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
Kiddush/
Sanctification
Shehecheyanu/
Blessing for something done a first time
Urchatz/
Ritual washing of hands
Karpas/Spring Greens
Yachatz/Sharing
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
Koreich/
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

Nirtzah/Acceptance

        Here we pause that our praise and petitions be accepted. Then we conclude with the song that is sung at endings and farewells, "Elijah the Prophet."

Eliahu Hanavi

Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite,
Elijah, Elijah, Elijah the Gileadite!
May he soon come,
Soon in our day,
With the Messiah, son of David.

 

(One reader continues as we listen to the story that closes this celebration and marks the beginning of another, Shavuot. It is the story of another kind of acceptance.)

        Following the second night of Passover we begin the count of forty-nine days until the festival of Shavuot. Shavuot marks the time of the barley harvest in ancient Israel when pilgrims brought offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. It is also the anniversary of God's new covenant with us at Mount Sinai. It is said in one midrash that when Moses gathered the souls of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai, God gazed at everyone, even those people not yet born.

    There was Moses the Adoptee and spiritual seeker.
    There was his non-Jewish wife, Zipporah, and their son, Gershom.
    There were Moses' birth parents, Yocheved and Amram.
    There were Bilhah and Zilpah, surrogate mothers for Rachel and Leah.
    And there was Judah, the sperm donor for Tamar.
    There was Eliezer the rejected adoptee.
    And Ishmael the rejected surrogate son.
    There were converts like Ruth.
    And sympathizers of other faiths, like Batyah.

        Witnessing their presence, God decided to expand on the original covenant with Abraham and his descendants, to include everyone who accepted the Commandments that day.

 

JUST AS THERE ARE COVENANTS BY BLOOD, THERE ARE COVENANTS OF THE HEART.

BUT JUST AS THERE ARE COVENANTS OF THE HEART, THERE ARE COVENANTS BY BLOOD.

 

L'shana haba-a b'Y'rushalayim!!
Next year in Jerusalem!
(Next year may we find a place of wholeness, a place of peace!!)

 

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Michele Kriegman TEL 973.292.9578