מוזגים כוס ראשון. המצּות מכוסות.
וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי. וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל-צְבָאָם. וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. וַיְבָרֵךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אוֹתוֹ כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת.
סַבְרִי מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר בָּנוּ מִכָּל-עָם וְרוֹמְמָנוּ מִכָּל-לָשׁוֹן וְקִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו. וַתִּתֶּן לָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּאַהֲבָה (לשבת: שַׁבָּתוֹת לִמְנוּחָה וּ) מוֹעֲדִים לְשִׂמְחָה, חַגִּים וּזְמַנִּים לְשָׂשוֹן, (לשבת: אֶת יוֹם הַשַׁבָּת הַזֶּה וְ) אֶת יוֹם חַג הַמַּצּוֹת הַזֶּה זְמַן חֵרוּתֵנוּ, (לשבת: בְּאַהֲבָה) מִקְרָא קֹדֶשׁ זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים, (לשבת: וְשַׁבָּת) וּמוֹעֲדֵי קָדְשֶׁךָ (לשבת: בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן) בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׂשוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', מְקַדֵּשׁ (לשבת: הַשַׁבָּת וְ) יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזְּמַנִּים.
בּמוצאי שבת מוסיפים:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחֹל, בֵּין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ, בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה. בֵּין קְדֻשַּׁת שַׁבָּת לִקְדֻשַּׁת יוֹם טוֹב הִבְדַּלְתָּ, וְאֶת-יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִשֵּׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה קִדַּשְׁתָּ. הִבְדַּלְתָּ וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ אֶת-עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּקְדֻשָּׁתֶךָ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְקֹדֶשׁ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.
שותה בהסיבת שמאל ואינו מברך ברכה אחרונה.
We pour the first cup. The matsot are uncovered
On Shabbat, begin here:
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their host. And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because He rested on it from all of His work which God created in doing (Genesis 1:31-2:3).
On weekdays, begin here:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has chosen us from all peoples and has raised us above all tongues and has sanctified us with His commandments. And You have given us, Lord our God, [Sabbaths for rest], appointed times for happiness, holidays and special times for joy, [this Sabbath day, and] this Festival of Matsot, our season of freedom [in love] a holy convocation in memory of the Exodus from Egypt. For You have chosen us and sanctified us above all peoples. In Your gracious love, You granted us Your [holy Sabbath, and] special times for happiness and joy.
Blessed are You, O Lord, who sanctifies [the Sabbath,] Israel, and the appointed times.
On Saturday night add the following two paragraphs:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the light of the fire. Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who distinguishes between the holy and the profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the six working days. You have distinguished between the holiness of the Sabbath and the holiness of the Festival, and You have sanctified the seventh day above the six working days. You have distinguished and sanctified Your people Israel with Your holiness.
Blessed are You, O Lord, who distinguishes between the holy and the holy.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life and sustenance and permitted us to reach this season.
Drink while reclining to the left and do not recite a blessing after drinking.
(1) Kadesh: means to prepare or to get ready, as in the verse; "Go to the people and instruct them to sanctify (v'kidashtem) themselves today and tomorrow." (Ex. 19:10) We are saying, 'let them ready themselves to perform the commandments that are be assigned to this night. Kadesh is used to express preparation because this night is on a level of exalted sanctity.
One should be careful not to think frivolous thoughts when performing the commandments on this night, and to perform them with the joy of the festival. God forbid that one should speak foolish words, and even worse, to speak biting, satiric or false words, God forbid. Rather you should sanctify yourself to speak only holy words so that your words will be pleasant before the Holy One.
Let the nation who is holy, Israel, as it says. "For you are a holy people," and let them speak before the Holy One, as it says, "For I, the Lord, am holy," on this holy night - the night of Passover is called a holy convocation, as it says: "The first day shall be a holy convocation to you," (Lev 23:7). The songs on this night shall be filled with holiness, as it is written: "For you there shall be singing as on a night when a festival is hallowed…" (Is.30:29) You shall tell the story of the Exodus with holy words taken from our sacred Torah.
(2) Kiddush is the first of the four cups of wine. The reason for the four cups of wine:
1. The four cups are for the four decrees, which Pharaoh made against the people of Israel.
2. The four promises of redemption in Exodus chapter 6:6-8.
3. There is a passage in Midrash Rabbah 26:1 that relates the four cups to the following verse: "I had no repose, no quiet, no rest and trouble came." (Job 3:26) "I had no repose," refers to Pharaoh's first decree, about which it says, "They embittered their lives." (Ex. 1:14) In response to Pharaoh's first decree, God appointed a redeemer - Miriam. She was named thus because of the bitterness which the Egyptians caused. "I had no quiet," refers to Pharaoh's second decree, "If it is a baby boy you shall kill him." (Ex. 1:16) God appointed a second redeemer - Aaron. He was thus named because he saved the women in pregnancy (herayon - similar to his name, Aharon). "I did not rest," is a reference to the third decree of Pharaoh: "Every baby boy who is born shall be cast into the river." (Ex. 1:22). God appointed third redeemer - Moses, who was thus named, "From the water I drew him out." (Ex. 2:10). "And trouble came," this refers to Amalek of whom it is say, And Amalek came…And Joshua overwhelmed the people of Amalek with the sword." (Ex. 17:8, 13)
(3) Let me explain: The first two explanations are common reasons given for the four cups of wine: Pharaoh's four decrees and the four promises of redemption: "I will free you, I will deliver you, I will redeem you, and I will take you out." The third explanation is unique. The Midrash, based on Job 3, relates the four decrees against Israel to the four parts of the verse from Job. However, for each evil decree there was a redeemer. The four cups, then, were for the four redeemers who took Israel out of the land of Egypt and brought them to the promised land. The Midrash does not make a connection between the cups of wine and the four redeemers but Rabbi Bondi makes the connection by quoting this passage from Midrash Rabbah.
(1) The head of the household should lean (heseibah) when drinking the cup of wine for Kiddush. The reason for leaning is that this is the manner of freedom; it is also the manner of royalty to lean. Leaning also reminds us of the Exodus as we learn in Bemidbar Rabbah 1:2, "The Holy One said to Israel, You said to Moses: 'Why have you taken us from Egypt? Have I been a wilderness to Israel?' (Jer. 2:31) Ordinarily when a person leaves a palace, is he likely to find relaxation as he found peace, or food or drink in the palace. Yet you were slave to the Egyptians and I took you out of there and gave you a place to rest on a sigmata, that is on a luxurious couch, as is written: "God led the people round about (vayaseiv) by way of the wilderness." (Ex. 13:18) What is vayaseiv? It means 'to cause to lie down' in the way of royalty who recline on their couches. So too, we recline on the night of Passover on luxurious couches as a reminder of the Exodus.
We do not recite the Kiddush in synagogue on the eve of Passover as we do on the eve of the Sabbath and all other holidays. We do it on these other occasions in order to allow the needy to fulfill their obligation of hearing Kiddush. This is not an issue on the eve of Passover when the community is obligated to provide enough wine for the poor for the four cups of wine. Kiddush is one of the four cups of wine - so Kiddush in synagogue is not necessary.
Rabbi Shlomo writes: One should not be surprised that we do not recite the blessing "Who performed miracles" on Passover eve as we do in commemoration of the miracles of Chanukah and Purim. Later in the recitation we say, 'Therefore it is our duty to thank…for the one who did all these miracles for our fathers and for us."
(2) Let Me Explain
It is customary to lean to the left when drinking the four cups of wine, eating matzah and eating the greens during the seder. The commentary connects the word for leaning, heseibah with the word vayaseiv in Exodus 13:18. God led the people round about - vayaseiv -when He took them out of Egypt. Both words appear to come from the same Hebrew root. Further, the Midrash connects these words with a verse from Jeremiah in which God chastises the people "O Generation behold the word of the Lord! Have I been a desert to Israel or like a land of deep gloom? Then why do My people say: We have broken loose and we will not come to You anymore." (Jeremiah 2:31) This verse alludes to the story of the Exodus in which the people of Israel constantly complain to Moses about conditions in the wilderness. Jeremiah is talking about the people of his generation who are also rebellious. The Midrash brings the verse back to the original allusion. God took the people of Israel to the wilderness but rather than taking the people to a place of deprivation he seated them on a luxurious couch and provided them with all their needs. Note that it is always helpful to go back and find the verse in its original context to understand how the author is now using the verse. A sigmata is a Greek word for a semicircular shaped couch used for leaning during a meal. Leaning was a common practice at Greco-roman banquets - this was the basis for our seder custom. Its name comes from the Greek letter Sigma! It is not uncommon to find Greek words in the Talmud and in rabbinic literature.
The only reason for reciting Kiddush in synagogue is to allow those who were using the synagogue as a place to sleep to hear the blessing. On Passover eve, everyone should have a place to participate in the seder or sufficient wine to fulfill their obligation.
When we read the Megillah and light the candles we recite a special blessing commemorating the miracles that took place on this occasion: "Praised are you…who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days and at this time." Like many other commentators, Rabbi Bondi wonders why we don’t say this blessing on Passover. He suggests that the reason was that we recite a passage similar to the blessing at just before the second cup of wine. Look in your Haggadah and see if you can find it!
(1) 1. Rachatz: After preparing yourself to speak before the Holy One, you must wash before entering the banquet hall. This may be compared to the person who comes to a mortal king to bring him a report. First he dresses himself in nice clothing and washes his face and hands so that there is nothing unseemly about his appearance. If this is what one does for a mortal king, how much more so for the Sovereign of all sovereigns, the Holy One who fills the universe with glory, when one comes to speak before Him and to recount the wonders and miracles and kindness He has performed for us, to give praise and thanksgiving . How much more so should one wash and dress oneself in nice clothes for such an occasion!
2. There is another reason for the washing of the hands. This is an allusion to freedom on this night. On this night we act like a fussy and picky ruler who doesn’t eat anything without first washing up. It is for this reason that the washing is conducted by others for us so that we appear like a ruler who is being attended to by his servant.
One should not be surprised that the person who is attending to others appears more like a servant than a sovereign. He too should also appear like royalty (with someone attending to him) for all Israel is obligated to participate in this seder and appear like royalty. This is not a problem since both the person who attends to others and the person who is attended to by others illustrate the greatness of the Holy One and the lowliness of human beings.
We acknowledge a human being's importance by the way that others serve him. This is not the case with the Holy One who shows His glory by the way he serves His children. We learn this from a passage "Who is like you among the mighty," which is understood to mean there are none that act like You do. (Shemot Rabbah 20,25) "What is the difference between mortal beings and the Holy One? How does a mortal king exhibit his glory? His servant attends to him and serves him. This is not the case with the Holy One who attends to and serves his children. A mortal king is bathed by his servants while the Holy One bathes (and purified) Israel, as is written: "I bathed you in water." (Ez.16:9) God also anoints his children, as is written, "I anointed you with oil." (Ez. 16:9) God dressed them, as it is written: "And I clothed you with embroidered garments." (Ez. 16:9) A road is prepared for a mortal king while the Holy One made a path through the sea for His children. The servant carries the mortal king while the Holy one carries his children, "on the wings of eagles." Servants put shoes on the feet of the mortal king while with the Holy One, it is just the opposite: "I gave you sandals of dolphin leather." (Ez. 16:9) When a mortal king sleeps, his servants stand guard over him. Just the opposite with the Holy One, as it is written, "The guardian of Israel neither slumbers or sleeps." (Ps. 121)
3. There is yet another reason for the first washing. According to Rabbi Elazar, food that is dipped in liquids (such as salt water or vinegar) necessitates the washing of hands. The sages decreed secondary impurity of hands and impurity of the liquid to be primary. The Turei Zahav asks (Siman 473; An important commentary on the Shulchan Aruch by David ha-Levi Segal c. 1586 – 1667) why are we more scrupulous on this night than the rest of the year so that we make a point of purifying ourselves on this night? Just as we are more scrupulous on this night, it is fitting to be no less scrupulous on the Ten Days of Repentance, Sabbaths and Holy Days, in our judgment.
This concern is reflected in the other steps of the seder, Kadesh U'rechatz, etc… They are connected to one another. After one has prepared himself to enter into the sanctity of the day (Kadesh), he must now wash (urechatz) as in the expression, "Wash yourself clean." (Is. 1:16) Thus, we are not like a person who immerses himself in a mikvah while holding an impure reptile in his hand. It is not enough to sanctify himself - he must purify himself also when taking the karpas.
(2) Let Me Explain
1. Like Kadesh, the purpose of the opening 'steps' of the seder is to spiritually prepare ourselves for this evening. We must strive to reach a level of spiritual purity because we are now in the presence of the Holy One.
2. Being a king is not about being served by others. It is also about serving others. Rabbi Bondi suggests that God's greatness is reflected in all the ways that God cares for us rather than in the ways we worship God.
3. Finally, Bondi offers a more halachic reason for the washing of hands before the karpas. But it too relates to the notion of striving to reach a higher level of purity on Passover night. His first explanation is more behavioral, the second theological, and the third draws on the legal sources to explain the status of 'washing.' See BT Pesahim 115a. In temple times, impurity was serious business. Food had to be consumed in a state of purity – this was required not of the kohanim but regular Jews as well. According to the sages, liquid is more susceptible to and is a more potent “carrier” of ritual impurity. Some rabbis see this as a pious flourish required only of the leader of the Seder while others consider this extra precaution to be a serious matter on Seder night even if we do not observe it the rest of the year.
לוקח מן הכרפס פחות מכזית - כדי שלא יתחייב בברכה אחרונה - טובל במי מלח, מברך "בורא פרי האדמה", ומכווין לפטור בברכה גם את המרור. אוכל בלא הסבה.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה.
Take from the greens less than a kazayit - so that you will not need to say the blessing after eating it; dip it into the salt water; say the blessing "who creates the fruit of the earth;" and have in mind that this blessing will also be for the bitter herbs. Eat without reclining.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.
(1) Karpas: One dips green vegetables in salt water to symbolize that like karpas, we must undergo an entire immersion of one's body for the purpose of a complete purification. One should not be like the person who immerses himself with an impure reptile in his hand, God forbid! This is an allusion to the fact that the Israelites were idolaters while they were in Egypt. When God took them out of Egypt in order sanctify them by giving them the Torah, it was necessary first to remove the impurity that was upon them and to have them perform complete repentance. One immerses the greens to symbolize the Baal Teshuvah (repentant) who is as humble as the plants in the field which are trampled underfoot.
The greens are called karpas, which comes from the word for trampled over; or it is related to the word refes, spelled with a shin instead of a samech, which is the word for mud or earth. (See Rashi in Proverbs, 6) Karpas is a reminder that the Israelites were humiliated by the Egyptians; they were like "mud and dirt."
The combination of the words rehatz and karpas also hint at the process of purification: first cleansing oneself, then immersion and finally 'sprinkling,' as we find in the law of the red heifer: the sprinkling of the ashes of the red heifer mixed in water was done with a bunch of hyssop. (See Nu.19:18) Here we dip a bunch of greens as an allusion to this ritual of purification. Similarly, the people were commanded in Egypt to dip some greens in the blood of the Passover lamb and to place the blood on the lintel and the doorposts of their homes, as it says, You shall take a bunch of hyssops.." (Ex. 12:22)
Another reason for dipping: Having preparing himself to go before the King, he now shows his allegiance and his willingness to obey the King's command. By dipping the greens in salt water or vinegar, he still remembers the time when he was humbled while in Egypt and that God took us out of subjugation so that we could reach this exalted level. The dipping of karpas alludes to two opposing ideas, subjugation and freedom. First it symbolizes subjugation when our lives were like the vinegar or the salt water, and in the end it symbolizes the merit of dipping the hyssop when we fulfilled the commandment of placing the blood on the doorposts of our homes, so that Israel was saved from the death of the first born and afterwards they went forth to freedom.
Karpas is a code word for subjugation, which we learn by reading the word backwards; the letter samech followed by the word parech (oppression). This means that sixty (number value of samech) ten-thousands were forced to do oppressive labor. (Ex. 13) Another way that I interpret this word is as an abbreviation, both forward and backwards.
פנים כרבוא פעמים ס ,אחור סופם פרך
First they were a people of sixty thousand; afterwards they were oppressed.
פנים. כלו רעמסס פתום ס ' רבוא -- אחור ס' רבוא פתום רעמסס כלו>br?Another interpretation: read forward: sixty thousand finished the city of Ramses and Pitom and read backwards: sixty thousand finished Pitom and Ramses.
בתחילה ס רבוא פה רך אבל סוף פרך
Yet another allusion in the word karpas: In the beginning there were sixty thousand who were enticed by soft words. In the end sixty thousand were oppressed. (the words for soft word Peh rach and the word for oppression - parech - are the same Hebrew letters).
(2) Let Me Explain
Rabbi Bondi finds several different ways of interpreting the dipping of the Karpas in salt water or vinegar.
1. The dipping symbolizes the process of teshuvah. It had to be a complete and unadulterated immersion. Rabbi Bondi uses the expression, immersing oneself with a reptile in his hand. Obviously if one does this, one is not purified by the immersion since the reptile is impure - is a useless act. Following on Kadesh and Rehatz, all three of these terms are types of purification. One must conduct ones immersion with humility just as the greens that one immerses are humble plants of the field.
2. Picking up on the theme of humility, the author suggests that the karpas is actually ki-refesh, 'like mud,' an allusion to how the Egyptians treated the Israelites. We are not only humble in the presence of God like the greens but we were humiliated by the Egyptians when we were slaves in Egypt.
3. The karpas is connected with the tenth plague - the death of the first born and the Passover offering. It is also an allusion to the hyssop plants which were immersed in the blood of the paschal lamb and they brushed against the doorposts of the house on the night of the tenth plague.
4. By performing this act at the beginning of the Seder, we are showing God that we have not forgotten how he redeemed us from Egypt and we are also showing that we faithfully followed His instructions by killing the lamb and dipping the hyssop in its blood which was then placed on the doorposts of the house.
5. Finally, Rabbi Bondi plays with the letters of the word karpas, suggesting that it contains the entire story of the Exodus from subjugation to freedom. He reads the letters both backwards and forwards (and from the inside out) finding hidden messages in these words. Unfortunately, there is no way to capture the cleverness of these different abbreviations.
(3) The Tenth Plague is Central
The redemption from Egypt was fulfilled through the plague of the first born; this was also the first warning that God gave to the Egyptians. (See Ex. 4:22-24, "Thus says the Lord: 'Israel is my first born. I have said to you, Let My son go that they may worship Me; Yet you refuse to let them go. Now I will kill your first born.'") The reason for this is that the purpose of the redemption from Egypt was to make known and publicize the power and unity of God in the world. (This could only be accomplished by striking down the first born.) Egypt was mired in idolatry, the oldest Egyptians claiming they were gods. As a result, Egyptians who were younger could never boast to those who were older than them they were gods. Their elders had witnessed with their own eyes that they were born of a mortal women from a putrid drop of semen. The elders, on the other hand, could deceive those who were younger as well as their own children with false oaths and lies claiming that they were gods and that they had created themselves, just as Pharaoh said about himself. Therefore, when God struck down the first born, even the firstborn of every household, they had to admit that there is no God but the God of Israel, blessed be God's name. This is stated in the Talmud: When the holy one took vengeance on the whole nation and punished its gods. (See Rashi, Ex. 11:5)
(1) Yachatz: The Broken Matzah:
Limits, Memory, Promises, and Change
(2) Yahatz, the breaking of the middle matzah, has several different meanings:
1. It is a reminder that the tenth plague happened in middle of the night. Thus we break the middle matzah into two unequal pieces because Moses said; "Thus said the Lord: 'About midnight I will go forth among the Egyptians…'" (Ex. 11:4) Moses said k'chatzot, "about midnight," and not exactly at midnight, since only God is capable of knowing the exact moment of an event. The broken matzah is a reminder of human limitations and the greatness of God.
2. The broken matzah is a reminder that God split the sea. Similarly, the sea was not split equally into two parts so we break the matzah into two unequal parts.
3. God divided the years that were mentioned in the Covenant of the Pieces into unequal parts. The people were not subjugated by the Egyptians for 400 years (as promised in Gen. 15:13) but were enslaved only 210 years; so too the matzah is divided into larger and smaller pieces . The larger piece is hidden under the pillow (for the Afikomen) as a symbol of the majority of the years that the Israelites were enslaved, and the smaller piece is placed back on the plate as a symbol of Israel's freedom. It is on this piece of matzah that we say "This is the bread of affliction…" It is for this reason that one who failed to make the Passover offering in the Temple or one who ate leavened food on Passover was punished with karet, extirpation. This is a fitting punishment, measure for measure: since God cut short the number of years that Israel was to be enslaved, a Jew is punished by having his years cut short when he fails to observe Passover. God cut short Israel's subjugation so that they would not fall down to the fiftieth level of impurity and thus become unredeemable. God in His great mercy made certain that the number of years Israel spent in Egypt was shortened so that they could still be redeemed.
4. Having sanctified himself and immersed himself in the way of a ba'al teshuvah, he now celebrates the festival. This is called Yachatz , from the word mechetzeh or chatzi, half. The celebration on festivals is partially devoted to God and partially devoted to the persons physical comforts. The larger portion of the commandment to rejoice on the festivals is for God. This is represented by the Afikomen, the larger piece of the matzah. This portion is hidden behind a pillow just the reward of the portion for the world to come is hidden from sight. Even though this reward is huge, it is beyond our comprehension, as is written: "In the covert of your presence you hide them from the plots of men. You hold them safe under your shelter from the strife of tongues." (Psalms 31:20)
(3) Let Me Explain
Why do we break the middle matzah and hide the larger portion of it for the Afikomen to be consumed at the end of the Seder meal? Rabbi Bondi explores the significance not only in breaking the matzah into two pieces but purposely breaking it into two unequal size pieces. He offers four reasons, which I would suggest fall into four different categories: theological, historical, prophetic, and existential. These four categories closely parallel Pardes, the literal, homoletical, allegorical and mystical.
1. The first explanation is the theological. Moses does not say that the tenth plague will come at midnight but "around midnight." The rabbis puzzled over this expression and explained that lest the Egyptians timing was off they might accuse Moses of having been wrong in his timing. Therefore Moses fudged the time a bit so that he could not be accused of being off in his timing. Only God can know the exact middle point of the night. One should note that midnight does not mean 12 AM but the middle point between sundown and sunrise. This is a halachic category which the rabbis regularly use to define times during the night.
2. The second explanation (and the third to an extent) is historical. The broken matzah is a reminder of the splitting of the red sea, and the amount of time that Israel was enslaved in Egypt.
3. Prophetic/historical - the Covenant of the Pieces refers to the mysterious vision that Abraham has in which God predicts that Israel will be strangers in a land not their own for four hundred years. (Genesis 15) The problem with this prophecy is that Israel was only enslaved 210 years - so what happened to the other 190 years. According to the sages, the Israelites were liberated earlier because they could not have endured 400 years of slavery. There are fifty levels of impurity - if Israel had descended all fifty levels they would have been incapable of being redeemed. God, therefore, redeemed them when they reached the 49th level of impurity before they were completely lost - this was after 210 years.
5. The existential interpretation continues an earlier line of interpretation. The fifteen steps in the Seder are not a reference to the ritual acts that are part of the Seder but also refer to the ways in which we sanctify our lives and undergo a process of spiritual transformation, beginning with kadesh - preparation, urechatz - cleansing, and karpas - immersion. We are now spiritually ready to celebrate and rejoice in the presence of God, yachatz - both for ourselves and for the sake of God.
מגלה את המצות, מגביה את הקערה ואומר בקול רם:
הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא דִּי אֲכָלוּ אַבְהָתָנָא בְאַרְעָא דְמִצְרָיִם. כָּל דִכְפִין יֵיתֵי וְיֵיכֹל, כָּל דִצְרִיךְ יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח. הָשַּׁתָּא הָכָא, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּאַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל. הָשַּׁתָּא עַבְדֵי, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין.
The Recitation [of the exodus story]
The leader uncovers the matsot, raises the Seder plate, and says out loud:
This is the bread of destitution that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Anyone who is famished should come and eat, anyone who is in need should come and partake of the Pesach sacrifice. Now we are here, next year we will be in the land of Israel; this year we are slaves, next year we will be free people.
Maggid: We devote the first part of the Seder to God through the study of Torah. Maggid refers to the study of Torah. Maggid also means confession. The Baal Teshuvah must make a verbal confession.
From Kadesh to Nirtzah (the order of the Seder) there are sixteen words which together allude to Yohakh, the sword of the Holy One. God smote Egypt with it until the Egyptians allowed the Israelites to go free. It is for this reason that we toss sixteen drops of wine from our cup when we recite the ten plagues, the plague acrostic (D'zakh Adash Ba'achav), and the three expressions dam va-esh v'timrot ashan.
Maggid refers to each symbol and its opposite. The sages decreed that the opening passage should be in Aramaic, the language of Babylonia, so that we begin with disgrace. Abarbanel wrote that the Egyptians fed Israel this unappetizing bread which is hard to swallow and digest. We begin by referring to a piece of matzah - since it is the way of the needy to only keep out a piece of bread. It is a reminder of servitude and disgrace. But one ends by saying, "Next year may we be free."
(2) Let Me Explain
Rabbi Bondi offers two ways of reading Maggid. The first is Torah study and the second, confession. For the sages studying Torah was a kind of prayer - it is a devotional act through which we praise God by seeking to understand God's revelation. The intellect and the heart are directly connected to one another. The second interpretation of Maggid is "confession." This is part of the spiritual process of repentance which begins preparatory (Kaddesh), continues with purification (Rechatz and Karpas) and then rejoicing in the presence of God (Yahatz). We are now prepared to offer confession (Maggid), part of the process of return to God. Maggid as confession is not as strange as it might seem, at first. In Deuteronomy 26, which is the basis of the Maggid, the passage is introduced: "I acknowledge (higaditi) this day before the Lord your God that I have entered the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to assign to us." (Deut 26:3) Higaditi comes from the same root as Haggadah. It is a kind of confession or affirmation of faith. By reciting the Haggadah we are confirming our connection to God and our historic roots as a nation.
The "order of the Seder" also alludes to a deeper mystical meaning. The sixteen words that make up the poem "Kaddesh U'Rechatz…" are associated with the sixteen times that we place our finger and remove wine from our cup later on and the mysterious name of God, Yohakh (see the foot note below). There are other references to God's sword later in the Seder.
Finally, Maggid begins with a theme that appears throughout the Seder: each object or symbol at the Seder represents an idea and its opposite: slavery and freedom, bitterness and hope, etc. In the opening words of the Seder we begin by holding up the matzah and referring to it as a poor person's bread or slave's food but we end by saying, "Next year we will be free." We are supposed to see both darkness and hope in all things on this night.
(1) Like this Bread of Poverty:
Celebrating Passover with Elegance
Even though the purpose of the passage, K'ha lachma anya, was to invite guests into ones home for the Seder meal, one should be cautious not to invite Jewish guests who have denied their faith or gentile guests. Because this passage was added to the Seder while the Jewish people were living in Babylonia, they could not say this explicitly; it was dangerous to do so. Therefore, they only alluded to it. They decreed that the person should simply say, "All who are hungry come and eat;" so the listener wouldn’t misunderstand his intentions, first they would say, "Which our ancestors ate." That is, the invitation was only for fellow Jews whose ancestors were in the land of Egypt and who ate the bread of affliction. It was meant to exclude anyone who was not a co-religionist. Also, so as not to mislead those who heard the invitation, they said, "All who need to observe the Passover…" excluding those who rejected the faith of their ancestors. That is why they said, "All who need to observe the Passover."
The passage, "All who need to observe the Passover…" need not refer to those who deny the faith since we have an explicit verse that excludes them from participating in the Passover Seder: "This is the law of the Passover offering. No stranger shall eat of it." (Exodus 12:43) This applies both to Jews who are alienated from their faith and to non-Jews.
The passage goes on: "Now we are here" in the of Babylonian exile and we cannot say this explicitly; "But next year we will be in the land of Israel," where we can say, "All who, among the Jewish people, who are hungry…"
It was in Babylonia that our ancestors were forced to hide their true sentiments about who was invited to the Seder. So why can't we say what we think more explicitly now that we are no longer in Babylonia?
Also, what do the final words of this passage mean for those who are already living in the land of Israel? How can they say, "Next year may we be in the land of Israel." One of the final two passages applies to those living in the land of Israel and the other to those who are not in the land of Israel. Those in the exile say, "Now we are here; next year in the land of Israel." Those in Israel say, "Now we are slaves; next year may we be free." For us today (living in the Diaspora) both statements are relevant: Next year may we be free and in the land of Israel.
(2) Translator's Introduction Rabbi Bondi begins by discussing the elegance with which we should celebrate Passover: our best dishes and utensils, our finest clothes. This stands in stark contrast to the words with which we begin the Haggadah: This is the bread of poverty. The fine utensils remind us of how Israel plundered the Egyptians before leaving Egypt. If we follow it back even farther, it is also a painful reminder of how the Egyptians enslaved and robbed the Israelites in the first place. The story of Israel’s subjugation as recorded in this commentary sets the stage for the story of Israel’s redemption. It is also a not so veiled commentary about assimilation in nineteenth century Germany.
(3) Here is the reason we use fine utensils and clothing at the Seder, each according to his ability. The first reason: To show that we left Egypt like royalty on this night on the journey to freedom. Just as royalty uses the finest utensils as befits a king (Esther 1:7), so we do the same as a commemoration of the Exodus.
The second reason: This is how we give thanks and praise to our Father in Heaven. Our ancestors had utensils of silver and gold as well as fine clothing that they took from the Egyptians before leaving Egypt. So, too, we use fine utensils as we celebrate the Passover. This is our way of showing that God has not abandoned us and has had compassion upon us even in this time of exile. It is also a reminder of the promise (which God made to Abraham) in Scripture: "Afterwards they will go forth (from Egypt) with great wealth." (Gen 15:14).
One shouldn't become haughty and think, as a result of this blessing, that, "My own power and the strength of my hand have won this wealth for me." (Deut. 8:17) Just the opposite! The more God blesses a person with wealth and possessions, the more he should tremble, realizing that one received these gifts as a result of God's graciousness and not because of one's good deeds. Rather, he has received them because "the grace that I have granted and the compassion that I have shown you." (Ex. 33:19) With this in mind, each person should make an effort to act properly and to cleave to God's ways. We are reminded that God showed compassion to us during the Exodus from Egypt; he lifted us up from the dust and enriched us according to the promise He made to our father, Abraham, and fulfilled the promise, "Afterwards they went forth with great wealth," (Gen 15:14)
One shouldn’t be surprised, (saying): "Doesn’t God hate robbery? How could he command the people to plunder Egypt? Even stealing from a non-Jew is prohibited!
(The plunder taken from Egypt were reparations.) The wealth that the Israelites took was not even enough to repay the Israelites for the labor performed by 600,000 Israelite men who were subjugated for 210 years. Even if the amount had been doubled it would not be enough! This is all the more the case when one considers the loss of life. The Torah says Israel went forth from Egypt chamushim. (Exodus 13:18) Some say chamuchim means that only one in fifty of the Israelites went forth from Egypt and others say that it means that only one in five hundred. (The others died serving the Egyptians.) Others claim that all the silver and gold that they took from the Egyptians actually was originally theirs; the Egyptians had stolen it from them, as we shall see based on the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, and Exodus Rabbah.
I will now present the story of Israel's enslavement. In Exodus Ch. 1 we learn: "Joseph died and all his brothers and all that generation. But the Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and increased very, very, greatly, so that the land was filled with them. (Ex. 1:6-7) The Midrash says that six came forth from each womb; others say, sixty. The Israelites became wealthy and influential members of Egyptian society as a result of the inheritance they received from Joseph. Joseph amassed vineyards and fields as well as silver and gold during his tenure as a leader. Even though he filled Pharaoh's treasury, he also acquired great wealth. He also made the Egyptians move from city to city so that they would not forget that the land did not belong to them. By doing this, the Egyptians could not call the Israelites exiles since everyone was exiled from their homes. Thus, Joseph removed the disgrace from the Israelites who had been outsiders and exiles.
During this time the Egyptians and the Israelites had equal rights. The Israelites, however, were wealthier than their neighbors. They became haughty and soon forgot that they were the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They began to follow the practices of the Egyptians and to observe their statutes so that Israel would be seen as completely the same as everyone else. They even abandoned the covenant of circumcision!
What did the Holy One do? God turned the hearts of the Egyptians against the Israelites. From lovers of Israel, the Egyptians became haters of Israel. Israel was a thorn in their side. As a result, the Egyptians wanted to make decrees against the Israelites.
Scripture says, "A new king arose." Wasn’t this the same Pharaoh as before? When the Egyptians told Pharaoh to harm to the Israelites, he said to them: "You are fools! Were it not for Joseph, none of you would be alive today. We are eating his food!”
When Pharaoh refused to heed them, they removed him from his royal position for three months until he said: "All that you want I will do." Only then did they return him to the throne. That is why the Torah says, "A new king arose." From then on Pharaoh became a different man, doing whatever pleased his people. He showed even greater hatred against Israel than the other Egyptians, as it is written: He said to his people…" He began by offering advice: "Let us deal wisely…" We must subjugate them step by step until they are completely beneath our control.”
Another interpretation of "And he said: Let us deal wisely …" “Let us figure out where their strength comes from so we can subjugate them and eviscerate their might completely. In that way they will never be able to rise up against us and join our enemies. Also we must weaken them so that they stop having children; they will shrink in numbers and not increase.”
When they realized how much the Israelites wanted to be just like the Egyptians, Pharaoh took counsel with his people. They saw that whatever the Egyptians did, the Israelites copied with all their might. Therefore, the Egyptians decided to build fortified cities. They announced that all the important people in Egypt should help in this building project. They organized the people into platoons of soldiers. Even Pharaoh hung a brick around his neck and volunteered to help out in the building project. When the Israelites saw this, they came forward and joyfully joined in. They worked with all their might in order to be just like their neighbors and to show that they were they were one with them. The Egyptians praised them for their efforts on the first day. In this way the Egyptians saw how much the Israelites were able to accomplish.
After that the Egyptians separated themselves from the Israelites one by one and decreed that the Israelites had to do the same amount of work every day. They did allow the quota of bricks to be diminished. It was truly ruthless labor (parekh)…On the first day the Egyptians convinced them to do the work with ‘a soft tongue’ (peh rakh), but in the end it turned out to be a pretext for ruthless labor (parekh).
The Egyptians then passed decrees against the Israelites, each more difficult than the one before. They decreed that since the Israel were now their slaves, anything the Israelites owned now belonged to their Egyptian masters. They took all their silver and gold and possessions so that the Israelites became impoverished. Now they had nothing to eat except what the Egyptians gave them each day. The people of Israel had to work each day for a piece of bread. They had to work hard just to stay alive. It is in remembrance of this that the sages decreed that we should begin the Seder by saying, "This is like the bread of poverty which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt."
(4) Let Me Explain
Rabbi Bondi, drawing classic rabbinic Midrash, turns the story enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt into a diatribe against assimilation. Remember that Rabbi Bondi is writing this commentary at the end of the nineteenth century in Germany at a time of wide spread assimilation. He has watched with alarm as the Reform Judaism has more and more influence over his community. The Israelites ( as well as his co-religionists) desperately want to be accepted by their neighbors. They are willing to follow their customs and laws of their neighbors to show their unity with the Egyptians/Germans. They are even willing to give up the practice of Brit Milah, circumcision in the interest of being like their neighbors. For this, God punishes the people of Israel. The Holy One turns the neighbor’s collegiality into animosity. No doubt, Rabbi Bondi was aware that the harder his coreligionists tried to assimilate into European society, the more their neighbors held them in low regard. In the story of the Exodus, what happens as a result of this? The Egyptians use this ‘weakness’ as a means of persecuting the Israelites.
(5) Lechem Oni: The Bread of Miserliness
Why does the Haggadah say, "(This is the bread of poverty which our ancestors ate) in the land of Egypt" instead of "(This is the bread of poverty which our ancestors ate) when they left Egypt?" I learned the following explanation from my grandfather, Rabbi Abraham Naphtali Hertz Sheier. The Zohar explains that the verse, "Do not eat of a stingy man's bread," (Proverbs 23:6) applies to Joseph's brothers. The Egyptians were resentful of them because they were invited to eat at Joseph's table during the years of famine. (They were resentful of Joseph and his brothers for not sharing the great wealth of Egypt.) And so, the Egyptians punished them during the exile by feeding them Lechem ra ayin, "a stingy man's bread." Another term for this is lechem oni. We hint at this explanation when we say, "This is like the lechem oni, the miserly bread, which our ancestors at in the land of Egypt." That is, when the tribes were in Egypt at Joseph's table. (The miserliness of Joseph's brothers) caused the Egyptians to feed us lechem oni. Today we eat lechem oni as a reminder of what happened in Egypt. We must repair our ancestors' sin, and show that we do not act in a miserly fashion. By behaving with hospitality and generosity, we show that we are no longer miserly.
A miserly person invites the needy person to his table but extends the invitation only once. He knows that the needy tend to turn down such an invitation. The miser says nothing more because he is afraid that if he asks again, the poor person might accept the invitation. He is happy when he hears that the needy person has turned down his invitation - his actions are really deceptive and miserly.
This is not the Jewish way. Jews are a compassionate people, children of compassionate people. They coax the needy person to join them at the dinner table. When the needy person turns down the invitation, they asks again and again until he agrees to join the meal. That is why, the language of this passage is doubled: "All who are hungry come and eat; all who are needy come celebrate the Passover." Similarly, we need to coax the needy person with a generous heart and joyfully.
"Now we are here," in exile but (but by showing generosity and hospitality) "next year we will be in Jerusalem in the Land of Israel." It is through the merit of Tzedakah joyfully and purely performed that we will be redeemed, as it is written, "Zion shall be redeemed through justice and her repentant ones through tzedakah." (Is. 1:27) The words of his mouth are truly fine. It is for this reason that the sages decreed that this passage should be in Aramaic, and that it should begin with disgrace, "In Egypt they ate the bread of miserliness," and that it should end with praise, "Next year may we be free."
(6) Let Me Explain
Lechem Oni first appears in Deuteronomy 16:3. In the NJPS translation, it is translated as "the bread of distress." It is translated in a variety of other ways: the bread of affliction, poor bread and the bread of persecution. Rabbi Bondi understands this expression in a different way: "miserly bread." He connects it to the story of Joseph. Having brought his family down to Egypt during the years of famine, Joseph allowed Jacob and his family to eat at his table. While other people were impoverished by Joseph's economic policies, the children of Israel lived in comfort. It is no wonder that the Egyptians resented Jacob and his family. When Joseph and his brothers died, the Egyptians took vengeance on them and impoverished them, feeding them "miserly bread" as payback for the years of poverty the people of Egypt endured during the famine.
This was the sin to which Rabbi Bondi refers. It is now our obligation to 'repair' the sin committed in Egypt by being especially generous and hospitable in our dealings with others. Rabbi Bondi distinguishes Jewish hospitality from that of their neighbors (we might take exception with this judgment of Jews and gentiles). The Jewish way is not simply to invite someone and leave it at that. One should coax them until they agree to come; one must do so with a joyful heart.
Thus when we say, "This is the lechem oni which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt, we are reminded both of Israel's sin in not being generous in their dealings with Egypt and the way in which the Egyptians punished them for their miserliness. It is a reminder to redeem the world through justice and tzedakah by sharing with others.
(7) K'ha Lachma Anya:
Hospitality as a Jewish Value
I will now offer an interpretation for the rest of the passage, "Like this bread of affliction," based on Isaac Abarbanel's commentary. The unleavened bread which the Egyptians fed to Israel was inferior, similar to the type of bread that is served to soldiers going off to battle.  It was hard to digest and one could not eat a large amount of it like other types of food. It is similar to matzah, lechem oni; our ancestors ate something like it that was made without salt or honey.
We begin, 'Our ancestors ate something similar to "lechem oni,"  made without salt or honey, and is impossible to enjoy unless one is extremely hungry.' For a hungry person, even the bitter tastes sweet. Thus, our ancestors were enslaved in Egypt from morning to night. They were starving when they returned from their labors. The piece of matzah/bread given to them by the Egyptians was like the finest dainties and was sweet in their mouths so that they ate it ravenously in order to stay alive. It is for this reason that we do not eat matzah on the eve of Passover and we don’t eat anything from the time of Minchah onward, "so that we will eat the matzah with an appetite." It is in remembrance of this that we say "All who are hungry come and eat…" In other words, "All who have not had anything to eat today, come and eat at this time." The matzah is a reminder of slavery as well as the Passover sacrifice. As a symbol of the Passover sacrifice, it also symbolizes freedom. The Passover sacrifice is the food of royalty who always ate their meat roasted. We also say, "All who needy come and observe the Passover come. One who observes the commandments of matzah and maror which symbolizes slavery, will gain the merit of fulfilling the commandant of the Passover sacrifice which symbolizes freedom.
"Now we are here:" This expression is a continuation of the previous phrase, "All who are needy come and observe the Passover." "Now we are here" reminds us that we can't observe the Passover right now in exile - we hope to do so next year in the land of Israel. If we were in the land of Israel observing the sacrificial Passover, we would not be able to make the statement "All who are needy come observe the Passover." When the Passover sacrifice is being offered, it can only be eaten by those who were previously assigned to it. (You cannot take in other people to partake of the sacrifice once it has been offered).
Finally, how can one make the statement, "Next year in the land of Israel?" Perhaps we won't be in the land of Israel next year! To this, we answer, "Now we are slaves…next year may we be free. " This is a way of saying that our status depends on us. The Talmud states: "When the people of Israel obey the will of the Holy they are called 'children' but when they fail to obey the will of the Holy one they are called 'slaves.'" When we fail to obey God we are subjugated in the exile; therefore, we are called slaves. But when we obey God's will, we are immediately redeemed and called children.
This is hinted at in this passage: 'Now we are slaves' - because of our many sins. But next year we will be free because we will obey God's will and we will be b'nai horin (Literally children of freedom). We will become free through the redemption - may we merit to be in the land of Israel.
I will now answer the following questions:
1. Why was it decreed that the Seder should begin in this way in Babylonia?
2. Why does it contain repetitious language?
3. What does the continuation of the passage mean?
4. Why was this statement made in Aramaic?
Before we begin the story of the Exodus and in praise of the Holy One, we start by chastising those present in a language familiar to them, warning them not to act like the Egyptians. We tell them to remove the miserliness of the Egyptians from themselves and to follow the proper path, acting according to the virtues of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They should invite guests to eat with them, serving them cheerfully and comforting them with kind words, This is the essence of the commandment of hachnasat orchim, hospitality: to make the depressed happy and to speak to the hearts of the needy so that they fulfill the words of the sages: "Those who give to the needy receive six blessings and those who comfort them are given thirteen blessings."
It is also a great mitzvah to give the finest and richest food to the poor. Those who serve eat gourmet food while serving the needy poorer quality food have rejected this commandment - it is a cruel sin for one who acts deceitfully toward the needy and toward God. They present themselves as if they are fulfilling the commandment of hospitality (while they really aren’t.) In the future such people will stand in judgment for having humiliated the needy with the wealth that was given to them by God. It would have been better not to invite them at all. Rather, one should honor the poor even more than the rich! Who is greater than our forefather, Abraham? He had many servants and yet he personally served his guest. How much more so should we show honor to the needy. God forbid that we should exalt ourselves over the needy as if we were better than them.
Instead, one should appease and comfort the poor with kind words, speaking sincerely to them and telling them, "We are all the brothers from one father," and similar things. These sentiments are hinted at in the introductory words to the Haggadah which were decreed in Babylonia. We begin, "Like the bread of miserliness which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt." The expression "Our ancestors" is a way of telling the needy that they need not be embarrassed by their poverty since all of us come from very poor ancestors. Tonight we are all dressed in our finest clothing and we are all using the best of utensils like the richest people. Even though our ancestors were oppressed by poverty, in the end God blessed them with great wealth and fine clothing. This should be a comfort to the poor.
One should say to the needy: "Even though it is necessary for you to depend on the table of another, it is in God's power to enrich you and your offspring tomorrow with great wealth, as he did for our ancestors long ago in Egypt." One must act in a way that shows that one has not adopted the attributes of the Egyptians, God forbid, who did not provide sufficient sustenance to the Israelites when they subjugated them. What the Egyptians gave the Israelites was done so they could subjugate them even more. When the Israelites asked more of them, the Egyptians answered:" Go forth and work harder."
It is not the custom of Israel to act in this way. Follow the custom of the Jewish people who say, "All who are hungry come and eat." Even though we are not required to provide this person a salary for their labors, we still invite them, "Come and eat." Nor should we follow the ways of the Egyptians by giving our guests poor quality and disgusting food. We should indulge the needy person and give them the best of the best, such as roasted meat, as is the custom of royalty. This is the meaning of the expression, "All who are needy come observe Passover."
Even after you have given the poor person the finest food, comfort him with words, saying to him, "You will not always be in distress. May the All-Merciful have compassion upon you and take you out of your poverty. May God exalt you and cause you to succeed." This is hinted at in the final part of this passage: "Now we are here," dependent on the table of others, but "Next year in the land of Israel." Then all people will be equal and everyone will have great wealth. Continue to comfort him: "At this hour we are all slaves," the same as one another but "Next year we will all be free!"
(9) A Postscript to Ha Lachma Anya
Translator's Introduction K'ha lachma anya, we have seen, is invitation to join the family for the celebration of Passover. Are there limits or boundaries in who should be invited? The following explanation of Ha Lachma Anya is not pleasant or something we might agree with today, but it is part of the commentary, so I am including it here. Remember that he is writing at the height of the emancipation in Germany and at a time when Non-Orthodox forms of Judaism were beginning to flourish In Germany. Also, Jews were living and interacting with their non-Jewish neighbors. Rabbi Bondi has just finished speaking about the importance of hospitality but he now places limits on who can and should be invited to one's Seder. Jews who deny Judaism should not be invited to partake of the Seder. No doubt, members of his community had family who had become Reform Jews or had become assimilated into German Society. Some might have actually converted to Christianity, for convenience sake. For Rabbi Bondi, they had no place at the family table on Passover night.
מסיר את הקערה מעל השולחן. מוזגין כוס שני. הבן שואל:
מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת? שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה - כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה.שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה (כֻּלּוֹ) מָרוֹר. שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים. שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין - הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּנוּ מְסֻבִּין.
He removes the plate from the table. We pour a second cup of wine. The son then asks:
What differentiates this night from all [other] nights? On all [other] nights we eat chamets and matsa; this night, only matsa? On all [other] nights we eat other vegetables; tonight marror. On all [other] nights, we don't dip [our food], even one time; tonight [we dip it] twice. On [all] other nights, we eat either sitting or reclining; tonight we all recline.
(1) The Reason for the Four Cups of Wine:
Four Types of Redemption
Translator's Introduction According to the Talmud Berachot 54b, Psalm 107 is the basis for the four occasions when we recite the Gomel blessing. This is the blessing which we recite when we have faced a life threatening experience. According to the psalmist, we give thanks when we have crossed the sea, traversed a wilderness, faced an illness or have been imprisoned. In this lengthy analysis. Rabbi Bondi relates these four experiences to the four promises that God makes to the people of Israel: I will take you out, I will save you, I will redeem you, and I will take you to be My people. These four promises are commonly believed to be the based for the four cups of wine we drink at the Seder.
In Bereishit Rabbah (88:5) we find that Rabbah bar Rav Hunah said in the name of Rava: The four cups of wine are for the four expressions of redemption mentioned in connection with the story of the Exodus: “I will take you out,” “I will save you,” “I will redeem you”, and “I will take you to be my people,” in Parshat Vayera (Exodus 6). There are a number of questions to be explored in this matter. First, why does Scripture differentiate four different expressions for redemption and why did the sages connect these four expressions with the four cups of wine? Is there a basis for this connection between the words and the cups?
There were four types of redemption that took place from Egypt, and that the sages decreed a cup of wine for each type of redemption on the basis of the verse in Scripture: "I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." (Psalm 116:13)
Scripture used four terms of redemption to teach us about the four aspects of Israel's suffering. We are obligated to give thanks and praise to God for our redemption from each according to Berachot 54b: "There are four classes of people who have to offer thanksgiving: those who cross the sea, those who traverse the wilderness, one who has recovered from an illness, and a prisoner who has been set free..." As is written in Psalms 107: "They go down to the sea in ships….in their adversity they cried to the Lord and He took them out (yotzee'eim) from their troubles." (Ps. 107:23-32) "Some lost their way in the wilderness…In their adversity they cried out to the Lord and he saved them (yatzeeleim) from their troubles." (Ps. 107:4-9) "They reached the gates of death…in their adversity they cried to the Lord and He delivered them (yoshee'eim) from their troubles." (Ps. 107:18-19) "Bound in cruel irons…in their adversity they cried to the Lord and He delivered them (yoshee'eim) from their troubles." (Ps 107:10-17) …Let them praise the Lord for his steadfast love, His wondrous deeds for humankind…" (Ps. 107:8)
The Talmud changed the order from the scriptural passage and also changed the language: The sea and the wilderness are written in the present tense while illness and imprisonment are written in the past tense. Scripture also differentiates the four
• Those who go down to the sea (yordei hayam) - He took them out (yotzee'eim);
• Those who traverse the wilderness (holchei hamdibarot) - and he saved them (yatzeeleim);
• Sine who was ill and or faced imprisonment the psalm uses the expression, He delivered them (yoshee'eim).
There is a reason for this. The wilderness is a dangerous route to traverse. It is necessary, therefore, to offer a prayer to be spared from danger. To be saved (yatzeeleim) is to be kept safe from enemies and bandits as in the expression "And He saved me from Pharaoh's sword." In the face of such danger one become (helpless like) a blind, deaf and mute person; even so, he is able to escape from these dangers…
Regarding the sea, Scripture uses the language "He took them out" (yotzee'eim) instead of "He saved them." This is because one begins a sea journey entering the boat but when one reaches ones destination, one 'goes out' of the boat, as in "Noah went out of the ark." That is why the psalmist uses the word yotzee'eim "He causes them to go out," for the sea; that is, "he goes out in peace from the sea since nothing bad occurred or happened to him "Let them praise the Lord for his steadfast love" since he returned without mishap. Similarly, when one returns to his home from the wilderness without any mishaps such as bandits or wild animals one should 'praise the Lord for His steadfast love. It would appear that one should give thanks when returning from the sea or the wilderness even when nothing bad happened to the person, since God 'saved him' and 'brought him out," safely and without mishap.
This is not the case regarding illness and imprisonment. Unlike the sea or the wilderness, these experiences involve suffering and misfortune. One needs to be delivered from troubles; therefore, Scripture uses the term yoshee'eim, to describe them.
(Similarly, when Pharaoh the Egyptians pursued Israel, the Israelites could have experienced great suffering. On the one hand, the wilderness which is filled with snakes and scorpions, and on the other hand, Israel was pursued by the Egyptians and the sea was before them (there was no escape). Yet they were delivered before any harm could come to them. They were in need of the deliverance of God. Moses stood before the people and said to them, "Stand up and witness the deliverance (yeshuah) of the Lord!" the deliverance occurred before the troubles. That is why the Torah says, "God delivered (vayosha) them on that day…") Even if one does not experience danger in the wilderness, there is always the possibility of encountering danger, so that the by definition, a wilderness is considered places of suffering.
In the case of illness or imprisonment, the person is already experiencing tza'ar, trouble. We give thanks because God has removed the illness or freed us from prison. The Talmud describes these experiences in the past tense because we have already experienced the trouble and afterwards we were delivered.
If we look carefully at the four promises of redemption in Exodus 6:6-8, we notice a number of odd things about the language of these verses:
• It is repetitive; why was it necessary to say that God took us out of "the labors of the Egypt" and "from their bondage." These two expressions are the similar to one another.
• The expression, "I will take you out of the labors of Egypt," implies that God took us out of the labors but not out of Egypt. The essence of the God's promise is missing. The verse should have simply said "God took us out of Egypt."
• "I will save you from their bondage," implies that the issue was enslavement. But God actually saved the people not just from slavery but from the bitterness and the oppression that the Egyptians imposed on the Israelites.
• The expression "I will redeem you" is also surprising. The verse never mentions that God would redeem them from Egypt. It should have said "And I will redeem you from Egypt."
• The actual Exodus from the land of Egypt is never explicitly mentioned in any of the promises.
These four promises anticipate Israel's experience at the time of the Exodus. The Israelites were afraid of leaving Egypt. They realized that if they followed the most direct route out of Egypt and they did not come back within three days, the Egyptians would pursue them and inflict even more severe penalties on them after subjugating them once again.
Therefore God - the One who states the end from the very beginning - made known to Moses that they had no reason to fear the Egyptians; that God would arrange the exodus in the most effective way.
• 'I will take you out' implies from the sea, as we see in Psalm 107. God hinted in this promise that he would not take them by way of the land of the Philistines but rather by the way of the sea. The Israelites had no reason to fear the 'labors of Egyptians' because God planned to drown the Egyptians in the sea. "I will take you out of the labors of Egypt." This verse implies that I am taking you and not the Egyptians out.
• I will save you - from the wilderness. The Israelites might also be fearful that God would bring the people into the dangerous wilderness where they would face many difficult tasks. Since the wilderness is not a place where things grow, they would have to work very hard to find food. God reassured them by saying, "I will save you" implies from the wilderness, as in Psalm 107. Even if sin made it necessary to remain in the wilderness for an extended period of time, God reassured them by saying it will not be necessary for you to do hard labor. God rained down bread from heaven, quail to eat each day during the desert sojourn as well as ample water from a well.
• I will redeem you - Having reassured the people that he would protect them both at the sea and in the wilderness, the people might become anxious that Pharaoh would not let them leave at all; that he would give them freedom but keep them in Egypt. Therefore God made a third promise: "I will redeem you with an out stretched arm and with extraordinary judgments." This was a reassurance that God would pass judgment on the Egyptians and their gods while they were in Egypt.
• I will take you to be My people - Finally to the fear that they would carry the illness and injuries that were inflicted on them during their years of slavery, God reassured them by saying, "I will take you to be My people." This is a reference to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Rashi proves that God healed the Israelites of all their afflictions at the time of the revelation. Also we find the following verse in Exodus 15:26 - "I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians…"
• We see then, that the first two promises are promises of safety from the sea and the wilderness, while the second two promises in Exodus 6 are promises of freedom from slavery and from illness. Since these are the four things for which we give thanks and offer praise, the sages decreed that we should toast our redemption with four cups of wine.
(1) Translator's Introduction In many commentaries on the Haggadah, we find the question of why we mention the four 'differences' but never explain, the specifics of "why this night is different from other nights. Rabbi Bondi offers a common explanation based on the commentary of Don Isaac Abarbanel, the Sephardic commentator.
The Mishnah states: "Pour the second cup of wine. Here the son asks his father. If the son does not have knowledge, his father should teach him, Mah Nishtanah…" The Talmud then adds: "If the son is knowledgeable, he should ask his father; if not, the wife should ask her husband; if she is unable to do so, let him ask himself. If two scholars who know the laws of Passover (are celebrating Seder together), they should ask one another, Mah Nishtanah…"
The essence of the Mah Nishtana is to inquire into why we perform contradictory customs on this night. The first question: Normally, the rich eat leavened bread and the poor eat matzah, each according to his financial capacity. On this night, however, we all eat matzah as if we cannot afford leavened bread. Similarly, in the second question, we say that on other nights we eat whatever vegetables we want (each according to what he can afford) but tonight all of us eat bitter herbs. Lest one think we do these things solely as a reminder of slavery, we also do the opposite. We dip vegetables like the rich and lean like freemen. Thus, these two practices are symbols of freedom and affluence. The first two practices, then, contradict the second two practices. Such contradictory practices are difficult for the child to understand.
Now we can understand why we don’t answer each individual question in the Mah Nishtanah. Rather we offer a general answer to all the contradictory differences, "We were slaves." Through these practices, we show that first we were needy slaves to Pharaoh and later we not only became free but we became royalty, as reflected in the practices of dipping and leaning. God took us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm and elevated us to royalty, as it says, "Israel is my first born son." God took us quite suddenly from the lowest status as slaves to the highest status as princes. We go from matzah to dipping and from maror to leaning, to show the great miracle that God brought us from the lowly status of slavery to the royal status. Thus the answer is a more general one to the question of why we eat foods that symbolize our contradictory status. We don’t explain each symbol separately. Rather, we explain the reasons in the Haggadah, beginning with "And they went down to Egypt" (Deut. 26) to Pesach, matzah and maror. "
Another explanation: *For the first question we say, "On all other nights we may eat hametz and matzah; on this night we eat only matzah," but for the second question, we say "On all other nights we may eat other vegetables; on this night (We eat) maror" Why do we add the word kulo, "only," here for the first question regarding matza but not for the bitter herbs? Eating bitter herbs doesn’t imply that we only eat bitter herbs. Once one has eaten the maror one is permitted to eat any other vegetables one wants. This is not the case for matzah. One eats matzah to the exclusion of hametz.
I learned the following from my grandfather and teacher, Rabbi Sheier of blessed memory: Since we only dipped once, how can the child ask about dipping twice? Because he sees the hazeret and the haroset on the table and realizes that we are most definitely going to dip the hazeret in the haroset. This is also why he doesn’t ask about the haroset; it is included in the third question of the Mah Nishtanah. We dip twice: maror in salty water, and hazeret in haroset. It is unnecessary to ask specifically why we eat haroset since this is no different the rest of the year - one can eat haroset any time one wants. Similarly, we don’t ask about the four cups of wine since there is nothing prohibiting a person from drinking four cups of wine any time one wants.
(3) Let me explain
Rabbi Bondi doesn’t add new insights to our understanding of the Mah Nishtanah but he offers an eloquent explanation for a question frequently asked regarding this passage. The Haggadah follows the Mah Nishtanah with Avadim Hayyinu, "We were slaves to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt but the Lord our God took us out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm." One would have expected an explanation for each of the differences between Passover night and the rest of the year. His explanation (based on Abarbanel's commentary) is that these four differences are simply pointing to the larger theme of the Seder: the contrast between slavery and subjugation in Egypt and the freedom and liberation of the Exodus. This night is different because it calls our attention to the contrast between these two states of being. Later in the Seder we will answer these specific questions.
It is interesting to note that originally there were only three statements in the Mah Nishtanah; they concerned the Passover offering (why roasted and not cooked), maror, and matzah. Over time the four statements or differences evolved into the statement that we now have. The original Mah Nishtanah, was directly connected to Rabban Gamliel's statement which comes at the end of Maggid: “One who has not explained three things at the Seder has not fulfilled his obligation.” For Rabbi Bondi and Abarbanel, on the other hand, the “answer to the Mah Nishtanah follows immediately after the questions. They see Avadim Hayyinu as a thematic answer rather than a specific detailed answer to the details.
One final note about the Mah Nishtanah halailah hazeh meko halailot: One could argue that Mah Nishtanah is not a question, or a set of questions, at all but a statement. Instead of “How is this night different from all other nights,” one could translate it, "How different is this night from all other nights!" The Mishnah is suggesting that if the child cannot ask for himself, then one should prompt him by pointing out the differences and saying to him saying, Mah Nishtanah, “How different is this night!” In that case we don’t need an answer to the questions at all!
Rabbi Bondi's concludes this comment with two "footnotes," the first explaining the difference between the matzah and maror statements, and the second explaining how the child (or adult) could ask about why we dip twice when only one dipping has been performed. Why are these statements footnotes instead of part of the text? My guess is as good as yours!
מחזיר את הקערה אל השולחן. המצות תִהיינה מגלות בִשעת אמירת ההגדה.
עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם, וַיּוֹצִיאֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מִשָּׁם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה. וְאִלּוּ לֹא הוֹצִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם, הֲרֵי אָנוּ וּבָנֵינוּ וּבְנֵי בָנֵינוּ מְשֻׁעְבָּדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם. וַאֲפִילוּ כֻּלָּנוּ חֲכָמִים כֻּלָּנוּ נְבוֹנִים כֻּלָּנוּ זְקֵנִים כֻּלָּנוּ יוֹדְעִים אֶת הַתּוֹרָה מִצְוָה עָלֵינוּ לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. וְכָל הַמַּרְבֶּה לְסַפֵּר בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח.
He puts the plate back on the table. The matsot should be uncovered during the saying of the Haggadah.
We were slaves to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. And the Lord, our God, took us out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched forearm. And if the Holy One, blessed be He, had not taken our ancestors from Egypt, behold we and our children and our children's children would [all] be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt. And even if we were all sages, all discerning, all elders, all knowledgeable about the Torah, it is a commandment upon us to tell the story of the exodus from Egypt. And anyone who adds [and spends extra time] in telling the story of the exodus from Egypt, behold he is praiseworthy.
(1) Avadim Hayinu:
There's No Shame in Being a Slave
(And There's No Honor Either)
(2) Translator's Introduction According to the Talmud we must recall the Exodus on Passover night by, "Beginning with praise and ending with praise." (Mishnah Pesahim 10:4) The Talmud offers two theories as to how we do this. According to Shmuel, one must begin the story with enslavement: "We were slaves in Egypt," and according to Rav one should begin by saying, "Long ago our ancestors worshipped idols." Samuel is more concerned with the political revolution while Rav was concerned with the journey to faith and Mount Sinai. Both beginnings appear in the Haggadah, but Rabbi Bondi wonders how we might understand slavery as disgrace.
We were slaves: We are supposed to begin telling the story of the Exodus by recalling Israel's disgrace. Yet this beginning, "We were slaves to pharaoh," is difficult according to those who say one should begin the telling with, "At first we were idolaters…" Idolatry is a more fitting example of disgrace. What disgrace is there saying that one was a slave?
The disgrace of slavery can be explained with the following parable: A king had only one son. The son committed serious transgression whose punishment should have been either death or expulsion. The king, however, took pity on him (and did not punish him) because he was his only child. Instead he insisted that the son wear a gold chain as a reminder to him of his disgraceful behavior. The Midrash says: Because you sold Joseph to be a slave, by your lives, every year you will be called salves as a punishment for this sin forever. This is the disgrace with which we begin the Seder; we begin, "We were slaves to Pharaoh…" in order to magnify the sin of selling Joseph.
If God had not taken us out: A person might say, "We did not experience slavery nor were we redeemed; it is only proper for those who were redeemed at the time of the redemption." We answer by saying: "The redemption from Egypt was for us. For if they had not been redeemed we would still be subjugated to Pharaoh." This is the continuation of the passage: "If God had not taken our ancestors out then, we, our children and our children's children would still be subjugated to Pharaoh in Egypt,"
One might say that it is only a commandment to tell the story to children unfamiliar with it, but it should be unnecessary to retell the story to those familiar with it. Therefore we say, "Even if we were sages" (that is, we heard this from our ancestors); "even if we were all knowledgeable" (we have the ability to deduce one matter from another so there is no need to explain the story at length); "even if we were all elders" (we had already heard the story for many years, over many Passovers); "even if we all knew the Torah" (we were among those who study Torah and tell the story of the Exodus all the time) - and therefore one might think it is not necessary to listen to or tell the story on Passover - it is still a commandment for us to tell the story of the Exodus on this night, before the lechem oni, the bread over which we say (onim) many things.
Passover is not about new ideas: Even though it is human nature to want to rush and hear something new, it is not necessary to hear new ideas regarding the Exodus on this night. Even though we have heard this story many times and it is well known to us, the essence of the commandment is for the story to be beloved and to arouse the heart completely in order to inspire thanksgiving and praise for all the miracles which transpired on this day. One should perform this commandment each year as if it is completely new. This is certainly praiseworthy.
We find proof for this explanation from the sages in this story regarding Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon. They joined together in B'nai Brak to tell the story of the Exodus on this night, even though they had all of the qualities mentioned above: they were sages, knowledgeable, elders, and conversant in the Torah. Even so they told the story of the Exodus. How do we know they were "elders?" We know this from the quote attributed to Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah who said I am like a man of seventy. A seventy year old is considered a zaken, an elder.
(4) Let Me Explain
Lechem Oni is usually translated as the bread of poverty. But the Talmud plays with this expression and suggests that the word oni (From the word oneh) also means to answer. Matzah is also the bread over which we offer many answers and words.
It is interesting that despite the importance the sages place on creating chiddushim, or new interpretations and inventive explanations for Torah, on Passover that is not the point of telling the story of the Exodus. We are not interested in coming up with new interpretations but telling the story with the same spirit that we would tell a story that one has never heard before. We hope to inspire praise and thanksgiving, and not to get caught up in the scholarly nuances of the text. That seems odd coming from a man who is writing a new commentary on the Haggadah.
מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר וְרַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-עֲזַרְיָה וְרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וְרַבִּי טַרְפוֹן שֶׁהָיוּ מְסֻבִּין בִּבְנֵי-בְרַק וְהָיוּ מְסַפְּרִים בִּיצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם כָּל-אוֹתוֹ הַלַּיְלָה, עַד שֶׁבָּאוּ תַלְמִידֵיהֶם וְאָמְרוּ לָהֶם רַבּוֹתֵינוּ הִגִּיעַ זְמַן קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע שֶׁל שַׁחֲרִית.
אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-עֲזַרְיָה הֲרֵי אֲנִי כְּבֶן שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְלֹא זָכִיתִי שֶׁתֵּאָמֵר יְצִיאַת מִצְרַיִם בַּלֵּילוֹת עַד שֶׁדְּרָשָׁהּ בֶּן זוֹמָא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ. יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ הַיָּמִים. כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ הַלֵּילוֹת. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה. כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ לְהָבִיא לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ:
It happened once [on Pesach] that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon were reclining in Bnei Brak and were telling the story of the exodus from Egypt that whole night, until their students came and said to them, "The time of [reciting] the morning Shema has arrived."
Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said, "Behold I am like a man of seventy years and I have not merited [to understand why] the exodus from Egypt should be said at night until Ben Zoma explicated it, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 16:3), 'In order that you remember the day of your going out from the land of Egypt all the days of your life;' 'the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked during] the days, 'all the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked also during] the nights." But the Sages say, "'the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked in] this world, 'all the days of your life' [indicates that the remembrance be invoked also in] the next world."
בָּרוּךְ הַמָּקוֹם, בָּרוּךְ הוּא, בָּרוּךְ שֶׁנָּתַן תּוֹרָה לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. כְּנֶגֶד אַרְבָּעָה בָנִים דִּבְּרָה תוֹרָה: אֶחָד חָכָם, וְאֶחָד רָשָׁע, וְאֶחָד תָּם, וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל.
חָכָם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֵדוֹת וְהַחֻקִּים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֶתְכֶם. וְאַף אַתָּה אֱמוֹר לוֹ כְּהִלְכוֹת הַפֶּסַח: אֵין מַפְטִירִין אַחַר הַפֶּסַח אֲפִיקוֹמָן:
רָשָׁע מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מָה הָעֲבוֹדָה הַזּאֹת לָכֶם. לָכֶם - וְלֹא לוֹ. וּלְפִי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִן הַכְּלָל כָּפַר בְּעִקָּר. וְאַף אַתָּה הַקְהֵה אֶת שִׁנָּיו וֶאֱמוֹר לוֹ: "בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה ה' לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם". לִי וְלֹא-לוֹ. אִלּוּ הָיָה שָׁם, לֹא הָיָה נִגְאָל:
תָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? מַה זּאֹת? וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו "בְּחוֹזֶק יָד הוֹצִיאָנוּ ה' מִמִּצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים".
וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִשְׁאוֹל - אַתְּ פְּתַח לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה ה' לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם.
Blessed is the Place [of all], Blessed is He; Blessed is the One who Gave the Torah to His people Israel, Blessed is He. Corresponding to four sons did the Torah speak; one [who is] wise, one [who is] evil, one who is innocent and one who doesn't know to ask.
What does the wise [son] say? "What are these testimonies, statutes and judgments that the Lord our God commanded you?" And accordingly you will say to him, as per the laws of the Pesach sacrifice, "We may not eat an afikoman [a dessert or other foods eaten after the meal] after [we are finished eating] the Pesach sacrifice. (Mishnah Pesachim 10:8)"
What does the evil [son] say? "What is this worship to you?" 'To you' and not 'to him.' And since he excluded himself from the collective, he denied a principle [of the Jewish faith]. And accordingly, you will blunt his teeth and say to him, "'For the sake of this, did the Lord do [this] for me in my going out of Egypt' (Exodus 13:8)." 'For me' and not 'for him.' If he had been there, he would not have been saved.
What does the innocent [son] say? "What is this?" And you will say to him, "'With the strength of [His] hand did the Lord take us out from Egypt, from the house of slaves' (Exodus 13:14).'"
And [regarding] the one who doesn't know to ask, you will open [the conversation] for him. As it is stated (Exodus 13:8), "And you will speak to your your son on that day saying, for the sake of this, did the Lord do [this] for me in my going out of Egypt."
(1) Baruch HaMakom:
Four Blessings, Four Children
Translator's Introduction The opening poem-prayer to the next section of the Haggadah, "Baruch Hamakom, " repeats the word Baruch (praised or blessed) four times. We associate this word with the beginning of every blessing: before we eat, when we light the Sabbath candles, when we sit in a sukkah etc. Rabbi Bondi understands these four expressions beginning Baruch as four blessings for four parts of the Seder - and the four cups of wine.
Praised is the Omnipresent: The author of the Haggadah recited the word baruch four times for the four parts of the Haggadah which are hinted at above in the introduction regarding the four cups of wine.
1. Blessed is the Omnipresent ( literally, "the Place"): This is a blessing for the subjugation of Israel. Just as we are commanded to recite a blessing for good tidings, so we must recite a blessing for bad tidings as well. He chose the expression baruch hamakom, "Praised is the Omnipresent" because God's glory fills the who world - even when we are in exile, as it is written, "I will be with them in distress." (Psalms 91:15)
2. Blessed is He: This is a blessing for freedom.
3. Blessed is the one who gave Torah to Israel: This blessing is for the performance of the commandments on Seder night: matzah, maror and the Afikomen.
4. Blessed is He: for the recitation of Hallel.
(The wise son asks: "What is the meaning of these testimonies, statutes and judgments which the Lord has commanded you." I learned the following from my grandfather, Rabbi Avraham Naphtali Sheier: Even though the wise child uses the word YOU (etchem) he is not like the wicked child who denies the faith when he says, "What is this service to you" (lachem) This is interpreted to mean, "to you but not to him." Even though the wise child uses the word "you," he still includes himself in the community of Israel when he says, "Which the Lord OUR God has commanded…" the wise child implies that God did not say Commanded him because he was not present at the time of the command; therefore he says who commanded you.)
Praised is the Omnipresent: One says Baruch four times since it is the intention of the Haggadah for the parent to teach his child the story of the Exodus. We find answers in the Torah for four children, each with a different temperament: wise, wicked, simple and one who doesn’t know how to ask.
One might assume that one need only answer the wise child but not the wicked one, based on the verse, "Do not answer a dullard in accord with his folly." (Proverbs 26:4) But this is not the case. The author of the Haggadah teaches that one is obligated to answer every type of child, according to his question. One should not grumble about his portion because his child I wicked. Just the opposite; if the parent doesn’t have the ability to answer him sufficiently than this person has bigger problems. In any case, one should say a blessing for the bad just as one does for the good. This is the meaning of Praised is the Omnipresent which we recite four times, Baruch for each of the four children. The word echad (one - echad chacham, echad rasha…) implies that one must say a blessing for each and every one of them. Also, the word echad in this context implies "whether," as in, whether he is wise, wicked, simple or cannot ask.
(3) The Wise Child's Question,And the Haggadah's Answer
(4) Translator's Introduction The four children in the Haggadah are based on four biblical passages in which a child asks a question and we are commanded to answer or in which we are simply told, "You shall tell your child on that day." But the Haggadah does not necessarily give the answer associated with each question in the Biblical passage. In the case of the wise child, the answer to his question (Deut.6:20) appears after the Mah Nishtanah, the four questions, and not in response to his query . Instead the Haggadah speaks about the obligation not to eat after the Afikomen. We explore the reason for this particular answer to the wise child's question.
Ein Maftirin achar hapesach afikomen: Don’t take leave after the Pesach - Afikomen. Why do we mention the Afikomen when answering the wise child's question?
In order to finish the Seder ritual at the proper time, the parent might rush through the ceremony and abbreviate his explanations in order to finish at the allotted time. This might lead the child to think that we are not supposed to tell the story of the Exodus at length. Therefore, the parent should make it clear to his child that it is a commandment to devote sufficient time to the Exodus on this night. Still, one must make sure to eat the Pesach, matzah and maror and recite Hallel before midnight.
Since the telling of the story and all the questions and answers might cause them to run late, the parent begins by saying, "We must fulfill the commandment of eating the Passover meal. Afterwards, I will tell you all about the laws of Passover in a more comprehensive manner. This is the intention of the author of the Haggadah when he says, "You are commanded to tell him all the laws of Passover, until Ein maftirin achar haPesach afikomen: We won't take leave after the Pesach - Afikomen." The word maftirin, means to leave, as in niftar mei-chaveiro, taking leave of one's friend.
"We are taking leave of the Passover meal but not story and explanations after the Pesach offering. Instead, Afikomen, comes from the Aramaic word, afik - "Let us take leave from commenting on the Passover until we have finished eating and then I will tell you about all the laws of Passover and thus fulfill the commandment of answering your questions." In this way the child will not cause them to pause during the rituals.
Another explanation: There are a number of questions concerning the Haggadah's answer to the wise child. First, why doesn’t the Haggadah give the Torah's answer to the wise child: "We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and Adonai took us out of Egypt with a mighty hand"? (Deut. 6:21)
Second, the wise child's question implies that he wants to clarify the meaning of the verses in the Torah; what is meant by testimonies, statutes and judgments; instead the Haggadah answers with the laws of Passover. How does the reference to the Afikomen answer his question?
Third, when the Haggadah says, "You shall even explain the laws of Passover," it implies that it is actually clarifying the different types of commandments about which the wise child asked: " How is this one law a clarification of all the laws of Passover?
These questions need clarification. Having recited Avadim Hayyinu, "We were slaves to Pharaoh," after Mah Nishtanah, the Torah goes on to say, 'Adonai took us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.' The verses in Deuteronomy imply that God gave us the Torah so that we could live by its 'testimonies, statutes and judgments.' 'Testimonies, statutes and judgments,' does not apply to Passover alone. If the wise child asks about the 'testimonies, statutes and judgments,' one should not say to him that there is no obligation to clarify such matters since these laws are not necessarily related to Passover. Rather when he asks, the father should answer him by clarifying the laws of Passover which includes at least sixty commandments. Among these commandments are testimonies, statutes and judgments. For instance, the law of the Passover offering is an edut, a testimony; it reminds us that God passed over the houses of the people of Israel. The law 'not to break the bones' of the Passover offering is a khok (khukkim), a statute. And Mishpatim are laws based on reason, such as commandments about how we treat others. The obligation to teach ones fellow Torah is a mishpat. We learn this from the sages: "'The Torah of kindness is upon her tongue.' (Proverbs 31:26) What is the Torah of kindness? When one teaches ones fellow Torah." Further, there is no greater love of one's fellow than teaching him Torah. One increases peace by teaching Torah as it says, For there is great peace for those who love Your Torah." (Psalms 119:165)
One should answer the wise child but one must be cautious in doing so since there are no limits in grasping all of the Torah. The parent should explain to his child the reason for each and every commandment on Passover night. Since he might continue answering his child until daybreak and fail to fulfill the commandments of Pesah, matzah and maror and rejoicing on the festival, (these mitzvot must be performed before midnight) the author of the Haggadah begins by having the father say to the wise child, "Nothing is to be eaten after the Afikomen." By teaching him this law first, the wise child will deduce that one must eat the Afikomen by the assigned time (before midnight). He will be careful not to draw out his question so that they fail to observe the mitzvot. This is what the author of the Haggadah means when he writes, "Even you shall explain…." Teach him all the laws of Passover. From them the wise child will clarify which commandments are "testimonies," "statutes," and "judgments." But, even so, be sure to begin by teaching him "Nothing is to be eaten after the Afikomen" in order that the time of performing the commandments not be missed.
(6) Let Me Explain
There is no reason to assume that Deuteronomy 6:20 is speaking about a "wise child" or that the question refers to Passover. Typical of the Midrash, the sages took the verse out of context and interpreted it in a unique way. The fact that this "child" asked about three types of commandments: testimonies, statutes and judgments led the sages to assume that this question was posed by perceptive person seeking to understand Torah in its various forms of expressions. The repetition of a question in several places led the sages to assume that there must be some meaning in the questions. In fact, the answer that the Torah gives clearly suggests that this is a question about the observance of the commandments in general and not about Passover: "We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and the Lord freed us from Egypt with a mighty hand. The Lord wrought before our eyes marvelous and destructive signs before our eyes…and he freed us from there….then God commanded us to observe these laws, to revere the Lord our God, for our lasting good, and for our survival as is now the case." (Deut 6:21-25) There is no reason to assume that "these laws" refers to the Passover celebration.
Why answer the wise child's question by calling his attention to the Afikomen? The Afikomen came to replace the Passover offering; that is why it is consumed at the end of the Passover meal. In Deuteronomy verse, the wise child sought to understand the significance of the various laws of the Passover meal. According to Rabbi Bondi, by calling his attention to the Afikomen, we remind him that much as the purpose of the Seder should be to explain the Passover rituals, we are working on a dead line. The Afikomen (today the bit of matzah that is hidden away at the beginning of the Seder) must be eaten before midnight. As important as the learning on this night, we must commit to the ritual time frame of the Seder.
Rabbi Bondi offers a novel interpretation of the words "Ein maftirin achar haAfikomen. He understands the word maftirin as meaning to, "taking leave." He understands this as reassurance to the wise child. In effect, the parent says to the child, "There isn’t enough time to explain all the laws of the Passover right now because we have to finish before midnight. But don’t worry, we'll return to these matters after the meal and we'll explain all the laws later on. Hold on to your questions; we won't take leave of our discussion after the Afikomen - we will continue to explain all the laws of Passover."
One final note about this passage from Rabbi Bondi's commentary. Rabbi Bondi gives an example of an edut - testimony, a law that serves as a historical remembrance, a khok, or a statute which is a law that does not have any type of rational explanation (we observe because it is a divine decree), and a mishpat or a law that can be deduced from reason (natural law) and which usually has something to do with interpersonal relations (such as don’t steal, don’t kill). It is interesting to note that for Rabbi Bondi, study and teaching fall into this category. The study of Torah helps promote peace in the world and it is a source of hesed, kindness and compassion.
(7) The Four Types of Rabbis
Translator's Introduction This may be the most interesting passage in Rabbi Bondi's commentary. It certainly says a lot about the world in which he lived and the world in which we live as well. The four children are not children at all, according to Rabbi Bondi. They are four types of preachers or rabbis addressing their congregations. Each begins his sermon with a prayer (Baruch haMakom) and each delivers as message. According to Rabbi Bondi, each one belongs to a different kat, a sect or a denomination. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize that Rabbi Bondi is speaking about Orthodoxy, Reform and the nascent Conservative movements. The fourth speaker is not a rabbi but a well (but secularly) educated person who assumes the leadership of his congregation based on his general knowledge rather than his Jewish knowledge.
There are a number of questions which arise in this passage dealing with the 'four children' in the Haggadah:
1. How is the beginning of this passage "Praised is the omnipresent" connected with the continuation of the passage, the four children?
2. In the introduction to each of the four children the word hu, is used: chacham mah hu omer, "The wise child, what does he (hu) say, rasha mah hu omer, the wicked child, what does he (hu) say, etc. The word hu is superfluous in Hebrew grammar. It could have said: chacham, mah omer, rasha, mah omer, and so on. Why does this word appear in the text?
3. Why does the Haggadah answer the wise child with the commandment, "Don’t eat after the Afikomen?" Isn't this the easiest of all the mitzvot to fulfill of the laws of Passover?
4. From where does the Haggadah deduce the response to the wicked child: "To me, and not to you; had he been in Egypt, he wouldn’t have been redeemed ." We were also in Egypt and we were also idolaters, but we were redeemed from Egypt through repentance. If the wicked child had been present for the suffering of slavery he might have also been redeemed through repentance.
5. The simple child's asks, "What is this?" Why is his question generic so that we cannot know what his intentions are in asking about the Seder, as we can know with the other children?
6. Why do we answer the child who does not know how to ask by interpreting the verse, "You shall tell your child on that day?"
7. Furthermore, there are other questions about the verse with which we answer the child who doesn’t know how to ask, "And you shall tell your child on that day saying (leimor), 'It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt." (Ex. 13:8) The word leimor is superfluous. Also it is not necessary to add "on that day" since it already says, "because of this" which the sages take to mean, at the time when the matzah and the maror are placed before you. Why is it necessary to say, "On that day?"
When the Torah repeats the four Baruch expressions, it is telling us that the Torah is speaking about four educated people who are preachers and teachers of Torah and ethics. Each begins his homily with a prayer of praise to God. They know that before one interprets Torah, one begins with a prayer. However. one cannot necessarily rely on each of these preachers or assume that they are righteous leaders. They are righteous, intermediate, wicked and ignorant. If you want to distinguish who is wise and righteous and who is wicked, you only have to know how each uses the word mah, "what," in his question about Passover. By understand what is implied by this word, one can know what is in the heart of the preacher.
There are many verses in the Torah that use the word mah, such as, "And now, O Israel, what (mah) does the Lord you God demand of you? Only this: to fear the Lord your God…" (Deut. 10:12) The one who chooses this mah, interprets both the commandments that define our relationship to God, and those commandments that define our relationship to our fellow man. Such a person is both wise and righteous.
This is what the author of the Haggadah means when he says, Chacham "mah" hu omer. This can be translated as a statement: "The wise child is the one who says mah." He not only explains commandments that define interpersonal relations, but seeks to understand matters relating to a person's relationship to God as well. That is why he asks, "Mah - what are the testimonies, statutes and judgments." Sabbath, the holidays, fringes and Tefillin are "testimonies." These commandments are thus called because they testify that God constantly renews His will to create. Other commandments are called judgments because they are based on reason, including all the commandments between a person and his fellow: not stealing or killing, loving ones neighbor and similar mitzvot. Finally there are statutes such as not mixing milk and meat, shatnez (not mixing linen and wool), the prohibition against shaving with a single edge blade, the law of the red heifer, and the prohibition against eating pork.
One can tell from his homilies that he is righteous. Regarding such a person, the Mishnah says, "sit in the dust at their feet and with thirst drink in their words." (Pirkei Avot 1:4) Ask them about all the laws. The Haggadah alludes to this when it says, "You must tell him all the detailed regulations of Passover." That is, engage him in a discussion and ask him about all the laws of Passover, from the most difficult to the easiest laws, such as "don’t eat anything after the Afikomen." Because he is a righteous person you can engage in a discussion with him and he will guide you in an honest way because he reveres God. He has not exempted himself from explaining even the simplest of the simple commandments.
Which "mah" does the wicked preacher use? He quotes the verse from scripture, "What does this service mean to you?" (Exodus 12:26) In other words, he poses the question to others and not to himself. He hasn’t fulfilled the commandments in many years, so he asks, "You are still performing commandments like matzah, maror, and the telling of the story of the Exodus in our (modern) times? What does it mean to you?" Since he explicitly removes himself from the community through his homily, he is considered as one who denies the principles of faith. To such a person such one should pay no heed nor should one associate oneself. One should not even respond to his arguments and try to persuade him to change his point of view. His primary purpose is to seduce you into becoming a heretic.
Rather, "One should blunt his teeth," that is, one should distance oneself from him. Insult him so he won't want to converse with you. Sayto him: "It is because of that which God did for me when I went forth from Egypt: He would have done this for me and not for the preacher, since his desire is to cause others to sin through his sermons. Unlike us, he no longer has the means to repent of his evil ways. Had we been in Egypt, we too might have sinned by worshipping idols, but it would never have been our intention to inflame others and cause them to transgress. Had we been in Egypt and repented, God would have had compassion on us and would have taken us out of Egypt. He would not have done this for you. Since your intention was to cause others to sin, there would have been no way for you to repent. Therefore, had you been in Egypt you would not have been redeemed."
Which "Mah" does the simple preacher use in his sermons? He says, Mah zot, "What is this." Because he is confused and doubtful as to which opinion he should follow, right or left, when he says "What is "this" (zot)," we do not know what his intention is. Does the word zot, "this," refer to the wicked preacher's question "Mah haavodah hazot lachem, "What is zot, "this" service to you" or is it a reference to the wise preacher's question. For the wise preacher, Torah is called zot, as in the expression: zot hatorah, "This is the Torah…"
It is your responsibility to bring this teacher closer to the Torah, since he is doubtful as a result of his exploration of our faith. It is his intention to follow whichever group is stronger and more convincing. Therefore, speak to his heart and say to him, "You and I are from the right group, the stronger group!" Quote the verse to him, "'With a mighty hand God took us out of Egypt.' And tell him "Had you been in Egypt, you would have been redeemed." Through these words, he will be convinced and it will be more difficult for him turn away from you. He will repent in his heart of his doubts and follow you with his whole heart and find his way to the essence of faith which is the written and the oral Torah.
The ones who doesn’t know how to ask is a member of a fourth group. They do not know the difference between groups on the left and the right. This one's education comes from the university and he has not learned a single letter of truth from our holy Torah. He doesn’t even know how to pray. Yet it is his desire to use the Torah 'as a spade' (that is for self-aggrandizement) and to assume the leadership of the community through the rabbinate. When he comes to preach to the masses, you must bring him closer to you for his own good. Teach him a bit of Torah related to the most immediate matters. In this way you will help him teach commandments regulating our relationship to God, as it is written: "You shall tell your son on that day." You should do this as soon as he comes from the university to serve as a preacher. Tell him what to say to the people "on that day," when the matzah and the maror are before him. In that way he will teach the people matters relating to our relationship with God. Other matters relating to interpersonal relations are already well-known to him from his university education. Therefore you only need to teach him about the commandments between a person and God.
(1) The Chacham Asks
About the Oral Torah
(2) Translator's Introduction
Even though Rabbi Bondi has already offered a comprehensive explanation of the Midrash concerning the four children, he now returns and visits the text of each one separately, offering other interpretations of the text. This is not at all based on the four rabbis interpretation we have already seen. Rabbi Bondi believes that the Torah has seventy faces and that there is more than one truth in Torah even when the "truths" contradict one another. The issue here is not so much that these different interpretations are contradictory as they are parallel interpretations that stand side by side.
The passage regarding the chacham needs further analysis. Since the wise one asked about something explicitly written in the Torah, why not just bring him the Torah and show him the testimonies, statutes and judgments.
Further, why does he say "commanded YOU," rather than "commanded us." One can't argue that he said "YOU" because he wasn’t present at the time when the Torah was given. The Torah was written and given to our ancestors and to us for all time; therefore the commandments were addressed to everyone, including the chacham. It would have been better for the verse to say, "Which Lord our God commanded US." That way no one could accuse the chacham of removing himself from the community.
Further, in the case of the other three children, the answer that is given in the Haggadah is taken from scripture, while in the case of the wise child, the scriptural answer, "We were slaves to Pharaoh," is left out and instead we answer is taken from the Mishnah, "One should not eat anything after the Afikomen."
It seems that the wise child's answer wished to ask about the Oral Torah (Torah sh'baal peh) and the traditions which Moses received from God and passed on to Joshua by word of mouth. The wise child certainly knows the Written Torah but he hasn’t learned all of the oral traditions. This is his intention in asking: "What is the meaning of these testimonies, statutes and judgments?" To make it clear that he is not asking about things explicitly written in the Torah, he adds, "Which the Lord our God commanded you," that is, those commandments that were placed upon you to teach your children which you received orally. The wise child is saying, "Teach me the things that you received from your ancestors that were part of the Oral Torah." You must give him an answer that is appropriate with the intention of his question. The answer should come from tradition and not the explicit writings of the Torah: "One should not eat anything after the Afikomen." The author of the Haggadah chose this particular law because the wise child asked about the three types of mitzvot and it is possible to illustrate all three types of commandments in this law. Testimonies: the reason we don’t eat anything after the Afikomen is so the taste of the Pesah will not be adulterated and the taste of the matzah will remain with us as a reminder. Statutes: as explained elsewhere, it is necessary to eat the Passover offering when one has been satiated by the rest of the meal so that you don’t break the bones of the offering. This law from the Torah is a statute. Judgments: Answering the child's questions falls into the category of Mishpatim, judgments, or rational commandments.
(4) Let Me Explain
If this child is "wise" why is it necessary for him to ask questions about "testimonies, statutes, and judgments that are explicitly stated in the Torah? He can simply read open a chumash and find the answers for himself. Rabbi Bondi suggests that the wise child is asking about the traditions that were passed on from Sinai orally, and were not written down. Since he was not there, he approaches his elders and asks them to teach him the tradition that he cannot find the answer for himself. He then suggests that the law of the Afikomen touches on all three of these categories. By the way the statement, "One may not eat after the Afikomen," is the final statement in the Mishnah in the tractate, Pesahim. As the quintessential work of the oral law, it is the perfect work for the elder to quote when teaching him the Torah sh'bal peh. By asking about the oral law and answering with this Mishnah, the wise child shows his acceptance of rabbinic tradition - something that was rejected by Reform Jews during the late nineteenth century.
(1) Blunting His Teeth: Denying the Wicked Child
(2) Translator's Introduction
There are almost as many translations of the expression hakei et shinav as there are translations of the Haggadah. We are told that when the wicked child asks, "What does this service mean to you," we should hakei et shinav. What does this mean: blunt his teeth, smack him in the face, give him a caustic answer, make him feel uncomfortable? Rabbi Bondi offers another interpretation: deny him the delicious Passover offering! He bases this interpretation, which he learned from his great grandfather, on a Midrash in Song of Songs Rabbah Rabbi Bondi quotes in the Midrash in its entirety in his commentary.
Regarding the expression, "Blunt his teeth" I heard the following explanation from my grandfather and teacher, Rabbi Avraham Naftali Sheier, of blessed memory, who heard it from his father, the master, Rabbi Tebele Sheier, of blessed memory: When the wicked child says, "What is this service to you" he shows his insolent rejection of and contempt for the commandments. For he calls the eating of matzah and maror avodah, "work," in the sense of a burden when he says, "What is this avodah to you." But he doesn’t do the same regarding the Pesah offering, since it consumed in such a stately manor (grilled food was the preferred manner of cuisine for royalty), and its aroma is tempting. As a result he desires to partake of the Pesah offering. When one denies a person such good food and he sees others eating it while they refuse to share it, one "blunts his teeth" as a way of aggravating him.
The author of the Haggadah hints at this when he says that the wicked child, "removed himself from the community." The rasha did this by showing contempt for the commandments. However, he still desires to partake of the Passover offering for it certainly looks and smells is delicious. He wants to taste it like the rest of the gathering who are doing so in fulfillment of the commandments of the Holy One. Therefore, "blunt his teeth" (deny him the a portion). Instead, when the matzah and the maror are before you, say to him, "It because of this (the matzah and the maror) that God did this for me. I am fulfilling the commandment of eating bitter herbs for the sake of what God did for me when I went out of Egypt. If you had been in Egypt, you would not have been redeemed and would have disappeared during the three days of darkness like all of your fellows who were killed at that time. I found a textual proof for the interpretation of my grandfather and teacher, Rabbi Tebele Sheier in Shir HaShirim Rabbah, 1:12:
Rabbi Abahu said, "While Moses and the people of Israel were still eating the Passover offering in Egypt, the Holy One had already struck the Egyptians, as is written, "And it was about the middle of the night…" (Exodus 12). This is the meaning of the following verse according to Rabbi Abahu: "While the king was inclining on his couch, my nard (see below) gave forth its fragrance." (Song of Songs 1:12) The fragrance is a reference to aroma of the Passover offering that came to mask the smell of Egyptian blood. The sages explain that, "the smiting of the Egyptians by their first born," (Psalms 136) refers to the killing of the elders by the first born of Egypt. When the elders refused to let the Israelites go free in order to save their first born children, the first born attacked them. So the smell of blood came from the death of the elders as well as the first born who died in any case during the tenth plague. The smell of death was so great en Egypt that God made the smell of the Passover offering as good as the aroma of the Garden of Eden. As a result, the Israelites were dying to eat the Passover offering. They said to Moses, "Give us a bit of what you are eating!" Moses answered: God has said to me, 'the foreigner may not eat it!' They then removed the non-Israelites from their midst. They were still dying to try the Passover offering, so they said to Moses, "Give us a bit of what you are eating!" Moses answered: God has said to me, Your slaves must be circumcised and then you may eat of the Passover offering. They immediately circumcised their servants. They were still ravenous for the Passover offering. They said to Moses, "Give us a bit of what you are eating!" Moses answered: God has said to me quite succinctly, "The uncircumcised may not eat of it." Immediately the Israelites all took their knives and were ready to circumcise themselves. Who actually performed the circumcision? Rabbi Berechiah said, Moses, Aaron and Joshua. One performed the circumcision, one drew out the drop of blood, and one poured the cup of wine.
Thus, the blood of the Passover offering and the blood of circumcision mixed together. The Holy One took each of them and kissed each one as it is written. Now I passed by you and saw you wallowing in blood, and I said to you, 'you shall live by your blood,' yea, I said to you, You shall live by your blood. This is a reference to the blood o the Passover and the blood of circumcision. In the end even though they were all dying to eat the Passover offering, they could not have any until they fulfilled all the other commandments. The Passover was only given to those whose teeth were blunted by having to wait…
(4) Let Me Explain
Before we get started you are probably wondering: what is a nard? Here is a definition: 1. spikenard another name for spikenard: 2. any of several plants, such as certain valerians, whose aromatic roots were formerly used in medicine. Doesn’t help? Simply put it is an aromatic plant or root.
The interpretation above contains a reference to one of those stranger Midrashim that they never taught you in religious school - for good reason. According to some of the sages, when the first born of Egypt realized that Moses threatened them for the final plague, they went to the elders and then to Pharaoh himself and begged them to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. Apparently they elders of Egypt and Pharaoh considered this a good trade off - the death of all their first born in return to keep their slaves. The first born saw things differently. They immediately attacked the elders of the land. According to the Midrash, even before the tenth plague six hundred thousand Egyptians died in an act of civil disobedience. And in the end, the first born of Egypt died anyway.
The land of Egypt was flowing with blood before and during the tenth plague. The blood of the elders, the first born of Egypt and the blood of circumcision of the Israelites who were coerced into circumcising themselves by the delicious aroma of the Passover offering. Moses denied them the offering until they all were finally circumcised. He understands "blunting their teeth" as, denying them the most delicious course of the meal.
(5) Blunt His Teeth, Part II
How Not to Answer the Jewish Heretic…
(6) Translator's Introduction
The Torah contains three verses that mention a child who asks a question, and the answer to that child. There is a fourth verse in which we are simply told to tell our child the story of the Exodus. What troubles the rabbis is that the answers that are given to the four children in the Haggadah are not the same as the ones found in the Torah. In the case of the wicked child, the Torah quotes the verse associated with the child 'who doesn’t know how to ask.' Rabbi Bondi explores the Torah's answer to the wicked child as well as the reason why the Haggadah chooses to quote the fourth child's verse.
Here is another explanation of the expression, “blunt his teeth.” People wonder, why does the author of the Haggadah offer an answer to the wicked child different from the Torah? The Torah responds to the wicked child’s question by saying, “You shall say: it is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt…” (Ex.12:26) while the author of the Haggadah answers by saying, “Because that which God did for me when I went out of Egypt.” (Ex. 13:8) The Torah's answer needs further analysis. The Torah’s answer also needs to be explained.
Further, the Torah answers the other three children directly while it offers an indirect answer to the wicked child. Why is this? Concerning the other three children, the Torah answers the child directly. Regarding the wise child, it says, "You shall say to your child…" for the simple child the Torah says, "You shall to him," and for the one who does not know how to ask, the Torah begins, "You shall tell your child…." But for the wicked child the Torah simply says "YOU shall say…"
If you were to answer that the Torah does not want to use the word “child” regarding the wicked child, then why does the first part of the verse do so? “When your child says to you…” The first part of the verse refers to the wicked child as a ben: This is most surprising!
The answer to these questions can be found in connection with a statement in Sanhedrin 38a: “A person should be diligent in learning to Torah so that he can answer the heretic.” Commenting on this, Rabban Johanan says that this teaching only applies to a gentile heretic; one should not attempt to answer a Jewish heretic since he might entice you into heresy when you engage in a discussion with him. Therefore it is forbidden to try and bring about his repentance.
We can now understand Exodus 12:26. The reason that the verse doesn’t say “You shall say to your children…” is because it is forbidden to answer him directly. Instead one simply quotes the relevant verse without directing ones answer to the wicked child. Instead it says simply, “You shall say…” that is, “You shall say it - to yourself” but not to the wicked child. When the Torah begins by saying “When your children…” it makes it clear that it is referring to a Jewish heretic and not a gentile heretic.
Why is it forbidden to answer a Jewish heretic? One should not answer him lest he seduce you through his destructive opinions and his smooth talk, and ensnare you in his web of heresy. One can answer him as long as one does not enter into a debate with him. Instead, one should answer in a brief and harsh fashion so that he feels that he is being ignored. By doing this he will feel that he has been humiliated and won’t want to speak with you anymore. That is why the Torah suggests that one should answer him by simply offering an explanation for the commandment (“You shall say…)
Still, it is difficult for the father not to answer his child at all. This causes him pain. Why should a father lose out on the mitzvah (of teaching his child Torah) just because he is wicked? Yet the sages say not to answer a Jewish heretic. If the father does not answer him at all, it is painful for the father. That is why the author of the Haggadah suggests answering him with the same verse with which the Torah describes the child who doesn’t know how to ask. (In this way the father chastises his wicked child.) He tells the child had he been in Egypt God would have redeemed the father but not the child. The verse, then, includes both of them.
We now see that the language “You shall blunt his teeth” is appropriate. It means to give him a curt answer and to anger him. By doing this one blunts his teeth since he will not be able to present his thoughts. He will be embarrassed and humiliated. Thus, he will not be able to accomplish his goal of seducing his father to heresy.
(1) The Simple Child and the Law of the First Born:
(2) Translator's Introduction
Students of the Haggadah have long been curious about the simple child's question. His question, taken from Exodus 13, is not related to the celebration of the Passover Seder at all but to the law of the first born. When he learns that the firstborn of the herd must be sacrificed while the first born of the Israelites may be redeemed and asks, "What does this mean," he is not wondering about the Seder or Passover eve at all.
Exodus 13:11-15 And when the Lord has brought you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and has given it to you, you shall set apart for the Lord every first issue of the womb: every male firstling that your cattle drop shall be the Lord's. But every firstling ass you shall redeem with a sheep; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. And you must redeem every first-born male among your children. And when, in time to come, your son asks you, saying, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him, 'It was with a mighty hand that the Lord brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, the first-born of both man and beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord every first male issue of the womb, but redeem every firstborn among my sons.'
On the surface of it, it seems obvious that the firstborn belonged to God because God saved the Israelite firstborn during the tenth plague. It may also seem obvious to him why God would allow the firstborn Israelites to be redeemed while the firstborn of their herds remained sacred property. Rabbi Moshe Yonah Bondi, father of the commentary's author, adds a twist to this explanation: for him the essence of the plague was not the plague itself but the sacrifice which was offered before the plague began. It represented the death of Egypt's god; the gods of Egypt were powerless to stop the God of Israel. Rabbi Bondi now goes on to show why this explanation is not as simple as it first appears.
The following teaching was offered by my father and teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yonah Bondi, on the Haggadah's answer brings to the simple child : "It was with a mighty hand that the Lord brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage." (Exodus 13:14)
The passage from Exodus continues: "When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew every firstborn in the land of Egypt, the first-born of both man and beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord every first male issue of the womb, but redeem every first-born among my sons." What is the connection between the simple child's question and the answer which Scripture offers to his question?
Furthermore, these verses deserve further analysis. After saying that 'God brought us out of Egypt,' the Torah goes back and mentions that Pharaoh 'stubbornly refused to let us go.' These verses appear to be out of order!
The reason for the law of the firstborn is the same for Israelites and their animals: we offer the firstborn to God because they were saved from the tenth plague which struck Egypt. Yet the law is different for the person and for the animal. It is it permissible to redeem the firstborn Israelite with money paid to the kohen while the firstborn of the animals cannot be redeemed. The firstborn animal is sanctified. Portions must be sacrificed and the remainder was eaten by the kohanim, the priests. Why were humans and animals treated differently? Weren't both initially sanctified because they were not put to death in Egypt? This law does not need an explanation; the reason for this would be obvious even to the simple child. So why the different treatment of a person and the animal?
Which was more significant: the redemption of the firstborn Israelites or the redemption of firstborn animals of the Israelites? Whichever is more significant deserves to have the praise of God as well as the statements of thanksgiving offered over it. Also, in the case of the object of the greater miracle, one should offer an explanation for why we were given a sign and a reminder of redemption. Such an explanation is unique in the Torah; we do not find this type of explanation for other commandments.
The primary act was the saving of the firstborn animals. This commandment to sanctify the firstborn was given to the Israelites to inform them that it was specifically as a result of the tenth plague that Israel was freed from Egypt. It was necessary for God to harden the heart of Pharaoh prior to this plague more than any other. The Egyptians were already exhausted from the other plagues and said to Pharaoh, "How long shall this one be a snare to us…are you not aware that Egypt is lost?" (Exodus 10:7)
This tenth plague was an attack on the gods of Egypt. That is why this plague occurred after the other plagues. The slaughtering of the lambs in Egypt was a meant to cause the Egyptians to err. When the Israelites brought the sacrifice, they began slaughtering the god of Egypt, as is written: "For what we sacrifice is untouchable to the Egyptians before their very eyes." (Exodus 8:22) The purpose of the sacrifice, then, was for the Israelites to slaughter the god of the Egyptians before their eyes.
The Israelites should have been punished by the Egyptians for doing this. Yet, when the Egyptians saw the Israelites slaughtering the lambs they stood by; their hearts had melted in them. Up until now they thought that only they were affected by the plagues; they knew that even their gods were being punished. They now understood that their punishment could only have come from the Holy One for the sake of Israel, to redeem them from Egypt. The Egyptians no longer needed to check and see if the firstborn animals of the Israelites were affected by this plague.
As a result, the death of the livestock was more significant and more deserving of praise and thanksgiving. That is why the firstborn herds of the Israelites had to be sacrificed and given to the priests while the firstborn of the Israelites could be redeemed. The verse in Scripture alludes to this: "Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew every first-born in the land of Egypt." God caused this plague to harden Pharaoh's heart even more than Pharaoh had already hardened his own heart. Pharaoh was depending on his gods to punish the Israelites but when the firstborn of the herd died it was proof that Israel's God was more powerful than the Egyptian gods. The Holy One brought judgment on the gods of the Egyptians and that was truly God's intention to redeem the Israelites from Egypt. That is "why I bring the first born of the males as a sanctified portion for God and the priests while the first born of their children could be redeem. " This is a fine explanation; my father's words speak from the grave.
With God's help, I will now offer my own answer to these questions: Why does the simple child means when he asks, "What is this?," regarding the commandment of the firstborn? Furthermore, since the essence of the answer to the simple child's question is, "When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, the first-born of both man and beast," why are these words left out of the Haggadah? Why isn’t this written first in the answer, followed by, 'It was with a mighty hand that the Lord brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage?" Why does the Haggadah only bring the first part of the Torah's answer, especially since the essence of the answer is missing from the text.
The Torah offers this answer in order to put more emphasis on this plague rather than on the other plagues in which the death of livestock occurred, such as pestilence. Regarding pestilence, the Torah explicitly says, "Not one of the livestock of the Israelites died." (Ex 9:5-6) How is the saving of livestock during the tenth plague any different from the saving of the livestock during the fifth plague, pestilence? In fact, regarding the fifth plague the Torah says, "All of the livestock of the Egyptians died." One might argue that the fifth plague was even more miraculous than the tenth plague. The tenth plague only involved the death of firstborn of the herds while the rest of the livestock was unharmed. The miracle would not have seemed so miraculous since some of the Egyptian livestock survived during the tenth plague, just like the Israelite livestock.
This is why the simple child now asks, "What is this?" He wonders, why does the Torah differentiate the tenth plague from the other plagues in which the livestock died such as wild animals (arov), pestilence (dever), and hail (barad). In all of these plagues God protected the livestock of the Israelites and killed the livestock of the Egyptians. Why does the Torah provide a special remembrance for the tenth plague and not the other plagues? Why do we have a special ritual (the sanctification of the firstborn) to commemorate the tenth plague and to single it out?
The commandment to sanctify the firstborn is not just a commemoration for the saving of the firstborn livestock. It is also a reminder that the tenth plague represented the beginning of the Exodus. This was not the case with the other plagues. It was the tenth plague that brought about the final Exodus. It was with the punishing of the first born that God brought about judgment, measure for measure, as we saw above. It wasn’t until they saw that God exacted judgment that all of Israel gave thanks. Because of this, Pharaoh said to Moses and Aaron, "Go forth from my people," and the Egyptians pressed them to leave. This did not happen during the other plagues.
When the Torah says: 'It was with a mighty hand that the Lord brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage," it is not clear which of plagues led to the Exodus. It is only in the second part of the passage, "When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew every firstborn in Egypt, the first-born of both man and beast," that we know that it is the tenth plague that caused the Exodus. The second passage makes it clear that the commandment of the firstborn commemorates the tenth plague. Each of the plagues represented a deliverance of sorts, but only the tenth plague was the final deliverance from Egypt. Only then did it become clear that it was the hand of God that caused all these plagues.
(1) "You shall tell your Child on that day:"
Answering the Child who Doesn’t Know How to Ask
(2) Translator's Introduction A continuing theme in Rabbi Bondi's Haggadah is how to addresses the people of his generation: those who are assimilated and who have become associated with divergent liberal groups in the Jewish community. Even though the answer to the child who does not know how to ask is similar to the answer that is given to the wicked child, Rabbi Bondi makes a point of saying that the silent child is not guilty like his wicked counterpart. How do we explain the common use of Exodus 13:8? The Haggadah only uses the second half of this verse in chastising the wicked child. By beginning with the first half of the verse for the child who doesn’t know how to ask, the Haggadah changes the tone and implications of this verse.
What does Rabbi Bondi tell us about this child? He says that the child who does not know how to ask is unfamiliar with his ancestors and he doesn’t identify with Jewish history personally. As a result, he might take the story of the Exodus as 'mere parable' and not historical fact. That is why his father answers by telling the story as if he personally experienced it: "The Lord took me out of Egypt;" that way, when the child hears the story, he will feel an emotional attachment to what happened to his own parent.
Rabbi Bondi implies that the child who doesn’t know how to ask is an assimilated Jew who has no connection to his past - the story must be told in a way that will created such an attachment.
Finally, Rabbi Bondi shares another interpretation of Exodus 13:8 from Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, author of the Sh'nai Luchot HaBerit. Rabbi Horowitz lived from 1565-1630 and was a renowned Kabbalist - though there is no Kabbalah in this particular interpretation. The verse, he suggests, applies to the moment when the Passover offering is made. Concentrating on sacrifice, the father still has an obligation to answer his son's questions, though he can reassure him that a fuller explanation will be offered later during the meal. Participation in the sacrificial cult demands concentration. He cannot afford to be distracted while bringing the Pesah offering.
Regarding the child who doesn’t know how to ask, there are matters that need explanation. The language used to describe this child is different from the other three. Instead of saying "You shall say to him," the Haggadah says, "You shall open for him (aht p'tach lo)."
Further, why do we answer the child who doesn’t know how to ask with Exodus 12:8, the same verse that is used to answer the wicked child? We should equate the wicked child with the child who doesn’t know how to ask, who is not wicked!
However, we answer the wicked child with the second part of Exodus 12:8 and not the first part of this verse: "'It is because of that which the Lord did for me" which is interpreted to imply, "for me and not for him." The author of the Haggadah uses the second half of the verse exclusively because it doesn’t refer to the wicked child as, "son." As we have seen, in Exodus 12:26 (where the wicked child's question appears) the Torah does not use the word 'children' either: "You shall say, 'It is the Passover offering…'" Since the Torah omits the word "child" from the answer to the wicked child, so the author of the Haggadah omits it as well.
The first half of the verse refers to the child who doesn’t know how to ask: "You shall tell your child on that day…" The Haggadah suggests that one should answer him directly, "You shall open for him…." One should tell this child about the suffering in Egypt and how God saved the Jewish people so that he will give thanks for the kindness which God performed.
You can't answer the child who doesn’t know how to ask with a question (as you would the other children) since such a question would not arouse the heart of a child to give thanks. Similarly, you cannot answer by speaking of his ancestors who were in Egypt since he does not recognize them nor can you say, "God did for us," because he knows that he was not in Egypt (and doesn’t count himself as part of the community, in that sense). He might conclude that the story is merely a parable, and never actually happened. Instead his father should answer him by saying "What the Lord did for me…" as if he was among those who experienced the suffering of slavery and that God saved him from the hands of the Egyptians. In this way, the child who doesn’t know how to ask will be inspired with compassion about what happened to his own parents.
However, concerned that this child might interpret the expression, "What the Lord did for ME," as applying to his father but not to him (as it does for the wicked child), the verse begins by referring to him as "Your child," "You shall tell your child on that day." That is why we answer this child with the beginning of the verse. By saying "You shall tell your child…" we show him that he has not been removed for the community and is still considered part of the family. The word v'heegadita, "You shall tell," implies that one should tell the story in a way that draws his heart closer. This means one should answer him with soft words and tell him all that the Torah teaches. The Torah doubles the force of the language by saying v'heegadita…laimor, "You shall tell…saying: the first word implies drawing the child's heart closer to the Torah and the second implies in a soft manner.
Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, author of Shnei Luchot HaBerit, offers another explanation for Exodus, 13:8. Why is it necessary for the verse to say, "On that day" since the verse also says, "It is because of this.." (Both expressions imply that this ritual takes place on the day when the matzah and maror are placed before the celebrant). Furthermore, isn’t the word, laimor, "saying…" superfluous?
Rabbi Horowitz explains that on the eve of the holiday, when the father is busy preparing the Passover offering, the child might ask his father, "What is this?" It is a commandment for the father to answer his son but when he is involved in making the offering he cannot inform him of all the explanations and commandments as well as miracles which happened to us in Egypt. If he tries, he is liable to err and disqualify the offering. So he says: "It is impossible to explain everything to you now because I'm busy performing the commandment of the Passover offering. If I try to answer you I'm liable to make a mistake and make the offering improperly. Therefore, my son, please wait until later tonight with the matzah and the maror are before us. Then I will give you a complete explanation of the commandments and the story of the Exodus." In this way he answers his son without interrupting the sacrifice. This is the implication of the verse. "You shall tell your child on that day" - on the eve of Passover when you are making the offering. "Saying to him" - give him a brief explanation. "Because of this," reassuring him that you'll give a fuller explanation when the matzah and maror are placed before you.
יָכוֹל מֵראשׁ חֹדֶשׁ? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא. אִי בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יָכוֹל מִבְּעוֹד יוֹם? תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר בַּעֲבוּר זֶה - בַּעֲבוּר זֶה לֹא אָמַרְתִּי, אֶלָּא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר מֻנָּחִים לְפָנֶיךָ.
It could be from Rosh Chodesh [that one would have to observe Pesach. However] we learn [otherwise, since] it is stated, "on that day." If it is [written] "on that day," it could be from while it is still day [before the night of the fifteenth of Nissan. However] we learn [otherwise, since] it is stated, "for the sake of this." I didn't say 'for the sake of this' except [that it be observed] when [this] matsa and maror are resting in front of you [meaning, on the night of the fifteenth].
מִתְּחִלָּה עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה הָיוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וְעַכְשָׁיו קֵרְבָנוּ הַמָּקוֹם לַעֲבדָתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹאמֶר יְהוֹשֻעַ אֶל-כָּל-הָעָם, כֹּה אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: בְּעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר יָשְׁבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם מֵעוֹלָם, תֶּרַח אֲבִי אַבְרָהָם וַאֲבִי נָחוֹר, וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים.
וָאֶקַּח אֶת-אֲבִיכֶם אֶת-אַבְרָהָם מֵעֵבֶר הַנָּהָר וָאוֹלֵךְ אוֹתוֹ בְּכָל-אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן, וָאַרְבֶּה אֶת-זַרְעוֹ וָאֶתֵּן לוֹ אֶת-יִצְחָק, וָאֶתֵּן לְיִצְחָק אֶת-יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת-עֵשָׂו. וָאֶתֵּן לְעֵשָׂו אֶת-הַר שֵּׂעִיר לָרֶשֶׁת אתוֹ, וְיַעֲקֹב וּבָנָיו יָרְדוּ מִצְרָיִם.
בָּרוּךְ שׁוֹמֵר הַבְטָחָתוֹ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בָּרוּךְ הוּא. שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חִשַּׁב אֶת-הַקֵּץ, לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּמוֹ שֶּׁאָמַר לְאַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ בִּבְרִית בֵּין הַבְּתָרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָם, יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע כִּי-גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָהֶם, וַעֲבָדוּם וְעִנּוּ אֹתָם אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה. וְגַם אֶת-הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹדוּ דָּן אָנֹכִי וְאַחֲרֵי-כֵן יֵצְאוּ בִּרְכֻשׁ גָּדוֹל.
מכסה המצה ומגביה את הכוס בידו, ואומר:
וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ. שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד עָמַד עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר עוֹמְדִים עָלֵינוּ לְכַלוֹתֵנוּ,וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם.
From the beginning, our ancestors were idol worshipers. And now, the Place [of all] has brought us close to His worship, as it is stated (Joshua 24:2-4), "Yehoshua said to the whole people, so said the Lord, God of Israel, 'over the river did your ancestors dwell from always, Terach the father of Avraham and the father of Nachor, and they worshiped other gods."
And I took your father, Avraham from over the river and I made him walk in all the land of Canaan and I increased his seed and I gave him Yitschak. And I gave to Yitschak, Ya'akov and Esav, and I gave to Esav, Mount Seir [in order that he] inherit it; and Yaakov and his sons went down to Egypt.'"
Blessed is the One who keeps his promise to Israel, blessed be He; since the Holy One, blessed be He, calculated the end [of the exile,] to do as He said to Avraham, our father, in the Covenant between the Pieces, as it is stated (Genesis 15:13-14), "And He said to Avram, 'you should surely know that your seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation for which they shall toil will I judge, and afterwards they will will go out with much property.'"
He covers the matsa and lifts up the cup and says:
And it is this that has stood for our ancestors and for us, since it is not [only] one [person or nation] that has stood [against] us to destroy us, but rather in each generation, they stand [against] us to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, rescues us from their hand.
(1) Israel Emulates the Actions of Abraham
Translator's Introduction Earlier, we saw that there are two ways of telling the story of the Exodus: as a political story of liberation from slavery(we were slaves; now we are free); or as a spiritual story of enlightenment (We were idolaters; but God brought us closer to His service). Rabbi Bondi now integrates the two versions of the Exodus story into one. Israel was enslaved because they worshipped idols. But they do not deserve condemnation - Abraham also worshipped idols. Like Abraham, when they discovered the true faith, they were willing to do die as martyrs to maintain their beliefs. This is why they were worthy of redemption.
The author of the Haggadah now returns to the four questions. We began answering these questions with, "We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and the Lord freed us from Egypt with a mighty hand" This is a day of contrasts representing slavery and freedom.
The author then left the main topic of the Haggadah in order to present the Midrash of the four children, since it relates to the commandment of telling the story of the Exodus. Having completed this explanation, we now return to matters that relate to the symbols of slavery and freedom. We began with matzah, a symbol of slavery, to remember that we were subjugated by the Egyptians. Why were we enslaved? The Haggadah now explains: because we worshipped idols. The Haggadah says, "Long ago our ancestors worshipped idols…" Yet didn’t our ancestors also worship idols in Egypt? Why do we speak of Abraham as a worshipper of idols?
The Haggadah continues, "And the Omnipresent brought them close to His service." You might feel that the fact that our ancestors worshipped idols in Egypt is an accusation against them, so the Haggadah quotes the book of Joshua: "And I brought forth your father Abraham…" Even though Abraham worshipped idols with his father, Terah, he was worthy of redemption. When Abraham recognized the unity of God, he willingly risked martyrdom in the fiery furnace.
What happened to Abraham was repeated in future generations. When the Israelites in Egypt saw God's signs and wonders, even though they were blemished by idolatry, they cast off their impure garments and became believers who maintained their faith at risk to their lives. They rejected the attributes and deeds of Egypt, tied the Passover lamb to their bed posts so that the Egyptians could see. They circumcised themselves so that the blood of circumcision and the blood of the Passover offering mixed together. Is there any martyrdom greater than this? (They risked their lives in the face of the Egyptians and even shed their own blood.) The Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians and yet they were willing to cast off the yoke of slavery and risk their lives. Only then did they slaughter the Passover lamb and roast it. In this way the Israelites emulated the actions of Abraham. Because of their acts of faith, they were worthy of being redeemed from Egypt. That is why, "God brought them near."
(1) Baruch Shomer Haftachato:
God's Promise to Jacob
(2) Translator's Introduction Rabbi Bondi suggests that the promise referred to here is not the 'Covenant of the Pieces' (Genesis 15) made to Abraham but the promise God made to Jacob just before he went down to Egypt to see Joseph. For Rabbi Bondi, Abraham's promise doesn’t seem like much of a promise: God tells him that his ancestors will be enslaved and oppressed in a land not their own, but eventually will leave with great wealth. God, on the other hand, reassures Jacob at Beersheba: God tells him not to worry and that He will go down with the people to Egypt. Our commentator interpret these words, "Praised is the One who keeps His promise," in this context.
Finally, there is one other significance difference in Bondi's interpretation. The 'great wealth' that Israel takes from Egypt is not the goods they plunder but the commandments they receive from God at Mount Sinai. Unlike most commentators, Rabbi Bondi sees Israel as worthy of redemption rather than lost on the brink of oblivion, about to descend into the fiftieth level of impurity. This was Jacob's fear but, according to Rabbi Bondi, the years of slavery actually made Israel stronger.
Why do we say that God kept the promise he made to 'Israel'? Didn’t God make this promise to Abraham? Israel refers to the promise that God made to Grandfather Israel (Yisrael Saba), that is, our forefather, Jacob. Jacob was aware of the decree which God had made to Abraham: "Your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and afflicted for four hundred years…" (Genesis 15:13) Egypt is not explicitly mentioned in this passage because God turns freedom of choice over to human beings. (That is, the land in which Israel would become strangers was not pre-determined) Still, the verse alludes to Egypt for Joseph transferred the Egyptians from place to place throughout the land so that they would not consider the land their inheritance. He was trying to avoid Egypt becoming the land of Israel's subjugation. This is what the commentators suggest the expression, "A land not their own," means. The land did not belong to the Egyptians.
Because of this decree, our forefather Jacob was fearful of going down to Egypt. Egypt was the most despicable of lands. Jacob felt that if his family had to spend four hundred years they would sink into the impurity of the Egyptians and would no longer be worthy of being redeemed. It was for this reason that God said: "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt. I will go down with you." (Gen 46:3) Wherever Israel is exiled, the Divine Presence is with them. " I will also go up with you…" (Gen. 46:4) God also reassured Jacob, "I will not allow your children to sink into the fiftieth level of impurity.
Jacob also hinted to his children that they would not be in Egypt more than two hundred and ten years when he said to them, "Go down (r'du) to Egypt (see Rashi on Gen. 42:10). God agreed to this, and along with God's promise Jacob was reassured. It was through the furnace of oppression in Egypt that Israel was refined and prepared to receive the Torah. It did not turn out as Jacob thought; he believed the people would deteriorate there and that is why he was afraid. The thoughts of the Holy One are mysterious. For instead of sinning, Israel was refined like silver until they finally sanctified the name of God in Egypt, at the sea, and in the wilderness.
But the decree was four hundred years enslaved! What did the Holy One do? He made the yoke of servitude more severe so that they would complete the four hundred years sooner rather than later. They were refined more quickly in this way, so that Israel was enslaved only half the time. This is the meaning of, "Praised is the one who keeps his promise to Israel." God told Jacob not to be afraid - and "He recalculated the end," of servitude - the amount of time in Egypt, shortening their exile by 190 years. This is the meaning of the expression, "God calculated the end (ketz) ." Even though they were only slaves 210 years it was as if they were there a full 400 years.
"They went forth with great wealth." The word great appears to be superfluous in this verse. It could have said, "They went forth with wealth." They were so refined by the suffering of Egypt that they not only left with material wealth from the Egyptians (silver, gold and clothing), but they were worthy of receiving an even greater possession: the commandments of Passover and Circumcision. They were also worthy of receiving the Torah at Sinai which is our greatest possession.
(2) Translators Introduction: The word, והיא, "And it is that" is vague. What does the word "that" refer to? Rabbi Bondi reads this word as an acrostic, but he connects it to the previous passage in which God promises that Abraham's children will go out of exile with "Great Abundance."
והיא, "And it is that" which has sustained our ancestors and us." According to the literal meaning of this expression, v'hee, refers to the previous statement in the Haggadah: "They shall go forth with great abundance." It refers to the Torah and the merit of Torah which sustained us and our ancestors even in exile. For nothing remains for us (of the great wealth they plundered in Egypt) but we still have the Torah.
V'hee alludes to the Israel's religious heritage. The aleph of יאוה stands for ehad, the oneness of God. The yud stands for the Ten Commandments. The hay, the five books of the Torah and the vav the six books of the Mishnah, the Oral Torah. Why do these five possessions begin with the Mishnah and end with the unity of God? This is to teach us that the teachings of the scribes are even more beloved than the words of the Torah! We learn this lesson from the interpretation of the verse in the Talmud: "Your beloved is more delightful than wine." (Song of Songs 1:2) This means, 'Your teachers of Torah are better than the wine of Torah." This statement is meant to be an introduction to the following passages in which we find Rabbinic insights into the verses of Torah.'
יניח הכוס מידו ויגלה אֶת הַמצות.
צֵא וּלְמַד מַה בִּקֵּשׁ לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת לְיַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ: שֶׁפַּרְעֹה לֹא גָזַר אֶלָּא עַל הַזְּכָרִים, וְלָבָן בִּקֵּשׁ לַעֲקֹר אֶת-הַכֹּל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: אֲרַמִּי אֹבֵד אָבִי, וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה וַיָּגָר שָׁם בִּמְתֵי מְעָט, וַיְהִי שָׁם לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, עָצוּם וָרָב.
וַיֵּרֶד מִצְרַיְמָה - אָנוּס עַל פִּי הַדִּבּוּר. וַיָּגָר שָׁם. מְלַמֵּד שֶׁלֹא יָרַד יַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ לְהִשְׁתַּקֵּעַ בְּמִצְרַיִם אֶלָּא לָגוּר שָׁם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל-פַּרְעֹה, לָגוּר בָּאָרֶץ בָּאנוּ, כִּי אֵין מִרְעֶה לַצֹּאן אֲשֶׁר לַעֲבָדֶיךָ, כִּי כָבֵד הָרָעָב בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן. וְעַתָּה יֵשְׁבוּ-נָא עֲבָדֶיךָ בְּאֶרֶץ גֹּשֶן.
בִּמְתֵי מְעָט. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: בְּשִׁבְעִים נֶפֶשׁ יָרְדוּ אֲבוֹתֶיךָ מִצְרָיְמָה, וְעַתָּה שָׂמְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם לָרֹב.
וַיְהִי שָׁם לְגוֹי. מְלַמֵד שֶׁהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מְצֻיָּנִים שָׁם. גָּדוֹל עָצוּם - כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל פָּרוּ וַיִּשְׁרְצוּ וַיִּרְבּוּ וַיַּעַצְמוּ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד, וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ אֹתָם.
וָרָב. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: רְבָבָה כְּצֶמַח הַשָּׂדֶה נְתַתִּיךְ, וַתִּרְבִּי וַתִּגְדְּלִי וַתָּבֹאִי בַּעֲדִי עֲדָיִים, שָׁדַיִם נָכֹנוּ וּשְׂעָרֵךְ צִמֵּחַ, וְאַתְּ עֵרֹם וְעֶרְיָה. וָאֶעֱבֹר עָלַיִךְ וָאֶרְאֵךְ מִתְבּוֹסֶסֶת בְּדָמָיִךְ, וָאֹמַר לָךְ בְּדָמַיִךְ חֲיִי, וָאֹמַר לָךְ בְּדָמַיִךְ חֲיִי
וַיָּרֵעוּ אֹתָנוּ הַמִּצְרִים וַיְעַנּוּנוּ, וַיִתְּנוּ עָלֵינוּ עֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה. וַיָּרֵעוּ אֹתָנוּ הַמִּצְרִים - כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: הָבָה נִתְחַכְּמָה לוֹ פֶּן יִרְבֶּה, וְהָיָה כִּי תִקְרֶאנָה מִלְחָמָה וְנוֹסַף גַּם הוּא עַל שֹׂנְאֵינוּ וְנִלְחַם-בָּנוּ, וְעָלָה מִן-הָאָרֶץ.
וַיְעַנּוּנוּ. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו שָׂרֵי מִסִּים לְמַעַן עַנֹּתוֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָם. וַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מִסְכְּנוֹת לְפַרְעֹה. אֶת-פִּתֹם וְאֶת-רַעַמְסֵס.
וַיִתְּנוּ עָלֵינוּ עֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה. כְּמָה שֶֹׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיַּעֲבִדוּ מִצְרַיִם אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּפָרֶךְ.
וַנִּצְעַק אֶל-ה' אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵינוּ, וַיִּשְׁמַע ה' אֶת-קֹלֵנוּ, וַיַּרְא אֶת-עָנְיֵנוּ וְאֶת עֲמָלֵנוּ וְאֶת לַחֲצֵנוּ.
וַנִּצְעַק אֶל-ה' אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵינוּ - כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָרַבִּים הָהֵם וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, וַיֵּאָנְחוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל מִ-הָעֲבוֹדָה וַיִּזְעָקוּ, וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעָתָם אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים מִן הָעֲבֹדָה.
וַיִּשְׁמַע ה' אֶת קלֵנוּ. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶת-נַאֲקָתָם, וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת-בְּרִיתוֹ אֶת-אַבְרָהָם, אֶת-יִצְחָק וְאֶת-יַעֲקֹב.
וַיַּרְא אֶת-עָנְיֵנוּ. זוֹ פְּרִישׁוּת דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּדַע אֱלֹהִים.
וְאֶת-עֲמָלֵנוּ. אֵלּוּ הַבָּנִים. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: כָּל-הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד הַיְאֹרָה תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ וְכָל-הַבַּת תְּחַיּוּן.
וְאֶת לַחָצֵנוּ. זֶו הַדְּחַק, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְגַם-רָאִיתִי אֶת-הַלַּחַץ אֲשֶׁר מִצְרַיִם לֹחֲצִים אֹתָם.
וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ ה' מִמִצְרַיִם בְּיָד חֲזָקָה, וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה, וּבְמֹרָא גָּדֹל, וּבְאֹתוֹת וּבְמֹפְתִים.
וַיּוֹצִאֵנוּ ה' מִמִּצְרַיִם. לֹא עַל-יְדֵי מַלְאָךְ, וְלֹא עַל-יְדֵי שָׂרָף, וְלֹא עַל-יְדֵי שָׁלִיחַ, אֶלָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּכְבוֹדוֹ וּבְעַצְמוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה, וְהִכֵּיתִי כָּל-בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֵאָדָם וְעַד בְּהֵמָה, וּבְכָל אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים. אֲנִי ה'.
וְעָבַרְתִּי בְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה - אֲנִי וְלֹא מַלְאָךְ;ְ וְהִכֵּיתִי כָל בְּכוֹר בְּאֶרֶץ-מִצְרַים. אֲנִי וְלֹא שָׂרָף; וּבְכָל-אֱלֹהֵי מִצְרַיִם אֶעֱשֶׂה שְׁפָטִים. אֲנִי וְלֹא הַשָּׁלִיחַ; אֲנִי ה'. אֲנִי הוּא וְלֹא אַחֵר.
בְּיָד חֲזָקָה. זוֹ הַדֶּבֶר, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: הִנֵּה יַד-ה' הוֹיָה בְּמִקְנְךָ אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה, בַּסּוּסִים, בַּחֲמֹרִים, בַּגְּמַלִים, בַּבָּקָר וּבַצֹּאן, דֶּבֶר כָּבֵד מְאֹד.
וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה. זוֹ הַחֶרֶב, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ, נְטוּיָה עַל-יְרוּשָלָיִם.
וּבְמוֹרָא גָּדֹל. זוֹ גִּלּוּי שְׁכִינָה. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר, אוֹ הֲנִסָּה אֱלֹהִים לָבוֹא לָקַחַת לוֹ גּוֹי מִקֶּרֶב גּוֹי בְּמַסֹּת בְּאֹתֹת וּבְמוֹפְתִים וּבְמִלְחָמָה וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה וּבְמוֹרָאִים גְּדוֹלִים כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לָכֶם ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם בְּמִצְרַיִם לְעֵינֶיךָ:.
וּבְאֹתוֹת. זֶה הַמַּטֶּה, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְאֶת הַמַּטֶּה הַזֶּה תִּקַּח בְּיָדְךָ, אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה-בּוֹ אֶת הָאֹתוֹת.
וּבְמֹפְתִים. זֶה הַדָּם, כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְנָתַתִּי מוֹפְתִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
He puts down the cup from his hand and uncovers the matsa.
Go out and learn what what Lavan the Aramean sought to do to Ya'akov, our father; since Pharaoh only decreed [the death sentence] on the males but Lavan sought to uproot the whole [people]. As it is stated (Deuteronomy 26:5), "An Aramean was destroying my father and he went down to Egypt, and he resided there with a small number and he became there a nation, great, powerful and numerous."
"And he went down to Egypt" - helpless on account of the word [in which God told Avraham that his descendants would have to go into exile]. "And he resided there" - [this] teaches that Ya'akov, our father, didn't go down to settle in Egypt, but rather [only] to reside there, as it is stated (Genesis 47:4), "And they said to Pharaoh, to reside in the land have we come, since there is not enough pasture for your servant's flocks, since the the famine is heavy in the land of Canaan, and now please grant that your servants should dwell in the land of Goshen."
"As a small number" - as it is stated (Deuteronomy 10:22), "With seventy souls did your ancestors come down to Egypt, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky."
"And he became there a nation" - [this] teaches that Israel [became] distinguishable] there. "Great, powerful" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:7), "And the children of Israel multiplied and swarmed and grew numerous and strong, most exceedingly and the land became full of them."
"And numerous" - as it is stated (Ezekiel 16:7), "I have given you to be numerous as the vegetation of the field, and you increased and grew and became highly ornamented, your breasts were set and your hair grew, but you were naked and barren;" "And I passed over you and I saw you wallowing in your blood, and I said to you, you shall live in your blood, and I said to you, you shall live in your blood" (Ezekiel 16:6).
"And the Egyptians did bad to us and afflicted us and put upon us hard work" (Deuteronomy 26:6). "And the Egyptians did bad to us" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:10), "Let us be wise towards him, lest he multiply and it will be that when war is called, he too will join with our enemies and fight against us and go up from the land."
"And afflicted us" - as is is stated (Exodus 1:11); "And they placed upon him leaders over the work-tax in order to afflict them with their burdens, and they built storage cities, Pitom and Ra'amses."
"And put upon us hard work" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:11), "And they enslaved the children of Israel with breaking work."
"And we we yelled out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice, and He saw our affliction, and our toil and our duress" (Deuteronomy 26:7).
"And we yelled out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:23); "And it was in those great days that the king of Egypt died and the Children of Israel sighed from the work and yelled out, and their supplication went up to God from the work."
"And the Lord heard our voice" - as it is stated (Exodus 1:24); "And God heard their groans and God remembered his covenant with Avraham and with Yitschak and with Ya'akov."
"And He saw our affliction" - this [refers to] the separation from the way of the world, as it is stated (Exodus 1:25); "And God saw the Children of Israel and God knew."
"And our toil" - this [refers to the killing of the] sons, as it is stated (Exodus 1:24); "Every boy that is born, throw him into the Nile and every girl you shall keep alive."
"And our duress" - this [refers to] the pressure, as it is stated (Exodus 3:19); "And I also saw the duress that the Egyptians are applying on them."
"And the Lord took us out of Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched forearm and with great awe and with signs and with wonders" (Deuteronomy 26:8).
"And the Lord took us out of Egypt" - not though an angel and not through a seraph and not through a messenger, but [directly by] the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself, as it is stated (Exodus 12:12); "And I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and I will smite every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from men to animals; and with all the gods of Egypt, I will make judgements, I am the Lord."
"And I will pass through the land of Egypt" - I and not an angel. "And I will smite every firstborn" - I and not a seraph. "And with all the gods of Egypt, I will make judgements" - I and not a messenger. "I am the Lord" - I am He and there is no other.
"With a strong hand" - this [refers to] the pestilence, as it is stated (Exodus 9:3); "Behold the hand of the Lord is upon your herds that are in the field, upon the horses, upon the donkeys, upon the camels, upon the cattle and upon the flocks, [there will be] a very heavy pestilence."
"And with an outstretched forearm" - this [refers to] the sword, as it is stated (I Chronicles 21:16); "And his sword was drawn in his hand, leaning over Jerusalem:
"And with great awe" - this [refers to the revelation of] the Divine Presence, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 4:34); Or did God try to take for Himself a nation from within a nation with enigmas, with signs and with wonders and with war and with a strong hand and with an outstretched forearm and with great and awesome acts, like all that the Lord, your God, did for you in Egypt in front of your eyes?"
"And with signs" - this [refers to] the staff, as it is stated (Exodus 4:17); "And this staff you shall take in your hand, that with it you will preform signs."
"And with wonders" - this [refers to] the blood, as it is stated (Joel 3:3); "And I will place my wonders in the skies and in the earth:
(1) Deuteronomy Chapter 26, Verse 7
(2) 7. We cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression.
And we cried to the Lord God of our ancestors, as it is written: "And it came to pass, after some time, that the King of Egypt died, and the children of Israel groaned from the labor and their cry went up to God from the labor." (Exodus 2:23) At first glance, this seems strange: why did they groan only after the death of Pharaoh? It should have been the other way around. The Israelites should have rejoiced at the death of Pharaoh. I learned the following explanation from Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz, the Sh'lah. The Egyptians understood that if the Israelites repented and returned to God and prayed God would answer their prayer; therefore, they did not give them permission to have even a minute free from slavery lest they begin praying to God. It was the custom of the Egyptians, however, upon the death of Pharaoh for all the people, great and small, to follow behind the king's casket and cry. The Egyptians thought that the Israelites were crying over the loss of Pharaoh.
Actually, the Israelites cried out to their Father in Heaven in prayer to help them. Thus, God heard their cry. This is the meaning of the verse, "The King of Egypt died… and the children of Israel groaned…" Their prayer was a groan, something they had not been permitted to do until now. Thus, "Their cry went up to God…"
It seems to me that there is another explanation for this matter. One must explain the second use of the expression "from the labor." This expression appears twice in Exodus 2:23; "The Israelites groaned from the labor," and "their groan rose up to God from the labor." The second use of "From the labor," is superfluous.
The two uses of the expression "From the labor," can be explained by a discussion which appears in the Talmud regarding the word, b'farekh, "ruthlessly" or "With hard labor." (This word appears twice in Exodus, ch. 1.) The first use of the word b'farekh is interpreted as b'feh rakh, "with soft language," while the second is understood as crushing labor:
13. The Egyptians with soft language (b'farekh) imposed upon the Israelites 14. the various labors that they made them perform.
With crushing labor (b'farekh) they made life bitter for them with harsh labor at mortar and bricks and with all sorts of tasks in the field. (Exodus 1:13-14)
Yet, if the second use of the word b'farekh is understood as ruthlessly, why shouldn’t the first use of the word have the same meaning? Or, why shouldn’t the second use of this word be understood as b'feh rakh as well? Why shouldn’t both be understood as having the same meaning? The difference between the two uses of this word is that the first use of b'farekh applies to the Egyptians and the second one to the Israelites.
Yet if the second interpretation of b'farekh (ruthlessly) is correct, then what does it mean for the first use of this expression? Rather both times the word is used, it should be understood as b'feh rakh, soft language. It was because of the soft language, that the Israelites allowed themselves to be enslaved to the Egyptians and to be forced to do crushing labor.
It would seem that when Pharaoh said, "Let us deal shrewdly with them," it was his intention to keep the Israelites from praying to God to help them, lest their prayer be received and answered. He knew that when they were oppressed, they would pray from their heart of hearts and they would groan because of the hard labor they experienced as slaves. God never despises a broken heart. Pharaoh was concerned that God would hear their prayer and redeem them from oppression. So he commanded his taskmasters to make sure that the Israelites performed their tasks without groans, and that they performed their work cheerfully, as they originally performed these tasks when Pharaoh stood at their sides. Pharaoh worked them constantly so that there was no time to groan. He never lightened their burden for even a moment for he knew that once they began groaning they would pray to God and their prayer would be accepted. He made it their obligation to appear to be satisfied and happy in performing their tasks. There is no greater oppression than this - to be forced to be happy when you are miserable.
That is why we find no mention of groaning or complaining before the death of Pharaoh. It is then that we are told, "A new king arose in Egypt…" It was the custom that when a new king arose, he would free all those who were imprisoned from former officials to lowly slaves so that they would favor the new king for his acts of kindness. In the case of the Israelites, the new king conferred with his advisors about whether or not to free them. He was unaware of the reason the old king had oppressed the Israelites so severely (so that they would have no time to pray). He, however, gave them permission for groaning and crying, and as a result of this God heard their cries. This is the meaning of the text. When the old king died (during whose reign they were not even allowed to groan), and a new king arose who gave them permission to groan, only then did the Israelites cry out to God. The Egyptians thought that the Israelites were groaning from their labors but really they were crying out to God.
(1) "We cried out," through, "The king of Egypt died. The Israelites were groaning:" The verse says: "A long time after that, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites were groaning." (Exodus 2:23) The Talmud and the Midrash explain that the time when Pharaoh died is called "Many days" because he was a leper during that time, and a leper is considered to be like a dead man.
And the children of Israel groaned: Why did the Israelites groan? The magicians of Egypt told Pharaoh, "There is no greater cure for leprosy than this: take one hundred fifty Israelite children, slaughter them and then bathe in their blood twice a day. This decree was fulfilled with the maximum cruelty: the mother was forced to hold the child over the pool and the father had to slaughter his own child. It was then that God heard the groaning of the Israelites and He took note of them. He took note of them because He had made promises, at the covenants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What were the three decrees that caused God to take note of them: the forced separation of couples, the casting of the Israelites baby boys into the Nile, and the hard labor which weakened the Israelites.
(2) Let me explain:
Rabbi Bondi concludes his commentary on Deuteronomy 26:7 with the very same comments as the Haggadah itself. The Haggadah refers to these three terms: "Our affliction, our sorrow, and, our oppression" as referring to the three decrees by the Egyptians that caused God "to hear" the cry of the Israelites. He arrives at this interpretation in a roundabout fashion. He questions whether Pharaoh actually died or not, and if the death of Pharaoh was an opportunity for the Israelites to cry out to God, or a result of the decrees enforced by the new king. This section began by exploring what the Torah means when it says that "We cried out," and concludes by saying that their groaning and crying was a result of the terrible and cruel suffering inflicted on the Israelites. In the end, it was the cruelty to the children that motivated God to hear the prayers of the Israelites.
What is the point of all these imaginative Midrashim? They are not part of the biblical text but they are most definitely part of how Jews from time immemorial have told the story of the Exodus. We did not just tell this story, word for word, as it is recorded in Scripture. We told it in light of our historic experience as Jews. Our suffering in the present was not new - what we experienced now obviously happened in the past as well, so it was perfectly legitimate to read the present back into the past. In this way the story of the Exodus was timeless.
(1) Deuteronomy Chapter 26, Verse 8
(2) 8. The Lord freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents.
It is necessary to explain the contradiction found in two biblical verses. In one we read, "I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and I will smite the first born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast…I am the Lord." (Exodus 12:12) This implies that God Himself smote the first born, as the author of the Haggadah writes, "I and not another." In the other verse, we read, "None of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning...and not let the destroyer enter and smite your home." (Ex. 12:22) This verse implies that the death of the first born was carried out by a messenger and not by God. That is why the Israelites could not go out on the night of the tenth plague. Once the destroyer has been given permission to destroy (instead of God doing it), it did not distinguish between innocent and guilty.
I heard the following explanation for this contradiction from my grandfather, Rabbi David Tevele Sheier, of blessed memory. The Egyptian houses were struck by a messenger of God. When they witnessed the death of the first born, they fled from their homes to Israelite households which had blood on the door posts. They Egyptians understood that God's messenger was not given permission to enter an Israelite house. It was only then that the Holy One Himself entered the Israelite homes and struck down the remaining Egyptian first born while the Israelites were protected. "I and not another" applies specifically to the Israelite homes in which the Egyptians took refuge, and the verses no longer contradict one another. The words of my grandfather speak from the grave.
(1) With a mighty hand: this refers to pestilence… This passage is followed by, "Another interpretation, with a mighty hand: this indicates two plagues…" How do these two passages contradict one another? The passage beginning "Another interpretation" makes sense since it applies equally to all the plagues. The first passage, on the other hand, is confusing. It picks out plagues that do not follow one another. Why does it single out blood and pestilence? Also, what plague is being referred to when it speaks of "the sword?" There is no reference to this among the plagues of Egypt? It appears that first, the author of the Haggadah refers to the five warnings which Moses gave Pharaoh before the beginning of the ten plagues:
1. I have said to you, Let my son go, that he may worship Me; yet you refuse to let him go. Now, I will slay your first-born son. (Exodus 4:23) Rashi points out that while this is the final plague, it is also the first warning.
2. And if they are not convinced by both of these signs and they still do not heed you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on dry ground and it…will turn to blood on the dry ground. (Exodus 4:9)
3. Let us go, we pray, a distance of three days into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He strike us with pestilence or sword. (Exodus 5:3)
4. Let us go, we pray, a distance of three days into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He strike us with pestilence or sword. (Exodus 5:3)
5. Cast the staff before Pharaoh: on it the ten plagues shall be engraved.
Only afterwards does the Torah say that Aaron's staff swallows up the other staffs to show that the ten plagues shall swallow up and destroy Egypt. Through the five warnings, Moses warned Pharaoh, of all ten plagues
1. With a mighty hand: the warning for these two plagues is "Lest He strike us with pestilence."
2. With an outstretched arm; the warning for the second two plagues is, "Lest He strike us with …sword."
3. With great awe: the warning for these two plagues is "Now, I will slay your first-born son."
4. With signs: This is the plagues/warnings that were inscribed on the staff.
5. And wonders: this is the warning of the first plague, in which the waters of the Nile were turned to blood, "Pour it on dry ground and it…will turn to blood on the dry ground."
According to my interpretation, the reason for these five warnings was to let the Egyptians know about all the plagues. The staff was a general warning for the ten plagues as group. Pestilence and the sword are a reference to the death of the first born. ‘The appearance of the divine presence’ is a reference to the death of the first born, while the final warning is a reference to the plague of blood. There are then three warnings for the death of the first born because this was the most severe of all the plagues. And finally, the Midrash ends with a separate warning regarding the plague of blood. This warning is offered because this plague was an attack on the gods of Egypt. The first plague is singled out because Israel was enriched as a result of this plague, thus fulfilling God’s decree: “They shall go forth with great wealth.” (Genesis 15) Also, the people of Israel were enriched as a result of the first and the last plague.
(2) Another interpretation: the second interpretation does not make reference to the warnings but to the plagues themselves.
(1) With great terror: This refers to the appearance of the Divine Presence, as it is written: Has God tried to take one nation (goy) out of another nation (goy).” (Deut. 4:34) In Bereshit Rabbah we learn, Rabbi Elazar interprets the verse, “Like a rose among the thorns.” (Song of Songs) refers to the redemption from Egypt. Just as it is difficult to pick a rose which is placed in the midst of the thorns, so was the redemption of Israel difficult, as it is it written, “Has God tried to take one nation (goy) out of another nation (goy).” It does not say a people (ahm) from among a nation. Rather the verse says a goy from the midst of a goy. These were goyim and these were goyim! These grew their hair in a gentile fashion and these grew their hair in a gentile fashion. These wore shatnez and these wore shatnez. According to the rules of justice, Israel was no more worthy of redemption had it not been for the promise of redemption which God had made to Abraham. As it says, “Therefore, say to the children of Israel.” The word lachen, “therefore,” implies a promise or an oath…
(1) Wonders: This refers to the blood. Why does the Haggadah single out the plague of blood? It is because of the plague of blood, that the miracle was made even greater. Also, Israel became wealthy because of the plague of blood. All the miracles that God performed in Egypt were brought about near a body of water. Israel also became wealthy because of the water. Rabbi Yitzchak, when an Israelite and an Egyptian tried to drink water from the river, the Egyptians drew out blood and the Israel drew out water. As a result the Egyptians had to buy water from the Israelites at great cost and the Israelites enriched.
(1) Go and Learn…
Translators Introduction: There are a number of ways of interpreting the expression, Arami oved avi, the beginning of Deuteronomy 26:5. The Haggadah and the classic rabbinic reading is, "An Aramean tried to kill my father," but this is most definitely not the literal meaning of the words. If you look in most contemporary translations, you will find something very different: "My father was a wandering Aramean," or even, "My father was fugitive Aramean." Rabbi Bondi offers an explanation for the rabbinic reading of this verse.
The passage which follows v'hee is meant to add spice by explaining why we praise God. Why did God command Jacob to go down to Egypt to begin the Exile of four hundred years? Couldn’t Jacob's exile have begun in Laban's house since it was Laban's intention to destroy all of Jacob's family? Yet had he succeeded, the other part of the God's decree to Abraham could not have been fulfilled the promise, "They shall go forth with great abundance." This is the intention of Deuteronomy 26:5, "An Aramean sought to destroy my father;" Laban sought to destroy all of Jacob's family. Therefore, God had him go down to Egypt (for his exile) instead of remaining in Aram. Previously, the author of the Haggadah brings the passage dealing with the Covenant of the Pieces (Genesis 15) Lest you think - what difference does it make whether the exile was in Aram or in Egypt, he goes on to quote Arami Oved Avi to explain why it was necessary for the exile to be in Egypt and not in Aram. Therefore…."They went down to Egypt"
(3) Let me explain
Rabbi Bondi manages to meld all the passages in the Haggadah together in his interpretation. In the Covenant of the pieces, God promised Abraham that his descendents would leave a land not their own with, "Great abundance. " This wealth, he explains, is not material wealth but the gift of Torah. This is the gift for which God has sustained us. But had they remained in Aram in the house of Laban, Abraham's descendents would have been more greatly endangered than they were by going down to Egypt. The Haggadah begins by interpreting Arami oved avi as a reference to Laban in order to explain why the exile could not begin until the descendents of Jacob went down to Egypt. Having the Israelites enslaved in Egypt was actually an act of compassion since it protected them from an even worse fate. In this way the Haggadah explains the connection between the two phrases, "May father was a wandering Aramean," and "They went down to Egypt."
(4) Arami Oved Avi
The central core of the Haggadah is an extended Midrashic reading of Deuteronomy 26:5-8. These verses are part of a declaration. They were recited by the individual when he brought the Bikkurim, the first fruits, to the temple on the festival of Shavuot.
Why were these particular verses chosen for the Seder? First, they offer a brief and personal retelling of the Exodus, thus fulfilling the obligation to see oneself as if one personally went forth from Egypt.
Second, since the First Fruit Ceremony was no longer observed, this is an appropriate place to reuse this passage. By reciting only a portion of this declaration (verses 5-8), the passage called the reader's attention to our unfulfilled state of being. Verse 9 (the end of the declaration) focuses our attention on the purpose of redemption: "He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey."
The declaration focuses on redemption from slavery but fails to speak of the conquest of the land. The absence of the final verse is a reminder that the promise is not yet fulfilled in our day. It parallels the fifth cup of wine and the fifth promise of redemption in Exodus, Chapter six. (Deuteronomy 26:5-8)
5. You shall then recite as follows before the Lord your God: "My father was a fugitive Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation.
6. The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us.
7. We cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression.
8. The Lord freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents.
(5) Deuteronomy Chapter 26, Verse 5
My father was a fugitive Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation.
And he went down to Egypt: He was compelled by divine decree. According to Simeon ben Zemah Duran, (1361–1444), the sale of Joseph had to occur prior to Jacob’s descent into Egypt. This was for Jacob’s own good. This may be compared to the way things are done in a slaughter house. The calf is sent ahead of its mother so that she will follow it into the slaughter house. So too, Jacob went down to Egypt out of respect and love for Joseph, in order to see how his son had risen to a position of greatness.
These verses are taken from Deuteronomy 26, which describe the custom of bringing the first fruits to the Temple. This was recited in a time of joy. We make mention of Israel’s suffering in this time of rejoicing in order to recall how God brought light into the darkness and brought us to a land flowing with milk and honey. We merited the privilege of bringing the first fruits of our land for this reason, and mention it on Passover eve as well. We perform customs to show our royalty on this night such as dipping, drinking four cups of wine, leaning and rejoicing.
(7) Let me explain
Why was Jacob compelled to go down to Egypt? Had it not been for Joseph’s presence in Egypt, Jacob would not have gone there on his own. His presence was necessary, however, for Israel’s eventual redemption. It was necessary for Jacob and his family to enter the crucible of suffering, for the people of Israel to be refined and become worthy of receiving the Torah. Like the mother calf who follows his child into the slaughter house, Jacob had to be given a compelling reason to go down to Egypt since he knew this would be the beginning of Israel’s enslavement.
He went down to Egypt with meager numbers …but there he became a great and very populous nation. The Haggadah tells us that the Israelites did not settle in Egypt as unrecognizable residents but were dignified and easily recognizable because of their beauty and splendor.
They became a great and mighty nation: as is written elsewhere: The Children of Israel were fruitful, increased abundantly, multiplied and became exceedingly mighty… at first they gave birth to sextuplets, afterwards to twelve at a time and finally they gave birth to sixty at a time! There was even one woman in Egypt who gave birth to six hundred thousand. In Song of Songs Rabbah we learn that Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi was expounding and the community was falling asleep. He wanted to wake them up so he said: There was one woman in Egypt who gave birth to six hundred thousand at once. There was a student there by the name of Rabbi Ishmael ben Rabbi Yossi. He said: “Who could that be?” Said Rabbi Yehudah, "It was Yocheved who gave birth to Moses. For Moses was equal to six hundred thousand Israelites, as we learn: 'Then Moses and the people of Israel sang...'” How could he be equal all the Israelites? In Midrash Rabba Vayechi, we learn that "Six hundred Israelite woman all became pregnant on the same night, and all of their offspring were destined to be thrown into the Nile. But they were slaved through the merit of Moses, as is written, I am in the midst of the six hundred thousand people. Moses was given the honor of being considered equal to the rest of Israel."
And numerous: “I have caused them to multiply like the growth of the field.” (Ezekiel 16:7) The language of the verse is very difficult. Is a human being a growth of the field? My grandfather, Rabbi Abraham Naftali Sheier, of blessed memory, offered the following explanation. This is a response to what the author of the Haggadah is about to write: “The Egyptians ill-treated us, as it says: “Come let us deal wisely with them, lest (pen) they should multiply…” (Exodus 1)This means that the Egyptians sought legal strategies primarily by which to decrease the Israelites’ numbers and to keep them from increasing. This is similar to the strategies of the other wicked haters of Israel. They came up with a series of decrees, one after another that would cause a deterioration of the Israelites. At first they decreed hard labor on the Israelites in order to break their bodies and decrease their virility, so that the flesh would fall from their bones. If they could not have children they would decrease and not increase. What did the Holy One do? He said: “I promised Abraham that I would make his offspring like the stars in the heaven and you plan to cause them not to increase in number? We will see whose decree comes about, Mine or yours!” Egypt says, “Lest (pen) they increase.” Through the divine spirit I will make a decree: “So (ken) they shall increase!” Immediately the Torah says, the more they oppressed them, so (ken) they increased and so (ken) they spread forth.” (Exodus 1) At first the Israelite women gave birth six at a time; soon, they began giving birth twelve and even sixty at a time. The difference between the words ken, so, and pen, lest, is minute – a small mark in the middle of the letter. As a reminder of this we find that amount that differentiates hametz from matzah is the smallest amount. Even the letters that differentiate these two words have only the smallest difference between them. All of this is a reminder that the redemption of the Israelites happened in the passing of a minute moment.
Had Israel tarried any longer in Egypt than midnight on Passover eve, they would have been unable to rise up and escape. For this was the moment when Israel would have descended into the fiftieth level of impurity. That is why even the tiniest amount of hametz on Passover is strictly forbidden. This is a fine interpretation; the words of my grandfather speak from the grave!
When the Egyptians saw that the oppression of the Israelites caused them to increase, they made a second decree: “Every male child who is born shall be killed.” It was also decreed that the Israelite men could not cohabit with their wives. Thus, the taskmasters said to the Israelites: “If you sleep at home you will get up late and you will not have time to complete the designated number of bricks. Therefore, sleep out in the field.” The Israelite women, however, were righteous. They were afraid to be home alone because of the Egyptian sexual immorality.
Rabbi Akiva expounded that when the women went to fill their pitchers with water, the Holy One filled half the pitcher with water and the other half with fish. They would bring it to their husbands. They would feed them the fish and help wash their husbands. In this way, the Israelite women became desirable to their husbands. They would have relations and become pregnant. When the Egyptians saw that the Israelites were still increasing in number they made a third decree – cast every Israelite boy into the Nile. Afterwards they then made a fourth decree: the slaughtering of the Israelite babies for the Egyptians said: "The Israelite men are compassionate. Maybe they will separate themselves from their wives because of this decree so that they won’t want to cause the death of their own sons."
But the Israelite women continued to try cohabit with their husbands even when they knew the suffering it would cause while they were pregnant and when they gave birth. The Egyptians saw that the Israelite women would hide their newborn babies in a hidden room in their homes. The Egyptians would then bring an Egyptian newborn into the Israelite houses and cause them to cry so that when the Israelite baby heard the crying they would begin crying as well. They would then take the Israelite child out and kill the baby with great cruelty or by throwing the baby into the river.
As a result of all this, the months of pregnancy for Israelite women was extremely painful for they knew what would happen to the child they were carrying within themselves. Still the women did not deny themselves to their husbands. They were righteous and did not want their husbands to stop fulfilling the commandment of “Be fruitful and multiply.” They trusted that their father in heaven would not abandon them,
What happened as a result? When it was time to give birth, the women would go out in the field and give birth beneath an apple tree. As soon as they gave birth they would leave the child in the field and would say: “Master of the Universe: I have done my part and You must now do Yours.” God would come down in all his glory, cut off the umbilical cord, wash the children, put oil on their skin, and feed them two measures of oil and honey. The Egyptians came out to the fields to find the infants but God performed a miracle and placed the children beneath the ground. The Egyptians brought oxen to plow up the ground so that they could kill the children with the plow but God caused them to go even deeper into the ground. When the Egyptians left, God caused the Israelite child to sprout up from the ground like a plant. When they were old enough they would return to their homes in groups like herds. When their parents asked them, who took care of you, they would answer "A nice young man came down and provided all of our needs." Another miracle happened: every child recognized his own father and mother.
When God revealed himself to the nation at the Sea of Reeds, the children pointed their fingers and said: “This is the one who took care of us, as it says, “This is my God; I will extol Him.”
We can now understand the meaning of the verse: “I have caused them to multiply like the growth of the field… you were naked and bare.” When their mothers left them in the field at the time they were born they were naked and bare. But then God caused them to grow.
(9) Let me explain
There is a lot to talk about here. This Midrash is quoted quoted in many commentaries on the Haggadah. However, there is one significant difference. Usually the verse from Ezekiel is taken as a criticism of Israel. The people of Israel were unworthy of redemption because they were naked and bare of commandments until the moment of redemption. Rabbi Bondi understands this verse as a reference to the state of the Israelite infants who were left in the field when they entered the world. Whenever possible, Rabbi Bondi looks for a positive perspective on the Midrashim, instead of seeing these statements as critical. In the end he returns to the beginning of this lengthy statement and answers the question: Why quote a verse which describes the Israelites as “plants?”
(1) Deuteronomy Chapter 26, Verse 6
The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us.
Deuteronomy Chapter 26, Verse 6
The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us.
They oppressed them: as is written, "They placed task masters over them in order to oppress them with their labors:" It is written: "He went out to his kinsfolk and witnessed their labors." (Exodus 2:11) Moses said: "Woe is me! Would that I could give my life that you should not have to work so hard! For working with mortar is the hardest type of labor." He would then place the bricks on his own shoulders and help each and every one of them.
Further, Moses also saw that the Egyptians forced the men to do women's tasks, a big people to do labor appropriate to small people, and young men's labors was performed by old people. He then made sure that every person's labors were appropriate to the person's strengths and skills. He pretended that he did this to help Pharaoh. God said: "You gave freedom to My children from their (inappropriate) labors. By your life, in the future you will free My children from oaths between a husband and wife. Furthermore, you left your work to check on the suffering of the Israelites and to act in the fashion of a brother, so I will leave the Ones on high and speak to you out of a burning bush. And so we read later: "God spoke to him out of a bush…"
(4) Let me explain
Rabbi Bondi appears to add to the Midrashic presentation found in the Haggadah here. In affect this is a Midrash on a Midrash. In the Haggadah, we find the verse from Deuteronomy 26:6. The Haggadah comments on this by quoting a verse from Exodus 1:11. This verse uses the word bisivlotam, "Their labors." Rabbi Bondi now quotes a second verse that uses this word (Exodus 2:11) as a pretext to speak about Moses' compassion for the oppressed Israelites. In this way he explains the significance of the word "Their labor." Israel's oppression was not that they were worked hard but that they were forced to do jobs that were unnatural - men doing women's work, old people carrying a young man's burden, etc. One of the styles of Midrash in the Haggadah is that a verse from the beginning of Exodus is quoted as a way to illuminate the brief retelling of the story in Deuteronomy. Here the commentator carries this approach one step farther, quoting yet another verse from Exodus and then offering an explanation for it from the Midrash.
They oppressed them: as is written, "They placed task masters over them in order to oppress them with their labors:" It is written: "He went out to his kinsfolk and witnessed their labors." (Exodus 2:11) Moses said: "Woe is me! Would that I could give my life that you should not have to work so hard! For working with mortar is the hardest type of labor." He would then place the bricks on his own shoulders and help each and every one of them.
Further, Moses also saw that the Egyptians forced the men to do women's tasks, a big people to do labor appropriate to small people, and young men's labors was performed by old people. He then made sure that every person's labors were appropriate to the person's strengths and skills. He pretended that he did this to help Pharaoh. God said: "You gave freedom to My children from their (inappropriate) labors. By your life, in the future you will free My children from oaths between a husband and wife. Furthermore, you left your work to check on the suffering of the Israelites and to act in the fashion of a brother, so I will leave the Ones on high and speak to you out of a burning bush. And so we read later: "God spoke to him out of a bush…"
(5) Let me explain
Rabbi Bondi appears to add to the Midrashic presentation found in the Haggadah here. In affect this is a Midrash on a Midrash. In the Haggadah, we find the verse from Deuteronomy 26:6. The Haggadah comments on this by quoting a verse from Exodus 1:11. This verse uses the word bisivlotam, "Their labors." Rabbi Bondi now quotes a second verse that uses this word (Exodus 2:11) as a pretext to speak about Moses' compassion for the oppressed Israelites. In this way he explains the significance of the word "Their labor." Israel's oppression was not that they were worked hard but that they were forced to do jobs that were unnatural - men doing women's work, old people carrying a young man's burden, etc. One of the styles of Midrash in the Haggadah is that a verse from the beginning of Exodus is quoted as a way to illuminate the brief retelling of the story in Deuteronomy. Here the commentator carries this approach one step farther, quoting yet another verse from Exodus and then offering an explanation for it from the Midrash.
כשאומר דם ואש ותימרות עשן, עשר המכות ודצ"ך עד"ש באח"ב - ישפוך מן הכוס מעט יין:
דָּם וָאֵשׁ וְתִימְרוֹת עָשָׁן.
דָבָר אַחֵר: בְּיָד חֲזָקָה שְׁתַּיִם, וּבִזְרֹעַ נְטוּיָה שְׁתַּיִם, וּבְמֹרָא גָּדֹל - שְׁתַּיִם, וּבְאֹתוֹת - שְׁתַּיִם, וּבְמֹפְתִים - שְׁתַּיִם.
אֵלּוּ עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת שֶׁהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל-הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם, וְאֵלוּ הֵן:
רַבִּי יְהוּדָה הָיָה נוֹתֵן בָּהֶם סִמָּנִים: דְּצַ"ךְ עַדַ"שׁ בְּאַחַ"ב.
רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלָּקוּ הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת? בְּמִצְרַיִם מַה הוּא אוֹמֵר? וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַחַרְטֻמִּם אֶל פַּרְעֹה: אֶצְבַּע אֱלֹהִים הִוא, וְעַל הַיָּם מָה הוּא אוֹמֵר? וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה' בְּמִצְרַיִם, וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת-ה', וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּיי וּבְמשֶׁה עַבְדוֹ. כַּמָה לָקוּ בְאֶצְבַּע? עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת. אֱמוֹר מֵעַתָּה: בְּמִצְרַים לָקוּ עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת.
רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֲר אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן שֶׁכָּל-מַכָּה וּמַכָּה שֶׁהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם הָיְתָה שֶׁל אַרְבַּע מַכּוֹת? שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: יְשַׁלַּח-בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ, עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים. עֶבְרָה - אַחַת, וָזַעַם - שְׁתַּיִם, וְצָרָה - שָׁלשׁ, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים - אַרְבַּע. אֱמוֹר מֵעַתָּה: בְּמִצְרַיִם לָקוּ אַרְבָּעִים מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ מָאתַיִם מַכּוֹת.
רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן שֶׁכָּל-מַכָּה וּמַכָּה שֶהֵבִיא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם הָיְתָה שֶׁל חָמֵשׁ מַכּוֹת? שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: יְִשַׁלַּח-בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ, עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצַרָה, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים. חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ- אַחַת, עֶבְרָה - שְׁתָּיִם, וָזַעַם - שָׁלוֹשׁ, וְצָרָה - אַרְבַּע, מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים - חָמֵשׁ. אֱמוֹר מֵעַתָּה: בְּמִצְרַיִם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּות וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם מַכּוֹת.
And when he says, "blood and fire and pillars of smoke" and the ten plagues and "detsakh," "adash" and "ba'achab," he should pour out a little wine from his cup.
"blood and fire and pillars of smoke."
Another [explanation]: "With a strong hand" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with an outstretched forearm" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with great awe" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with signs" [corresponds to] two [plagues]; "and with wonders" [corresponds to] two [plagues].
These are [the] ten plagues that the Holy One, blessed be He, brought on the Egyptians in Egypt and they are:
[The] Mixture [of Wild Animals]
Slaying of [the] Firstborn
Rabbi Yehuda was accustomed to giving [the plagues] mnemonics: Detsakh [the Hebrew initials of the first three plagues], Adash [the Hebrew initials of the second three plagues], Beachav [the Hebrew initials of the last four plagues].
Rabbi Yose Hagelili says, "From where can you [derive] that the Egyptians were struck with ten plagues in Egypt and struck with fifty plagues at the Sea? In Egypt, what does it state? 'Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh: ‘This is the finger of God' (Exodus 8:15). And at the Sea, what does it state? 'And Israel saw the Lord's great hand that he used upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord; and they believed in the Lord, and in Moshe, His servant' (Exodus 14:31). How many were they struck with with the finger? Ten plagues. You can say from here that in Egypt, they were struck with ten plagues and at the Sea, they were struck with fifty plagues."
Rabbi Eliezer says, "From where [can you derive] that every plague that the Holy One, blessed be He, brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt was [composed] of four plagues? As it is stated (Psalms 78:49): 'He sent upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and fury, and trouble, a sending of messengers of evil.' 'Wrath' [corresponds to] one; 'and fury' [brings it to] two; 'and trouble' [brings it to] three; 'a sending of messengers of evil' [brings it to] four. You can say from here that in Egypt, they were struck with forty plagues and at the Sea, they were struck with two hundred plagues."
Rabbi Akiva says, says, "From where [can you derive] that every plague that the Holy One, blessed be He, brought upon the Egyptians in Egypt was [composed] of five plagues? As it is stated (Psalms 78:49): 'He sent upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and fury, and trouble, a sending of messengers of evil.' 'The fierceness of His anger' [corresponds to] one; 'wrath' [brings it to] two; 'and fury' [brings it to] three; 'and trouble' [brings it to] four; 'a sending of messengers of evil' [brings it to] five. You can say from here that in Egypt, they were struck with fifty plagues and at the Sea, they were struck with two hundred and fifty plagues."
(1) Wild beasts: Why did the Holy One cause the plague of wild beasts? Because the Egyptians herded the Israelites like a herd, so the Holy sent the birds of prey and the wild beasts in large herds to attack them. Also, because the Egyptians ordered the Israelites to capture bears, lions and leopards to live in Egypt, so God sent a mix of wild animals.
(1) Pestilence: Why did the Holy cause a plague of pestilence? Because the Egyptians made the Israelites shepherd their flocks and herds in the mountains and wilderness in order to keep their slaves from reproducing. The Holy One said, “I will send another shepherd,” as it is written, “Behold the hand of the Lord was upon their herds.”
(1) Boils: Why did the Holy cause a plague of boils? Because the Egyptians made the Israelites prepare hot or cool water for their baths, so God afflicted them with boils so that they would not even want water to touch their skin.
(1) Hail: Why did the Holy cause a plague of hail? Because the Egyptians forced the Israelites to tend to their gardens and orchards, so God afflicted the Egyptians by destroying them all.
(1) Locust: Why did the Holy cause a plague of locust? Because the Egyptians made the Egyptians plant their wheat and barley, therefore God brought the locust to eat everything what the Israelites had planted for them.
(1) According to my humble opinion, here are other reasons for some of the plagues:
(2) 1. Blood: Because the Egyptians so severely subjugated the Israelites, their blood turned to water, so God turned their water into blood.
(3) 2. Frogs: The Egyptians would complain and shout at the Israelites, “Work, work, you lazy ones. God to your labors,” therefore, he brought frogs upon them to scream and shout, as the Midrash says: “the sound of the frogs was so loud in Egypt, that it seemed to enter their bodies and felt like it was coming from within them.”
(4) 3. Lice: Because the Egyptian task masters made the Israelites worked all the time, they had no time to change their clothes and to clean their garments or comb their hair so that soon everything was covered with lice. Therefore, God brought lice upon the Egyptians, measure for measure.
(5) 4. Wild beasts: because they attacked the Israelites in mobs, so God brought mobs of beasts, measure for measure.
(6) 5. Boils: The Egyptians used to bathe in hot water. If the water was too hot they would force the Israelite slaves to go into the water to cool it off, thus causing abrasions on their skin. Measure for measure, God afflicted the skin of the Egyptians.
(7) Darkness: Why did the Holy cause a plague of darkness? Nothing is hidden from the Holy One, even that which is deep in our hearts and minds. There were those among the Israelites who were released from bondage by the Egyptians were given great honor and wealth. They did not wish to leave Egypt. The Holy One said: "If I bring a plague upon them publically and they die, the Egyptians will say, 'Just as God has attacked us so he is attacking your people.'” Therefore God brought darkness upon the Egyptians for three days so that the Israelites could bury their dead (who were struck down by God) , and the Egyptians would not see this.
Also during the three days of darkness, God caused the Egyptians to look more favorably upon the Israelites, and they gave them whatever they asked for. The Israelites were able to enter the homes of the Egyptians and see where their silver, gold and fine garments were hidden. If the Egyptians said we have nothing to give you, the Israelites would respond, “Isn’t such and such a thing in such and such a place?” At that time the Egyptians reasoned: “If the Israelites wanted to lie to us they could have just taken what they wanted during the days of darkness, since they have already seen the things we have. Since they did not take anything without our knowledge, we will freely give these things to them.” Thus they fulfilled the prophecy given to Abraham, “Afterwards they shall leave with great wealth.” That is why the Torah does not say there was light in the land of Goshen but in their dwelling places. Wherever an Israelite dwelled he had light.
The death of the first born: Because Israel was called God’s first born, as it says, “My first born son, Israel.” Jacob acquired the birthright so that he could serve God. God said: “Let My children go that they may serve me. If you refuse to let my first born go to serve Me, I will prevent your first born from serving you; I will kill all of them!”
(1) Rabbi Judah used to abbreviate the plagues: Rabbi Judah wished to show that in terms of justice, one has to receive a warning (in order to be held culpable for breaking the law) so that one did not do so out of ignorance. But we do not find a warning to Pharaoh before the plagues of lice, boils and darkness. Also, there was no warning before all of the plagues that they would strike Egypt. Rabbi Judah groups the plagues in this way to show that there was a warning before each grouping, D'tzakh, Adash and Ba'akhav. These three groups were inscribed on Moses' staff.
(1) Blood: Why did the Holy One bring a plague of blood? It was measure for measure. God said to Abraham: “The nation that you served I shall judge.” (Genesis 15) Since the Egyptians did not allow the daughters of Israel to immerse themselves in water to be purified from their impurity so that they could fulfill the commandment of “Be fruitful and multiply, so God punished them with water.
(1) Frogs: Why did the Holy One cause the plague of frogs? Because the Egyptians subjugated the Israelites and told them, “Bring us frogs and other reptiles,” therefore, God brought frogs down on the Egyptians.
(1) Lice: Why did the Holy One cause the plague of lice? Because the Egyptians appointed them cleaners of the fields and the market places, the Holy One turned their dust into lice and made it cover every cubit of land, as it is written: “All the dust of the earth was lice…”
כַּמָה מַעֲלוֹת טוֹבוֹת לַמָּקוֹם עָלֵינוּ!
אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִצְרַיִם וְלֹא עָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים, וְלֹא עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, וְלֹא הָרַג אֶת-בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ הָרַג אֶת-בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת-מָמוֹנָם, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת-מָמוֹנָם וְלֹא קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת-הַיָּם, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת-הַיָּם וְלֹא הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה וְלֹא שִׁקַּע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ שִׁקַּע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ וְלֹא סִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בַּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ סִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בְּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וְלֹא הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת-הַמָּן דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת-הַמָּן וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת-הַשַׁבָּת, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת-הַשַׁבָּת, וְלֹא קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, וְלא נַתַן לָנוּ אֶת-הַתּוֹרָה. דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ נַתַן לָנוּ אֶת-הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, דַּיֵּנוּ.
אִלּוּ הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא בָנָה לָנוּ אֶת-בֵּית הַבְּחִירָה דַּיֵּנוּ.
עַל אַחַת, כַּמָה וְכַּמָה, טוֹבָה כְפוּלָה וּמְכֻפֶּלֶת לַמָּקוֹם עָלֵינוּ: שֶׁהוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, וְעָשָׂה בָהֶם שְׁפָטִים, וְעָשָׂה בֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, וְהָרַג אֶת-בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם, וְנָתַן לָנוּ אֶת-מָמוֹנָם, וְקָרַע לָנוּ אֶת-הַיָּם, וְהֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה, וְשִׁקַּע צָרֵנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ, וְסִפֵּק צָרְכֵּנוּ בַּמִדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה, וְהֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת-הַמָּן, וְנָתַן לָנוּ אֶת-הַשַּׁבָּת, וְקֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי, וְנַתָן לָנוּ אֶת-הַתּוֹרָה, וְהִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּבָנָה לָנוּ אֶת-בֵּית הַבְּחִירָה לְכַפֵּר עַל-כָּל-עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ.
How many degrees of good did the Place [of all bestow] upon us!
If He had taken us out of Egypt and not made judgements on them; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had made judgments on them and had not made [them] on their gods; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had made [them] on their gods and had not killed their firstborn; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had killed their firstborn and had not given us their money; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had given us their money and had not split the Sea for us; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had split the Sea for us and had not taken us through it on dry land; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had taken us through it on dry land and had not pushed down our enemies in [the Sea]; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had pushed down our enemies in [the Sea] and had not supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years and had not fed us the manna; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had fed us the manna and had not given us the Shabbat; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had given us the Shabbat and had not brought us close to Mount Sinai; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had brought us close to Mount Sinai and had not given us the Torah; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had given us the Torah and had not brought us into the land of Israel; [it would have been] enough for us.
If He had brought us into the land of Israel and had not built us the 'Chosen House' [the Temple; it would have been] enough for us.
How much more so is the good that is doubled and quadrupled that the Place [of all bestowed] upon us [enough for us]; since he took us out of Egypt, and made judgments with them, and made [them] with their gods, and killed their firstborn, and gave us their money, and split the Sea for us, and brought us through it on dry land, and pushed down our enemies in [the Sea], and supplied our needs in the wilderness for forty years, and fed us the manna, and gave us the Shabbat, and brought us close to Mount Sinai, and gave us the Torah, and brought us into the land of Israel and built us the 'Chosen House' [the Temple] to atone upon all of our sins.
(1) 3. Had He satisfied our needs in the desert for forty years: We give thanks when we traverse the wilderness. Similarly we now give thanks that God fed us and provided us with all our needs. These verses address the miracles that took place in the wilderness.
(1) 4. Had He brought us to Mount Sinai: We give thanks when we are healed from an illness. So, too, when the people reached Mount Sinai, God healed them of illness and injury. This final section addresses all the miracles that occurred until they reached the land of Israel.
(1) These are the four key verses of Dayyenu. Had God performed these four favors for us it would have been enough. How much more should we give thanks for all the other miracles that were performed in association with each of them!
(1) Dayyenu: Four Acts of Redemption
For which We Give Thanks
(2) God bestowed many favors upon us: The favors for which we give thanks are related to the four acts of redemption for which we recite the gomel blessing that we learned of earlier. Dayyenu can be divided into four sections
(1) 1. Had God taken us out of Egypt: God freed us from prison. All the miracles associated with the exodus are part of this section.
(1) 2. Had He split the Sea for us: We give thanks when we cross the sea, so we give thanks for the splitting of the Sea and all the miracles associated with it.
רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הָיָה אוֹמֵר: כָּל שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר שְׁלשָׁה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בַּפֶּסַח, לא יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן: פֶּסַח, מַצָּה, וּמָרוֹר.
פֶּסַח שֶׁהָיוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אוֹכְלִים בִּזְמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָּם, עַל שׁוּם מָה? עַל שׁוּם שֶׁפָּסַח הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל בָּתֵּי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְּמִצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח הוּא לַיי, אֲשֶׁר פָּסַח עַל בָּתֵּי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמִצְרַיִם בְּנָגְפּוֹ אֶת-מִצְרַיִם, וְאֶת-בָּתֵּינוּ הִצִּיל? וַיִּקֹּד הָעָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחווּ.
אוחז המצה בידו ומראה אותה למסובין:
מַצָּה זוֹ שֶׁאָנוֹ אוֹכְלִים, עַל שׁוּם מַה? עַל שׁוּם שֶׁלֹּא הִסְפִּיק בְּצֵקָם שֶׁל אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהַחֲמִיץ עַד שֶׁנִּגְלָה עֲלֵיהֶם מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים, הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, וּגְאָלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיֹּאפוּ אֶת-הַבָּצֵק אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיאוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם עֻגֹת מַצּוֹּת, כִּי לֹא חָמֵץ, כִּי גֹרְשׁוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ, וְגַם צֵדָה לֹא עָשׂוּ לָהֶם.
אוחז המרור בידו ומראה אותו למסובין:
מָרוֹר זֶה שֶׁאָנוּ אוֹכְלִים, עַל שׁוּם מַה? עַל שׁוּם שֶׁמֵּרְרוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת-חַיֵּי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְּמִצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיְמָרְרוּ אֶת חַיֵּיהם בַּעֲבֹדָה קָשָה, בְּחֹמֶר וּבִלְבֵנִים וּבְכָל-עֲבֹדָה בַּשָּׂדֶה אֶת כָּל עֲבֹדָתָם אֲשֶׁר עָבְדוּ בָהֶם בְּפָרֶךְ.
בְּכָל-דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת-עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר, בַּעֲבוּר זֶה עָשָׂה ה' לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרַיִם. לֹא אֶת-אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בִּלְבָד גָּאַל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אֶלָּא אַף אוֹתָנוּ גָּאַל עִמָּהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְאוֹתָנוּ הוֹצִיא מִשָּׁם, לְמַעַן הָבִיא אוֹתָנוּ, לָתֶת לָנוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשָׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ.
Rabban Gamliel was accustomed to say, Anyone who has not said these three things on Pesach has not fulfilled his obligation, and these are them: the Pesach sacrifice, matsa and marror.
The Pesach [passover] sacrifice that our ancestors were accustomed to eating when the Temple existed, for the sake of what [was it]? For the sake [to commemorate] that the Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the homes of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is stated (Exodus 12:27); "And you shall say: 'It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for that He passed over the homes of the Children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and our homes he saved.’ And the people bowed the head and bowed."
He holds the matsa in his hand and shows it to the others there.
This matsa that we are eating, for the sake of what [is it]? For the sake [to commemorate] that our ancestors' dough was not yet able to rise, before the King of the kings of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed [Himself] to them and redeemed them, as it is stated (Exodus 12:39); "And they baked the dough which they brought out of Egypt into matsa cakes, since it did not rise; because they were expelled from Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they made for themselves provisions."
He holds the marror in his hand and shows it to the others there.
This marror [bitter greens] that we are eating, for the sake of what [is it]? For the sake [to commemorate] that the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is stated (Exodus 1:14); "And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor."
In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see himself as if he left Egypt, as it is stated (Exodus 13:8); "For the sake of this, did the Lord do [this] for me in my going out of Egypt." Not only our ancestors did the Holy One, blessed be He, redeem, but rather also us [together] with them did he redeem, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 6:23); "And He took us out from there, in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He swore unto our fathers."
(1) A Rabbinic Retelling of the Exodus
(2) Rabban Gamliel used to say: Whoever has not mentioned these three things on Pesah has not fulfilled his obligation. One is obligated to tell the members of one's household all the events and miracles that happened in those days. I will now present before you the story of the Exodus as it is told in Midrash Rabbah.
When Pharaoh heard that Moses had killed an Egyptian taskmaster, he sought to kill Moses. He took a knife the likes of which has never been seen before (to chop off his head). But God made Moses' neck a pillar of marble and he was uninjured even though they tried seven times! And angel of God came and grabbed Moses so he could escape. At that moment, all of Pharaoh's ministers became deaf, mute and blind. When they asked the mute ministers, "Where is Moses?" they could not answer. They deaf ones could not hear the question, and the blind ones could not see where he went. Later, when Moses refused to be God's messenger because he said that he was 'slow of tongue,' that is why God said to him, "Who gives man speech, who makes him dumb or deaf, seeing or blind?" Then God said to him, "Isn't Aaron your brother? He will go with you back to Egypt."
Moses and Aaron went to see Pharaoh. That day all of the diplomats came to have an audience with Pharaoh. Each came to honor Pharaoh, bringing him gifts and each crowning him the supreme king of kings, bringing their idol with them. As they were crowning him, Moses and Aaron were standing in the doorway of the palace. Pharaoh's servants came in and said, "There are two old guys standing by the door. Pharaoh said, "Come forward!" Pharaoh looked at them, expecting them to crown him as well, or at least give him a document or ask about his welfare. When they did nothing, he asked, "Who are you?" They said, "We are the messengers of the Holy One. "Thus said the Lord, God of Israel: Let my people go…." Pharaoh became furious and answered: "Who is Adonai that I should listen to obey Him and let the Israelites go out of Egypt? Doesn’t He even know that he is supposed to send a crown for me? From your words I have never heard of Him and I will not send Israel. " Pharaoh then said , Give me a minute while I check my book about your God. He looked in his directory at each nation and its gods and began to read the names of the gods of Moab, Amon and Sidon." Pharaoh said, "I checked in my directory and did not find your God."
Rabbi Levi said: This can be compared to the parable of a foolish slave of a kohen who sought his master in a cemetery. When people asked him, "Who are you looking for," he said, he was looking for his master. They said to the servant: "Does a kohen to spend time in a cemetery?" Thus did Moses answer Pharaoh: "Fool! It is not the way of the dead to seek the living. So why should the living be found among the dead? Those gods among whom you seek our God are all dead. Our God is a living and eternal God. Pharaoh said, "Is your God young or old? How old is He and how many cities has He conquered? How many Kingdoms has he taken? How long has he been the King?
They said: Our God, His power and might fill the universe. He existed before the world was created and He will exist when the world is no more. His is the foundation of the earth, his voice can shape thunder, break apart mountains, smash boulders, His bow is fire, His arrows lightening, His spear is streaks of lightening, clouds are His shield…" Pharaoh responded to them: "First of all you are lying! I am the master of the universe; I created it by myself along with the Nile River."
At that moment the wise men of Egypt gathered around. Pharaoh asked, "Have you ever heard of their God? They answered we have heard that He the son of a wise man and the son of a king from the East. God answered: "You call yourself wise men and Me you call the son of a wise man? Look what is written: Utter fools are the nobles of Tanis; the sages of Pharaoh's advisors have made absurd predictions" (Isaiah 19:11) He responded to them: "Your gods does not know who God is." Through the numerical value of the word mi, "who," I am going to strike you with Mem - 40 and Yud - 10 forty plus ten plagues - fifty plagues. Evil one, you said, "Who (mi) is Adonai;" By switching around the letters mem and yud. When we switch them around we have yam, sea. At the sea you will come to know who Adonai is. You said, 'Who is Adonai?' During the plague of hail you will say, 'God is righteous.' "You said, 'I do not know Adonai.’ During the plague of locust you will say, 'I have sinned against the Lord your God.' You said, 'And Israel I will not send forth.' In the future during the tenth plague you will say, 'Get up and go forth from my people, both you and the people of Israel.'"
The Holy One said to Moses: "I will harden the heart of Pharaoh with fifty plagues. Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Let my people go that they may serve me in the wilderness. And through this you will know that I am the Lord; I will smite you with a number of plagues." The first will be that with your staff you will turn the river into blood. You will see it with your own eyes that the punishment is solely for the Egyptians." As proof of this, when the Egyptians and the Israelites drew water out of the river, the Egyptians drank blood and the Israelites drank water. Because of this, the Israelites were enriched because the Egyptians had to buy water from them. Even so, Pharaoh's heart was hardened and he refused to allow the Israelites to go free. Then He brought the other plagues upon them: frogs, lice, wild animals, and all the others.
During the ninth plague Pharaoh continued to harden his own heart. He said to Moses, "Leave me; you won't see my face again." Moses answered, "So you have said; you have spoken properly in a timely fashion. I shall no longer come to you after I leave your house but, know, that there is one more plague which God will bring upon you. Then all your servants will come to me and bow down to me saying, you and your nation leave. Only then will I leave." Moses then left Pharaoh in a fury.
It was then that God commanded Moses to tell the Israelites to prepare the Passover offering. Moses told the Israelites, it is the Commandment of God for all Israel, that they take a lamb on the tenth day of the month, one for each household in front of all the Egyptians. They should then tie it to their bedpost. On the fourteenth day of the month, they shall slaughter it before all the Egyptians. You shall take hyssop branches and sprinkle the blood on the doorposts and on the lintel as a sign to protect their lives. At midnight, God will pass through Egypt in a single moment and smite the firstborn of Egypt. Even the first born of other nations living in Egypt shall die as well the firstborn of Egyptians who are in other lands. It will affect every firstborn, human and beast. All the idols of Egypt shall be destroyed: the wooden will burn up and the metal shall melt. But once God gives the Destroyer permission to kill the firstborn, it will not differentiate between the good and the bad. Therefore, you must put the blood on the doorposts of your houses so that the destroyer can differentiate between the households. No one should leave his house until morning. At night, you shall eat the Passover offering, roasted. Throw the bones in the market place for the dogs so that the Egyptians see the dogs eating the bones of their gods. This is how you should eat it: With a belt on, shoes on your feet and your bag in your hands. You shall eat it in haste, for it is a Passover offering to Adonai.
The word pesah means, ‘hopping.’ The Holy One hopped from house to house, from one Egyptian household to another, and the Israelite household that was in between them escaped harm. Rashi, on the other hand, implies that the Egyptians and the Israelites were both in the same home, and the Destroyer jumped from one Egyptians to the next, leaving the Israelite unharmed. Yet, how do we explain the statement that the Israelites should not go out of their homes? When the Egyptians began dying, they fled to the homes of the Israelite. They could see that the Israelites were not affected by the plague. Only then did the Holy One come down and jump from Egyptian to Egyptian in the Israelite homes. Scripture says: "So that there is not a plague among you." This implies that there won't be a plague among you but among the Egyptians there will be a plague. From this explanation we can understand their reason for the pesah offering. For God hopped over the houses of the Israelites when he smote the Egyptians but not our families.
The reason for the bitters herbs we have already explained in the Haggadah - our subjugation by the Egyptians and how they made our lives as difficult as bitter herbs. As a remembrance of this we eat maror, as the author of the Haggadah explained.
What is the reason that the Passover offering must be roasted? Why can't someone who is not circumcised eat it? Answers to these questions can be found Sefer Chinukh, Commandments 7 and 13. I have my own explanations. This is another example of the principle midah kineged midah, ‘measure for measure.’ In Shemot Rabbah Parshat Bo, 16, we learn that when the Egyptians would trap a deer or a ram, they would slaughter it, cook it and eat it. The Israelite slave would stand on the side and watch but was not allowed to even taste it. This caused the Israelites anguish because they would smell the odor of the meat but could not eat it; their hearts would melt in them.
The Holy One said: "You caused my children's mouths to water from hunger by withholding food while you ate. I will make my children slaughter a lamb from the flock - one of the animals to which you bow and worship. They will eat it in front of you. As a result your hearts will melt in anguish. That is why the lamb must be roasted well so that its odor reaches the nostrils of the uncircumcised and their hearts melt in them. But the Israelites won't give any to the Egyptians. That is the reason the law of the pesah is "A non-Jew may not eat of it.” This is punishment, measure for measure. The offering must be a year old male. It must be roasted and eaten with matzah and bitter herbs. None may be left over until the next day.
Why do we mention the Passover offering first, then the matzah and the bitter herbs last? One would have thought that they would have been listed the opposite way: first the bitter herbs, then the Passover offering and finally the matzah. This order follows the order of the story in Egypt: first the lives of the Israelites was made bitter, and only then did they eat the matzah and the Passover offering before leaving Egypt.
The Passover offering is the food of royalty. It reminds the Israelites that they are the children of royalty. On Passover night every Jew must behave like royalty, with rejoicing and fine food. To onlookers the Jewish people appear to be wealthy. We our meal leaning leisurely to the side and at a nicely arranged table As a result of this, the Jewish people might behave arrogantly and become coarse. Therefore, by eating matzah we remind ourselves not to become arrogant. Matzah reminds us that we should be humble and as lowly as the matzah (which does not rise). We should not puff ourselves up but we should be lowly in our own eyes.
One of the ways we encourage such humility is by eating maror, bitter herbs. The word maror has the same numerical value as mavet, death; it is 446. When eating the maror, we should tremble even if we are fortunate enough to have wealth or honor in our lives. No matter what we have, we should contemplate the day of one's death and not be haughty. Rather we should devote ourselves to study, commandments and good deeds. We should remember that God lifts us up from the dung heap and makes us royalty. If one becomes haughty, one should become humble like this bitter herb which is lowly and is entirely bitter.
When chewing the bitter herbs it begins tasting soft and sweet but it becomes bitter the longer we chew on it, as the Talmud explained in Pesahim 39a: “Why is Egypt compared to bitter herbs? Maror starts off soft and it becomes harsher. So, too, life in Egypt started off soft and it became a harsh place for the Israelites in the end.
(3) Let Me explain
Rabbi Bondi concludes his commentary on Maggid by retelling the story of the Exodus with a rabbinic twist. There is much that is imaginative in this retelling; much of his story incorporates rabbinic legendry. But he also captures the essence of the Exodus story, nonetheless. He correctly surmises that the conflict between Pharaoh and Moses was really a theological conflict between paganism and monotheism. Moses and God both mock the Egyptians who claim to never have heard of Israel’s God and then to have identified the God of Israel, as ‘the son of a king from the East.” The plagues are not so much about punishing Egypt as they are about teaching them a lesson about the power of Israel’s God. They are an answer to the scriptural question with which the plagues begin: “Who is the Lord that I should heed Him and let Israel go?”
Finally, the purpose of this ‘telling’ is to explain the symbolic foods that are consumed as part of the Seder: Pesah, Matzah and Maror. Rabbi Bondi incorporates the three foods into his telling of the Passover story. One might argue that that we tell the story of the Exodus in order to explain the ritual practices on this night and not the other way around. Ritual practices tend to come first and the explanation follows. Rabbi Bondi ends by bringing his commentary back into the daily lives of his congregants. Maror does just symbolize the bitterness of slavery. It is also a reminder not to become arrogant and triumphal in the face of others.
יאחז הכוס בידו ויכסה המצות ויאמר:
לְפִיכָךְ אֲנַחְנוּ חַיָּבִים לְהוֹדוֹת, לְהַלֵּל, לְשַׁבֵּחַ, לְפָאֵר, לְרוֹמֵם, לְהַדֵּר, לְבָרֵךְ, לְעַלֵּה וּלְקַלֵּס לְמִי שֶׁעָשָׂה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ אֶת-כָּל-הַנִסִּים הָאֵלּוּ: הוֹצִיאָנוּ מֵעַבְדוּת לְחֵרוּת מִיָּגוֹן לְשִׂמְחָה, וּמֵאֵבֶל לְיוֹם טוֹב, וּמֵאֲפֵלָה לְאוֹר גָּדוֹל, וּמִשִּׁעְבּוּד לִגְאֻלָּה. וְנֹאמַר לְפָנָיו שִׁירָה חֲדָשָׁה: הַלְלוּיָהּ.
הַלְלוּיָהּ הַלְלוּ עַבְדֵי ה', הַלְלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם ה'. יְהִי שֵׁם ה' מְבֹרָךְ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם. מִמִּזְרַח שֶׁמֶשׁ עַד מְבוֹאוֹ מְהֻלָּל שֵׁם ה'. רָם עַל-כָּל-גּוֹיִם ה', עַל הַשָּׁמַיִם כְּבוֹדוֹ.מִי כַּיי אֱלֹהֵינוּ הַמַּגְבִּיהִי לָשָׁבֶת, הַמַּשְׁפִּילִי לִרְאוֹת בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ? מְקִימִי מֵעָפָר דָּל, מֵאַשְׁפֹּת יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן, לְהוֹשִׁיבִי עִם-נְדִיבִים, עִם נְדִיבֵי עַמּוֹ. מוֹשִׁיבִי עֲקֶרֶת הַבַּיִת, אֵם הַבָּנִים שְׂמֵחָה. הַלְלוּיָהּ.
בְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִצְרַיִם, בֵּית יַעֲקֹב מֵעַם לֹעֵז, הָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקָדְשׁוֹ, יִשְׂרָאֵל מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו. הַיָּם רָאָה וַיַּנֹס, הַיַּרְדֵּן יִסֹּב לְאָחוֹר. הֶהָרִים רָקְדוּ כְאֵילִים, גְּבַעוֹת כִּבְנֵי צֹאן. מַה לְּךָ הַיָּם כִּי תָנוּס, הַיַּרְדֵּן - תִּסֹּב לְאָחוֹר, הֶהָרִים - תִּרְקְדוּ כְאֵילִים, גְּבַעוֹת כִּבְנֵי-צֹאן. מִלְּפְנֵי אָדוֹן חוּלִי אָרֶץ, מִלְּפְנֵי אֱלוֹהַ יַעֲקֹב. הַהֹפְכִי הַצּוּר אֲגַם-מָיִם, חַלָּמִיש לְמַעְיְנוֹ-מָיִם.
He holds the cup in his hand and and he covers the matsa and says:
Therefore we are obligated to thank, praise, laud, glorify, exalt, lavish, bless, raise high, and acclaim He who made all these miracles for our ancestors and for us: He brought us out from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to [celebration of] a festival, from darkness to great light, and from servitude to redemption. And let us say a new song before Him, Halleluyah!
Halleluyah! Praise, servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. May the Name of the Lord be blessed from now and forever. From the rising of the sun in the East to its setting, the name of the Lord is praised. Above all nations is the Lord, His honor is above the heavens. Who is like the Lord, our God, Who sits on high; Who looks down upon the heavens and the earth? He brings up the poor out of the dirt; from the refuse piles, He raises the destitute. To seat him with the nobles, with the nobles of his people. He seats a barren woman in a home, a happy mother of children. Halleluyah! (Psalms 113)
In Israel's going out from Egypt, the house of Ya'akov from a people of foreign speech. The Sea saw and fled, the Jordan turned to the rear. The mountains danced like rams, the hills like young sheep. What is happening to you, O Sea, that you are fleeing, O Jordan that you turn to the rear; O mountains that you dance like rams, O hills like young sheep? From before the Master, tremble O earth, from before the Lord of Ya'akov. He who turns the boulder into a pond of water, the flint into a spring of water. (Psalms 114)
מגביהים את הכוס עד גאל ישראל.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר גְּאָלָנוּ וְגָאַל אֶת-אֲבוֹתֵינוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, וְהִגִּיעָנוּ הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה לֶאֱכָל-בּוֹ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר. כֵּן ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ יַגִּיעֵנוּ לְמוֹעֲדִים וְלִרְגָלִים אֲחֵרִים הַבָּאִים לִקְרָאתֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם, שְׂמֵחִים בְּבִנְיַן עִירֶךְ וְשָׂשִׂים בַּעֲבוֹדָתֶךָ. וְנֹאכַל שָׁם מִן הַזְּבָחִים וּמִן הַפְּסָחִים אֲשֶׁר יַגִּיעַ דָּמָם עַל קִיר מִזְבַּחֲךָ לְרָצון, וְנוֹדֶה לְךָ שִׁיר חָדָש עַל גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ וְעַל פְּדוּת נַפְשֵׁנוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', גָּאַל יִשְׂרָאֵל.
שותים את הכוס בהסבת שמאל.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.
We raise the cup until we reach "who redeemed Israel"
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who redeemed us and redeemed our ancestors from Egypt, and brought us on this night to eat matsa and marror; so too, Lord our God, and God of our ancestors, bring us to other appointed times and holidays that will come to greet us in peace, joyful in the building of your city and happy in your worship; that we should eat there from the offerings and from the Pesach sacrifices, the blood of which should reach the wall of your altar for favor, and we shall thank you with a new song upon our redemption and upon the restoration of our souls. Blessed are you, Lord, who redeemed Israel.
We say the blessing below and drink the cup while reclining to the left
Blessed are You, Lord our God, who creates the fruit of the vine.
נוטלים את הידים ומברכים:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל נְטִילַת יָדַיִם.
We wash the hands and make the blessing.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the washing of the hands.
יקח המצות בסדר שהניחן, הפרוסה בין שתי השלמות, יאחז שלשתן בידו ויברך "המוציא" בכוונה עַל העליונה, ו"על אכילת מַצָּה" בכוונה על הפרוסה. אחר כך יבצע כזית מן העליונה השלמה וכזית שני מן הפרוסה, ויטבלם במלח, ויאכל בהסה שני הזיתים:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה.
He takes out the matsa in the order that he placed them, the broken one between the two whole ones; he holds the three of them in his hand and blesses "ha-motsi" with the intention to take from the top one and "on eating matsa" with the intention of eating from the broken one. Afterwards, he breaks off a kazayit from the top whole one and a second kazayit from the broken one and he dips them into salt and eats both while reclining.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the ground.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the eating of matsa.
כל אחד מהמסבִים לוקח כזית מרור, ּמטבִלו בַחרוסת, ּמנער החרוסת, מברך ואוכל בלי הסבה.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מָרוֹר.
All present should take a kazayit of marror, dip into the haroset, shake off the haroset, make the blessing and eat without reclining.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the eating of marror.
כל אחד מהמסבים לוקח כזית מן המצה השְלישית עם כזית מרור,כורכים יחד, אוכלים בהסבה ובלי ברכה. לפני אכלו אומר.
זֵכֶר לְמִקְדָּשׁ כְּהִלֵּל. כֵּן עָשָׂה הִלֵּל בִּזְמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָּם:
הָיָה כּוֹרֵךְ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר וְאוֹכֵל בְּיַחַד, לְקַיֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרוׂרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ.
All present should take a kazayit from the third whole matsa with a kazayit of marror, wrap them together and eat them while reclining and without saying a blessing. Before he eats it, he should say:
In memory of the Temple according to Hillel. This is what Hillel would do when the Temple existed:
He would wrap the matsa and marror and eat them together, in order to fulfill what is stated, (Exodus 12:15): "You should eat it upon matsot and marrorim."
אחר גמר הסעודה לוקח כל אחד מהמסבים כזית מהמצה שהייתה צפונה לאפיקומן ואוכל ממנה כזית בהסבה. וצריך לאוכלה קודם חצות הלילה.
לפני אכילת האפיקומן יאמר: זֵכֶר לְקָרְבָּן פֶּסַח הָנֶאֱכַל עַל הָשוֹׁבַע.
The Concealed [Matsa]
After the end of the meal, all those present take a kazayit from the matsa, that was concealed for the afikoman, and eat a kazayit from it while reclining.
Before eating the afikoman, he should say: "In memory of the Pesach sacrifice that was eaten upon being satiated."
מוזגים כוס שלישִי ומבָרכים בִרכַת המזון.
שִׁיר הַמַּעֲלוֹת, בְּשוּב ה' אֶת שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן הָיִינוּ כְּחֹלְמִים. אָז יִמָּלֵא שְׂחוֹק פִּינוּ וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה. אָז יֹאמְרוּ בַגּוֹיִם: הִגְדִּיל ה' לַעֲשׂוֹת עִם אֵלֶּה. הִגְדִּיל ה' לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמָּנוּ, הָיִינוּ שְׂמֵחִים. שׁוּבָה ה' אֶת שְׁבִיתֵנוּ כַּאֲפִיקִים בַּנֶּגֶב. הַזֹּרְעִים בְּדִמְעָה, בְּרִנָּה יִקְצֹרוּ. הָלוֹךְ יֵלֵךְ וּבָכֹה נֹשֵׂא מֶשֶךְ הַזָּרַע, בֹּא יָבֹא בְרִנָּה נֹשֵׂא אֲלֻמֹּתָיו.
שלשה שֶאכלו כאחד חיבים לזמן והמזַמן פותח:
יְהִי שֵׁם ה' מְבֹרָךְ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם.
בִּרְשׁוּת מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי, נְבָרֵךְ [אֱלֹהֵינוּ] שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ.
בָּרוּךְ [אֱלֹהֵינוּ] שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ
המזמן חוזר ואומר:
בָּרוּךְ [אֱלֹהֵינוּ] שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ מִשֶּׁלוֹ וּבְטוּבוֹ חָיִינוּ
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַזָּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בְּטוּבוֹ בְּחֵן בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים, הוּא נוֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדוֹ. וּבְטוּבוֹ הַגָּדוֹל תָּמִיד לֹא חָסַר לָנוּ, וְאַל יֶחְסַר לָנוּ מָזוֹן לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. בַּעֲבוּר שְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל, כִּי הוּא אֵל זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס לַכֹּל וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל, וּמֵכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל בְּרִיּוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל.
נוֹדֶה לְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל שֶׁהִנְחַלְתָּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָה טוֹבָה וּרְחָבָה, וְעַל שֶׁהוֹצֵאתָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וּפְדִיתָנוּ מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים, וְעַל בְּרִיתְךָ שֶׁחָתַמְתָּ בְּבְשָׂרֵנוּ, וְעַל תּוֹרָתְךָ שֶׁלִּמַּדְתָּנוּ, וְעַל חֻקֶּיךָ שֶׁהוֹדַעְתָּנוּ, וְעַל חַיִּים חֵן וָחֶסֶד שֶׁחוֹנַנְתָּנוּ, וְעַל אֲכִילַת מָזוֹן שָׁאַתָּה זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס אוֹתָנוּ תָּמִיד, בְּכָל יוֹם וּבְכָל עֵת וּבְכָל שָׁעָה:
וְעַל הַכּל ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ, אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים לָךְ וּמְבָרְכִים אוֹתָךְ, יִתְבָּרַךְ שִׁמְךָ בְּפִי כָּל חַי תָּמִיד לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. כַּכָּתוּב: וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבַעְתָּ וּבֵרַכְתָּ אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֵיךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶּׁר נָתַן לָךְ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל הַמָּזוֹן:
רַחֵם נָא ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאַל עַמֶּךָ וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִירֶךָ וְעַל צִיּוֹן מִשְׁכַּן כְּבוֹדֶךָ וְעַל מַלְכוּת בֵּית דָּוִד מְשִׁיחֶךָ וְעַל הַבַּיִת הַגָּדוֹל וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ שֶׁנִּקְרָא שִׁמְךָ עָלָיו: אֱלֹהֵינוּ אָבִינוּ, רְעֵנוּ זוּנֵנוּ פַרְנְסֵנוּ וְכַלְכְּלֵנוּ וְהַרְוִיחֵנוּ, וְהַרְוַח לָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מְהֵרָה מִכָּל צָרוֹתֵינוּ. וְנָא אַל תַּצְרִיכֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ, לֹא לִידֵי מַתְּנַת בָּשָׂר וָדָם וְלֹא לִידֵי הַלְוָאתָם, כִּי אִם לְיָדְךָ הַמְּלֵאָה הַפְּתוּחָה הַקְּדוֹשָׁה וְהָרְחָבָה, שֶׁלֹא נֵבוֹשׁ וְלֹא נִכָּלֵם לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.
רְצֵה וְהַחֲלִיצֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּמִצְוֹתֶיךָ וּבְמִצְוַת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי הַשַּׁבָּת הַגָּדול וְהַקָּדוֹשׂ הַזֶּה. כִּי יוֹם זֶה גָּדוֹל וְקָדוֹשׁ הוּא לְפָנֶיךָ לִשְׁבָּת בּוֹ וְלָנוּחַ בּוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה כְּמִצְוַת רְצוֹנֶךָ.וּבִרְצוֹנְךָ הָנִיחַ לָנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁלֹּא תְהֵא צָרָה וְיָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה בְּיוֹם מְנוּחָתֵנוּ. וְהַרְאֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּנֶחָמַת צִיּוֹן עִירֶךָ וּבְבִנְיַן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ כִּי אַתָּה הוּא בַּעַל הַיְשׁוּעוֹת וּבַעַל הַנֶּחָמוֹת.
אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא וְיַגִּיעַ וְיֵרָאֶה וְיֵרָצֶה וְיִשָּׁמַע וְיִפָּקֵד וְיִזָּכֵר זִכְרוֹנֵנוּ וּפִקְדּוֹנֵנוּ, וְזִכְרוֹן אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וְזִכְרוֹן מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד עַבְדֶּךָ, וְזִכְרוֹן יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ, וְזִכְרוֹן כָּל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאַל לְפָנֶיךָ, לִפְלֵיטָה לְטוֹבָה לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים, לְחַיִּים וּלְשָׁלוֹם בְּיוֹם חַג הַמַּצּוֹת הַזֶּה זָכְרֵנוּ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בּוֹ לְטוֹבָה וּפָקְדֵנוּ בוֹ לִבְרָכָה וְהושִׁיעֵנוּ בוֹ לְחַיִּים. וּבִדְבַר יְשׁוּעָה וְרַחֲמִים חוּס וְחָנֵּנוּ וְרַחֵם עָלֵינוּ וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ, כִּי אֵלֶיךָ עֵינֵינוּ, כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה. וּבְנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', בּוֹנֶה בְרַחֲמָיו יְרוּשָׁלַיִם. אָמֵן.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הָאֵל אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ אַדִירֵנוּ בּוֹרְאֵנוּ גּוֹאֲלֵנוּ יוֹצְרֵנוּ קְדוֹשֵׁנוּ קְדוֹשׁ יַעֲקֹב רוֹעֵנוּ רוֹעֵה יִשְׂרָאַל הַמֶּלֶךְ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב לַכּל שֶׁבְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם הוּא הֵטִיב, הוּא מֵטִיב, הוּא יֵיטִיב לָנוּ. הוּא גְמָלָנוּ הוּא גוֹמְלֵנוּ הוּא יִגְמְלֵנוּ לָעַד, לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים וּלְרֶוַח הַצָּלָה וְהַצְלָחָה, בְּרָכָה וִישׁוּעָה נֶחָמָה פַּרְנָסָה וְכַלְכָּלָה וְרַחֲמִים וְחַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם וְכָל טוֹב, וּמִכָּל טוּב לְעוֹלָם עַל יְחַסְּרֵנוּ.
הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִמְלוֹךְ עָלֵינוּ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִתְבָּרַךְ בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁתַּבַּח לְדוֹר דּוֹרִים, וְיִתְפָּאַר בָּנוּ לָעַד וּלְנֵצַח נְצָחִים, וְיִתְהַדַּר בָּנוּ לָעַד וּלְעוֹלְמֵי עוֹלָמִים. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְפַרְנְסֵנוּ בְּכָבוֹד. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁבּוֹר עֻלֵּנוּ מֵעַל צַּוָּארֵנוּ, וְהוּא יוֹלִיכֵנוּ קוֹמְמִיּוּת לְאַרְצֵנוּ. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁלַח לָנוּ בְּרָכָה מְרֻבָּה בַּבַּיִת הַזֶּה, וְעַל שֻׁלְחָן זֶה שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ עָלָיו. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁלַח לָנוּ אֶת אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא זָכוּר לַטּוֹב, וִיבַשֶּׂר לָנוּ בְּשׂוֹרוֹת טוֹבוֹת יְשׁוּעוֹת וְנֶחָמוֹת. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בַּעֲלִי / אִשְתִּי. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת [אָבִי מוֹרִי] בַּעַל הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה. וְאֶת [אִמִּי מוֹרָתִי] בַּעֲלַת הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה, אוֹתָם וְאֶת בֵּיתָם וְאֶת זַרְעָם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם. אוֹתָנוּ וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָנוּ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּרְכוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב בַּכֹּל מִכֹּל כֹּל, כֵּן יְבָרֵךְ אוֹתָנוּ כֻּלָּנוּ יַחַד בִּבְרָכָה שְׁלֵמָה, וְנֹאמַר, אָמֵן. בַּמָּרוֹם יְלַמְּדוּ עֲלֵיהֶם וְעָלֵינוּ זְכוּת שֶׁתְּהֵא לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת שָׁלוֹם. וְנִשָּׂא בְרָכָה מֵאֵת ה', וּצְדָקָה מֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ, וְנִמְצָא חֵן וְשֵׂכֶל טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי אֱלֹהִים וְאָדָם. בשבת: הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יַנְחִילֵנוּ יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלּוֹ שַׁבָּת וּמְנוּחָה לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָמִים. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יַנְחִילֵנוּ יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלוֹ טוֹב.[יוֹם שֶׁכֻּלוֹ אָרוּךְ. יוֹם שֶׁצַּדִּיקִים יוֹשְׁבִים וְעַטְרוֹתֵיהֶם בְּרָאשֵׁיהֶם וְנֶהֱנִים מִזִּיו הַשְּׁכִינָה וִיהִי חֶלְקֵינוּ עִמָּהֶם]. הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יְזַכֵּנוּ לִימוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ וּלְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. מִגְדּוֹל יְשׁוּעוֹת מַלְכּוֹ וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לִמְשִׁיחוֹ לְדָוִד וּלְזַרְעוֹ עַד עוֹלָם. עשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאַל וְאִמְרוּ, אָמֵן. יִרְאוּ אֶת ה' קְדֹשָׁיו, כִּי אֵין מַחְסוֹר לִירֵאָיו. כְּפִירִים רָשׁוּ וְרָעֵבוּ, וְדֹרְשֵׁי ה' לֹא יַחְסְרוּ כָל טוֹב. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ, וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל חַי רָצוֹן. בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיי, וְהָיָה ה' מִבְטַחוֹ. נַעַר הָיִיתִי גַם זָקַנְתִּי, וְלֹא רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק נֶעֱזָב, וְזַרְעוֹ מְבַקֶּשׁ לָחֶם.יי עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן, ה' יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם.
We pour the third cup and recite the Grace over the Food
A Song of Ascents; When the Lord will bring back the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers. Then our mouth will be full of mirth and our tongue joyful melody; then they will say among the nations; "The Lord has done greatly with these." The Lord has done great things with us; we are happy. Lord, return our captivity like streams in the desert. Those that sow with tears will reap with joyful song. He who surely goes and cries, he carries the measure of seed, he will surely come in joyful song and carry his sheaves.(Psalms 126)
Three that ate together are obligated to introduce the blessing and the leader of the introduction opens as follows:
My masters, let us bless:
All those present answer:
May the Name of the Lord be blessed from now and forever. (Psalms 113:2)
The leader says:
With the permission of our gentlemen and our teachers and my masters, let us bless [our God] from whom we have eaten.
Those present answer:
Blessed is [our God] from whom we have eaten and from whose goodness we live.
The leader repeats and says:
Blessed is [our God] from whom we have eaten and from whose goodness we live.
They all say:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who nourishes the entire world in His goodness, in grace, in kindness and in mercy; He gives bread to all flesh since His kindness is forever. And in His great goodness, we always have not lacked, and may we not lack nourishment forever and always, because of His great name. Since He is a Power that feeds and provides for all and does good to all and prepares nourishment for all of his creatures that he created. Blessed are You, Lord, who sustains all.
We thank you, Lord our God, that you have given as an inheritance to our ancestors a lovely, good and broad land, and that You took us out, Lord our God, from the land of Egypt and that You redeemed us from a house of slaves, and for Your covenant which You have sealed in our flesh, and for Your Torah that You have taught us, and for Your statutes which You have made known to us, and for life, grace and kindness that You have granted us and for the eating of nourishment that You feed and provide for us always, on all days, and at all times and in every hour.
And for everything, Lord our God, we thank You and bless You; may Your name be blessed by the mouth of all life, constantly forever and always, as it is written (Deuteronomy 8:10); "And you shall eat and you shall be satiated and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land that He has given you." Blessed are You, Lord, for the land and for the nourishment.
Please have mercy, Lord our God, upon Israel, Your people; and upon Jerusalem, Your city; and upon Zion, the dwelling place of Your Glory; and upon the monarchy of the House of David, Your appointed one; and upon the great and holy house that Your name is called upon. Our God, our Father, tend us, sustain us, provide for us, relieve us and give us quick relief, Lord our God, from all of our troubles. And please do not make us needy, Lord our God, not for the gifts of flesh and blood, and not for their loans, but rather from Your full, open, holy and broad hand, so that we not be embarrassed and we not be ashamed forever and always.
On Shabbat, we add the following paragraph
May You be pleased to embolden us, Lord our God, in your commandments and in the command of the seventh day, of this great and holy Shabbat, since this day is great and holy before You, to cease work upon it and to rest upon it, with love, according to the commandment of Your will. And with Your will, allow us, Lord our God, that we should not have trouble, and grief and sighing on the day of our rest. And may You show us, Lord our God, the consolation of Zion, Your city; and the building of Jerusalem, Your holy city; since You are the Master of salvations and the Master of consolations.
God and God of our ancestors, may there ascend and come and reach and be seen and be acceptable and be heard and be recalled and be remembered - our remembrance and our recollection; and the remembrance of our ancestors; and the remembrance of the messiah, the son of David, Your servant; and the remembrance of Jerusalem, Your holy city; and the remembrance of all Your people, the house of Israel - in front of You, for survival, for good, for grace, and for kindness, and for mercy, for life and for peace on this day of the Festival of Matsot. Remember us, Lord our God, on it for good and recall us on it for survival and save us on it for life, and by the word of salvation and mercy, pity and grace us and have mercy on us and save us, since our eyes are upon You, since You are a graceful and merciful Power. And may You build Jerusalem, the holy city, quickly and in our days. Blessed are You, Lord, who builds Jerusalem in His mercy. Amen.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, the Power, our Father, our King, our Mighty One, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Shaper, our Holy One, the Holy One of Ya'akov, our Shepard, the Shepard of Israel, the good King, who does good to all, since on every single day He has done good, He does good, He will do good, to us; He has granted us, He grants us, He will grant us forever - in grace and in kindness, and in mercy, and in relief - rescue and success, blessing and salvation, consolation, provision and relief and mercy and life and peace and all good; and may we not lack any good ever.
May the Merciful One reign over us forever and always. May the Merciful One be blessed in the heavens and in the earth. May the Merciful One be praised for all generations, and exalted among us forever and ever, and glorified among us always and infinitely for all infinities. May the Merciful One sustain us honorably. May the Merciful One break our yolk from upon our necks and bring us upright to our land. May the Merciful One send us multiple blessing, to this home and upon this table upon which we have eaten. May the Merciful One send us Eliyahu the prophet - may he be remembered for good - and he shall announce to us tidings of good, of salvation and of consolation. May the Merciful One bless my husband/my wife. May the Merciful One bless [my father, my teacher,] the master of this home and [my mother, my teacher,] the mistress of this home, they and their home and their offspring and everything that is theirs. Us and all that is ours; as were blessed Avraham, Yitschak and Ya'akov, in everything, from everything, with everything, so too should He bless us, all of us together, with a complete blessing and we shall say, Amen. From above, may they advocate upon them and upon us merit, that should protect us in peace; and may we carry a blessing from the Lord and charity from the God of our salvation; and find grace and good understanding in the eyes of God and man. [On Shabbat, we say: May the Merciful One give us to inherit the day that will be completely Shabbat and rest in everlasting life.] May the Merciful One give us to inherit the day that will be all good. [The day that is all long, the day that the righteous will sit and their crowns will be on their heads and they will enjoy the radiance of the Divine presence and my our share be with them.] May the Merciful One give us merit for the times of the messiah and for life in the world to come. A tower of salvations is our King; may He do kindness with his messiah, with David and his offspring, forever (II Samuel 22:51). The One who makes peace above, may He make peace upon us and upon all of Israel; and say, Amen. Fear the Lord, His holy ones, since there is no lacking for those that fear Him. Young lions may go without and hunger, but those that seek the Lord will not lack any good thing (Psalms 34:10-11). Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever (Psalms 118:1). You open Your hand and satisfy the will of all living things (Psalms 146:16). Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and the Lord is his security (Jeremiah 17:7). I was a youth and I have also aged and I have not seen a righteous man forsaken and his offspring seeking bread (Psalms 37:25). The Lord will give courage to His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.
ושותים בהסיבה ואינו מברך ברכה אחרונה.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
We drink while reclining and do not say a blessing afterwards.
מוזגים כוס של אליהו ופותחים את הדלת:
שְׁפֹךְ חֲמָתְךָ אֶל-הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יְדָעוּךָ וְעַל-מַמְלָכוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּשִׁמְךָ לֹא קָרָאוּ. כִּי אָכַל אֶת-יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת-נָוֵהוּ הֵשַׁמּוּ. שְׁפָךְ-עֲלֵיהֶם זַעֲמֶךָ וַחֲרוֹן אַפְּךָ יַשִּׂיגֵם. תִּרְדֹף בְּאַף וְתַשְׁמִידֵם מִתַּחַת שְׁמֵי ה'.
We pour the cup of Eliyahu and open the door.
Pour your wrath upon the nations that did not know You and upon the kingdoms that did not call upon Your Name! Since they have consumed Ya'akov and laid waste his habitation (Psalms 79:6-7). Pour out Your fury upon them and the fierceness of Your anger shall reach them (Psalms 69:25)! You shall pursue them with anger and eradicate them from under the skies of the Lord (Lamentations 3:66).
לֹא לָנוּ, ה', לֹא לָנוּ, כִּי לְשִׁמְךָ תֵּן כָּבוֹד, עַל חַסְדְּךָ עַל אֲמִתֶּךָ. לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ הַגּוֹיִם אַיֵּה נָא אֱלֹהֵיהֶם. וְאֱלֹהֵינוּ בַּשָּׁמַיִם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר חָפֵץ עָשָׂה. עֲצַבֵּיהֶם כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי אָדָם. פֶּה לָהֶם וְלֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ, עֵינַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִרְאוּ. אָזְנָיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָעוּ, אַף לָהֶם וְלֹא יְרִיחוּן. יְדֵיהֶם וְלֹא יְמִישׁוּן, רַגְלֵיהֶם וְלֹא יְהַלֵּכוּ, לׁא יֶהְגּוּ בִּגְרוֹנָם. כְּמוֹהֶם יִהְיוּ עֹשֵׂיהֶם, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר בֹּטֵחַ בָּהֶם. יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּטַח בַּיי, עֶזְרָם וּמָגִנָּם הוּא. בֵּית אַהֲרֹן בִּטְחוּ בַיי, עֶזְרָם וּמָגִנָּם הוּא. יִרְאֵי ה' בִּטְחוּ בַיי, עֶזְרָם וּמָגִנָּם הוּא. יי זְכָרָנוּ יְבָרֵךְ. יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בֵּית אַהֲרֹן, יְבָרֵךְ יִרְאֵי ה', הַקְּטַנִים עִם הַגְּדֹלִים. יֹסֵף ה' עֲלֵיכֶם, עֲלֵיכֶם וְעַל בְּנֵיכֶם. בְּרוּכִים אַתֶּם לַיי, עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ. הַשָּׁמַיִם שָׁמַיִם לַיי וְהָאָרֶץ נָתַן לִבְנֵי אָדָם. לֹא הַמֵּתִים יְהַלְלוּ יָהּ וְלֹא כָּל יֹרְדֵי דוּמָה. וַאֲנַחְנוּ נְבָרֵךְ יָהּ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם. הַלְלוּיָהּ.
אָהַבְתִּי כִּי יִשְׁמַע ה' אֶת קוֹלִי תַּחֲנוּנָי. כִּי הִטָּה אָזְנוֹ לִי וּבְיָמַי אֶקְרָא. אֲפָפוּנִי חֶבְלֵי מָוֶת וּמְצָרֵי שְׁאוֹל מְצָאוּנִי, צָרָה וְיָגוֹן אֶמְצָא. וּבְשֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא: אָנָּא ה' מַלְּטָה נַפְשִׁי. חַנוּן ה' וְצַדִּיק, וֵאֱלֹהֵינוּ מְרַחֵם. שֹׁמֵר פְּתָאִים ה', דַּלוֹתִי וְלִי יְהושִׁיעַ. שׁוּבִי נַפְשִׁי לִמְנוּחָיְכִי, כִּי ה' גָּמַל עָלָיְכִי. כִּי חִלַּצְתָּ נַפְשִׁי מִמָּוֶת, אֶת עֵינִי מִן דִּמְעָה, אֶת רַגְלִי מִדֶּחִי. אֶתְהַלֵךְ לִפְנֵי ה' בְּאַרְצוֹת הַחַיִּים. הֶאֱמַנְתִּי כִּי אֲדַבֵּר, אֲנִי עָנִיתִי מְאֹד. אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בְחָפְזִי כָּל הָאָדָם כּזֵֹב.
מָה אָשִׁיב לַיי כֹּל תַּגְמוּלוֹהִי עָלָי. כּוֹס יְשׁוּעוֹת אֶשָּׂא וּבְשֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא. נְדָרַי לַיי אֲשַׁלֵּם נֶגְדָה נָּא לְכָל עַמּוֹ. יָקָר בְּעֵינֵי ה' הַמָּוְתָה לַחֲסִידָיו. אָנָּה ה' כִּי אֲנִי עַבְדֶּךָ, אֲנִי עַבְדְּךָ בֶּן אֲמָתֶךָ, פִּתַּחְתָּ לְמוֹסֵרָי. לְךָ אֶזְבַּח זֶבַח תּוֹדָה וּבְשֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא. נְדָרַי לַיי אֲשַׁלֵּם נֶגְדָה נָּא לְכָל עַמּוֹ. בְּחַצְרוֹת בֵּית ה', בְּתוֹכֵכִי יְרוּשָלַיִם. הַלְלוּיָהּ.
הַלְלוּ אֶת ה' כָּל גּוֹיִם, שַׁבְּחוּהוּ כָּל הָאֻמִּים. כִּי גָבַר עָלֵינוּ חַסְדּוֹ, וֶאֱמֶת ה' לְעוֹלָם. הַלְלוּיָהּ. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. יֹאמַר נָא יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. יֹאמְרוּ נָא בֵית אַהֲרֹן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. יֹאמְרוּ נָא יִרְאֵי ה' כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
מִן הַמֵּצַר קָרָאתִי יָּהּ, עָנָנִי בַמֶּרְחַב יָהּ. ה' לִי, לֹא אִירָא - מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה לִי אָדָם, ה' לִי בְּעֹזְרָי וַאֲנִי אֶרְאֶה בְּשׂנְאָי. טוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיי מִבְּטֹחַ בָּאָדָם. טוֹב לַחֲסוֹת בַּיי מִבְּטֹחַ בִּנְדִיבִים. כָּל גּוֹיִם סְבָבוּנִי, בְּשֵׁם ה' כִּי אֲמִילַם. סַבּוּנִי גַם סְבָבוּנִי, בְּשֵׁם ה' כִּי אֲמִילַם. סַבּוּנִי כִדְּבֹרִים, דֹּעֲכוּ כְּאֵשׁ קוֹצִים, בְּשֵׁם ה' כִּי אֲמִילַם. דָּחֹה דְּחִיתַנִי לִנְפֹּל, וַיי עֲזָרָנִי. עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ וַיְהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה. קוֹל רִנָּה וִישׁוּעָה בְּאָהֳלֵי צַדִּיקִים: יְמִין ה' עֹשָׂה חָיִל, יְמִין ה' רוֹמֵמָה, יְמִין ה' עֹשָׂה חָיִל. לֹא אָמוּת כִּי אֶחְיֶה, וַאֲסַפֵּר מַעֲשֵׂי יָהּ. יַסֹּר יִסְּרַנִי יָּהּ, וְלַמָּוֶת לֹא נְתָנָנִי. פִּתְחוּ לִי שַׁעֲרֵי צֶדֶק, אָבֹא בָם, אוֹדֶה יָהּ. זֶה הַשַּׁעַר לַיי, צַדִּיקִים יָבֹאוּ בוֹ.
אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי וַתְּהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה .אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי וַתְּהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה. אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים הָיְתָה לְראשׁ פִּנָּה. אֶבֶן מָאֲסוּ הַבּוֹנִים הָיְתָה לְראשׁ פִּנָּה. מֵאֵת ה' הָיְתָה זֹּאת הִיא נִפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ. מֵאֵת ה' הָיְתָה זֹּאת הִיא נִפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ.
אָנָּא ה', הוֹשִיעָה נָּא. אָנָּא ה', הוֹשִיעָה נָּא. אָנָּא ה', הַצְלִיחָה נָא. אָנָּא ה', הַצְלִיחָה נָא.
בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם ה', בֵּרַכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית ה'. בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם ה', בֵּרַכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית ה'. אֵל ה' וַיָּאֶר לָנוּ. אִסְרוּ חַג בַּעֲבֹתִים עַד קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. אֵל ה' וַיָּאֶר לָנוּ. אִסְרוּ חַג בַּעֲבֹתִים עַד קַרְנוֹת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. אֵלִי אַתָּה וְאוֹדֶךָּ, אֱלֹהַי - אֲרוֹמְמֶךָּ. אֵלִי אַתָּה וְאוֹדֶךָּ, אֱלֹהַי - אֲרוֹמְמֶךָּ. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
יְהַלְלוּךָ ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ כָּל מַעֲשֶׂיךָ, וַחֲסִידֶיךָ צַדִּיקִים עוֹשֵׂי רְצוֹנֶךָ, וְכָל עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרִנָה יוֹדוּ וִיבָרְכוּ, וִישַׁבְּחוּ וִיפָאֲרוּ, וִירוֹמְמוּ וְיַעֲרִיצוּ, וְיַקְדִּישׁוּ וְיַמְלִיכוּ אֶת שִׁמְךָ, מַלְכֵּנוּ. כִּי לְךָ טוֹב לְהוֹדותֹ וּלְשִׁמְךָ נָאֶה לְזַמֵּר, כִּי מֵעוֹלָם וְעַד עוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל.
Not to us, not to us, but rather to Your name, give glory for your kindness and for your truth. Why should the nations say, "Say, where is their God?" But our God is in the heavens, all that He wanted, He has done. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have a mouth but do not speak; they have eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear; they have a nose but do not smell. Hands, but they do not feel; feet, but do not walk; they do not make a peep from their throat. Like them will be their makers, all those that trust in them. Israel, trust in the Lord; their help and shield is He. House of Aharon, trust in the Lord; their help and shield is He. Those that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; their help and shield is He. The Lord who remembers us, will bless; He will bless the House of Israel; He will bless the House of Aharon. He will bless those that fear the Lord, the small ones with the great ones. May the Lord bring increase to you, to you and to your children. Blessed are you to the Lord, the maker of the heavens and the earth. The heavens, are the Lord's heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of man. It is not the dead that will praise the Lord, and not those that go down to silence. But we will bless the Lord from now and forever. Halleluyah! (Psalms 115)
I have loved the Lord - since He hears my voice, my supplications. Since He inclined His ear to me - and in my days, I will call out. The pangs of death have encircled me and the straits of the Pit have found me and I found grief. And in the name of the Lord I called, "Please Lord, Spare my soul." Gracious is the Lord and righteous, and our God acts mercifully. The Lord watches over the silly; I was poor and He has saved me. Return, my soul to your tranquility, since the Lord has favored you. Since You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I will walk before the Lord in the lands of the living. I have trusted, when I speak - I am very afflicted. I said in my haste, all men are hypocritical. (Psalms 116:1-11)
What can I give back to the Lord for all that He has favored me? A cup of salvations I will raise up and I will call out in the name of the Lord. My vows to the Lord I will pay, now in front of His entire people. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His pious ones. Please Lord, since I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have opened my chains. To You will I offer a thanksgiving offering and I will call out in the name of the Lord. My vows to the Lord I will pay, now in front of His entire people. In the courtyards of the house of the Lord, in your midst, Jerusalem. Halleluyah! (Psalms 116:12-19)
Praise the name of the Lord, all nations; extol Him all peoples. Since His kindness has overwhelmed us and the truth of the Lord is forever. Halleluyah! Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever. Let Israel now say, "Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever." Let the House of Aharon now say, "Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever." Let those that fear the Lord now say, "Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever." (Psalms 117-118:4)
From the strait I have called, Lord; He answered me from the wide space, the Lord. The Lord is for me, I will not fear, what will man do to me? The Lord is for me with my helpers, and I shall glare at those that hate me. It is better to take refuge with the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge with the Lord than to trust in nobles. All the nations surrounded me - in the name of the Lord, as I will chop them off. They surrounded me, they also encircled me - in the name of the Lord, as I will chop them off. They surrounded me like bees, they were extinguished like a fire of thorns - in the name of the Lord, as I will chop them off. You have surely pushed me to fall, but the Lord helped me. My boldness and song is the Lord, and He has become my salvation. The sound of happy song and salvation is in the tents of the righteous, the right hand of the Lord acts powerfully. I will not die but rather I will live and tell over the acts of the Lord. The Lord has surely chastised me, but He has not given me over to death. Open up for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them, thank the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous will enter it. (Psalms 118:5-20)
I will thank You, since You answered me and You have become my salvation. The stone that was left by the builders has become the main cornerstone. From the Lord was this, it is wondrous in our eyes. This is the day of the Lord, let us exult and rejoice upon it. (Psalms 118:21-24)
Please, Lord, save us now; please, Lord, give us success now! (Psalms 118:25)
Blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord, we have blessed you from the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, and He has illuminated us; tie up the festival offering with ropes until it reaches the corners of the altar. You are my Power and I will Thank You; my God and I will exalt You. Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever.(Psalms 118:26-29)
All of your works shall praise You, Lord our God, and your pious ones, the righteous ones who do Your will; and all of Your people, the House of Israel will thank and bless in joyful song: and extol and glorify, and exalt and acclaim, and sanctify and coronate Your name, our King. Since, You it is good to thank, and to Your name it is pleasant to sing, since from always and forever are you the Power.
הוֹדוּ לַיי כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לֵאלהֵי הָאֱלהִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לָאֲדֹנֵי הָאֲדֹנִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְעֹשֵׂה נִפְלָאוֹת גְדֹלוֹת לְבַדּוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְעֹשֵׂה הַשָּׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְרוֹקַע הָאָרֶץ עַל הַמָּיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְעֹשֵׂה אוֹרִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת בַּיּוֹם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. אֶת הַיָּרֵחַ וְכוֹכָבִים לְמֶמְשְׁלוֹת בַּלַּיְלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְמַכֵּה מִצְרַיִם בִּבְכוֹרֵיהֶם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וַיוֹצֵא יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתּוֹכָם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.לְגֹזֵר יַם סוּף לִגְזָרִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וְהֶֶעֱבִיר יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹכוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וְנִעֵר פַּרְעֹה וְחֵילוֹ בְיַם סוּף כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְמוֹלִיךְ עַמּוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְמַכֵּה מְלָכִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וַיַּהֲרֹג מְלָכִים אַדִּירִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. לְסִיחוֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וּלְעוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וָנָתַן אַרְצָם לְנַחֲלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. נַחֲלָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. שֶׁבְּשִׁפְלֵנוּ זָכַר לָנוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וַיִפְרְקֵנוּ מִצָּרֵינוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. נֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. הוֹדוּ לְאֵל הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
נִשְׁמַת כָּל חַי תְּבַרֵךְ אֶת שִׁמְךָ, ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ, וְרוּחַ כָּל בָּשָׂר תְּפָאֵר וּתְרוֹמֵם זִכְרְךָ, מַלְכֵּנוּ, תָמִיד. מִן הָעוֹלָם וְעַד הָעוֹלָם אַתָּה אֵל, וּמִבַּלְעָדֶיךָ אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ גּוֹאֵל וּמוֹשִיעַ, פּוֹדֶה וּמַצִּיל וּמְפַרְנֵס וּמְרַחֵם בְּכָל עֵת צָרָה וְצוּקָה. אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּא אַתָּה. אֱלהֵי הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְהָאַחֲרוֹנִים, אֱלוֹהַּ כָּל בְּרִיּוֹת, אֲדוׁן כָּל תּוֹלָדוֹת, הַמְּהֻלָּל בְּרֹב הַתִּשְׁבָּחוֹת, הַמְנַהֵג עוֹלָמוֹ בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרִיּוֹתָיו בְּרַחֲמִים. וַיי לֹא יָנוּם וְלא יִישָׁן - הַמְּעוֹרֵר יְשֵׁנִים וְהַמֵּקִיץ נִרְדָּמִים, וְהַמֵּשִׂיחַ אִלְּמִים וְהַמַּתִּיר אֲסוּרִים וְהַסּוֹמֵךְ נוֹפְלִים וְהַזּוֹקֵף כְּפוּפִים. לְךָ לְבַדְּךָ אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים.
אִלּוּ פִינוּ מָלֵא שִׁירָה כַיָּם, וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה כֲּהַמוֹן גַּלָּיו, וְשִׂפְתוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁבַח כְּמֶרְחֲבֵי רָקִיעַ, וְעֵינֵינוּ מְאִירוֹת כַּשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְכַיָּרֵחַ, וְיָדֵינוּ פְרוּשׂות כְּנִשְׂרֵי שָׁמַיִם, וְרַגְלֵינוּ קַלּוֹת כָּאַיָּלוֹת - אֵין אֲנַחְנוּ מַסְפִּיקִים לְהוֹדוֹת לְךָ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, וּלְבָרֵךְ אֶת שִׁמְךָ עַל אַחַת מֵאֶלֶף, אַלְפֵי אֲלָפִים וְרִבֵּי רְבָבוֹת פְּעָמִים הַטּוֹבוֹת שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ עִם אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְעִמָּנוּ. מִמִּצְרַים גְּאַלְתָּנוּ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ, וּמִבֵּית עֲבָדִים פְּדִיתָנוּ, בְּרָעָב זַנְתָּנוּ וּבְשָׂבָע כִּלְכַּלְתָּנוּ, מֵחֶרֶב הִצַּלְתָּנוּ וּמִדֶּבֶר מִלַּטְתָּנוּ, וּמֵחָלָיִם רָעִים וְנֶאֱמָנִים דִּלִּיתָנוּ.
עַד הֵנָּה עֲזָרוּנוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ וְלֹא עֲזָבוּנוּ חֲסָדֶיךָ, וְאַל תִּטְּשֵׁנוּ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ, לָנֶצַח. עַל כֵּן אֵבָרִים שֶׁפִּלַּגְתָּ בָּנוּ וְרוּחַ וּנְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּפַחְתָּ בְּאַפֵּינוּ וְלָשׁוֹן אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתָּ בְּפִינוּ - הֵן הֵם יוֹדוּ וִיבָרְכוּ וִישַׁבְּחוּ וִיפָאֲרוּ וִירוֹמְמוּ וְיַעֲרִיצוּ וְיַקְדִּישׁוּ וְיַמְלִיכוּ אֶת שִׁמְךָ מַלְכֵּנוּ. כִּי כָל פֶּה לְךָ יוֹדֶה, וְכָל לָשׁוֹן לְךָ תִּשָּׁבַע, וְכָל בֶּרֶךְ לְךָ תִכְרַע, וְכָל קוֹמָה לְפָנֶיךָ תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה, וְכָל לְבָבוֹת יִירָאוּךָ, וְכָל קֶרֶב וּכְלָיּוֹת יְזַמֵּרוּ לִשְמֶךָ. כַּדָּבָר שֶׁכָּתוּב, כָּל עַצְמֹתַי תֹּאמַרְנָה, ה' מִי כָמּוֹךָ מַצִּיל עָנִי מֵחָזָק מִמֶּנוּ וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן מִגּזְלוֹ. מִי יִדְמֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יִשְׁוֶה לָּךְ וּמִי יַעֲרֹךְ לָךְ הָאֵל הַגָּדוֹל, הַגִּבּוֹר וְהַנּוֹרָא, אֵל עֶלְיוֹן, קנֵה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ. נְהַלֶּלְךָ וּנְשַׁבֵּחֲךָ וּנְפָאֶרְךָ וּנְבָרֵךְ אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשֶׁךָ, כָּאָמוּר: לְדָוִד, בָּרְכִי נַפְשִׁי אֶת ה' וְכָל קְרָבַי אֶת שֵׁם קָדְשׁוֹ. הָאֵל בְּתַעֲצֻמוֹת עֻזֶּךָ, הַגָּדוֹל בִּכְבוֹד שְׁמֶךָ, הַגִּבּוֹר לָנֶצַח וְהַנּוֹרָא בְּנוֹרְאוֹתֶיךָ, הַמֶּלֶךְ הַיּוׁשֵׁב עַל כִּסֵּא רָם וְנִשִֹּא. שׁוֹכֵן עַד מָּרוֹם וְקָּדוֹשׁ שְׁמּוֹ. וְכָתוּב: רַנְּנוּ צַדִּיקִים בַּיי, לַיְשָׁרִים נָאוָה תְהִלָּה. בְּפִי יְשָׁרִים תִּתְהַלָּל, וּבְדִבְרֵי צַדִּיקִים תִּתְבָּרַךְ, וּבִלְשׁוֹן חֲסִידִים תִּתְרוֹמָם, וּבְקֶרֶב קְדושִׁים תִּתְקַדָּשׁ.
וּבְמַקְהֲלוֹת רִבְבוֹת עַמְּךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּרִנָּה יִתְפָּאֵר שִׁמְךָ, מַלְכֵּנוּ, בְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, שֶׁכֵּן חוֹבַת כָּל הַיְצוּרִים לְפָנֶיךָ, ה' אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, לְהוֹדוֹת לְהַלֵּל לְשַׁבֵּחַ, לְפָאֵר לְרוֹמֵם לְהַדֵּר לְבָרֵךְ, לְעַלֵּה וּלְקַלֵּס עַל כָּל דִּבְרֵי שִׁירוֹת וְתִשְׁבְּחוֹת דּוִד בֶּן יִשַׁי עַבְדְּךָ מְשִׁיחֶךָ.
יִשְׁתַּבַּח שִׁמְךָ לעַד מַלְכֵּנוּ, הָאֵל הַמֶלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ, כִּי לְךָ נָאֶה, ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שִׁיר וּשְׁבָחָה, הַלֵּל וְזִמְרָה, עֹז וּמֶמְשָׁלָה, נֶצַח, גְּדֻלָּה וּגְבוּרָה, תְּהִלָּה וְתִפְאֶרֶת, קְדֻשָּׁה וּמַלְכוּת, בְּרָכוֹת וְהוֹדָאוֹת מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֵל מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל בַּתִּשְׁבָּחוֹת, אֵל הַהוֹדָאוֹת, אֲדוֹן הַנִפְלָאוֹת, הַבּוֹחֵר בְּשִׁירֵי זִמְרָה, מֶלֶךְ אֵל חֵי הָעוֹלָמִים.
Thank the Lord, since He is good, since His kindness is forever. Thank the Power of powers since His kindness is forever. To the Master of masters, since His kindness is forever. To the One who alone does wondrously great deeds, since His kindness is forever. To the one who made the Heavens with discernment, since His kindness is forever. To the One who spread the earth over the waters, since His kindness is forever. To the One who made great lights, since His kindness is forever. The sun to rule in the day, since His kindness is forever. The moon and the stars to rule in the night, since His kindness is forever. To the One that smote Egypt through their firstborn, since His kindness is forever. And He took Israel out from among them, since His kindness is forever. With a strong hand and an outstretched forearm, since His kindness is forever. To the One who cut up the Reed Sea into strips, since His kindness is forever. And He made Israel to pass through it, since His kindness is forever. And He jolted Pharaoh and his troop in the Reed Sea, since His kindness is forever. To the One who led his people in the wilderness, since His kindness is forever. To the One who smote great kings, since His kindness is forever. And he killed mighty kings, since His kindness is forever. Sichon, king of the Amorite, since His kindness is forever. And Og, king of the Bashan, since His kindness is forever. And he gave their land as an inheritance, since His kindness is forever. An inheritance for Israel, His servant, since His kindness is forever. That in our lowliness, He remembered us, since His kindness is forever. And he delivered us from our adversaries, since His kindness is forever. He gives bread to all flesh, since His kindness is forever. Thank the Power of the heavens, since His kindness is forever. (Psalms 136)
The soul of every living being shall bless Your Name, Lord our God; the spirit of all flesh shall glorify and exalt Your remembrance always, our King. From the world and until the world, You are the Power, and other than You we have no king, redeemer, or savior, restorer, rescuer, provider, and merciful one in every time of distress and anguish; we have no king, besides You! God of the first ones and the last ones, God of all creatures, Master of all Generations, Who is praised through a multitude of praises, Who guides His world with kindness and His creatures with mercy. The Lord neither slumbers nor sleeps. He who rouses the sleepers and awakens the dozers; He who makes the mute speak, and frees the captives, and supports the falling, and straightens the bent. We thank You alone.
Were our mouth as full of song as the sea, and our tongue as full of joyous song as its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the breadth of the heavens, and our eyes as sparkling as the sun and the moon, and our hands as outspread as the eagles of the sky and our feet as swift as deers - we still could not thank You sufficiently, Lord our God and God of our ancestors, and to bless Your Name for one thousandth of the thousand of thousands of thousands, and myriad myriads, of goodnesses that You performed for our ancestors and for us. From Egypt, Lord our God, did you redeem us and from the house of slaves you restored us. In famine You nourished us, and in plenty you sustained us. From the sword you saved us, and from plague you spared us; and from severe and enduring diseases you delivered us.
Until now Your mercy has helped us, and Your kindness has not forsaken us; and do not abandon us, Lord our God, forever. Therefore, the limbs that You set within us and the spirit and soul that You breathed into our nostrils, and the tongue that You placed in our mouth - verily, they shall thank and bless and praise and glorify, and exalt and revere, and sanctify and coronate Your name, our King. For every mouth shall offer thanks to You; and every tongue shall swear allegiance to You; and every knee shall bend to You; and every upright one shall prostrate himself before You; all hearts shall fear You; and all innermost feelings and thoughts shall sing praises to Your name, as the matter is written (Psalms 35:10), "All my bones shall say, ‘Lord, who is like You? You save the poor man from one who is stronger than he, the poor and destitute from the one who would rob him.'" Who is similar to You and who is equal to You and who can be compared to You, O great, strong and awesome Power, O highest Power, Creator of the heavens and the earth. We shall praise and extol and glorify and bless Your holy name, as it is stated (Psalms 103:1), " [A Psalm] of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, His holy name." The Power, in Your powerful boldness; the Great, in the glory of Your name; the Strong One forever; the King who sits on His high and elevated throne. He who dwells always; lofty and holy is His name. And as it is written (Psalms 33:10), "Sing joyfully to the Lord, righteous ones, praise is beautiful from the upright." By the mouth of the upright You shall be praised; By the lips of the righteous shall You be blessed; By the tongue of the devout shall You be exalted; And among the holy shall You be sanctified.
And in the assemblies of the myriads of Your people, the House of Israel, in joyous song will Your name be glorified, our King, in each and every generation; as it is the duty of all creatures, before You, Lord our God, and God of our ancestors, to thank, to praise, to extol, to glorify, to exalt, to lavish, to bless, to raise high and to acclaim - beyond the words of the songs and praises of David, the son of Yishai, Your servant, Your anointed one.
May Your name be praised forever, our King, the Power, the Great and holy King - in the heavens and in the earth. Since for You it is pleasant - O Lord our God and God of our ancestors - song and lauding, praise and hymn, boldness and dominion, triumph, greatness and strength, psalm and splendor, holiness and kingship, blessings and thanksgivings, from now and forever. Blessed are You Lord, Power, King exalted through laudings, Power of thanksgivings, Master of Wonders, who chooses the songs of hymn - King, Power of the life of the worlds.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.
וְשׁותה בהסיבת שמאל.
בָּרוּך אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עַל הַגֶּפֶן וְעַל פְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן, עַל תְּנוּבַת הַשָּׂדֶה וְעַל אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָּה טוֹבָה וּרְחָבָה שֶׁרָצִיתָ וְהִנְחַלְתָּ לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ לֶאֱכוֹל מִפִּרְיָהּ וְלִשְׂבֹּעַ מִטּוּבָהּ. רַחֶם נָא ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִירֶךָ וְעַל צִיּוֹן מִשְׁכַּן כְּבוֹדֶךָ וְעַל מִזְבְּחֶךָ וְעַל הֵיכָלֶךָ וּבְנֵה יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ וְהַעֲלֵנוּ לְתוֹכָהּ וְשַׂמְּחֵנוּ בְּבִנְיָנָהּ וְנֹאכַל מִפִּרְיָהּ וְנִשְׂבַּע מִטּוּבָהּ וּנְבָרֶכְךָ עָלֶיהָ בִּקְדֻשָׁה וּבְטָהֳרָה [בשבת: וּרְצֵה וְהַחֲלִיצֵנוּ בְּיוֹם הַשַׁבָּת הַזֶּה] וְשַׂמְּחֵנוּ בְּיוֹם חַג הַמַּצּוֹת הַזֶּה, כִּי אַתָּה ה' טוֹב וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל, וְנוֹדֶה לְּךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְעַל פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', עַל הַגֶּפֶן וְעַל פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
We drink while reclining to the left
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, for the vine and for the fruit of the vine; and for the bounty of the field; and for a desirable, good and broad land, which You wanted to give to our fathers, to eat from its fruit and to be satiated from its goodness. Please have mercy, Lord our God upon Israel Your people; and upon Jerusalem, Your city: and upon Zion, the dwelling place of Your glory; and upon Your altar; and upon Your sanctuary; and build Jerusalem Your holy city quickly in our days, and bring us up into it and gladden us in its building; and we shall eat from its fruit, and be satiated from its goodness, and bless You in holiness and purity. [On Shabbat: And may you be pleased to embolden us on this Shabbat day] and gladden us on this day of the Festival of Matsot. Since You, Lord, are good and do good to all, we thank You for the land and for the fruit of the vine.
Blessed are You, Lord, for the land and for the fruit of the vine
חֲסַל סִדּוּר פֶּסַח כְּהִלְכָתוֹ, כְּכָל מִשְׁפָּטוֹ וְחֻקָּתוֹ. כַּאֲשֶׁר זָכִינוּ לְסַדֵּר אוֹתוֹ כֵּן נִזְכֶּה לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ. זָךְ שׁוֹכֵן מְעוֹנָה, קוֹמֵם קְהַל עֲדַת מִי מָנָה. בְּקָרוֹב נַהֵל נִטְעֵי כַנָּה פְּדוּיִם לְצִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה.
Completed is the Seder of Pesach according to its law, according to all its judgement and statute. Just as we have merited to arrange it, so too, may we merit to do [its sacrifice]. Pure One who dwells in the habitation, raise up the congregation of the community, which whom can count. Bring close, lead the plantings of the sapling, redeemed, to Zion in joy.
בליל רִאשון אומרים:
וּבְכֵן וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
אָז רוֹב נִסִּים הִפְלֵאתָ בַּלַּיְלָה, בְּרֹאשׁ אַשְׁמוֹרֶת זֶה הַלַּיְלָה.
גֵר צֶדֶק נִצַּחְתּוֹ כְּנֶחֶלַק לוֹ לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
דַּנְתָּ מֶלֶךְ גְּרָר בַּחֲלוֹם הַלַּיְלָה, הִפְחַדְתָּ אֲרַמִּי בְּאֶמֶשׁ לַיְלָה.
וַיָּשַׂר יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַלְאָךְ וַיּוּכַל לוֹ לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
זֶרַע בְּכוֹרֵי פַתְרוֹס מָחַצְתָּ בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה, חֵילָם לֹא מָצְאוּ בְּקוּמָם בַּלַּיְלָה, טִיסַת נְגִיד חֲרֹשֶׁת סִלִּיתָ בְּכוֹכְבֵי לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
יָעַץ מְחָרֵף לְנוֹפֵף אִוּוּי, הוֹבַשְׁתָּ פְגָרָיו בַּלַּיְלָה, כָּרַע בֵּל וּמַצָּבוֹ בְּאִישׁוֹן לַיְלָה, לְאִישׁ חֲמוּדוֹת נִגְלָה רָז חֲזוֹת לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
מִשְׁתַּכֵּר בִּכְלֵי קֹדֶשׁ נֶהֱרַג בּוֹ בַלַּיְלָה, נוֹשַׁע מִבּוֹר אֲרָיוֹת פּוֹתֵר בִּעֲתוּתֵי לַיְלָה, שִׂנְאָה נָטַר אֲגָגִי וְכָתַב סְפָרִים בַּלַּיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
עוֹרַרְתָּ נִצְחֲךָ עָלָיו בְּנֶדֶד שְׁנַת לַיְלָה. פּוּרָה תִדְרוֹךְ לְשׁוֹמֵר מַה מִּלַיְלָה, צָרַח כַּשּׁוֹמֵר וְשָׂח אָתָא בֹקֶר וְגַם לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
קָרֵב יוֹם אֲשֶׁר הוּא לֹא יוֹם וְלֹא לַיְלָה, רָם הוֹדַע כִּי לְךָ הַיּוֹם אַף לְךָ הַלַּיְלָה, שׁוֹמְרִים הַפְקֵד לְעִירְךָ כָּל הַיּוֹם וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה, תָּאִיר כְּאוֹר יוֹם חֶשְׁכַּת לַיְלָה, וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה.
On the first night we say:
And so, it was in the middle of the night.
Then, most of the miracles did You wondrously do at night, at the first of the watches this night.
A righteous convert did you make victorious when it was divided for him at night [referring to Avraham in his war against the four kings - Genesis 14:15], and it was in the middle of the night.
You judged the king of Gerrar [Avimelekh] in a dream of the night; you frightened an Aramean [Lavan] in the dark of the night;
and Yisrael dominated an angel and was able to withstand Him at night [Genesis 32:25-30], and it was in the middle of the night.
You crushed the firstborn of Patros [Pharaoh, as per Ezekiel 30:14] in the middle of the night, their wealth they did not find when they got up at night; the attack of the leader Charoshet [Sisera] did you sweep away by the stars of the night [Judges 5:20], and it was in the middle of the night.
The blasphemer [Sancheriv whose servants blasphemed when trying to discourage the inhabitants of Jerusalem] counseled to wave off the desired ones, You made him wear his corpses on his head at night [II Kings 19:35]; Bel and his pedestal were bent in the pitch of night [in Nevuchadnezar's dream in Daniel 2]; to the man of delight [Daniel] was revealed the secret visions at night, and it was in the middle of the night.
The one who got drunk [Balshatsar] from the holy vessels was killed on that night [Daniel 5:30], the one saved from the pit of lions [Daniel] interpreted the scary visions of the night; hatred was preserved by the Agagite [Haman] and he wrote books at night, and it was in the middle of the night.
You aroused your victory upon him by disturbing the sleep of night [of Achashverosh], You will stomp the wine press for the one who guards from anything at night [Esav/Seir as per Isaiah 21:11]; He yelled like a guard and spoke, "the morning has come and also the night," and it was in the middle of the night.
Bring close the day which is not day and not night [referring to the end of days - Zechariah 14:7], High One, make known that Yours is the day and also Yours is the night, guards appoint for Your city all the day and all the night, illuminate like the light of the day, the darkness of the night, and it was in the middle of the night.
בְליל שני בחו"ל: וּבְכֵן וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
אֹמֶץ גְּבוּרוֹתֶיךָ הִפְלֵאתָ בַּפֶּסַח, בְּרֹאשׁ כָּל מוֹעֲדוֹת נִשֵּׂאתָ פֶּסַח. גִּלִיתָ לְאֶזְרָחִי חֲצוֹת לֵיל פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
דְּלָתָיו דָּפַקְתָּ כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם בַּפֶּסַח, הִסְעִיד נוֹצְצִים עֻגּוֹת מַצּוֹת בַּפֶּסַח, וְאֵל הַבָּקָר רָץ זֵכֶר לְשׁוֹר עֵרֶךְ פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
זוֹעֲמוּ סְדוֹמִים וְלוֹׁהֲטוּ בָּאֵשׁ בַּפֶּסַח, חֻלַּץ לוֹט מֵהֶם וּמַצּוֹת אָפָה בְּקֵץ פֶּסַח, טִאטֵאתָ אַדְמַת מוֹף וְנוֹף בְּעָבְרְךָ בַּפֶּסַח. וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
יָהּ רֹאשׁ כָּל הוֹן מָחַצְתָּ בְּלֵיל שִׁמּוּר פֶּסַח, כַּבִּיר, עַל בֵּן בְּכוֹר פָּסַחְתָּ בְּדַם פֶּסַח, לְבִלְתִּי תֵּת מַשְׁחִית לָבֹא בִּפְתָחַי בַּפֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
מְסֻגֶּרֶת סֻגָּרָה בְּעִתּוֹתֵי פֶּסַח, נִשְׁמְדָה מִדְיָן בִּצְלִיל שְׂעוֹרֵי עֹמֶר פֶּסַח, שׂוֹרָפוּ מִשְׁמַנֵּי פּוּל וְלוּד בִּיקַד יְקוֹד פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
עוֹד הַיּוֹם בְּנֹב לַעֲמוֹׁד עַד גָּעָה עוֹנַת פֶּסַח, פַּס יַד כָּתְבָה לְקַעֲקֵעַ צוּל בַּפֶּסַח, צָפֹה הַצָּפִית עֲרוֹךְ הַשֻּׁלְחָן בַּפֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
קָהָל כִּנְּסָה הֲדַּסָּה לְשַׁלֵּשׁ צוֹם בַּפֶּסַח, רֹאשׁ מִבֵּית רָשָׁע מָחַצְתָּ בְּעֵץ חֲמִשִּׁים בַּפֶּסַח, שְׁתֵּי אֵלֶּה רֶגַע תָּבִיא לְעוּצִית בַּפֶּסַח, תָּעֹז יָדְךָ תָּרוּם יְמִינְךָ כְּלֵיל הִתְקַדֵּשׁ חַג פֶּסַח, וַאֲמַרְתֶּם זֶבַח פֶּסַח.
On the second night, outside of Israel: And so "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"(Exodus 12:42).
The boldness of Your strong deeds did you wondrously show at Pesach; at the head of all the holidays did You raise Pesach; You revealed to the Ezrachite [Avraham], midnight of the night of Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"
Upon his doors did You knock at the heat of the day on Pesach [Genesis 18:1]; he sustained shining ones [angels] with cakes of matsa on Pesach; and to the cattle he ran, in commemoration of the bull that was set up for Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"
The Sodomites caused Him indignation and He set them on fire on Pesach; Lot was rescued from them and matsot did he bake at the end of Pesach; He swept the land of Mof and Nof [cities in Egypt] on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"
The head of every firstborn did You crush on the guarded night of Pesach; Powerful One, over the firstborn son did You pass over with the blood on Pesach; so as to not let the destroyer come into my gates on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice.'"
The enclosed one [Jericho] was enclosed in the season of Pesach; Midian was destroyed with a portion of the omer-barley on Pesach [via Gideon as per Judges 7]; from the fat of Pul and Lud [Assyrian soldiers of Sancheriv] was burnt in pyres on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"
Still today [Sancheriv will go no further than] to stand in Nov [Isaiah 10:32], until he cried at the time of Pesach; a palm of the hand wrote [Daniel 5:5] to rip up the deep one [ the Bayblonian one - Balshatsar] on Pesach; set up the watch, set the table [referring to Balshatsar, based on Psalms 21:5] on Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"
The congregation did Hadassah [Esther] bring in to triple a fast on Pesach; the head of the house of evil [Haman] did you crush on a tree of fifty [amot] on Pesach; these two [plagues as per Isaiah 47:9] will you bring in an instant to the Utsi [Esav] on Pesach; embolden Your hand, raise Your right hand, as on the night You were sanctified on the festival of Pesach. "And you shall say, 'it is the Pesach sacrifice'"
כִּי לוֹ נָאֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
אַדִּיר בִּמְלוּכָה, בָּחוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, גְּדוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
דָּגוּל בִּמְלוּכָה, הָדוּר כַּהֲלָכָה, וָתִיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
זַכַּאי בִּמְלוּכָה, חָסִין כַּהֲלָכָה טַפְסְרָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
יָחִיד בִּמְלוּכָה, כַּבִּיר כַּהֲלָכָה לִמּוּדָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֶה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
מוֹשֵׁל בִּמְלוּכָה, נוֹרָא כַּהֲלָכָה סְבִיבָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
עָנָיו בִּמְלוּכָה, פּוֹדֶה כַּהֲלָכָה, צַדִּיקָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
קָּדּוֹשׁ בִּמְלוּכָה, רַחוּם כַּהֲלָכָה שִׁנְאַנָּיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
תַּקִיף בִּמְלוּכָה, תּוֹמֵךְ כַּהֲלָכָה תְּמִימָיו יֹאמְרוּ לוֹ: לְךָ וּלְךָ, לְךָ כִּי לְךָ, לְךָ אַף לְךָ, לְךָ ה' הַמַּמְלָכָה, כִּי לוֹ נָאֵה, כִּי לוֹ יָאֶה.
Since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited.
Mighty in rulership, properly chosen, his troops shall say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
Noted in rulership, properly splendid, His distinguished ones will say to him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
Meritorious in rulership, properly robust, His scribes shall say to him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
Unique in rulership, properly powerful, His wise ones say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
Reigning in rulership, properly awesome, those around Him say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
Humble in rulership, properly restoring, His righteous ones say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
Holy in rulership, properly merciful, His angels say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
Dynamic in rulership, properly supportive, His innocent ones say to Him, "Yours and Yours, Yours since it is Yours, Yours and even Yours, Yours, Lord is the kingdom; since for Him it is pleasant, for Him it is suited."
אַדִּיר הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
בָּחוּר הוּא, גָּדוֹל הוּא, דָּגוּל הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
הָדוּר הוּא, וָתִיק הוּא, זַכַּאי הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
חָסִיד הוּא, טָהוֹר הוּא, יָחִיד הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
כַּבִּיר הוּא, לָמוּד הוּא, מֶלֶךְ הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
נוֹרָא הוּא, סַגִּיב הוּא, עִזּוּז הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
פּוֹדֶה הוּא, צַדִּיק הוּא, קָּדוֹשׁ הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
רַחוּם הוּא, שַׁדַּי הוּא, תַּקִּיף הוּא יִבְנֶה בֵּיתוֹ בְּקָרוֹב. בִּמְהֵרָה, בִּמְהֵרָה, בְּיָמֵינוּ בְּקָרוֹב. אֵל בְּנֵה, אֵל בְּנֵה, בְּנֵה בֵּיתְךָ בְּקָרוֹב.
Mighty is He, may He build His house soon. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
Chosen is He, great is He, noted is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
Splendid is He, distinguished is He, meritorious is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
Pious is He, pure is He, unique is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
Powerful is He, wise is He, A king is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
Awesome is He, exalted is He, heroic is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
A restorer is He, righteous is He, holy is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
Merciful is He, the Omnipotent is He, dynamic is He. Quickly, quickly, in our days, soon. God build, God build, build Your house soon.
ספירת העמר בחוץ לארץ, בליל שני של פסח:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹֹּתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר. הַיּוֹם יוֹם אֶחָד בָּעֹמֶר.
The counting of the omer outside of Israel on the second night of Pesach:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us on the counting of the omer. Today is the first day of the omer.
אֶחָד מִי יוֹדֵעַ? אֶחָד אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
שְׁנַיִם מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁנַיִם אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית. אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
שְׁלֹשָׁה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
אַרְבַּע מִי יוֹדֵעַ? אַרְבַּע אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
חֲמִשָּׁה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? חֲמִשָּׁה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
שִׁשָּׂה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שִׁשָּׂה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
שִׁבְעָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שִׁבְעָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
שְׁמוֹנָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁמוֹנָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
תִּשְׁעָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? תִּשְׁעָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלֹשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
עֲשָֹרָה מִי יוֹדֵעַ? עֲשָֹרָה אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ. עֲשָֹרָה אַחַד עָשָׂר מִי יוֹדֵעַ? אַחַד עָשָׂר אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: אַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכְבַיָּא, עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שִׁבְטַיָּא, אַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכְבַיָּא, עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
שְׁלשָׁה עֶשָׂר מִי יוֹדֵעַ? שְׁלשָׁה עָשָׂר אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ: שְׁלשָׁה עָשָׂר מִדַּיָּא. שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שִׁבְטַיָּא, אַחַד עָשָׂר כּוֹכְבַיָּא, עֲשָׂרָה דִבְּרַיָא, תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵדָה, שְׁמוֹנָה יְמֵי מִילָה, שִׁבְעָה יְמֵי שַׁבָּתָא, שִׁשָּׁה סִדְרֵי מִשְׁנָה, חֲמִשָּׁה חוּמְשֵׁי תוֹרָה, אַרְבַּע אִמָּהוֹת, שְׁלשָׁה אָבוֹת, שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת הַבְּרִית, אֶחָד אֱלֹהֵינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ.
Who knows one? I know one: One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows two? I know two: two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows three? I know three: three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows four? I know four: four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows five? I know five: five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows six? I know six: six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows seven? I know seven: seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows eight? I know eight: eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows nine? I know nine: nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows ten? I know ten: ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows eleven? I know eleven: eleven are the stars, ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows twelve? I know twelve: twelve are the tribes, eleven are the stars, ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth. Who knows thirteen? I know thirteen: thirteen are the characteristics, twelve are the tribes, eleven are the stars, ten are the statements, nine are the months of birth, eight are the days of circumcision, seven are the days of the week, six are the orders of the Mishnah, five are the books of the Torah, four are the mothers, three are the fathers, two are the tablets of the covenant, One is our God in the heavens and the earth.
חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי, חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא שׁוּנְרָא וְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא כַלְבָּא וְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא חוּטְרָא וְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא נוּרָא וְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא מַיָּא וְכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא תוֹרָא וְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא הַשׁוֹחֵט וְשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא מַלְאָךְ הַמָּוֶת וְשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט, דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
וְאָתָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְשָׁחַט לְמַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת, דְּשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט, דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא, דְשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא, דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא, דְשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא, דְהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא, דְנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא, דְאָכְלָה לְגַדְיָא, דְזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי. חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא.
One kid, one kid that my father bought for two zuz, one kid, one kid.
Then came a cat and ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came a dog and bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came a stick and hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came fire and burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came water and extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came a bull and drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came the schochet and slaughtered the bull, that drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came the angel of death and slaughtered the schochet, who slaughtered the bull, that drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.
Then came the Holy One, blessed be He and slaughtered the angel of death, who slaughtered the schochet, who slaughtered the bull, that drank the water, that extinguished the fire, that burnt the stick, that hit the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the kid, one kid, one kid.