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At the Seder we ask Mah Nishtanah – ‘what is different?’ but the same words also mean ‘what has changed?’

Following the Hasidic masters, who teach that Pesach is about achieving personal freedom from imposed limitations that inhibit our spiritual growth, I would like to suggest the following symbolic reading of Mah Nishtanah:

Why is this night different from all other nights?

What has changed in our lives on this night as we look back over the past year?

1. On all other nights we eat leavened products and matzah, and on this night only matzah.

Matzah represents humility, have we made space for others?

2.On all other nights we eat all vegetables, and on this night only bitter herbs.

What pain have we experienced and how have we grown from it?

3.On all other nights, we don’t dip our food even once, and on this night we dip twice.

What have we been immersed in and how has it shaped who we are tonight?

4.On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining, and on this night we only recline.

Have we taken time to recline, to be mindful of the special moments in our lives?

May we experience a reflective Seder that will inspire much spiritual growth and personal development in the coming year.

!לשנה הבאה בירושלים


from my favorite Art Deco Haggadah, Vienna 1929