Return to the Guide to Passover for Interfaith Families
The fifteen steps of the Passover seder are listed below. And for fun, for each step of the seder, there’s a short video with someone from our 18Doors staff (sometimes with their partners and/or kids) teaching you a little bit about that step. We know that for many of you, due to the Coronavirus, this is the first year that you’ll be making your own seder, since social distancing will be keeping you apart from family and friends with whom you might otherwise join. We hope that you will find these videos helpful as you prepare. And at the very end of the seder, in the final section of “Nirtzah,” instead of or in addition to concluding with the traditional phrase “Next year in Jerusalem!” you may want to say “Next year together!” We at 18Doors wish you a meaningful holiday.
To view a how-to video, click below. (And don’t forget to check out the blooper reel!)
1. Kadesh – a blessing over wine
2. Ur-chatz – ritual washing of hands without the usual blessing
3. Karpas – eating some leafy greens or green vegetables
4. Yachatz – raising up and breaking the middle Matzah (more on this later)
5. Maggid – the telling of the Exodus story (the longest section of the Seder)
6. Rach-tzah – ritual washing of hands before the meal, with the blessing
7. Motzi – the blessing over the Matzah and the meal
8. Matzah – another blessing over the Matzah, this time emphasizing the special nature of eating Matzah as a Passover ritual act
9. Maror – eating bitter herbs
10. Korech – eating a sandwich of Matzah and bitter herbs (and then adding a sweet, chutney-like Jewish dish called charoset)
11. Shulchan Orech – the festive meal
12. Tzafun – eating the Afikomen (more on that later)
13. Barech – grace after meals
14. Hallel – singing psalms of praise
15. Nirtzah – conclusion
And one of the traditional Passover Songs – Echad Mi Yodea – Who Knows One
For a very accessible overview of each of these steps of the seder, including a description of what happens and the symbolic meaning of each element, click here.
o The “Four Questions,” often sung by young children who have learned the traditional melody for singing these questions in Hebrew. (Video of this here.)
o The chanting of the 10 plagues that struck ancient Egypt before Pharaoh finally let the Hebrew slaves go. In sorrow that so many Egyptians suffered as part of our liberation, we remove one drop of wine for each plague, symbolizing a diminishment of our joy.
o Singing a song called “Dayenu.” It repeatedly proclaims that if God had only provided a fraction of the goodness that God showed to our ancestors, “it would have been enough” (that phrase is the meaning of the Hebrew word, Dayenu. Want to practice the song? Click here.
The Guide to Passover for Interfaith Families is also available in a beautiful PDF