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Passover Celebration:
Conducting a Representative Seder
Copyright © 2007, 2008 - All rights retained by author

Ceremony Instructions compiled by C. W. Booth
Recipes compiled by Jane E. Booth


Explanatory Comments Regarding Conducting a Representative Seder

This document is all about hosting and conducting a representative Seder ceremony. Passover is celebrated in Jewish households as a somber rite in the form of a Seder service. This "representation" is not the full Jewish Seder cemermony. As a representation it is greatly simplified and shortened for a Christian setting and should not be mistaken for the formal rite conducted in Jewish homes. As a representative ceremony it is intended only to give a sense for what a Jewish home ceremony might be like, to expose the Christian to the rich symbology embedded in the Passover celebration (which all pointed prophetically to Christ), and to remind the Christian of his faithís heritage. Much of the traditional readings have been removed or modified; for example, the instructions and directives for cleansing the house have been omitted, and the elements themselves, if prepared as indicated, will not be entirely kosher.

Italicized text (such as seen here) should not be read out loud when conducting the representative Seder. Italicized text are instructions to the host. All other text may be read aloud by whoever is moderating the Seder. Seders were celebrated with family or family and friends, and often, newcomers to the community were invited to celebrate with an established family in the area.

This representative Seder is written to be read aloud (and followed) as one might conduct a liturgy or script. The parts to be read aloud will not be italicized. After all your guests are seated, hand out to each celebrant one of the printed passages found at the end of this representative Seder. Sederís are both interactive and participatory. It takes about 45 minutes to conduct this representative ceremony (though it always feels as if only 10 minutes have actually passed, such is the engrossing nature of the ceremony).

Caution: conducting or hosting even this representative Seder takes signigicant preparation and planning, especially with regard to the food elements served. Whenever our household hosts a representative Seder (we do this annually as a matter of family tradition) a complete meal is served immediately following the Seder ceremony. A planning guide and recipes follow the Script for Conducting the Representative Seder. Begin purchasing ingredients and other items one week before the ceremony, and begin cooking at least one day prior.

Finally, some Christians may feel uneasy participating in a Law-inspired festival. Certainly, doing so is optional, and participation is entirely at one's own discretion. However, to better equip the Christian regarding their liberties in this matter, I have posted a short set of Frequently Asked Questions at: passoverfaqs.html.

 





Script for Conducting a Representative Seder

Introduction (the host of the Seder should read the following out loud)

What follows is a representative Seder ceremony. Seder means "order," as in order-of-service for a Passover celebration. Jewish households may take as long as four hours to conduct their formal celebration. This representative Seder will take about 45 minutes, followed by a relaxed dinner.

This tradition began for the Jews the night that God used plagues to free the Jews from slavery in Egypt over 4000 years ago. This is a 4000 year-old ceremony. Because the Pharaoh of Egypt would not free the slaves, the Angel of Death went throughout Egypt that night killing the firstborn person in any house where there was no lambís blood on the doorway. During this same evening the Jews were eating a specially prepared meal of haste. God commanded them to eat a meal symbolic of that original meal of haste on one day every year since that original night. It is known as Passover, because the Angel of Death passed over their houses, sparing their firstborn children, and ultimately setting free the entire nation of Jews from their slavery in Egypt.

When Jesus celebrated one of the Passover meals (now known as the Last Supper), He being the very fulfillment of the Law of Moses, imparted to the church a replacement for the Seder. Jesus said His blood and body would now do what the lambís blood and body did for the Jews--specificially, to become a sacrifice that would save and free the people of God.

The Seder, as Moses instituted it for the first time, looked forward to salvation from Egyptian bondage, and every year since, it looks back to that literal salvation from Egypt, the Exodus. Simarly, as Jesus broke bread with His disciples that night, He had them look forward to their impending salvation by His own personal sacrifice. Every time we celebrate communion, the new Seder, we look back at our salvation through Jesusí sacrifice.

What the Jews did not fully understand at the time they celebrated the first Seder (and every Seder since), was the symbolism of the elements. The symbolic food, words, and actions they took were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. For example, traditionally they will set a symbolic place at their Seder table for Elijah, next to the open door, for he is the one who was to come to prepare the way for the Messiah. They have not yet realized that John the Baptist was Elijah and that Jesus was the Messiah for whom they still wait. Tonight, similarly, we too now look forward to the return of the Messiah.

Therefore, it is entirely Godís purposeful intention that this remembrance of the Passover and Exodus be similar to the breaking of bread or "communion." It reminds us of God's salvation of His people. The Jews look back at their salvation from Egyptian bondage and forward to the Messiah to come. We look back to Christ's redemption of mankind and forward to our eventual eternity with Christ. Given that this celebration is representative of what Jesus replaced, we should take a moment and prepare our hearts with silent prayer, then, after a few moments, the pastor or the host will close in prayer.

[Instruction to host: Similar to communion, take a moment and pray silently for forgiveness of oneís own sins. Open prayer is often very effective at this point, encourage all who wish to do so, to pray.

Before anyone sits at the table, make certain that the table is set with one Seder plate for every participant, and one place setting for Elijah. It is also acceptable for two people to share one plate. The plate should already hold all the Seder elements before people are seated. One special Seder plate should be set in the middle of the table, holding the same elements plus a lambís bone.]

Lighting the Table Candles

Ask the youngest unmarried girl to light the candles. If no unmarried girl is present, the mother or wife of the hosting family will light the candles.

The youngest unmarried girl present is to light the table candles for the Seder. This is symbolic of how a virgin gave birth to the Messiah and thus brought the light into the world.

Ask for these readings: Isaiah 7:14, 9:6,7, Matthew 1:21- 23.

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." (Matthew 1:21-23)

Remember, Seder means "the order of service to celebrate the Passover." The Jews have a book for conducting Seder that is called the "Haggadah." Haggadah simply means, "the story." It is the story of the flight from Egypt which is found in the book of Exodus. We will read a little of that story.

Read Exodus 12:1-14 and 22-27, which is the Passover as explained by God.

Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household. 'Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 'You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 'They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste--it is the LORD'S Passover. 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments--I am the LORD. 'The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance. (Exodus 12:1-14)

"You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. "For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. "And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. "When you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. "And when your children say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?' you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.'" And the people bowed low and worshiped. (Exodus 12:22-27)

 




Symbolism of the Seder

Ensure you have prepared sufficient Seder plates, one plate to be shared by two people, or, one plate per person.

Elements on the plates:

  • 1. Parsley (Karpas)
  • 2. Egg(Beitzah)
  • 3. Bone(Z'roah)--typically only on the center plate
  • 4. Horseradish (Maror)- bitter herb
  • 5. Charoset
  • 6. Matzo - unleavened bread
  • 7. Bowl of salt water-symbolizes tears that were shed over the destruction of the temple, or the tears of slavery. Ex. 3:7 or Exodus 14:21,22(the Red Sea).
  • 8. Wine - The four glasses of wine recall God's promises to take the Israelites out of Egypt, serve them, redeem them, and lead them to the promised land.

Host will now explain the elements.

  1. The Parsley stands for: "new life." The parsley represents your life, and your new life in Christ.

    Read Exodus 2:23b

    The sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. (Exodus 2:23b)

    Host will now explain:

    Take the parsley from your plate. Dip the parsley in the salt water and eat it. At first it will taste sweet, but keep chewing it and it will get bitter. Then swallow it. It is representative of the sweet times Israel had when they first went to Egypt, but as the years went by and they transitioned from being guests in the land to slaves in the land, their lives became more and more bitter. The same is true in our own lives. At first we see life as sweet, but eventually we begin to recognize the bitterness of our captivity to sin.

  1. The Egg stands for "Renewal of life." The bowl of salt water is tears. Even in enslavement and tears, God kept His promises to continue the generations of Israel, and to make them a great nation even while the resided in Egypt.

Read Genesis 46:2-4

God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here I am." He said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. (Genesis 46:2-3)

Dip the egg in the salt water and eat.

Host will now say:

In a traditional Seder, the children are required to ask pre-written questions. Pre-written answers are then read by the father in response. "And when your children say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?' you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.'" And the people bowed low and worshiped. (Exodus 12:26-27).

In this representative ceremony, we will select a child to ask ask each question and I will read the response.

Questions to be asked one at at time by a young child, or youngest person:

    1. On all other nights, we eat leavened bread On this night, why do we eat only matzah or unleavened bread?
    2. On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables. On this night, why do we eat only bitter herbs?
    3. On all other nights, we do not dip our vegetables even once. On this night, why do we dip them twice?
    4. On all other nights, we eat our meal sitting. On this night, why do we eat only reclining?

    And the Leader or host will answer:

    1. On all other nights we eat leavened bread, but on Passover we eat only matzah. This reminds us that when we fled from Egypt, we did not have time to let the bread rise. Jesus often compared yeast to sin He came to die and take away our sin.
    2. On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on Passover we eat only maror, or bitter herbs. This reminds us of how bitter life was for us in Egypt. It also reminds us of life in slavery to sin.
    3. On all other nights we do not dip our vegetables even once, but tonight we dip them twice. We have already dipped our parsley in salt water. Later we will dip our bitter herbs into sweet charoset. This mixture reminds us of the mortar and bricks which we were forced to make as slaves in Egypt.
    4. On all other nights we eat sitting up, but tonight we eat reclining This is to remind us that we are now free from slavery and may relax and enjoy this feast at our leisure.)
  1. The Bone stands for: "the outstretched arm of the Lord brings salvation"
  2. Read Psalm 136:10-12, Psalm 98:1-2

    To Him who smote the Egyptians in their firstborn, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, And brought Israel out from their midst, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, With a strong hand and an outstretched arm, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalms 136:10-12)

    O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. (Psalms 98:1-2)

    Moses commanded that the the bones of the Passover meal are to be unbroken (Numbers 9:10-12, Exodus 12:46). The bone on the table symbolizes the Passover lamb. In Leviticus the Jews were commanded to get a lamb, not a deformed one but a perfect, unblemished one. They were to keep it in their house for four days and get close to it, much as one would adopt a pet dog, and then the father had to kill it and hang it over the doorpost so that the blood would drain out of the lamb into a basin in front of the door. Then they would take a branch of the hyssop plant and dip it into the blood, and hit the top and then the sides of the door. [Host should demonstrate this with arm motions.]

    To Christians, the top of the door symbolizes the blood shed by the crown Christ wore. The sides of the doorposts symbolize His pierced hands, and the basin for His feet. By the blood of this Passover lamb they were saved from the angel of death. The bone also symbolizes that Jesus' bones were not broken on the cross. Instead He was pierced.

    Read John 19:33-37, Psalms 34:19-22. Isaiah 53:3-7

    but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN." And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED." (John 19:33-37)

    Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned. (Psalms 34:19-22)

    He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:3-7)

    Isaiah 53:7 is a wonderful passage of compassion which tells us that Jesus was the lamb slaughtered for our sins.

  3. Horseradish is a bitter herb (Maror), to remind us of the bitterness of slavery and also the tears shed over your own sinful condition. Maror usually consists of romaine lettuce, endive, escarole, or horseradish. It should be harsh and make you cry. This is important, you must break the matzo cracker in two, then, using the broken matzo scoop some up and taste it. The goal is to make your eyes cry, as if over the bitterness of the sins which made you break the matzo.
  4. "Charoset" represents the mortar the Jews used to make bricks for the Egyptians. It is very sweet because on the last few days in captivity, even as they labored to make bricks with which to make buildings for their Egyptian task masters, the Hebrew slaves smiled to themselves knowing that Moses had come and they would soon be delivered. It was a sweet moment even as they struggled to keep working. Break another matzo cracker in two, scoop some up and taste it.
  5. Matzo cracker is unleavened bread. Leaven is another word for yeast, and yeast always symbolizes sin.
  6. In the center of the table are three pieces of matzo covered with white linen. The matzo tosh (or bag) has three pockets for this purpose.

    In traditional Hebrew households, the wife is to prepare for Passover by literally cleaning out the house of all leaven (sin). The husband then would take a wooden spoon, a feather, and a piece of linen and go over the house with the children to check for, and to make sure the house was free of, leaven. The wife would leave a little leaven in an obvious place, and the husband would sweep up the leaven with the feather into the spoon and place both into the linen to be burned in a community bonfire, so that the "sin" would be gone from the house and from the neighborhood.

    To Christians, the wooden spoon symbolizes the cross, the feather symbolizes the heavenly dove or the Holy Spirit, and the linen represents a shroud used for burial of the body of Christ. Thus the husband is sweeping the sin away by the power of the Spirit onto the cross and placing them into a shroud, then burning it. The bonfire symbolizes hell, the place of the ultimate destruction of all evil.

    The matzo bread is flat because the night of the exodus the Jews had no time to let it rise, they were leaving Egyp soon. Jewish tradition does not explain why the cracker has holes and stripes. As I hold up this Matzo to the light, you can see the holes that pierce it, and that the holes are lined up into stripes. To the Christian, however, the holes symbolize that the unleavened bread is pierced, as Christ was, "He was pierced for our transgressions" and the bread is striped, also as Christ was, "and by His stripes we are healed." Remember the reading from Isaiah 53:4, 5.

    The linen matzo bag has in it three pieces of matzo bread separated by little cloth pockets, three separate parts but one bag. Jewish tradition explains this as symbolizing "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" or as the "Priest, Levites and Congregation". Obviously to the Christian the linen bag symbolizes the "three in one" Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hebrew tradition is unable to explain what happens next to the matzo.

    [The leader is to take out piece number two from the middle and break it, placing one half back into the bag. Host says:]

    The broken half of piece number two, (called the afikomen, from the Greek word for dessert) is to be wrapped up in yet another piece of linen and hidden somewhere in the house, while the other half of the broken piece remains with the other two, wrapped up in the linen bag. Then the children of the house try to find the broken piece, and whoever finds it gets a reward. This broken, hidden, and found piece is said to represent the sacrificial lamb, and at the end of the Passover meal, everyone gets to taste a small fragment of it.

    [In our household we always act out this part of the ceremony so that the children have a special part in it, something they can remember for years to come.]

    To the Christian, piece number two symbolizes Christ whose body is broken, but who is still part of the Trinity. In other words, He is God. Piece number two of the unleavened (sinless), pierced, striped, broken bread is wrapped in a shroud and hidden, and he who seeks it shall receive a reward, that is, heaven, to be with God. Everyone who desires can taste of His salvation because He left heaven, dwelt among men, allowed His body to be broken, and rose again, leaving behind his death shroud.

    Read Matthew 27:57-60, 28:5-7

    When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. (Matthew 27:57-60)

    The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you." (Matthew 28:5-7)

  7. As previously discussed, the bowl of salt water stands for our tears over our sin and our slavery to it. Through tears, that is the baptism brought about by genuine sorrow, we repent.
  8. The leader should read 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 and Romans 6:3-11

    For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it--{for} I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while--I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to {the point of} repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to {the will of} God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to {the will} {of} God produces a repentance without regret, {leading} to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

    Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with {Him} in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be {in the likeness} of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with {Him,} in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:3-11)

  9. There are also 4 wine goblets symbolizing sanctification, deliverance, redemption, and completion. At the end of the service the Seder participants take their pinky finger and dip it into the wine and flick it at their plate as each of the ten plagues are read aloud, each person repeating the names of the plagues as they flick with their little finger. Blood, frogs, vermin, flies, disease of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, slaying of the firstborn.
  10. We must not forget when thining of the plagues that God used to secure salvation for the Jews, His chosen people, the last plague was the death of all the firstborn of Eypt: Jesus was the firstborn of God, who was slain for us, to secure our salvation.

    Would you all like to join me in either actually dipping your pinky finger in your grape juice and flicking drops onto your plate, or, you can simulate dipping your pinky and flick a dry finger at your plate while repeating the names of the plagues.

    [Flick small finger dipped in wine/grape juice, once for the ten plagues of Egypt while saying:] blood, frogs, vermin, flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, death of firstborn. Jesus was the firstborn, who was slain for us.

Conclusion

That concludes the formal Seder ceremony. When Jesus and the disciples left their Passover dinner, they sang a hymn. This might also be appropriate for your group. Have someone pray for the dinner.

After the prayer, announce that the casual dinner is now beginning. Ask the gentlemen present to collect the seder plates and take them to the kitchen while the ladies bring in the dinnerware and food. Children should be asked to bring glasses and pour water, softdrinks, etc. May God be honored by our remebrance of Christ's liberation of mankind from slavery to sin.

 

Recipes for the Passover Ceremony

(additional recipe ideas may be found in the Jewish-American Kitchen, by Raymond Sokolov, and

Entertaining on the Jewish Holidays, by Israela Banin.

The following recipes and instructions are presented by Jane Booth

Preparation of the Seder Plates:

The Seder table is set with various ceremonial foods: one plate for each participant--or one plate for two people to share, one extra plate for Elija, and one ceremonial plate in the center. (We put the lamb bone in the ceremonial plate but not on the others.)

Each plate is comprised of a piece of Matzo, a lamb shank, a roasted egg, parsley, horseradish, and charoset. A small bowl of salt water is beside each plate.

The table should have two unlit candles on it in the center.

Place one large matzo in each of the three pockets of the linen and fold it closed, placing it in the center of the table by the ceremonial plate.

Grocery List for Preparing the Seder Plates:

Matzo, lamb shank, eggs, fresh parsley, dates, apples, walnuts, cinnamon, ginger, horseradish root, vinegar, and grape juice. You will also need plates, small bowls of salt water, a ceremonial plate, two candles with holders, matches, one piece of white linen to wrap the matzo, and one linen bag or tosh with 3 pockets.

Decorations for the Seder Table:

White and blue and purple are the traditional colors. Bricks could be used for trivets. Pyramids or triangle shapes placed around the table or triangular candle holders. Though we have never gotten this elaborate, canes made of pipe cleaners so as to represent a walking staff (Exodus 12:11). Flowers (Spring) can be added as well as sea shells (Red Sea).

Recipes for the Seder Plate Elements:

Charoset

Ĺ pound tart apples, peeled and cored 1 cup pitted dates

Ĺ cup raisins 1 cup walnut pieces

3/4 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tsp ginger

4 tablespoons grape juice

Finely chop the apples and walnuts. Add the cinnamon, mix, add grape juice to moisten and create a paste like texture. Makes 4 cups. Put a tablespoon-sized serving on each plate.

Chrain (Horseradish)

1 horseradish root, about 4 inches long

White vinegar or lemon juice

Peel the horseradish and grate it finely. If you want to keep the horseradish, sprinkle it with vinegar or lemon juice and store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. For serving immediately, there's no need to add the vinegar. Makes about 1 cup. Put a teaspoon sized serving on each plate.

 

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Preparations and Recipes for the Passover Meal

The Ceremony is done first, then the celebratory meal. A sample menu might be as follows:

Chopped chicken liver or gefilte fish (we have never served that dish)

Chicken soup with matzo balls (always a favorite at our house)

Broiled(butterflied) leg of lamb or brisket of beef (we always roast beef instead of lamb)

Sweet carrots or leek patties

Roasted or Mashed potatoes

Tossed green salad

Dessert

Fruit salad with chocolate sponge cake (our household prefers an ordinary chocolate cake)

or

Nuant with honey sponge cake

Tea and coffee

Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls

3-4 lb. chicken, cut up

1 1/2 onions, sliced

6 small carrots peeled and cut into chunks

1/4 bunch celery, sliced (with or without leaves)

1 green pepper, halved

2 zucchini

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

water, just enough to cover the chicken

Put chicken into large pot with water; bring to boil with pot partly covered. Reduce heat, skim fat from surface of water, and add rest of ingredients. Cover pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Put through strainer and throw out the vegetables. Bring to boil and add matzo balls. Cook 20 minutes.

Matzo Balls

3 eggs

3/4 cup matzo meal

3 tbl water

2 tbl vegetable oil

1 tsp salt

4 quarts chicken broth

Mix eggs, oil, and salt. Then thoroughly blend matzo meal into mixture. Add water, and mix again. Cool in refrigerator for one hour. Bring chicken broth to boil. Wetting hands with cold water, shape mixture into balls the size of cherry tomatoes. Drop balls into boiling broth. Cook until fluffy but firm (15-20 minutes). Remove balls and serve in chicken soup, or place in covered bowl and refrigerate. If refrigerated, allow balls to come to room temperature before serving in soup.

Broiled (Butterflied Lamb)

One 5 lb leg of lamb, boned and butterflied

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper

Mint jelly

Have butcher bone lamb and spread it out so that thickness is fairly even. Save bone to use as Z'roah. If lamb has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature. Rub thoroughly with garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Broil both sides six inches from broiler, about 15 minutes a side. Slice thinly against the grain. Serve with mint jelly.

Simple Roast Beef

Slow roast in your oven in a stainless steel turkey roaster (with its own fitted stainless steel lid) for 3-4 hours (depending on size of cut and temperature selected). Add no spices. Save the juice for use as gravy.

Sweet Carrots

12 medium sized carrots

1 1/2 cup chicken broth

4 tbl margarine

3 tbl sugar

1/2 tsp salt

pepper

Put all ingredients, except carrots, into saucepan, stir, and bring to boil. Reduce heat, add carrots, and simmer until carrots are tender (about 30 minutes). make sure that carrots remain submerged in liquid while cooking. Remove carrots and continue to simmer liquid until it thickens. Pour liquid over carrots and serve. Can be made in advance, refrigerated, and reheated with carrots in liquid.

 

Roasted Potatoes

2 medium potatoes per person

Butter or vegetable oil, melted (enough to coat potatoes and bottom of pan or casserole)

salt, pepper

paprika

parsley, chopped

Wash potatoes thoroughly, but do not peel. Parboil in salted water until barely tender (10 minutes). Pour off water and cover potatoes with cold water. Slip skins off under cod water, and with point of paring knife dig out any dark spots. Drain potatoes, cut into half. Coat with butter or oil. Salt each piece to taste and pepper generously. Sprinkle with paprika. Coat bottom of roasting pan with butter or oil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast until tender and brown, turning occasionally and recoating with butter or oil. If not brown when tender, broil for a few minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Chocolate Sponge Cake

1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or both

4 tbl matzo meal

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

Mix nuts, matzo meal, and chocolate, and set aside. Separate whites and yolks of eggs, and put yolks aside. Beat whites with sugar until very stiff. Fold in unbeaten yolks one by one. Then fold in the mixture. Place in cake pan. Bake cake at 350 degrees until brown or toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Leave in open oven until cool, so it won't fall. Serve with fruit salad. Serves 8.

Shopping List

(for eight)

Seder Ceremony:

Fresh Parsley

One dozen hard-boiled eggs

One leg of lamb, butterflied, keep the bone

One 4 inch horseradish root

Matzo crackers

Matzo bread

Grape juice

One apple(Sephardic charoset) or 1 lb apples (Ashkenazic)

4 oz. walnut halves

cinnamon

grape juice

1/2 lb dates

raisins

vinegar or lemon juice

two white candles and matches

Individual Passages to be Printed Out for Ease of Reading

Print, cut apart, and distribute passages to willing participants for reading at the appropriate time in the ceremony.

Isaiah 7:14

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6,7,

6. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7. There will be no end to the increase of {His} government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Matthew 1:21- 23

21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

22. Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23. "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."

Exodus 12:1-14

1. Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,

2. "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.

3. "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household.

4. 'Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons {in them;} according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb.

5. 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

6. 'You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.

7. 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.

8. 'They shall eat the flesh that {same} night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

9. 'Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, {both} its head and its legs along with its entrails.

10. 'And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.

11. 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: {with} your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste--it is the LORD'S Passover.

12. 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments--I am the LORD.

13. 'The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy {you} when I strike the land of Egypt.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

14. 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it {as} a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it {as} a permanent ordinance.

Exodus 12:22-27

22. "You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.

A Memorial of Redemption

23. "For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite {you.}

24. "And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.

25. "When you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite.

26. "And when your children say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?'

27. you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.' " And the people bowed low and worshiped.

Exodus 2:23b

  1. the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of {their} bondage rose up to God.

Genesis 46:2-4

2. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here I am."

3. He said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.

4. "I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes."

Exodus 12:26-27

26. "And when your children say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?'

27. you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.' " And the people bowed low and worshiped.

 

Psalm 136:10-12

To Him who smote the Egyptians in their firstborn, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

11. And brought Israel out from their midst, For His lovingkindness is everlasting,

12. With a strong hand and an outstretched arm, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

 

Psalm 98:1-2

  1. O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.
  2. The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.

John 19:33-37

32. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him;

33. but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

34. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

35. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

36. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN."

37. And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED."

Psalm 34:19-22

19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

20. He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken.

21. Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22. The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

Isaiah 53:3-7

3. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being {fell} upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

6. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

7. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.

 

Matthew 27:57-60

57. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.

58. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given {to him.}

59. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60. and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

 

Matthew 28:5-7

5. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

6. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

7. "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you."

 

Four Questions to be Asked by Young Child

    1. On all other nights, we eat leavened bread On this night, why do we eat only matzah or unleavened bread?
    2. On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables. On this night, why do we eat only bitter herbs?
    3. On all other nights, we do not dip our vegetables even once. On this night, why do we dip them twice?
    4. On all other nights, we eat our meal sitting. On this night, why do we eat only reclining?


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Page Originally Posted: April 3, 2007
Page Last Revised: April 6, 2008