What is seder in the bible

Seder and Passover: Why this night is different from everyone else: A mug for Elijah

Tradition has it that the Israelites celebrated the first Passover on the night before they left for Egypt. This is recorded in the oldest part of the Hebrew Bible, namely in the 2nd book of Moses (Exodus) and in the 5th book of Moses (Deuteronomy), where it says:

My father was a wandering Aramean, and he moved to Egypt and lived there with few people and there became a great, powerful and numerous people. But the Egyptians abused us, tormented us and gave us hard labor. And we shouted to us The Eternal, the God of our fathers, and the Eternal heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our pressure. And the Eternal led us out of Egypt with a strong hand, with an outstretched arm, with great horror, with signs and wonders. "

As is well known, this momentous divine intervention was initiated by the ten plagues that came over the Egyptians: blood, vermin, wild animals, cattle plague, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and the death of the firstborn and (strangely) frogs. - The Israelites, however, were instructed to slaughter a lamb or kid goat in every house, to roast it without cutting it in the fire and to eat it that same evening with the hastily baked matzo and bitter herbs.

Two festivals united

With the blood of the slaughtered animals, however, they were supposed to coat the head beam and the two door posts so that the angel of death or Maschchit ("annihilator"), who killed all Egyptian firstborns that night, recognized their houses as those of the orthodox and passed them by. Then they had to leave quickly and, while fleeing, eat mazzot for another seven days, the "bread of poverty", which they had no time to acidify.

The Judaist Efrat Gal-Ed, however, refers to several descriptions in the Bible in her "Book of the Jewish Annual Feasts" which show that there were originally two festivals, namely the one-day Passover with a lamb offering as the central ritual on Nissan 14 ( this year March 28) as well as the seven-day Chag ha-mazzot, on which unleavened bread was eaten before the two festivals merged - long before that, Moses asked Pharaoh's permission to do this with the whole people for three days To celebrate feast in the desert (Exodus 5: 1).

Rules in the Haggadah

In the wonderful book "Passover Haggadah", edited and commented by Rabbi Michael Shire, it can be read: "Ever since the temple was built (586 BCE), Passover became a national celebration: every year the priests sacrificed a lamb in the temple hymns of praise (hallel) accompanied this ritual. After the destruction of the temple (70 AD), the seder was created as a reminder of this sacrifice the Greco-Roman customs of that time go back. "

The Haggadah - the word means "story" - is the actual set of rules of the seder evening, which has been preceded by numerous preparations - including the removal of all leavened bread and the ritual "kaschern" (thorough cleaning of the apartment).

The family's festive white table becomes a table, even an altar through the things that are on it and the ritual that explains things in the context of history. In any case, indispensable ingredients on the Seder plate are:

Maror: grated horseradish, lettuce, bitter herbs or bitter salad (reminiscent of the suffering of the Israelites in Egypt).

Charosset: Sweet mush, made from apples, nuts, cinnamon and red wine (means the clay with which the Israelites had to carry out the construction work for the Egyptians).

Zero`a: A roasted lamb bone with some meat (for the Passover sacrifice in the temple).

Beza: A hard-boiled and / or roasted egg (symbol of birth and renewal).

Karpas: celery, parsley or the like that is dipped in salt water (in memory of the hyssop that was dipped in the blood of the Passover offering to coat the doorposts and the tears of the Israelites in bondage).

Freedom and slavery

Furthermore, three mazzot and red or white wine are mandatory, as each participant is obliged to drink four glasses of wine during the seder, each pouring a different person (since in Greco-Roman times those were considered free who were served by others ).

Since it would lead too far to go into the entire process, only the deeper meaning of the ritual and its symbols should be emphasized: Everyone, including the children, has equal rights on this evening. Everyone should not only respond to the traditional questions, everyone should become aware of the injustice slavery and the great good that freedom represents. In the given case, God himself intervened and set the Hebrews free. But, according to Gal-Ed: "One was liberated in order to live as a community in a special way God-connected ... Leaving Egypt means transforming oneself, choosing the spiritual law."