Fetivals,  From The Rabbi

Pesach Haggadah Supplement

A different seder!

Every year, on this night that is different from all the others, we ask our children to sing Mah Nishtanah Ha Laila Haze. However, this year, we are faced with the realisation that a lot has changed in the past year, particularly with regard to October 7th, and that this year’s sederim at home and in the synagogue will take place in a very different setting.

We remember!

Passover is our celebration of redemption. We remember that in ancient Egypt, we were slaves; we celebrate our miraculous exodus and freedom. We raise each of the four cups of wine to acknowledge the joy we feel that we live as free people today. This year, however, our joy is tempered with the knowledge that not all Jews are free. The war in Israel that began on October 7, a day on which over 240 Israelis were taken hostage and approximately 1,200 Israelis were killed, is an ever-present reminder that in every generation, Jews must do the work to ensure our safety and freedom, so that we can work for the safety and freedom of all.


During our sederim, we will remove ten drops from our wine glasses for each of the ten plagues that caused such destruction on the Egyptians because of Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness. So too, our hearts are heavy with the thought of the innocent Palestinians who have died or are suffering. The wine drops are a reminder that compassion is part of our seder experience, and our compassion this Passover is heightened.


Words and prayers in our Haggadot will begin to resonate differently with us; in fact, some of them might no longer seem to fit or sound unsettlingly real. Around the world, rabbis and communities have composed readings, new prayers, and meditations that address the events of the past few months. You may want to incorporate one or the other idea or thought into your own sederim. When you follow the link below, you will find a selection of some of the many materials and resources that are available. I hope you will find something that helps you mark Pesach in a meaningful way this year when things will indeed be different for all of us.

I wish you, your families and friends, and our people a peaceful festival of freedom.

Chag Sameach

Rabbi Adrian