Passover Haggadah for a traditional Seder

moses-parts-the-red-seaIf you are interested in holding a Passover seder either tonight or tomorrow, I have attached the full text of a Haggadah Below. it contains all the text and instructions necessary for you to have your own Passover!

Haggadah means “telling”. The Passover Haggadah is like a script for telling the story of the Jewish people and the Exodus. There are many different versions of the Haggadah, which is read during the Passover Dinner, or Seder. This version uses 3 haggadah as source material. They are listed at the end of this post.

In this version, tips and unspoken words are written in italics. You should read aloud the regular text. Words that are repeated are in bold. My comments relating to LDS doctrines are not official doctrines – just observances.

Table of Contents
Haggadah
Preparing for the Seder
The Seder
Lighting the Candles
Kiddush (First Cup of Wine)
First Ritual Hand Washing
Dipping Parsley (Karpas) in Salt Water
Breaking the Middle Matzah
Telling of the Passover Story (Maggid)
The four questions
The Four Children
The Story of the Passover
The Ten Plagues
Dayenu
The Seder Plate Explanation
Second Cup of Wine
Second Ritual Hand Washing
Blessings
The Passover Meal is served and the second cup is drunk
The Afikomen (Dessert Matzah) Tzafun
Prayer after the meal
Third Cup of Wine
Fourth Cup of Wine and Elijah’s Cup
Next Year in Jerusalem
Sources

Haggadah
Preparing for the Seder
The table should be set with the following special items.
The Seder plate, which contains, in clockwise order:
• Shank bone – zeroa – lamb or roasted chicken leg bone (a roasted beet is a vegetarian alternative)
• Charoset – a mixture of nuts, fruit, wine, and spices
• Bitter herbs – maror – typically red or white horseradish (some people prefer raw horseradish)
• Vegetable – karpas – parsley or any other vegetable, such as potatoes
• Egg – beitzah – a roasted hard-boiled egg
A covered plate that holds three pieces of matzah.
A bowl of salt water.
A wine glass for each person. Each participant will drink four cups of kosher wine or grape juice during the Seder.
An extra wine glass for Elijah the Prophet.
The Seder meal should be prepared and conducted without bread or other leavened food such as cake. Products made with matzah flour can be substituted. (Source: A)

The Seder

Lighting the Candles
Tonight we observe a colorful and joyous festival which our people has celebrated for two thousand years. The history of our people reaches back nearly 4000 years. We began as slaves in the land of Egypt. Today we are free people.
Long ago, our ancestors set out on an important journey. On a night such as this, they went forth out of Egypt, leaving behind slavery and degradation. On a night such as this they rejoiced in their newly found freedom and dignity.
Tonight we celebrate their freedom and ours. But we also remember all those of our generation who are not yet free. May this seder kindle in us the zeal to work for the freedom of all. May this seder inspire us to light the torch of freedom for all the world. (Source B)
Before the start of every Sabbath or Jewish holiday, it is traditional for the women of the household to light two candles in honor of the holiness of the day.

Light the candles

[After lighting the candles, please repeat the following prayer]:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us that we kindle the Yom Tov (Holiday) lights.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us and enabled us to celebrate this joyous occasion. (Source A)

Kiddush (First Cup of Wine)
Tonight we will drink four cups of wine. Our tradition abounds with explanations of this custom. It has
been said that the four cups represent the four corners of the universe, for we seek freedom
everywhere; it has been said that they symbolize the four seasons of the year, for freedom must be
scrupulously guarded at all times; it has been said the four cups represent the four ancient empires that
tyrannized Israel and have since passed away, for tyranny will pass away once and for all when the
messianic age is realized; and it has been said that the four cups of wine symbolize God’s four
promises to save our people: I will bring you out; I will deliver you; I will redeem you; I will take you
Candle-lighting suggests to the mind that knowledge– enlightenment — is coming.

Hold the cup in your right hand and repeat:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
Drink the cup and refill it.

[Remember also that John called Christ “light”. See John 1 and John 12:46: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
This recited prayer and subsequent ones contains a  doctrine preached by the Jews and rejected by the Christian apostles – that men are saved by  obedience to commandments (works). See Romans 3:23-28 and James 2:17-26. You’ll notice there is no mention of sin or redemption in the service, because of the belief that obedience to the law grants salvation.
I prefer the interpretation from the book of Exodus.  In that case, each of the four glasses represent the following to my reading: the Exodus from sin, Jesus  delivers them from temporal death, he redeems them from sin (spiritual death), and gives them eternal life
(exaltation). By this reading, the first cup symbolizes a gathering or physical departure from the bondage of sin.
Prior to the Seder, a home is purged of all leavening This process symbolizes a spiritual house cleaning ]

First Ritual Hand Washing
Now we will pour water from a cup once on each hand over a sink or basin without reciting a blessing.
This is done in preparation for the rituals to come. Wash hands.

Dipping Parsley (Karpas) in Salt Water
At this point in the seder, it is traditional to eat a green vegetable dipped in salt water. The green vegetable represents rebirth, renewal and growth; the salt water represents the tears of enslavement.
(Source C) All repeat the blessing:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth.
Dip the parsley or other green vegetable in the salt water and eat it.

Breaking the Middle Matzah
There are three matzoh under the cloth on the matzoh plate. We take half of the middle matzah to be the afikomen, which means dessert. We will hid the afikomen. We will save the other half for the blessings later in our seder service.
Open the door as a sign of hospitality; lift up matzah for all to see.
This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry
come and eat; let all who are needy come and celebrate the Passover with us. Now we are here; next
year may we be in the Land of Israel. Now we are slaves; next year may we be free.
Close the door. Break a middle matzah and wrap the larger half in a cloth or napkin. This piece of
matzah is now called the “afikoman,” and must be eaten before the seder concludes. Often it is hidden
away by adults, for the children to find; the children may request a ransom before giving it back.

[ At this point in the Seder, anyone who wishes may also chose a hametz they would like to purge from their lives during the coming year. This could be symbolic of removing something that is causing you to procrastinate your personal Exodus from sin.

In some traditions participants wash each other’s hands and then raise their clean hands above their heads to show their cleanliness. The symbolism in this act is evident.
Parsley symbolizes both the humble origins of the Jewish people and rebirth. (Source A)  This could symbolize the rebirth that came from our Savior’s tears shed for us on Calvary, or the new life that comes from sorrow for sin — a broken heart and contrite spirit.
This portion of the ritual could have been the point when Jesus said to Judas: “ He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.” See Matthew 26: 19-23.
As Jesus Christ came in the meridian of times, or in the middle of the earth’s history, I believe this to be a  symbol of his coming. Certainly, Christ is a “ransom” for us. Remember, too, that Christ’s broken body was covered with a cloth at his burial. He also invited all to come through the open door (baptism) and be filled, just as all are invited to come and celebrate the Passover.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
We break the matzah as we broke the chains of slavery, and as we break chains which bind us today. (Source C)]

Telling of the Passover Story (Maggid)
There arose in Egypt a Pharaoh who knew not of the good deeds that Joseph had done for that country. Thus he enslaved the Jews and made their lives harsh through servitude and humiliation. This is the basis for the Passover holiday which we commemorate with these different rituals tonight. (Source B)

The four questions
The youngest child asks, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” The youngest child asks each of
the following four questions. Responses follow in bold:
Q,1. On all other nights we eat either bread or matzah; on this night, why only matzah?
A: On all other nights we may eat either leavened bread or matzah; tonight, only matzah that we may recall the unleavened bread our ancestors baked in haste when they left slavery.
Q, 2. On all other nights we eat herbs or vegetables of any kind; on this night why bitter herbs?
A: On all other nights we need no taste bitterness; tonight, we eat bitter herbs so that we may recall the suffering from slavery.
Q, 3. On all other nights we do not dip even once; on this night why do we dip twice?
A: On all other nights, we didn’t dip our food in condiments even once; tonight we did twice. In salt water to remember our tears when we were enslaved and in  charoset to remember the mortar and bricks we made.
Q, 4. On all other nights we eat our meals in any manner; on this night why do we sit around the table
together in a reclining position?
A: We recline, to remind ourselves to savor our liberation. (Sources C and A)

We were slaves to a Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Eternal led us out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Had not the Holy One led our ancestors out of Egypt, we and our children and our children’s children would still be enslaved.
Therefore, even if all of us were wise, all-discerning, scholars, sages and learned in Torah, it would still be our duty to tell the story of the Exodus. (Source C)

[Tradition states that participants should tell the story of the Exodus as if each were personally liberated from Egypt. While the  tradition does not state it, the relationship between Egypt and sin should be clear to the LDS reader. A purpose of the haggadah is to help children understand their heritage. I love that children are invited to participate and have questions answered about the event, even if those questions are scripted.
       I’ve taken a little bit of liberty with the question asking portion of this haggadah. Some versions don’t include the answers –probably because you’re supposed to know the reply already. Some have the youngest sing or chant all the questions and later the
answers are given. I’ve put them in Q&A format because it’s easier for me to understand.

       Again, in my opinion, with the four questions we have the four symbols discussed above. Question 1  deals with physical departure from slavery, or fleeing sin. Question 2 reminds us of the bitterness of sin. Question 3 deals with salvation from the
second, or spiritual death, and Question 4 speaks of the rest we enter when saved from sin, or exaltation.

“Avadim hayinu; ata b’nei chorin. We were slaves, but now we are free.” Is this true? Though we no longer labor under Pharaoh’s overseers, we may still be enslaved—now in subtler ways, harder to eradicate. Do we enslave ourselves to our jobs? To our expectations? To the expectations of others? To our fears?
“Tonight we celebrate our liberation from Egypt—in Hebrew, Mitzrayim, literally “the narrow place.”  But narrow places exist in more ways than one. Let this holiday make us mindful of internal bondage which, despite outward freedom, keeps us enslaved.
This year, let our celebration of Passover stir us to shake off these chains. Our liberation is in our own hands. (Source C)]

The Four Children
The Torah describes four children who ask questions about the Exodus. Tradition teaches that these verses refer to four different types of children.
The wise child asks, “What are the laws that God has commanded us?” The parent should answer by instructing the child in the laws of Passover, starting from the beginning and ending with the laws of the Afikomen.
The wicked child asks, “What does this Passover service mean to you?” … You shall tell her “I do this because of the wonderful things which God did for me when God brought me out of Egypt.” You shall say “for me,” not “for us,” because in asking what the service means “to you” she has made it clear that she does not consider herself a part of the community for whom the ritual has meaning.
The “wicked child” is one who does not personalize the story. He does not imagine himself personally departing the sinful life for the promised land, as did his ancestors. [The traditional importance of a unified community is evident in the many biblical teachings about not mixing with other nations through inter-marriage or by adopting their false religions.]
The simple child asks, “What is this Seder service?” To them we say: “With a mighty hand God led us out of Egypt, out of the House of Bondage.”
And then there is child who does not know how to ask. The parent should begin a discussion with that child based on the verse: “And you shall tell your child on that day, ‘We commemorate Passover tonight because of what God did for us when we went out of Egypt.’” [and tell the story of the Passover] (Combined from Sources A, B, C)

The Story of the Passover
Approximately 4000 years ago, our people were slaves in Egypt. If God had not brought us out of Egypt, we would still be slaves there. Every year we retell the story, because it is our people’s story and because it is wonderful to tell. We also retell this story each year to remind ourselves of the importance of human freedom. The story of our people’s Exodus from Egypt reassures us that freedom is possible; deliverance can come; salvation is within our reach; the dream of redemption can become a reality. (b)
Nearly 4000 years ago there was a famine in the Land of Israel. Our ancestor Jacob took his family and settled in Egypt, where there was plenty of food. The children of Jacob lived well in Egypt. They become a great nation, powerful and numerous. (b)
Generations passed and our people remained in Egypt. In time, a new Pharaoh ascended to the throne. He found our difference threatening, and ordered our people enslaved. In fear of rebellion, Pharaoh decreed that all  Hebrew boy-children be killed.
Two midwives named Shifrah and Puah defied his orders, claiming that “the Hebrew women are so hardy, they give birth before we arrive!” Through their courage, a boy survived; midrash tells us he was radiant with light. Fearing for his safety, his family placed him in a basket and he floated down the Nile. He was found, and adopted, by Pharaoh’s daughter, who named him Moshe because min ha-mayim m’shitihu, from the water she drew him forth. She hired his mother Yocheved as his wet-nurse. Thus he survived to adulthood, and was raised as Prince of Egypt
Although a child of privilege, as he grew he became aware of the slaves who worked in the brickyards of his father. When he saw an overseer mistreat a slave, he struck the overseer and killed him. Fearing retribution, he set out across the Sinai alone.
God spoke to him from a burning bush, which though it flamed was not consumed. The Voice called him to lead the Hebrew people to freedom. Moses argued with God, pleading inadequacy, but God disagreed. Sometimes our responsibilities choose us.
Moses returned to Egypt and went to Pharaoh to argue the injustice of slavery. He gave Pharaoh a mandate which resounds through history: Let my people go.
Pharaoh refused, and Moses warned him that Mighty God would strike the Egyptian people. These threats were not idle: ten terrible plagues were unleashed upon the Egyptians.
When Pharaoh’s own son died he finally agreed to let us go. (b)
Fearful that Pharaoh would change his mind, our people fled, not waiting for their bread dough to rise. (For this reason we eat unleavened bread [or matzoh] as we take part in their journey.) Our people did not leave Egypt alone; a “mixed multitude” went with them. From this we learn that liberation is not for us alone, but for all the nations of the earth. Even Pharaoh’s daughter came with us, and traded her old title (bat-Pharaoh, daughter of Pharaoh) for the name Batya, “daughter of God.” Pharaoh’s army followed us to the Sea of Reeds. We plunged into the waters. Only when we had gone as far as we could did the waters part for us. We mourn, even now, that Pharaoh’s army drowned: our liberation is bittersweet because people died in our pursuit.
To this day we relive our liberation, that we may not become complacent, that we may always rejoice in our freedom. (Source C)

[There is no mention of Moses in the typical passover story as told in the Seder. It reads: “Moses does not appear in traditional haggadah, for fear that if Moses’ role were lauded, we would venerate him like a saint.”
In this Haggadah, Moses is included, going against tradition. I am including that version of the Passover story here, as it more clearly points to Jesus Christ. In some places, it’s even more obvious than the Biblical version. I’m also including some of the text from Source B, because it includes some points left out of Source C’s version. Those are marked with a (B).
For the LDS reader, the exclusion of Moses is very interesting. We believe Moses to be a clear type of Christ himself, who instituted a Law that clearly pointed to Jesus Christ through rituals and symbols. Nephi said: “Behold, my soul delighteth in proving
unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; “ (2 Nephi 11:4)
Moses could have been removed because he symbolized Christ, or because Moses-worship was was being substituted for Christ-worship. Either way, the exclusion is noteworthy.
You might note the following: Moses was “radiant with light”. Jesus Christ was the light of the world. He may also be symbolically
represented by the candles lit at the beginning of the Seder.
Moses’ people left with a mixed multitude. Salvation is not only for a certain people, but for everyone.
Pharaoh’s daughter took on a new name,that meant daughter of God, much like those who covenant at baptism to take on the name of Christ and become his children. Taking on a new name has other symbolism not discussed here.
By this telling, only when the people had gone as far as they could did the waters parted for them. So, too, we must act in faith and enter the waters of baptism to reach the Promised Land.
Like the 1/3 of the host of heaven exiled before the world was, the hosts of Pharoah sought to prevent the people of Israel from reaching the Promised Land. They were destroyed, and God’s people were protected. Those who will not be saved choose to
fight against the Lord’s people. ]

The Ten Plagues
Midrash teaches that, while watching the Egyptians succumb to the ten plagues, the angels broke into songs of jubilation. God rebuked them, saying “My creatures are perishing, and you sing praises?”
When we recall these plagues, we remove a drop of wine –our symbol of joy – from our wine cups for each one, because our joy is less when we remember the sufferings of the Egyptians. Together, let us recall the Ten Plagues against Egypt:
Remove a drop of wine from your cup for each plague as you recite its name: Remove the drops of juice from your cup by dipping
your finger in the cup and smudging the drop on your napkin, leaving 10 small marks on the napkin
1. Blood
2. Frogs
3. Vermin
4. Beasts
5. Cattle Disease
6. Boils
7. Hail
8. Locusts
9. Darkness
10. Slaying of the first born

Dayenu!
God did many wonderful things for us. God brought us out of Egypt, gave us the Shabbat, gave us the Torah and brought us into the Land of Israel. Any one of these would have been enough. Therefore we  sing Dayenu which means “it would have been enough for us”.
If God would have …
Brought us out of Egypt and not divided the sea for us—Dayenu
Divided the sea and not permitted us to cross on dry land—Dayenu
Permitted us to cross on dry land and not sustained us for forty years in the desert—Dayenu
Sustained us for forty years in the desert and not fed us with manna—Dayenu
Fed us with manna and not given us the Sabbath—Dayenu
Given us the Sabbath and not brought us to Mount Sinai—Dayenu
Brought us to Mount Sinai and not given us the Torah—Dayenu
Given us the Torah and not led us into the land of Israel—Dayenu
Led us into the land of Israel and not built for us the Temple—Dayenu
Built for us the Temple and not sent us prophets of truth—Dayenu
Sent us prophets of truth and not made us a holy people—Dayenu
For all these, alone and together, we say—Dayenu!

This reminds participants of the great blessings they received, both in the past and present. Had only one of these blessings been given, dayenu, or, it would have been enough; however, there have been many, many more blessings given to the people, for which
they express their humble gratitude.

[BYU professor Victor Ludlow includes the following in his services: “Had he scattered us among the nations, but not gathered us in the Rocky Mountains, dayenu; had he gathered us in the Rocky Mountains, but not given us Latter-Day Temples of our own, dayenu; had he given us Latter-Day Temples of our own, but not given us a special university, dayenu;  had he given us a special university, but not a mighty basketball team, dayenu.” 🙂 ]

The Seder Plate Explanation
Rabbi Gamliel, the head of the Sanhedrin (rabbinical court) near of the end of the Second Temple Period (first century CE), said one must discuss the three symbols of Passover as part of the Seder, pesach, matzah, and maror.
Pesach – The shank bone. It reminds us of the lamb which our people sacrificed to God the night we left Egypt. Before the tenth plague, our people slaughtered lambs and marked our doors  with blood: because of this marking, the Angel of Death passed over our homes and our firstborn were spared.
Matzah – The unleavened bread. The matzah represents the hurried Exodus from Egypt wherein we left so quickly that their dough did not have time to rise.
Maror – The bitter herbs. The maror reminds us of the bitter pain and suffering the we went through as slaves to the Egyptians.
Tradition teaches us that in every generation, we ought to look upon ourselves as if we personally had gone out of Egypt. Our Torah teaches: “And you shall explain to your child on that day, it is because of what the Lord did for me when I, myself, went forth from Egypt.” Therefore, it is our duty to thank the One who performed all the miracles for generations past and present.
Not only our ancestors alone did the Holy One redeem, but us along with them, as it is written: “And God freed us from Egypt so as to take us and give us the land which God had sworn to our ancestors.”

[Other symbols on the Seder Plate are
The Egg – which symbolizes creative power, our rebirth. It also represents sacrifices offered in the temple at Jerusalem,which no longer exists. Jewish people no long er offer those sacrifices, to their dismay.
Charoset – symbolizes the mortar for the bricks our ancestors laid in Egypt. Though it represents slave labor, Charoset is sweet, reminding us that sometimes constriction or enslavement can be masked in familiar sweetness.
It’s worth noting these extra two symbols are not included in the Biblical version and were apparently added later.
It is important to note that the shank bone is not broken, just as the limbs of animals sacrificed in Moses’ day were not broken, and as Jesus Christ’s bones were not broken.]

Second Cup of Wine

Hold the cup in your right hand and repeat:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Second Ritual Hand Washing
Pour water from a cup once on each hand over a sink or basin hands, this time with a blessing, to prepare for the eating of the matzah. Recite this blessing after washing hands:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His laws and commanded us to wash.

[At this point, the the Maggid ends, and people have departed from sin; they are symbolically “free” from bondage, as were
their ancestors. This second washing could have been a ritual foot-washing ceremony during the Passover of Jesus’ day and before. See John 13: 3-17. This is also significant because we learn that the ordiance of washing of feet has been restored and practiced in tis dispensation in the school of the prophets. It is also an essential part of temple worship, and the second endowment ceremony. While these ordinances are no longer performed in the mainstream LDS church, it is significant that these holy ordiances be remembered and that they will be practiced in righteousness in the second gathering in the latter-Days as the time of the gentiles is fulfilled. It is also worth remembering that Christ said of this holy ordinance “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Thus we see that this ordinance is essential for exaltation.]

Blessings
Repeat the following blessings in unison:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings bread from the earth.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His laws and commanded us to eat matzah.

The matzah is passed among the Seder participants and eaten.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His laws and commanded us to eat bitter herbs.
The maror is eaten.

Now Each person makes a sandwich using two pieces of matzah with maror and charoset, a mixture of nuts, fruit, wine, and spices that symbolizes the mortar used by the Jewish people to make bricks while enslaved in Egypt. This is a combination of the bread of liberation with a remembrance of the bitterness of slavery.

The sandwich is eaten.

The Passover Meal is served and the second cup is drunk

The Afikomen (Dessert Matzah) Tzafun
The children find the afikoman and distribute it to all who are seated at the table as dessert.
When the Temple still stood in Jerusalem, it was customary to make an offering of a paschal lamb at this season. Now we eat the afikoman in memory of the offering. (c)
At this point, the items on the Seder plate are eaten.

[The three major symbols (lamb bone, matzah, and bitter herbs) most definitely point to Jesus Christ. I believe that each of the items on the Seder plate were intended as symbols to help participants recognize Christ when he came.
The sandwich seems to symbolize to me how Christ over came the bitterness of slavery. He is the “bread of liberation” from sin. Every participant is a literal partaker of Christ’s grace.
The passover meal comes at the mid-point of the service. Christ came at the meridian of times to save us all.
This is my favorite part of the service. What you’re about to read about this symbolism is strictly my opinion: The afikomen, representing the paschal lamb or sacrifice of Jesus Christ has been hidden earlier by the parents. Now, the children seek and
find it and delivery it to the parents to eat. I am reminded of the scripture in Malachi 4: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the
heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and Smite the earth with a curse” This seems significant when you consider the important role Elijah plays later in the Passover meal.
The breaking of bread and wine was a ritual practiced in Old Testament times by Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18). I think these sacramental symbols must have been known and understood by these earlier generations.]

Prayer after the meal
The cup of wine is refilled (please refill your cup), and Grace after the Meal, is recited:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who sustains the entire world with goodness, grace, loving kindness, and compassion. He gives bread to all, for His grace is everlasting. And in His great goodness we have never lacked anything and we will never be deprived of food for the sake of His great name. For He is God who provides for all and does good for all and prepares food for all His creatures that He created.
Blessed are You, Lord, who provides for all.
God and God of our ancestors, may You remember us on this day of Passover to bless us with kindness and mercy for a life of peace and happiness. We pray that He who establishes peace in the heavens grant peace for us, for all Israel,
and all of mankind, and let us say, Amen.

Third Cup of Wine
Hold the cup in your right hand and repeat:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Drink the third cup of wine.

Fourth Cup of Wine and Elijah’s Cup
The fourth and final cup of wine is now filled. An additional cup is then filled and set aside for the prophet Elijah (Eliyahu).
Fill your cup.

[This cup symbolizes “the mitzvah (connectivecommandment) of this third of four cups of wine, in the name of the unification of the Holy Blessed One with Shekhinah!” (Source C) By our earlier reading, this cup represents redemntion, atonement, or a connective commandment (covenant) referred to above. This fourth cup would represent eternal life, or exaltation. It may also represent the Millennial age of rest.
The invitation to Elijah at this point in the meal is significant. It comes at the latter portion of the meal, just before we drink the final cup – the cup of exaltation. I believe it to be a symbol for….]

Tradition says that Elijah, who will precede the arrival of the Messiah, makes an appearance at every Seder. We traditionally open a door to the home to allow Elijah to enter and sing the song Eliyahu Hanavi:

Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Giladite, may he come speedily to us in our days along with Messiah the son of David.

Elijah’s cup represents the promise of messianic freedom. It symbolizes a time which has not yet come, but for which we yearn and pray. The cup of Elijah is a cup from which we cannot drink until the redemption is complete, until the world is whole and at peace, until justice and compassion reign where corruption and bigotry now hold sway. And lest we despair of that time ever arriving, let us take hope from the words of a child who had no reason to hope, yet did: “That’s the difficulty in these times: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to meet the horrible truth and be shattered. It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too. I can feel the sufferings
of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.” (from The Diary of Anne Frank)

Generations that came before us feared to open their doors. Elijah, we welcome you into our home and into our hearts. May your message of a world redeemed from pain, injustice and hatred inspire us to become God’s partners in bringing the messianic age closer. (B)
A blessing over the fourth cup of wine is repeated:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Drink the fourth cup.

Israelites look for Elijah’s return toward the end of times, after the coming of the Savior.
While at most passover feasts Elijah is a no-show, it is worth noting that the timing of the events recorded about the appearance of Elijah in the Kirtland temple in 1836:
“Another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: “Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” (D&C 110:13–16 )
This event happened on, 3 April 1836 – Which was also Passover
 It was close to or actually on the anniversary of (by astronomical calendar)
– the first passover in Egypt
– the annual passover ritual
– the Savior’s birth
– the Savior’s last supper, death, and resurrection
– the restoration of the Church in the latter days
See also Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Elijah and the Restoration of the Sealing Keys; The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836: Part 1: Dating the First Easter by John P Pratt, Ensign, June 1985; and Part 2: Symbolism of Passover, Ensign July 1985.]

The seder service is now concluded, its rites observed in full, its purposes revealed. As we gathered together to celebrate this seder tonight, may we be worthy to celebrate again in freedom next year. And may God, who redeemed our ancestors from slavery and degradation, redeem all who are enslaved and bring freedom and dignity to our entire world. Together, let us say:

Next Year in Jerusalem!

Sources:
A – The Passover Haggadah, A guide to the Seder by the Jewish Federations of North America,
http://www.jewishfederations.org/local_includes/downloads/39497.pdf
B – Pasover Haggadah, by Rabbi Amy Scheinerman, http://scheinerman.net/judaism/pesach/haggadah.pdf
The service ends with a plea for the gathering of
Israel to Jerusalem – and expression of hope that the
next passover service will be in Jerusalem.
It’s an invitation for all to seek that refuge,
symbolized by Jerusalem (Zion), of exaltation, where
we can all rest in peace with our families.
C – The Velveteen Rabbi’s Haggadah for Pesach, Assembled by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/2011/03/velveteenrabbis-haggadah-for-pesach-version-71.html
Compiled by Jenny Smith, http://www.jennysmith.net/

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