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☞   Pesaḥ

A Prayer before 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. . . .

לְשׁוֹנִי כּוֹנַנְתָּ | Leshoni Konanta (My tongue you have fashioned), a reshut attributed to Shlomo ibn Gabirol (ca. 11th c.) translated by Sara Lapidot

The reshut for the prayer for rain and dew on Shemini Atseret and Pesaḥ, in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

הַכָּרָת רִבּוֹנוּת הָאָרֶץ | Indigenous Land Acknowledgment for Cincinnati, Ohio, by Aharon Varady (Havayah community, 2021)

An indigenous land acknowledgement for Jewish communities in Cincinnati, Ohio. . . .

Whoa, Mary, don’t you weep no more! (Hebrew adaptation by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer)

The African-American Christian spiritual adapted for a Pesaḥ song in Hebrew and English. . . .

Between the Fires: A Kavvanah for Lighting Candles of Commitment, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow (the Shalom Center)

“Between the Fires: A Prayer for lighting Candles of Commitment” was composed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, drawing on traditional midrash about the danger of a Flood of Fire, and the passage from Malachi. . . .

סֵדֶר סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר | 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. . . .

הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא | Ieste el pan de la afrisiyon | Ha laḥ’ma anya (This is the Bread of Oppression): the opening of Magid in a Ladino translation

This is Ha Laḥma Anya in Aramaic with translations in Ladino and English, from the Passover Seder Haggadah of Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater, Haggadah Shir Geulah (2015, v.2.1/2016). . . .

וּתְקוֹל | U-tqol of Djerba — a Midrashic Addition to the Haggadah relating the story of Avraham & Nimrod’s Furnace in Judeo-Tunisian Arabic

The ancient Jewish community of Djerba, an island off the coast of southern Tunisia, has many unique customs and practices. Among them is that during the Maggid, after the citation of Joshua 24:2-4 and before the paragraph beginning “Praise the One who keep faith with the people Israel,” an extensive work in Judeo-Tunisian Arabic is recited, telling the well-known story of Abraham’s realization of divine unity and his ordeal in the oven of fire. Here is a transcript of that text, vocalized according to the original manuscripts, transcribed, and translated into English and modern Hebrew. . . .

כוונה לסדר פסח | 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. . . .

אָז רוֹב נִסִּים | Az Rov Nissim, a piyyut by Yanai for the first night of Pesaḥ in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The piyyut, Omets G’vurotekha by Elazar ha-Qalir, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel. . . .

אוֹמֶץ גְּבוּרוֹתֶיךָ | Omets G’vuratekha, a piyyut by Eleazar ben Qalir for the second night of Pesaḥ in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The piyyut, Omets G’vurotekha by Elazar ha-Qalir, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel. . . .

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. . . .

כּוֹס לְמִרְיָם | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Miriam’s Cup of Water

Rabbi Yosi son of Rabbi Yehuda says: “Three good sustainers arose for Israel. These are they: Moses and Aaron and Miriam. And three good gifts were given because of them, and these are they: well, and cloud, and manna. The well was given in merit of Miriam… Miriam died and the well ceased, as it is written (Numbers 20:1-2) “And Miriam died there,” and it says right afterwards “and there was no water for the community.” . . .

קְלִפּוֹת לֶפֶת | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Turnip peels, after the Holocaust remembrance of Pearl Benisch

Pearl Benisch… remembers Passover in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in the spring of 1945, just days before her liberation. . . .

פִּלְחֵי תָפּוּ״ז | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Orange segments, after the teaching of Susanna Heschel

In the early 1980s, while speaking at Oberlin College Hillel, Susannah Heschel was introduced to an early feminist haggadah that suggested adding a crust of bread on the seder plate, as a sign of solidarity with Jewish lesbians (suggesting that there’s as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the seder plate). Heschel felt that to put bread on the seder plate would be to accept that Jewish lesbians and gay men violate Judaism like ḥamets violates Passover. So, at her next seder, she chose an orange as a symbol of inclusion of gays and lesbians and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community. She offered the orange as a symbol of the fruitfulness for all Jews when lesbians and gay men are contributing and active members of Jewish life. . . .

סִילְקָא דְּרָב הוּנָא | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Beets, after the rabbinic teaching of Rav Huna (ca. 3rd c.)

The color of beets, which never leaves our hands, symbolizes the teachings of the sages, which are still passed down. And the redness symbolizes the blood of the covenant, still there after all these years. . . .

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. . . .

הַכָּרָת רִבּוֹנוּת הָאָרֶץ | Indigenous Land Acknowledgement for Toronto, by Aurora Mendelsohn (2020)

An acknowledgement that the land we are conducting our religious ceremonies on is the sacred and traditional land of Indigenous people. It involves a kavvanah and study verses as well as the land acknowledgement. . . .

Our Liberation Will Not Be Live-streamed, by Rabbi Raysh Weiss (2020)

Modeled after Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not be Televised,” written for Passover during the pandemic (April 2020). . . .

A HaLakhma Anya Passover Seder Supplement for the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic (Our Common Destiny 2020)

A Passover supplement created for recitation at Passover seders in the context of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. . . .

Mah Nishtanah: what needs to change, a seder supplement to the Four Questions by Kohenet Ilana Joy Streit

A playful, powerful, passionate reading for Passover seder or any time. Can be chanted to the traditional Ashkenazi lilt for the Four Questions. . . .

שיר חדש אשיר | Shir Ḥadash Ashir (“Song Anew”) — a traditional piyyuṭ before the Song of the Sea

This piyyuṭ, bearing the acrostic signature “Samuel,” is traditionally recited in the communities of Babylonia and India as a petiḥa, or opening poem, before the Song of the Sea. It is also sung on Shabbat Shira, the Sabbath where we read the Song of the Sea in public. This translation is an attempt to preserve the original meaning as well as the rhyme scheme and poetic form. . . .

מַא כְׄבַּר הַדִׄה | Ma Khəbar Hādhih, a Yemenite Judeo-Arabic Elaboration on the Four Questions

In Yemenite practice, directly after the four questions are recited the youngest literate person at the table reads a brief Judeo-Arabic passage, here transcribed per the Yemenite transliteration system (wherein gimel dagesh = j and qof = g) and translated into Arabic and Hebrew. Instructional notes say this passage is “for the benefit of women and toddlers,” the two main classes of people who would have not had access to Hebrew education at the time. . . .

A Letter of Passover Instruction, from the Judean Garrison of Elephantine/Yeb (TAD A4.1)

This letter, written in Imperial Aramaic in 419 BCE, is among the vast number of papyrus letters found in Elephantine, also known as Yeb. The Jewish (or more accurately, Judean) community of Yeb is a fascinating bit of history — a group of Judean mercenaries who settled in Egypt and built their own smaller temple! Although their origin was clearly Judean, and they referred to themselves as the ḥeila yehudaya = Judean garrison, their form of worship featured no Deuteronomic centralization, no discussion of the patriarchs, and questionable monotheism! Although the primary deity was YHW (note the difference in spelling), multiple other deities or hypostatized aspects of divinity were worshipped, and verbs for the word “God” are conjugated in the plural rather than the singular. This text is one of a series of letters written between the brothers Yedaniah and Ḥananiah. In this case, it is giving instructions for keeping the holiday of Pesaḥ. These instructions are interesting in their own right — the prohibition on beer could alternatively be read as a prohibition on any alcoholic drink, which would align with Karaite practice rather than rabbinic. But what’s even more interesting is what isn’t mentioned — the instructions given mention nothing whatsoever about the exodus from Egypt, or even God! The diktat to observe the holiday is accredited not to God or Moses, but to Darius, king of the Achaemenid Empire! This passage is a fascinating taste of a part of Judaism that we know very little about. Vocalization according to Tiberian norms and translation into English by the translator. . . .

[Prayer] for the Last Days of Passover, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

A prayer for a woman celebrating the final days of Passover yontef. . . .

תרומה הבדילנו | T’rumah Hivdilanu (A Gift Distinguished Us) — A Poetic Ḳiddush for the Pesaḥ Seder, according to two of its nusḥaot (ca. 9th c.)

Rav Saadia Gaon lists three additions to the Seder Pesaḥ which he considers not necessary, but acceptable. This is the first, a poetic version of the Kiddush. Interestingly enough, it is still recited in many Yemenite communities, which are in general less likely to incorporate poetic sections to their liturgy. Here it is recorded and translated into English according to two nusḥaot — that recorded in the siddur of Rav Saadia (marked in blue), and that recorded in modern Yemenite texts (marked in red). In cases where only the spelling differs rather than the meaning, the editor generally went with Rav Saadia as the older variant. . . .

סדר מימונה | Seder Mimounah

A Mimouna packet including havdalah, a Moroccan-rite birkat ha-ilanot, traditional study texts, and yehiretzonot. . . .

אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵֽינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה | “Said our Sages of Blessed Memory” — a Midrashic Addition to the Extrapolation of the First Fruits

In many eastern communities, including the communities of Aleppo and Yemen as well as the haggadah of Ḥakham Ovadia Yosef, this text is added to the extrapolation of the First Fruits declaration found in the Pesaḥ Maggid. Specifically, it is found after the citation of Exodus 12:12, specifically within or after the passage concluding “…who is Me and there is no other.” . . .

דַּיֵּנוּ | Daiyenu, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The piyyut, Dayenu, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel. . . .

בִּרְכַּת הָאִילָנוֹת | The Blessing of Flowering Fruit Trees in the Spring Season, compiled by Aharon Varady

When the spring (Aviv) season arrives, a blessing is traditionally said when one is in view of at least two flowering fruit trees. In the northern hemisphere, it can be said anytime through the end of the month of Nissan (though it can still be said in Iyar). For those who live in the southern hemisphere, the blessing can be said during the month of Tishrei. . . .

ביעור חמץ | Kavanah for Returning Our Ḥametz to the Earth by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)

May it be Your will Hashem that we remember that just as we do not own this ḥametz, we do not own this earth. May we once again recall that Adam, the human, is made of afar, soil, dirt, and that God’s promise Abraham that his progeny will become “like the dirt of the earth,” in Aramaic, afra d’ar’a, means that we must live to nourish all Life. . . .

כְּרֵשׁוֹת | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Leeks

An old Persian tradition involves hitting each other with leeks during the recitation of Dayenu. Nowadays this is replaced with a gentle tap with a scallion for safety reasons. . . .

בַּשָּׁנָה הַבָּאָה | baShanah haBa’ah (Next Year), an elegy by Ehud Manor for his brother killed during the War of Attrition (1968)

“baShanah haBa’ah” (Next Year) by Ehud Manor written in 1968 in memory of his brother Yehudah. . . .

נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי (ספרד)‏ | Nishmat Kol Ḥai, arranged by Aharon Varady

The text of the prayer Nishmat Kol Ḥai in Hebrew with English translation. . . .

נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי | Nishmat Kol Ḥai, interpretive translation by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

This “praying translation” of the piyyut Nishmat Kol Ḥai is included in Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi’s Sabbath Supplement to his Siddur Tehillat Hashem Yidaber Pi ~ As I Can Say It (for Praying in the Vernacular) (2009). The translation includes several prayers that follow the piyyut: Ha-El B’ta’atsumot Uzekha, and Shoḥen Ad. . . .

נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי | Nishmat Kol Ḥai, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The text of the prayer Nishmat Kol Ḥai in Hebrew with a Latin translation . . .

הָאֵל בְּתַעֲצֻמוֹת עֻזֶּךָ | ha-El b’Taatsumōt Uzekha, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The text of the short prayer ha-El b’Taatsumōt Uzekha in Hebrew with a Latin translation. . . .

שׁוֹכֵן עַד | Shokhen Âd, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The text of the short prayer Shokhen Ad in Hebrew with a Latin translation. . . .

וּבְמַקְהֲלוֹת | uv’Maqhalōt, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The text of the short prayer uv’Maqhalōt in Hebrew with a Latin translation. . . .

Prayer for Israelites Lost in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, by Sholomo ben Levy

A prayer for the Passover seder recognizing the enslavement and estrangement of Jews and Israelites of African descent with hope for their ingathering. . . .

יִשְׁתַּבַּח שִׁמְךָ | Yishtabaḥ Shimkha, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The text of the prayer Yishtabaḥ Shimkha, in Hebrew with a Latin translation . . .

הַגָּדַת “וַיְבִאֵנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה”‏ | “And Hashem Brought Us to This Place,” a Magid supplement for Those Living in Erets Yisrael

According to Mishnah Pesaḥim 10:4, “One expounds (doresh) from ‘A wandering Aramean was my father’ (Deuteronomy 26:5) until he finishes the whole story.” This supplement to Maggid, the verse Deuteronomy 26:9 and its midrash, fulfills the obligation. The verse and its midrash fit into the Passover Haggadah after the ten plagues and the midrash on them, right before the song Dayyenu. . . .

אֱמוּנִים עִרְכוּ שֶֽׁבַח | Emunim ʿIrkhu Shevaḥ — a Poetic Addition to Rabban Gamliel’s List

Emunim ʿIrkhu Shevaḥ is a brief piyyut recited in North African communities in Rabban Gamliel’s list, between Pesaḥ and Maror. It spells out “Aaron the Priest” as an alphabetical acrostic, but it is uncertain whether this is an authorial signature or a mystical reference to the Biblical figure. . . .

הארבה כוסות ואת הארבה חופשות | The Four Cups of Wine and the Four Freedoms, by Dr. Aurora Mendelsohn and President Franklin R. Roosevelt

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. . . .

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. . . .

דָּג לְמִרְיָם | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Miriam’s Fish, recorded by Rav Sherira Gaon in 10th-century Iraq

A millennium-old tradition, recorded by Rav Sherira Gaon in 10th-century Iraq. He would always have three cooked foods on the seder plate. The egg, a product of the birds of the sky, a sign of renewal and rebirth, represented Moses, the law, the heavens, and the revelational aspects of faith. The shankbone, a product of the animals of the field, a commemoration of the original Pesaḥ sacrifice, represented Aaron, the priesthood, the earth, and the ritual aspects of faith. And the fish, representing the constant flowing nature of water, represented Miriam, prophecy, the waters, and the spiritual aspects of faith. . . .

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. . . .

תחנה אמהות | Prayer for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim, from the Tkhine of the Matriarchs by Seril Rappaport (ca. 18th century)

“Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Yamim Tovim” by Rebbetsin Seril Rappaport is a faithful transcription of her tkhine included in “תחנה אמהות מן ראש חודש אלול” (Tkhine of the Matriarchs for the New Moon of Elul) published in Vilna, 1874, as re-published in The Merit of Our Mothers בזכות אמהות A Bilingual Anthology of Jewish Women’s Prayers, compiled by Rabbi Tracy Guren Klirs, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1992. shgiyot mi yavin, ministarot nakeni. . . .

שתי כוסות, לאליהו ומרים | Two Cups: Elijah and Miriam, a kavvanah and a prayer 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! . . .

הקול קטן של 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. . . .

אַדִּיר בִּמְלוּכָה | Adir Bimlukhah, a Latin translation of the piyyut by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The text of the popular piyyut “Adir Bimlukhah” (a/k/a “Ki lo na’eh”) in Hebrew, with a Latin translation. . . .

בּױגעזאנג | Baugesang (Building Song): an alphabetical Yiddish adaptation of the piyyut Adir Hu (1769)

This Western Yiddish alphabetical adaptation of Adir Hu is first found in the 1769 Selig Haggadah, under the name of “Baugesang” (meaning Building Song). It grew to be a beloved part of the Western Ashkenazi rite, to the point where the traditional German Jewish greeting after the Seder was “Bau gut,” or “build well!” . . .

אַדִּיר הוּא | Adir Hu, the acrostic piyyut in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The alphabetic acrostic piyyut, Adir Hu, in its Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel as found in his translation of the Pesaḥ seder haggadah, Liber Rituum Paschalium (1644). . . .

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

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

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

יַאן יִכְּרוּ | Yan ikru :: a Judeo-Berber Translation of Ḥad Gadya

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

ואחד גׄדי | Waaḥid Jady :: a Judeo-Arabic Translation of Ḥad Gadya

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

ואחד ג’די | أغنية لعيد الفصح اليهودي | Waaḥid Jady :: Ḥad Gadya in Arabic translation (Syrian Damascus variation)

An Arabic translation of Ḥad Gadya in its Syrian Jewish Damascus variation. . . .

חַד גַּדְיָא | Ḥad Gadya, a Latin translation by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

A Latin translation of the popular Passover song, Ḥad Gadya. . . .

בִּיר אוּלָק | Бир Улакъ | Bir Ulaq :: a Qrımçah tılyı (Krymchak) translation of Ḥad Gadya by Rabbi Nisim haLevy Tsahtsir (1904)

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

יַכֵּי בּוּזְגָאלַה | Йаке бузғола | Yake Buzghola :: a Judeo-Tajik Translation of Ḥad Gadya, by Rabbi Shimon ben Eliyahu Hakham (1904)

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

אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ | Eḥad Mi Yode’a, a Latin translation of the counting song by Johann Stephan Rittangel (1644)

The text of the popular counting song “Who Knows One?” in its original Hebrew, with a translation in Latin. . . .

אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ | Eḥad Mi Yode’a :: Who Knows One?, a counting song in Hebrew and Yiddish (Prague Haggadah, 1526)

The text of the popular Passover song “Who Knows One?” in its original Hebrew and Yiddish, with a translation in English. . . .

חַד מָה יוּדָא | Ḥad Mah Yuda :: Who Knows One?, a counting-song in Aramaic translation

The text of the popular Passover song “Who Knows One?” in Hebrew set side-by-side with an Aramaic translation. . . .

הַגָּדָה שֶׁלַּפֶּסַח הַשֵּׁנִי | Haggadah for Pesaḥ Sheni on the Evening of the 14th of Iyar, compiled by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A guiding text and haggadah for a Seder Pesaḥ Sheni. . . .

קָפֶה בֵּית מַכְּסְוֶיל | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Maxwell House coffee

Why is this coffee different from all other coffees? Because Maxwell House coffee is a deeply spiritual representation of the Diaspora experience. . . .

תפילת טל | A Prayer for Dew, by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Geshem and tal: rain and dew. We pray for each in its season, geshem all winter and tal as summer approaches…not everywhere, necessarily, but in the land of Israel where our prayers have their roots. In a desert climate, water is clearly a gift from God. It’s easy for us to forget that, here with all of this rain and snow. But our liturgy reminds us. Through the winter months, during our daily amidah we’ve prayed “mashiv ha-ruach u-morid ha-gashem” — You cause the winds to blow and the rains to fall! We only pray for rain during the rainy season, because it is frustrating both to us and to God when we pray for impossibilities. . . .

שיר של מרים הנביאה | The Song of Miriam, a petiḥah by Rabbi Ruth H. Sohn (1981)

“The Song of Miriam” by Rabbi Ruth Sohn was first published as “I Shall Sing to the Lord a New Song,” in Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim, Reconstructionist Prayerbook, 1989, 1995 Second Edition. Reconstructionist Press, pp. 768-769. (This poem was also published in several haggadot and other books and set to music by several composers in the U.S. and Israel.) Rabbi Sohn wrote the poem in 1981 as a rabbinical student after immersing herself in the Torah verses and the traditional midrashim about Miriam, and after writing a longer modern midrash about Miriam. Part of this modern midrash was published as “Journeys,” in All the Women Followed Her, ed. Rebecca Schwartz (Rikudei Miriam Press, 2001). . . .

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ | Mi sheBerakh for Victims of Slavery, by Rabbi Joshua Boettiger (2009)

We are grateful to Rabbi Joshua Boettinger and Rabbis for Human Rights–North America (RHR-NA) for sharing the following petitionary prayer, A Misheberakh for Victims of Slavery. Originally published by RHR-NA on their website in 2009, the prayer attends to the desperate need to eradicate all forms of slavery that persist today, especially in advance of the holiday celebrating our Z’man Cheruteinu, the season of our freedom, every Spring, every Pesaḥ. . . .

יוֹם זֶה לְכׇל דוֹרוֹת | Yom Zeh l’Khol Dorot, a piyyut for Pesaḥ Sheni by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A piyyut for an under-recognized holiday, Pesaḥ Sheni, the festival of second chances (as described in Numbers 9:6-13 and Mishnah Pesaḥim 9:1-3. I attempted to write this in the manner of a traditional piyyut. The meter is equivalent to the Shabbat zamir “Ot Hi l’Olmei Ad.” The Hebrew spells out Yod – Tzadi – Ḥet – Kuf, because that’s my name. The translation is original, along with the notes. . . .

שירת הים | Shirat haYam :: the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1-19)

According to Rabbinic tradition, the 21st of Nissan is the day in the Jewish calendar on which Pharaoh’s army was drowned in the Sea of Reeds, and the redeemed children of Yisrael sang the Song of the Sea, the (Shirat Hayam, Exodus 15:1-19). The song, as included in the the morning prayers, comprises one of the most ancient text in Jewish liturgy. The 21st of Nissan corresponds to the 7th day of Passover, and the recitation of the Shirat HaYam is part of the daily Torah Reading. Rabbi Hillel Ḥayim Yisraeli-Lavery shares a performance of a melody he learned for the Shirat Hayam from צוף דבש Tzuf Devash, a Moroccan synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. If there is something about this tune that strikes one as particularly celebratory, it might be because the relationship between G!d and the Jewish people is traditionally described as a marriage consummated with the Covenant at Mt. Sinai. The passage of Bnei Yisrael through the Sea of Reeds towards Mt. Sinai thus begins a bridal march commencing in the theophany at Mt. Sinai, 42 days later. . . .

אתה גאלת | Atah Ga’alta (You Redeemed Our Ancestors), a Poetic Rendition of the Blessing of Redemption in the Pesaḥ Seder (ca. 9th c.)

Rav Saadia Gaon lists three additions to the Seder Pesaḥ which he considers not necessary, but acceptable. This is the third, a poetic insert of the blessing of redemption known as Ata Ga’alta. In the form of an alphabetical acrostic, this poem is still recited in many eastern communities including the Babylonians, Persians, and Yemenites, and was a feature of the the old Kaifeng rite. Here it is recorded and translated into English according to the nusaḥ of Saadia Gaon, with notes in several locations for additional phrases used in some customs. . . .

Scaling the Walls of the Labyrinth: Psalms 67 and Ana b’Khoaḥ

Psalm 67 is a priestly blessing for all the peoples of the earth to be sustained by the earth’s harvest (yevulah), and it is a petition that all humanity recognize the divine nature (Elohim) illuminating the world. Composed of seven verses, the psalm is often visually depicted as a seven branched menorah. There are 49 words in the entire psalm, and in the Nusaḥ ha-ARI z”l there is one word for each day of the Sefirat haOmer. Similarly, the fifth verse has 49 letters and each letter can be used as a focal point for meditating on the meaning of the day in its week in the journey to Shavuot, the festival of weeks (the culmination of the barley harvest), and the festival of oaths (shevuot) in celebration of receiving the Torah. Many of the themes of Psalm 67 are repeated in the prayer Ana b’Koaḥ, which also has 49 words, and which are also used to focus on the meaning of each day on the cyclical and labyrinthine journey towards Shavuot. . . .