The seder (ceremonial meal of the first night or two of Passover) and the haggadah (text used at that meal).

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What עִיקָר is the wicked son denying?

In the haggadah (Mechon Mamre's edition of the Hagadah at the end of Hilkhot Chametz u-Matzah and in some editions of the Mekhilta on Shemot 13:14), regarding the wicked son it states וּלְפִי ...
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Why is Moshe (mostly) absent from the haggadah?

Somebody asked at my seder this year why Moshe is largely absent from the magid. I have heard that the reason is because we're supposed to focus on God, and also that Moshe was very humble and there ...
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584 views

Preparing the Beitzah for the Seder Plate

What is the appropriate way to prepare the Beitzah for the Seder Plate?
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Arami Oved Avi Vayerd Mitzraimah

The Declaration ( Viduy )said when bringing the BIKKURIM includes saying “An Armenian wanted to destroy my father, and he went down to Egypt” Yaakov had many things Happen to him why choose the ...
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How can two contradictory ideas exist in Matzah?

מצה embodies two ideas: poor man’s bread (slavery) and free man’s bread (the bread that was made in haste when they left Egypt). These ideas seem to contradict one another; how can they both exist in ...
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Using The Washington Haggadah

Yesterday, Harvard University Press released a haggadah which is a reproduction of a manuscript written in 1478 and held by the Library of Congress. It can be purchased on Amazon. If I bought this, ...
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141 views

Significance of nine months of pregnancy and eleven stars

In the piyyut Echad Mi Yodeya, recited at the Passover seder, we discuss what relates to the first thirteen numbers. Most of these are central to Jewish belief: One is Hashem, two are the Tablets (...
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181 views

Why do we say ha-motzi before al achilat matzah instead of after?

I was taught that it's important not to make an interruption between a b'racha and its fulfillment, such that we don't say anything between making motzi and eating the bread. To me the b'racha is "...
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When did R' 'Akiva see his children?

R' 'Akiva famously spent 12 years away from his wife learning Torah, returning home just in time to to overhear her tell someone she'd be happy if he spent another 12 years away learning Torah; at ...
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211 views

Sheva Brachos Seder

What does one do if his or her Sheva Brachos comes out on Seder Night do the Kosos become Sheva Brachos and what are all the other Halachic Implications?
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What unifies all the ideas of the הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא together?

הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא seems to link a few topics on one paragraph. 1) The nature of Matzah. 2) The invitation to the poor. 3) Hope for the future to be in Israel and Free. What does the invitation ...
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Why do all of them say that there were 5 times more plagues at the sea, instead of 1.5 times?

In the Haggadah it says: (text from WikiSource) רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלָּקוּ הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת? ...
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Must one be able to taste the matzah?

It says in the Gemorah Pesachim Daf 115a: אמר רבינא אמר לי רב משרשיא בריה דרב נתן הכי אמר הלל משמיה דגמרא לא ניכרוך איניש מצה ומרור בהדי הדדי וניכול משום דסבירא לן מצה בזמן הזה דאורייתא ומרור ...
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The 4 sons - the evil son

Why on the seder are we excluding the evil son. In the Hagada it says "break his teeth,etc", "tell him if you were in Egypt you would not have been redeemed". Yet on Yom Kipur we say on kol nidrei we ...
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Who hides the afikoman?

Is the leader of the seder supposed to hide the afikoman so that the kids can find it, or are the kids supposed to hide it so that the leader can find it? And what is the point of this hide-and-seek ...
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when are the 'extras' (simanim) eaten at the seider, eggs and pomegranate?

In my family, which follows the customs of Baghdad, it is a custom to eat eggs and pomegranate seeds during the seider. Problem is, nobody knows why, when and what to say. I can see why the eggs are ...
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335 views

“Motzi Matzah” or “Motzi and Matzah” (separately)? Passover Seder

In some haggadot, I have seen the numbers of sections as being 14, with Motzi Matzah being combined, and in other haggadot, I have seen 15 with them separated. What is the reason behind each side?
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No Hallel in the seder?

I used a reprint of an old haggada this year (I think it was this one) on the second night. Through the meal everything was as I expected, other than a few differences because the haggada is Egyptian ...
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List of oppressors of the Jewish people

We say in the V'hi She'amda passage of the Pesach Hagaddah that in each and every generation there have been those who rose up against us to destroy us, but Hashem saves us from their designs. Is this ...
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Adir Hu - mi yodeya?

A popular song sung at the seder is Adir Hu. The song contains many phrases of the pattern: [Adjective] is He. that are grouped together alphabetically with a refrain asking for the speedy ...
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Do bananas make the best karpas?

For karpas at the seder, one is supposed to eat a food on which the blessing "borei pri ha'adama" is made. However, many of the most commonly used food items for karpas (e.g. parsley, raw onion, raw ...
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Why do Children Steal the Afikoman?

Why do children steal the Afikoman?
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What is the origin of the song Echad Mi Yodeya?

Who is the author or what is the origin of the song commonly found in the haggadah called Echad Mi Yodeya?
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Is the wine spilled at the Seder “cursed”?

As I recall, my mother usually discards the wine that is spilled at the Seder during the listing of the plagues. But I think she does this because, well, just because it's spilled wine and it is not ...
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What is “chad gadya” really all about?

Why do we sing "chad gadya" at the pesach seder? What is it supposed to be about? Also, as a side question, is it "d'zabin aba" or "dizvan aba"?
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How many people are needed to eat a korban pesach in one night?

I am trying to figure out mathematically how many people were at a typical Pesach seder in the times of the Temple. I think the number can be approximated from the size, in terms of kosher portions ...
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charoses Ingredients

What do people put in charoses and why?
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The Seder & diabetes

Those that suffer from type 2 diabetes are told to limit their intake of carbohydrates. This is normally doable. However comes the Seder night, with 4 cups of wine and significant Matza intake one is ...
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Ehad Mi Yodea on the mishnayos

I have an idea to compile a song for the Passover Seder. It is based on the famous "Ehad Mi Yodea", but the answers to the question should be mishnayos mentioning the number. The intention is to make ...
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Two Matzos at the Seder

Many Hagados show an option of using only 2 Matzos at the Seder as Nusach HaGra. Does anyone still do only 2 Matzos?
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Oops! Out of wine for the 3rd cup. What do we do?

Let's say a family invited guests who are big wine drinkers. They drink extra wine during the meal, and by the time they get to the 3rd cup, there's no wine (or grape juice) left. What should they do ...
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75 views

How should one respond after each plague is named during the seder?

In the Haggadah, the Ten Plagues are recited, and a drop of wine is spilled for each one. However, in the Tunisian tradition (and maybe others), after the reader chants each plague, the others ...
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Why do we say we don't dip food on other days?

In the four questions, we ask "on all other nights, we don't dip, even once, but on this night, we dip twice" How can we ask this if we dip challah in salt on Shabbat (and other days)?
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why don't we say “kol dichfin” before kidush

In the halachma anya of the Passover Hagada it says "Let all who are hungry come and eat". Why don't we say this before the kidush? Makes more sense that we should invite people before starting the ...
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Why is the Haggadah written in Hebrew?

The Haggadah was written during the Talmudic period, so I would expect it to be written in Aramaic. Especially since the entire purpose of the Haggadah is the telling over of the story of yetziat-...
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Starting the Seder quickly

It says in SA OC Siman 472 that one should hurry to start the Seder in order that the children shouldn't fall asleep. If the person doesn't have any children is there still a reason to hurry to start ...
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What is the origin of the custom to have kids find the afikoman?

The instructions for yachatz in every hagadah that I have seen say to break the middle matzah in two (though, the thin paper hagadah I used in elementary school said, "break in half") and put the ...
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Why does Rav Saadia Gaon say to make a bracha by Orchatz and Borei Nephashot after Karpas?

In the Siddur of Rav Saadia Gaon on page 136, where he discusses the Pesach Seder, he says that when we do Orchatz we are supposed to make a bracha, and after Karpas to say Borei Nephashot. However, ...
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222 views

Can wasabi be used for maror at the seder?

Horseradish is commonly used at the seder. Wikipedia explains that wasabi is a different plant than horseradish, though from the same general family. Can one use wasabi? If so, must it be used only ...
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Why does the Haggadah tell us that “Even if they are all Chachmim” they are obligated in Sippur?

Why does the Haggadah tell us that "Even if they are all Chachmim..." they are obligated in Sippur? Are ChaChamim excluded from any other Mitzvot? Do they not have to pick up a Lulav because they are ...
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176 views

Who dropped Moses from the Hagaddah?

Moses is not mentioned in the Hagaddah (with one minor exception), presumably to show that the exodus happened entirely by G-d's power and to not deify Moses. Presumably, though, the maggid during ...
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Who composed the Piyut Echad Mi Yodeya?

Who composed the Piyut Echad Mi Yodeya that is commonly recited on Pesach?
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Why is hallel at the seder different from hallel during the year?

I know there are many differences between hallel at the seder and regular hallel. At the seder, hallel: Has no starting bracha (Orech Chaim Hilchot Pesach Siman 473) Is said sitting down (Sefer ...
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Why is the section of ארמי אובד אבי chosen as the main part of Maggid in the Seder?

Bab. Talmud Pesachim 116b says that during the Seder, one begins with shame / humility and ends with praise. Meaning, that during the Magid section of the Seder, we begin with the "mood" of our humble ...
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Four cups of wine, but no matzah!

At the seder, the third cup of wine is drunk after Birkat Hamazon. If a person has plenty of wine, but no matzah (and hence no Birkat Hamazon), should he still drink the third cup of wine? If so, ...
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Will Korech move to the end of the Seder in the future?

When we start bringing and consuming the Korban Pesach again (speedily may it be, in our days), will the Korech step of the Seder be moved to adjacent to Tzafun or possibly replaced by it? Kadesh ...
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After the Seder, can you give the shank bone to the dog?

Serious question. In general, what are the laws or customs regarding the treatment of the items on the Seder plate? Are they to be considered commonplace or holy? Does it differ before and following ...
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Shir Hama'alos in “Barech”?

Among the many hagada versions in use at the seder I attended this year, some of them included Shir Hama'alos before birkas hamazon in the "Barech" section and others did not. Is there any reason to ...
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Why does the haggadah say to lean specifically to the left?

The haggadah (several copies that I've looked at, so I'm assuming this is universal?) tells us when eating certain foods at the seder to recline or lean to the left. I understand why we lean (the ...
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Mnemonic of Rebbi Yehuda

The Haggadah tells us that Rebbi Yehuda came up with a mnemonic for remembering the Ten Plagues: Dtzach Adash B'Achav Why was the mnemonic necessary? It doesn't seem to me to be that difficult to ...