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A Different Night
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Ma Nishtanah ha-sefer ha-zeh? —
What's different about this haggadah?

The special contents of A Different Night
commentaries, history, tips, family activities, sage advice, art
(not including the basic haggadah texts & instructions) 
If it has no stars, it is only in the Classic edition.
If it has one*star, it's in both the Classic and Compact edition.
Two stars
**: Compact only.

Introductory Material: Foreword: A Haggadah to Grow WithWho Knows One: A Friendly WarningThe User's Guide to "A Different Night"The Format of the Page The Overall Structure of the SederOn Maximizing ParticipationThe Bare Bones Basic Seder

Before the Seder: Keeping Your Pockets CleanHide and Go SeekComplicationsProcrastination and ChametzSearch and Derstroy: Forbidden ChametzThe Spiritual Significance of YeastRomance and CandlelightingA Woman's Mitzvah?*A Traditional Woman's Prayer Before Candlelighting**A Private Moment of Intimacy with the ChildrenWelcome to the SederThe 15 Step Method

Kadesh — Sanctifying Time: 
Anniversary of the Birth of FreedomWho Pours the Wine?Reclining to the Left: An Outmoded CustomThe Centrality of WomenDo Kids Need WineToday Everyone is a Priest*Don't Cry Over Spilt Wine Havdalah: The Gift of FireCreating Wine-Stained HeirloomsThe First Thing God Wants Us to Know Remembering Our SlaveryHappy Birthday Dear Israel*From Rags to Riches: A Folktale

Urchatz: A Meditation on RenaissanceWhy Wash Hands Before Karpas?Not a Pagan ResurrectionThe Return to Nature Karpas: *A Menu of Meanings: Why Karpas?Yachatz: "Half a Loaf Is Better Than One"*The Story of the Compulsive SaverA Principled Debate: Two Matzot or Three?*A Personal Thanksgiving

Maggid: Ha Lachma Anya, the Bread of Poverty and Persecution: Maggid Introduction*A Passover SkitThe Game Begins: Rules for Hiding the AfikomenMatza's Double IdentityUplifting BreadThe Bread of AnswersFast Food, Oppression, and Schindler's List*An Open Door PolicyAll of Us Are EqualNeedy, But Not Necessarily Poor The Jewish MayflowerThis Year We Are Slaves

The Four Questions: An Occasion for Reciting or Inquiring?Eliciting Questions*Izzy, Did You Ask A Good Question Today? *In Search of the Four AnswersThe Questioning PersonalityQuestions in Many TonguesFour Questions, Kibbutz StyleWho Needs "Ma Nishtana"Find the Differences

The Rabbis as Storytellers: Introduction: Avadim HayeenuShmuel vs. Rav: Competing Stories Children Ask the Best Questions*By Tomorrow, Today Will Be a StoryBen Zoma vs. the Rabbis: Will the Seder Be Superceded?*Personal Reflections: My Most Unusual Seder

Storytelling: *Storytelling: Multiple Options*A Philosopher at Home: David Hartman The Duty to Give Memories*Not by Bread Alone**Forgetfulness and Memory*Heroic Women and the Baby Moses*Moses Comes of Age*Who Will Be Today's Midwives*The Shifra and Puah AwardChurchill's Favorite StoryThe Batya Parent Association*Returning Moses to the HaggadahMoses' Identity Crisis •Chronicles ("newspaper of the Exodus") -- 2 pages in Classic, 1 page in Compact

The Four Children: *A Reminder for Parents*"The Four Parents": Children Label Their Parents*The Pitfalls of Labeling**Questioning Our Wisdom**Embarassing Your Parents*Beating the Bounds: Producing Wicked Children*Who Is Truly Wise?*The "Wicked" Child: An Unfair Description?**The Parent of the Silent Child*The Contemporary Four Children — A Child's Perspective *Beyond Labels*Bridging the Generation Gap

The Art of the Four Children: Hacham, Rasha, Tam, She-eyno: A Tour of 5 Centuries

Spiritual Liberation: Rav's Pesach Story: IntroductionRav's Story of Spiritual LiberationAlienation From OurselvesAbraham the Iconoclast*Jews-By-ChoiceAbraham Discovers GodThe Idol SalesmanThe Broken IdolsA Debate — Is Abram a Wicked ChildA Rabbi's Memoir of Berlin, 1933-1937

Arami Oved Avi: Introduction: Torah and MidrashMy Ancestor Was a Wandering Aramean There is No Freedom Without First FruitsThe Aramean Who's Who

The Symposium: Selecting a TopicI: Assimilation and IdentityIn Small NumbersIsrael Resided There and Became a Great NationThey Did Not Change Their ApparelThere Israel Became a Nation — DistinctiveII: Antisemitism and PrejudiceThe Egyptians 'Badmouthed' Our LoyaltyBeware of the Fifth Column*Prejudice and IA Rabbi Combats the Nazi Image of the JewIII: Ancient Egyptian OppressionRameses II (1290-1224 B.C.E. • *Midrash: Filling in the GapsIV: From Resignation to Resistance"Our Oppression": Slavery and Patience*"We Cried Out: The Power of a GroanHope is Saying "No!"Internal ExileTears to Hide Our TearsV: Sexuality and LiberationZPG — Zero Population Growth*Sexuality and Liberation/Women's ResistanceThe Bedrooms of IsraelDiscriminationVI: Suffering and its LessonsPharaoh's AdviceGod's AdviceGiving a Helping Hand"Even Harsher"

Plagues: A Pacifist Interprets the Midnight PlagueEgyptology and the "gods"The Little Finger and the Itchy LiceGames of the Ten PlaguesThe Ecology of Plagues*Recount the Plagues*"Let My People Go"Black MosesA Debate — Should We Feel Joy at the Downfall of Our Enemies? — On the One Hand: The Joys of Justice — On The Other Hand: Restraints on Revenge Bruria and the HoodlumsReflections on VengeanceSo Many PlaguesWanted: Pharaoh's Heart

Dayeinu — Is It Ever Enough? Introduction*The Afghani Onion Free-for-All*Counting and Recounting Our Blessings: An UpdateA Contemporary Dayeinu

Pesach — Matza — Maror: IntroductionPesach — A Night of Fear and Liberation"When I Left Egypt, I Took With Me"The Last SouvenirsMaror — "All is Not Well That Begins Well"Why This Charoset? Union SoldiersCharoset Taste TestIn Every Generation: Life PassagesMy Invisible Identity Card**My Narrow Prison"When I Went Out"Body Language

More to come when I get a breath . . .


Foreword: A Haggadah to Grow With

Dear Reader,
      We at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem have been researching the Haggadah and its educational principles for a decade. At last we venture beyond scholarly essays to an experimental Haggadah which is designed to enable the contemporary Jew to lead an interactive and intellectually stimulating seder. While holding to the traditional text of the seder, we have discovered that much can be done to make the seder more responsive to contemporary needs and simultaneously truer to the spirit of the Rabbis as educators. Rabbinic tradition mandates the kind of innovations that appear throughout this Haggadah.
      Our Haggadah facilitates a seder that is as an educational dialogue between parent and child, leader and participant. A Different Night offers stories and readings as well as commentaries and activities that can fuel a dynamic evening of storytelling and discussion, dramatics and singing. The illustrations drawn from medieval and modern artists serve as visual commentaries that evoke discussion. We have assembled many artistic portrayals of the Four Children to encourage comparison and debate.
      True to the spirit of the Haggadah we have sought to be eclectic, building on the creative artistry and intellectual insight of others : Maimonides, Ben Gurion and I.B. Singer, Ben Shahn and Marc Chagall, gifted children’s writers, cartoonists and philosophers.
      Everyone - whether adult or child - can feel at home in this inclusive, pluralistic Haggadah. Transliterations and contemporary translations make the traditional Hebrew accessible to all.
      With this Haggadah the seder may be customized to match each family’s needs and religious commitments. One can choose a short seder (an hour) or a long seder following various trails through the wealth of options provided. Every year you can focus on different aspects of the seder - preserving what you love and experimenting with new ideas. (The Leader's Guide, a separate companion volume, provides practical advice as well as background essays for preparing the Passover evening most appropriate for you).
      This is a Haggadah to grow with from Pesach to Pesach; a resource to enable each seder to be different than its predecessor. With A Different Night your seder will maximize the active participation of everyone.
      On this night all of us must feel that we experienced the Exodus and that the holiday of freedom belongs to us personally.
                                                  -- Noam Sachs Zion and David Dishon

P.S. Please share with us your responses to this Haggadah.The Shalom Hartman Institute, headed by Rabbi David Hartman, noted international philosopher and scholar, is an educational, learning and research center serving all sectors of the Jewish world that wish to enrich their dialogue with Jewish texts, and have it impact on their lives. SHI is non-demoninational, and includes men and women from all varieties of Jewish faith and practice. top

Who Knows One - A Friendly Warning
Do not try to do it all in one night. This Haggadah offers resources for many years of Pesach seders. Pick and choose the readings and activities that are most appropriate for the seder at hand. (See the user’s guide on the following pages). top

The User’s Guide to “A Different Night”
“Only the lesson which is enjoyed can be learned well”
A Rich Menu -- Don’t Overeat!

How can you enjoy the resources of A Different Night without being overwhelmed?
      This special Haggadah contains a rich menu of stories, songs, activities, explanations and topics for discussion which supplement the traditional seder. These add spice and variety. As in any menu we are not expected to order everything but to select what we feel is appropriate for this particular evening. While following the basic traditional order, there is room for a few additions and a few substitutions chosen to fit the tastes and talents of the participants.
      Please don’t “overeat” or over-plan for the seder. You can always return to the menu and order something else the next night or the next year. Regard A Different Night as a collection of options, not as a required course adding more obstacles on the path through the Haggadah before reaching the food.
      Pick a few things and see how they develop!

Don’t Starve!
How can we add more activities to the seder when people already complain that it is too long?
      A major obstacle to making the seder more creative and more educational is the rumbling stomachs that murmur: “When do we eat already?” Sitting at a beautifully set table naturally evokes a Pavlovian response as our mouths start to water.
      Extensive dipping is our solution. To prevent hunger from undermining your best efforts to create “a different night”, you may offer extensive hors d’oeuvres. Along with the karpas - the traditional dipping of parsley, celery or potato in salt water - serve more substantive appetizers. This was the original Rabbinic custom. The stomach which gets its due early in the seder liberates the mind to engage in the main course of the seder: telling the story and discussing freedom and slavery. (A light meal - with no matza! - in the late afternoon before seder night is also helpful).

Short Cuts Through The Haggadah
How can we plan a reasonably short but lively seder?
      Many of us have only one hour or so to devote to the Haggadah before the meal begins. Yet the traditional text is so long and the supplementary materials, though fascinating, make it longer. Speed-reading through the Haggadah misses the whole point of the seder as a family learning experience with dialogue, dramatics and discussion.
      Our proposed solution is designed for families who generally skip sections of the traditional text anyway. It will help them to balance skipping and supplementing within a very limited time frame. We call it the “Bare Bones Basic Seder.” It identifies the basic essentials of the Haggadah (minimal readings, songs and rituals) that can be completed in approximately half an hour. This leaves plenty of time to add a few enriching activities and readings that make this seder special, before beginning the main meal.
      It is easy to locate the B.B.B. sections by following the in the body of the Haggadah. You will find an item by item summary of the B.B.B. Seder on page 8.
      Note: The Bare Bones Basics do not correspond precisely to formal halachic requirements (traditional Jewish law). They are aids to locate the most popular and the most meaningful elements of the traditional seder. (For those concerned with the minimal halachic standards, consult your rabbi). top

The Format of the Page

On the RIGHT HAND PAGE you find the main-line of the traditional seder (directions, Hebrew, English and transliterations for pieces which are often sung or recited together). Please treat the “Directions” as helpful guidelines, not as obligations that must be done at all costs.
      A Mini-Table of Contents is located on the side with some of the previous activities in pale color and the present activity named in dark color.
      On the LEFT HAND PAGE you will find explanations, stories, readings and personal meditations. Activities to be performed (not merely read) by the participants are specially marked in shaded colored areas. In addition, The Leader’s Guide (which is a separate companion volume) provides many more activities and stories for future years including special suggestions for younger children.
      ILLUSTRATIONS provide not only artistic variety for child and adult, but a form of running commentary to be “read” and discussed like the written texts. In particular, see the ten-page art section (pages 62-71) with twenty artistic renditions of the Four Children that invite comparison and debate. The editors of this Haggadah do not endorse any one of these artistic interpretations, but we do encourage a lively discussion about them. A commentary on each picture of the Four Children is provided at the end of the Haggadah (page 174).At first glance the traditional Haggadah may seem like a hodge-podge of texts and activities. That first impression is not surprising for the Haggadah is an eclectic anthology constructed by many hands over two thousand years. Therefore, we have highlighted the underlying structure of the Haggadah built around the four cups. Each of the four major sections is keyed in the corner of the page by a graphic representation of a cup. top

The Overall Structure of the Seder
   First Cup: “Kadesh”
The evening opens with the sanctification of the holiday by an initial invocation and with appetizers (dips).
   Second Cup: “Maggid”
Questions and storytelling in multiple versions fill this longest part of the seder. After telling the story of Exodus and explaining the symbolic foods that trigger memories of Egypt, we sing a song of praise to God our liberator.
   Third Cup: “Shulchan Orech”
The meal begins with matza and maror and concludes with the blessing after eating called “Birkat HaMazon”.
   Elijah’s Cup
After dinner an extra cup is poured in honor of Elijah and the door is opened to welcome the messianic age.
   The Fourth Cup: “Hallel”
The Psalms and their blessings are sung responsively.
   Concluding Songs
The famous folksongs like “Chad Gadya” constitute a medieval appendix to the Rabbinic four cup structure. top

On Maxmizing Participation

A seder run completely by the leader - even though informative and entertaining - is less desirable than a seder which encourages many people to participate. Participation should not be limited to letting everyone read a different paragraph in turn. We suggest that the leader delegate responsibilities in advance. Ask several guests to take charge of different sections of the seder for 3-5 minutes each. For example, ask someone with good Hebrew to do the Kiddush, another with a psychology background to present the Four Children, a drama person to act out the Ten Plagues, and finally one with a good voice to lead the songs. Send each a copy of the appropriate section of A Different Night, which includes explanations, stories and activities, to help them prepare.
      From our experience, those most resistant to a lengthy seder can be turned into allies, if they have a creative part to play that taps their special interests and talents. Time goes by very quickly and painlessly when there is lots of participation. top

The Bare Bones Basic Seder
To identify the recommended B.B.B. sections, follow the colored
that appears throughout A Different Night and skip the rest. Then select a few enrichment activities and readings appropriate for this year’s guests. In subsequent years you will probably want to vary and expand on the B.B.B., but this is a good way to get started.
Before the Meal
1. Signposts of the Seder: Kadesh Urchatz
2. First Cup: Kiddush
3. Dips: Karpas
4. Breaking the Matza: Yachatz
5. The Story of the Matza: Ha Lachma
6. Four Questions: Ma Nishtana
7. Storytelling - “We were slaves”: Avadeem Hayeenu
8. Four Children
9. The Promise: V’hee She-am-da
10. The Tale of the Wandering Jew
11. Ten Plagues
12. Da-yeinu
13. Explaining Pesach, Matza and Maror
14. “In every generation”
15. Psalm 114: Hallel
16. Second Cup
17. Eating Matza, Maror, and Korech
After the Meal 
18. Afikoman
19. Blessing after Eating: Barech
20. Third Cup
21. Elijah’s Cup
22. Fourth Cup
23. Folksongs: Echad Mee Yo-dei-a; Chad Gad-ya
24. Next Year in Jerusalem: La-Shana Haba-a
   Remember: sections 1-17 (before the meal) should take about an hour. Add in a few activities, readings, and discussions according to your choosing. It is wise for the leader to select some sections in advance. Don’t be surprised if people begin to improvise and extend the seder voluntarily. top