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THE MASS: Its Ancient Roots. Part Ic: Eating the Holy Meal: Passover (Seder) -- Food Stuffs and Ritual. 1234 BC. 2000 1900 1800 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100. Jewish Forefathers’ Footsteps: Meaning and Remembrance

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Its Ancient


Part Ic: Eating the Holy Meal:

Passover (Seder) --

Food Stuffs and Ritual

1234 BC

2000 1900 1800 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100


Jewish Forefathers’ Footsteps: Meaning and Remembrance

At the Seder, every person should see himself or herself as if they were going

out of Egypt. Beginning with the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

recount the Jewish people’s descent into Egypt and recall their suffering and


Walk with them as God sends the Ten Plagues to punish Pharaoh and his

nation, and follow along as they leave Egypt and cross the Sea of Reeds.

Witness the miraculous hand of God as the waters part to allow the

Israelites to pass, then return to inundate the Egyptian legions.


Food Stuffs Needed and Set Up for the Passover Seder

  • A broiled yearling lamb, unleavened bread loaves, parsley, horse radish,
  • haroset, eggs, red wine.
  • A cup of salt water. Each person should have a glass and a plate with
  • parsley, haroset, and some horse radish.
  • On the main common platter:
      • 1. Three loaves of unleavened bread (pita bread).
      • 2. Bitter herbs (or horse radish).
      • 3. The shank of a lamb.
      • 4. A roasted egg
      • 5. Haroset (applesauce with nuts, cinnamon, honey and red wine).
      • 6. Parsley


bitter herb;


Beitzah; and egg,

broiled over fire;

a food eaten by mourners


cooked shankbone

in remembrance of

the Paschal Lamb

Karpas; non-bitter herb;

dip the Karpas in the salt



mixture of apples,

filberts, ginger, and

red wine; liquified


(The Seder Plate)

Morror; bitter

life ancestors

experienced in Egypt


The Four Cups of Wine

  • The Torah uses four expressions of freedom or deliverance in connection with liberation from Egypt (see Exodus 6:6-7).
  • The Children of Israel had four great merits even while in exile:
      • They did not change their Hebrew names;
      • (2) They continued to speak their own language, Hebrew;
      • (3) They remained highly moral;
      • They remained loyal to one another.
  • Wine is used because it is a symbol of joy and happiness


When drinking the four cups and eating the unleavened bread lean on left side to accentuate the fact that Jews are free people.

In ancient times only free people had the luxury of reclining while eating.


The FIRST CUP is poured.

Kadesh: the recitation of Kiddush--a prayer of blessing;

Drink the entire cup.

Urchatz: wash hands.

Karpas: eat a piece of non bitter vegetable dipped in salt-water.

Yachatz: break the middle unleavened loaf.

The SECOND CUP is poured and drunk.

The unleavened bread is eaten

A prayer of thanksgiving to God.

Maggid: the recitation of the Haggada.

CLOSE with the singing of the first part of Hallel (Ps. 112; 113:1-8)


Kadesh - the Benediction

  • The Seder service begins with the recitation of Kiddush, proclaiming the holiness of the holiday. This is done over a cup of wine, the first of the four cups drunk (while reclining) at the Seder.
    • Blessed be You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who have
    • sanctified us by Your commandments, and have taken pleasure in us,
    • and in love and favor have given us Your holy Sabbath as an inheritance, even the Sabbath of the remembrance of good; a memorial of the creation, the first of the holy convocations, in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt, to make known that it is us whom You have chosen and us You have sanctified above all the peoples; and Your holy Sabbaths have You given us as an inheritance in love and favor.
    • Blessed be You, O Lord, from the midst ofthe Sabbath, Who gives food to all flesh, [for] his mercy endures for ever. (Psalm 136:25).
    • Blessed be You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen.

Psalms 112

Hallelujah. I will praise the LORD with all my heart in the assembled congregation of the upright. Great are the works of the LORD, to be treasured for all their delights. Majestic and glorious is your work, your wise design endures forever. You won renown for your wondrous deeds; gracious and merciful is the LORD. You gave food to those who fear you, mindful of your covenant forever. You showed powerful deeds to your people, giving them the lands of the nations. The works of your hands are right and true, reliable all your decrees, Established forever and ever, to be observed with loyalty and care. You sent deliverance to your people, ratified your covenant forever; holy and awesome is your name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it. Your praise endures forever.


Psalms 113

Hallelujah! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in God's commands. Their descendants shall be mighty in the land, generation upright and blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in their homes; their prosperity shall endure forever. They shine through the darkness, a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and just. All goes well for those gracious in lending, who conduct their affairs with justice. They shall never be shaken; the just shall be remembered forever. They shall not fear an ill report; their hearts are steadfast, trusting the LORD. Their hearts are tranquil, without fear, till at last they look down on their foes. Lavishly they give to the poor; their prosperity shall endure forever; their horn shall be exalted in honor. The wicked shall be angry to see this; they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the desires of the wicked come to nothing.


Urchatz – Purification

Wash hands in the usual, ritually-prescribed manner before a meal, but without the customary blessing.

Karpas : the “Appetizer”

The next step in the Seder, Karpas, requires dipping food into water, which in turn mandates, according to Jewish law, that either the food be eaten with a utensil or that one's hands be purified by washing.

A small piece of onion or boiled potato is dipped into salt water and eaten (after reciting the blessing over vegetables).

Dipping the Karpas in salt water is an act of pleasure and freedom.

The Hebrew word "Karpas," when read backwards, alludes to the backbreaking labor performed by the 600,000 Jews in Egypt. [Samech has the numerical equivalent of 60 (60 times 10,000), while the last three Hebrew letters spell "perech," hard work.]

The salt water represents the tears of our ancestors in Egypt


Yachatz - Breaking the Matzah

The middle Matzah on the Seder plate is broken in two. The larger part is put aside for later use. This unusual action not only attracts the child's attention once again, but also recalls God's splitting of the Sea of Reeds to allow the Children of Israel to cross on dry land. The smaller part of the middle Matzah is returned to the Seder plate. This broken middle Matzah symbolizes humility and will be eaten later as the "bread of poverty.”

Maggid - the Haggadah

The Seder tray is moved aside, a second cup of wine is poured, and the child, who by now is bursting with curiosity, asks the time-honored question: Why is this night different from all other nights?"

The questioning triggers one of the most significant memorial of Passover, which is the highlight of the Seder ceremony: the Haggadah, telling the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The answer includes a brief review of history, a description of the suffering imposed upon the Israelites, a listing of the plagues visited on the Egyptians, and an enumeration of the miracles performed by the Almighty for the redemption of His people.


Rachtzak: washing of the hands a second time.

Motze: the recitation of the blessing.

Matzak: the second loaf is broken

eating the unleavened loaf

Morror: eating the bitter herbs.

Korech: eating a sandwich of unleavened loaf;

and bitter herbs.

Shulchan Oruch: the Paschal Lamb is eaten; eating the festive meal,

with more wine if desired;

The MEAL is ended.


Rochtzah - Washing Before the Meal

After concluding the first part of the Haggadah by drinking (while reclining) the second cup of wine, the hands are washed again, this time with the customary blessings, as is usually done before eating bread.

Motzie Matzah

Eat the matzah.

Taking hold of the three Matzot (with the broken one in between the two whole ones), recite the customary blessing before bread. Then, letting the bottom Matzah drop back onto the plate, and holding the top whole Matzah with the broken middle one, recite the special blessing . Then break at least one ounce from each Matzah and eat the two pieces together, while reclining.

Korech - the Sandwich

In keeping with the custom instituted by Hillel, the great Talmudic Rabbi, a sandwich of Matzah and Maror is eaten. Break off two pieces of the bottom Matzah, which together should be at least one ounce. Again, take some bitter herbs and dip them in the haroset. Place this between the two pieces of Matzah, say "Kein asah Hillel...“ and eat the sandwich while reclining.


Shulchan Orech - the Feast

The holiday meal is now served. Begin the meal with a hardboiled egg dipped into salt water.

A Rabbi was once asked why Jews eat eggs on Passover. "Because eggs symbolize the Jew," the Rabbi answered. "The more an egg is burned or boiled, the harder it gets."


The THIRD CUP, a common vessel, is taken (Chalice of Benediction);

Bayrech: the recitation of grace after the Meal; the real Table Prayer

Hallel: the singing of Hallel psalms of praise (Ps 113:9-117:29; Ps. 136).

The FOURTH CUP was poured and drunk.

Nirtzak: the prayer that God accepts our service;

Dismissal and departure.


Barech - Blessings After the Meal

A common third cup of wine is filled and grace is recited. After the grace the blessing over that wine is recited and the common cup is passed around drunk while reclining.

The door to the room is opened and the passage which symbolizes an invitation to the Prophet Elijah is recited, the harbinger of the coming of Moshiach, our righteous Messiah.

  • Hallel - Songs of Praise
    • halleluyah (halleluiah): from Hebrew hallalu-yah “praise Yahweh,
    • “from hallalu, pl. hallel “to praise” also “song of praise,” from hillel “he praised.”
    • yah: shortened form of Yahweh, the name of God.
  • At this point, having recognized the Almighty, and His unique guidance of the Jewish people, go still further and sing His praises as Lord of the entire universe.
  • After reciting the Hallel, recite the blessing over wine and drink the fourth cup, reclining.

Psalms 114

When Israel came forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from an alien people, Judah became God's holy place, Israel, God's domain. The sea beheld and fled; the Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams; the hills, like lambs of the flock. Why was it, sea, that you fled? Jordan, that you turned back? You mountains, that you skipped like rams? You hills, like lambs of the flock? Tremble, earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob, Who turned rock into pools of water, stone into flowing springs.


Psalms 115

Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name give glory because of your faithfulness and love. Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; whatever God wills is done. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths but do not speak, eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell. They have hands but do not feel, feet but do not walk, and no sound rises from their throats. Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them. The house of Israel trusts in the LORD, who is their help and shield. The house of Aaron trusts in the LORD, who is their help and shield. Those who fear the LORD trust in the LORD, who is their help and shield. The LORD remembers us and will bless us, will bless the house of Israel, will bless the house of Aaron, Will bless those who fear the LORD, small and great alike. May the LORD increase your number, you and your descendants. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth. The heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth is given to us. The dead do not praise the LORD, all those gone down into silence. It is we who bless the LORD, both now and forever. Hallelujah!


Psalms 116

I love the LORD, who listened to my voice in supplication, Who turned an ear to me on the day I called. I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread. Then I called on the name of the LORD, "O LORD, save my life!” Gracious is the LORD and just; yes, our God is merciful. The LORD protects the simple; I was helpless, but God saved me. Return, my soul, to your rest; the LORD has been good to you. For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I kept faith, even when I said, "I am greatly afflicted!“ I said in my alarm, "No one can be trusted!“ How can I repay the LORD for all the good done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. Too costly in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful. LORD, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds. I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!


Psalms 117

Praise the LORD, all you nations! Give glory, all you peoples! The LORD'S love for us is strong; the LORD is faithful forever. Hallelujah!

Psalms 118

Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose love endures forever. Let the house of Israel say: God's love endures forever. Let the house of Aaron say, God's love endures forever. Let those who fear the LORD say, God's love endures forever. In danger I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me? The LORD is with me as my helper; I shall look in triumph on my foes. Better to take refuge in the LORD than to put one's trust in mortals. Better to take refuge in the LORD than to put one's trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me; in the LORD'S name I crushed them. They surrounded me on every side; in the LORD'S name I crushed them. They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like fire among thorns; in the LORD'S name I crushed them. I was hard pressed and falling, but the LORD came to my help. The LORD, my strength and might, came to me as savior. ~


The joyful shout of deliverance is heard in the tents of the victors:

      • “The LORD'S right hand strikes with power;
      • the LORD'S right hand is raised;
      • the LORD'S right hand strikes with power.”
  • I shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the LORD. The
  • LORD chastised me harshly, but did not hand me over to death.
  • Open the gates of victory; I will enter and thank the LORD. This is
  • the LORD'S own gate, where the victors enter. I thank you for you
  • answered me; you have been my savior. The stone the builders
  • rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been
  • done; it is wonderful in our eyes.
  • This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.
  • LORD, grant salvation! LORD, grant good fortune!
  • Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you
  • from the LORD'S house. The LORD is God and has given us light.
  • Join in procession with leafy branches up to the horns of the altar.
  • You are my God, I give you thanks; my God, I offer you praise.
  • Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose love endures forever.

Psalms 136 (The Great Hallel)

Praise the LORD, who is so good; God's love endures forever; Praise the God of gods; God's love endures forever; Praise the Lord of lords; God's love endures forever; Who alone has done great wonders, God's love endures forever; Who skillfully made the heavens, God's love endures forever; Who spread the earth upon the waters, God's love endures forever; Who made the great lights, God's love endures forever; The sun to rule the day, God's love endures forever; The moon and stars to rule the night, God's love endures forever; Who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, God's love endures forever; And led Israel from their midst, God's love endures forever; With mighty hand and outstretched arm, God's love endures forever; Who split in two the Red Sea, God's love endures forever; And led Israel through, God's love endures forever; But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, God's love endures forever; Who led the people through the desert, God's love endures forever; Who struck down great kings, God's love endures forever; Slew powerful kings, God's love endures forever; Sihon, king of the Amorites, God's love endures forever; forever.


Og, king of Bashan, God's love endures forever; And made their lands a heritage, God's love endures forever; A heritage for Israel, God's servant, God's love endures forever. The LORD remembered us in our misery, God's love endures forever; Freed us from our foes, God's love endures forever; And gives food to all flesh, God's love endures forever. Praise the God of heaven, God's love endures forever.



Nirtzah – Acceptance

Having carried out the Passover properly, there is certainly that it has been well received by Almighty God.

(Today, Jews say "Leshanah haba'ah bee-rushalayim -- Next year in Jerusalem.“)


The End of

History of the Mass, Ancient Roots Part Ic

Go to

History of the Mass, Last Supper Part IIa