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

SET A PLATE ON THE TABLE CONTAINING EACH OF THE SIX RITUAL FOODS FROM THE ANCIENT SPRING PILGRIMAGE HOLIDAY CELEBRATED IN THE DAYS OF THE TEMPLE:

BEITSA
CHAROSET
CHAZERET
KARPAS
MAROR
ZEROA

PLACE THESE OTHER RITUAL OBJECTS ON THE SEDER TABLE:

Two white candles to be lit in their holders

Enough drink made from the fruite of a vine (grape juice, wine) for each celebrant to have four cupfuls

A bowl of saltwater for each participant

Three pieces of matzah by the leader of the seder, and enough for everyone else, too

One precious item related to your personal story of searching

A goblet of wine or juice for the prophet Elijah

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Hadlakat ha-Nerot/Lighting the festival candles
We begin the ritual by creating a holy space with candle-light. We recite this prayer as we light two candles:

Blessed art Thou, O Eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the radiance of the fire.

Kos Kiddush/First cup of wine (Fill everyone's glass, then one person reads:)

     We are told four times in the Torah, in four different ways, that God promised freedom to us. We will pause at different places in our seder to remember each of these promises with a cup of wine. The first time God makes this promise, it is written:

(Read in unison)

     "I am Adonai, and I will free you from the slavery of Egypt."
     V'hotzeit etchem mitachat sivlot Mitzrayim. [Exodus 6:6]

(One person reads)

     So we raise our glasses and say this blessing:

     Blessed art Thou, O Eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

(One person continues)

     We continue the ritual by creating holy time with two prayers, the Kiddush or sanctification with wine, and the Shehecheyanu, the blessing of time.

Kiddush/Sanctification (In unison [add the words in parentheses on the Sabbath])

     Blessed art Thou, Eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe Who chose us from all the people and exalted us among all nations by making us holy with God's Commandments.

     With love You gave us [the Sabbath for rest, and] the festivals for happiness, holidays and seasons for rejoicing; as this day [of Sabbath, and this day] of the Feast of Matzahs, the season of our freedom, which is a holy gathering in remembrance of our going out of Egypt. For You have chosen us from all peoples to make us holy with [the Sabbath and] Your holy festivals [with love and favor] in joy and happiness.

     Blessed art Thou who makes holy the festive seasons.

Shehecheyanu

     Blessed art Thou, O Eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us and brought us to enjoy this season.

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     In ancient Israel, Passover was a festival celebrated at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the end of a pilgrimage.

     Since the destruction of the Temple in 78 C.E. we pilgrims have created our own holy place and time with the preceding prayers.

     Next, as if we were the Temple priests of old, we wash our hands before partaking of the ceremonial meal, which we eat at this table as our alter.

Urchatz/Wash hands   (Either the leader, or everyone, washes their hands at this point and recites a blessing)

     Blessed are You, O Eternal, our God, who makes us holy with commandments, and has commanded us in the washing of hands.

 

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