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April Stewart Klausner is an artist, a cook, a baker and a bit of a comedian. Courtesy of Stewart Klausner. This first pre-Passover act makes it clear to all who enter her home that she is bound to her kitchen for the week before and during the eight days of the holiday. The cleaning, the cooking, the prepping, the covering of the countertops — her slavery story begins there. When my father, Isidore Ringler, marched across Germany as a G. By submitting the above I agree to the privacy policy and terms of use of JTA.

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Kids at Jennifer Abadi's seder make hamsas of sorts with haroset. Courtesy of Abadi. Recommended from JTA. By Mayim Bialik October 7, pm. Judaism welcomes and respects questions, and encourages probing minds to seek more and more knowledge and understanding. The Simple Child asks for the meaning of the Seder. Unlike the Wise Child who has learned and is instructed in laws, the Simple Child seeks to understand the basic facts. When one asks questions, one expresses some level of interest. Where there are no questions, there is likely to be no interest. The commentators add that the tone of the response must be appropriate for each particular child.


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Having defined the Four Sons, the Haggadah begins the Passover story anew, this time moving back in history to before the enslavement in Egypt. By referring back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Haggadah reminds participants that the Jewish forefathers earned the special love and protection that the Jews receive from G-d. Following right after the Four Sons, it is important to remember that this history must be shared with all participants so that they understand that they too are part of the redemption.

This quote reminds Seder participants of the fact that the Jewish enslavement in Egypt was all part of a predefined Divine plan and that history must be looked upon as a complete unit in order to recognize the Divine element. Having praised G-d for protecting the Jewish people throughout the generations, the Haggadah returns to the Passover story by examining the wickedness of Laban and the story of the Jewish people through their journey to Egypt, slavery, and redemption. In doing so, the story of the Exodus is studied in depth.

The four verses are:.

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The Haggadah elaborates on the first plague by quoting from the prophet Joel who foresaw blood, fire and pillars of smoke as signs of the final redemption. However, it is also understood that when the Nile turned to blood, it boiled and emitted pillars of steam. While there are varying opinions as to why the wine is spilled, the great Spanish commentator, the Abrabanel, explained that one should remove wine from the cup because wine is a sign of rejoicing, and one should not rejoice when an enemy falls.

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How the wine is spilled varies from family to family: some pour the wine out directly from the cup and some flick the wine out with their finger. The Ten Plagues — During the reading of the Ten Plagues, drops of wine are spilled from the full cup for each plague. Dam — Blood — During the plague of blood the waters of Egypt turned to blood.


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This plague had two separate features: 1 the Nile, which the Egyptians worshiped, turned to blood, and 2 all the water that the Egyptians kept in containers in their homes also turned to blood, while the Jews still had water to drink. Kinim — Lice — To initiate the plague of lice, G-d commanded Aharon via Moshe to hit the ground with his staff and the dust turned to lice and spread everywhere.


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  5. Arov — Wild Beasts — The plague of wild beasts trapped the Egyptians in their homes, for they dared not go out in the streets in fear for their lives. Dever — Pestilence — The Egyptian cattle that had survived the ravaging of the wild beasts were struck by pestilence and died.

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    No Jewish owned cattle died, even those in close proximity to the Egyptian cattle. The first five plagues taught the Egyptians that their possessions were lost and their wealth ephemeral. The plague of boils struck them personally, showing them that ultimately they had no control over anything, not even themselves.

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    For those who needed to be impressed by the awesomeness of G-d, the seventh plague consisted of giant hail that contained fire encased in ice. The hail killed much of the surviving Egyptian cattle and destroyed many agricultural crops. Arbeh — Locusts — Not much was left of Egypt by the time the plague of locust arrived. The cattle were dead, the buildings destroyed, morale was low and then the locusts came in an enormous swarm which darkened the sky and devoured anything that remained of the crops.

    Choshech — Darkness — For three days, total darkness descended on Egypt. The Sages taught that the darkness of choshech was so intense that it served as a physical restriction as well, leaving the Egyptians unable to move. The Jews, however, could see where they were going and had full range of motion. And in the darkness of the midnight hour, G-d smote all of the first born in the land of Egypt.

    The Haggadah relates that Rabbi Yehuda, a Talmudic Sage, grouped the plagues by their initials, which underscores the importance of not only remembering the plagues, but of remembering them in order. Following the Ten Plagues, the Haggadah discusses the varying opinions of the Rabbis as to how mighty and numerous the plagues actually were.

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    Each opinion serves to glorify the deed done by G-d and leads the Seder participants into Dayenu. One of the most famous of all Seder songs, Dayenu praises G-d for the many miracles and gifts He gave to the Jews. The format of Dayenu: Dayenu is a song that builds upon itself. Each verse starts with the end of the preceding verse, and ends with an enthusiastic call of the word Dayenu! If G-d had brought us out of Egypt, but had not executed judgement upon the Egyptians, it would have been enough — Dayenu!

    If G-d has executed judgement upon the Egyptians, but not upon their gods, it would have been enough — Dayenu!