Passover Hagada

This is the Passover Hagada (Telling) for Congregation Shema Yisrael:

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SHEMA’S PASSOVER SEDER

PREPARING FOR PASSOVER

BEDIKAT CHAMETZ: THE SEARCH FOR LEAVEN

Special preparations need to be made before we begin our observance of Passover. Before we celebrate the Passover meal, we are instructed to remove all the leaven from our houses, as it is written: “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.” So, on the day before Passover, after we have searched for and removed all the leaven from our homes, we pray this prayer to make sure that our homes are thoroughly cleansed of all leaven:

All leavened bread and leavening that is in my possession, whether I have observed it or not observed it, whether I have searched it out or not searched it out, shall be rendered null and accounted valueless as the dust of the Earth. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us concerning the removal of leavened bread.

Why would eating anything with leaven be so severely punished to the extent that one would be cut off from God’s covenant people? The answer lies in the fact that Passover is a holiday rich in symbolism, and leaven is used throughout the Scriptures as a symbol for sin. In ancient times, before a batch of leavened dough was baked into bread, part of the dough was pinched off and set aside. Later that piece of leavened dough was added to a new batch of flour, leavening the new batch. This symbolizes the devastating and destructive cycle of sin, which began with our first parents, Adam and Eve.

Very early in human history, Adam and Eve sinned against our Creator by joining the rebellion of the fallen angels. Sin, confusion, chaos and domination by the real and deadly forces of Satan, sin, and death followed their rebellion and took control of humanity. Adam and Eve were alienated from the Creator. When He appeared in the garden, instead of coming to God, Adam and Eve avoided Him and hid among the trees. Their relationship with God, who is the source of life, was damaged; and every aspect of their humanity was affected. Their bodies, souls, wills, minds and spirits – all were corrupted. Adam and Eve were not allowed to eat from the Tree of Life and were exiled from the delightful Garden of Eden. Instead of being headed to life, they were headed to death, the First Death – physical death – followed by the Second Death, which is Gehenna, Hell, the Lake of Fire.

Their corrupted nature and doomed future were transmitted to all the following generations – like leavened dough is pinched off and added to a new batch leavening the new batch, and then leavened dough from that new batch is pinched off and added to yet another new batch. All of humanity is alienated from the good and holy Creator; dead in our trespasses and sins; cursed with a fallen nature; unable to save ourselves; unable to give ourselves a new, godly nature.

Satan and the fallen angels are real. Sin is a real and powerful force; and it is ruinous and deadly. Our corrupt, fallen, sin nature is very real; and it is ruinous and deadly. But the good news is that the power of sin and our corrupt nature can be overcome! We can become new human beings – new men and women who have a new nature, a nature that rejects rebellion against God, a new nature that loves God and wants to please God, serve God, live for God, resist sin and do what God wants. Rabbi Paul used this ceremony of removing leaven from the home to teach us the need for and the possibility of breaking this cycle of sin and the sin nature that has been transmitted from generation to generation when he wrote the following to Messiah’s Community at Corinth: “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch – as you really are. For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the holiday, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” We must not allow sin to rule in our lives fulfilling its desires. Just as we systematically cleanse our homes of leaven in order to celebrate the Passover, so too we must search our hearts asking God to reveal and remove any sin from our lives in order that we may break the cycle of sin and enjoy all the blessings that come from Messiah, our Passover lamb and true Matza, who has made it possible to conquer Satan, sin, the sin nature and death!

THANKING GOD FOR KEEPING US ALIVE

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,

שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִיְעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶה!

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, she-heh-cheh-ya-nu v’kee-y’mah-nu v’hi-gee-yah-nu laz-man ha-zeh!

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us in life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this season!

LIGHTING THE PASSOVER CANDLES

It’s appropriate that the woman lights the candles that bring light to the Passover celebration. It reminds us that Messiah is the “Seed of the Woman” and the Light of the World who will overcome the powers of darkness and restore truth and life.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,

אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּיֵשׁוּעַ הַמָשִׁיחַ אוֹר הָעוֹלָם וּפֶּסַח שֶׁלָנוּּּּּּּּּּּּּּ

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’Yeshua HaMashiach, Or ha’olam u’Pesach shelanu.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us in Yeshua the Messiah, the Light of the World and our Passover Lamb.

KIDDUSH: SANCTIFICATION, THE FIRST CUP

Wine is a symbol of joy since wine makes glad the heart of man. During the Seder we will drink four cups of wine. Each cup has its own name and meaning. Let’s begin our Passover meal by thanking God for the Cup of Sanctification and praying that this meal will be set apart to accomplish His purposes.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, Boray p’ree hagafen.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

URCHATZ: WASHING THE HANDS

It’s traditional to wash our hands before the Passover food is eaten. At His Last Supper, which was a Passover Seder, Messiah was aware the Father had put everything in His power and that He had come from God and was returning to God. So Yeshua rose from the table, removed His outer garment, and wrapped a towel around His waist. Then He poured some water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and wipe them off with the towel wrapped around Him. He said to them, “If I, your Lord and Rabbi, have washed your feet, you should also wash each other’s feet. For I have set you an example so that you may do as I have done to you.” Knowing that He had been given all authority in Heaven and on Earth and He had eternally shared the glory of God and would soon return to again share God’s glory, Messiah acted as a servant and washed the feet of His disciples. He set for all time the supreme example of servanthood and humility. Let us now wash our hands.

KARPAS: PARSLEY

Passover is observed in the spring when the Earth is green with life, and so the karpas represents life. We dip it into salt water, which represents tears, and eat it. This reminds us that during our enslavement in Egypt, we shed many tears. The karpas can also represent hyssop – the plant that was dipped into the blood of the Passover lamb that was applied to the doorposts of our houses in Egypt.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַאֳדָמָה.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, Boray p’ree ha’adamah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the ground.

YACHATZ: DIVIDE THE MIDDLE MATZA

Why do we have a matzatash that contains three pieces of matza in one bag? Why are they separated from one another by a piece of cloth? Why do we take the middle piece out, break it in half, put one half back in the matzatash, wrap the other half in a cloth and hide it? Some say that the three pieces of matza in one bag represent the priests, the Levites and Israel. Another interpretation is that the three represent Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But it’s obvious that this matza does not represent the priests, the Levites and Israel nor Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Why would we break the Levites or Isaac in half? As Messianic Jews and kosher-hearted Christians, we can see a greater Three-In-One: God the Father (whom no one has seen); Messiah Yeshua, the Son of God (who reveals God to us); and the Holy Spirit (whom no one has seen)!

The middle matza reminds us of Messiah. It is the one that is removed from the middle of the matzatash, just as the Son of God was the One who came from Heaven and was revealed on Earth. It is unleavened just as Yeshua lived a perfectly sinless life. Matza is called the “bread of affliction” because we were driven out of Egypt under duress and hastily so that there wasn’t time for our bread to rise. In a similar manner, Messiah was afflicted. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Just as one half of the matza is put back in the matzatash and the other half, the afikomen, is wrapped up and hidden, so Messiah was wrapped in graveclothes and hidden in a tomb. It’s likely that this ceremony about the maztatash and the middle matza, which so clearly points to Yeshua, was developed by the early Messianic Jews.

MA NISHTANAH: THE FOUR QUESTIONS

Passover provides a yearly opportunity to teach our children God’s plan of redemption. It is written in the Torah: “You shall observe this service. And it will come about when your children will say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover service to the Lord.’” To make sure that the children fulfill this Scripture, the youngest son asks four questions.

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת? שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה. הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה? שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת. הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מָרוֹר? שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת. הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים? שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין. הַלַּיְלָה הַזּה כֻּלָּנוּ מְסֻבִּין?

Ma nish-ta-nah ha-lie-lah ha-zeh mi-kol ha-lay-lot? She-b’chol ha-lay-lot ah-nu och-leen cha-metz u’matza. Ha-lie-lah ha-zeh ku-lo matza? She-b’chol ha-lay-lot ah-nu och-leen sh’ar y’ra-kot. Ha-lie-lah ha-zeh ma-ror? She-b’chol ha-lay-lot ayn ah-nu mat-bee-leen a-fee-lu pa’am eh-chat. Ha-lie-lah ha-zeh sh’tay f’ah-meem? She-b’chol ha-lay-lot ah-nu och-leen bayn yosh-veen u’vayn m’su-been. Ha-lie-lah ha-zeh ku-lah-nu m’su-been?

Why is this night different from all other nights?

  • On all other nights we eat either leavened or unleavened bread; why on this night do we only eat unleavened bread?
  • On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables; why on this night must we eat bitter herbs?
  • On all other nights we do not even dip our food once; why on this night do we dip it twice?
  • On all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining; why on this night do we only recline?

The answer to the last question is that we recline in contrast to our ancestors, who ate the first Passover Seder in haste, with their waists belted, their shoes on their feet, their staffs in their hands and ready to make a hasty departure. That night we were slaves. Slaves don’t recline while eating. However, God freed us that first Passover. Since we are no longer slaves and no longer need to make a hasty departure from Egypt, we purposely do the opposite – we recline while leisurely observing the Passover.

THE FOUR SONS

Just as there are four cups of wine and four questions, so too there are four kinds of sons. Each son requires a response that is best suited to him.

What does the wise son say? He asks: “What are these testimonies, statutes and judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?” Since he is genuinely interested in learning the truth and performing it, you shall instruct him in the laws of the Passover.

What does the wicked son say? He asks: “What do you mean by this service?” The question is similar, but the intent is different. By emphasizing the word “you” he makes it clear that he does not consider himself to be part of the Jewish community. He no longer wishes to be identified with God’s Chosen People. Therefore, the proper response to him is to answer, “This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I went forth from Egypt – for me and not for you, because if you had been there but refused to identify yourself with Israel, you would not have been redeemed.”

What does the simple son say? He asks: “What is this?” Because he is limited in his abilities, the simple son asks a simple question. Since he genuinely wants to know, you shall give him a simple answer and tell him: “With a mighty hand did the Lord bring us forth from Egypt, from the house of slavery.”

But even for the son who has no capacity to inquire, you must still relate the Passover story, as it is said: “And you shall tell your son on that day: ‘This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I went forth from Egypt.’” Even a son who has no ability to inquire still needs to be told the wonderful events of the Passover story and learn about the God who can save a nation of slaves from one of the most powerful nations on Earth.

MAGID: TELLING THE PASSOVER STORY

The children of Israel went down to Egypt in the time of Joseph. God used Joseph to save both the children of Israel and the Egyptians. But years later a new Pharaoh came to power who did not remember Joseph. Instead of showing gratitude, he enslaved our people. The Lord raised up Moses, who went to Pharaoh and demanded that he let the Jewish people go. But Pharaoh was stubborn and refused to let Israel go, so God poured out ten plagues on the land of Egypt. The tenth plague was the worst one of them all – death for all the first-born sons throughout the land of Egypt, both the first-born of Israel and the first-born of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of animals. There was only one way a first-born son could survive that first Passover night. The Lord instructed us to take an unblemished year-old male lamb, kill it, and drain its blood into a bowl. Then we were to take hyssop, dip it in the bowl of blood, and apply it to the two doorposts and the top of the doors of our homes. The Lord said: “When I see the blood on the door I will pass over that house.” The Almighty went throughout the land of Egypt that night and struck every house. There was a great outcry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. But as He had promised, on each door where He saw the blood of a spotless lamb, God passed over that home and spared the first-born son from death. The next day Israel was delivered from Egypt. Then God took us by the hand and led us through the wilderness to the Promised Land of Israel.

Looking back, we can see that Passover was a prophecy of a greater Lamb, a more profound Redemption, and a greater Exodus that was to come. Messiah Yeshua is the Lamb of God who died on Passover to take away the sin of the world. Just as the Jewish people took the blood of the Passover lamb and applied it, by faith, to the doors of our houses, by knowing who Yeshua is and transferring our loyalties to Him, we apply the blood of the Son of God, the perfect and final sacrifice, to our lives. Then God will deliver us from our “Egypts” – our slavery to sin and death, our captivity to the sin nature, our bondage to the world and the gods of this world. The Lord will take us by the hand, walk with us through the wilderness of this world, and lead us to the New Jerusalem where we will live with Him forever!

THE SECOND CUP: THE CUP OF PLAGUES

There was blood in all the waters of Egypt. The Egyptians couldn’t bathe, swim or take a drink. Frogs hopped and croaked everywhere. No one could walk, sleep or play in peace. When the frogs died, there was a great stench throughout Egypt. Lice made the Egyptians very uncomfortable, causing them to scratch themselves but with little relief. Swarms of animals or insects ravaged the land and terrified the people of Egypt. Plagues and diseases sickened and killed the Egyptians’ livestock. Almost all of the horses, donkeys, camels, sheep, goats and cows died. Boils burst forth on the skin of the animals that survived the plagues and on the skin of the Egyptians. It must have been very painful! Hail came down as huge balls of ice and killed the servants who worked in the fields and what little that remained of the Egyptians’ livestock. Many of the plants and trees were destroyed. Huge swarms of locusts came and devoured the remaining trees, plants and grass. Nothing green was left growing. Egypt was stripped bare.

Darkness blotted out the light of the sun for three days. It must have been cold and terrifying! Finally, every first-born son in every Egyptian family died.

These plagues humbled the Egyptians and also demonstrated the superiority of the God of Israel over all the gods of Egypt. The Egyptians worshiped various animals, men like Pharaoh, the Nile River and the sun; and when their gods were affected by the ten plagues, the God of Israel was shown to be more powerful than them all.

Since wine is a symbol of joy, we remove a drop of wine from our cup for each of the ten plagues. This teaches us that we are not to rejoice over the destruction of our enemies. They are human beings made in the image of God, and it is a tragedy when any human being is destroyed. We should feel compassion even toward those who mistreat us.

דָּם Dam, Blood
צְפַרְדֵּעַ Tz’fardayah, Frogs
כִּנִּים Kee-neem, Lice
עָרוֹב Ahrov, Swarms of Insects or Animals
דֶּבֶר Dever, Plague
שְׁחִין Sh’cheen, Boils
בָּרָד Barad, Hail
אַרְבֶּה Arbeh, Locusts
חֹשֶךְ Cho-shech, Darkness
מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת Makat B’cho-rot, Killing of the First-born

DAYENU: IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH FOR US!

If He had brought us forth from Egypt and had not inflicted judgment on the Egyptians, it would have been enough for us. If He had inflicted judgment on them and had not executed judgment on their gods, it would have been enough for us. If He had executed judgment on their gods and had not killed their firstborn, it would have been enough for us. If He had killed their first-born and had not given their wealth to us, it would have been enough for us. If He had given us their wealth and had not divided the sea for us, it would have been enough for us. If He had divided the sea for us and had not drowned our oppressors in the sea, it would have been enough for us. If He had drowned our oppressors in the sea and had not supplied our needs in the wilderness during forty years, it would have been enough for us. If He had supplied our needs in the wilderness during forty years and had not fed us with manna, it would have been enough for us. If He had fed us with manna and had not given us the Sabbath, it would have been enough for us. If He had given us the Sabbath and not given us the Torah, it would have been enough for us. If He had given us the Torah and not led us into the land of Israel, it would have been enough for us.

If He had led us into the land of Israel and had not built the Temple, it would have been enough for us. If He had given us the Messiah and had done nothing else, it would have been enough for us!

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם … דַּיֵּנוּ!

Ee-lu ho-tzee ho-tzee-ah-nu, ho-tzee-ah-nu mee-mitz-rah-yim,

ho-tzee-ah-nu mee-mitz-rah-yim, dai-ye-nu!

אִלּוּ נָתן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַׁבָּת … דַּיֵּנוּ!

Ee-lu natan natan lah-nu, natan lah-nu et ha Shabbat,

natan lah-nu et ha Shabbat, dai-ye-nu!

אִלּוּ נָתן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה … דַּיֵּנוּ!

Elu natan natan lah-nu, natan lah-nu et ha Torah,

natan lah-nu et haTorah, dai-ye-nu!

אִלּוּ נָתן לָנוּ אֶת מָשִׁיחַ … דַּיֵּנוּ!

Ee-lu natan natan lah-nu, natan lah-nu et Mashiach,

natan lah-nu et Mashiach, dai‑ye-nu!

THE HALLEL: PSALMS THAT PRAISE GOD FOR SALVATION

Passover reminds us that the God of Israel is able to intervene in this world. He is able to help, save, rescue and deliver us! The Hallel praises God for various aspects of His saving power.

PSALM 113

We praise God for being so great yet willing to save the lowliest human being: Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is exalted over all the nations, His glory above the Heavens! Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the Heavens and the Earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Hallelu-Yah! Praise the Lord!

PSALM 114

We praise God for being so great that He can deliver a nation that was enslaved to a very powerful nation, part a sea and river, and miraculously provide water from a rock: When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel His dominion. The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. Why was it O sea that you fled, O Jordan that you turned back, you mountains that you skipped like rams, you hills like lambs? Tremble, O Earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water!

Because the Lord did all these miracles for our ancestors, and spared us from most of the plagues that afflicted Egypt, and brought us from slavery to freedom and from misery to joy, we are obligated to thank, praise, laud, glorify, extol, honor, bless, exalt and reverence Him!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, Boray p’ree hagafen.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

MATZA (unleavened bread), MAROR (bitter herbs), BETZA (the egg),

CHAROSET (the apple mixture), ZEROAH (the bone)

Rabbi Paul’s teacher, Rabbi Gamliel, said that whoever does not mention three things at Passover has not done his duty; namely, the Passover lamb, the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs.

The Passover lamb, which our ancestors ate during the existence of the Temple, why was it eaten? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is said: “You shall say, ‘It is a sacrifice of the Passover unto the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and spared our houses.’” The Lord was very specific about what kind of lamb was to be used. The lamb was to be a perfect male in the prime of its life without any defect. It was brought in for observation four days prior to Passover. No bone of the lamb was to be broken. The Passover lamb was a symbol of the Messiah. Yeshua was a perfect male in the prime of His life. He was sinless and blameless in the sight of God. He was observed by Israel for three or four years during His public ministry. And even in His death, not one of His bones was broken.

This unleavened bread, which we now eat, what does it mean? It is eaten because the dough of our ancestors didn’t have time to become leavened before the Most Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to them and redeemed them, as it is written: “They baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened because they were driven out of Egypt, and could not delay; neither had they made any provision for themselves.”

Matza is called “the bread of affliction” because the Egyptians oppressed us. Messiah also was oppressed and afflicted. He was a man of suffering and familiar with pain. When the matza is striped and pierced, it reminds us that Yeshua was “pierced through for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities; the punishment for our peace fell on Him and by His stripes we are healed.” The matza reminds us that Messiah was tempted in all ways like we are, yet He never sinned.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,

אֳשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzee-vah-nu al ah-chee-lat matza.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to eat unleavened bread.

This bitter herb, which we eat, what does it mean? It is eaten because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt, as it is said: “They embittered their lives with hard bondage, in mortar and brick, and in all manner of labor in the field. All their labor was imposed on them with rigor.” The bitter herb reminds us that life in Egypt was full of bitterness.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,

אֳשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַרוֹר.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzee-vah-nu al ah-chee-lat maror.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to eat bitter herbs.

This charoset, which we eat, what does it mean? It represents the mud that was mixed with straw to make the bricks to build Pharaoh’s cities. It reminds us that, if we really know the Three-In-One God and know that we are redeemed, there can still be sweetness even in the midst of life’s bitter circumstances. We must eat the dry matza and the bitter herbs, but we must also eat the delicious charoset. This reminds us that the sons and daughters of God, who are precious in His sight, whom the Father purchased with the blood of His own Son, and for whom He has prepared an everlasting inheritance, must endure many trials in order to enter the kingdom of God. Though we may be despised by the world, we are kings and queens and a royal priesthood. Even if we are oppressed with a multitude of trials and sufferings, we are nevertheless, the possessors of all things!

Rabbi Hillel, during the time of the second Temple, took the matza and the bitter herbs and ate them together because he saw it written: “With unleavened bread and bitter herbs shall they eat it.” Let’s eat the charoset and bitter herbs with the matza.

This egg, which we eat, what does it mean? It represents the sacrifices that were offered at the Temple in Jerusalem during the holidays. But because the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, we can no longer offer any animal sacrifices. That places us in a terrible dilemma since God’s Word demands a sacrifice from us; for without the shedding of blood there is no atonement. We dip the egg into saltwater because we are sorry that we can no longer bring the sacrifices that the Torah requires. But for the one who truly believes in the Messiah, it is comforting to know that Yeshua is the perfect and final sacrifice. Let’s dip the egg into the saltwater and pray that many Jewish people and many people from the nations of the world come to understand His all-sufficient sacrifice.

SHULCHAN ORAYCH: THE PASSOVER MEAL

Since we have prayed that God would sanctify the meal and thanked God for the food, let us now eat the Passover meal.

BARAYCH: BLESSING AFTER THE MEAL

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who, because of Your goodness, grace and love, feeds and supports all Your creatures. May Your name be blessed now and throughout eternity!

TZAFUN: THE HIDDEN AFIKOMEN

After the meal the children search for the afikomen. It was removed from the middle of the matzatash. It is unleavened, often striped and pierced, broken, wrapped up and hidden. The child who finds it brings it to the father, who rewards the child who finds it. In the afikomen and this ceremony, we see the Three-In-Oneness of God. We see the Messiah and His sinless life, death, burial and resurrection. We see the reward that our Heavenly Father gives to each human being who discovers the Messiah. Just as the father takes the matza, breaks it and gives a piece to the members of his family, so at His Last Supper Yeshua took matza, broke it, distributed it to His disciples, and gave it greater meaning when He said: “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” At another occasion, also around Passover, Yeshua said: “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from Heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from Heaven. For God’s bread is the bread that comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world. I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

For the one who is loyal to Yeshua, the afikomen represents His body that was broken for us. Because of His sacrifice, we have atonement and eternal life. For the one who does not believe, this is only the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in Egypt. The bread of affliction was good, but it was not good enough.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,

הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ וְלֶחֶם הַאֱמֶת לֶחֶם הַחַי מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu, Melech ha’olam, Ha-Motzee le-chem min ha’ah-retz v’Lechem ha-Emet, Le-chem ha-Chai min Ha-shah-mah-yim.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the Earth and the true bread, the living bread from Heaven.

THE CUP OF REDEMPTION AND BLESSING

The third cup symbolizes the miraculous way that God saved us out of Egypt. Yeshua took this third cup after supper and gave it greater meaning when He said: “Drink from it, all of you; this cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” For the one who is loyal to Yeshua, this cup represents Messiah’s blood that was shed for our sins to bring us into the New Covenant with God that brings us complete and everlasting redemption. For the one who does not believe, this is only the cup of redemption from slavery in Egypt. Redemption from slavery was good, but it was not good enough.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, Boray p’ree hagafen.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

THE CUP OF HALLEL: THE CUP OF PRAISE

At Messiah’s Last Passover Seder, He and His disciples sang to the Lord, as it is written: “After singing a song, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” The song was likely one of these Hallel psalms.

PSALM 115

We continue to praise God for various aspects of His saving power. We praise Him that salvation comes only from true God, the God of Israel: Not to us, Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in Heaven! He does whatever pleases Him! But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths but can’t speak, eyes but can’t see. They have ears but can’t hear, noses but can’t smell. They have hands but can’t feel, feet but can’t walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. O Israel, trust in the Lord – He is their help and shield. House of Aaron, trust in the Lord – He is their help and shield. You who fear Him, trust in the Lord – He is their help and shield. The Lord remembers us and will bless us: He will bless His people Israel, He will bless the house of Aaron, He will bless those who fear the Lord – small and great alike. May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth! The Highest Heavens belong to the Lord, but the Earth He has given to mankind. It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to the place of silence; it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore! Hallelu-Yah! Praise the Lord!

PSALM 116

We praise God that He is able to save us from the direst circumstances: I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live! The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For You, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.” What shall I return to the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants. Truly I am Your servant, Lord; I serve You just as my mother did; You have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the house of the Lord – in your midst, Jerusalem. Hallelu-Yah! Praise the Lord!

PSALM 117

We praise God that His salvation was designed to flow from Israel to the nations of the world: Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples! For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever! Hallelu-Yah! Praise the Lord!

PSALM 118

We praise God for the ultimate salvation that is found in the Messiah, the Stone that the builders rejected; the One who is the right hand of God; the One who is the gate through which the righteous may enter; the One who comes in the name of the Lord; the Lord who has become our Yeshua, our salvation: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; He brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my Yeshua – my salvation!

Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give You thanks, for You answered me; You have become my Yeshua – my salvation! The Stone the builders rejected has become the Cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! From the house of the Lord we bless You! The Lord is God, and He has made his light shine on us. With branches in hand, join in the holiday procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, Boray p’ree hagafen.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

THE HOLIDAY OF FIRST FRUITS

In ancient times, when the Temple still stood in Jerusalem, Passover preparations began on the evening of the 14th of Nisan when the lambs were slaughtered. The holiday of First Fruits takes place on the 16th of Nisan, which corresponds to the third day of Passover. On the holiday of First Fruits, Israel’s High Priest took the first sheaves of the barley harvest and waved them at the Temple. This wave offering ceremony was like a prayer. By waving the first fruits of the new harvest, the High Priest was, in essence, praying: “Lord God of Israel, thank You for the beginning of this year’s harvest. We offer to You the first fruits. Lord, accept the first fruits, the beginning and best of the harvest; and O Lord, accept us, Your people; and please bring in the rest of the harvest.” If God accepted the first fruits, it guaranteed His blessings for the remainder of the harvest. The holiday of First Fruits was a prophecy that the Messiah, who died on Passover, would come back to life on the third day! Death would not be able to hold the Sinless One! God the Father would raise His innocent and righteous Son from the dead. Messiah would be offered up as the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Messiah is the beginning of God’s harvest of humanity – the first to be raised from the dead. As the First Fruits, Messiah is the first and the best of the sons and daughters of God. Because God the Father found Messiah acceptable and raised Him from the dead as the First Fruits, it is a guarantee that those who believe in Yeshua will likewise be raised from the dead and given eternal life! It’s likely that Messiah was raised from the dead on the day of First Fruits (the 16th of Nisan). The very same day the High Priest was offering the first fruits of the barley harvest, God was raising the Messiah from the dead as the First Fruits of redeemed humanity! The holiday of First Fruits is Messiah’s Resurrection day!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לָנוּ חַגִּים מִנְהָגִים וּמוֹעֲדִים לְסִמְחָה,

לְהַגְדִּיל אֶת דַּעַת יְהֹוָה, וְלִבְנוֹת אֹתָּנוּ בָּאֱמוּנָה קִדוֹשָׁה וְנָעֲלָה!

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, ah-sher nah-tan lah-nu chah-geem, meen-ha-geem, oo-mo-ah-deem l’sim-cha, l’hag-deel et dah-at Adonai, v’leev-note oh-tah-nu b’emunah kee-doh-shah v’na-ah-lah!

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us holidays, customs, and times of happiness to increase the knowledge of God and to build us up in our most holy faith! Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who gave us the holiday of First Fruits, reminding us of Messiah, our Passover Lamb, who died and rose from the dead so that You could pass over our sins and raise us from the dead! May we constantly experience joy because we know we will be raised from the dead because Messiah was raised from the dead! May we experience newness of life and resurrection power each and every day!

THE CUP OF ELIJAH

One cup on the table is reserved for the prophet Elijah, who is the forerunner of the second coming of the Messiah. The Lord promised to send this great prophet who never died to prepare us for the Messiah’s return, so we have a cup reserved for Elijah in case he should visit us at Passover, a time especially connected to our redemption. But someone already came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare Israel for the first coming of the Messiah! John, the forerunner of the first coming, came and immersed people at the Jordan River. One day he saw Yeshua and declared: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” God’s plan to redeem not only the Jewish people but all peoples was once again through a Lamb – the ultimate Passover Sacrifice – the Messiah!

Just as the Jewish people in Egypt applied the blood of a spotless lamb to our doors, we must now apply the blood of Messiah, our Passover Lamb, to the doors of our hearts. We must acknowledge our guilt and our inability to save ourselves and become loyal to Messiah, the perfect sacrifice who died on Passover. Then God will pass over our sins and bring us from our Egypts of sin and death and the things that enslave us and guide us to the greater Promised Land – the New Jerusalem!

Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt, our passage through the Red Sea and our arrival in the Land of Israel are a picture of the true and final deliverance from sin and our sin nature, from death and Hell, from the world and from Satan. We too must turn our back on the world, embrace the death of Yeshua, and go through the Red Sea of immersion. Just as the Jewish people clothed ourselves for travel and left Egypt, we must walk through this world in newness of life clothed with Messiah’s character and resurrection power. Then, just as the Jewish people sang a joyous song on the other side of the Red Sea, the Lord will put a new song in our hearts. He will take us by the hand, walk with us through the wilderness of this world, and lead us to the New Jerusalem where we will live with Him forever and ever!

In light of these truths, here are some additional Passover questions that should be asked: Have you kept the true meaning of Passover? Have you, by knowing who Yeshua is and transferring your loyalties to Him, applied His blood to the doorposts of your heart? Is Yeshua your Passover Lamb? Are you removing the leaven of sin from your life? Have you passed through the Red Sea by making a commitment to join Messiah and His Community? Are you serious about making a decisive break with the sins of the past and living a new, godly life? And have you express this by being baptized? Are you experiencing the joy that comes from knowing Messiah, our Passover Lamb, and the Exodus from your Egypt that He provides?

May each one of us experience the full reality of Messiah’s Passover in our lives! May all Israel and the entire world be speedily redeemed! May Messiah Yeshua soon return to Jerusalem, build up His holy city Zion, rebuild the Temple, gather Israel from the four corners of the world, rule over the nations, bring peace to the Earth, and rule over the world in righteousness, speedily, and in our days! And if you agree, please say, “amayn!”

ELIYAHU HA-NAVEE: ELIJAH THE PROPHET

אֵלִיָהוּ הַנָבִי אֵלִיָהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי אֵלִיָהוּ אֵלִיָהוּ אֵלִיָהוּ הַגִלְעָדִי;

בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ יָבֹא אֵלֵינוּ עִם מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָוִד, עִם מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָוִד!

Eliyahu ha-na-vee, Eliyahu ha-tish-bee Eliyahu Eliyahu Eliyahu ha-gil-ah-dee; bim-hay-ra v’yah-may-nu yah-vo eh-lay-nu eem Ma-shi-ach ben David, eem Ma-shi-ach ben David!

Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Gileadite; speedily and in our days may he come to us with Messiah son of David!

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

L’SHA-NA HA-BA-AH BEE-RU-SHA-LA-YEEM!

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָיִם!

 

By | 2017-04-20T10:52:56+00:00 January 4th, 2013|Categories: Holidays, Prayers, Hagada, Machzor|Tags: |Comments Off on Passover Hagada

About the Author:

Rabbi Loren Jacobs is the senior rabbi and founder of “Congregation Shema Yisrael” (which means “Hear O Israel”). Congregation Shema Yisrael is a Messianic synagogue which was started in 1986 when Rabbi Loren and his wife Martha moved to Michigan to proclaim the Good News about the Messiah to the Jewish people living in the metro Detroit area. Rabbi Loren was raised in a Jewish home in the Chicago area, and became a Messianic Jew in 1975. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute’s Jewish Studies program in 1979 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Literature from Northeastern Bible College in New Jersey in 1986. His wife Martha is a fifth generation Messianic Jew, which is quite unusual. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.