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Inspired by the comments here, I realized how little I know about what other customs' Sedarim are like. As an Ashkenazi, I'd only ever participated in Ashkenazi Sedarim. Surely there are those who similarly had never been to an Ashkenazi Seder.

On behalf of such people, what is a typical Ashkenazi (central European) Seder like? What sorts of minhagim are widely practiced uniquely in Ashkenazi communities?

Particularly those who have attended both Ashkenazi Sedarim and other traditions: what were some of the main differences you saw?


For other posts in this series, click here.

  • So, no interest in Ethopian, Romaniote or Benei Moshe seders? Are there any others we're missing? – Josh K Apr 2 at 2:56
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    @JoelK Please do let me know if I missed any others. I ought to post Chabad/Chassidim also. If we're really going out on this, we might as well explore what Kaifeng Jews do, but I'm not sure that anyone on here will be able to answer that one properly. – DonielF Apr 2 at 14:02
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    I didn't like that series, sorry. I don't think "what it LIKE?" questions are legitimate on this site - they are way too broad and unclear. However, you might post a question on differences between different communities. – Al Berko Apr 2 at 14:58
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    "Specific" you said - specify it. Oh, forgot the clothes. There are too many differences. Also what level of details you expect - we sit down, go thru the Hagada, drink wine, eat and go to sleep. – Al Berko Apr 2 at 15:14
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    Since it's hard for anyone to know what's unique in their community, maybe ask for records by people who have attended two very different Seders what the differences they saw were? – Double AA Apr 2 at 15:14
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It's difficult to answer such a question without knowing more about other communities' customs, but let me attempt this based on the little that I do know...

  • Typically, Ashkenazim tend to eat specifically potatoes or parsley dipped in salt water for Karpas, rather than a different vegetable, a different dip, or a different way to get the kids to ask. Apparently this one varies widely even within Ashkenazi communities.
  • Ashkenazim say the paragraph discussing how Korech is a remembrance of the Karban Pesach in the times of the Beis HaMikdash according to Hillel, which I'm aware many communities omit.
  • The paragraph beginning "Yehalelucha" is said before Hallel HaGadol, rather than later, with Nishmas.
  • Ashkenazim have a much more extensive list of songs in Nirtzah than other communities, as far as I can tell; how many of these songs are actually sung seem to vary by the family. Some in my community are careful to sing every single one, while in my household Chasal Siddur Pesach, Chad Gadya, and Echad Mi Yodeya are the only ones we're particular about, and we add others based on how awake we are at that point.
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    Re Yehalelucha, IIRC chasiddim / those who use nusach sefard will often follow the Mechaber and recite Yehalelucha after Nishmat – Joel K Apr 2 at 4:45
  • I know an Ashkenazi family who very specifically uses radish for Karpas, another that uses celery, and a third that uses banana. (I've been lobbying for cucumber for a while now.) – Double AA Apr 2 at 13:24
  • @DoubleAA I don't see why not (bananas in salt water would probably greatly increase the chances of the kids asking why), but I had never heard of such customs before, and it's certainly not done in my community. – DonielF Apr 2 at 14:01
  • How do you know what everyone in your community uses? I don't know what most people use. Only the Sedarim I've been to. – Double AA Apr 2 at 14:05
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    I see no reason from this question that Ashkenazim who Daven Nusach Sefard would be excluded. – Double AA Apr 2 at 16:10

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