The fourteen steps to making a Passover seder, from the wining to the dining.
Kadesh is the first step of the seder. We say kiddish over a cup of wine to sanctify the night, and in order to celebrate our freedom.
Next, we wash hands. Because part of being free people is being clean people. Unlike most ritual hand-washings, however, a blessing is not said.
A vegetable is eaten to remind us of spring. It is dipped in salt water to symbolize tears, and the mixing of joy and sadness.
Eating a vegetable also makes us feel better about loading up on matzah later.
The middle matzah is broken. The largest piece, called the afikomen, is hidden, for a child to find later, and to be eaten as dessert.
The Four Questions are asked. The Passover story is reenacted. "Walk Like an Egyptian" costumes are optional.
We're building up to the main event--the food. But, just like your mother always said, everyone has to wash their hands--yes, again.
This time, the usual handwashing prayer is recited.
The matzah is unveiled. Two prayers are said over it. We take a bite.
Finally, we can eat....
But not so fast! First, we must taste the bitter herbs, often horseradish--to remind us of the bitterness of slavery. Nobody ever said this would be easy.
Next, we re-enact the creation of the first sandwich ever. No joke: Rabbi Hillel is credited with the first mention of sandwiches, ever.
Luckily, most sandwiches taste better than this matzah-maror concoction. Gulp it down fast.
Finally, the actual meal is served. Toss your haggadah aside (for now), kick back, and enjoy.
We've reached dessert--the weirdest dessert you'll ever have. The afikomen is bought back from the child (or taken, if he or she has fallen asleep). It's the last thing we eat all night--to keep the dry, burnt taste of "poor man's bread" in our mouths.
Once we've finally finished eating, we say thanks. First, we thank the chef. Then, we say grace after meals to thank the Creator.
Warm up your vocal cords: The Hallel is sung. It's a special combination of psalms of joy and celebration.
That's all, folks! We conclude the seder with singing and goodbyes. Everyone says together, "Next year in Jerusalem!"