The goal of 2nd Seder is healing, spiritual healing. Each part of the Seder leads points us to the path of healing the pans and infections that build up in our soul. The events of the world and our busy lives have caused us to overlook the little infections to our inner life. Seder comes to work its healing wonders and help us redirect and reconnect with our inner light.
קדש Kadesh: קדש is an anagram of שקד (Shaked) the almond, which was, in truth[1], the fruit of tree of knowledge/life. The shell is the קליפה (klipah) surrounding the fruit which is the original light of enlightenment that G created before any physical light and it was stored within a hidden shell. The מטה (Mateh) of Moshe passed down from Adam and Hava was made of this wood. The klipah knowledge is simple right and wrong the fruit within is the אור זרוע (ohr zaruah) light of creation, the mystery. Yet the almond is not a nut it is a drupe. With other drupe we eat the fleshy outer part, i.e. the peach, plum, cherry. But with the almond, we eat the seed within. The outer part is the קליפה (Klipah) the shards that interfere with the seeking of inner light. When we light the candles we symbolize our recognition of the hidden light within, that light renewed. The wine symbolizes drinking the wisdom of that inner light.

ורחץ Urhatz: We wash away the dust, the mundane of daily existence and we prepare to enter onto sacred path. We do so without blessing. In silence we concentrate on letting go.

כרפס Karpas: Eating simple vegetables raw, directly from the earth, is an affirmation of our connection to the earth and its seasons. The salt water into which we dip the veggies represents the seas that cover 2/3 of the earth. Our modern disconnected ‘mind from heart’ searches for historical non-earth connected reasons. But the connection of heart /mind/body/soul is found in finding the sacred, not only in holy ritual but in the simple path, taking the mundane and sanctifying it. Taste the Karpas, feel the earth/heaven connection.

יחץ Yahatz: Breaking bread is a symbol of peace as in “Lets break bread together. The Matzah has two sides and two meanings. One is “lo, this is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.” The other is the bread of freedom, the dough that had no time to rise as we struck out into the wilderness. We have three Matzot each representing a different ספירה (sefirah) of inner growth; חכמה (hochma) the aha moment of revelation, בינה (binah) the chewing over of wisdom, seeking understanding, דעת (da’at) the format for using that wisdom in our lives. We use the top Matzah for the ברכה (Bracha) blessing our actions hopes and dreams. The bottom Matzah we use for קורח (Koreh), the sandwich of Reb Hillel whose name itself means praise. Eating becomes a praise of the G’ing process of life. The larger part of middle is Matzah is the afikomen which is set aside as a tool for making the sacred connection with those who are in need, physical need, and spiritual need.

In this world there are some who are held down, who do not get the chance to rise …
By Tamara Cohen

Some do not get the chance to rise and spread out like golden loaves of Hallah, filled with sweet raisins and crowned with shiny braids.

Rushed, neglected, not kneaded by caring hands, we grow up afraid that any touch might cause a break. There are some ingredients we never receive.

Tonight, let us bless our cracked surfaces and sharp edges, unafraid to see our brittleness and brave enough to see our beauty.

Reaching for wholeness, let us piece together the parts of ourselves we have found and honor all that is still hidden.
From The Journey Continues: The Ma’yan Passover Haggdah (Ma’yan,2000)

מגיד Maggid: Like Native Americans, we tell over and over again, the story of our path to social, cultural and spiritual freedom. Spiritual freedom requires vigilance and awareness. Everyone at the Seder can remember a Pesah story. It could be a Pesah family memory. It could seemingly have nothing to do with Pesah, yet hidden within is the healing message of Pesah. It can be a story of longing for a higher power, a deep love. It could be a story of helping others. Do you have a story of connection that touches you deeply, of the soil of earth and the heart of heaven coming together?

Stories are outward manifestations of the good questions for deeper understanding.

Example: Crossing the sea of Reeds: Our very name means crossing over. Imagine the fear that our people felt facing that deep unknown marsh. Letting go of our fears and frustrations, regrets, angers, the burdens that we carry is the story of crossing over. We carry our past for that is part of our story, but we can lighten our load.

Role-play idea: The crossing: Characters: Moshe the leader, humble and hopeful and in that aura he finds faith; Pharaoh who tenaciously holds onto a dead past; Hebrews, fearful of an unknown future and spinning the story of the past so that it doesn’t seem that bad; The Egyptians, angry, frightened, bullied by Pharaoh and their own system, unwilling to change; the sea changing its very nature to save our tribe, and then returning to its path which will destroy an army; Moshe’s Mateh, the watcher, the facilitator, the one upon which we can lean for support in trying times; G, the hidden yet revealed in all. Try playing it out.

קשות 4 questions: What are the true questions in our lives? What is it that I need to heal in myself? “Why is this night different from all other nights? Can accepting and learning from the differences in this world help us heal? How do I use rituals to help me heal? These are my questions. What 4 questions can you ask yourself that will help you with the process of healing the process of self-awareness?

בנים4 children[2]: The four children speak to four different mindsets as we approach the Seder. The first child seeks righteousness in hir[3] life finding depth in the ritual. The second child is rebellious. Learning comes through challenges to authority. It is a painful path but it can still be one of growth and learning and contribution. The third child seeks simple straightforward answers. There is something to be said for distilling the path in our minds in order to share it in a simple way. The fourth child is the one who wants to hear the story. By oft telling our story we implant it in the soil of the soul. Each child brings meaning and the challenge of teaching to the table.

History of פסח and of Jewish people. Our Seder tells the story not only of Pesah but of all of Jewish history. Tonight we are all story tellers. Let each of us s share a story from Jewish history. In this way, like Reb Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev[4], we ask to learn the story anew.

רחצה Rahatzah: This washing is not to wash away but rather to soak in what we have shared. The blessing that we say is not for washing but rather for raising our hands. Before the meal we remind ourselves to elevate our most natural actions, eating our meal, to a higher deeper more meaningful place.

מוציא Motzi: Brings to our awareness that our food comes from the earth. It highlights our relationship to Gaia spirit, the recognition that our physicality is earthbound and our spirituality is bound up in the source of all things. It reminds us that we have a role in the G’ing process.

מצה Matzah: The quick baked original fast food. It is a memory peg to our slavery and the promise that we make to become free. If we ignore the fast food of life in our daily rush, we miss experiencing life while we hurry through it. While Matzah is made quickly (less than 18 minutes from flour to baked Matzah) it is made mindfully Matzah is simple food and yet it is filled with meaning. As we taste the Matzah let us find in our hearts a simple path to deeper awareness the source of all healing. Take a bite of the Matzah and maybe share a simple sweet memory that you carry.

מרור Maror: It teaches an important lesson. Into each life some bitterness comes. Take a moment and think to yourself of a bitter time in your life. Now say the blessing and taste the Maror. When we stand alone in bitterness, we are corroded from within. The healing of the soul is impeded. But instead, we can view Maror as a condiment in a rich, full, loving life. If we don’t stand alone in our bitterness but have people close to us and faith within us, then the bitter, though it does not become sweet, becomes a flavor enhancer for the feast that we call life.

קורח Koreh: Koreh is the proof of the power of how we can accept the bitter in our lives. Hillel’s sandwich was a wrap. Soft Matzah was wrapped around Maror and lamb and eaten in joy and hope and faith. Now we take that bitter time, that bitter feeling, that bitter taste and put it as a condiment on our Matzah. Remember that Matzah represents the simple path. The meat is the קורבן (korban). Korban was the sacrifice of old but the word itself means to come closer. Our challenge for healing is to allow ourselves to move closer to oneness. The Hillel Sandwich is the coming closer to our true essence, tasting the bitterness of life as a condiment and wrapping both in a simple path to self awareness and healing, to enlightenment.

שולחן ערוך Shulhan Aruch: Shulhan Aruch means the prepared table. We sit in friendship and love, in openness and harmony as we ingest, digest and elevate in delight, that which comes from the earth, turning matter into energy and healing.

צפון Tzafun: For dessert we share the afikomen. Matzah symbolizes the simple path. Sharing the Afikomen is tasting the plight of others. It is a simple promise that we make this night. We are not apart from the world we are part of this world. The Afikomen calls us to heal ourselves by helping others.

ברוך Baruch: The word is related to Immersion and to flexibility. We recognize and welcome the שפע (shefa), the abundance that is all around us and within us. What is the abundance in our lives? For what would we like to give thanks? As we say this blessing feel the shefa flow through you and out to the world.
כוס אליהו Kos Eliyahu: Eliyahu comes to answer the unanswerable. At this point let us all formulate a question for Eliyahu as we open the door inviting Eliyahu to enter and answer. After we open the door, sit in silence for a moment. Did you get an answer? Did more questions arise? Let us now share the wine from the cup of Eliyahu, for we all have a little bit of Eliyahu in us.

הלל Halel: Praise; We praise the Wholly One of Being. We praise the G’ing in our lives. We all need a little praise in our lives. Try a little exercise in praise. Turn to the person next to you and praise that person, then receive that person’s praise in return. It’s really rather simple, say something nice. Feel the power of giving and receiving praise.

נרצה Nirtzah: Longing! Longing for the G’ing in our lives, longing for our children our future, for our planet and our world. Longing to be in touch with our soul. Longing to strengthen the connection of mind/heart, body and soul. When we say next year in Jerusalem, we are acknowledging our longing for a better world in which to live and a deeper awareness of our place in that world. We are longing for that oneness that makes us heal, that makes us whole.


[1] This is based on my own Midrash of the Mateh. Take it with as many grains of salt as you wish.

[2][2] בנים banim means children. In the singular it refers to boys but as we have grown in openness we try to avoid gender bias).

[3] I use hir instead of his/her

[4] Reb Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, on Seder night called out to G saying that he was the son who needs the parent to tell him the story to explain it all.

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