Passover Haggadah

The Unknown Story of the True Exodus from Egypt

Researched, Compiled and Transcribed from Latin and Aramaic By Dan Sarto

Revision 3 - April 2003

Originally Published April, 1990


In spirit, this Passover Haggadah aspires to bring to the celebrant a sense of joyous participation in the unity of all Judaism. In reality, this Passover Haggadah represents a feeble attempt to derive a sliver of humor from an otherwise boring and obligatory gathering of ungrateful Jews who can't gather the collective patience to sit still for one hour of ceremony once a year. Jews - you can't live with 'em, you can't get acquitted without 'em.

Theaim of this Haggadah is not to include the most beautiful and unforgettable utterances of tradition in an adaptation that will make the Seder more pertinent to many who had come to regard it as a chore, and to others who had altogether abandoned, or had never undertaken the Passover observance. Rather, the aim of this Haggadah is to scavenge through the dusty steamer trunks of Jewish history, crafting a patchwork quilt of overlooked folklore, less popular customs, preferably forgotten fables, works of ostracized and unknown Jewish scholars, and disregarded liturgical interpretations completely ignored or held in contempt as too controversial, unsubstantiated, or just plain asinine.

This Haggadah is presented to restore to our Passover observance something of its historical tradition of spontaneity, renewed enlivenment, and wild eyed bungholery. However, the forced participation of the Rabbi's four youngest daughters and the council of village elders in winner take all Naked Twister has been omitted, seeing as reenactment of this ancient tradition was responsible for much of the inbreeding that plagued Jews throughout the 13th and 14th century.

The vibrant history of Passover is steeped in mystery and misunderstanding. Consider that the origins of the words Haggadah and Seder are widely disputed. More traditional scholars believe the word Haggadah to mean" what is said," and the word Seder to mean" the order of events." Modem liberal scholars, often referred to as members of the Bayt Ha Frankfurt G'dolah (House of Big Wieners), believe the word Haggadah to mean either" collection of photos of "Women of the Ismeli Ali- Force" or "rolodex of pert Talmudic groupies," and the word Seder to either mean "dinner suended by hapless, weary and forlom pasty Ieced essimilsted fewish hedonists," or

" secret meeting on how to solidify Judaic gnp on aU banking and media business operations."

But, regardless of which interpretation you ascribe to, in a broader sense, Haggadah means legendry, the telling of tales, the shimmering cloak of myth and parable woven around Biblical Law. Thus the Passover Seder is not an act of cultish worship, but a free recital around several traditionally obligatory points, some of which recall the priestly services at the Temple, especially those involving much wine, the women's choir, and the Cantor's private mikva.

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Phil, you left the Seder once too often.

OK Rex, you know what to do.

GOd interrupts the Laker game late in the 2nd·half.

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Preparations for the Seder

For as long as Jews remember, which is quite a long time (except for when they borrow money or your Zagat Guide), they have celebrated Passover in memory of their liberation from slavery in Egypt. 1broughout the Passover festival, matzo, or unleavened bread, is eaten instead of ordinary bread, to recall the hurried baking of matzo during the Exodus, and to introduce Jewish children at an early age to brutal, demeaning ridicule for being the only kid in school whose mom makes them bring peanut butter on matzo for lunch. Let's face it; suffering humiliation at the hands of peers is one of the few perks of being jewish.

The Bible tells us that on the last night in Egypt each Jewish household ritually slaughtered a lamb and then consumed it at a family gathering. This ritual was commemorated in ancient times by Jews gathering festively at the Temple on Passover, the women busily helping each other shave the hair on their forearms while the men gathered around a fire, wildly boasting of their skill at animal husbandry. Groups offriends and family would spend the evening recalling the memory of the historic deliverance with prayers, songs and diamond selling.

All the Talmudic scholars would get together, twirl each other's curly sideburns, eat a handful of green M&Ms and then doze off in front of an oversized painting of Queen Vashti. Young children would share a stolen bottle of fermented yak's milk, herd the most feeble elderly town citizens into a circle, blindfold them, spin them around numerous times, and then hit them with lulavs until they could successfully point to the Wailing Wall.

The Mishnah describes how the Passover celebration would conclude with the archaic ritual of Baytzim G'dolim (who has the biggest "eggs"), a type of jousting match between the four eldest non-married rabbinic students in the village, where the loser wound up being stuck for the summer with the ugliest sheep in the local herd. The ancient Jews also used to eat the Hillel Pilaf, which was a colorful combination of long grain rice, camel hair, and dirt.

This banquet, reverent in purpose and loathsome in practice, has been sadly perpetuated through the ages in the Seder Ceremony. The Haggadah is the book which gradually emerged over the centuries, setting in place the fabric of the Seder. Lucky us.

In addition to the eating of matzo, the Bible orders the removal from the household of all leavened food (Chametz) and all dishes and utensils that have been connected with Chametz during the year. This is difficult for Jewish gynecologists, who must keep a separate supply of exploratory, instruments for use just 8 days each year.

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Passover Seder in Orange County

The journey across the desert was fraught with peril

The founder of the West Bank Scrolls, Dr. Bernie Goldmanberg. and his lovely wife Blanch

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It is also customary that the night before the Seder, families partake in the ceremonial search for leftover Chametz. With the father holding a candle, the family moves from room to room in an orderly fashion, carefully sweeping up crumbs with a feather which are then taken outside and burned. Once the children have sleep, the mother then hides an entire twist challah under he; apron, and the father, holding a Hertz Commentary in one hand and a 7 ounce jar of Gravlox in the other, must eat the entire loafbefore the mother can sing the entire chorus of "If 1 Were a RichMan."

The Bible also orders us to accommodate unexpected last-minute guests. The Jewish religion commands us to ensure that anyone who is hungry can join the Seder. That is of course, anyone who is hungry that we like, has had an exorbitant amount of plastic surgery or has a great comb over/toupee. Nothing makes a Passover celebration more festive than someone sporting an awesome" do" or with a neckline as tight as a Phil Collins snare drum,

A Note on the Translation

This Haggadah reflects several thousand years of tradition, festival, prayer and historical interpretation. Through this translation, we maintain that perspective while staying abreast of our present day desires to get the whole thing over with quickly so we can catch the last half of the Laker game. After all, another perk of being a Jew is possessing the instinctual ability able to feel good about never letting your personal pleasure be adversely impacted by any sense of cultural obligation or duty.

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Passover at Chez Magnifique, Lyons France, 1963.

Goat N' Hut, Haifa.

Angel of Death on way to Cairo, 20 BCE.

An angel appears in Addie Freeman's kitchen, Athens Georgia.

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Light the Passover Candies

The hostess, or preferably, someone who can carry a tune, lights the candles and recites the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to kindle the Pesach light

Father: (If possible, all Father's parts should be lip-synched to pre-recorded voice of James Earl Jones)

Tonight, we celebrate the eternal story of the Jewish people, forever linked with man's divine passion for justice and human liberty. We give thanks to the Eternal for the preservation of our spirit, and for the four laws proclaiming the dignity of man: the Ten Commandments, the Torah, the Sabbath, and the 7 Essential Rules for Determining Proper Retail Markups.

The First Cup of Wine

After making sure everyone has filled their wine cups with Passover Wine (the tasty, purple kind with the screw top and the sediment on the bottom), we hold up our cups and say the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine.


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this moment

We drink. the first cup of wine

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Fossilized honey cake being bid upon by frenzied Jewish landowners at donor auction, Stephen S. Wise Temple, Spring 1974

Pharaoh forced the Jews to perform all kinds of dangerous and humiliating labor

Sydney Schwartzberg during the Exodus, with his mother-in-law GOlda

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Spring celebrates the creation of life, the rebirth of nature from the wintry darkness. TIlls is beautifully described in Solomon's Song of Songs.


For, 10, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone;

The floodwaters that trappeth sun hardened fanners on top of Dodge pickup truck cabs have receded;

The flowers appear on the earth;

Antihistamine commercials appear copiously on television, though not the ones that cause drowsiness or . oily stools,

The time of singing is come,

The voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

The voice of the buckshot riddled pheasant is heard in our skies, The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs,

The young maidens putteth forth their velvety buttocks, And the vines in blossom giveth forth their fragrance,

And the hulking young Judaic stallions giveth forth their throbbingness with tremendous frequency.

Thus sayeth the Lord.

Wash the Hands

At this time, the host washes his hands in anticipation of eating the Karpas and in even greater anticipation of then placing his hands under the garments of the hostess, an ancient Ethiopian Jewish ritual known as Shtup B'Bayeet (do "it" in the house) that is only practiced in the homes of Jewish sons whose parents aren't proud of their careers.


No, this is not the latest Russian chess champion. The Karpas, a plant such as parsley or celery, is dipped into salt-water and hidden in Grandma's sweater pocket, in the spirit of the ancient Rabbi Ben Appatizzer, a biblical scholar who always smeared Cefilte Fish on his overcoat lapel before going out to eat so he could get a table all to himself.

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Alternate Plague 14C - All crinkle fries shall be cast into the Nile and made soggy




~ .:

Alternate Plague 7H - The effects of Raining Rubber Chickens is closely studied by one of God's Plague Lab technicians

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Make sure everyone has a piece of Karpas, dip it into the salt-water and recite the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the earth.

Divide the Matzo

The middle matzo of the three is broken in two and half is put away for the Afikoman. The word Afikoman either comes from the Greek word Epikomion, meaning" a festival processioti" or from the Tibetan word Harveykorman, which means" he who laughs at that which isn t fimny." The tradition here is for the children at the Seder to steal the Afikoman at some point during the meal, let the family dog lick off all the salt, and then surrender it to the host in return for money, a present, or a nasty backhand slap to the side of the head. The latter form of Passover amusement is extremely popular still today in the small German Jewish communities of Leipzig and Brandenburg. In addition, the third matzo, not used at all during the Seder, may be redeemed at any participating Jacoby & Meyers for a free consultation.

The Seder host holds up the matzo tray and recites the following:

Behold! This is the bread of aDliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt We refer to Matzo as the bread of aDliction because of the wonderfUl effect it has on our digestive systems. As it is written in the Torah, "And Rabbi ate the unleavened bread baked in the hot sun, and he soon doubled over in unbeliev.ilbly excruciated agony, for the Lord did not like much and thought it quite amusing to see him suffer so gready. I am the Lord and I have washboard abs. Get over it" Let all those who are hungry enter and eat of the matzo, and after they have pertsken of a suDicient amount of this sacred dry cracker, let us pray that the searing abdominal pain subsides within a few days.

The second cup of wine is filled.

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We truck the krepJach in all the way from Encino.

Making Passover wine, Mondavi Vineyards.

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The Four Questions

The youngest child present now asks:


Why is this night different from all other nights of the year?

1. On all other nights, mom and dad sit around making nasty comments about our relatives, how tacky they dress, or how chintzy their gifts are. Why on this night do they suck up to grandma so maybe she'll help them with the down payment on a new car?

2.· On all other nights, mom and dad go to sleep together at the same time. Why on this night does dad wait until mom has gone to sleep before he locks himself in the guest room with the VCR, a box of Kleenex and a black bag of video tapes?

3. On all other nights, food that gets dropped on the floor, or has been in the refrigerator too long gets thrown out or fed to the dog. Why on this night does mom mix up all that food with some matzo farfel and raisins and call it Kugel Surprise?

4. On all other nights, mom bosses dad around, telling him what to do, nagging him that he doesn't make enough money, that he always leaves the newspaper in the bathroom and that he never wants to go see movies that don't have naked women or explosions in them. Actually, mom was really pissed at dad all day today as well. So, this night is no different than all other nights of the year. Sorry, wrong question.

Here's a good one. On all other nights, my dad is a complete dufus. Why on this night is he an unbelievably complete dufus?

Because We Were Slaves

Because our ancestors were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt But God brought us forth from Egypt with a strong hand, an outstretched arm, many Samsonite overnighters and several large Ryder Rental trucks. And if the Holy One, Blessed be He, had not brought our ancestors out of Egypt, we, and our children, and our children's children, and our neighbor's children, and our cleaning ladies and all our SUV s would still be slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and all the post Oscar dinner parties would be held in chic cafes on the shore of the Nile instead of on Melrose.

So, even ifwe were all wise people, knowledgeable, learned in the Torah, and able to always shake exactly 2 aspirin from the bottle, it would still be our duty to tell and retell and grossly exaggerate the story of the Exodus and how Pharaoh used a cute sock puppet and funny voice when ordering all the Hebrew's first born be thrown into the Nile.

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Reel's Chili N'Haroset, Route 66, Texarkana

Moses' accountant, Herb, gol lost during the journey and was never seen again

Passover Seder, Bridgeport Maine, 1729

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The More One Talks

The story is told that a number of Rabbis, along with a time share salesman, were holding a Seder in B'nai B'rak - Rabbi Hassan Ben Sobar, Rabbi Izzy Ben Drinkin, Rabbi Willie Ben Dover, Rabbi Red Ruffensore, Rabbi Ivan A. Tincher and Maury Shlomowitz - and they went on discussing the Exodus and throwing macaroons into the air and catching them in their mouths all night, until their pupils arrived in the morning and said "Gentlemen, it's already morning ... anyone for some bacon and eggs?"

The Four Children

The language of the Torah speaks distinctly of the four different types of children - The Wise, The Wicked, The Simple, and 'The Moron.

The Wise Child asks "Dad, could Barbara Eden on I Dream of Genie create a mountain so high even she couldn't climb it?" He must be beaten severely with the cover from a Torah handle and told "If it wasn't for the fact we have company over, I'd make you sponge bath grandpa again and help him put in his teeth."

The Wicked Child asks "Dad, has Mom seen that stack of credit card receipts from Fredericks and Zales that you keep in your skeet gun case?" He must be told "I have no idea what you're talking about. You know kids these days, it's all that MTV and rap music." The child must be quickly given a $20 bill and told to quietly go get daddy some more crack.

The Simple Child asks "Dad, what's this magazine for? I found it under some old sweaters in your nightstand. I've seen mommy naked before and these pictures don't look anything like her. And that's not our gardner?" This child must be told "This magazine helps your daddy remember how lonely the journey in the desert really was, and how much the ancient Jews relied upon their oxen and sheep for more than just transportation and milk."

The Moron Child asks "Dad, are my pajamas flammable?" This child must be told "It's because of what God did for me, not for you, when he brought me out of the house of bondage. Rinse that chocolate stain out of your jammies with this lighter fluid, and then dry it out with my lighter."

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Humus farm, Sinai Peninsula.

Empire Chicken Cult, date unknown.

Azi and Mordecai sing 1 verse too many of Chad Gad Va, Chabad House, Tucson Arizona.

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Hold up the Egg on the Seder Plate

After the escape from Egypt the Israelites came into their promised land and built the Temple in Jerusalem. They brought festival offerings to the Temple in thanksgiving for the fertility of their field, flocks, and neighbor's daughters. This egg is the symbol of life and of cholesterol, which clogs our arteries and causes arteriosclerosis, strokes and aneurysms, the Lord be praised, forcing us to eat bran, sawdust and other fibrous gastrointestinal evacuators to rid our bodies of the poisonous high density lipoproteins that our ancestors ritually ingested in the name of god and good health.

Hold up the Shank. Bone on the Seder Plate

This shank bone is the reminder of the Passover lamb, of the Divine instruction to the Israelites in Egypt to sacrifice a lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood. This was a sign for the Angel of Death to pass over their houses and strike only Egyptians and vegetarians, to cause them to set free their slaves. Modem Syrian and Kurdish jews still ceremoniously slaughter a Pascal lamb by forcing someone's mother in law to gently cradle a ceremonial ewe and slowly walk backward through a minefield. Which leads us once again to the question "How did we come to be slaves in Egypt, and more importantly, once we discovered we were slaves, why didn't we ask to speak. to the manager to tell him he must be mistaken?"

The Breakthrough from Idolatry

In the beginning, our ancestors were idol worshipers. But the almighty took away their Botox and expensive German sedans and brought them into his worship. And so it is said that Iacob, son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham, grand nephew of Saul, first cousin of Mort, and brother-in-law of Manny, and all his children went down to Egypt. There, they found ample scantily clad Cairo bimbage, and furiously relieved their aching stiffies with verve and great enthusiasm.

The Hard Bondage

But then, there arose a new King over Egypt, who had never seen a Mel Brooks film. He illtreated, humiliated and imposed hard bondage upon the Jewish people. He forced the Jews to build the cities of Pithom, Raamses, and Duluth. He forced them to do all manner of horrific labor. Women were forced to do men's work, such as hauling stones and tax preparation. Men were forced to do women's work, such as gathering the harvest and enforcing the no horseplay rule at the Cairo public pool. And God, in his infinite wisdom, made microwave popcorn and enjoyed the show.

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Mom and Dad wondering what the hell Grandma did to the roast

God surpassing Larry Melnick as all-time Jeopardy money winner. September 1971

God scores 69 points in one half against Indiana St., March 1948

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And the Pharaoh said unto his people "Behold, the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us." And to destroy ali the Jewish people, he decreed that every first born Jewish son who is not a doctor, lawyer or CPA shall be cast into the river Nile and drowned.

A woman of the tribe of Levi put her infant son inside her Nike "Just Do It" Step Aerobics workout bag and left him on the river's bank. Soon, Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder came by (sony, wrong story). The infant boy was found by the Pharaoh's daughter, Lavoris, and she called him Moses, which means "Able to Withstand the Kick of a Donkey."

One day, Moses came upon an Egyptian forcing a ] ew to put mayonnaise on his pastrami sandwich and he made the Egyptian comb his hair like Roy Orbison and then smote him. Fearing the start of a new fashion trend, Moses fled from Egypt, and dwelt in the land of Midian. While in Midian, Moses kept a low profile, scoping babes and learning the local lingo. Scholars trace references in the Mishnah to Moses telling his brother Aaron to "chilleth out" to his years spent in Midian.

One spring morning, as he was shearing sheep while singing "At the YMCA," Moses came across a bush that burned but was not consumed. And God spoke from the bush, saying to Moses "Hey, can you open this jar of olives for me?"

And Moses went to Pharaoh, demanding "Let my people go." But Pharaoh, who was busy putting French windows and a goat-sized microwave in his kitchen, was not amused. He decried that he would allow the Jews to go free only if Moses successfully challenged Miss Babylonia and Miss Mesopotamia to a mud wrestling match. Though Moses was a stout Hebrew, rough hewn of taught muscles and 20 inch biceps, and though he had super cool mutton chops and was proudly known as the Hebron Babe Magnet, he was no match for the 2 middle eastern champions, who pinned him best 2 our of 3. And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he refused to let the Jews go free.

The Jews cried out unto God, calling out "Oh Lord, hear our call. Is there any cure for TFilan chafing?" And the Eternal heard our voice, saw our affliction, viewed our suffering, listened to our complaining, heeded our misery, observed our torment, noticed our agony, acknowledged our grief, examined our distress, and watched our pain, until he finally said "O.K., O.K., enough is enough. Quit your bellyaching, you spoiled bunch of Mercedes-driving lox mongers. Years of eating kichel and cholent have turned you into panty-waisted sausage jockeys. My goodness! You get a few calluses on your hands and you start carrying on like Farrakhan was named B'nai B'rith Man of the Year!"

And so it was that the Lord Our God, the Eternal, Almighty, King of the Universe and early investor in Pixar told the Israelites that after catching Iinkin Park at the Universal Amphitheatre, he would pass through the land and would execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt.

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Why Moses was so late. coming down Mt. Ararat.

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The Ten Plagues

One by one, God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians. But it was not until Pharaoh tripped over a stack of papyrus and fell onto a table saw that he relented and allowed the Jews to flee from Egypt. We recite the plagues, and place a drop of wine onto our plates for each plague {recite each as if dinner guest is a contestant on Family Feud}:

1. Endless home visits by Jehovah's Witnesses who also sell insurance

2. Youngest male in each household constantly combs hair and asks passersby if he looks like Robert Vaughn

3. The All Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty channel

4. The Sphinx Suddenly Looking Like Alan AIda

5. The only palace entertainment is the Golden Girls dancing topless

6. No More Royalties from Matters Ancient Egyptian action figures

7. Without warning, all black Cleopatra Headdresses suddenly change to Charles Nelson Reilly Toupees

8. Chain of Falafel Bell fast food restaurants pop up on every other street comer of Alexandria

9. No More "Killer of'jews" discount at Wal-Mart

10. All First Born Egyptian Children shall become Barbra Streisand impersonators.

Dayenu - How many wonderful things have we to thank God for?

If he had brought us forth from Egypt, and not forced our enemies to become contestants on Fear Factor -


If he had inflicted justice upon the Egyptians, but not forced them to bow down to a 4 story high statue of'Iason Alexander made out of Rice Krispy treats-


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The Temple Beth H'Baytzim Drama Club re-enacts the ancient Egyptian torture of Hot Toaster Holding .


v.: e;r


Prehistoric matzah ball pinata. date unknown

God tries his hand at practical jokes during the Exodus

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Ifhe had parted the Red Sea for us, but not smoked and neatly vvrapped in butcher paper the salmon and whitefish that fell onto our path -


If he had destroyed our enemies, and not got us fourth row center seats for Moby at the Negev Pavilion -


If he had lead us through the desert for 40 years, but not had a limo driver standing at the edge of the promised land holding a sign above his head that read "Moses Party" -


If he had fed us manna in the desert, and not forced us to make our wives manna smoothies or "manna-ccinos"-


If he had given us the Sabbath, but not forced us to actually have to celebrate it -


If he had brought us to Mount Sinai, and not forgotten our dry cleaning back at the Red Sea-

Dayenu .

If he had given us his ten commandments, but not actually expected us to read and obey them-


If he had lead us to the land of Israel, but not polished off a bottle of Jack Daniels with Moses and started making up additional commandments -


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Alternate Plague 220 - The Midas Muffler Man comes to life

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How great and magnificent has the Almighty's bounty been to us! Have we forgotten so quickly? Not so fast - lei's review. Another perk of being aJew is to be constantly reminded how grateful we should be for everything we have. Okay, God, that stack of past due bills over by my desk, thank you very much. My 60 hour work week ... more kudos to you, big guy. Wife just lays there like a dead fish ... take a bow, oh imperious one.

So, to summarize the miracle of all God's gifts that we celebrate on Passover, he brought us forth from Egypt, executed judgment against the Egyptians and their gods but not before making them move their money from safe long term securities into high risk derivatives, divided the sea for us, drowned our adversaries while whistling the melody to Singing in the Rain, had us wander aimlessly in the wilderness, with little water or cosmetics, for 40 years, fed us with manna, gave us the Sabbath and Take Your Daughter To Work Day, gave us his Law and the IRS tax code, and finally brought us to our new home, a hot, arid, barren, dusty and oil free patch of desert completely surrounded by the most belligerent, violent and vengeful people in the world who outnumber us 50 to 1. Then, to top it off, he built a holy temple for us to go to twice a year for four hours, just so we could atone for our sins by eating bagels and buying Israeli bonds. Noted Jewish historian Shmuel Fitzpatrick summarized all this "goodness" when he wrote, "And the hits just keep coming!"

The 'Three Essentials of Passover

The ancient Rabbis decreed that to fulfill our obligation on Passover, we must declare these three things, namely, the Passover Sacrifice, the unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs (the Pesach, Matzo and Maror).

The Pesach, or Paschal Lamb, is eaten as a symbol of God passing over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt during the slaying of the Egyptian first born. Some ancient scholars interpreted this important Biblical event to contain a hidden subtext, claiming that God was 45 minutes late for the slaying because he passed through, and not over, the Cairo Women's Correctional Facility, but this theory is widely held in disrepute and contempt.

The Matzo, or Tasteless Dry Crackerbread, is eaten as a symbol of the Jewish bakers who had to leave Egypt without anything that even remotely tasted good. It is written in the Bible, Exodus VII, that "they baked unleavened wafers of dough, devoid of flavor, real crumbly and burnt on the edges, which everyone hated, but no one had the chutzpah to say anything to God seeing as he had just killed about a million Egyptians with the snap of his outstretched fingers."

The Maror, or Bitter Herbs, has an interesting symbolic history. Common but incorrect Biblical interpretation has the bitter herbs symbolizing how the Egyptians made our lives bitter with hard labor. In actuality, the bitter herbs symbolize the bitterness the ancient Hebrews felt when they realized their in-laws would be joining them on their 40 year journey across the hot desert.

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Construction worker trying to trade matzo and squirrel sandwich for a banana, Queens, N.Y., 1971.

Morton Beaverstein finding chometz in the freezer, Benton Oregon, 1974.

Jewish laborer who foolishly asked for a pair of work gloves.

What happens when Grandma's farfe! kugel goes bad.

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In Every Generation

In each generation, every] ew must feel as if he himself came out of Egypt. So, we must all refrain from bathing for a week, rub ourselves with dirt, wear clothes made of burlap and sheep intestines, endlessly walk around in circles for one whole afternoon while carrying a huge sack of fabric samples and five pairs of upholstery shears, put scorpions and cacti in our shorts and eat enough dry matzo without beverage to keep us constipated for several weeks. Only then can we truly appreciate the hardship of the Exodus from Egypt.

To Freedom

Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hath redeemed us and our ancestors from Egypt and hath brought us the hassle and inconvenience of this night, to eat unleavened bread and one starchy side dish after the next. Thou, 0 Almighty, Lofty, Glorious, Exalted and Omniscient, our God and God of our forefathers, creator of Girls Gone Wild and Adult Swim, we give thanks to thee for our deliverance, for the redemption of our soul, and for the delightful Persian tradition of the Sabbath brisket being carved by the eldest son who still has hands. Blessed art thou, 0 Eternal, who hast redeemed Israel and in his infinite but questionable wisdom, created Israeli men, especially the ones with three letter first names like "Zvi" or "Zev" who have moved to Los Angeles to work in construction or as plumbers and always say "Sure, no problem."

The Second Cup of Wine

We hold up our cups and say the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine.

We drink. the second cup of wine (and love it)

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Bless the Matzo

The host breaks up one of the matzos, passes a piece to each participant, and everyone recites the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who bringest forth bread from the earth


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to eat unleavened bread

Bless the Maror

Everyone should take a piece of bitter herb and dip it in the haroset. The haroset is a mortar-like mixture of spackle and stucco chips eaten to remind us of the mortar-like mixture of apples, walnuts and wine the ancient Hebrews used to eat Recite the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to eat bitter herbs

The Hillel Sandwich

Each participant is free to create and eat a Hillel Sandwich, named after Rabbi Hillel Sandwich, a 17th century Czechoslovakian scholar and statesman, who used to eat pieces of radish between two pieces of matzo because he was too cheap to buy a loaf of bread.

Dinner is Served

Now, everyone is called upon by God to eat dinner.

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As the story goes, all the bad Jews melted down their jewelry and fashioned it into a Golden Toaster

Elijah actually .shows up, Cedar Rapids Iowa, 1957

Scene from the conclusion of The First Exodus, the one scholars don't like to talk about

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Redeem the Afikoman

Now, we redeem the Afikoman, after which no more food must be eaten during the ceremony. If any food is eaten, either deliberately or accidentally, then the offending person, having personally offended the Lord our God, will be smitten with gastric pain the entire ride home, and your spouse will leave you to run away with a Rastafarian metal drum player who is more muscular and well endowed than you.

Distribute the Afikoman and Recite

The Prophets teach us:

For in the end of the days it shall come to pass

That the mountains of the Lord's house shall be established

And the patio of the Lord's house shall be converted to an all purpose room. And it shall be exalted above the hills

Out of Zion shall go forth the Torah

And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem

And the Asian Consort of the Lord from his poolside cabana And He shall judge between many peoples,

And shall decide concerning the mighty nations afar off. They shall beat their swords into plowshares

And beat their spears into pruning hooks

And beat themselves thrice daily until too sore to continue Nation shall not lift up sword against nation

Neither shall they learn war any more

Except to determine which nation gets the honor of attacking France, And none shall make them afraid,

For the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken.

The Torah teaches:

The stranger that sojourneth with thee in thy land, thou shalt not wrong. Thou shalt love him as thyself, even if it means jerking him off also,

Because if you don't, I will tell your co-workers your wasp-waisted son was once known as the "Sweetheart of Pharaoh's Dungeon."

For ye were strangers once in the land of Egypt.

I am the Lord thy God.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Especially his teenage daughter when home from college for spring break, I am the Lord,

N ow stop reading CNN online and get back to work.

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1926 discovery of the Tomb of Rhamses' caterer, Saul Stern.

My ~ fle'll7dogs Ff eaS rf'y c1o<js M?

Fargo, North Dakota Jewish Community Center Music Director A "ram Blumenberg, who co-wrote such hits as Chad Gad Yah and V'Tar Her L'Baynu.

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Grace After the Meal

Blessed be he, who in his goodness, feeds the whole world with grace, loving kindness and Hungry Man Deliverer From Egyptfrozen dinners. His mercy and sense of humor endurath forever.

And in his boundless goodness he has never failed us nor left us in want of anything except for our wives to be on top once in a while, for he is God who sustaineth all and dealeth beneficently with all except those who piss him off, and provideth food for all creatures that he hath created except for those on the Atkins Diet,

We give thanks unto thee, 0 Eternal, our father, 0 Merciful One, thou art our God, out Father, Redeemer and Bookie; our Maintainer, Supporter, Deliverer and Gardener; our Salvation, Muse and Bridge Partner.

The TIrird Cup of Wine

We hold up our cups and say the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine.

We drink the third cup of wine

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Frank's sudden heart attack changed the whole mood of the Seder.

u"'-~ ~ 1300\+ -kat\ ~'b0 ,... +Io-.e..k- ~ 01'\ I e>ok Q:q Q.\ 0+ \ \ \:..Q_ "Ed. ~WU.

Early Talmudic scholars, date unknown.

Why the killing of the first Egyptian horn happened at 7:30 a.m. rather than 10:00 the night before.

Magazine ad for incontinence pads turned down by B'nai B'rith Quarterly, Fall 1987.

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Tne Cup of Elijah

As we fill the fourth cup of wine, we fill the cup for Elijah the Prophet. Elijah was looked upon as the precursor of the Messiah. He is one of the most vivid figures in ] ewish folklore, third in popularity behind Kind David and Albert Brooks in that order. He was a fearless champion of the true God, he defeated the prophets of Baal, and he beat Bobby Fisher 10 games to 2 in the 1969 W orId Chess Championships at Reykyavic, Iceland. As his end approached, he was carried off to heaven in a fiery chariot, in which he unfortunately burned to death. At every circumcision a chair is set aside for him -Elijah's Chair - and a small mason jar is also set aside for him - Elijah's Foreskin Bin. The door is opened for Elijah, and we sing the following:





His Mercy Endurath Forever

Give thanks unto the Eternal for He is gracious;

for his mercy endurath forever.

Who giveth us thought provoking commercials by the Hair Club for Men;

for his mercy endurath forever.

And who sendeth us many full color Summer swimwear catalogs;

for his mercy endurath forever.

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Now you know why your Grandma's chicken soup with matza balls always tasted like crap

Retired Catholic priest using Passover sponge cake to catch unsuspecting Jewish children, Vienna, 1929

Prehistoric Passover, date unknown

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Give thanks unto the Lord of Lords;

for his mercy endurath forever.

Who remembered us when the SEC agents passed over our office to nab the company down the hall instead;

for his mercy endurath forever.

And who winked and said nothing when he bumped into us with those two stunning flight attendants that weekend at the Sheraton;

for his mercy endurath forever.

Give thanks unto the God of Gods;

for his mercy endurath forever.

Who gave us 60 gig hard drives, cheap broadband and more free online porn than you can shake a stick at;

for his mercy endurath forever.

And who thankfully stopped us before we found out how much Bombay Sapphire you need to drink before you'd make a pass at Bea Arthur;

for his mercy endurath forever.

Give thanks unto He who told our fathers it was OK to stop on the way home from Temple Sunday school and buy us a Der Weinerschnitzel pure 100% pork dog because even the Almighty knew those crappy 19 cent traif hot dogs were flat out tasty;

for his mercy endurath forever.

And who miraculously cleans the underside of our office desks so we always have a fresh spot to wipe our hands after we sneeze;

for his mercy endurath forever.

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,., -- -

13th Century Portuguese fresco depicting the fate of Zvi and Mort, who earlier that week had eagerly given up their gold compass for the golden calf.

Early Jewish entrepreneurs during the Exodus.

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Jewish slave Saul Kaplan getting caught playing "pun My Finger" aboard Pharaoh's catamaran The Nile Cruiser.

The Fourth Cup of Wine

We hold up our cups and say the following:


Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the vine.

We drink the fourth cup of wine

Top Ten Ancient Sheep Complaints

Since the beginning of recorded history, sheep have been ritualistically slaughtered and humiliated in the name of religion and mankind. They are the butt of almost every shepherd and Australian outback joke. They are eaten in Pagan rituals, sacrificed as gifts to various Gods and in the case of Jews, killed, roasted and eaten in haste, with their blood painted on the front door jam to signal the Angel of Death that the goyim live next door. While tonight's Seder is ajoyous celebration of the Jew's deliverance from their slavery in Egypt, it is also a somber reminder of the terrible plight the sheep have suffered throughout the ages.

To commemorate the sacred place of sheep in the Passover celebration, we now recite the Top Ten Ancient Sheep Complaints, placing a drop of wine on our plate for each one.

10. Buff oxen always control the weight room.

9. Workers compensation doesn't cover "Burning Bush" lung.

8. Moses always working around the stables without his shirt on.

7. Needing two pieces ofID to buy wine.

6. Having to always stand in straw soaked with own urine.

5. Shepherds who are a little too enthusiastic about sheering us.

4. Moses only invites his favorites to visit him at the hot springs.

3. Someone stretching out the feed with matzo meal.

2. People who say "bolth" instead of "both."

1. Drunken shepherds who insist you look like Shakira.

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'<0" WO>\~ '"-t. ~0\~"""..l"''''1''. l\...t.'j'rlt o.~ "'\-C\n. 1h.!> .~ "\c\il.

Rose Gershonowitz pointing the Angel of Death to a Gentile's house.

Hy Goldberg, outside Temple Beth Shalom, Newark New Jersey.

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Seder conversation somewhere in Brentwood, 1984.

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On to Jerusalem

Blessed art thou, 0 Lord our God, King of the Universe, for the wine, and for the fruit of the vine, for the produce of the field, for the choice rib steaks from your Vemon slaughterhouses, for the excellent chili cheeseburgers at Carneys and for the spacious land which thou grantedst our ancestors to inherit, to eat of its fruit, share of its lonely nights with your camels and oxen, to dodge constant incoming mortar shells, and be satisfied with it goodness.

Have compassion, 0 Eternal, our God, upon us, upon Israel thy people, upon Jerusalem thy city, upon Zion the residence of thy glory, upon Torrance the collection of thy aerospace companies, and upon the penthouse in the Bonaventure thy collection of fair maidens; rebuild Jerusalem, thy holy city, speedily, but not with too many pre-fab dwellings or substandard construction and preferably under a contract with Jacobs Engineering and not Bechtel.

Cheer us on this day of the feast of unleavened bread, for thou, 0 Ahnighty, art good and kind and wear really snazzy clothes in modem colors and fabrics, and therefore we give thanks unto thee for the land, for the food of the earth, for the fruit of the vine, of course for money and power and control of our children's every move, and for making sure that we, your chosen people, are always fmgered as the source for every problem the world has ever faced.

Conclusion of the Seder

The commemoration service of the Passover has now been accomplished according to its order, some of the ordinances and a couple of the customs of the feast as it was written by the ancient scholars, passed on through the ages by scribes, Rabbis and village idiots, and fmally interpreted by the celebrants here tonight. 0 Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, forgive us for partaking in this particular interpretation of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Please grant us all long and healthy lives, for ourselves and for our children, even if you haven't found this Seder to be as amusing as I did. Please don't increase our Temple membership fees, nor switch my long distance to AT&T without my knowledge. For you are the Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created man in his own image, though I hope for all our sakes you're better looking than me.

Next year in jerusalem, or at least, Fort Lauderdale.


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