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

The four Adoptees. (Read aloud by turn the following paragraphs based on "The four sons" section of traditional haggadot.)

Blessed be God whose writer will speak of four different characters of Adoptees:

The Inquisitive Adoptee
The Threatened Adoptee
The Biological Child
The Deceived Adoptee

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1. The inquisitive Adoptee asks: "What is the meaning of the rules, laws and customs which the Eternal our god has commanded us?"

You shall explain to him all the laws of Passover, to the very last detail of the Search for Afikomen. And you shall refer to his experience of being lost and then saved from the dark waters of the Nile to explain welcoming the stranger, the widow, and the orphan to this table because they have also known those dark waters.

2. The hostile, threatened Adoptee asks: "What is the meaning of this seder to you?" This Adoptee may even act to prevent other Adoptees from carrying out their own Searches for origins and may lobby to maintain sealed adoption records.

To this Adoptee you say: "Because even Moses fled to Midian for years, I can accept your state of denial, but you have no right to prevent our temporary return to Egypt and reunion with the Hebrews."

3. The non-adopted child asks: "What is this?" This child takes his birthright and contact with birth kin so for granted that you must explain the "need to know."

4. As for the Adoptee who has not been told they are adopted, you must assure them that their instincts are correct, their suspicions are not crazy, and you must tell their parents not only the story of Moses, but also the story of his adoptive mother, Batyah.

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Michele Kriegman TEL 973.292.9578