Passover Pesach

Discussion Starters from the Seder Plate

Just in case Miriam hasn’t stopped by to replenish your well lately.

The Two Cooked Dishes


Pesach 114b of the Babylonian Talmud mandates “two cooked dishes” (in addition to charoset and chazeret) be present on the seder plate. While Rav Huna advocated for the vegan options of cooked beets and rice, Rav Yosef insisted that each should be meat, one as a remembrance of the obligatory paschal sacrifice (usually interpreted as the shankbone) and the other, a voluntary commemoration our festive celebration (usually understood as the egg).[1]

Potential Discussion Directions

  • Out of the sacrifices on your proverbial plate, what is done out of obligation (the shank bone) and what is done out of voluntary joy (the egg)? How do we choose to spend our time and resources? Where is the balance between the two? Where is the integration between obligation and joy?
  • (Using two brave volunteers, or in teams) Debate Rav Huna’s position for a vegan seder plate versus Rav Yosef’s position for a sacrificial seder plate. What are the benefits to each? Why would so much of tradition weigh on the side of the sacrificial seder plate? How does what we know about modern agricultural sustainability inform this debate?
    • Potential supporting text for Rav Huna’s “side”: “For as soon as man ceases to look upon himself as the empowered guardian and administrator of the earth… For him the sun does not shine, nor the thunder roll, the lightning flash, or the earth deck itself in green…” Rabbi Samuel Raphael Hirsch, Nineteen Letters
  • Sherira Gaon (986-1006 CE) recorded that many added a third cooked dish to this list, in memory of Miriam (in reference to Micah 6:4, “I brought you from the Land of Egypt… I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam”) How are we working to include women’s voices today? In our religious practice? In our organizations?
  • It takes energy to cook a dish. As Passover marks the start of spring, let’s take a moment to reflect: where are you directing your energy? Is that direction aligned with your driving values? How is the holiday of Passover meant to help us realign how we spend our energy with our values? 



“This is as the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt; let all those who are hungry, come and eat; and all who are in need, come and celebrate.” (Ha Lachmanya, Passover Haggadah)

Potential Discussion Directions

  • Many cultures – including our own Western one, especially when you look on social media – often hides any kind of affliction, as a source of shame or embarrassment. Yet here we are, holding it up and naming it honestly, as one of the centerpieces of tonight’s celebration. How can we work to highlight, rather than hide, today’s afflictions? What affliction do you wish was spoken about openly and honestly?
  • What can we do to mitigate affliction?
  • Some require that three matzot be on the table, in order to represent three different parts of ancient Israelite society, the Kohen, the Levi, and Israel. What different kinds of class systems exist in our society today? What can we do to ensure that all of us are able to experience not just sustenance but also celebration?
  • In Mishnah Pesachim 10:5, Rabban Gamliel states that matzah is also a symbol of redemption. When have you seen a failure or affliction be eventually turned into a learning experience and, if especially lucky, redemption?
  • Why do we say the blessing for matzah over the broken piece? Where can we find the holiness in the brokenness?



Midrash HaGadol on Exodus 1:14 reads “In four things there is said to be bitterness. The inability to conceive children… bereavement over children… a broken heart… and terrible illness. When the Egyptians enslaved Israel, they caused all of these.”[2]

Potential Discussion Directions

  • Depending on what is happening in your community and the context of your seder, you might want to discuss some deeply personal issues. There are organizations that can help you frame some of these discussions around infertility, child loss, the importance of therapy and other healing practices, and health issues.

D’var Acher: A different Starter

We eat maror, or bitter herbs, while reclining ceremoniously.

Potential Discussion Directions

  • Why is it important that we recline? Why do we express gratitude while reminding ourselves of bitterness?
  • Maror is a symbol of the bitterness of slavery. Modern day slavery exists; and in all its forms, it is still just as bitter. There are organizations that help. Let’s discuss.



Mishnah Pesachim 10:3 lays out the different requirements for a seder plate. It lists matzah, chazeret (lettuce), charoset, and two cooked foods. However, in Pesachim 116a of the Babylonian Talmud, the rabbis debate if eating charoset is truly a commandment, as it is not a symbol found within the Torah. Rabbi Levi connects charoset with remembering the sweetness of love, quoting Song of Songs 8:5. Additionally, Rabbi Yochanan associates charoset with the memory of the mortar used by Jews when they were slaves in Egypt.

Potential Discussion Directions

  • On the importance and beauty of diversity: Why would the rabbis have a single symbol seemingly hold such different meanings?
  • On memory: why would we need so many symbols to remind us of all the different parts of the Passover story? Why wouldn’t one symbol be enough?

Elijah’s Cup


While the idea of welcoming the prophet Elijah, as the harbinger of a more perfect age, is recorded in the third century, the placing of Elijah’s cup on our seder table cemented into tradition only by the early medieval period.

Potential Discussion Directions

  • Why would the yearning for a more perfect age be so strong as to change tradition in the Middle Ages? What imperfections about today’s age drive you to hope for (and maybe work towards) change?
    • What role does fear play in our lives today? How can we work to strengthen our hearts against the emotional slavery of today’s fears?
  • “‘Come out,’ called God [to Elijah], ‘and stand on the mountain before Adonai.’ And lo, Adonai passed by. There was a great and mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks by the power of Adonai; but Adonai was not in the wind. After the wind – an earthquake; but Adonai was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake – fire; but Adonai was not in the fire. And after the fire – a still, small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he covered his face.” (1 Kings 19:9-12) Where do you find the still, small divine voice?

[1] Hoffman and Arnow, ed., My People’s Passover Haggadah, vol 1, p. 38

Rabbi Lauren Ben-Shoshan, M.A.R.E., lived in Tel Aviv, Israel until recently, and now resides in Palo Alto, California with her lovely husband and their four energetic and very small children.

Passover Pesach

The Most Important Day of Passover

More American Jews attend a Passover Seder than observe any other Jewish ritual. How do we know? The Pew Research Center tells us.[i]

But how many observe the Seventh Day of Passover? I don’t believe that Pew Research even asks. Our synagogues may hold services, largely attended by those observing yizkor. One could be forgiven for concluding that the seventh day of Passover is a day of mournful memory. But it’s not.

After ordaining the first day of Passover as a holy day, Torah commands, “…and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done…”[ii] Exodus offers no explanation for the holiness of the seventh day. The medieval commentator, Ibn Ezra, provides a plausible theory: “The seventh day is the day of Pharaoh’s drowning and being rendered powerless.”[iii] Passover’s final festive day, then, celebrates the anniversary of the fulfillment of our ancestors’ freedom.

In our own lives, we experience “first day” liberations very much in need of “seventh days.” We feel free when we extricate ourselves from harmful addictions, toxic relationships, or soul-numbing employment. And yet, we may be experience the anxiety of Israelites being chased by Pharaoh’s armies until we are firmly established in new, healthier behaviors, loving relationships or meaningful work. Only then do we know the liberation that our ancestors celebrated on the east bank of the sea. In our Jewish people’s 20th Century history, Holocaust survivors were liberated when the Allies were victorious. They were not truly free until the newborn State of Israel had prevailed in its War of Independence – or, more likely, until survivors were comfortably settled in Israel, America, Canada, and other lands of refuge.

We who diminish our cups for the plagues upon Egypt, though, may be ambivalent about celebrating the day that Pharaoh and his chariots were drowned in the sea. Eliahu Kitov argues, “Holidays were not given to Israel to mark the downfall of [our] enemies…The essence of the celebration of this day is the song that Moses [, Miriam,] and Israel were Divinely inspired to sing on this day.”[iv]

The significance of the seventh day of Passover is as profound as it is complicated. Often, our greatest moments of liberation come at others’ expense. Nevertheless, we are permitted, and even commanded, to celebrate.

We rejoice when we’ve landed that dream job, even as we are aware that means that somebody else was passed over. We love coming in first, even knowing that somebody else came in last.

The next Jewish celebration after the seventh day of Passover will be Yom HaAtzma’ut. This year’s a big one, Israel’s 70th. We have long known that Palestinians mark that day as naqba, the catastrophe. They’re right. The very day we celebrate was and is catastrophic for the Palestinian people. Like Seder-goers diminishing our cups for the plagues upon Egypt, we would do well to take Israel’s milestone birthday as an occasion to explore the depths of the disaster that Palestinians experience and to imagine how that damage can be assuaged without unduly diminishing our people’s miracle. Then, let us wave our flags and celebrate, rejoicing as our ancestors did at the shores of the sea and as we do on Passover’s final festive day.

Rabbi Barry H. Block serves Congregation B’nai Israel in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is a member of the CCAR Board of Trustees.


[i] “Attending a Seder is common practice for American Jews,” Factank News in the Numbers, Pew Research Center, April 14, 2014, April 14, 2014.
[ii] Exodus 12:16.
[iii] Ibn Ezra’s commentary to Exodus 12:16.
[iv] Eliyahu Kitov, “The Seventh Day of Passover,”, not dated.

Passover Pesach

No Rice for My Family this Passover

In November 2015 when the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) issued their teshuvah permitting rice and other legumes for Ashkenazi Jews during Passover, I thought it was interesting, but did not think it had any bearing our movement.

Imagine my surprise, then, when colleague after colleague posted with glee that we could now eat rice.

This reaction bothered me for two reasons.

First, we Reform Jews have never been bound by the halakhic policy of the Conservative Movement. We have not even been guided by it. If our Responsa Committee cites the RA when publishing a responsa, it is rare indeed.

Why, then, was this particular ruling quoted time and again by our colleagues? Is it because those of us who eat rice at Passover felt validated by the Conservative ruling? If this is true, it is problematic. We do not need validation. Our practice and our traditions need no approval from another movement. We preach all the time that other movements are not inherently more correct because they are more fundamentally bound to halakha. If this were true, it would undermine much of what we currently do and much of what we are working toward.

The second reason bothers me even more than the first. As far as I am concerned, rice is still forbidden for Reform Ashkenazi Jews. To defer to the Conservative movement in this instance is to forget one of the most fundamental principles of Reform Judaism.

We are the movement that reinterpreted tikkun olam and use it as our battle cry. We are the movement dedicated to shouting against injustice, caring for those less fortunate, healing the broken among us.

In this context, Passover is more than just remembering the Exodus from Egypt. It is remembering our own privilege, remembering there are those who are always hungry, who do not know when their fast will end.

Without legumes, keeping kosher for Passover gets old very quickly. By the fourth or fifth day, we are longing for the holiday to end. It is on these days, and each subsequent day of Passover, that we should be struck with the stunning realization of how fortunate we are. If we have become weary of our food choices, if we are starting to feel hungry for more, just imagine the plight of those whose food choices are even more limited than ours on Passover, those whose hunger will not be relieved at Passover’s end.

If Passover makes us food-fatigued and hungry, even as we have an array of foods we can eat and can afford, and even though we know the holiday will soon end, can we even begin to imagine what it is like to feel hungry with limited food resources and options in a situation without end?

I do not know if I could reach this point of insight if I included legumes in my Passover diet.

We teach our people that in addition to its organic meaning, Passover also stands as a reminder that there are those still pining for the manna I take for granted. There are those left behind who are still standing on the other side of the Jordan. There are those I am commanded to remember by the very Torah I will celebrate receiving.

This Passover, no matter what your dietary practice, let us remember and remind our baalei batim how fortunate we all are, and if any of us have extra, let us inspire ourselves and them to share it.


Rabbi Andrea Berlin is the founder of Berlin Consulting, LLC, which provides transition management and conflict facilitation to organizations in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.  Berlin Consulting, LLC also provides synagogues with general consulting.

Passover Pesach Prayer Social Justice

When It’s Time to Stop Praying and Start Marching

Two weekends ago, many of us took to the streets with our communities to “March For Our Lives,” and last weekend we welcomed the festival of Passover, which makes this a good time to remember that the Torah tells us “thoughts and prayers” can only do so much; we need action to move forward.

In Exodus 14 we read that when the Israelites were stopped at the shore of the Sea of Reeds with the Egyptians fast approaching behind them, Moses began to pray. The people were distressed and feared for their lives and were demanding action — and Moses offered prayers. God said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. Lift up your rod and hold out your arm over the sea and split it, so that the Israelites may march into the sea on dry ground.” The Torah is pretty clear that there is a time for words, but when trapped between the Egyptians and the Sea, it’s time for action.

Our sages expanded on this idea in the Talmud, which teaches us that as the Jews were standing at the shore of the sea, Moses was prolonging his prayer. God said to him, “My beloved ones are drowning in the sea and you prolong your prayer to me?” Moses replied, “But what can I do?” God said, “Speak to the children of Israel and tell them to go forward. And you, lift up your rod and stretch out your hand.”

There’s a midrash that imagines God saying, “My loved ones are drowning in the sea, and the sea is raging, and the foe is pursuing, and you stand and wax long in prayer?” To which Moses replied, “God of the universe, what can I do?” And this is when God replies with the words from Exodus 14.

A story in the Talmud teaches that while Moses was busy praying, one person — Nachshon — stepped into the sea and began to walk. Nachshon had faith that God would see them to safety on the other side, and demonstrated his faith by stepping into the water.

Even in a tradition that annually celebrates the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, it is clear that we can not just cry out or send “thoughts and prayers” – we must take action. Faith is not waiting around for God to do the work, but taking that first step – speaking out and raising your hand.

That is what the teens are trying to teach us: there is a time for thoughts and prayers (and often that is where we find comfort in the face of tragedy), but the Torah teaches us that when you life is in danger, you don’t stand around praying; you have to speak to the people and take action.

This is faith. Not that God will fix it, but that we have within us the power to change the world for the better; that even when it looks as if there is no way forward, we can find a way; that even when enemies are fast approaching and threatening us, we have the strength to keep going. Faith is working together to bring a future where everyone is free from violence.

Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik is an artist at Paper Midrash and also blogs on her personal blog.

Passover Pesach

Tell Your Own Story

Pesach is many things to many people: memory, message, meaning, food, tradition, song or a call to justice, action, and transformation. Regardless how Pesach may resonate with you in your own life, give yourself a unique Pesach gift: the blessing of telling your own story.

This can be interpreted literally of course: we tell the stories of our ancestors at our Seders, just we chant Hallel, the festive psalms, at our Festival services. From Kiddush to Chad Gadya, from Maggid to Nirtza there is plenty of story and song. We can also, however, transcend the literal understanding and look at a deeper meaning: what does it mean for us to tell our own story?

The word Haggadah means ‘the telling’. It’s interesting that our tradition has chosen this word when other terms would have fitted too: ‘Limmud’, ‘the learning’ would have been adequate – after all, the Seder has an undeniable pedagogical methodology through its melodies, foods and rituals. Yet, it’s the verb ‘lehagid’, ‘to tell’ that has become the centerpiece of Pesach. As the Torah commands us, ‘higadeta levincha bayom hahu lemor: ba’avur zeh asah Adonai li betzeti mimitzrayim’ – ‘and you shall tell your child on that day saying, it is because of this what the Eternal did for me, when I came out of Egypt’. (Ex. 13:8)

When studying this verse, we usually focus on ‘ba’avur zeh asah Adonai li betzeti mimitzrayim’ – ‘it is because of this what the Eternal did for me, when I came out of Egypt’. This verse provides the basis of the famous statement by Rabban Gamliel in Mishnah Pesachim 10:5 that ‘in every generation a person must regard him or herself as though he or she personally had gone out of Egypt’. Personalizing the Seder as if we suffered the deprivation of slavery and the liberation of the Exodus is one of the cardinal commandments of the Festival. In each age, we are called to hear the ‘tza’akah gedolah’, the ‘great outcry’ of our time and cultivate radical empathy.

Still, there’s another dimension to the verse from Exodus: ‘higadeta levincha’ – ‘and you shall tell your child’. What is it about this ‘telling’? A story is more than just a series of facts. A story aspires to bring intent to its telling. A report may focus on dry data. A story, however, is meant to bury its way into our kishkes, our innermost, intuitive selves. The gift of Pesach is that we are invited to take ownership over our stories and write them.

What an amazing, powerful thing. The difference between victimhood and empowerment is wafer thin, like the matzah we eat. Many peoples, nations, cultures and faiths have narratives centering on their own hardship and oppression. What makes our Jewish narrative unique is that our ancestors had the courage to tell our story in a different way. The Torah and Mishnah encourage us to tell the story with radical empathy; with a living, breathing concern for the other. We are charged to control our own message and ultimately we are shaped not merely by our circumstances but through our choices and commitments.

What story will you be telling this year? The words and melody mutate across the centuries, but the sacred intent remains constant. Our liberation is tied up with the liberation of all humanity. We empower ourselves not at the expense of our enemies but in the name of ethical monotheism. We place at the center, like the Seder plate at our home Seders, our own vulnerability and derive incredible strength from it.

Give yourself this gift. Tell your own Pesach story. Tell those who you love, tell the world, tell God what your great dream is. Call out, sing praise, dance at the shore, cry bitter tears, laugh and love and through all of these, see the divinity in our common humanity. Know that we can transform trauma into redemption in the crucible of our People’s greatest gift: the ability to tell our story. That our stories may be a blessing to all.

Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz serves  Congregation Agudas Achim, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Passover Pesach

This Passover, I Want to Break Free from the Busyness of Life

I never seem to be ready for Passover.  It always springs upon me, this rite of spring, and I’m always left feeling like I’ve just barely recovered from Purim and the sensory overload that repeat exposure to carnivals can cause (because let’s be real: one can only handle so many bounce houses).  But then Passover arrives without delay, completely unsympathetic to my protest or pleas, wholly indifferent to my fatigue.

No matter how prominent its place on my calendar, Passover still comes in like a tempest, turning me upside down and inside out when it finally hits.  And inevitably, I look around only to realize I have a house full of chametz and nary a box of matzah in sight.   It’s ironic because I am surrounded by signs of Passover’s approach in nearly every aspect of my life, both personal and professional.  I’ve got seders at work and seders at my children’s schools, matzah covers coming home in backpacks and more homemade haggadot (beautiful, precious, sweet and so appreciated!) than I know what to do with.

But while the countdown to seder ticks loud and clear, life often seems to tick louder, preventing me, or perhaps distracting me, from all I need to do, from everything I need to prepare.  This year, especially, life has felt inordinately full with all the requisite personal responsibilities: the birthday parties to plan, the doctors appointments to make, the dentists and orthodontists to consult; the school functions and the charity events and the family gatherings; the overstuffed sports schedules and labyrinthine after school schedules; the chess, the piano, the ballet, the art; the everyday hustle we know as life, along with all of my professional responsibilities as well.   It’s hard to see beyond the daily grind; and it’s even harder to make way for a holiday as all-encompassing and routine altering as Passover.

This year, I confess, I feel particularly compressed by the endless, relentless activity in my home and in my life, and by the incalculable physical, mental and emotional exertion this life demands.  Sometimes it feels like the more I do, the smaller my life becomes, reduced as it is to going and coming, coming and going.  Life is defined by straight, rigid lines, rather than curved, flexible arcs, and it is tightly bound by schedules, timetables and agendas.   It’s a paradox, really, that more does not always yield more, but rather, more often yields less.

As Passover approaches, I admit I feel constricted by the narrowness of this intensely crowded life, a life, albeit, that is filled with so much good and so much blessing.  Yet I worry I’m racing as fast as I can, but falling further and further behind.   It’s hard to stop.  It’s hard to unwind a life that, even with its challenges, feels so ingrained and so familiar.   Sometimes I wonder, where do I even begin?  To be quite honest, I don’t really know.

But I do know the story of Passover and I do know that our ancestors moved through the straits of bondage to discover a freedom they had never known.  They left the narrow places that constrained them and made their way into a vast, open wilderness where promise awaited them.   This is the story we tell every year around the seder table, and in so many ways, this is the story of our lives.

I am so grateful to live a life of freedom and to enjoy the liberties so many yet yearn to call their own.  But I know there is a life on the horizon that is even more expansive and even more bounteous, even more free.  It is a life that is full—not of endless activity and motion and striving, but one of possibility and generosity and love, a life that is waiting for me, for all of us; as our promise.   The challenge of reaching that place is as simple as it is hard: how to leave the narrow spaces we know so well and journey forward into the unknown?

Rabbi Sara Sapadin serves Temple Emanu-El in New York City as Adjunct Rabbi. 

chaplains Passover Pesach

Welcoming Elijah in Iraq

During my 38 years of military service, I had the honor of traveling twice to Iraq to celebrate Passover with deployed service-members, and numerous times to Kuwait.  In every location, soldiers were so grateful that a rabbi would travel all the way from the US to share the seder with them.  So many thought that they were the only Jew within hundreds of miles, and the familiar prayers and songs created an instant sense of community.

In 2005, I was especially moved by the ritual of spilling wine from our cups as we recalled the plagues in Egypt.  During a war, it is an all too available temptation to dehumanize the enemy. Sometimes it feels like a necessary part of preparing for battle.  As we participated in this ancient ritual, we were reminded that it is neve r appropriate to rejoice over the suffering of others, even our oppressors and even those who may be trying to kill us.  Removing the wine from our cups reinforced this message that our joy is diminished when we contemplate the necessary pain that was part of our liberation.  

At Forward Operating Base Taji, the lights kept coming on and off as the generators ceased to function, and I quipped that we were reenacting the plague of darkness.  After the service, one young woman told me that “It was almost like being at home.”  In 2006, at Forward Operating Base Sykes we began the seder and were introducing ourselves, when one participant said-

“I’m glad that we are locked in this CONNEX behind closed doors in a relatively secure place, for our own protection.”  When we opened the door for Elijah, there was a moment of hesitation and a collective intake of breath.  Wow!  There was a real feeling of risk and some danger, but I decided that it was critical that we open the door and proudly sing Eliyahu HaNavi.  We read about other doors in history, flung open by the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusaders, the Nazis.   It was a powerful, powerful moment and a huge assertion of freedom in that hostile place.  Our celebration of freedom was especially meaningful as we were, once again, fighting for freedom from tyranny.

Rabbi Bonnie Koppell serves Temple Chai in Phoenix, AZ and currently holds the rank of Colonel as a military chaplain in the United States Army Reserve.

Passover Pesach

The Roundabout Tale of the Orange on the Seder Plate

The orange on the seder plate is a newer tradition in the Passover seder, which especially speaks of the balance between the old and the new. This tradition has come to symbolize for some feminism and the equality of women in Judaism.

I remember the first time my aunt put an orange on the seder plate.  I think I was in rabbinical school at the time, and it was a powerful symbol, as we perceived at the time, of women in the rabbinate.  I was extremely appreciative of the gesture at the time—and that my family was embracing the idea (and not just when I insisted on my parents putting one there when the seder was at our house).  And I’ve come to be increasingly appreciative of the orange on the seder plate, even as I’ve learned more about how it came to be—and what it truly symbolizes.

The story, though, is not as we first heard it.  The actual tale, from Susannah Heschel’s point of view, comes from an experience she had at Oberlin College in the 1980’s, where she was shown an early feminist Haggadah which suggested including a crust of bread on the seder plate, as a sign of solidarity with Jewish lesbians. She changed the tradition to an orange—symbolizing the fruitfulness of Jewish life when all are included and contribute to the community—and also the pits of hate that should be spit out. She broadened the definition to include all who are marginalized in Jewish life. To her, the crust of bread implied that those who were other were somehow chameitz—that they violated the spirit of Judaism like bread is forbidden on Pesach.

Over time, the story itself transformed into the legend of a women speaking in Florida, at which a man heckled from the audience, saying, “A woman belongs on the bimah as much as an orange on the seder plate.”

As Heschel reflects, “A woman’s words are attributed to a man, and the affirmation of lesbians and gay men is erased. Isn’t that precisely what’s happened over the centuries to women’s ideas?”

But the story of this story gets even more interesting—the women who wrote that Haggadah at Oberlin wrote recently about their version, in which they shared that they had never put the bread on the seder plate.

Instead, they took the crust of bread concept from a short story, and transformed it into leaving a blank space on the seder plate, “A Makom (place) on our seder plate for all who have been condemned and excluded because of fear or ignorance.”

In Heschel’s telling of the story, the act of the students was erased, even in an act of attempting to be inclusive.   And so this orange becomes a symbol of those who have been erased…and also the idea of how stories change over time…a symbol, perhaps, of the very idea of the balance of our sacred obligation not to change and that which demands change.

Rabbi Elisa Koppel serves Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington, DE. 

Passover Pesach

Passover Round-up from CCAR Members

RavBlog has collected a series of supplemental readings from CCAR members for a  special “Passover Round-up.”  These are meant to be meaningful supplements for your seder, for use in addition to your Haggadot.  If you are in need of last minute Haggadot for your seder, remember that CCAR Press offers both The New Union Haggadah and Sharing the Journey: The Haggadah for the Contemporary Family on your eReader!


Rasha 5778 by Rabbi Dean Shapiro

Pesach Yizkor: Redemptive Remembrance by Rabbi Jennifer Gubitz

Dayenu: For All Times by Rabbi Lucy H.F. Dinner

Ask Me a Seder! A Passover Trivia Game by Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

Dayenu- A Special Passover Reading For American Jews by Rabbi Lance J. Sussman

The Women of the Passover Story by Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik

The Four Children of Metropolis by Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik

Cancer Supplement for Seder by Rabbi Ben David

Dayeinu…When Will Enough Be Enough? by Rabbi Marla Feldman (originally for the Women of Reform Judaism)

2018 Passover Seder Supplement by the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte



Passover Pesach Social Justice

In Every Generation

A Reading for Pesach 5778*

In every generation

We come out of Egypt.

Let freedom ring.

In every generation

We stand up to Pharaoh.

Let freedom ring.

In every generation

We part the waters.

Let freedom ring.

In every generation

We march toward the Promised Land.

Let freedom ring.

In every generation

We teach our children.

Let freedom ring.

In every generation

Our children teach us.

Let freedom ring.

In every generation

We march for our lives.

Let freedom ring.


In this generation

Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech- we march for our lives.

Let freedom ring.

In this generation

Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland- we march for our lives.

Let freedom ring.

In this generation

Two hundred sixty five million guns fill our country- we march for our lives.

Let freedom ring.

In this generation

Ninety seven souls die from gun violence each and every day- we march for our lives.

Let freedom ring.

In this generation

Young and old, black and white, Jew and gentile…said enough; enough.

Let freedom ring.


*Participants at the seder are invited to echo the repeating lines.

Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz serves The Jewish Publication Society in Philadelphia and Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia, NJ.