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.
Like many commentators, Rabbi Lorberbaum ignores the Kiddush because technically it is not part of the Haggadah. We recite the Kiddush on the eve of all the holidays as a way of ‘sanctifying the day’ and welcoming the special occasion. The rabbi, however, adds a brief comment on the significance of the Sh’heheyanu blessing that follows the Kiddush on certain occasions. In some ways, his comments pick up on a theme which we will return to later in the Haggadah: “In every generation there have been those who have risen up against us to annihilate us, but the Holy One saved us from them…” The Haggadah focuses on the tension between exile and homecoming; this blessing is not only an expression of our gratitude for life but an expression of our sense of thanksgiving for having survived not only physically but spiritually.
(2) The Text
The Sh’heheyanu Blessing appears to be repetitive; we have three expressions that all seem to have the same meaning: “Who kept us in life, sustained us, and allowed us to reach this occasion.” It should have been enough to say, “Praised are You…who kept us in life to this day.” Why the repetition in this blessing?
There are many expressions that we use to describe God that appear to be repetitive but which actually add a different dimension in our understanding of the Eternal. For instance, God is referred to as Hai Vikayam, “Alive and eternal.” In the prayer Baruch Sh’amar we say, “Blessed is the One who is living and who exists for eternity.” How are these expressions different from one another?
When we refer to God as ‘living,’ we are not speaking about His attributes (since God has no positive attributes) but rather about the quality of life that God brings to the universe. God is the source of life. He can only be referred to as ‘Living’ as long as the world exists. On the other hand, God is referred to as ‘Eternal’ as a way of speaking of His unchanging and constant nature.
Based on these two terms we can understand the Sheheheyanu, the blessing of time.
First we thank God for giving us life. Living in the Diaspora our lives are perilous at best; we live in constant danger of annihilation. Our very physical existence is something for which we should be thankful.
Next we thank God for sustaining us. Physical existence is not enough particularly in a world in which we could easily lose our identity and assimilate into the nation around us. So we also thank God for sustaining us, v’kiyyemanu (from the same Hebrew word as kayyam.) God not only gives us life but He has made us an eternal people by giving us the Torah.
And, finally, we also thank God for “allowing us to reach this occasion.” God gives us the means of fulfilling each Mitzvah. It takes more than good intention or desire. God helps us reach our goal at this time as well.
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.
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.
It has been suggested that the opening statement of the Haggadah is similar to an overture before a great opera or show. It is not part of the telling of the story and yet it contains many of the dominant themes of the Passover, beautifully expressed through poetry. So what does this statement say and how does it fit into the Haggadah? Notice that this statement ties together past, present and future. We begin “This is the bread of affliction;” speaking in the past. We continue “All who are hungry come and eat”, speaking in the present. And then we look toward the future: “Now we are here…next year…” Rabbi Lorberbaum picks up on this time frame and discusses not only past redemption, but future redemption as well in his commentary.
(2) Why does the Haggadah begin in the Aramaic language?
Why does Maimonides make a point of saying, in his version of the Haggadah, that this passage was not recited when the Temple was still standing? This statement was added to the Haggadah after the destruction of the Second Temple.
It is meant to be read as a statement that expresses sorrow. Despite the fact that we were redeemed from Egyptian slavery, we are now living in exile once again, “like the Jews subjugated to Ahasveros”. This bread which we eat at the Seder is like the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt….” The use of the Aramaic language at the beginning of the Seder is a reminder that we are still in exile and that this is not the true Passover. By referring to Matzah as the bread of affliction, we are also reminded that we are not yet redeemed.
There is an implicit ambivalence in our celebration of Passover and our recalling of the Exodus. After all, why celebrate past redemptions when we are currently unredeemed and in exile? The author explains this with a parable: Usually, someone who is liberated from prison has reason to rejoice not only in the fact that he was liberated but also to mark the day of his liberation as a time of celebration of an important event in his life. If the person is put back in prison, however, he has little cause to celebrate his original liberation. He would not want to celebrate past liberations if the present one has not yet taken place. This is not the case in recalling the Exodus from Egypt. By telling the story of the Exodus we gain the hope that God will redeem us again. We still have reason to celebrate because the original Exodus gives us reason to hope that God will redeem us again. Past redemption gives us hope for future redemption.
(3) Why do we make the statement, “All who are hungry come and eat,” specifically on the festival of Pesach? Aren’t we obligated to help the needy on all of our festivals and not just Passover? Since there is still hope for redemption, our response should be to invite others to join us in celebrating this moment. Why are we inviting others to join us in celebration? We are celebrating because, “Now we are here and next year we will be in the land of Israel!” Telling the story of the Exodus is our way of expressing our hope in future redemption.
This statement, “All who are hungry,” appears to be out of place and time. It should have been said outside the door of one’s house so the needy would hear it and before the Kiddush so that the needy would have already joined the Seder. Why do we recite this passage indoors and after we have already begun the Seder?
The opening statement of the Haggadah, “This is the bread of affliction…” is not a true invitation to the needy as much as it is an explanation of the purpose of telling the story of the Exodus and celebrating the Passover. As a result, it appears before the actual telling of the Exodus.
(4) Why is Matzah referred to as Lechem Oni, “the bread of affliction?” Why do we say, “This is the bread of affliction…which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt?” Later in the Seder we explain that the Israelites ate Matzah when they left Egypt according to the Torah!
While the Jews ate Matzah when they fled from Egypt, we refer to it as “the bread of affliction” because this was also the food that they ate while they were living and toiling in the land of Egypt. The Egyptians worked the Israelites so hard that they did not even have time to allow their bread to rise.
(5) Why does the Haggadah include the double language at the end of this passage? “Now we are here….Now we are slaves.”
The two phrases at the end of this passage reflect a controversy in the Talmud about when the final redemption will take place: Tishri or Nissan. According to one point of view, the final redemption will take place in Nissan at the same time of year that we celebrate Passover, and according to the other point of view, the redemption will be in Tishri. These two points of view reflect different perspectives on the focus of the final redemption. Is redemption for Israel alone or for all humankind? If the final redemption is associated with Nisan and Passover then it is associated more with the destiny of the Jewish people since Passover marks the birth of the Jewish people. If the redemption is to occur in Tishri when we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the birthday of the world, then the focus of redemption is more universal.
The sages also believed that similar to the Exodus from Egypt, the subjugation of the Jewish people would conclude six months prior to the final redemption. The Talmud says that Israel no longer had to serve the Egyptian six months prior to the Exodus. If we assume that the same thing would happen when the final redemption takes place then there are two possible scenarios for how this will occur. When you assume the redemption will occur will effect what you mean when you say, “Now we are….”
If, on the one hand, the redemption takes place in Tishri, then we must assume that the final redemption will take place one year from the upcoming month of Tishri. That would mean that the release of the Israelites from slavery would not occur until next Nissan and the final redemption the following month of Tishri. This would mean that at this time as we read the Haggadah the redemption has not yet begun, so the statement “Next year, in the land of Israel,” is not yet true. We can say, however, “Next year we will be free” since we will already be released from slavery, though not yet redeemed.
If, on the other hand, the redemption begins in the month of Nisan, then the release from slavery would occur on the upcoming Tishri and “next year” would refer to one year from now. The second statement would be true for the person who believes the redemption will take place in Nissan. Next Passover we would not only be free, but we would be in the land of Israel as well.
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.
OK, so the four questions are not really questions. What exactly are they? And if the purpose of the Haggadah is to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt why do I need to explain why our customs are different on this night from all other nights? Rabbi Lorberbaum explains that at the heart of the Seder is an attempt to understand our way of life. We begin the telling not in the past but right here at the Seder Table in the present exploring the significance of our way of life. This will lead us to the past and help us understand who we are today. The questions in the Mah Nishtana, then, highlight the importance of the way we remember the Exodus today as Jews and how we tell the story through the commandments, customs and practices both divine and rabbinic.
(2) Why were the sages so insistent on one asking questions of another? The Braita says, “If he has no wife (and there is no one else to ask), then let him ask himself.”
The whole point of the telling of the story of the Exodus (“And you shall tell it to your child on that day, ‘It is because of this which God did for me when I went forth from Egypt.’”) is not merely the telling of the story but the explanation of the Mitzvot associated with the Exodus from Egypt. This is implied in Exodus by the words Ba’avur zeh, “It is because of this” referring to the Matzah and Maror. Discussing the Mitzvot takes place in a dialogue with others, through questions and answers, and inquiry and discussion.
(3) Why do the four questions single out these particular differences in the Seder and not others such as the four cups of wine?
The four statements neatly divide into two groups the first two statements about Matzah and Maror have to do with those commandments associated with Passover that are divine commandments taken from the Torah, and the second two statements have to do with rabbinic commandments which appear at the beginning of the Seder. They are dipping and leaning. In this way the Mah Nishtana reminds us that we must be exacting in observing and explaining both the commandments whose source is in the Torah and those which are derived from Rabbinic literature.
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.
This passage is both an introduction to the Seder and an answer to the “Four Questions” which we have just asked. It presents the basic theme of the Seder succinctly and directly: “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt but the Lord our God took us out with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” But commentators have been troubled by the fact that we never directly answer the four questions that we just asked. Rabbi Lorberbaum explores the connection between the four questions and this passage. He also explores the nature of the redemption. God did not simply take us out but He did so with “a mighty hand.” This act created an intimate connection between God and Israel that would have implications for generations to come.
(2) How is this statement an appropriate answer to all the questions that were just raised in the Mah Nishtana?
Even someone completely familiar with the Torah knows that the reason for many of the commandments is hidden from us and difficult for us to comprehend. The Haggadah is written for the common person (“for women and children”) who has even less knowledge of Torah. The Haggadah, therefore, begins with a more general statement applied not only to Passover but to all the commandments. We observe the commandments because God is our sovereign and we must accept His decrees whether or not we fully comprehend all of them.
(3) Why do we make a point of saying that, “We were slave to Pharaoh in Egypt”? It should have been enough to say, “We were slaves in Egypt” What does the mention of Pharaoh add to this statement?
The opening statement of the Haggadah begins we were slaves to Pharaoh in order to contrast our obedience to Pharaoh with our obedience to God. When we were Pharaoh’s slaves we obeyed his will whether or not we understood his purpose; how much more so should we now keep God’s will.
(4) The passage says that God took us out “with a mighty hand.” What does this expression add our understanding of this passage?
The Haggadah states that God not only took us out of Egypt, but that He did so with “a mighty hand.” It emphasizes the greatness and the graciousness of God’s acts. There were many ways through which God could have liberated the children of Israel from Egypt that would have made His presence less apparent. For instance, God could have caused everyone in Egypt to have a change of heart and to free the Israelites. By showing “His hand,” so to speak, God tied His own reputation to that of the children of Israel in the eyes of the world so that when Israel would later sin, God couldn't simply write the nation of Israel off as a failed experiment. That is why Moses says to God, “What will the nations say…?” Moses understood that anything that happened to Israel would now reflect on God as well. By redeeming Israel with “a mighty hand” God’s destiny was now tied to that of the Jewish people. In other words, if God punished Israel, Israel’s failure would be God’s own failure, much as a parent often feels like a failure when his child misbehaves or acts in an improper fashion.
This line of reasoning applies specifically to the people of Israel after the Exodus from Egypt. After all, God had promised the people that he would take them out of Egypt since the time of Abraham. This was a right and not merely a privilege since it was tied to their covenant with God or possibly Zechut Avot, the worthy merit of the forefathers. But once they were in the wilderness and God had fulfilled his promise to the forefathers He was no longer obligated to stop them and help them when they threatened to return to Egypt. Why did He do so? Not because of some past obligation but because He had made a full and complete commitment to the Israelites to redeem them with an outstretched arm, that is, publicly.
(5) Are the terms “enslaved” and “subjugated” really the same? Avadim Hayyinu begins “we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt…” but it ends with “…both we and our children and our children’s children would be subjugated to Pharaoh.” Why does the author assume that if God had not taken us out of Egypt we would still be subjugated to Pharaoh? Isn't it possible that we would have been freed through some other means?
The word Eved only applies to someone who is an indentured servant; that is, someone who is a slave for a limited amount of time. God had told Abraham that his children would be slaves for four hundred years. So while they were in Egypt, they were slaves in this sense of the word. God had promised to redeem the people of Israel after four hundred years, so their liberation was guaranteed. When the Israelites threatened to return to Egypt when they were in the wilderness God had already fulfilled his promise. He could have freely allowed this to happen and they could easily have become subjugated eternally. Similarly, since we were redeemed with an outstretched arm, we now were assured of redemption. Even though Zechut Avot, our forefather’s merit had a time limit, God’s glory has no time limit. Not to redeem Israel would still have been a desecration of God’s name.
This idea of Zechut Avot is a central concept in Rabbinic thought. The idea is that we receive God’s blessing not because we are worthy of it but because of the inherent worthiness of our ancestors. We invoke the worth of our ancestors often on the High Holy Days; we ask God to forgive us not because we are worthy of forgiveness but because of the extraordinary deeds of our ancestors who came before us.
Similarly, the idea of desecrating God’s name is also a basic concept in rabbinic literature. Our actions can sanctify or desecrate God’s presence in the world. What we do reflects on God’s reputation. So God’s glory is dependent on us. This passage in the Haggadah concludes, then, that even if we were all wise, proficient, and knowledgeable we would still be obligated to tell the story of the Exodus. The point here is not simply telling the story (after all, “what was, was”) but understanding the profound nature of God’s loving kindness and graciousness. God performed His gracious acts despite our being unworthy and His acts have shaped our existence in ways that we do not even understand. We tell the story of the Exodus to understand the nature of God’s continuing presence in our lives.
This is the basic theme of the Great Hallel passage that we recite later in the Seder. “Praise the Lord who is God, His loving kindness is eternal.” God’s gracious acts continue to influence our lives forever and were not just part of the generation for which God performed these acts.
Because this is so, “One who increases the telling of the Exodus from Egypt is praise worthy.”
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."
(1) Was it really necessary for the sages in B’nai Brak to spend the entire night reviewing the story of the Exodus from Egypt?
The fact that the sages in B’nai Brak spent so much time retelling the story of the Exodus when this story could be simply told in an hour or two is proof that they were delving into the implications of the story. As we have seen in the commentary above, the sages studied each of God’s acts of kindness to understand how these acts have influenced not only the generation that went forth from Egypt but all future generations as well. This story, then, is a proof text for the final statement in the prior paragraph that anyone who spends time at length reviewing the story of the Exodus is praiseworthy.
(2) A side note: Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi in his commentary, Ma’asei Adonai on the Haggadah, offers an alternative explanation of why the Haggadah suggests that we might still be subjugated to Pharaoh if God had not taken us out of Egypt. The Ma’asei Adonai comments that we would still be subjugated to the Egyptians if God had not taken us out because then the Egyptians would have been the ones who liberated us. This would mean that we would constantly be humbled and obligated before the Egyptians because they freed us from Egypt.
But this is only one possible scenario for how the Israelites might have been freed if God had not done it. It is possible that the Israelites might have risen up and rebelled against the Egyptians, thus freeing themselves. In such a case, the Israelites would not have been subjugated to the Egyptians after their liberation. Yet the Haggadah tells us that by placing Himself at the center of the liberation from Egypt, God created a new and unprecedented relationship with Israel. The essence of Passover is not just that God took us out but that he took us out “with a mighty hand” as the Haggadah and the Torah teach us.
The Haggadah is a medley of materials taken from various parts of rabbinic and medieval literature. The author (or, better yet, the editor) of the Haggadah often borrows passages from this literature and uses them for his own purpose.
Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah’s passage comes from the first chapter of Mishnah Berachot which deals with the laws related to the daily recitation of the Sh’ma, our Jewish pledge of allegiance. The Sh’ma is made up of three passages: “Hear O Israel the Lord our God the Lord is one…You shall love the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) “You shall hearken diligently to the Lord….” (Deuteronomy 11:13-21), and the passage concerning placing tzitzit, fringes, on the corners of one’s garments (Numbers 15:37-41.)
This final passage ends, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the Land of Egypt…”). Since the sages concluded that the commandment to wear fringes is only an obligation during the day time(when one can see them), the sages debated whether or not one had to mention the Exodus (which is included in the last part of this passage) in the evening.
The Haggadah quotes most, but not all, of the Mishnaic passage. Most importantly it leaves out the first and most important part of the Mishnaic statement: One should mention the Exodus from Egypt at night. The sages disagree with this conclusion with which Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah struggles. This leads Rabbi Lorberbaum to raise the following questions and offer the following interpretation that distinguishes between the daily custom of mentioning the Exodus vs. actually telling the story on Passover night.
(2) What is the connection between mentioning the Exodus as part of the daily liturgy and retelling the story of the Exodus on the eve of Passover?
There are two different Mitzvot in the Torah related to how we recall the story of the Exodus: one is to mention or ‘to remember’ the Exodus from Egypt each day, and the other is to tell the story of the Exodus on Passover eve. The purposes of these two sacred acts are different from one another.
The telling of the Exodus from Egypt can be compared to the reading of the Megillah; it is an act performed in conjunction with the anniversary or the locality of an important event. We recall it and describe it in all its details as a way of holding on to the importance of the event each year.
The daily mentioning of the Exodus serves a different purpose. If the purpose of mentioning the Exodus was simply to recall the Exodus, it would actually be demeaning to God. After all, why place so much emphasis on one particular act of divine grace when God has performed so many acts of kindness toward us? The purpose of mentioning the Exodus each day is to remind us that God redeemed us in order to acquire us as His people. The details are not as important as simply the memory that God redeemed us to make us His nation. This idea is reflected in the word Geulah, “redemption,” which has this connotation: to redeem is to take ownership of something. (This is true both in English and in Hebrew. When we redeem something, we take possession of it.) When we mention the Exodus each day, then, we are making a statement of our unique relationship to God. The daily recollection of the Exodus is not to contemplate God’s manifold acts of kindness but to celebrate our relationship to God. Ben Zoma was of the opinion that one should make mention of this fact both day and night with the recitation of the Sh’ma.
(3) Why does the editor of the Haggadah bother to quote the opinion of the sages when his primary concern seems to be with supporting the opinion of Ben Zoma, that one should mention the Exodus from Egypt at night?
The statement in the Mishnah is concerned with the mitzvah of ‘mentioning the Exodus’ daily rather than the commandment of retelling the story of the Exodus on Passover eve. Rabbi Elazar and the sages disagreed on when this commandment should be fulfilled: are we obligated to mention the Exodus both day and night or is it sufficient to make mention of the Exodus only during the day? The sages followed the opinion of Rabbi Joshua ben Levi who said that the actual redemption took place during the day and therefore we are only obligated to mention the Exodus during the daylight hours. Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, drawing on the interpretation of ben Zoma, claims that the redemption began at night and was completed during the day. We should mention the act of redemption both day and night. By leaving out the opening passage in the Mishnah which supports ben Zoma’s opinion, the Haggadah makes the debate between the sages and Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah more even handed.
(4) The author of the Haggadah quotes the Mishnah (Berachot 1:5) in order to teach us that we are obligated to mention the Exodus from Egypt even at night, following the opinion of Ben Zoma and Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah. And yet the Haggadah leaves out the very first line of the Mishnah statement that explicitly makes this statement (“One must mention the Exodus at night. Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah said…”)? Why does the Haggadah only quote part of the Mishnah and not the whole thing?
Earlier in the Haggadah we said, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.” We learned that the Haggadah begins with this statement so that we will realize that the Exodus is the very foundation not only of the Passover Seder but of all the commandments in the Torah. The debate in this passage further deepens this fundamental principle of faith. It provides us with an understanding not only of Passover but of the importance of God’s redemption of the Jewish people in general. It places in a larger context.
- It teaches us why we must constantly reiterate the fact that God took us out of Egypt not only in relationship to Passover but to all the commandments.
- The redemption is about more than miracles: it is a statement of the unique relationship that Israel has with God. God acquires us.
- This statement from the Mishnah is not the basis for telling the story of the Exodus on Passover night, but for understanding the need to reaffirm this basic idea each day (and night).
- This controversy is about whether or not the affirmation must take place in conjunction with the time of day when the actual redemption of the Israelites took place. Thus we have the controversy between the sages and ben Zoma.
The rationale for retelling the story of the Exodus on Passover eve is not this Mishnah (even though it might appear that way) but rather a simpler notion. One should retell the story of ones miraculous salvation from slavery at the time when the event took place. The Passover Seder, then, is a historical recollection rather than a theological affirmation of why we observe the commandments. It is a time to recall rather than a time to affirm. The daily recollection of the Exodus reminds us of our unique relationship to God.
We are commanded to see ourselves “as if we personally went forth from Egypt” for this reason. The Exodus has shaped our very existence. A miracle is not a historical event but an event that continues to shape our essence and being. This is what the psalmist means when he says “His kindness is forever.” God’s redemptive acts continue to influence and change the world. Ben Zoma was of the opinion therefore that we must constantly remember the miraculous events associated with the Exodus because these events continue to shape our self -perception and identity.
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."
The next passage introduces one of the best-known sections of the Haggadah: the four children. Let’s try not to call them the four ‘sons.’ It begins with a brief but lovely poem in which the Maggid praises God who is present everywhere (HaMakom) and who has given the Torah to His people (Sh’natan Torah Li’amo Yisrael.) While it does not appear to relate directly to the story of the Exodus or to the four children, it is most significant that it also contains four verses (like the four sons). Each verse begins with the word Baruch, “Praised.” The number four figures prominently throughout the Haggadah but especially in the next passage that begins, “The Torah speaks of four types of children…”
The commentary asks, is there a connection between these four verses that is deeper than a simple numerical correlation? Rabbi Lorberbaum tries to answer this question by drawing on the writings of Bakhya Ibn Pakuda and Moses Maimonides. He goes much farther and draws an entire structure for the Haggadah based on the number four. While the rabbi does not begin this discussion with several questions, as he does elsewhere in the commentary, he attempts to answer three basic questions to clarify his understanding of the Haggadah.
(2) Praised is the One who is present everywhere:
What is the reason for the four statements of praise that precede the four children in the Haggadah?
In “The Duties of the Hearts,” Bakhya Ibn Pakuda suggests that there are four levels at which people can connect with the divine. These four levels are directly connected to the four children and the four statements of praise that introduce them in the Haggadah. The Haggadah praises God who redeemed all four types of children from Egypt whether or not they were worthy of redemption. After all, we know that God redeemed many people who were not completely worthy of redemption. For instance, Datan and Aviram, the two Israelites who constantly rebelled against Moses and encouraged the Israelites to return to Egypt, were taken out of Egypt despite their wickedness. Even the wicked ones who were undeserving of redemption experienced the Exodus. Words of praise are offered on their behalf. The words of praise differ, however, with each person’s spiritual and intellectual attainment.
Blessed is “The Place.” The highest level of faith is attained by the one who comes to faith through reason and meditation just as our forefather, Abraham, did. To such a person God is HaMakom, literally “The one who present everywhere” because he experiences God’s presence and providence as a power that fills the entire universe and surrounds the entire universe. In the words of Jewish philosophers, “God is the place of the universe and the universe is not God’s place.”
Blessed is He. The heretic denies the truths of Torah and refuses to contemplate the existence of God through the intellect. For this person, God is merely Hu, “He,” or, better yet, “It.” While he experienced God’s power in the Exodus from Egypt, he continues to deny it. He was really redeemed despite himself and even against his own will. Had it been left up to him, he would have remained behind in Egypt. So we praise God for redeeming him, but his connection to God is distant. God is a “distant cause” in his life and not an immediate presence.
Blessed is the one who gave Torah to His people Israel. This blessing is for those who come to faith through the study of the Torah and the insights gained through the contemplation of our tradition. The simple child learns Torah and comes to his faith through the text and not through the exertion of reason and the intellect. The Torah allows him to have an understanding of God. So too, some of the Israelites were worthy of redemption because they would eventually accept the Torah at Sinai. In his praise of God, we say, “Blessed is the one who gave Torah to His people Israel.”
Blessed is He. The final level of faith is the person whose faith is based on that which he has witnessed his forefathers doing. It is not based on an intellectual or rational commitment, but on simply mimicking the generations that came before them.
(3) Why is God referred to as HaMakom, - “the Place” - in this poem and what is the connection between the name HaMakom and the wise child?
The word HaMakom is a common name of God used throughout rabbinic literature. Rabbi Lorberbaum sees a connection between divine providence and the divine name, HaMakom. According to Moses Maimonides (The Guide, Book 3, Chapter 17-18), divine providence exists for a person only to the extent that the person has the intellectual and spiritual faculties with which to experience it. In other words, the wise person experiences divine providence more than the other three people in this Midrash and in Bakhya’s typology. That is why the first statement in this poem applies to the Chacham. The wise person experiences God as the place of the world. In contrast to the wise person who refers to God as the “Place of the World,” the wicked and the one who does not know how to ask have not used their intellect to attain an understanding of God’s existence and therefore are not the beneficiaries of Divine providence. For them God is distant. God is Hu; God is “it,” or “He.”
(4) Is there a connection between the four statements of praise, the four children, the four cups of wine and the four promises of redemption in the Torah?
All the fours in the Seder are interconnected. Each of the four children of the Haggadah was the recipient of redemption for a different reason and each one receives a different promise of redemption from God. The four cups of wine, then, each celebrate a different aspect of the redemption and are connected to the four different children in the following Midrash:
The wicked person was redeemed because of the covenantal promise of redemption and not because he was truly deserving of redemption. God had promised our forefathers that he would take their children out of Egypt after four hundred years, and God did so even when they were not worthy. For this child, we find the promise, “I took you out of Egypt (even though you were undeserving).”
The one who does not know how to ask was redeemed because of the merit of our forefathers (Zechut Avot). Because he chose to remain faithful to the traditions of his forefathers even when he didn't understand all of them, he merited redemption. To this child, God made the promise “I saved you (from servitude).”
The third child, the simple person, was redeemed from Egypt because of the merit of Torah. Some of the people of Israel were redeemed not because of what they did but because of what they would do. He knew that they would accept the Torah and therefore merited redemption even before they had done so. To this child, God said, “I will take you to be my people (by giving you the Torah).”
Finally, the wise person was redeemed because of the merit he accrued through the performance of Mitzvot. Because he showed his commitment and even self-sacrifice by maintaining the covenant of circumcision and by sacrificing the Paschal Lamb, he was deserving of redemption. And, finally, to this person God promised, “I will redeem you.” The final promise will be fulfilled in the future and is expressed in the last part of the Haggadah, which speaks of the ultimate redemption. The Chacham is promised the full and complete redemption in the end of time.
The basic themes of each of these promises are expressed when we drink each of the four cups of wine as well.
When we make Kiddush and drink the first cup of wine, we speak of Pesach as Z’man Hayrutaynu, “the Season of our Freedom.” This is a reference to the first step in Israel’s redemption. According to the Midrash, six months before the actual Exodus, the Israelites were liberated from slavery and no longer had to serve the Egyptians. This is the fulfillment of the promise “I will save you.”
The second cup of wine comes at the end of the Maggid, the telling of the story of the Exodus before the meal, and concentrates on the plagues and the other miracles in Egypt. It is an expression of the promise, “I will take you out.”
The third cup of wine comes at the end of the Birkat HaMazon, which speaks of the gifts of the land and the gift of the Torah. It is an expression of gratitude for the third promise, “I will take you to be my people,” which we have already seen is a reference to the gift of Torah.
The final cup of wine is an expression of gratitude for the future redemption that God has promised us: “I will redeem you”. Later Rabbi Lorberbaum will explain how the second half of the Haggadah refers to future redemption.
The four types of children we encounter in the Haggadah are based on four verses in the Bible that contain the theme of telling children about the Exodus from Egypt. Why does the Torah repeat this same injunction four times? From the standpoint of the sages, these verses cannot be repetitive since every word in the Torah is meaningful. Each verse must add something to our understanding of this obligation. The sages concluded that the four verses must refer to four types of people who we encounter in our daily lives. They are also found at the Seder table. Each asks about the significance of the Exodus and the meaning of the customs we enact on the night of the Pesach offering. Because they are different in intellect and temperament, each deserves an answer that will help him understand the story of the Exodus on his own level.
Three of the verses contain questions and answers, and the fourth is a statement, “You shall tell it to your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of this which the Lord did for me on this day when I went forth from Egypt.’” The sages, however, part ways with the Torah once the questions are asked. In some cases, they drew on the Torah’s answers to these questions and in others the Haggadah formulates its own answers to the questions taken from the text of the Torah.
(2) What does the Wise child say?
The Haggadah gives an answer to the wise child that is different from the one that is found in the Torah in response to his question. Why does the Haggadah choose to ignore the Torah’s answer? The wise child’s question reflects a broader perspective than just the laws and customs of Passover. He asks, “What these testimonies, statutes, and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded you?” He is asking not only about the feast Passover, but about the meaning of the Torah as a whole. The three types of laws to which the wise child refers (“Testimonies, statutes, and judgments”) reflect the totality of types of commandments found in the Torah:
Eduyot Testimonies or laws that allow us to or bear witness to the presence of God and the Holy One’s manifold kindness to us. For instance, the Seder allows us to testify to the power of God’s redemption from Egypt and the Sukkah is a reminder of the Clouds of Glory that protected the Israelites in the wilderness.
Hukim Statutes are laws that have no apparent rationale and are observed as an expression of our obedience to God. By following these statutes, we show our complete and unquestioning obedience to God. We do them simply because God commanded us to do so.
Mishpatim Judgments are laws that regulate our treatment of our neighbor and fellow man. These laws testify to divine providence. They teach us that God wishes to influence our smallest every day actions including our treatment of our fellow human being.
To answer the wise child, then, we would literally have to quote the entire Torah and that, which would not be very practical. The answer in the Torah is different from the one in the Haggadah. The Torah assumes that the questioner is familiar with the Torah as a whole. It reminds the questioner that we observe these laws out of a sense of obligation and as an expression of gratitude to God for all His kind acts, and also because in observing them we gain eternal life (“The Lord commanded us to observe…for our continued survival as is now the case.”) The Haggadah for its part focuses on answering the question from the perspective of Passover, since this is the context in which the question is now being placed. In point of fact, the passage in the Torah is not about Passover in particular, but a general question about observing the Mitzvot in general.
(3) Why does the Maggid choose to concentrate on this particular point of Jewish laws that “one should not eat after the Afikomen”?
Rather than dealing of the reason for Pesach, the Maggid answers the question of the wise child by concentrating on just on particular law of Pesach – “One may not eat after the Afikomen.” This law is but one example of all three categories of Mitzvot. There are many reasons given for this particular law in the Talmud and they reflect the three categories of laws to which the wise child has referred. So not only are there three types of laws in the Torah but each law can really be seen serving all three purposes:
Eduyot – The Passover sacrifice then is a way of testifying to the unity of God. We do not eat after the Afikomen as a way of insuring that a person only eats the Passover offering in one location. The reason for this is that the Pesach offering was meant to be an expression of our belief that there is one God and that all things come from him. When the Israelites ate the Passover offering in one location, they realized that the God who protected them was the same God who was striking the Egyptian firstborn. Unity of worship was an expression of the unity of God.
Mishpatim – This law also teaches us the importance of living within a community. We are also not allowed participate with two groups in consuming the Passover offering. Groups of people came together to consume the offering and one could only be a member of a single group offering. This law teaches us that division and divisiveness makes redemption impossible.
Hukim – The Passover offering must be consumed when we are already satiated. Even though Matzot must be consumed when one is hungry, the Passover sacrifice had to be consumed at the end of the evening so that it was eaten when one was no longer hungry.
By learning this one law, we are able to illustrate the rationale behind all three types of commandments in the Torah. The general is present in the specific and the specifics contain the general. The world is present in a single grain of sand.
(1) The wicked child, what does he say?
The wicked child is criticized for excluding himself from the community by saying “What does this service mean to YOU (not to me)?” Yet the wise child seems to do the same thing when he says, “Which the Lord our God commanded YOU.” Why do we criticize the wicked child for using exclusionary language but not the wise child? When the wise child asks, “What is the meaning of these laws…which the Lord commanded you,” he does not exclude himself from the community. Rather, as one who was born in after the events at Sinai, he did not experience the Revelation first hand. God did not directly command him to observe the commandments but he wants to know what God told his elders to do so that he can faithfully observe them. The Wicked child, on the other hand, witnesses the celebration of Passover (“What is this service to you?”) Rather than joining in, he says, “What does this mean to you,” excluding himself from the celebration. The wise child’s question is a response to hearing the commandment and wanting to understand it while the wicked child’s question is a response to witnessing the act and stepping away from participation.
(2) Once again, why does the Haggadah choose to answer this child’s question in a way that is different from the Torah’s answer to the question? The Torah does not answer the wicked child directly. Following his question in Exodus 12:26, the Torah goes on to say, “And you shall SAY, “It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord…” It does not say, “And you shall say “TO HIM” The Torah has the respondent acknowledge the significance of the offering to himself and not to the questioner because the questioner who is wicked is not really looking for an answer. His question begins, “When your children say to you….” It does not say, “When your children question you,” as we find in the case of the question which is posed by the simple child and the wise child. The Haggadah, then, formulates its own caustic answer to this child’s rhetorical question. In effect it says, “He is not really asking you a question so you don’t have to answer him either.” The answer that the Haggadah gives meant to be sarcastic. It isn’t even addressed directly to the wicked child; the answer is “God did this for me, not for HIM” (instead of saying not for YOU.)
(3) Why does the verse that is quoted (Exodus 13:8) in the answer to the wicked child say, “It is because of this that God did for me when I went forth from Egypt”? God did not command the individual but the entire community at the time of the Exodus. It should have said, “That WE went forth from Egypt” since the entire people of Israel were commanded to observe the Mitzvot as a result of the Exodus. The key expression in this verse is “What the Lord did for me.” The Hebrew word for “did,” Asah has an implication of acquiring or taking possession of something. It also has a connotation of transformation, as in the case of Genesis, 12:5, “All the souls that they made (Asu) in Haran.” This phrase is understood as implying that Abraham and Sarah made souls by bringing them to a belief in one God. When our verse says, “Which the Lord did for me,” it means that God gave us the commandments in order to transform us into a covenanted nation when he took us out of Egypt. It is written in the first person singular because each person was personally transformed by God’s act of redemption.
(4) The Maggid concludes, “Had he been there, he would not have been redeemed.” Yet based on the verse just quoted, the statement should have been, “Had he been there, he would not have been taken out of Egypt.” Why does the Maggid choose to change the language of the verse in his response to the wicked child? Didn’t God take all the Israelites out of Egypt, even the wicked ones like Dathan and Abiram? God took all the people of Israel out of Egypt, both wicked and righteous alike. Yet he did not necessarily redeem all the people. Redemption, we saw earlier, has a connotation of becoming a possession of God. In this sense of the word, the wicked person may have left Egypt, but he does not live in this unique relationship with God even after leaving Egypt.
(1) What does the simple child say?
The simple child’s question is similar to the opening passage in the Haggadah, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt…” It is a very general question, “What is this?” Unable to distinguish the subtle differences in Jewish law he asks in a more general way. We therefore give him the more general answer that the Torah presents “It is with a mighty hand that the Lord brought us out of Egypt…”
(1) The One who does not know how to ask...
What is the connotation of the word: Vihigadita, “And you shall tell,” in Exodus Chapter 13:8.
The word Vihigadita has the connotation of constantly repeating something until the person finally understands and accepts it and is able to repeat it.
(2) Why does the Maggid offer this child the same answer that we just gave to the wicked child? The answer implies that he would have been excluded from redemption just as the wicked child was excluded from God’s redemption.
One should repeat the lesson of the Exodus to the one who does not know how to ask until he is able to respond to the wicked child, “It is because of this that God did for me when I went forth from Egypt…” The one who does not know how to ask is the child who is most likely to be influenced by the wicked child, so we must educate him so he is able to respond effectively to his co-religionist. This is implied by the language of the verse, “You shall tell it to your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of this that the Lord did for me when I went forth from Egypt.’” The word “Saying,” (Laymor) implies, “You shall tell it to him on that day so he can say...”
(3) Because of this that the Lord did for me…(Exodus 13:8)
What is the connection between the consecration of the first born, the month of Aviv, the prohibition against idolatry, and the commandment to observe Passover?
This is a bit of a digression but one that is directly related to the theme of Passover.Exodus 13:8 follows the law of consecrating the first born (Exodus 13:1-2.) Moses then appears to change course and he reminds the people, “Remember the day on which you went forth from Egypt…in the month of Aviv.” The Torah then reminds the people to eat Matzah and to celebrate the feast of Passover. This same combination of themes and linguistic connections is also found in several other passages in the Torah:
In Exodus 23:10, the commandment to observe the three festivals is followed by the commandment to eat Matzah in the month of Abib, “for on it you went forth from Egypt.”
In Exodus 34:17-18, the commandment not to worship molten gods is followed by “You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread….at the set time in the month of Abib…you went forth from Egypt.”
In Deuteronomy 15:19-16:1, we find the law of consecrating all the firstlings followed by a similar passage, “Observe the month of Abib…God freed you from Egypt.”
The themes of the firstborn, the prohibition against idolatry, and the observance of Passover are connected to one another. Israel’s first Passover in Egypt was meant to be a repudiation of Egyptian idolatry. The Egyptians worshipped the Ram, the first of the astrological symbol in the signs of the Zodiac. By slaughtering the Passover lamb (i.e. the ram), we were showing our rejection of the gods of Egypt. God is the first among all firsts. Therefore, whenever we are told to consecrate the firstborn or the firstlings, the Torah follows the commandment with a reminder to observe Passover which was the first religious ceremony to celebrate the rejection of the cult of the firstborn. In the Torah the firstborn belong to God, yet another reminder that God is the first among all firsts. Similarly, spring was the time of year associated with the astrological symbol of the Ram. By celebrating Passover at this time of year and mentioning Abib in connection with this practice, we are reminded of the rejection of Egyptian idolatry.
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].
The Haggadah digresses into a discussion of when we are supposed to begin telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Do we begin with the new month of Nissan? Do we start before Passover begins while we are preparing the Passover sacrifice? Or does the obligation begin only with the setting of the sun on Passover eve? The Haggadah draws on the very same verse that was just quoted in connection with the child who does not know how to ask (and the wicked child for that matter.) In this inquiry into the meaning of the verse the Haggadah clarifies the time frame in which we are obligated to tell the story of the Exodus.
Rabbi Lorberbaum understands that each passage in the Haggadah is organically connected to the ones before and after it, so he tries to find the significance in this passage falling where it does. He also tries to explain the nuances of this verse in Exodus. At first glance the phrasing of the verse would appear to be redundant. He explains why we need each phrase in this verse.
(2) What is the connection between this discussion and the previous passage and why do we specifically mention the time for the celebration of Passover in connection with the child who does not know how to ask?
The other three children are engaged in a dialogue with someone else. Their questions relate directly to the celebration of Passover. They see what we are doing at the Seder table and ask or challenge someone to explain it to them. This is not the case with the child who does not know how to ask. Because he doesn’t interact with others there is a chance that he is not present at the Seder table so we have to make sure he knows when Passover is observed and when we are obligated to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
(3) Why would it occur to someone to think that we should begin telling the story of the Exodus from Rosh Hodesh?
Rabbi Shimon Ben Gamliel (Pesachim 6a) says that we should begin expounding on the laws of Passover from the beginning of the month of Nissan. Actually the sages suggest that we should do so even earlier (thirty days before Pesach.) Everyone is in agreement, however, that we must begin expounding on these laws by the beginning of Nissan. One might assume that the obligation to tell the story of the Passover also begins at the same time. This verse teaches us that the obligation is not incumbent until Passover itself. Before Passover we might tell the story but we are not fulfilling the Mitzvah of telling the story yet.
(4) Since the proof text specifically say, “On that day” why would someone conclude that you should begin the day before since that isn’t the day the Israelites went forth from Egypt?
Since we prepare and offer the Passover sacrifice on the afternoon before Passover eve, we might assume that we must begin telling the story at that time. The verse teaches us that we do not begin telling the story until the evening of the Passover has arrived, when the Matzah and the Maror are on the table before the person.
(5) Why is it necessary to say “On that day,” at all since it also says “Because of this” which is understood to mean when the Matzah and the Maror are in front of the person on the table? It should have been enough for the verse to state, “You shall tell it to your child, ‘It is because of this when I went out of Egypt.’”
Even though the phrase Ba’avur Zeh, “Because of this,” teaches us that we must tell the story when the Matzah and the Maror are before us on the table, it is still necessary to say “On that day.” If the verse had said, “You shall it to you child, saying, “it is because of this that God did for me,” one might have assumed that from the beginning of the month of Nissan as soon as one began dealing with preparing Matzah and Maror it is time to tell the story of the Exodus.
(6) A summary of interpretation Exodus 13:8. You shall tell your child – the one who does not know how to ask. Continually review the story with him. This is what the word Haggadah means – draw out the words. on that day, - on the day when we commemorate the Exodus from Egypt on the eve of Passover. saying, - teach him the story and review it again and again until he internalizes it so that he will be able to say, ‘It is because of this - “This” is the Matzah and the Maror. God took us out for the sake of rewarding us with the commandments which the Lord did for me when I went forth from Egypt’ - Responding to the wicked child, the one who does not know how to ask will respond with some prompting, God brought me out of Egypt and not you! Had you been there you would not have been worthy of redemption.
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.
There are several beginnings in the Haggadah. Initially we say, “This is the bread of affliction…” After the four questions, we begin the telling with the words, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt…” And now we begin the telling of the Exodus once again by mentioning our prior history as idol worshippers. There are many ways to tell a story besides “once upon a time.”
“At first our ancestors worshipped idols.....” This seems like a strange way to begin the story of the Exodus. Rabbi Lorberbaum tries to show why the Maggid would choose to begin the Exodus story in this way.
The Talmud gives us two pieces of instruction about how to tell the story of the Exodus. First it tells us that the story must begin “with disgrace’ and end ‘with exaltation.’ And second, it discusses the proper beginning to the story. According to Samuel, the story is one of political liberation, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt…” And according to Rav, it is a story of our spiritual enlightenment, “At first our ancestors worshipped idols…” Both beginnings reflect the disgrace that is part of our origins but one is political in nature and the other spiritual. Rabbi Lorberbaum integrates both approaches into the telling of the story of the Exodus by suggesting that there is yet another reason for beginning with idolatry.
(2) Originally our ancestors worshipped idol. Why do we begin the telling with the fact that our ancestors were worshippers of idols? How is this related to the story of the Exodus?
If the story of the Exodus began with Jacob’s descent into Egypt, we would be left with the impression that God unfairly allowed the children of Israel to be enslaved and oppressed in Egypt. The Haggadah, therefore, goes back to an earlier generation to explain the necessity of Israel’s exile in Egypt. The Children of Israel were refined and purified through their presence in the land of Egypt. The suffering in Egypt was cathartic and necessary to remove the impurity of slavery that Israel still carried from earlier generations. What’s more, the Talmud teaches us that we only receive our most precious gifts from God through suffering (Yisurin). In Berachot 5a, we are taught that God gave Israel three gifts -- Torah, the land of Israel and the world to come -- but we become worthy of them through suffering.
Abraham already understood this. That is why when Abraham asked for a sign that he would inherit the land of Israel, he was told that first the people would have to be subjugated for four hundred years (see chapter 15:8-18).
(3) There are verses that explicitly recall Abraham’s background in the Torah. Why does the Maggid choose the verse from Joshua as a proof text?
The verse from Joshua explains the process by which the Jewish people would be purged of the impurity of idolatry. Abraham would first give birth to Ishmael who would carry this impurity so that Isaac would be born free of the impurity. Isaac would then give birth to Esau and Jacob so that one could carry away another measure of the impurity (to Mount Seir) while Jacob would be born with even less of the mark of idolatry. Finally Jacob and his family, still not purged of the dross of idolatry, would go down to Egypt where they would be purged of the final idolatry in their soul. Egypt is referred to in the bible as a kur barzel, “an iron furnace.” Silver is placed in a furnace to remove the dross just as Israel was placed in the furnace of Egypt to remove the impurity from its soul.
(4) The initial statement is that our ancestors worshipped idols but the Holy One drew us closer to him to serve him. Yet the proof text would appear to support the first half of this statement and not the second half of the statement. Why does the Haggadah choose this proof text, which does not make the point of the statement?
Israel’s descent into Egypt was not only a necessary step in the process of its redemption but a sign of God’s love. Suffering is not necessarily a bad thing; it can serve a redemptive purpose. By choosing this verse, then, the Haggadah was illustrating God’s intense love for Israel. God was willing to allow us to suffer so that we would become worthy of the Torah, the land of Israel and the world to come.
(5) Chapter 24 of Joshua is a strange chapter. Joshua appears to be giving the people of Israel a choice about whether or not they will worship God. He almost appears to incite them to abandon their belief by reminding them of their idolatrous origins. Despite this the people embrace God and promise to faithfully serve Him. What is the point of this chapter?
This chapter is not inciting the Israelites, but explaining to them God’s loving-kindness. He shows the people why it is necessary for them to undergo such a painful process of suffering in order to take possession of the land of Israel, and he warns them against abandoning God. God does not simply give the people this covenant. He offers it to them, but it is up to the nation to embrace it. And that is what Joshua is doing in this chapter. Joshua renews the covenant so that it is not merely a gift but something that they have earned.
This passage speaks about promises. God promises Abraham that his descendants will be redeemed from Egypt after four hundred years. This passage appears to be in contrast to the previous one, at least as it was interpreted by Rabbi Lorberbaum. Was the Exodus the fulfillment of a promise which God made to Abraham and which had to be fulfilled unconditionally or was Israel’s redemption a product of their suffering and purging idolatry from their soul?
Notice that this passage is similar to the previous passage that appeared before the four children. It is a liturgical statement “Blessed is the One who…Blessed is He.”
(2) Blessed is the One who kept his promise to Israel.
What does the Haggadah mean by the expression that God “determined the end (of our bondage”)?
There are two ways of keeping a promise. For the average person, keeping a promise is serious business. If a person makes a promise to another person, he will often worry about fulfilling his words by looking ahead and figuring out how much time he has and what he must do to live up to his intentions. For someone in a position of power such as a ruler, on the other hand, fulfilling ones promise is not so difficult. In a sense making the promise is its fulfillment since the ruler is in a position to do whatever he wishes. He does not have to spend time worrying about fulfilling his words; he can simply have it taken care of. Here God not only makes the promise but worries about its fulfillment. He has determined the end of the bondage and he actively participates in its completion.
(3) This passage contains two statements: “God keeps his promise to Israel” and “God determined the end (of our bondage).” What is the difference between these two expressions, and how are they different from one another?
The Haggadah is making a powerful statement about God here. Since God’s promise of redemption should have been more than sufficient, why does the Haggadah also tell us that God “determined the end” of the bondage? This is an expression of God’s deep love and concern for the children of Israel. Even though God doesn't have to do so, He worries about the fulfillment of His promise and actively participates in its fruition. In a sense, He puts it in His day planner; He writes it in His palm pilot. In this way, He demonstrates to the other nations just how precious the people of Israel are to Him.
We thank God, then, not only for making a promise to our ancestors but for actively fulfilling it as well. God’s active involvement in the fulfillment of His promise gives us a sense of hope, and draws God’s ‘abundance’ down and protects Israel. It gives the people a sense of hope and strength that can never be destroyed by others no matter how hateful they may be.
This passage has confounded many generations of commentators on the Haggadah. To What does the opening word of the passage, V’hee, “And it is that,” refer? Rabbi Lorberbaum ties this statement together with the previous one but he also offers an alternative explanation based on the work of Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi. Rabbi Lorberbaum repeatedly refers to this work and even structures his commentary based on this early work from the sixteenth century. His questions are similar to the ones that Rabbi Ashkenazi asks though his answers are not always the same.
(2) And it is that which has sustained our ancestors and us. How does God “keep His promise”?What is the Haggadah referring to when it says “And it is that”?
This is an explanation of the expression in the previous passage, “Blessed is He.” We bless God not only because He made a promise to us, but because He actively takes an interest in its fulfillment. This is what has sustained us from generation to generation. Even when others rose to destroy us, they could not destroy our sense of hope, which was a direct product of God’s interest in us. And even in exile, when we were seemingly cut off from God, that sense of hope sustained us in the face of overwhelming odds. The fact that God determined the end gave us reason to go on and survive. God’s promise to Abraham that in four hundred years He would redeem the Israelites from Egypt not only sustained his descendents but continues to sustain us as well.
Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi, the Ma’asei Hashem, understands this passage differently. The expression “And it is that which has sustained us,” refers to the statement that follows: “For in each generation they have risen against us but the Holy One has saved us from them.” What is it that has sustained us? The fact that God has allowed us to survive against overwhelming odds not by destroying those who hated us but simply by allowing us to remain alive. If God had used us to punish the other nations than it would have appeared that we were simply God’s means of punishment for others. The fact that we survived regardless of the other nations was a sign of God’s love rather than God’s anger. Israel’s survival is a sign of God’s love.
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:
According to Rabbi Lorberbaum there is a common theme to the comments in the Haggadah Deuteronomy 26:7. It would seem that these comments are exploring why God chose to bring the redemption sooner than he had predicted to Abraham in Genesis 15:13: “Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs and they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years…” God had foretold to Abraham that his offspring would be both enslaved and oppressed; they were simply living out the prediction that had already been given to them (in order to rid themselves of the dross and impurity of their former idolatrous past). So why then did God bring them out of Egypt sooner than expected? It must have been that the Egyptians’ oppression went above and beyond what God allowed for. The Israelites were therefore purified sooner and the Egyptians were deserving of punishment.
(2) We cried out to the Lord – Many people, when confronted with suffering and tribulations, cry out to God (that’s why we say that there are no atheists in a foxhole). So how about the Israelites? How did the children of Israel cry out to God? Was their cry motivated by faith or by pain and suffering? Was their cry one of one of sincere and heartfelt prayer and a desire to return to God, or was it simply a cry that came out of the pain and suffering they experienced in Egypt?
The proof text from Exodus implies that they cried out of suffering (“They groaned because of the bondage”); none the less, their sigh still rose up to God despite the fact that it was not motivated by sincere and heartfelt faith (“Their cry because of the bondage rose up to God”). Interestingly this interpretation depicts the Israelites in a less than positive fashion. God answers the prayers of those who suffer whether or not they are faithful servants.
(1) And He saw our affliction – There are two questions that this passage raises. How does the proof text from Exodus 2:24 teach us that the verse in Deuteronomy is about the forced separation of couples? And how do we even know that the Egyptians actually oppressed the Israelites in this fashion? There is no clear and unequivocal verse that states this in the Bible.
There are several steps in arriving at the conclusion that these verses are speaking about the ‘forced separation of the sexes’ by the Egyptians.
First, we note that both verses contain the word Vayar, “And he saw.” In classic rabbinic hermeneutics, this is a Gezera Shava, in which we can draw an inference of a connection between verses based on similar words being used in both verses.
Second, the Hebrew word for “And he saw” implies something more than simply seeing. After all, it should have been enough to say that God remembered His covenant with the forefathers and therefore redeemed them. This was already foretold. However, the Bible implies here that God saw the severity of their oppression and decided to redeem the Israelites sooner than he had told Abraham he would. (Abraham was told the Israelites would be in Egypt 400 years.)
Third, we have already been told, in Deuteronomy 26:5, that the people were afflicted, so the expression in this verse “God saw our affliction,” also implies something more than normal affliction. We can conclude that the affliction here was of some type that was never decreed against the Israelites in the first place.We must figure out what it adds to our understanding of the verse.
Fourth, we can conclude from elsewhere in the Bible that the word for affliction implies sexual oppression of some sort, such as in Genesis 39:49 in which Laban threatens Jacob: “If you afflict my daughters…” Rashi interprets this to mean that if he denies them the rightful conjugal rights, he will have broken their agreement. The word Inui has a sexual connotation here and this can be connected to other uses of this verse in the Bible.
Fifth, the word Anyenu, “our affliction” in Deuteronomy is strange. Normally the word should have been Eenuyenu for “our affliction.” This word implies a different type of oppression by the Egyptians. Since the text of the Bible already said that the Egyptians afflicted them, it should have been enough to say “And God saw” without the repetition of this word.
(1) And our burden – It is self-evident that the word that the word Amalaynu implies the birth of children. The verse that is brought here is meant to teach us what the implication of this expression is to the decree of Pharaoh. The word Amal can also be translated as “labor” or “travail” in the sense of giving birth as a form of labor or travail.
(1) And our oppression – The question here is similar to the comment above. At first glance, how does the proof text from Exodus add something to our understanding of Deuteronomy? And how do we learn persecution (Dochak) from the verse in Exodus that never uses this specific word? The verse in Exodus begins “And I also saw…” The word “also” implies something more than simple oppression, which we have already learned was part of what God told Abraham the Israelites would experience in Egypt. It implies that God saw something more happening in Egypt that would motivate him to cause the redemption to happen sooner than He originally promised. The addition of persecution led God to bring the redemption sooner than four hundred years.
The Haggadah turns its attention to the plagues. It interprets the first part of the verse as a reference to the presence of God as the One who performs the plagues and the remainder of the verse as containing references to specific plagues. But why should the Haggadah refer to some plagues such as pestilence and blood and not to others in this verse from Deuteronomy? Rabbi Lorberbaum is troubled by this and attempts to read into the language of the Haggadah references to the other plagues as well. The plagues can be divided up in different ways and he finds ingenious ways to find such references in this verse. The plagues as a group are referred to by the expression “A mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” Similarly the reference to the plague is an opportunity to discuss the different nature of the various plagues. Who performed them, by what means and for what purpose?
(2) And the Lord took them out – Not by means of an angel, nor by means of a Saraf, nor by means of a messenger but by means of the Holy One through His own glory. There are several questions that are raised by commentators on this entire passage as well as the terminology that is used here:
(3) What is the difference between an angel (Malach), a fiery being (Saraf,) a messenger (Shaliach) as well as the other terminology that is used for such beings in the Bible? Why does the Haggadah mention four categories of spiritual beings?
There is a difference between a “messenger” and an “envoy. ” A messenger has a choice about whether or not he performs a specific task, while an envoy is simply a means of performing the task and has no choice in its performance. If there is a divine decree, the envoy has no free will in the performance of the act any more than a stick that strikes someone has a choice in that act. The stick is not a messenger, but a means of performing the act. The envoy is an object that performs the will of others. An angel or a fiery being can be either a messenger or an envoy, an object that is used to fulfill the divine will.
The words Malach and Saraf refer to the nature of the act being performed. When the act is for the benefit of others, the one performing the act is a Malach, but when the act involves destruction or violence, then it is performed by a Saraf, sometimes referred to as a Mashchit, a destroyer (see the verse quoted in question two, below). These two types of beings can be messengers, with free will to act, or they can simply be the means that God uses to carry out His will. In this passage when the Maggid says “Not by means of an angel, and not by means of a…” we learn that while God may have acted through the agency of a Malach and a Saraf, they were merely the means of the act and not the actor. They were no different than a stick in the hands of someone striking another. Therefore, it was really God who performed these acts since the angel and the fiery beings were not messengers.
(4) How can the Maggid tell us that God did not perform such acts by means of such beings when the Bible explicitly makes such statements? For instance, we read in the book of Numbers 20:16, “We cried out to the Lord and He heard our plea and sent an angel who freed us from Egypt,” and Exodus 12:23, “The Lord will pass over the door and not let the Destroyer enter and smite your home.”
Rabbi Moses Maimonides also understands the term Malach as referring to the forces of nature that serve some larger divine purpose. When the Haggadah says that God did not perform an act by means of an angel, it means that this act wasn’t simply a coincidence of nature but a fulfillment of the divine will. At the time of the Exodus from Egypt, there were four divine acts that occurred: God smote the first born of Egypt, saved the first born of the Israelites, brought judgment against the Gods of Egypt and revealed His presence to the entire land of Egypt. The four expressions in the Haggadah are meant to teach us that each of them was uniquely and solely an act of God, not a coincidence of nature or some predetermined act that was set in motion with the creation of the world. Both the act of destroying the Egyptians and the act of saving the Israelites were acts of God.
(5) How does the Maggid reach the conclusion that the four phrases in Exodus 12:12 refer to these four categories of angel, fiery beings, messenger and another?
Each of the expressions in Exodus, then, refers to a type of divine act. “I will pass through the land of Egypt” is a reference to the Malach – God, and not some Malach, saved the Israelites while destroying others: “I will smite” refers to what might be thought of as the act of the Saraf: It was God who killed the first-born and not some other force. The last two phrases in this verse, “I will exact judgment” and “I am the Lord” are meant to teach us that the judgment of the gods of Egypt and God’s revelation were not through some other means but through an act of God.
(1) With a mighty hand – This refers to the plague of pestilence…
How do we know that the expression, “A mighty hand,” is a reference to the fifth plague, Dever or Pestilence?
The answer is to be found in how we see the overall count of the plagues. If we look carefully at the way in which the ten plagues are described in the Torah, one will see that they can be divided into two groups of five plagues each. In the first grouping of five plagues, Pharaoh hardens his own heart but in the second grouping of five plagues, God causes Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened.
Pestilence is the fifth plague. Therefore the Egyptians experienced this plague, they had experienced an entire “hand” of plagues (especially when we consider that the third plague is referred to as “The finger of God”). The expression “the Hand of God” is also used in reference to the tenth plague. ”
(1) With an outstretched arm - This refers to the sword… Commenting on the verse in I Chronicles 21, the Zohar says that we should understand it in an allegorical fashion. God does not have a “Sword…drawn in His outstretched arm.” Rather, this means that the forces of retribution are given ‘permission’ to act against those who commit evil acts. This is the intention of the Maggid as well. We can conclude from the similar use of language, “With an outstretched arm,” that the verse in Deuteronomy also implies that God has given reign to the forces of retribution. The sword here is a reference to the last five plagues. During the first five plagues Pharaoh was given the opportunity to repent and to stop the plagues. During the second set of five plagues Pharaoh lost his ability. Retribution was inevitable.
We see then that the two expressions in this verse, “With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,” make up all ten plagues. With a mighty hand refers to the first five plagues and “with an outstretched arm” refers to the second series of five plagues. The nature of these two series of plagues was different from one another.
(1) With awesome power – this is the revelation of the Divine Presence. Both verses in this passage use the expression Mora Gadol, “awesome power.” How does the Maggid conclude that this expression refers to the revelation of the Divine presence? What is it about this expression that allows the Haggadah to reach this conclusion?
The verse from Deuteronomy Chapter 4 says that God acted with a “Mighty outstretched arm and awesome power as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes.” The expression at the end of this verse, “Before your very eyes,” implies that it is speaking about something spiritual and not something physical. We see this same use of the expression, “Before your eyes” in a number of different commentaries which discuss the breaking of the Ten Commandments. The Midrash says that when Moses smashed the tablets, the letters flew up to heaven. How do we know this? A verse says, “I broke them before your eyes,” implying that the people saw this miraculous spiritual sight. Similarly here the words “Before your eyes” imply that the Divine Presence appeared to the people in Egypt. “Before your eyes” implies something that is seen as in a vision but cannot be measured or felt.
(1) With signs – This refers to the staff. It is difficult to understand the connection between ‘signs’ and ‘the staff of Moses.’ The staff is not a sign but merely the utensil that was used to create the signs. So why is it referred to in this way? This verse refers to the ten plagues. Why mention the staff at all since it was not used to perform all of the plagues but only some of them? Finally, the earlier part of this verse in Deuteronomy 26 already mentioned the ten plagues so what does a reference to the staff or the signs add to our understanding of this verse?
To understand the reference to the staff, we must understand something about the nature of prophecy and sympathetic acts. Prophets from the time of Abraham on performed sympathetic rites that, in some way, were meant to be prophetic or predictive of the future. Nachmanides suggests that Abraham’s travels throughout the land of Canaan were meant to predict Israel’s future conquest of the land. Similarly, when Jeremiah tells Serayah to read his prophecies and then to bind them to a rock and throw them into the Euphrates, he is performing a sympathetic rite that is meant to be symbolic or an imaginative prediction of what the future holds (See Jeremiah 51:59-64). Similarly, the use of the staff is meant to be a sympathetic of what is about to befall Egypt.
Moses performs three acts with his staff: he turns the staff into a serpent; he causes his arm to become leprous and he makes the water turn into blood. (Exodus, Chapter 4)
These three acts are all necessary in showing Egypt the power of God. Even though the staff was created on the eve of the creation of the world (Pirke Avot) for the purpose of performing good acts for the people of Israel, the use of the staff in these three acts shows that the staff can also be used for the purpose of punishing Egypt as well.
Also, the three acts symbolize the three types of plagues included in the ten plagues: some were performed by means of the staff; some by Moses; and some by the Holy One. The word “sign” is a way of referring to sympathetic acts. The serpent was a symbol of the power of the staff. The transformation of Moses’ hand to leprosy was symbolic of his role in the performance of the plagues. The transformation of the river to blood was symbolic of the power of God to reverse something created for compassion to something that could carry out judgment. In each case the symbolic act transforms goodness to punishment.
(1) And wonders – This refers to the blood. This verse returns to the plague of blood to explain the significance of this sympathetic act. The other plagues were not sympathetic acts, but acts of retribution and judgment against Pharaoh and Egypt. Blood, however, is referred to both as a plague and as a sympathetic act. First God presents this wonder as a way of illustrating to the people and to Pharaoh how powerful God is. What is the symbolism then of this act?
Water is a symbol of loving kindness (Hesed) in Kabbalah and blood is a symbol of judgment (Din). The transformation of the water from the Nile from water to blood is a way of proving that God is a God not only of love, but of judgment, if necessary. The verse from the book of Joel expresses the rising of the powers of judgment in the world.
There are so many questions on this opening verse of the Maggid. Who was the Aramean that the Torah speaks of and what did he seek to do to our forefather Jacob? Rabbi Lorberbaum offers a daring explanation of this passage that parts ways with most commentators and with the plain sense meaning of the passage in the Haggadah. The problem is that the Haggadah has already parted ways with the plain sense meaning of the verse Arami Oved Avi. Most contemporary translations render these words “My father was a wandering Aramean,” instead of “An Aramean sought to destroy my father.” But as you will see, Rabbi Lorberbaum searches for a way to hold on to the traditional understanding of this verse without doing violence to the plain sense meaning of the words. Does he succeed? I will leave that for you to decide.
At the same time Rabbi Lorberbaum solves another problem: why are we talking about Laban in the first place? What does he have to do with the story of the Exodus from Egypt? Rabbi Lorberbaum finds an ingenious connection between Pharaoh and Laban that allows the reader to explore the feminine and masculine aspects of the Exodus. Laban is a danger to Israel spiritually and not physically.
(2) Go and learn: Why does the Haggadah choose to blame the descent to Egypt on Laban and on this passage which begins, “My father was a wandering Aramean...”? What does the expression Arami Oved Avi mean?
Laban sought to destroy Abraham’s descendents by severing Jacob’s connection to his covenant as well as to his family. Like many Biblical personalities, he tried to accomplish this by using ‘imaginative actions’ (Poel Dimayon) as a way of predicting his family’s destiny. ‘Imaginative actions’ are acts that are meant to reflect a deeper reality through symbolism and sympathetic magic. The performer carries out an act which mimics or foreshadows what he hopes the destiny of another may be. Jewish and non-Jewish prophets alike performed such acts. For instance, Jeremiah throws a stone into the river as a way of illustrating that Babylon will sink and be destroyed. The imaginative and symbolic action is predictive of a future reality. Pharaoh also used such ‘imaginative actions’ as a way of destroying Israel. Since Israel is connected to the male side of divinity, by casting the male children into the Nile, he believed that he would weaken Israel’s connection to the divine.
Laban went one step farther than Pharaoh. He threatened to destroy both the men and women in the family of Jacob by inciting them to leave their faith in the true God and thereby destroying any connection to the divine – not just the male aspect of the divine as Pharaoh would do, but the female aspect as well.
It wasn't so much that Laban wished to physically destroy Jacob and his family as he wished to destroy their spiritual connection to God. The verse then should be read, “My father, Laban, was a “lost Aramean” who lacked a basic belief in the true God, and he wished to seduce Jacob and his family into adopting idolatry.
(3) Why does the Haggadah use Laban as an example of the previous statement in the Haggadah that people have risen against us in every generation to destroy us?
The reference to Laban in the Haggadah is not about the physical destruction of the Jewish people, but about the possibility of their spiritual destruction. The Haggadah returns to the theme it mentioned earlier: why was it necessary for the children of Israel to go down to Egypt in the first place? We learned that the exile to Egypt was necessary because Abraham came from a family of idolaters. It was necessary for him to undergo a process of purification in the furnace of Egypt before his people could become worthy of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. This passage continues this theme. Not only did Abraham come from a family of idolaters, but the Matriarchs, Rachel and Leah, came from such a family as well. In theory Jacob should have been exempt from undergoing such a process of refinement and purification since Abraham had already gone done to Egypt, but because he spent so much time in close proximity to his father-in-law the idolater, Laban, even he was forced to go down to Egypt with his children who still needed to be purified from the impurity of idolatry!
The two passages, “At first our ancestors worshipped idols,” and “What did Laban seek to do to our father Jacob” both focus on the theme of Israel’s questionable origins of the Jewish people and the need to be purified of idolatry. It would appear that the children of Israel came from idolaters both paternally and maternally, and this was why it was necessary for them to go down to Egypt. The statement about Laban is not meant to be a proof text for the statement that “In every generation there are those who rose up against us to destroy us.” Rather it refers back to the earlier discussion in the Haggadah prior to this.
(4) Why do we need a statement about anti-Semitism and the suffering of the Jewish people at all? Haven't we witnessed this fact in our own lives? A better example of such hatred against the Jewish people from the Bible would have been Haman who also sought to destroy the entire Jewish people in Shushan.
The challenge here is correct. This statement about Laban is not meant to be an example of how people rise up to destroy us in every generation. Rather, as we have seen it is but an example of Israel’s humble origins from idolatry and an explanation of why the descent to Egypt was necessary in the first place.
(5) This verse does not clearly state that Laban wished to destroy the people of Israel. Why doesn't the Haggadah use the verse from Genesis that clearly states this: “Is it not in the power of my hand to hurt you…?” (Genesis 31:29).
It wasn't so much that Laban wished to destroy Jacob and his family (after all they were his family, too). Rather he wished to incite them so they would abandon God and embrace idolatry. This is the implications of the word Oved in the verse in Deuteronomy. The word Oved is not a verb, but an adjective. Laban was an Arami Oved. Oved means lost; Laban was lost from this world and the world to come because he lacked faith in God. Similarly, we find the word Oved used in this sense in the verse, “The ones who are lost in the land of Assyria….” (Isaiah 27:13) – The ones who are lost are those who had given up their faith.
(6) In reality didn't Pharaoh also wish to destroy the entire people of Israel? By killing the male children, wasn't it his intention to see to it that the Israelites would fail to propagate?
Yes, he did. However Laban’s imaginative action was more devastating than that of Pharaoh since Pharaoh focused on the male aspect of our connection to divinity while Laban’s attempt was to destroy both the male and female connection to divinity. According to this interpretation, both men focused on severing the spiritual connection between the descendants of Abraham to God and not their physical well-being or survival.
(7) Deuteronomy Chapter 26 is actually the passage that was recited when the people if Israel brought the first fruits to the Temple on the festival of Shavuot. Why was it necessary to use this notion of the destroying Aramean and the descent to Egypt in relation to the practice of the bringing of the first fruits? What is the connection between this practice and this passage?
So why did we make a declaration about Laban on those occasions when we brought the first fruits in ancient times? The process of purification was essential to our inheriting the land of Israel, which is a holy land. By speaking of Laban and then our descent into Egypt, the people would understand why slavery was necessary (to remove Laban from our system) and where we come from originally.
(1) Arami Oved Avi Vayered Mitzraima
My father was a lost Aramean (who tried to incite my ancestors)
Jacob went down to Egypt few and sojourned there in numbers….
We now begin the Midrashic interlude that is at the very heart of the Haggadah. This is the part that many people often skip because it is confusing and difficult to unpack. Yet the real fun of the Haggadah can be found in these verses as we try to figure out what the sages had in mind. Several verses from Deuteronomy, Chapter 26, which originally served as the declaration made by the Jews when they brought first fruits to the Temple are brought and explicated in Midrashic fashion. This means that the Maggid carefully reads each of the verses and adds some insight into their meaning by explaining their words or using other verses in the Bible to explain them. These verses offer a brief first-hand description of the enslavement and redemption of the Jewish people: “My father was a wandering Aramean; he went down to Egypt and sojourned there…but the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us…we cried out to the Lord…the Lord freed us with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm…He brought us to this place…” The Haggadah co-opts this entire passage and then expands on its meaning with other verses from the Bible as well as some explanations. Rabbi Lorberbaum wants us to understand each of these comments by raising the question the verse presents and by showing us the connection between the source verse and the Midrashic explanation verse.
(3) How does the Haggadah conclude that Vayered, “He went down” implies that he was compelled to do so?
The phrase “He went down to Egypt,” logically must be connected with the previous phrase in the same verse, “A lost Aramean was my father.” We can conclude that Jacob did not go down to Egypt freely but, as we have seen, because he was forced to as part of his punishment for having spent so much time in the company of Laban.
(4) And he sojourned there - Jacob did not go down to settle in Egypt but merely to sojourn there...
There are two proofs for this explanation of the verse in Deuteronomy. First, the word Vayar comes from the root word Gur, which means to sojourn rather than to permanently settle. The Haggadah also brings an additional verse from Genesis 47:4 to prove this. Shortly after arriving in Egypt, Joseph brings his brothers to Pharaoh. They clearly say that their intention is not to remain in Egypt but to sojourn there until the end of the famine: “And they said to Pharaoh, ‘We have come to sojourn (Lagur) in this land for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, the famine being severe in the land of Canaan.’”
(1) With meager numbers – as it says: “With seventy people your ancestors went down to Egypt and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the heaven.” Deuteronomy 10:22.
The entire Midrash on Deuteronomy 26 is a collection of verses that are chosen from elsewhere in the Bible to illustrate something that is stated on one of the verses in Deuteronomy, Chapter 26. They do not seem to add any deeper insight into the meaning of the Bikkurim (first fruit) declaration found in this chapter. What is the point of this series of juxtaposed verses?
The Verses contained in this section of the Haggadah are something of a riddle. We have a series of verses from Deuteronomy 26:5 – 8 that are illuminated by other verses from various parts of the Bible. While the illustrating verses would appear not to add anything to our understanding of the verses in Deuteronomy 26, in fact each illustrating verse is an answer to a question raised by the original verse. It is up to the reader to figure out what the question is and how the illustrating verse answers the question.
Deuteronomy 26:5 troubles the Maggid. It says: “And he (Jacob) went down and dwelled there with meager numbers; but there he became a great and very populous nation. What is it that is troubling the Maggid about this verse? The verse should have said: “And he (Jacob) went down with meager numbers and dwelled there and there he became a great and populous nation…” The verse implies that Jacob dwelled in Egypt with few in number. Yet a Midrash tells us that the children of Jacob had already increased significantly and become a great and populous nation before his death. So why does our verse say that he dwelled there with meager numbers?
(2) In this case the proof text quotes not only the first part of the verse in Deuteronomy 10: “With seventy people” which seems to prove the verse from Deuteronomy 26, but it quotes the last part as well “God has made you as numerous…” Why does the Haggadah include the entire verse when the first part should have been enough?
The answer to this question can be found in the choice of verses used to answer this question. Deuteronomy 10 says that Israel went down with only seventy but they have become a nation as numerous as the stars in the sky. Yet this is also a troubling verse. First, we know that there were far more Israelites in Egypt than there were in the wilderness. A Midrash teaches us that only one fifth of the Israelites left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. So, in a sense, this verse is wrong. The people of Israel were not as numerous as they had been in Egypt. So why does Moses describe the nation this way at the end of the desert sojourn and not earlier?
The answer can be found in a comment by Rashi on the opening verse of the book of Exodus. He wonders why the Torah makes a point of counting the children once again in this verse since the Torah had already done so earlier in the book of Genesis. Rashi compares Israel to the stars, which God “takes out and brings in by number and by their name.” Similarly, God discounted the years of exile in Egypt and only counted the people as they entered Egypt and after they had left and received the Torah. Even though they were more numerous during their years in Egypt they were not worthy of being counted. The verse in Deuteronomy 26, then, says that they dwelled there few in number because God only counts the seventy righteous people who entered Egypt and not those who were born there. And He did not count them again until after they received the Torah. The verse from Deuteronomy 10 with its reference to the stars hints at why our verse says they dwelled there few in number!
(3) Why choose a verse from Deuteronomy as a proof text when a verse from Genesis would have been more direct and appropriate: “Thus the total number of Jacob’s household who came to Egypt was seventy persons.” (Genesis 46:27).
What the verse in Deuteronomy 10 teaches us is that only the worthy truly count. This Midrash is not just about numbers, but about righteousness. The verse in Genesis simply tells us how many people went down to Egypt, while Deuteronomy 10 makes us aware of the connection between the early generation that entered Egypt and those who now prepare to enter the land of Canaan! Maybe another way of putting this is that God looks for quality and not quantity.
(1) And there Israel became a nation – this teaches that the Israelites were distinctive there.
Great – as it says: “And the children of Israel were fruitful, increased greatly, multiplied and became very, very mighty; and the land was filled with them.” (Exodus 1:7).
The words, Gadol (great), Atzum, (mighty), and Rav (populous) all have the same meaning. What does this seeming repetition of synonyms add to our understanding of the verse?
The first word Gadol refers to the quality of the nation; they became a great nation because they were a distinctive people with their own customs and practices that connected them to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The word Atzum refers to the quantitative nature of the nation; they became mighty because they were so numerous.
(1) And populous – as it says, “I made you more numerous as the plants of the field; you grew and developed … but you were poorly clad and naked. (Ezekiel 14: 7, 6).
Since we have already had a proof text for the physical increase of the Israelites what does Ezekiel 14 add to our understanding of the verse in Deuteronomy? What does the word Rav add to this verse that the words Gadol and Atzum have not already taught us?
This statement can be understood by a comment on a verse in the book of Hosea 2:1: “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea; none can count nor number.” The two halves of this verse seem to contradict one another. While the sand of the sea is numerous, it is finite. So how can we say it cannot be counted or numbered?
The Talmud (Yoma) states that the two halves of this verse refer to two types of people: those who obey God’s will and those who fail to do so. According to this interpretation, the Bible distinguishes those Jews who observe God’s commandments from those who fail to do so by saying that those who fail to live by the commandments shall be like “the sand of the sea,” while those who do so shall be so numerous that it will be “impossible to count or number them.” Those who observe the commandments will be blessed with continuing generations forever and, therefore, in this sense they are infinite and beyond measure. This applies not only to the nation, but to the individual.
The verse in Isaiah, then, compares the people of Israel to the plants of the field, which continue to increase and be reborn just as the righteous of Israel shall do. The word Rav (populous) adds something more than just physical increase; it is a veiled reference to their commitment to the God’s will.
(2) The three adjectives in this verse: Gadol, Atzum V’rav can be translated according to this commentary as follows: The people became distinctive, numerous and faithful nation. ...
(3) Another interpretation of the word Rav according to Ezekiel: the people shall become like the plants of the field, which are pruned and tended to, unlike the plants of the forest, which simply grow on their own. The plants of the field are more likely to increase because they are subject to our care and tending. That is why the righteous are compared to them; they live within the discipline of care. The plants of the forest, on the other hand, are wild and are not guaranteed increase and growth that comes from the nurturing of humankind.
The essence of Midrash is found in expressions that appear to be unnecessary or repetitive. In Deuteronomy 26:6, we have three phrases that all appear to express the same idea: Israel’s treatment by the Egyptians. They treat them poorly; they afflict them; and they impose hard labor upon them. So why do we need all three statements? Rabbi Lorberbaum shows us that each expression offers a different dimension in the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt.
(2) The Egyptians did evil to us. The expression, “To do evil” has the connotation of finding clever ways to oppress and to deal harshly with the Israelites. A better, but less literal, translation of this verse would be “they thought evil” of us. The future form of the verb, such as the one used here, implies intention and forethought. It is similar to the verb in Az Yashir Moshe literally “Then Moses will sing ” in Exodus 15, which Rashi interprets as, “Then it occurred to Moses to sing.” This is the first step in their oppression; the Egyptians begin to scheme and plan ways to oppress the children of Israel. The verse that is used as a proof text here implies that Pharaoh began scheming about ways to oppress the Israelites: “Let us deal wisely with them…”.
Another interpretation offered by many commentaries is that the Egyptians impute evil and bad things to the Israelites. Like many anti-Semites, the Egyptians began by accusing the Israelites in order to justify their oppression. The second part of the proof text supports this point of view: Pharaoh suggests that the Israelites will rise up and attack the people of Egypt. So he accuses them of being unfaithful to their land and nation.
(1) And they afflicted us. The word ‘afflict’ could be understood as affliction for some larger national purpose. For instance, Pharaoh might have enslaved the people of Israel in order to take advantage of their free labor to accomplish some national project. The proof text offers a different insight: the purpose of this hard labor was not to accomplish anything in particular but, rather, to break the spirit of the Israelites. The verse says, “He placed taskmasters over them in order to oppress them.” In other words, he placed the taskmasters over them solely for the purpose of oppression and not necessarily because he wanted to take advantage of free labor. This idea is reflected in a Midrash that claims that the Egyptians would have the Israelites construct buildings and then knock them down so that they would have to build them all over again.
(1) And they placed hard labor upon us. The proof text here teaches us something about the quality of the hard labor and not just the quantity. The verse says that the Egyptians forced them to work ruthlessly, Bifarekh. A commentary in the Talmud interprets this word with one type of Gematria called At Bash so that the numerical value of the word “Farekh is thirty-nine. This is a reference to the thirty-nine forms of labor that we are forbidden to perform on the Sabbath. The Talmud bases the types of labor they imposed on the Israelites on the types of labor that would eventually become necessary for the building of the Tabernacle, and which was not permitted to perform on the Sabbath. The Egyptians enslaved the Israelites with these types of labor, and God made these the type of work that would be used in the building of His Tabernacle and later His Temple. When we observe Shabbat by following these prohibitions, we are, in effect, repudiating the very forms of labor the Egyptians tried to impose upon us.
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) Then the other land animals – wild animals
(1) The heavens come next, just as the planets and the sun were created. The “heavens” are the source of the pestilence – pestilence
(1) The creation of the human being – Boils.
(1) The creation of the firmament; protection from danger - hail.
(1) The creation of the vegetation and food - locust.
(1) The creation of the light - Darkness.
(1) The final plague – the death of first born.
(1) Rabbi Yehudah abbreviated the plagues with their initials:
What purpose is served in grouping the plagues together in this fashion and abbreviating them?
Organizing and abbreviating the plagues in this fashion is a way of showing the overall order of the plagues. The plagues are grouped into three subsets of three plagues each with the final plague a climax to the all of them. Each subset follows a pattern of two plagues with warnings and the third without any warning at all. Each subset of plagues was meant to teach the people a lesson unique to that group of plagues. The lesson is not complete and obvious until the third plague in each grouping of plagues.
D’ztach - Blood, Frogs, and Lice: The first group of plagues was meant to teach the people that God punishes those who transgress the will of God. The Egyptians were warned twice and only in the third plague do the magicians and the people of Egypt acknowledge God’s great power when they say of the plagues, “It is the finger of God!” (Exodus8:15) Only with the third plague do they realize that one can’t defy the will of God.
Adash – Wild beasts, Pestilence, and Boils: The second group of plagues is singled out because we are told that they struck the Egyptians but not the Israelites. (Exodus 8:18) The magicians of Egypt could only protect themselves from these plagues until we reach the sixth plague.” The Magicians were unable to confront Moses because of the inflammation…” (Exodus 9:11)
Ba’achav – Hail, Locusts, Darkness, the Death of the First Born: The final group of plagues taught the Egyptians that these plagues were not merely chance or a product of the astrological signs (Mazel ), but the actual hand of God. First, these plagues are so extraordinary and out of the normal course of nature that they must be a product of divine. And second, the plague of darkness proves that it is not simply bad astrological signs changing the luck of the Israelites and the Egyptians. The final plague drives home this lesson. Lest one think that this is the work of an angel or some type of supernatural being, the final plague proves this is not so. Only God has the power to differentiate between the “sperm” of the firstborn and all others.
The plagues become almost ridiculous here as they multiply from ten to fifty to two hundred fifty. But more serious from Rabbi Lorberbaum’s perspective is the fact that these statements appear to contradict a statement in the Mishnah that plainly says that there ten plagues in Egypt and ten at the Red Sea. As the fundamental code of Jewish law, the Mishnah is the official opinion of the sages. So can we reconcile the opinion of these sages with the one in the Mishnah? Rabbi Lorberbaum draws on the Kabbalistic notion that there are not only ten Sephirot of holiness but also ten anti-Sephirot of impurity that give vitality to the world of darkness and judgment. These Sephirot are sometimes referred to as crowns (Ketarin). They are also referred to in the Zohar as the fifty gates of impurity. When Israel was redeemed from Egypt, the nation had already descended almost to the lowest of these gates of impurity, which would have made it impossible to redeem her from slavery. That is why, according to the Kabbalah, they had to leave in such haste. If Israel had stayed in Egypt one more day, they would have become unredeemable!
(2) Rabbi Yosi the Galilean said: How do you know that each plague…is equivalent to four plagues?
Rabbi Yosi’s strange statement has inspired many different questions:
(3) How do we reconcile this statement with the one in the Mishnah, Pirke Avot, which says that there were only ten plagues at the Red Sea? (See Avot, 5:5).
The numbers ten and fifty should not be taken literally. This number, like the number ten, is an allegorical way of referring to the spiritual state of the Israelites while they were in Egypt (?) and how they experienced the presence of God during the plagues and at the sea. Egypt was a place of darkness and impurity, where the forces of evil reigned. The nation had already descended to the lowest levels of impurity in Egypt. There are fifty gates of impurity, which are some times referred to as the ten crowns of impurity, and Israel had already descended to the fiftieth gate. Beyond this gate, there is no redemption because the spiritual dark angel of Egypt would now have complete control over the nation. When Rabbi Yosi said that there were fifty plagues at the sea, it was a way of saying that God vanquished the dark angel of Egypt before the people so that they were freed of the forces of evil. Ten and fifty are really the same, then.
(4) How can we conclude that all the plagues were each a “finger of God” since this expression is used for only one particular plague and not for all of them?
The word Etzba, finger, refers not only to one plague but really to all the ten plagues. Just as each of the Sephirot in Kabbalah contain elements of the other nine Sephirot, so too the ten Sephirot, or Crowns of Evil, contain elements of the other ten crowns. In Egypt, however, the people of Israel were incapable of seeing that God had the ability to vanquish all the forces of evil in the land. Each plague appeared to be an attack on one particular force of evil. It was only at the Red Sea that the people of Israel saw that God had the power to vanquish all the forces of evil in Egypt; so they now saw God’s hand (since each finger represents ten, a hand is fifty plagues) descend and destroy the fifty gates of impurity. Etzba and Yad, then, are references not only to the nature of God, but to how Israel perceived God.
(5) The proof that Rabbi Yosi offers does not appear to make a lot of sense. Can we really conclude that Etzba, finger, is one or ten plagues and that Yad, hand, is five times as many plagues? The Bible does not show such mathematical exactness. If God is all-powerful, surely he could also perform fifty plagues with “a finger.” Surely these expressions have some metaphorical meaning and should not be taken literally!
That is exactly the point. The hand and the finger of God are allegorical ways of speaking about the power of God and the ability to perceive God’s presence in the world. Only at the sea did the people get the whole picture, and that is why they “believed in God and Moses His servant.” The plagues were meant to be an object lesson, not just for the Egyptians, but for the Israelites as well. It was at this point that the people began to understand God as the first cause and creator of the universe who is All-powerful.
(1) Rabbi Eliezer asked:
What is the basis of the controversy between Rabbis Eliezer and Akiva? Is there a basis to their difference of opinion beyond a simple play on the words in Psalms?
Some of the commentators suggest that the controversy between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Akiva has to do with the source of each of the plagues. In medieval thought, there are four basic elements from which the world is created: air, fire, water, and earth. Each plague was created from these four basic elements. When Rabbi Eliezer says each plague is really four plagues, this is what he is referring to. Rabbi Akiva, on the other hand, is of the opinion that the plagues were constructed not only from the four elements, but also from a fifth spiritual element: Koach HaMichaber, “the power of the divine author.”
The word Michaber, “author,” can also be translated as “the one who causes the elements to combine.” The elements are separate from one another. God is the cause of synergy, a working together of the different elements of creation. By uniting, the combined elements of the universe become greater than sum of the separate parts of creation. The universe is made up of elements, but God is the one that causes them to become united. Rabbi Akiva, always a mystic at heart, understands that it takes more than physical elements for the universe to become a tangible existence.
People often ask why ten plagues? Wasn’t God powerful enough to convince the Egyptians with one devastating plague that would force them to free the Israelites from Egypt? Rabbi Lorberbaum answers this question in a novel way by connecting the plagues with the ten utterances with which God created the world. The plagues are the opposite of creation – they represent the ten acts of un-creation. They made Pharaoh aware that just as God could create the world he also had the power to take away the blessings of creation. These ten utterances play an important role in the history of Jewish thought and in Jewish mysticism in particular. They are often associated with the ten Sephirot with which the world is created.
(2) These are the ten plagues.
Why are there ten plagues?
Why were these ten plagues the ones with which the Holy One chose to strike the Egyptians?
“The world was created with ten utterances. What does this teach? It teaches us that the punishment of the wicked who destroy the world created by ten utterances is increased while the righteous who preserve the world created by ten utterances are rewarded.” Pirke Avot 5:1.
According to the sages the world was created through an act of speech. There were ten utterances by God through which creation came about. These utterances are found in the opening chapter of Genesis. Nine of them begin, “And God said,” and the tenth begins with the word, Bereshit, “in the beginning,” which the Talmud considers to be an “utterance.” If God is all-powerful then certainly He could create the world with a single utterance. So why was it necessary for the Holy One to create the world through a series of such utterances instead? According to Pirke Avot, “The Ethics of the Fathers,” the ten utterances were meant to increase the punishment due to the wicked that destroy the world through their actions. This way instead of just one punishment for a single utterance, they are liable for ten punishments, one for each aspect of creation that they destroy through their actions. Similarly, the increase in utterances increased the reward due to the righteous.
Pharaoh denied the existence of God by refusing to free the Israelites. We see this in the beginning of Exodus when he responds to Moses’ request by saying, “Who is the Lord that I should heed Him?” (Exodus 5:2) He is not simply a tyrant; Pharaoh is also an atheist who denies God as the creator of everything. The plagues are an attempt to show Pharaoh just how powerful the Holy One really is. Just as God creates and maintains the universe, so God has the power to “un-create” the universe as well. Each plague is related to one of the ten utterances. Just as each utterance expresses the creation of one particular aspect of the universe, so, through each plague, God reverses His creation. In this way Pharaoh saw that, just as God could create the world, so too He had the power to reverse the creation of the world. The plagues were an illustration of the power of God and the powerlessness of the Pharaoh.
The Plagues, however, do not follow the chronological order of the utterances of creation and the creation of the world. What logic is there to the order of the plagues, then? The plagues reflect creation in a different fashion. They are listed both sequentially and thematically.
(3) The first five plagues reflect creation. The second half reflects on the human being and his basic needs:
(1) The first creation is water - blood
(1) The swarming creatures come forth from the water – frogs
(1) The creatures closest to the water are the land creatures – 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) Shabbat…would have been enough: Shabbat is equal to all the other commandments. Therefore had God simply given us the Sabbath it would have been sufficient, since this is the most precious of all the commandments which God has given us.
(1) How doubled and redoubled is the good which the One who is Present has bestowed upon us. How is it that the miracles and gifts which the divine has given us are doubled and redoubled? What does this mean? Since many, if not all, the miracles mentioned in Dayyenu are acts which foreshadow the future redemption of the Jewish people, by saying that they are “Doubled and redoubled” we are saying that each act of grace has double significance. They were performed in the time of the Exodus and they will be performed again in the days of the coming of the Messiah.
At first glance Dayyenu is a strange poem. What does it mean to say that each of these divine acts of grace is “enough for us?” Would it really have been enough for God to take us out of Egypt but not allow us to cross the Red Sea? Would it have been enough to bring us to Mount Sinai but not give us the Torah once we got there? So we are lef wondering: what makes each of these acts of divine favor so significant and important that even if this was all that God had done for us we would be able to say, “Dayyenu?” Rabbi Lorberbaum explores each statement in this poem and answers the question: How were these acts Dayyenu, enough for us? And in what way could we have lived without some of these gifts from God? Each statement is presented in the positive and the negative. We are told that it would had been enough and we are also told that if God had not done this act (but only another) that too would have been enough. Rabbi Lorberbaum explores both sides of these statements.
(2) Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi, in his work Ma’asei Hashem offers another interpretation of Dayyenu.
He suggests that we should read the expression Dayyenu not as a demonstrative statement but as a question. “Would it really have been enough for us?” He uses a parable to explain this interpretation. Imagine a slave of a certain king who is rewarded with his own small kingdom. The slave, while grateful might say to the king: “How can I rule over my kingdom when I don’t have royal garb? How can I rule over my kingdom when I don’t have horses? How can I rule over my kingdom when I don’t have subjects and slaves? How can I rule over my kingdom when I am lacking in an understanding of the rules of kingship? With each request the king would give his slave what was necessary for him to rule over his kingdom. Similarly, we say to God, God you have taken us out of Egypt but is this really enough? You haven’t completed the job of making us a nation of priests and a holy people? It is only with all the miracles and gifts referred to in Dayyenu that God’s gift is complete.
(1) Had He performed judgments…It would have been enough: As we have already seen in the passage Avadim Hayyinu, the nature of God’s acts in Egypt created a unique relationship between God and the Israel. By performing these acts of judgment, God made a public commitment to the Jewish people. This commitment was irrevocable. Even if Israel sinned, as they did at the Golden Calf, God could not completely desert the Jewish people. If God was to desert the nation or destroy them, it would not only be a tragedy for Israel but a Hillul Hashem, a desecration of God’s name in the world. God’s judgments of others and His acts on behalf of the Jewish people made it clear to the whole world that we are “the children of the living God.” By simply performing these acts of judgments, then, God made it so that no matter what happened He was committed to Israel.
(1) Had He executed judgments against their gods…It would have been enough: What did Israel stand to gain from God’s acts of judgment against the gods of Egypt? These judgments were “sympathetic acts ” that would bear testimony that eventually God would vanquish the other deities and prove the gods of all the other nations to be false. The acts of the forefathers are a sign of future events. They are a foreshadowing of the Messianic era. By performing these acts in Egypt Israel knew that their future redemption was also assured.
(1) …and not killed the first born it would have been enough: The acts of judgments are so great they are even greater than the all the plagues, even the death of the first born. Why was this plague singled out of all the plagues? Because this plague was the one that proved beyond any question that the plagues were the hand of God and not simply coincidence. Only God can distinguish between the fetus of the first born and all other fetus. Therefore God’s judgment of the gods of Egypt is even enough compared with the plagues. Even if God had not carried out the tenth plague the judgment of the gods of Egypt would still have been enough.
(1) Had He given us their wealth…It would have been enough: What did Israel have to gain from taking the wealth of the Egyptians before they left Egypt? Wealth had no use to the people in the wilderness so Israel had nothing to gain by taking silver and gold from the Egyptians. In fact the language of the Torah suggests that God didn’t simply give them permission to take the property of the Egyptians but asked them to do so. The plundering of Egypt, then, must have had some greater significance. This act is yet another example of Sympathetic Acts which foreshadow the messianic era. The prophets predicted that Israel would be given great wealth in the Messianic era: “In place of bronze they will bring silver.”
(1) Had He not split the sea…it would have been enough: How is it possible to say that it would have been sufficient for God to perform some of these miracles such as judging the gods of Egypt and killing the first born but not splitting the Red Sea? What would have been the point of the redemption with out the splitting of the sea? Rabbi Ashkenazi suggests that even had God not split the sea there were other ways that he could have crossed the Red Sea (boats for instance). So had he preformed all these other miracles but provided us with a more natural way of crossing the sea it certainly would have been enough. But why would the miracle of the splitting been enough if this is all God had done? The splitting of the sea proved God’s divinity to the entire world. According to a Midrash not only did the Sea split but all bodies of water split at the moment proving to all people God’s awesome power.
(1) Had he not provided us with our needs in the wilderness…. Providing food to the world is one of the things that God does not only for Israel but for the entire world. So, on the one hand it would have been fine had this particular miracle not been mention.
On the other hand providing food for an entire nation in the wilderness was truly miraculous. By providing for the people in the wilderness God taught the people to depend on God and thereby helped them to become more worthy of receiving the Torah at Sinai. Forcing them to go to the wilderness was yet another act of purification that helped them prepare for the events at Mount Sinai.
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) Rabban Gamliel used to say: Usually such a statement should be written “Rabban Gamliel says…” Here the statement is “Rabban Gamliel used to say…” Why does the Maggid use this particular language? Rabbi Ashkenazi in Ma’asei Hashem suggests that Rabban Gamliel did not simply make this statement, but that this was his practice. He used to ask himself these three questions each time he sat down at the Seder table even if there was no one else to ask the questions. We are obligated, therefore not only to follow his law but to emulate his example.
(1) The Pesach offering which our fathers ate in the time that the Temple was standing, for what reason? The reason we mention Matzah and Maror are obvious. Both are directly connected with the story of the Exodus. We eat Matzah because we left with haste from Egypt and the bread did not have time to rise, and we eat Maror as a symbol of the bitterness of slavery. But the reason Pesach offering is less obvious and more subtle. While we ate the Pesach offering on the night of the Passover there is no direct connection between the offering and the act of passing over as there is with Matzah. Rabban Gamliel suggests that we ate the offering because God passed over the houses of the Israelites. Yet what does the offering have to do with the miracle and how does the offering help us reenact the Passover experience?
Rabban Gamliel suggests that the reason Israel was worthy of having God passed over their houses is because they ate the Pesach offering. Because they obeyed God’s commandment they were saved in Egypt. Thus by recalling the Pesach offering and eating it in the time of the Temple, the Jewish people are reenacting Israel’s faith in God.
The final plague was unlike any of the other plagues in Egypt. While a distinction was made between Israel and the Egyptians in all the other plagues, only this plague required some sign for the people of Israel. The reason for this is that all the other plagues were performed through some intermediary means while the death of the first born was performed directly by God Himself.
The other plagues were performed through a righteous intermediary. There are many examples in the Talmud and in the Bible of righteous people and prophets who are given control over the powers of nature. Some examples of this are Joshua who makes the sun stand still at Gibeon, and Moses who splits the Red Sea. There are many examples in the Talmud such as Pinchas Ben Yair who also causes a river to split in half. What we learn from all these examples is that sometimes Israel is redeemed because of the righteousness of its leaders.
In the case of the tenth plague, however, Israel’s redemption was dependent on their worthiness. And since the people had worshipped idols in Egypt they were not truly worthy of being saved. God therefore asked them to do something that would make them worthy of such redemption. They were told to set aside and slaughter a ram for the Pesach offering. Since the ram was one of the gods of Egypt they had to risk their lives by doing this. This proved that they were truly worthy of being redeemed on the night of the Passover. They showed that they were willing to risk everything for the sake of sanctifying God’s name and therefore were worthy of God’s protection.
(1) Matzah, because we ate… The Haggadah explains that the reason we eat Matzah is to remind us of the haste with which we left Egypt. Yet we were commanded to eat Matzah prior to our flight from Egypt. So how can we explain the eating of Matzah in this way? There are, however, two separate reasons and two separate Mitzvot in eating Matzah. We eat Matzah all week of Pesach as a way of reminding ourselves that we were slaves in Egypt. Matzah is Lechem Oni, the bread of affliction. We refrain from eating leavened bread and eat only Matzah for seven days to symbolize the fact that the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt for a very long time. The Biblical seven days symbolize the seven days of creation and the many days we were enslaved. On the eve of Passover when we tell the story of the Exodus the Matzah symbolizes the haste with which we left Egypt.
Was leaving with haste really a sign of distinction? In Isaiah 52:12, “For you shall not go out with haste and nor go by flight for the Lord will go before you and the God of Israel shall be your rearguard.” We are told that in the end of time redemption will come with haste but slowly and deliberately. So why is leaving Egypt with such haste considered to be a good thing? Rabbi Ashkenazi explained that the Israelites had to leave Egypt in haste because they were living in a place of impurity and God wished to get them out as quickly as possible so he could reveal himself to them. But in the end of time redemption will come more deliberately and slowly because Israel will not be in such dire danger. The haste with which we left Egypt was a sign of God’s impatience to quickly establish a new covenant with the people and protect them from impurity.
(1) Why do we eat this Maror? If Maror was a symbol of slavery, why don’t we mention it first before the two symbols of redemption? It should have been Maror, Pesach and then Matzah. The essential reason we were redeemed from Egypt was not to save us from the bitterness of slavery but to make us servants of the God. The Haggadah mentions redemption before the bitterness in order to emphasize that bitterness was only a secondary reason God took us out of Egypt. The main reason God took us out of Egypt was to bring us to Mount Sinai. Even those Israelites who were princes in Egypt and who did not necessarily suffer from the deprivations of slavery were in dire need of redemption. They could look back and say that there lives were not bitter but they were still thankful for the gift of God’s redemption.
(1) In every generation each person must see him/herself… This statement should not be understood literally. People often assume that it means that had their ancestors not left Egypt they would still be slaves there. But if this is the meaning of this statement then it is equally true for all the other miracles in history that God performed for the Jewish people. For instance, the same statement could be said concerning Purim (we should see ourselves as if we were personally saved from Haman…). Yet for other deliverances, it is customary to make a blessing in which one says, “Blessed are you…who redeemed our ancestors...” One does not say “and for us,” as we do in the Pesach Haggadah.
What we are stating here is not that each person should see him/herself as if he/she went forth from slavery but rather that each person should see him/herself as if he/she was personally redeemed from Egypt to become participant in the covenant. While we did not personally experience slavery and redemption, we all can say that because our ancestors were redeemed from slavery, we have the privilege of being Jews and living by the Torah. In is in this sense that we are all connected to the Exodus and not in an experiential sense. We did not experience Egypt in an immediate sense as our ancestors did but the fact that our ancestors were redeemed has shaped our identity. That is our connection to the past
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.