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Chapter 119:4
Laws of the Seder

4. After reciting the paragraph beginning: "This is the bread of affliction..."], the second cup of wine is poured. A young child should ask [the four questions, beginning] "Mah nishtanah...". If there are no young children present, another son or daughter, or a friend or one's wife should ask the questions (1). After that, [the Haggodoh continues with (2)] "Avodim hoyinu.." ("We were slaves...").

It is proper to explain the Haggodoh to the members of one's household in a language that they understand. If [the person leading the Seder] does not understand Hebrew, he should recite the Haggodoh from a text with translation. After reciting each passage of the Haggodoh [in Hebrew], he should translate it. In particular, this applies to the passage beginning: "Rabban Gamliel would say, " for it is essential for the participants to understand the reasons for [the mitzvos of] the Pesach sacrifice, matzoh, and marror.

When one reaches the passage beginning: "V'hi she'omdoh...", one covers the matzos (so the matzos will not be "shamed" when the cup of wine is lifted) and raises the cup. One should hold it upraised until the word "miyodom" [at which point, it is lowered] and the matzoh uncovered again.

When the passage beginning: "Matzoh zo.." ("This matzah") is reached, the person leading the Seder should lift up the broken piece [of the middle matzoh] from the Seder plate and show it to the members of his household. Similarly, when reciting "Marror zo", one should lift up the marror. When, however, reciting the passage "Pesach shehoyu avoseinu ochlim...", one should not lift up the "zeroa," even though it commemorates the Pesach sacrifice. Doing so would make it appear that this meat was being consecrated for sacrificial purposes (3).

When one reaches the passage beginning: "Lefichoch..." ("Therefore..."), one should cover the matzos and raise the cup until one concludes the blessing "Go'al Yisroel". One then recites the blessing "borey pri hagofen" and drinks this second cup of wine while reclining on one's left side.


(1) If one is alone, one must ask oneself the four questions.

(2) One does not recline while reciting the Haggadah.

(3) Which is impossible when there is no Beis Hamikdosh (Temple) standing in Jerusalem.

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Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.



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