Introduction to the First Adoption Seder (Revised)
....I have retold the story of Moses in the literary form of the haggadah. A haggadah is the traditional booklet for the celebration of Passover that recounts Moses' leading the Exodus out of Egypt. Also contained in a haggadah are psalms, prayers, songs and rituals. They all act like synapses that make the main story that much more deeply felt....
Glossary and Objects
Hadlakat ha-Nerot/Lighting the festival candles
Kos Kiddush/
First cup of wine
Blessing for something done a first time
Ritual washing of hands
Karpas/Spring Greens
The four questions ~ an adopted variation
The four kinds of children ~ an adopted variation
Maggid/The story of the Exodus from Egypt
The Ten Plagues
Dayenu (a song of gratitude)
Hallel/Psalms of praise
Kos G'ula/The second cup of wine
Shulchan orech/
The shared supper
Rachatzah/Ritual washing of hands
Motzi Matzah/
Breaking and blessing the matzah
Maror and Charoset/
The bitter and the sweet
A traditional dish
Rabbi Gamaliel's proclamation ~ and an adoptee's variation
Tsafun/Searching, finding, ransoming and sharing the afikomen
Bareich/Grace after meals
Kos B'racha/
The third cup of wine
Kos Eliayahu/The cup of Elijah, and his story
Kos Hartsa-a/
The fourth cup of wine
Nirtzah/Acceptance with silence/A pause for meditation
Eliayahu Hanavi/
Elijah the Prophet (A song sung at farewells)
A different kind of hero on a different kind of quest To celebrate the process of Search and Reunion by an adult adoptee (or immigrant or convert or spiritual seeker), I blended the biblical story of Moses with commentaries on it from the Talmud and my own insights as an adoptee. At first recollection, the story of Moses may sound like an adoptive parent's worst nightmare, but....

The Story of Moses: An Adoption Haggadah
by Michele Kriegman, Copyright 1996

Sh'foch Chamat'cha/The Cup of Elijah

(One person fills a goblet with wine while a second person goes to open a door for Elijah and a third person points to the goblet and says: )

     The rabbis could not agree on whether there should be four or five cups of wine at the seder. The compromise was to drink only four cups but to set out a fifth cup until the coming of the Prophet Elijah. It was said that he will come on the eve of the messianic age to resolve all unresolved disputes --even those weightier than whether we should have four or five cups of wine at Passover.

May Elijah answer all the questions that your quest cannot.

     This and other legends arose about Elijah because there is no record of his death, a rite of passage that would have severed his connection to this world. Instead, according to legend, he travels back and forth between Heaven and Earth like an angel or boddhisatva, a sojourner who offers solace.
     Adoptees, too, feel as if they are missing a rite of passage, their birth, which would tie them more firmly to this reality.

If adoptees do miss connections, may this be to make them wise and compassionate like Elijah.

     One birth mother said that as she sets the cup of Elijah at her table, she also sets a place in her heart for her missing child. Both are the guest who is always welcome but who never attends.
     Malachi prophesies: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet and he will turn the hearts of the parents to the children and the hearts of the children to the parents before the coming of the great and awesome day of God."

Kos Hartsa-a/The fourth cup of wine (We pour our final cup of wine and continue)
God said: "And I will take you to be my people"
V'lakachti etchem li l'am v'hayiti lachem leilohim. [Exodus 6:7]

(So we way:)

Blessed art thou, O Eternal our God,
Ruler of the Universe, who createst the
Fruit of the vine.





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Michele Kriegman TEL 973.292.9578