and ditches unmeasurable. We cannot count them, but we can remember.

Take a drop of soup out of your cup for each place of slaughter.

• Babi Yar
• Warsaw
• Vilna
• Auschwitz/Birkenau
• Bergen-Belsen
• Buchenwald
• Dachau
• Ravensbrück
• Treblinka
• Sobibor

Recite, don’t sing the following – inspired by Dayenu.

אִלּוּ עֲבָדִים לֹא הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרַיִם, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If we were not slaves to Pharoah in Egypt, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ הָאֲשׁוּרִים לֹא הָרְסוּ אֶת אֶפְרַיִם, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If the Assyrians did not destroy Ephraim, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ הַבָּבְלִים לֹא הָרְסוּ אֶת בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If the Babylonians had not destroyed the first Temple, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ לֹא הָיִינוּ בְּגָלוּת בָּבֶל, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If there was no Babylonian Captivity, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ יְוָנִים לֹא דִּכְּאוּ אֹתָנוּ, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If the Greeks did not oppress us, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ רוֹמָאִים לֹא הָרְסוּ אֶת בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If the Romans did not destroy the second Temple, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ לֹא הָיִינוּ בַּגָּלוּת הַגָּדוֹל, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If we were not in the Great Diaspora, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ הַנּוֹצְרִיִּים הָעַתִּיקִים לֹא שִׁקְּרוּ עָלֵינוּ, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If the early Christians did not lie about us, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ הֵם לֹא הָרְגוּ אֹתָנוּ, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If they had not killed us, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ הַמוּסְלְמִים לֹא שָׁלְחוּ אֹתָנוּ לָחֶרֶב, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If the Muslims did not put us to the sword, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ הַצַּלְבָנִים לֹא שָׂרְפוּ אֶת בָּתֵי הַכְּנֶסֶת שֶׁלָנוּ, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If the Crusaders did not burn our synagogues, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ לֹא הָיוּ פּוֹגְרוֹמִים, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If there were no pogroms, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אִלּוּ לֹא הָיְתָה הַשׁוֹאָה, דַּיֵּנוּ.
If there were no Holocaust, that would have been enough for us. Dayenu.

אַךְ כֻּלָּם הָיוּ, וְלֹא עָצַרְתָּ אֹתָם.
But all of them were, and You did not stop them.

כֻּלָּם דַּיֵּנוּ, אַךְ אַף אֵחָד מֵהֶם דַּיֵּיךָ.
They all were enough for us, but not one of them was enough for you.

אַז מָה דַּיֵּיךָ?
So what would be enough for you? Az mah dayekha?

מָה כׇּל כָּךְ בּוֹלֵט שֶׁאַתָּה תִּשְׁמַע תַּחֲנוּנֵינוּ, שֶׁאַתָּה תִּפְעַל וְתוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ?
What is so egregious that you will hear our pleas, that you will act and save us?

מָה דַּיֵּיךָ?
What would be enough for you? Mah dayekha?

The more one drives in the enormity of the Holocaust, the more commendable the mitzvah.

Here, anyone who has a friend or relative who suffered in the Holocaust may tell their story.

(Second cup of soup:)

אֵיפֹה אַתָּה,
ייי אֱלֹהֵינוּ,
בָּעוֹלָם,
הַמְסַפֵּק מָרָק קַר וּמֵימִי,
אוֹ לֹא מְסַפֵּק כְּלוּם,
לַעֲבָדֶיךָ?

Where are You,
YHVH (haShem) our god,
in the world,
who provides cold and watery soup,
or does not provide,
to Your servants?

מוציא

MOTZI

(potato peels)

Potatoes were a staple of the prisoners’ diet in the camps. Often only the peels were left. These peels served as primary starch, so we use them in place of matzah.

אֵיפֹה אַתָּה,
ייי אֱלֹהֵינוּ,
בָּעוֹלָם,
כְּשֶׁכׇּל הַלֶּחֶם שֶׁאַתָּה מְסַפֵּק רַק קְלִפּוֹת תַּפּוּחֵי אֲדָמָה?

Where are You,
YHVH (haShem) our god,
in the world,
when the only bread that you provide is potato peels?

ברך

BARECH

(third cup of soup)


אֵיפֹה אַתָּה,
ייי אֱלֹהֵינוּ,
בָּעוֹלָם,
הַמְסַפֵּק מָרָק קַר וּמֵימִי,
אוֹ לֹא מְסַפֵּק כְּלוּם,
לַעֲבָדֶיךָ?
Where are You,
YHVH (haShem) our god,
in the world,
who provides cold and watery soup,
or does not provide,
to Your servants?

KADDISH YATOM

(mourner’s prayer, for we are all mourners on Yom haShoah):


יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא: אָמֵן.
בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב,
וְאִמְרוּ: אָמֵן.
יְהֵא שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא מְבָרַךְ לְעָלַם וּלְעָלְמֵי עָלְמַיָּא:
יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִשְׁתַּבַּח וְיִתְפָּאַר וְיִתְרוֹמַם וְיִתְנַשֵּׂא וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא: בְּרִיךְ הוּא.
לְעֵלָּא מִן כָּל בִּרְכָתָא וְשִׁירָתָא תֻּשְׁבְּחָתָא וְנֶחֱמָתָא דַּאֲמִירָן בְּעָלְמָא. וְאִמְרוּ: אָמֵן.
יְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְחַיִּים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְאִמְרוּ: אָמֵן.
עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ: אָמֵן.

הלל

HALLEL

(cup for the Messiah)

Pour a cup of soup, but don’t drink from it.

הֵם הֶאֱמִינוּ
בֶּאֱמוּנָה שְׁלֵמָה
בְּבִיאַת הַמָּשִׁיחַ
וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא לֹא בָּא בִּימֵיהֶם,
הֵם עֲדַייִן הֶאֱמִינוּ.
They believed | Hem he’eminu
with complete faith | b’emunah shleimah
in the coming of the Messiah | b’viat haMashiach.
And even though he didn’t come,
they still believed.

קיינמאָל מער!
Never again! | Keynmol mer!

לְעוֹלָם לֹא עוֹד!
L’olam lo ‘od!

נוּנקה וֶיז!
Nunka vez!

Next year, may we all be free, and may bigotry and intolerance be vanquished forever.

Open the door, pour the soup on the ground, and close the door in complete silence.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Always visible, but not mentioned or referred to at any time in the seder. As they went without a crust of bread, so do we.

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