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Jewish Holidays 2014: What Is Passover? The Seder?

A quick guide to understanding the Seder


What is Passover and the Seder? has answers to these questions.

Source: Wikipedia

The Passover is a Jewish holiday when Jews celebrate their freedom from Egypt as described in the Bible. The Seder is a part of the Passover celebration that has the Jewish people eating a meal in a specific way.

Here are the steps to the Seder meal as described by

  • Kadesh — The meal starts with the reciting of kiddush over the first of four cups of wine that will be consumed.
  • Urchatz — At this point in the celebration, Jews will wash their hands before the meal in the ritually prescribed manner.
  • Karpas — This acts as the appetizer of the meal. It involves eating an onion or potato that has been soaked in saltwater after having been blessed.
  • Yachatz — At the point in the meal, the matzah on the Seder plate is broken in two. This represents the splitting of the Red Sea.
  • Maggid — A second cup of wine is poured and the poor are allowed to join in the Seder. This is also the part when kids will ask why this meal is different and the story of the Exodus of Egypt will be told.
  • Rochtzah — The second cup of wine is consumed and hands are washed again.
  • Motzi Matzah — A blessing is recited on the matzah and it’s broken into more pieces and some of them are eaten.
  • Maror — Bitter herbs are dipped in a special paste, the paste is shook off and the herbs are eaten.
  • Korech — A sandwich made of matzah and maror is eaten after being dipped in a special paste.
  • Shulchan Orech — The main part of the Seder meal is eaten.
  • Tzafun — A part of the matzah that was set aside earlier is now eaten.
  • Berach — The third cup of wine is filled, blessed and drank.
  • Hallel — Songs praising God are sang and the fourth cup of wine is blessed and drank.
  • Nirtzah — The Seder meal comes to an end and the words “Leshanah haba’ah bee-rushalayim—Next year in Jerusalem,” are said.

To learn more about the Passover and the Seder, click here.

Interested in knowing when the Passover starts? Follow this link to find out.

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