BLESSING FOR KARPAS

The karpas is the green growing life all around, while the salt water is the ocean from which all life comes.  With the blessing of the karpas, we welcome the Chei ha’Olamim, the Life of all the Worlds.  We honor haMakom, the place from which life comes, from which hope comes.

Baruch ata yah, eloheinu ruach ha’olam, borei peri ha’adamah.

BLESSING FOR CHAROSET

One name for Shekhinah is the Holy Apple Orchard.  The charoset reminds us of the mortar the slaves used in Egypt, yet it is also an embodiment of Shekhinah, the Tree of Life.  Legend tells that even after the Hebrew women were threatened with the death of their children, they used the orchards as a secret birthplace.  The “secret orchard” of the Divine Presence, embodied in these fruits, is ready for us to birth new things. 

Bruchah at shekhinah eloteinu ruach ha’olam borei prei ha’etz.

 

Kiddush / First Cup: To Honor the Earth

Rabbi Jill Hammer and Kohenet Ketzirah Lesser

Ritual for the Night Before Pesach

Rabbi Jill Hammer 

dayenu Song

Four questions song

Rav kohent Taya mA

 

Illustrations

 

Blessing for Rosh Chodesh Nisan

Shine on us, shine into us,

sliver of moonlight

teardrop of a slave

 

shine down on us, shine on over to us,

chaff of wheat tired of hearing the cries

of people whose hearts have

been pounded down like matza

 

shine towards us:

this is how much light we can hold

this is how much light we can digest

and no more

O Moon of Nisan

be gentle with us

we have never known you before

 

we have been waiting for you

for all of our lives

for so many generations

 

give us time

and when you grow into a whole matza

we will be ready.

KOhenet ilana Joy Streit

THE FOUR CUPS AND THE FOUR CHILDREN

“I will take you out, I will save you, I will redeem you, I will take you to be my people.” - Four promises of the Exodus, represented by the four cups.

The Torah speaks of four children: one wise, one wicked, one simple, and one who does not know how to ask. - Passover Haggadah

 

Closing your eyes, take three breaths and find yourself at a seder table.  You may be alone or there may be people with you.  There are not yet any cups for the seder on the table.  

The wise child, the chacham or chachamah, enters the room and brings you the first cup for the seder.  Notice whether the wise child is familiar or unfamiliar, as well as all the other attirbutes of this child.  Notice what kind of cup it is that the wise child brings you.  If it seems right to you, take a drink from this cup.  How does it taste?  Observe what kind of liberation the cup of the wise child holds for you.

The wicked child, the rasha, enters the room and brings you the second cup for the seder.  Notice whether the wicked child is familiar or unfamiliar, as well as all the other attributes of this child.  Notice what kind of cup it is that the wicked child brings you.  If it seems right to you, take a drink from this cup.  How does it taste? Observe what kind of liberation the cup of the wicked child holds for you.

The simple child, the tam or tamah, enters the room and brings you the third cup for the seder.  Notice whether the simple child is familiar or unfamiliar, as well as all the other attributes of this child.  Notice what kind of cup it is that the simple child brings you.  If it seems right to you, take a drink from this cup.  Observe what kind of liberation the cup of the simple child holds for you.

The child who does not know how to ask enters the room and brings you the fourth cup for the seder.  Notice whether this child is familiar or unfamiliar, as well as all the other attirbutes of this child.  Notice what kind of cup it is that this child brings you.  If it seems right to you, take a drink from this cup.  Observe what kind of liberation the cup of the child who does not know how to ask holds for you.

Some say there should be a fifth cup at the seder.  Perceive that you are the fifth cup.  See what you are full with now that you have drunk from all four cups.  Allow this fullness to flow out of you and become a blessing to all.

When you bless the cups at the seder, or when you read about the four children, you may wish to call to mind and share some of the blessings of the four cups that you drank during this inner seder.

Rabbi Rav kohenet jill hammer