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Haggadah: The Passover Guide and Storybook

The haggadah, Hebrew for "the telling," is the liturgy for the Passover seder. The traditional haggadah (plural haggadot or haggadahs) includes the preparation ritual of removing hametz from the home before Passover, a listing of the order of operations of the seder and a retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt, with additional prayers and songs.

Most of the haggadah is in Hebrew or Aramaic, the ancient languages of Jewish life and prayer in the Middle East, usually with a translation on the facing page. Many modern haggadot have a retelling of the story without much Hebrew or Aramaic, and may include readings and songs from other traditions and parts of history that fit with Passover themes.

Haggadot will often have song lyrics and musical notation to help new singers learn the melodies. Modern haggadot may have an accompanying CD to play along with the story to help the non-singers at the table or for seders where everyone is a newcomer to the experience. Some publishers have included transliteration of the Hebrew into English letters, so that everyone can join in with the Hebrew singing and chanting at the meal.

If you are a first-time guest at the seder, your hosts will provide a haggadah for you to use, and you can follow the lead of your hosts about how to participate. If you are planning a seder at your house for the first time, we have included a list of some suggested haggadahs you can purchase or download from the internet. You can go in person to your local Judaica shop, synagogue gift shop or Jewish bookstore to browse through the choices, or shop on the web.

The Guide to Passover for Interfaith Families is also available in PDF and Word formats.

Plural form of the Hebrew for "telling," it's the text that outlines the order of the Passover seder. There are many, many versions of this book, which dates back almost 2,000 years. Because we are commanded to expand upon the story, the Haggadah contains ancient interpretations, as well as stage directions and explanations, for the Passover meal. Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Hebrew for "telling," the text that outlines the order of the Passover seder. There are many, many versions of this book, which dates back almost 2,000 years. Because we are commanded to expand upon the story, the Haggadah contains ancient interpretations, as well as stage directions and explanations, for the Passover meal. Plural form of the Hebrew for "telling," it's the text that outlines the order of the Passover seder. There are many, many versions of this book, which dates back almost 2,000 years. Because we are commanded to expand upon the story, the Haggadah contains ancient interpretations, as well as stage directions and explanations, for the Passover meal. The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Hebrew for "leavened," foods that are not kosher for Passover, such as bread and wheat-based products. It refers to products that are both made from one of five types of grain and have been combined with water and left to stand raw (rise) for longer than eighteen minutes. A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
Hebrew for "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals.
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