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The Seder Ritual: The Order of the Seder

Martha Stewart Living, April 2001

These Hebrew terms lay out the sequence of the seder, which has been the basis for Passover celebrations for thousands of years. First, the table is set and the candles are lit.

Kadesh
The first of four cups of wine is poured; the blessing is said to sanctify the feast day.

Urechatz
The hands are washed before handling the karpas.

Karpas
A vegetable is dipped in salt water, then eaten.

Yachatz
The middle of three matzos is broken. The larger half is wrapped in a napkin and hidden for afikoman (dessert).

Maggid
The second cup of wine is poured, and the story of the flight of the Jewish slaves from Egypt is told.

Rachtzah
The hands are washed before the meal.

Motzi
A prayer is said before breaking bread.

Matzo
The matzo is blessed.

Maror
The bitter herb is tasted.

Korech
A "sandwich" of matzo, bitter herbs, and charoset is eaten.

Shulchan Orech
The meal begins.

Tzafun
A child discovers the afikoman, which is then eaten.

Barech
The third cup of wine is poured, and the grace after meals is recited. An extra cup of wine is also poured for the prophet Elijah, and a child opens the door of the house to invite him in.

Hallel
The fourth cup of wine is poured, followed by psalms of praise and a prayer.

Nirtzah
The service concludes with a hymn, which is traditionally followed by playful songs for the children.

The Seder Ritual
The Seder Ritual: The Seder Plate