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The Supplement to the Haggada for Jews in the Land of Israel

The Order of our Festive Passover Meal

After we say kiddush and eat some appetizers, the childrens curiosity about the unusual foods on the seder table and the cushions on the chairs reaches a peak when we pour the wine for a second cup, instead of washing our hands and beginning our festive meal immediately, as usual on Shabbat and holidays.  They ask why this night is different from all others.  We begin to answer the childrens questions by telling of our Exodus from Egypt - the anniversary we relive on this night - in two different styles: "We were slaves ... and G-d took us out ... " and "Our ancestors were idol worshippers ... and now G-d brought us near ".

The Haggada has us continue to tell the story of our Exodus from Egypt by reading four verses from the Torah (in the book of Devarim), and commenting on them.  These verses are from the speech of gratitude to G-d that is to be recited by the person who brings his first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem (earlier: to the tabernacle in Shilo), between Shavuot and Succot.  These four verses tell the story of our descent into slavery in Egypt, our becoming a great nation, our suffering, our crying out to G-d, and G-d's redeeming us from Egypt.   These verses are the basis for the gratitude of the bringer of his first fruits, who recalls our humble beginnings and thanks G-d for the wonderful gifts G-d has given him.

These same verses were chosen by our sages as the concise vehicle for fulfilling the commandment to tell the story of the Exodus on the night of the Seder.  Each verse is first recited whole, and then is broken down into segments, and comments are made on each segment so as to shed light on the deeper meaning of the verse.  This continues until we reach the piyyut (liturgical poem) "dayyenu", in which we thank G-d for all that G-d did for us in bringing us out of Egypt, including bringing us to the land of Israel and building the Temple.

The fifth verse said by the bringer of the first fruits, is "And you brought us to this place, and you gave us this land, flowing with milk and honey."  This was left out of the haggada, even though the Mishna and Maimonides both stated that one should read the declaration of the bringer of the first fruits to its conclusion.  Perhaps it was too painful to say "and you brought us to this place" etc in the darkness of exile; perhaps the author of the haggada did not want to encourage people to think that the land of exile in which they found themselves was "the promised land".  In any event it would have been a false statement, reason enough not to say it.

Since we Jewish people are now privileged to be coming home to Israel, for over ten years my family has been adding the fifth verse in the appropriate place in the haggada, together with several comments on its component phrases, from Biblical and Rabbinic sources.  The halachic sources encourage expanding on the Exodus story in this way.  Obviously, this addition is not for use outside of Israel.

We are privileged to share our supplement to the haggadic with the Jewish public in Israel.  Feel free to download the files on this page and to print as many copies as you need for family and friends with whom you will share your Seder.  We hope it will add contemporary meaning to your Seder, providing a new perspective on our ancient and modern redemptions.

If for some reason the links on the home page do not enable you to download the files with the supplement to the Haggada, you can send an e-mail to djm765@gmail.com, with the word Haggada in the subject line, and you will receive an automatic response with the black and white file attached.

If you want the color file, send an e-mail to the above address with the word color in the subject line, and you will receive the color file by automatic response.

If you do not have a PDF file reader, for reading and printing the attached files, you should be able to download one free at

 http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html


Best wishes to all of Israel, for a happy and kosher Pesach!


Rabbi Dr. David and Irene Mescheloff
44 HaTamar
Moshav Hemed
50295 Israel
Tel:  03-9607156