Always start your Passover seder with a song: Here is one….
The Matzah Show (to the Theme of the Muppet Show)

It's time to burn some chometz
It's time to bless the lights
It's time to start the seder, on the Matzah Show tonight

It's time to put on kittels
It's time to lean left, not right
It's time to raise the 4 cups, on the Matzah Show tonight

It's time to ask some questions
It's time to leave Egypt tonight
It's time to get things started on the most sensational
Inspirational, celebrational, sederational
This is what we call the Matzah Show!!!!!

(Discussion #1: How could Kermit be a plague?)

If you like the regular Seder Order Song, Here is another song
To the tune of "We didn't Start the Fire" By Billy Joel:
Kadesh, Orchatz
Karpas, Yachatz,
Maggid, Rachtza, Motzei Matzah.–

Maror, Korech,
Shulchan Orech,
Hallel, Nitrzah!

We didn’t start the seder,
The Hagadah has always been our script
Since the Jews left Egypt
We didn’t steal the afikomen
No we didn't eat it
But we tried to hide it

(additional verses) Burn your Chometz, after you search,
Bedika, blowtorch,
Fill up, your first cup of wine,
Throw on your kittel,
Kiddush time

Stand up, say the prayer,
Shechiaunu, for the new year,
Lean to the Left,
Drink it slow,
Realize you got four cups to go!

We didn’t start the seder,
The Hagadah has always been our script
Since the Jews left Egypt
We didn’t steal the afikomen
No we didn't eat it
But we tried to hide it

Chad Gad Ya, Who knows one,
That’s it,
The seder’s done

Now, as you get ready to start, check out your dad’s threads:
Q. What’s with the kittul (white cloak worn by males), this ain’t yom kippur?!

A. Seders have a way of being waaaay too fun, (i.e.. 4 cups of wine, wacky songs about goats, and Afikomen robbery) The kittel, the garment that we wear on serious occasions like Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashana, your wedding and burial day, reminds us that while having a blast, don’t forget the serious halachot (laws) that are required from us of this spiritual seder night! Speaking of “spiritual”, we also have this gear on to dress the part of an angel – All white, all spiritual, all the time (Anaheim Angels jersey’s were equally acceptable in ‘02)  The Kli Yakar has the most amazing following explanation: the whole reason we were in Egypt in the first place was the jealousy over the Colored Coat of Joseph. We demonstrate our remorse for that resentment the brothers had for one another, by simply wearing white!

Bored Already?
Here are Ten Quick Cheesy Ways to Enhance your Seder

10. Two Words:  Plague Charades
9.   Preface every paragraph by saying "DID YOU KNOW…"
8.   Go around the table mentioning which of the 4 sons you'd like to date
7.   Sing Dayanu to the tune of Labamba (Di, Di, Di, Di Di Aynu!)
6.   To get kids really asking questions, cancel Seder… in favor of Séance
5.   Come up with alternative uses for "Shank Bone"
4.   Promise $1000 to the first kid who finds Moshe's name in the Haggadah twice
3.   Ask, "If you were an Egyptian stranded on an island, and you could only have one plague for the rest of your life which one would it be?"
2.   Haggadah  "Taboo" (taboo words: Slaves, Free, Plague, Outstretched)
1.   Spontaneous Seder Table Wave

KADESH: Happy Hour(s) begins

Q. “Red, Red, Wine….Stay close to me”  – Why Red Wine, Bob?
Sure there is the whole symbolic “looks like blood” thing (Jewish slaves or Pascal Lamb? You make the call)- but the Ishbitzer Rav gives a novel interpretation: Wine, is the product of a long process (the longer it takes, the more expensive!) From the grape to the bottle, it goes through some long hard processes. So too, the Jewish Nation also requires a long process toward perfection:  Egyptian slavery, then the desert, then centuries of exile and persecution. We’ve been through a lot.  But says the Ishbitzer, just like wine, the results will be sweet. This is precisely why we always use wine for all of our holidays, a constant reminder to this idea (and is the reason why if no wine is available on shabbos, one should make Kiddush on the challah, as bread too is an amazing product of a long hard process) Cheers!

Q: Drinking is for Purim not Pesach?
Don’t get bummed if you can’t hold your wine. The Avnei Nezer feels that Pesach is a continuation to Purim. When the Talmud (Ta’anit 29a) says “When entering Adar, Increase your simcha”, Rashi explains that it applies to both months of redemption, Adar and Nissan. This is a good explanation why we celebrate Purim during the second Adar in a leap year: to keep Purim and Pesach next to each other. Therefore, says the Avnei Nezer, the wine is a continuation of the celebration of Purim. But know when to say when, four cups is enough!  

Q: Why does Judaism always start meals with wine?
Wine is a drink that lightens the mood and loosens people up (God knows we need all 4 cups especially with all our family on Pesach). Our sages even say that: "There is no simcha, (joyous occasion) without wine." However a fundamental lesson we can take away from Kadesh, is that Judaism believes that part of our goal in life is to find the holiness and spirituality in everything in this world. To sanctify that which is mundane. The word "Kadesh" can also mean to separate. To mikadesh the night with wine is to make this night, and this cup something separate, something special, something unique. Wine is just a regular drink. But by sanctifying wine, we are showing that we can live in the physical world, and enjoy it, while at the same time find holiness into that very same experience. If we use wine in the correct manner and at the correct time, it can provide the physical and spiritual high we all are longing for. L'Chaim.


A familiar song  to sing while you wash:
You put your right hand in,
 You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in and you wash it all about,
you do the Hamotzei Pokey and you dry off your hands
That’s what urchatz is all about!  Huh, where’s the Bread?

Wait, why are we washing our hands for vegetables?
At this point, you may think to yourself, “IM GONNA BE FREAKIN STARVING!” knowing this from past seders, you may feel the need to munch down on as much Carpas as humanly possible. (Carpas Eating Champion Seder ‘98) but tonight you are a free man, you are not a slave. That includes being a slave to your stomach! So we push off our appetizer, and wash our hands to demonstrate that we are not slaves to our impulsive eating habits. Rav Nachman of Breslov says the Hebrew word  “Rachitz” in Aramaic means “Trust”, because we should trust in Hashem, as we wash now, that no matter what our meal consists, of even if its just a little parsley twig, that G-d’s “got our back” when it comes to the nourishment and survival of the Jewish people, and there is more in store for us; namely some good brisket.

Story:  When Rav Itzeleh Wooker observed one of his students grabbing for the largest piece of potato, he said to him “How can tonight be a night of celebrating freedom, if you are still an Eved  to a Potato!”   (side note: great band name “Potato Slave”)

Q. Why Wash?
Let your HANDS take the first step, nose ahead, do the talking:
R’ Yitzchak Mirsky, in his Hegyoni Halachah Haggadah, writes about the significance of Urechatz– of the additional washing of one’s hands before eating vegetables on the night of the Seder.  In Mesachet Sottah 4B it says, “one who takes the Mitzvah of washing one’s hands lightly will be removed from the world.” The Ba’er Hatav comments that even if one is normally vigilant about washing his hands before eating bread  (and the Maateh Yosef  says that this also applies to washing before eating vegetables), but disregards this Mitzvah purposely just one time, he is still liable to the punishment set forth in the Gemarah.

The question arises though as to why the Gemarah stipulates such a strict punishment, even for missing the Mitzvah just once?!

The Maharal of Prague says that there is deep symbolism involved when one washes his hands for the purpose of a Mitzvah.  Hands represent the beginning of the human body, for when one stretches out his hands to reach forward or above, it is the hands that are at the front or at the top of the body. The Maharal explains that that the way one begins an action greatly influences the direction and tone of all that follows from that point, and therefore, even a seemingly insignificant sin, but one involving the “bodily leader,” is particularly wrong, for a misguided beginning will lead to an incomplete and incorrect conclusion. On Pesach, the Maharal continues, we should be extremely careful in our observance of this idea, for Pesach is the annual point of beginning for everything that exists, in all times.

At this time of beginning and renewal, R’ Mirsky concludes, it is essential to remind ourselves of the importance of a correct beginning in any action and endeavor we undertake- something which is symbolized by the additional washing of our hands at the Seder. (Matt Kreiger, Monroe, NY)


Springtime for Karpas
Anyone ever notice that Passover is in the springtime?  This was no coincidence; in fact it was a blessing. G-d could have taken us out of bondage in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, but instead G-d took us out in perfect weather, Spring!  The color green of karpas reminds us of this small detail, and helps us recognize that G-d went  “above and beyond” in every aspect of our redemption, even the weather forecast.

Excuse me, Did you just double dip?
An interesting remembrance of dipping twice is to recall our coming and going from Egypt. Recall the first Jew to Egypt, Yosef, was sold by his brothers. They masked the sale to their father by dipping his coat in blood to appear that he was killed. It’s fitting then that we left Egypt with a second dipping: the hyssop branch into blood to spread on our doorways before the final plague to the firstborn. Good thing, nowadays, we just use salt water 

K-ar-p-a-s: Give me a Kaf, Give me a Reish…..

The letters of the word Karpas hint to us to be giving people:

Sounds Letter  Meaning
Ka Kaf Palm of hand
R Reish One who is impoverished
Pa Peh Mouth
S Samech To support

wise crack: If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?


Breaking Up is Hard to do
Yachatz means “Break apart”, Yachad means “Come together”, the only letter difference are the ending letters Daled and Tzadik, which makes sense, since that spells “Dates.” (Bangachuver Rav discourses)

The Incredible, Edible Egg!
Sure it’s high in protein, but there has got to be a better reason to take an Egg-break. Bang this: an Egg is one of the few foods that hardens when you heat it up. So are the Jews – The slavery and persecution we have endured throughout the years has only strengthened our longevity and eternal connection with Hashem. Want my yolk?

 (translation: get comfortable)

Q. Why don't we make a specific blessing on Sipur Yetzias Mitzraim (Telling over the story of Egypt)? It’s a MITZVAH! Right?  A well-known answer to this question is that there is no end (“Ayn Sof”) to the amount that one can say. However Sfas Emes says something different:  He asks similarly, why don't we make a bracha on tzedaka (charity) or Kibud Av (Honoring one’s parents)?  Because these are things that come second nature to us, things that we know are good by nature and don't need a brocha to remind us of them (Mitzvas Sichli).  The same applies to sipur tetzias mitzraim.  It's such an amazing Nais (miracle), that it's ingrained in us so that we don't need a bracha to make it something holy, just like tzedaka and honoring ones parents. Its intrinsic. (Michael Parker, LA)  

To keep your seder up to speed, here are:
Top Ten similarities between Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Passover Story

10. The UN repeatedly asked Sadam to "Let his Weapons Go"
9. Both Moses and George W. Bush have trouble with public speaking
8. Surprisingly when the Jews and Iraqis are given freedom, a lot said they'd rather stay where they are
7. The Egyptians hid their gold, the Iraqis hid their chemicals 
6. The Hagaddah covered the entire Passover story, CNN/Fox/MSNBC covered Iraq

5. US warplanes are raining from the sky in place of hail
4. Both stories rely on the leadership of a Chief of Staff

3. George Bush follows in his father's footsteps, Maaseh Avos Siman L'Banim
2. It is still unknown if Pharoah and Sadam survived their downfalls
1. The #1 plague in both stories was: (Sa)Dam

"I understand the importance of bondage between parent and child." – Dan Quayle.

Is there any point in this “All night learning in Bnei-Brak”?  Throw me a bone here! (shankbone preferably)
Toward the beginning of Magid, we learn of 5 Rabbis (Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar Ben Azaryah, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon) who sat up all night in B’nei Brak discussing the seder, until their students came to inform them that it was time to say the morning “Kriat Shema.”  The length of their exposition is extraordinary unto itself, but even more amazing when you see who these Rabbis are.  Their names appear throughout the Talmud, so it is no surprise that they can engage in lengthy discourse on matters of Judaism.  But this particular conversation was important, because as they went over the Haggadah, telling of how Hashem had saved their forefathers, they could have technically been called liars.  See, none of them were descended from slaves.  All of their ancestors had either been converts, who obviously had not been in Egypt at the time, or from the tribe of Levi (including Kohanim), which Egypt had exempted from slavery, as the Priestly class.  So while we are commanded to see ourselves as if we, today, were being brought out of Egypt like our forefathers, these Sages would have thought back to their ancestors’ lives of relative luxury!  How could they possibly be so involved in a story that didn’t directly concern them or their family!

From here, we learn a powerful lesson about Passover, and ourselves.  The Jewish people is one entity- though we have different names, and occupy (vastly) different branches of the family tree, we are still inter-connected, and our fates inextricably tied to one another.  If one Jew suffers, than it is incumbent upon all of us to alleviate that suffering. (Of course, though possibly on a different level, the same applies to all mankind- we share our world and origins, and are required to help anyone we can).  Something that happens to our proverbial neighbor most definitely concerns us.  This unity of experience, and consequent unity of purpose, should drive us every day, just as it drove those Rabbis, who rather than saying, “At least my family wasn’t enslaved,” proclaimed, “My people was enslaved- my brethren were oppressed- let us celebrate their redemption and ours, and let us pray for G-d to redeem us again!”

And indeed that is the lesson of Passover- the Jewish people seem to be the most adept in the world at drawing lines between one Jew and his fellow.  We incorrectly allow our external differences to indicate that we are different inside, as well- and thus we are enslaved by our own conflicts.  Let us learn the lessons of the seder- free ourselves from our self-imposed slavery by recognizing that unity in our people can bring the ultimate redemption. (Steven Schwartzberg, Texas)

4 sons:
Do you know One? How about Three sixty six?
Got Math? Let’s see:
Jews don’t do violence – what’s with knocking out the wicked son’s teeth? It’s to teach him a lesson. The numerical value of Rasha (Wicked) is 570. The numerical value of Tzadik (Righteous) is 204. Q: What’s the difference between the two?  A: The wicked son’s teeth! (Sheinav) 366. The Wicked son is sitting at the seder table and not listening to the story or the message of Passover. He is actively excluding himself with his statements (“What is this that you are doing?”) What do you do to get him to stop making snide remarks? Keep him quiet by taking out his teeth. If the Wicked son lost his teeth (570-366=…) he’d pay attention to the miracles, begin to understand why we are doing the seder, and maybe get a big righteous (204!)

The Missing Son: The Lubovitcher Rebbi always said there is a fifth son we must also teach, that is the son who doesn’t even make it to the seder table dinner.  Here are 10 more missing sons not found in the seder:

Top Ten Sons left out of the Passover Seder:
10. The "30-year-old-still-single" Son, If he would just get a date, Dayienu
9.  The Brovender's Daughter just home for Pesach, ready to prove she's smarter than all 4 sons put together
8. The Alcoholic Son, "Can we get a little more wine in this Charoset please?"
7. The "Watching TV during the 2nd Seder" Son, who just announced he is making aliyah (after learning the NHL playoffs conflict)
6. The Moshav Granola Son, who finds the murdering of innocent parsley stalks offensive
5. The "Scummy" Son, who is so bad that yeshivish girls can't help but find him attractive
4. The "Fallen off the face of the Planet" Son, nobody knows where he has been but always shows up for the holidays with new facial hair
3. The Feminine Son, who asks "Does anyone mind if I sing Mah Nishtana to the tune of Rent?" (Why is my son different from all other sons?)
2. The "I love long D'var Torahs so that I can brag to my friends how late my seder went" Son
1. The Miami Beach Sun

“With faith, there are no questions; without faith there are no answers.”-The Chofetz Chaim

Can’t we Stay Just a little longer?
The Haggadah relays that we had to leave hastily from Egypt (the first time we used the “religion” excuse to leave work early), for had we delayed any longer in Egypt, we would not have been rescued. Why the big rush? The Slonimer Rebbe explains that Moshe understood this concept from the burning bush. In Exodus, we find he approached out of curiosity to find out why the bush was not being consumed by the fire.(Similar to realizing your chometz aren’t burning because you wrapped them in tin foil)  Although there is no direct response to this curiosity, G-d tells Moshe to remove his shoes, for he is standing in a holy place. The Rebbe of Slonim teaches the burning bush showed Moshe an analogy to the Jewish people. Although they were in the fires of impurity in Egypt, they would never be consumed as long as they had a shred of holiness. When they were on the 49th level of impurity, one level from losing all holiness, they had to be saved lest they become completely consumed by the impurity of the Egyptians.

So you might ask yourself: Why the big procrastination? Why couldn’t G-d have given started the salvation a little earlier? Heck, if we had enough time to let our dough rise, we could be eating bagels right now!

The answer goes back to the bush. A seed sprouts into a shrub after the seed has fully decomposed. To grow into a nation, and to withstand the many fires to come, the Jewish people had to decompose until the brink, and only then sprout strong eternal roots.

       “If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank”  – Woody Allen

Top 10 New and Improved Passover Items?
10. George Forman's Shank Bone Grill
9.  7-11's New Charoset Slurpee
8.  Great Adventure Funnel Cake (ok its not Kosher for Passover, or Kosher at all, but its better than that 15 dollar Hotdog lunch!)
7. Ferrara Pan: Afikomen the Grape, StaleMatza Jawbreakers, Boston Baked Beans (sephardic), Marror Redhots
6.  Kosher for Passover Zima, called "Ben Zoma"
5.  Gummy Locusts
4:  Kosher for Pesach Shmura Water
3:  Matzah with regulators
2:  Shomer Mitzvos Software: Block Chometz-related internet sites (Ba'al Yiraeh)
1.  Hindi, the drunk and constipated Pesach doll.  

“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free”  The Shawshank Redemption

An Aramean Sought to do Destroy us??  Guess what, Thanks!
Anyone have any clue where this quote is originally from? It is actually found in the Torah (dvarim 26:5) in regards to Bikkurim, the commandment to bring your first fruits. So, as my 8th grade rebbi used to ask, what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China? (regional variant: Bejip) There is a close connection between bikkurim and the seder night. Both are offerings of thanks to G-d for his generosity! Saving our lives from Egypt, and blessing us with fruit! R’ Yerachamiel Yisroel of Alexander says that both mitzvot have a Talking obligation, by bikkurim the commandment is to “respond and declare” praise when bringing your fruit goodies, so too on seder night, where we are all about talking. The more one talks, the more praiseworthy! Hey that’s the name of the holiday: Peh  Sach= The mouth speaks!

"Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. " Sigmund Freud


A comparison: Shawshank Redemption vs.

Egypt Redemption
This Sunday, March 20, ABC will be broadcasting that perennial classic The Ten Commandments. Though this “Greatest Event in Motion Picture History” is indeed a stirring rendition of the Exodus tale, and its relationship to Pesach quite clear, there is yet another movie that will be showing at the same time that speaks much more to the ideas of the seder and Passover. I refer, of course, to The Shawshank Redemption (though I haven’t checked the TV Guide to verify this, any viewer of TNT, TBS or any other Turner owned network can assure its veracity). I don’t mean to slight Charlton Heston, but I think Tim Robbins has the edge on this one. Read further…

During the seder, the primary component of the haggadah through which we tell over the Exodus story is the expounding of the text of Arami Oved Avi, An Aramean tried to destroy my forefather (Dev.26:5). The use of this passage, as opposed to the numerous accounts from the Book of Shemot, is significant, because embodied in this text is the true expression of the freedom we achieve on Pesach. Arami Obved Avi is the statement a person makes upon bringing the bikurim, the first fruits, to the Temple. Fruits in hand, the individual declares to God, “I have come to the land that God swore to our forefathers to give to us” (Dev. 26:3). That is to say, with the bringing of the first fruits to the Temple, an individual testifies that the promise God made to Avraham guaranteeing that his children would leave Egypt and one day inherit Israel indeed has come true. The freedom which we experience on Pesach is not simply that of removing the shackles of Egypt. Rather, it is the realization that we can now head off to where we ought to be and live the life we have dreamed of, the life God has envisioned for us. Thus, Arami Oved Avi not only declares our vision, but states that we have arrived and that we have realized our dream and are living it, indeed, reaping the first fruits of that dream. And this, I believe, is the message of Shawshank as well.

Though he is in prison, Andy Dufresne is free man, a man who refuses to submit his life to imprisonment. And to show the prisoners that they too can be free, Andy one day sneaks into Warden Norton’s office and blasts opera across the prison grounds. When he does this, all the inmates stop in their places and listen. Which inmate ever listened to opera before entering Shawshank? They don’t seem to be the most sophisticated of individuals. And yet, when Andy plays the music, every prisoner stops to listen. Why? Because for the inmates, the music reminds them that there is a world out there; that there’s meaning out there; that there’s a background that they have forgotten about. All they’ve been thinking about is getting through the day, having enough to eat and keeping out of trouble and why they shouldn’t even be in Shawshank. And then suddenly, they all look up and remember there is something beyond the walls, a life to be lived. As Red says, “It was as if some beautiful bird had flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.” The music reminds the inmates that there are things outside, things they could have and become. But the music was cut and the prisoners returned to their routine. It was different for Andy, though, because he had more than a fleeting moment – he had a vision, he actually had a place (Mexico, for those who haven’t seen the flick).

Andy always had a place he was going to go to be free in, a place that provided him with the infinite patients necessary for waiting it out in Shawshank. He was digging out a tunnel an inch a day, day after day, for twenty years, eventually swimming through a cesspool of what you got to go through in order to reach freedom. And that was fine, anything was fine, because he was going to the place in which his vision of reality and what he could do with it would be expressible, would be doable. But suppose he had no vision, suppose there was no Mexico, no dream to build a boat, when he got out of prison. That is the fate of Brooks when he is released – suicide. Brooks had no vision, no place to go to. He never thought of possibilities beyond Shawshank and hence, despite being “freed,” could only think of returning once he was on the outside. “Maybe I should get me a gun and rob the Foodway, so they'd send me home,” he mused. And realizing he could never be free, because he gave his life up to Shawshank years before, he hanged himself. Andy, on the other hand, had a vision, aspirations for something beyond the confines of Shawshank. And that vision and its eventual realization was his freedom. As he told Red, “You need it so you don't forget. Forget that there are places in the world that aren't made out of stone. That there's a – there's a – there's something inside that's yours, that they can't touch.” Mexico was that place that could not be touched and when Andy built his boat, he was the freest man in the world.

Like Andy’s dream of Mexico, our vision, our place, is Jerusalem. The arrival in Jerusalem represents for us our world, a way of life where we can grow and achieve the things that we believe should be achieved. The arrival of the Jewish people in Jerusalem signifies that its ultimate destiny has been realized. Each year we conclude our seder with the proclamation, “Next year in Jerusalem.” This statement is the true afikoman, the true last taste of the meal. For with it, we walk away from the table reassured that despite our current reality, we will one day arrive in Jerusalem, first fruits in hand and proclaim, “We have arrived.” That is what sustains our freedom throughout the year and that, God willing, is what our seder hopes to achieve. And so, when we conclude our seder, may we too look towards Jerusalem with that same excitement Red had when he made his way to reunite with Andy: “I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.” (Geoff Dworkin, Detroit, MI)
*Thank you to R.M. Weinberg, whose ideas and insights, especially regarding Shawshank, are the underlying basis of this essay.



Where in the World is Moshe Rabeinu?
If one were to compare the exodus described in the Torah with that which is retold in the Hagadah, they would notice many similarities and one big inconsistency. No, I am not referring to the cool illustrations of the Egyptians with goatees. Nor am I am I referring to the wine stains baked into your Hagadah from last year. 

While both stories describe a nation under the burden of slavery and their ultimate redemption to freedom. The Hagadah seems to leave out one very important individual, namely the humblest man alive (no literally), Moshe Rabainu. Not even a mention in the closing credits. To fully understand this oversight in modern day terms (and if you are from LA) it would be like discussing the Lakers dominance during the first decade of the twenty first century and not even mentioning Shaq, Kobe or even Phil???

The Vilna Goan, give a practical and yet profound answer to this question. He writes that had Moshe been included in the Hagadah, the seder night would have completely revolved around Moshe and not about the redemption of the Jews. Also, more importantly, the focus on Moshe would have taken the focus off of G-d and that it was the hand of G-d that took the Jews out of Egypt. Even those Hagadahs that do mention Moshe, it is only in passing and in the context of him being a slave to G-d. The main point of the story of the exodus was that it was G-d himself who took out the Jews “On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt”- I, and not an angel. (Passover Hagadah)

But if there was a fear that people may come to worship Moshe, why might there not be this same alarm about a book you also might have read. It is called Exodus (Shemos). Moshe is mentioned in almost every other passuk!!!!. If this were the Brady Bunch and I was Jan (Aaron),  I might say "Moshe Moshe Moshe!" 

Rabbi Manis Friedman explains that the Hagadah is a guide written BY Jews in Gallus FOR Jews in Gallus (

i.e., we say next year in Jerusalem). What was Moshe's ultimate goal? To bring Klal Yisroel to their land of milk and honey,  and kosher Burger King, i.e. Israel. The fact that we are still in gallus, reading the Hagadah (the guide for the exiled) subconsciously highlights Moshe's failure to complete his ultimate mission. Rabbi Friedman goes on to say that Moshe certainly refused to have his name in the Hagadah…YET. Only when Moshiach comes and we are all in Israel, will Moshe's goals be fulfilled, and will Moshe allow his name to be included.

Another possible answer to this question I found on the Breslov Research Institute’s web site. Yes they have a website! The site writes that the reason Moshe was left out of the Hagadah was not in deference to G-d, but rather to those who were in Egypt before Moshe got there, namely Aaron. That while Moshe was the guy who was running the exodus show, there was a whole cast of supporting characters that were already there, and should not be overlooked. Even though the Jews were just slaves till Moshe arrived, there was Jewish leadership in Egypt before he got there. And it is a tribute to Aaron’s humility that he gladly accepted the leadership of his younger brother Moshe and did not think twice about accepting a supporting role. By not mentioning Moshe we see how others played a vital roll in the redemption of the Jewish nation. So while others might need to draw upon some unsavoury characters for leadership in this day and age, namely Pharaoh. I think that we can find sources of inspiration from our own leaders, Aaron and Moshe. From their humility and modesty we gain an understanding of what it means to be a true leader of the Jewish people. In this day and age when looking out for oneself has become a priority, we see from Moshe and Aaron how a Jew should really behave.  (Phil Wintner, LA)

“The purely righteous do not complain about evil, rather they add justice.
They do not complain about heresy, rather they add faith.
They do not complain about ignorance, rather they add wisdom.”
–Rav Kook, ztz"l (Arpilei Tohar)


“In Every Generation” MAKE BELIEVE or REALITY?
“Bechol dor Vador Chayav Adam Liros es Atzmo KeIlu hu Yatza Mimitzrayim”
We say “In each generation a person should see himself as if he came out of Egypt”
This statement appears in the Mishna (Pesachim) In the Gemara there, Rava adds that you also have to say VeOsanu Hotzi Misham  "He took us out of there." Both these phrases are said in the Haggada in the Paragraph which begins Bechol Dor vaDor.
What does Rava's statement add to what the Mishna said?  It seems that he is repeating what just a moment before!

I think that the answer is found in the Pesukim that the Haggada quotes. 

First we say "Keilu" At the seder we “make believe” that we were the ones to come out of Egypt even though we were never there!   But that is how the Torah wants us to perform the Mitzva of telling the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim. As it says "Vehigadeta Levincha… Baavur Ze Asa Hashem Li Betzeisi Mimizrayim. "You will tell your son…because of this Hashem did for me when I came out of Egypt." HELLO!   I can never be one of the Yotzei Mitzrayim because that happened over 3000 years ago!!!  I can only try and relive the experience on Seder night as if I came out of Mitzrayim

But then Rava comes along with another Pasuk.  “VeOsanu Hotzi Misham Lemaan Havi Osanu Lases Lanu  Es Haaretz…"  “And He took us out of there in order to bring us and give us the land that he promised our fathers." Here we are talking about the ultimate aim of Yetzias Mitzrayim which is to come to Eretz Yisrael as was promised to Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov.   The generation who came out of Mitzrayim did not merit to enter Eretz Yisrael.  They all died in the desert after the sin of the spies. The next generation who entered the land, did not do so in the way that had been promised to Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov and so we were exiled and until today we have never taken possession of Eretz Yisrael completely and ultimately.  In other words the process of Yetzias Mitzrayim has not yet reached its ultimate conclusion!

So who are the ones to complete the mission and to be brought to Eretz Yisrael for the final conquest of the land? Rava tells us that we must say VeOsanu  And He took US out in order to bring US  to the land.  At this point there is no more make believe, it really is us!  We are the ones who can complete the process.  Its up to us to be worthy!!  (R’ Ilan Segal, Har Nof Jerusalem)

Top Ten failed Passover Promotions?
10. US ARMY –  "THE ARMY OF 'who knows ONE?"
9. Animal Awareness Passover Campaign – "Frogs are our friends, not a plague."
8. American Red Cross – "This Passover, lets make rivers of blood"
7. Lenox Hill OBGYN – "We wont throw your newborn into the Nile"
6. Adoption Promotion Week – "Drop your unwanted children in a basket in the NYC Reservoir, for less fortunate parents to find!"
5. D'Angelo's Barber Shop: "Free lice check with every haircut"
4. Republic of China's Population Control Agency – Death of the first born commemorative pins 3.  Ebay: "Your Afikomen is worth a lot more than that"
2. Radioshack: "You've Got 4 questions, We've Got Answers"
1. Kosher For Passover Ex-Lax, now in new Matzah strength – "Ex-odus"  

If Chumetz = Arrogance, why do we eat it at all during the year?
Truth is, if you think about it, we need our trusty yetzer hara (evil inclination) to survive and live. It fosters our passions in life, our sex drive, desire to eat and other necessary instincts. The challenge man must face is to learn to control his yetzer hara, and not simply just get rid of it. On Pesach we say to our Yetzer Harah “Sure buddy, we need you around, but, make no mistake about it, we are in control and we can get rid of you anytime we want. Need proof? For the next 8 days, you’re symbolically gone via our Chumetz extermination!”  We tell the Evil inclination, that bottom line, we are the boss. However, the real message here is to work on our control of our Yetzer Hara all year round. (Richard Frohlich, Staten Island)


Is Praise  Proper? but what about all the dead human beings
The gemara questions why don’t we say Full Hallel prayer(longer version) on the 7th and 8th days of Pesach. The Gemara says, because it is not right to sing praises, when any human being, the creations of G-d, have been killed.  SOOO the question you got to ask is, How the heck can we say it now at the Seder? Didn’t we just read all about Egyptians going through some hellish plagues!??  Rav Chaim Soloveichik explained, the gemara’s statement was meant for future generations, they should not sing at a time when life is lost. But the generation, who experiences the savior, as Miriam and Moshe led the song after the splitting of the sea, of course can sing praise as their lives have truly been saved. On seder night, there is an obligation to feel as if we were there, coming out of Egypt. It is as if we experienced this salvation firsthand, and therefore full Hallel can be said wholeheartedly


Joke: Guy hands a blind man a piece of Matzah. Blind man says “Who wrote this shtus?”  


Dr. Suess’s Seder

Why is it only
on Passover night
we never know how
to do anything right?
We don't eat our meals
in the regular ways,
the ways that we do
on all other days.

`Cause on all other nights
we may eat
all kinds of wonderful
good bready treats,
like big purple pizza
that tastes like a pickle,
crumbly crackers
and pink pumpernickel,
sassafras sandwich
and tiger on rye,
fifty falafels in pita,
with peanut-butter
and tangerine sauce
spread onto each side
up-and-down, then across,
and toasted whole-wheat bread
with liver and ducks,
and crumpets and dumplings,
and bagels and lox,
and doughnuts with one hole
and doughnuts with four,
and cake with six layers
and windows and doors.
on all other nights
we eat all kinds of bread,
but tonight of all nights
we munch matzah instead.

And on all other nights
we devour
vegetables, green things,
and bushes and flowers,
lettuce that's leafy
and candy-striped spinach,
fresh silly celery
(Have more when you're finished!)
cabbage that's flown
from the jungles of Glome
by a polka-dot bird
who can't find his way home,
daisies and roses

and inside-out grass
and artichoke hearts
that are simply first class!
Sixty asparagus tips
served in glasses
with anchovy sauce
and some sticky molasses–
But on Passover night
you would never consider
eating an herb
that wasn't all bitter. 

And on all other nights
you would probably flip
if anyone asked you
how often you dip.
On some days I only dip
one Bup-Bup egg
in a teaspoon of vinegar
mixed with nutmeg,
but sometimes we take
more than ten thousand tails
of the Yakkity-birds
that are hunted in Wales,
and dip them in vats
full of Mumbegum juice.
Then we feed them to Harold,
our six-legged moose.
Or we don't dip at all!
We don't ask your advice.
So why on this night
do we have to dip twice?
And on all other nights
we can sit as we please,
on our heads, on our elbows,
our backs or our knees,
or hang by our toes
from the tail of a Glump,
or on top of a camel
with one or two humps,
with our foot on the table,
our nose on the floor,
with one ear in the window
and one out the door,doing somersaults
over the greasy k'nishes
or dancing a jig
without breaking the dishes.
on all other nights
you sit nicely when dining–
So why on this night
must it all be reclining?


One More Song? (To the Tune of REM's "End of the World as We Know it")

That's great,
it starts with some neurotic hate, Babies thrown in lakes, Egyptians subjugate –
Moshe Rabbeinu is not afraid.

Shy of a speech constraint, Listens to Hashem's word –
Pharoh serves his heart's needs, won't let the Jew leave.
Plague 'em up with shock , blood no, frogs no.
Vermin, boils, deadcattle with fear of lice, Beast fright.
Hail mixed with fire, Following lice n' boils itching desire, and long dark-ness Night

Freedom was coming in a hurry, anyone for kebab and curry?
No time, what- the- heck.
Team by team Egyptians baffled, slaves finally on top?
Look at that Freedom train! Fine then.
Uh oh, Gottta go, liberation,
Instant coup, but it'll do.
Sing yourself, don’t pour yourself.
Free men get served thier needs,
Thanks to Pharoh's hardened heart concede.
Tell me with the hagaddah and the
songs on seder night – right.
You alcoholic, unhyperbolic, slam, fight, bright
never ending torah night, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the Seder as we know it.
It's the end of the Seder as we know it.
It's the end of the Seder as we know it and I recline…

1 o'clock – Afikomen hour,
Shul Tomorrow, no Matt Lauer
Talk and Learn, return,
Seder night never adjourns.
Kittul is uniform and goat singing, Elijah ringing.
Every question escalates. Leavened bread incinerate.
Ask 4 questions,
drink some wine
Lean now, Lean now.
Charoset way too crush crush
Uh oh, Our Exodus means no fear – cavalier.
Too much marror steer clear!
A Seder Night, a Seder Night, a Seder Night with wine.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and finally let’s dine!

It's the end of the Seder as we know it.
It's the end of Seder as we know it.
It's the end of the Seder as we know it and I’ve had too much wine.