Passover Seder
Overview
 
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday
Jewish holiday
Jewish holidays are days observed by Jews as holy or secular commemorations of important events in Jewish history. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov or chag or ta'anit...

 of Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan
Nisan
Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year, on the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. It is a spring month of 30 days...

 in the Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

. The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 in ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

.
Encyclopedia
The Passover Seder is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday
Jewish holiday
Jewish holidays are days observed by Jews as holy or secular commemorations of important events in Jewish history. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov or chag or ta'anit...

 of Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan
Nisan
Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year, on the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. It is a spring month of 30 days...

 in the Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

. The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 in ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

. This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 verse commanding
613 mitzvot
The 613 commandments is a numbering of the statements and principles of law, ethics, and spiritual practice contained in the Torah or Five Books of Moses...

 Jews to retell the story of the Exodus
The Exodus
The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

 from Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

: "You shall tell your child on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'" (Exodus 13:8) Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah
Haggadah of Pesach
The Haggadah is a Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover Seder. Reading the Haggadah at the Seder table is a fulfillment of the Scriptural commandment to each Jew to "tell your son" of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt as described in the Book of Exodus in the Torah...

, an ancient work derived from the Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 (Pesahim
Pesahim
Pesahim is the third tractate of Seder Moed of the Mishnah and of the Talmud. It is concerned mainly with the laws of the Jewish holiday Passover as well as the Passover lamb offering...

10). The Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

, and special Passover songs
Passover songs
Passover songs are songs traditionally associated with the end of the seder, the festive meal associated with the Jewish festival of Passover.-Songs of the main part of the Seder:...

. Seder customs include drinking four cups of wine, eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate
Passover Seder Plate
The Passover Seder Plate Hebrew: ke'ara is a special plate containing symbolic foods eaten or displayed at the Passover Seder.-Significance:...

, and reclining in celebration of freedom. The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.

Overview

While many Jewish holidays revolve around the synagogue, the Seder is conducted in the family home, although communal Seders are also organized by synagogues, schools and community centers, some open to the general public. It is customary to invite guests, especially strangers and the needy. The Seder is integral to Jewish faith and identity: as explained in the Haggadah, if not for divine intervention
Divine Intervention
Divine intervention is a term for a miracle caused by God's/a god's active involvement in the human world.Divine Intervention may also refer to:*"Divine Intervention", a 1991 song on Matthew Sweet's album Girlfriend....

 and the Exodus, the Jewish people would still be slaves in Egypt. Therefore, the Seder is an occasion for praise and thanksgiving and for rededication to the idea of liberation. Furthermore, the words and rituals of the Seder are a primary vehicle for the transmission of the Jewish faith
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 from grandparent to child, and from one generation to the next. Attending a Seder and eating matza on Passover is a widespread custom in the Jewish community, even among those who are not religiously observant.
The Seder table is traditionally set with the finest place settings and silverware, and family members come to the table dressed in their holiday clothes. There is a tradition for the person leading the Seder to wear a white robe called a kittel
Kittel
right|180pxA kittel, also spelled kitl, coat’) is a white robe which serves as a burial shroud for male Jews. It is also worn on special occasions by Ashkenazi Jews. In western Europe this garment is called a Sargenes. The word Sargenes is related to the Old French Serge as well as Latin Serica...

. For the first half of the Seder, each participant will only need a plate and a wine glass. At the head of the table is a Seder Plate containing various symbolic foods that will be eaten or pointed out during the course of the Seder. Placed nearby is a plate with three matzo
Matzo
Matzo or matzah is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week-long Passover holiday, when eating chametz—bread and other food which is made with leavened grain—is forbidden according to Jewish law. Currently, the most ubiquitous type of Matzo is the traditional Ashkenazic...

t and dishes of salt water for dipping.

Each participant receives a copy of the Haggadah, which is often a traditional version: an ancient text that contains the complete Seder service. Men and women are equally obliged and eligible to participate in the Seder. In many homes, each participant at the Seder table will recite at least critical parts of the Haggadah in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

h requires that certain parts be said in language the participants can understand, and critical parts are often said in both Hebrew and the native language. The leader will often interrupt the reading to discuss different points with his or her children, or to offer a Torah insight into the meaning or interpretation of the words.

In some homes, participants take turns reciting the text of the Haggadah, in the original Hebrew or in translation. It is traditional for the head of the household and other participants to have pillows placed behind them for added comfort. At several points during the Seder, participants lean to the left - when drinking the four cups of wine, eating the Afikoman, and eating the korech sandwich.

Jews generally observe one or two seders: in Israel, one seder is observed on the first night of Passover; in the Diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

 communities other than Reform
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

 and Reconstructionist
Reconstructionist Judaism
Reconstructionist Judaism is a modern American-based Jewish movement based on the ideas of Mordecai Kaplan . The movement views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. It originated as a branch of Conservative Judaism, before it splintered...

 Jews hold a seder also on the second night.

Slavery and freedom

The rituals and symbolic foods associated with the Seder evoke the twin themes of the evening: slavery and freedom. The rendering of time for the Hebrews was that a day began at sunset and ended at sunset. Historically, at the beginning of the 15th of Nisan
Nisan
Nisan is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year, on the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv, referring to the month in which barley was ripe. It is a spring month of 30 days...

 in Ancient Egypt, the Jewish people were enslaved to Pharaoh. After the tenth plague struck Egypt at midnight, killing all the first-born of Pharaoh to the first born of captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first born of livestock (Exodus 12:29), in the land. Pharaoh let the Hebrew nation go, effectively making them free people for the second half of the night.

Thus, Seder participants recall the slavery that reigned during the first half of the night by eating matzo
Matzo
Matzo or matzah is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week-long Passover holiday, when eating chametz—bread and other food which is made with leavened grain—is forbidden according to Jewish law. Currently, the most ubiquitous type of Matzo is the traditional Ashkenazic...

 (the "poor person's bread"), maror
Maror
Maror also Marror, refers to the bitter herbs eaten at the Passover Seder in keeping with the biblical commandment "with bitter herbs they shall eat it." .-Biblical source:...

 (bitter herbs which symbolize the bitterness of slavery), and charoset (a sweet paste representing the mortar which the Jewish slaves used to cement bricks). Recalling the freedom of the second half of the night, they eat the matzo (the "bread of freedom" and also the "bread of affliction") and 'afikoman
Afikoman
Afikoman is a half-piece of matzo which is broken in the early stages of the Passover Seder and set aside to be eaten as a dessert after the meal.Based on the Mishnah in Pesahim 119a, the afikoman is a substitute for the Korban Pesach, which was...

', and drink the four cups of wine, in a reclining position, and dip vegetables into salt water (the dipping being a sign of royalty and freedom, while the salt water recalls the tears the Jews shed during their servitude).

The Four Cups

There is an obligation to drink four cups of wine during the Seder. The Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 says (Pes. 10:1) that even the poor are obliged to drink the four cups. Each cup is imbibed at a specific point in the Seder. The first is for Kiddush
Kiddush
Kiddush , literally, "sanctification," is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays.-Significance:...

 (קידוש), the second is for 'Maggid
Maggid
Maggid , sometimes spelled as magid, is a traditional Eastern European Jewish religious itinerant preacher, skilled as a narrator of Torah and religious stories. A preacher of the more scholarly sort was called a "darshan", and usually occupied the official position of rabbi...

' (מגיד), the third is for Birkat Hamazon
Birkat Hamazon
Birkat Hamazon or Birkath Hammazon, , known in English as the Grace After Meals, , is a set of Hebrew blessings that Jewish Law prescribes following a meal that includes bread or matzoh made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt...

 (ברכת המזון) and the fourth is for Hallel
Hallel
Hallel is a Jewish prayer—a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113–118, which is used for praise and thanksgiving that is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays.-Holy days:...

 (הלל).

The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God : "I will bring out," "I will deliver," "I will redeem," and "I will take."

The Vilna Gaon relates the Four Cups to four worlds: this world, the Messianic
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

 age, the world at the revival of the dead, and the world to come. The Maharal connects them to the four Matriarchs: Sarah
Sarah
Sarah or Sara was the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac as described in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran. Her name was originally Sarai...

, Rebeccah, Rachel
Rachel
Rachel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, is a prophet and the favorite wife of Jacob, one of the three Biblical Patriarchs, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She was the daughter of Laban and the younger sister of Leah, Jacob's first wife...

, and Leah
Leah
Leah , as described in the Hebrew Bible, is the first of the two concurrent wives of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob and mother of six of sons whose descendants became the Twelve Tribes of Israel, along with at least one daughter, Dinah. She is the daughter of Laban and the older sister of Rachel, whom...

. (The three matzo
Matzo
Matzo or matzah is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week-long Passover holiday, when eating chametz—bread and other food which is made with leavened grain—is forbidden according to Jewish law. Currently, the most ubiquitous type of Matzo is the traditional Ashkenazic...

t, in turn, are connected to the three Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) The Abarbanel relates the cups to the four historical redemptions of the Jewish people: the choosing of Abraham, the Exodus from Egypt, the survival of the Jewish people throughout the exile, and the fourth which will happen at the end of days. Therefore it is very important.

Seder Plate

The Passover Seder Plate (ke'ara) is a special plate containing six symbolic foods used during the Passover Seder. Each of the six items arranged on the plate have special significance to the retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The seventh symbolic item used during the meal—a stack of three matzot—is placed on its own plate on the Seder table.

The six items on the Seder Plate are:
  • Maror
    Maror
    Maror also Marror, refers to the bitter herbs eaten at the Passover Seder in keeping with the biblical commandment "with bitter herbs they shall eat it." .-Biblical source:...

    and Chazeret: Two types of bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt. For maror, many people use freshly grated horseradish or whole horseradish root. Chazeret is typically romaine lettuce, whose roots are bitter-tasting. Either the horseradish or romaine lettuce may be eaten in fulfillment of the mitzvah
    Mitzvah
    The primary meaning of the Hebrew word refers to precepts and commandments as commanded by God...

     of eating bitter herbs during the Seder.
  • Charoset
    Charoset
    Charoset, haroset, or charoses is a sweet, dark-colored, chunky paste made of fruits and nuts served primarily during the Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt as mentioned in Tractate...

    : A sweet, brown, pebbly paste of fruits and nuts, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt.
  • Karpas
    Karpas
    Karpas is one of the traditional rituals in the Passover Seder. It refers to the vegetable, usually parsley or celery, that is dipped in liquid and eaten. The liquid may be any of the seven which make food capable of becoming ritually impure, although salt-water or vinegar are usually used...

    : A vegetable other than bitter herbs, usually parsley but sometimes something such as celery
    Celery
    Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery or celeriac , depending on whether the petioles or roots are eaten: celery refers to the former and celeriac to the latter. Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall...

     or cooked potato
    Potato
    The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

    , which is dipped into salt water (Ashkenazi custom), vinegar (Sephardi custom), or charoset
    Charoset
    Charoset, haroset, or charoses is a sweet, dark-colored, chunky paste made of fruits and nuts served primarily during the Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt as mentioned in Tractate...

     (older custom, still common amongst Yemenite Jews
    Yemenite Jews
    Yemenite Jews are those Jews who live, or whose recent ancestors lived, in Yemen . Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet...

    ) at the beginning of the Seder.
  • Zeroa
    Zeroa
    Zeroa or z'roa is a lamb shank bone or roast chicken wing used on Passover and placed as symbol on the Seder plate. A roasted lamb or goat shankbone, chicken wing, or chicken neck; symbolizing the korban Pesach , which was a lamb that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, then roasted and eaten...

    : A roasted lamb bone, symbolizing the korban Pesach (Pesach sacrifice), which was a lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem
    Temple in Jerusalem
    The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

     and was then roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.
  • Beitzah: A hard boiled egg
    Egg (food)
    Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

    , symbolizing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem
    Temple in Jerusalem
    The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

     and was then eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.


Some Jews include an orange on the seder plate, representing fruitfulness when all marginalized peoples are included, particularly women and gay people. In the early 1980s, when speaking at Oberlin College
Oberlin College
Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students. Connected to the college is the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the oldest continuously operating...

 Hillel, Susannah Heschel was introduced to an early feminist Haggadah that suggested adding a crust of bread on the seder plate, as a sign of solidarity with Jewish lesbians (as some would say there's as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the seder plate). Heschel felt that to put bread on the seder plate would be to accept that lesbians and gay men violate Judaism like chametz
Chametz
Chametz, also Chometz, and other spellings transliterated from , are leavened foods that are forbidden on the Jewish holiday of Passover. According to Jewish law, Jews may not own, eat or benefit from chametz during Passover...

 violates Passover. So, at her next seder, she chose an orange as a symbol of inclusion of gays and lesbians and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community. In addition, each orange segment had a few seeds that had to be spit out – a gesture of spitting out and repudiating the homophobia of traditional Judaism. Furthermore, some seders (including the original women-only seder, but not limited to women-only seders) set out a cup for the prophet Miriam as well as the traditional cup for the prophet Elijah, sometimes accompanied by a ritual to honor Miriam. According to Jewish feminist writer Tamara Cohen, the practice of filling a cup with water to symbolize Miriam’s inclusion in the seder originated at a Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh or Rosh ḥodesh is the name for the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar, marked by the appearance of the new moon. The new moon is marked by the day and hour that the new crescent is observed...

 group in Boston in 1989. Miriam is associated with water because rabbis attribute to Miriam the well that traveled with the Israelites throughout their wandering in the desert.
In the Book of Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

, the well dries up immediately following Miriam’s death.

Focus on the children

Since the retelling of the Exodus to one's child is the object of the Seder experience, much effort is made to arouse the interest and curiosity of the children and keep them awake during the meal. To that end, questions and answers are a central device in the Seder ritual. By encouraging children to ask questions, they will be more open to hearing the answers.

The most famous question which the youngest child asks at the Seder is the Mah Nishtanah - "Why is this night different from all other nights?" After the asking of these questions, the main portion of the Seder, Magid, gives over the answers in the form of a historical review. Also, at different points in the Seder, the leader of the Seder will cover the matzot and lift their cup of wine; then put down the cup of wine and uncover the matzot—all to elicit questions from the children.

In Sephardic tradition, the questions are asked by the assembled company in chorus rather than by a child, and are put to the leader of the seder, who either answers the question or may direct the attention of the assembled company to someone who is acting out that particular part of the Exodus. Physical re-enactment of the Exodus during the Passover seder is common in many families and communities, especially amongst Sephardim.

Families will follow the Haggadah's lead by asking their own questions at various points in the Haggadah and offering prizes such as nuts and candies for correct answers. The afikoman
Afikoman
Afikoman is a half-piece of matzo which is broken in the early stages of the Passover Seder and set aside to be eaten as a dessert after the meal.Based on the Mishnah in Pesahim 119a, the afikoman is a substitute for the Korban Pesach, which was...

, which is hidden away for the "dessert" after the meal, is another device used to encourage children's participation. In some families, the leader of the Seder hides the afikoman and the children must find it, whereupon they receive a prize or reward. In other homes, the children hide the afikoman and a parent must look for it; when they give up, the children demand a prize (often money) for revealing its location.

Order of the Seder

The Jewish Sages say that Passover occurs on the 15th of Nissan just as the moon grows for 15 days. The conclusion is that our growth must be in 15 gradual steps just like the Passover puzzle is constituted by 15 pieces that, when assembled, will give us freedom.

Kadeish (blessings and the first cup of wine)

Kadeish is Hebrew Imperative for Kiddush
Kiddush
Kiddush , literally, "sanctification," is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays.-Significance:...

. This Kiddush is a special one for Passover, it refers to matzot and the Exodus from Egypt. Acting in a way that shows freedom and majesty, many Jews have the custom of filling each other's cups at the Seder table. The Kiddush is traditionally said by the father of the house.

Ur'chatz (wash hands)

In traditional Jewish homes, it is common to ritually wash the hands before a meal. According to most traditions, no blessing is recited at this point in the Seder, unlike the blessing recited over the washing of the hands before eating bread at any other time. However, followers of Rambam or the Gaon of Vilna do recite a blessing.

Karpas (appetizer)

Each participant dips a vegetable into either salt water (Ashkenazi custom; said to serve as a reminder of the tears shed by their enslaved ancestors), vinegar (Sephardi custom) or charoset (older Sephardi custom; still common among Yemenite Jews). Another custom mentioned in some Ashkenazi sources and probably originating with Meir of Rothenburg
Meir of Rothenburg
Meir of Rothenburg was a German Rabbi and poet, a major author of the tosafot on Rashi's commentary on the Talmud...

, was to dip the karpas in wine.

Yachatz (breaking of the middle matzah)

Three matzot are stacked on the seder table; at this stage, the middle matzah of the three is broken in half. The larger piece is hidden, to be used later as the afikoman
Afikoman
Afikoman is a half-piece of matzo which is broken in the early stages of the Passover Seder and set aside to be eaten as a dessert after the meal.Based on the Mishnah in Pesahim 119a, the afikoman is a substitute for the Korban Pesach, which was...

, the "dessert" after the meal. The smaller piece is returned to its place between the other two matzot.

Magid (The telling)

The story of Passover, and the change from slavery to freedom is told. At this point in the Seder, Moroccan Jews have a custom of raising the Seder plate over the heads of all those present while chanting "Bivhilu yatzanu mimitzrayim, halahma anya b'nei horin" (In haste we went out of Egypt [with our] bread of affliction, [now we are] free people).
  • Ha Lachma Anya (invitation to the Seder)

The matzo
Matzo
Matzo or matzah is an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week-long Passover holiday, when eating chametz—bread and other food which is made with leavened grain—is forbidden according to Jewish law. Currently, the most ubiquitous type of Matzo is the traditional Ashkenazic...

t are uncovered, and referred to as the "bread of affliction". Participants declare (in Aramaic
Aramaic language
Aramaic is a group of languages belonging to the Afroasiatic language phylum. The name of the language is based on the name of Aram, an ancient region in central Syria. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic family, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily,...

) an invitation to all who are hungry or needy to join in the Seder. Halakha
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 requires that this invitation be repeated in the native language of the country.
  • Mah Nishtanah (The Four Questions)

The Mishna details questions one is obligated to ask on the night of the seder. It is customary for the youngest child present to recite the four questions. Some customs hold that the other participants recite them quietly to themselves as well. In some families, this means that the requirement remains on an adult "child" until a grandchild of the family receives sufficient Jewish education to take on the responsibility. If a person has no children capable of asking, the responsibility falls to their spouse, or another participant. The need to ask is so great that even if a person is alone at the seder they are obligated to ask themselves and to answer their own questions.

Ma nishtana ha lyla ha zeh mikkol hallaylot?

Why is this night different from all other nights?
  1. Shebb'khol hallelot anu okh’lin ḥamets umatsa, vehallayla hazze kullo matsa.
    Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either leavened bread or matza, but on this night we eat only matza?
  2. Shebb'khol hallelot anu okh’lin sh’ar y'rakot, vehallayla hazze maror.
    Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on this night we eat bitter herbs?
  3. Shebb'khol hallelot en anu matbillin afillu pa‘am eḥat, vehallayla hazze sh'tei fe‘amim.
    Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip [our food] even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
  4. Shebb'khol hallelot anu okh’lin ben yosh’vin uven m'subbin, vehallayla hazze kullanu m'subbin.
    Why is it that on all other nights we dine either sitting upright or reclining, but on this night we all recline?


A fifth question which is present in the mishnah has been removed by later authorities due to its inapplicability after the destruction of the temple is:
5. Shebb'khol hallelot anu okh’lin basar tsali shaluk umvushal, vehallayla hazze kullo tsali.
Why is it that on all other nights we eat meat either roasted, marinated, or cooked, but on this night it is entirely roasted?


The four questions have been translated into over 300 languages.
  1. We eat only matzah because our ancestors could not wait for their breads to rise when they were fleeing slavery in Egypt, and so they were flat when they came out of the oven.
  2. We eat only Maror, a bitter herb, to remind us of the bitterness of slavery that our ancestors endured while in Egypt.
  3. The first dip, green vegetables in salt water, symbolizes the replacing of our tears with gratefulness, and the second dip, Maror in Charoses, symbolizes the sweetening of our burden of bitterness and suffering.
  4. We recline at the Seder table because in ancient times, a person who reclined at a meal was a free person, while slaves and servants stood.
  5. We eat only roasted meat because that is how the Pesach/Passover lamb is prepared during sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem.

  • The Four Sons

The traditional Haggadah speaks of "four sons"—one who is wise, one who is wicked, one who is simple, and one who does not know to ask. Each of these sons phrases his question about the seder in a different ways. The Haggadah recommends answering each son according to his question, using one of the three verses in the Torah that refer to this exchange.

The wise son asks "What are the statutes, the testimonies, and the laws that God has commanded you to do?" One explanation for why this very detailed-oriented question is categorized as wise, is that the wise son is trying to learn how to carry out the seder, rather than asking for someone else's understanding of its meaning. He is answered fully:
You should reply to him with [all] the laws of pesach: one may not eat any dessert after the paschal sacrifice.

The wicked son, who asks, "What is this service to you?", is characterized by the Haggadah as isolating himself from the Jewish people, standing by objectively and watching their behavior rather than participating. Therefore, he is rebuked by the explanation that "It is because God acted for my sake when I left Egypt." (This implies that the Seder is not for the wicked son because the wicked son would not have deserved to be freed from Egyptian slavery.) Where the four sons are illustrated in the Haggadah, this son has frequently been depicted as carrying weapons or wearing stylish contemporary fashions.

The simple son, who asks, "What is this?" is answered with "With a strong hand the Almighty led us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage."

And the one who does not know to ask is told, "It is because of what the Almighty did for me when I left Egypt."

Some modern Haggadahs mention "children" instead of "sons", and some have added a fifth child. The fifth child can represent the children of the Shoah
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 who did not survive to ask a question or represent Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 who have drifted so far from Jewish life that they do not participate in a Seder.

For the former, tradition is to say that for that child we ask "Why?" and, like the simple child, we have no answer.
  • '"Go and learn"

Four verses in Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

 (26:5-8) are then expounded, with an elaborate, traditional commentary. ("5. And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God: 'A wandering Aramean was my parent, and they went down into Egypt, and sojourned there, few in number; and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6. And the Egyptians dealt ill with us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage. 7. And we cried unto the Lord, the God of our parents, and the Lord heard our voice, and saw our affliction, and our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm
With a strong hand and an outstretched arm
With a strong hand and an outstretched arm is a phrase in Judaic tradition representing God's use of his power on behalf of the Jews.-Origin:...

, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders
Signs and Wonders
Signs and Wonders was a phrase used often by leaders of the Charismatic movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is closely associated with the ministry of John Wimber and the Vineyard Movement...

.")

The Haggadah explores the meaning of those verses, and embellishes the story. This telling describes the slavery of the Jewish people and their miraculous salvation by God. This culminates in an enumeration of the Ten Plagues
Plagues of Egypt
The Plagues of Egypt , also called the Ten Plagues or the Biblical Plagues, were ten calamities that, according to the biblical Book of Exodus, Israel's God, Yahweh, inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the ill-treated Israelites from slavery. Pharaoh capitulated after the tenth...

:
  1. Dam (blood)—All the water was changed to blood
  2. Tzefardeyah (frogs)—An infestation of frogs sprang up in Egypt
  3. Kinim (lice)—The Egyptians
    Egyptians
    Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

     were afflicted by lice
    Louse
    Lice is the common name for over 3,000 species of wingless insects of the order Phthiraptera; three of which are classified as human disease agents...

  4. Arov (wild animals)—An infestation of wild animals (some say flies) sprang up in Egypt
  5. Dever (pestilence)—A plague killed off the Egyptian livestock
  6. Sh'chin (boils)—An epidemic of boil
    Boil
    A boil, also called a furuncle, is a deep folliculitis, infection of the hair follicle. It is always caused by infection by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, resulting in a painful swollen area on the skin caused by an accumulation of pus and dead tissue...

    s afflicted the Egyptians
  7. Barad (hail)—Hail rained from the sky
  8. Arbeh (locusts)—Locusts swarmed over Egypt
  9. Choshech (darkness)—Egypt was covered in darkness
  10. Makkat Bechorot (killing of the first-born)—All the first-born sons of the Egyptians were slain by God


With the recital of the Ten Plagues, each participant removes a drop of wine from his or her cup using a fingertip. Although this night is one of salvation, the Sages explain that one cannot be completely joyous when some of God's creatures had to suffer. A mnemonic
Mnemonic
A mnemonic , or mnemonic device, is any learning technique that aids memory. To improve long term memory, mnemonic systems are used to make memorization easier. Commonly encountered mnemonics are often verbal, such as a very short poem or a special word used to help a person remember something,...

 acronym for the plagues is also introduced: "D'tzach Adash B'achav", while similarly spilling a drop of wine for each word.

At this part in the Seder, songs of praise are sung, including the song Dayenu
Dayenu
Dayenu is a song that is part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The word "Dayenu" means approximately, "it would have been enough for us", "it would have been sufficient", or "it would have sufficed" . This traditional up-beat Passover song is over one thousand years old...

, which proclaims that had God performed any single one of the many deeds performed for the Jewish people, it would have been enough to obligate us to give thanks.
  • Kos Sheini (Second Cup of Wine)

Magid concludes with the drinking of the Second Cup of Wine.

Rohtzah (ritual washing of hands)

The ritual hand-washing is repeated, this time with all customs including a blessing.

Motzi ("who brings forth")

The blessing, which includes the words "who brings forth" (motzi in Hebrew), is said with matzah.

Maror (bitter herbs)

The blessing for the eating of the maror (bitter herbs) is recited and then it is dipped into the charoset
Charoset
Charoset, haroset, or charoses is a sweet, dark-colored, chunky paste made of fruits and nuts served primarily during the Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt as mentioned in Tractate...

 and eaten.

Koreich (sandwich)

The maror (bitter herb) is placed between two small pieces of matzo, similarly to how the contents of a sandwich are placed between two slices of bread, and eaten. This follows the tradition of Hillel
Hillel the Elder
Hillel was a famous Jewish religious leader, one of the most important figures in Jewish history. He is associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud...

, who did the same at his Seder table 2000 years ago (except that in Hillel's day the Paschal sacrifice, matzo, and maror were eaten together.)

Shulchan Orech (the meal)

The festive meal is eaten. Traditionally it begins with the hard-boiled egg on the Seder plate.

Tzafun (eating of the afikoman)

The afikoman, which was hidden earlier in the Seder, is traditionally the last morsel of food eaten by participants in the Seder.

Each participant receives an olive-sized portion of matzo to be eaten as afikoman. After the consumption of the afikoman, traditionally, no other food may be eaten for the rest of the night. Additionally, no intoxicating beverages may be consumed, with the exception of the remaining two cups of wine.

In some families, the children steal the afikoman and ask for a reward for its return.

Bareich (Grace after Meals)

The recital of Birkat Hamazon
Birkat Hamazon
Birkat Hamazon or Birkath Hammazon, , known in English as the Grace After Meals, , is a set of Hebrew blessings that Jewish Law prescribes following a meal that includes bread or matzoh made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt...

.
  • Kos Shlishi (the Third Cup of Wine)

The drinking of the Third Cup of Wine.

Note: The Third Cup is customarily poured before the Grace after Meals
Birkat Hamazon
Birkat Hamazon or Birkath Hammazon, , known in English as the Grace After Meals, , is a set of Hebrew blessings that Jewish Law prescribes following a meal that includes bread or matzoh made from one or all of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt...

 is recited because the Third Cup also serves as a Cup of Blessing associated with the Grace after Meals on special occasions.
  • Kos shel Eliyahu ha-Navi (cup of Elijah the Prophet)

In many traditions, the front door of the house is opened at this point. Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 79:6-7 is recited in both Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions, plus Lamentations
Book of Lamentations
The Book of Lamentations ) is a poetic book of the Hebrew Bible composed by the Jewish prophet Jeremiah. It mourns the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple in the 6th Century BCE....

 3:66 among Ashkenazim.

Most Ashkenazim have the custom to fill a fifth cup at this point. This relates to a Talmudic discussion that concerns the number of cups that are supposed to be drunk. Given that the four cups are in reference to the four expressions of redemption in Exodus 6:6-7, some rabbis felt that it was important to include a fifth cup for the fifth expression of redemption in Exodus 6:8. All agreed that five cups should be poured but the question as to whether or not the fifth should be drunk, given that the fifth expression of redemption concerned being brought into the Land of Israel, which - by this stage - was no longer possessed of an autonomous Jewish community, remained insoluble. The rabbis determined that the matter should be left until Elijah (in reference to the notion that Elijah's arrival would precipitate the coming of the Messiah, at which time all halakhic questions will be resolved) and the fifth cup came to be known as the Kos shel Eliyahu ("Cup of Elijah"). Over time, people came to relate this cup to the notion that Elijah will visit each home on Seder night as a foreshadowing of his future arrival at the end of the days, when he will come to announce the coming of the Jewish Messiah. In the late 1980s, Jewish feminists introduced the idea of placing a Cup of Miriam filled with water (to represent the well that existed as long as Miriam, Moses' sister, was alive in the desert) beside the Cup of Elijah. Many liberal Jews now include this ritual at their seders as a symbol of inclusion.

Hallel (songs of praise)

The entire order of Hallel which is usually recited in the synagogue on Jewish holidays is also recited at the Seder table, albeit sitting down. The first two Psalms, 113-114, are recited before the meal. The remaining Psalms of the Hallel proper, Psalms 113-118, are recited after the Grace after Meals, followed by Psalm 136.

Following Psalm 136, the Nishmat, a portion of the morning service for Shabbat and festivals, is traditionally recited. There is a divergence concerning the paragraph Yehalleluha which normally follows Hallel. Ashkenazim recite it immediately following the Hallel proper, i.e. at the end of Psalm 118. Sephardim recite it at the end of Nishmat.

Afterwards the Fourth Cup of Wine is drunk and a brief Grace for the "fruit of the vine" is said.

Nirtzah

The Seder concludes with a prayer that the night's service be accepted. A hope for the Messiah is expressed: "L'shanah haba'ah b'Yerushalayim! - Next year in Jerusalem!" Jews in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and especially those in Jerusalem, recite instead "L'shanah haba'ah b'Yerushalayim hab'nuyah! - Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem!"

Although the 15 orders of the Seder have been complete, the Haggadah concludes with additional songs which further recount the miracles that occurred on this night in Ancient Egypt as well as throughout history. Some songs express a prayer that the Beit Hamikdash
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

 will soon be rebuilt. The last song to be sung is Chad Gadya ("One Kid Goat"). This seemingly childish song about different animals and people who attempted to punish others for their crimes and were in turn punished themselves, was interpreted by the Vilna Gaon
Vilna Gaon
Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman Kramer, known as the Vilna Gaon or Elijah of Vilna and simply by his Hebrew acronym Gra or Elijah Ben Solomon, , was a Talmudist, halachist, kabbalist, and the foremost leader of non-hasidic Jewry of the past few centuries...

 as an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 to the retribution God will levy over the enemies of the Jewish people at the end of days.

Following the Seder, those who are still awake may recite the Song of Songs
Song of songs
Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. It may also refer to:In music:* Song of songs , the debut album by David and the Giants* A generic term for medleysPlays...

, engage in Torah learning, or continue talking about the events of the Exodus until sleep overtakes them.

Public Seders

The group of people who hold a Passover Seder together is referred to in the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 (tractate Pesachim) as a chavurah (group). In the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

, for example, Chabad-Lubavitch
Chabad-Lubavitch
Chabad-Lubavitch is a Chasidic movement in Orthodox Judaism. One of the world's larger and best-known Chasidic movements, its official headquarters is in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York...

 emissaries regularly conduct Seders for hundreds of visiting students, businesspeople and Jewish travelers. The Chabad Seder in Katmandu regularly attracts more than 1,200 participants. In 2006, the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS and Baltic Countries organized over 500 public Seders throughout the Former Soviet Union, led by local rabbis and Chabad rabbinical students, drawing more than 150,000 attendees in total.

In Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, where permanent residents only observe one Seder, overseas students learning in yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

s and women's seminaries are often invited in groups up to 100 for "second-day Seders" hosted by outreach organizations and private individuals.

Messianic Seders

Many Messianic Jews
Messianic Judaism
Messianic Judaism is a syncretic religious movement that arose in the 1960s and 70s. It blends evangelical Christian theology with elements of Jewish terminology and ritual....

 celebrate Passover, observing all or most of the traditional observances, but adding additional readings or sacraments found in Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Messianic Judaism. Additional readings may be from the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, messianic prophecies such as those found in Isaiah, or prayers containing Messianic elements. Additionally, the Tzafun and the third cup of wine are sometimes done in conjunction with communion
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

, citing that Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 instituted communion right after dinner, which is where the eating of the afikoman and drinking of the third cup takes place in a traditional Seder. There are various Messianic Haggadahs used to perform a Seder in the traditional family setting, at a Messianic Congregation, at a church for explaining Passover to gentiles, or in a public setting for all to attend.

Christian Seders

Many Christians, and Evangelical Protestants
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 in particular, have recently taken great interest in performing seders according to the ancient rubric. Many churches host Seders, usually adding a Christian (Messianic Passover) message, and many times inviting Messianic Jews to lead and teach on it. Many Christians cite the meal as a way to connect with the heritage of their own religion and to see how the practices of the ancient world are still relevant to Christianity today.

Interfaith Seders

A number of congregations hold interfaith Seders where Jews and non-Jews alike share in the story and discuss common themes of peace, freedom, and religious tolerance. During the American Civil Rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 movement of the 1960s, interfaith Seders energized and inspired leaders from various communities who came together to march for equal protection for all. The first of these, the Freedom Seder, was written by Arthur Waskow
Arthur Waskow
Arthur Ocean Waskow, born Arthur I. Waskow, is an American author, political activist, and rabbi associated with the Jewish Renewal movement.-Education and early career:...

, published in Ramparts magazine and in a small booklet by the Micah Press and in a later edition (1970) by Holt-Rinehart-Winston, and was actually performed on April 4, 1969, the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.and the third night of Passover, at Lincoln Memorial Temple in Washington, DC. It celebrated the liberation struggle of Black America alongside that of ancient Israel from Pharaoh, and was the first Haggadah to go beyond the original Biblical story. It sparked a large number of Haggadahs celebrating various other forms of liberation—feminism, vegetarianism, the liberation movements in Latin America in the 1970s, ecological healing, etc.. Today, many Unitarian Universalist congregations (a liberal religion that encompasses many faith traditions) hold annual interfaith community Seders. A number of Interfaith Passover Seder Haggadahs have been written especially for this purpose.

Seders in the White House

The staff of the Office of the President of the United States have held seders since at least the late 1990s during the administration of Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. On April 9, 2009, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 included a second-night seder in his official schedule. This was the first time that a sitting president is known to have hosted and observed a seder at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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