The Haggadah And The Steps Of A Seder

It is a Jewish ritual dinner that is said to be a Passover seder and is based on the Haggadah (the book of instructions, prayers, stories, and blessings before the procedure of the ritual). The word Haggadah stands for “the telling” referring to one of the key events during the seder: exodus story recitation. Each seder needs to include a leader who will then orchestrate the proceedings and recite all the key parts included in the Haggadah. The major steps involved in the seder are as follows:

Kadesh (kiddush)

Before the start of the meal, blessing the wine takes place. On Friday, a sabbath is added, a specific biblical section. During Saturday evening, the Havdalah section is added separating the sanctity of the sabbath from its holy day.

 

Urhatz (wash)

Washing preparation is done for eating the vegetable. Since the need for such washing was once questioned, hence there is no blessing required.

 Karpas (spring vegetable)

Any vegetable can be consumed given that they shouldn’t be bitter. The included ones are celery, parsley, potato, or onion. They are then dipped in the saltwater for purification that stands for the tears shed by the slaves.

Yahatz (divide)

The middle matzah is broken into two parts, and then the larger part is taken, wrapped in a napkin, and saved for the conclusion of the meal.

 Magid (narrate)

Live the plate symbolizing the affliction. The wine cups are refilled. The youngest person included in the seder asks the four questions followed by the response to the question and reads portions in unison, the four sons. The ten plagues as well since our “cup of salvation” is usually not regarded as completed when the suffering of the Egyptians is recalled.

For each plague, with mentioning a drop of wine is removed from the cup. This cup then again lifted in joy, paying respect and being thankful for God’s deliverance, ready to praise the Lord with the first word of the Psalm of praise (Hallel), two psalms of Halle included followed by drinking the wine with the blessing of salvation.

 Rohtza (wash)

Once you are ready to eat, the hands need to be washed just like it is required with consuming any meal. The washing is similar to the previous hand-washing, but now the wash is not with usual benediction since the hands are dried.

 Motzi (blessings are taken before eating matzah)

Now here, the matzah is raised and two blessings over the bread are recited. This includes the regular motzi blessing and another with the specific mentioning of the mitzvah (a Jewish commandment) of eating matzah at the Passover programs.

 Matzah (eating the matzah)

Once the blessings are done, everyone takes a piece of matzah and eats it.

 Maror (bitter herbs)

A small piece of bitter herbs such as horseradish is dipped into haroset to symbolize that having great addiction to the materialistic things leads to bitterness. Before eating it, a blessing is recited in the name of God. At some places, the horseradish is mixed along with charoset as well.

 Korekh (hillel sandwich)

During the ancient times, the Talmudic scholar Hillel consumed the three symbolic foods (lamb, matzah, and bitter herbs) together so that each mouthful contained all three. This is how they symbolized symbols of slavery and liberation.

 Shulhan Orekh (meal)

The joyous feasting provides us with the feeling of human fellowship in harmony with God.

 Tzafu (Dessert)

Now the afikomen. This has been either stolen or the elders hide the afikomen once it was stepped aside as you have seen in step 4. The children can then look for the same during the meal to win a prize. 

 Barekh (Birkat Hamazon)

This is usually “bentschen” grace post meals that include the thankfulness for the Passover holiday. Refill the cup with grace and drink the last or third cup at the conclusion with the usual blessings.


Hallel (Psalms of Praise)

The later part of the evening is filled with hymns and songs. The Hallel is now completed and everyone joins together to chant songs: Adir hu, had gadya, and more.


Nirtzah (Conclusion) 

With the traditional methods, the seder is now concluded, and then all sing l’shana haba’ah b’yerushalayim.