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Order of the Seder


Question:

I understand “Seder” means order, but I must admit, I find it very difficult to understand the order of the Seder. Could you please outline what it’s all about?



AskTheRabbi.org answered:

Sure, you’re not the only one. In fact, the first part of the Seder includes an “outline” for people just like you and me. This is a list of 15 terms that refer to the main parts of the Seder as it progresses. Here’s the list with a brief description of each:

·       Kadesh:        Recital of the Kiddush and the drinking of the first cup

·       U’rchatz:        Washing of the hands without a blessing for the eating of the vegetable dipped in salt water

·       Karpas:        The dipping of the vegetable in salt water

·       Yachatz:        The breaking of the middle of the three matzot, half of which is hidden for the afikomen

·       Maggid:        The recital of the Haggadah, which is the primary mitzvah of the Seder retelling the story of the Exodus; it includes the second cup

·       Rachtzah:        Washing of the hands with the blessing for eating bread

·       Motzi:        The recital of the blessing for bread

·       Matza:        The recital of the special blessing for eating matza.

·       Marror:        The special blessing over, and partaking of, the bitter herbs dipped in charoset

·       Korech:         The “Hillel Sandwich” commemorating the Pascal roasted lamb sacrifice that was eaten with matza and maror

·       Shulchan orech:        The table is set and the festive meal is served

·       Tzafun:        The presenting and eating of the hidden afikomen matza

·       Barech:         The Grace after Meals concluded with the third cup.

·       Hallel:        The special praise and thanksgiving Psalms and prayers recited over the fourth cup

·       Nirtzah:        Concluding songs such as “Chad gadya” and “Ecad mi yodea”.

 


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