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The Haggadah book is being used during the time of Seder of the Passover night celebration. Communities outside of the Holy Land will do the Seder for the first two evenings of the Passover holiday, this year the Passover holiday will be celebrated from the 199th and 20th day of April 2019.

The book of Haggadah will be the guide of the Jewish people through their rituals for the Seder meals. The Hebrew word Haggadah means telling because its primary purpose in the lives of Jewish people is to guide them on retelling the story about the Exodus from the Land of Egypt. It will also facilitate the Jews throughout the ritual of the Seder meal, guiding them on how and when the right time it will be performed.

What is a Seder?

Traditionally, the book of Haggadah is the first Jewish book that was printed decades had passed. But this time, as you visit one of your favorite Judaica stores near your area, you will be greeted by plenty of Haggadah books. Each Haggadah book will give you different translations, illustrations, and commentary.

When choosing your desired book of Haggadah, it is recommended for you to pick the one that uses the Hebrew language and has its English transliteration for easy understanding. After all, the primary purpose of this Haggadah book is to guide you and help you understand the story about Exodus from the Land of Israel. I am sure that you want to purchase a book of Haggadah that is meant for your participants in Seder to ensure that they will follow the ritual.

The Importance of the Book of Haggadah

The Hebrew term Haggadah derived from its root word vehigaadato, which means “And you shall tell.” According to a verse that you can read from the Hebrew Bible or the Torah, it was stated these words, “And you shall tell your son on that day (which is the Passover evening,) ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I went free from Egypt.’”

 When the Jewish people get their freedom from being a slave by the Egyptians, Moses told the Jews to commemorate that time, because it was the time when the Lord God gave them the freedom from the cruel land of Egypt that was ruled by a ruthless leader, King Pharaoh. Moses also commanded the Jewish people to tell these events happened in that day to their kids for the story of exodus pass through generation to generation.

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As you read the book of Talmud, you can see these words saying, “In every generation, a person is obligated to view themselves as if they left the Land of Egypt.” In the book of Haggadah, the book itself stated these words, “And even if we were all wise, all men of understanding, all elders, all knowledgeable of the Torah, it would be incumbent upon us to speak of the exodus from Egypt.

Authorship

The main text that you can read from the book of Haggadah is derived from the book of Deuteronomy, in a verse when the farmers will recite the words of their gratitude to the Lord God for giving the freedom for their ancestors and provide them with the Land of Israel which is now known as the Holy Land.

The book of Haggadah also consists of the prayer for Hallel that also includes the different selections of psalms that were written by King David.

Almost all of the elements that contain by the book of Haggadah are derived from the writings of Mishnah, which is printed during the 1st century. The book of Talmud also contains the disagreement of the two sages, namely Shmuel and Rav. It happened between the 230 CE to 250 CE. Sages Shmuel, and Rav argues about the proper structure of the book of Haggadah. And to commemorate these two sages, both of their suggestions were included in the book of Talmud that was finalized during the medieval time.

The Book of Haggadah is following the 15 different steps, which include the following:

Kadesh – This is the time when Jewish people will sanctify their whole holy day through drinking a cup of kosher wine.

Urchatz – This is the time when Jewish people will wash their hands without the presence of the customary blessings.

Karpas – This is the time when Jewish people will dip a vegetable such as a potato or onion in a salty water.

Yachatz – This is the time when the Jewish people will break the middle matzah into two pieces and will set aside the more significant part that will be used as the afikoman that will be hidden between the two different whole matzahs and will let the Jewish children find it.

Maggid – This is the time when the Jewish parents will tell the story of Exodus to their Jewish kids in great detail.

Rachtzah – This is the time when Jewish people will wash their hands thoroughly to eat matzah foods.

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Motzi Matzah – This is the time when Jewish people will recite the special blessings or the matzah foods and will eat it with a sufficient amount of matzah.

Maror – This is the time when Jewish people will eat the bitter herbs that were dipped in a charoset, which is a sticky and sweet paste of different fruits and nuts.

Korech – This is the time when Jewish people will eat the matzah sandwich and the maror that were being dipped in a sticky and sweet paste.

Shulchan Orech – this is the time when the Jewish people will start their Seder meal.

Tzafun – This is the time when the Jewish people will eat the afikoman.

Beirach – This is also called as the Birkat Hamazon, which is also known as the Grace after Meal will be recited this time.

Hallel – This is the time when the Jewish people will recite the praise and songs for the Lord God.

Nirtzah – This is the time when Jewish people conclude the Passover festival.

What is Inside the Book of Haggadah?

Almost all of the Haggadah starts with the guide for the Seder meal orderly, and the Hebrew word Seder refers to the word order in English. The Book of Haggadah also contains different Jewish rituals. Example of this is the customary blessings recited by Jewish people over the four cups of kosher wines that will be drunk by the Jewish family during the duration of Passover holiday celebration. There is also the custom of washing the hands of a Jewish and the different explanations about the several items that you will find in the Seder table such as the Seder plate, which consists of different symbolic foods such as the bitter herbs. There is also a verse in the book of Haggadah which emphasize the Seder break meal and picking up the Haggadah before completing the Seder meal.

The book of Haggadah also contains the Four Questions, 10 Plagues, and the Four Sons, which were sung or read customarily by the younger participant for the Seder. It has the songs for the freedom and liberation of the Jews from the cruel hands of the Egyptians. One of the most popular songs that you can find in the book of Haggadah is the so-called “Dayenu.” This is a song that was written 1000 years ago and is all about thanking the Lord God for all the blessings and miracles He had given to the Jewish people during the ancient generation until these days. “It would have been enough for us” is the transliteration of the Dayenu chorus in the English language.

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Why Do Jewish People are required to Read the Book of Haggadah?

The Passover Seder holiday is the time when the Lord God gave His nation to Jewish people. The Jewish nation’s story is all about an individual who created a family that became the Jewish people. Sarah and Abraham, Isaac and Rebecca, which are their son and daughter in law, and Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, which are the son and daughters in law by Rebecca and Isaac is the excellent foundation of the Jewish people in these days.

The Purpose of the Haggadah Book

The main purpose of the book of Haggadah is to guide the Jewish people throughout the Passover seder meal. This is the thing that allowed the Jewish people to engage with the dynamic experiences, and give them the feeling of being free again from the cruel land of Egypt and cruel hands of King Pharaoh. The book of Haggadah also contains the history of the ancestors of Jews, starting from Abraham, which is the first male Jewish and lead them from the miraculous Exodus happened in the Land of Egypt. The book of Haggadah also challenges and educates the Jews through starting the Passover festival from the four different questions and continues with the four sons.

Jewish people also stated that the book of Haggadah is their only thing for their survival. On a more profound sense, the book of Haggadah also tells the history of all the Jewish people from generation to generation, how they experience all the sufferings from being the slaves of the Egyptians and how they went through the mass murder of King Pharaoh.

Through the help of the book of Haggadah, Jewish people will tell the story of Exodus that was originated in the Land of Egypt to the Jewish children in their country. All of us in this world have our faith and religion, but despite our differences, we still have one Lord and one God which is the Creator of the planet we are living. Through reading the book of Haggadah, we will be able to know the history, the traditions and customs of Jewish people before and after they get their freedom from the hands of the cruel Land of Egypt.

Similar to all the Jewish people during the time when they get the freedom from the slavery in the Land of Israel, Jewish people in these days have been subjugated to slaughter and persecutions, but because of the famous line of Mark Twain, saying “All things are mortal but the Jew; all the other forces pass, but he remains.” The book of Haggadah is the secret of Jewish people why they survive every single day. It also reminds them of the origin of their identity.

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