This category contains individual works relevant to the first night(s) of Passover.

Visit here, for a list of Haggadot for the Seder Pesaḥ.

אַתָּה ה׳, מָגֵן בַּעֲדִי | Attah Adonai Magen Ba’adi, a piyyut by R’ Fradji Shawat (late 16th c.)

A (kosher-for-Passover) prayer for redemption from exile. . . .

בִּסְעוּדָה הַזּוֹ | At this meal!, a piyyut for the Passover seder translated by Rabbi Jonah Rank

A litany of mythical guests and creatures presenting at the Passover seder. . . .

כוונה להדליק נרות | A Prayer for Candle-lighting, by Chaya Kaplan-Lester

Please God Let me light More than flame tonight. More than wax and wick and sliver stick of wood. More than shallow stream of words recited from a pocket book. . . .

A Guided Meditation for Pesaḥ, by Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein

A meditation which can be used to prepare for Pesaḥ, or for sharing at the Seder, to deepen the experience of liberation for yourself and others. . . .

סדר לפסח: חרוסת | Ḥaroset, the Seder’s Innermost Secret: Earth & Eros in the Celebration of Pesaḥ, 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. . . .

A Second Passover Seder Plate with Seven Additions, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Additional symbolic foods arranged on a second seder plate. . . .

סדר לפסח: הארבה כוסות ואת הארבה חופשות | The Four Cups of Wine and the Four Freedoms, by Aurora Mendelsohn

Traditionally each cup in the Passover Seder is liked to a promise made by God in these verses, Exodus 6:6-7. The four cups can also be associated with the Four Freedoms first articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, which were an inspiration for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and were explicitly incorporated into its preamble. . . .

סדר לפסח: שתי כוסות, לאליהו ומרים | Two Cups: Elijah and Miriam, by Trisha Arlin

We lift Miriam’s cup, Dancing prophet celebrating the world that is now. And we tell God we are grateful For the water from the earth that was Miriam’s gift, Welcome necessity, On God’s behalf. Miriam announces joy! And teaches us to save ourselves. Miriam, the bringer of mercy, There’s no prayer for her in the haggadah— So make one up! . . .

סדר לפסח: כוונה לסדר | A Kavvanah for Human Rights for the Passover Seder, from T’ruah

We are hereby ready to fulfill our obligation of K’vod Habriot, respect for the dignity of every human being. We pray that our fellow citizens shall not be the source of suffering in others. We commit ourselves to raise our voices in support of universal human rights, to know the heart of the stranger, and to feel compassion for those whose humanity is denied. May our compassion lead us to fight for justice. Blessed is the Source of Life, who redeemed our ancestors from Egypt and brought us together this night of Passover to tell the story of freedom. May God bring us security and peace, enabling us to celebrate together year after year. Praised are you, Source of Righteousness, who redeems the world and loves justice and freedom. . . .

סדר לפסח: אליהו הנביא | 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. . . .

אדיר הוא | Awesome One: an Alphabetical English Interpretation by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer of the piyyut Adir Hu

Adir Hu, a classic Pesaḥ song if ever there was one, is a part of Seder tables all over the planet. Its alphabetical list of God’s attributes, combined with its repeated pleas for a return to Jerusalem, make it a classic, to the point where the traditional German farewell greeting for Passover was not “chag sameach” or “gut yontef” but “bau gut” – build well. This interpretation, while not a direct translation by any means, has the same rhythmic pattern and alphabetical structure, giving a sense of the greatness of God. . . .

חַד גַּדְיָא | Ḥad Gadya in Aramaic and Yiddish (Prague Haggadah, ca. 1526)

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 . . .

און קאבﬞריטיקו | Un Kavritiko :: a Judezmo (Ladino) Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judezmo/Ladino translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

ואחד גׄדי | Waaḥid Jady :: a Judeo-Arabic Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judeo-Arabic translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

יַאן יִכְּרוּ | Yan ikru :: a Judeo-Berber Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Judeo-Berber translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

סדר ספירת העומר | the Order of Counting the Omer in the Spring

Each day between the beginning of Passover and Shavuot gets counted, 49 days in all, 7 weeks of seven days. That makes the omer period a miniature version of the Shmitta and Yovel (Jubilee) cycle of 7 cycles of seven years. Just as that cycle is one of resetting society’s clock to align ourselves with freedom and with the needs of the land, this cycle too is a chance to align ourselves with the rhythms of spring and the spiritual freedom represented by the Torah. . . .


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