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By Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld | Series: | Level:

The table should be set on the 14th of Nisan, but KIDDUSH should not be recited before dark (472:1). The SEDER (the service at the Passover evening meal) should be conducted quickly so the children can stay awake (472:1). The table should be set with fine utensils, and the seats should allow reclining (on the left side; 472:2-3). On who must recline see 472:4-6; on when to recline see 472:7. Everyone must drink four cups of (preferably red) wine, each the volume of 1-1/2 eggs, at the appropriate points in the SEDER (472:8-15). Snacks should be given to the children to make them aware of the uniqueness of the SEDER (472:16).

KIDDUSH is recited on the first cup, concluding with the blessing “…Who kept us alive…”; on Friday night, the Sabbath is mentioned, and on Saturday night, HAVDALAH is recited (473:1). On pouring and drinking the wine see 473:1-3. A plate is prepared that contains three MATZOS (see 475:7); MAROR (bitter herbs); CHAROSES (a fruit dip for the MAROR); a vegetable; salt water or vinegar (a dip for the vegetable); meat, and an egg; they should be arranged in the order of their use in the SEDER (473:4-5). The hands are washed (without a blessing), the vegetable is dipped, and the blessing “…Who creates the fruit of the ground” is recited (473:6). The middle MATZAH is broken in half, one part is put away to be eaten at the end of the meal, and “This is the bread…” is recited (473:6). The second cup is poured, the questions (“Why is this night different…”) are asked (by a child, if possible), the answers (the HAGGADAH) are recited (473:7), and the cup is drunk (474:1).

The hands are washed (with a blessing), the blessings “…Who brings bread out of the earth” and “…Who commanded us about eating MATZAH” are recited, and a KE-ZAYIS (the volume of an olive; see 486:1) from each of the top and middle MATZOS is eaten (475:1). The same volume of MAROR is dipped and eaten after reciting the blessing “…Who commanded us about eating MAROR” (475:1). A MAROR sandwich is then made with the third MATZAH, and eaten after reciting “In memory of the Temple…” (475:1). On exceptional situations see 475:2-6. It is customary to eat eggs at the meal; customs differ about eating roasted meat (476:1-2), but in any case a person must not say “this meat is for Passover” (469:1).

At the end of the meal, before midnight, a KE-ZAYIS of the piece of MATZAH that was put away is eaten (477:1-2); nothing should be eaten afterward (478:1-2). The third cup is poured, grace is recited, the cup is drunk (479:1), and “Pour out…” is recited (480:1). The fourth cup is poured, the remainder of HALLEL (Psalms 115-118) is recited, the cup is drunk, and the blessing “…on the vine…” is recited (480:1). Only water may be drunk after the fourth cup; see 481:1. A person should then discuss the Passover laws and the story of the Exodus until he falls asleep (481:2). On what to do if there is not enough MATZAH or wine see 482:1 and 483:1; on a person who has sworn not to eat MATZAH see 485:1; on repeating the SEDER for others see 484:11.

On the wording of the evening, morning, and afternoon AMIDAH on Passover see 487:1,3. KIDDUSH is not recited in the synagogue in the evening (487:2). HALLEL is recited after the morning AMIDAH (488:1-2); on reciting it in the evening see 487:4. On the readings from the Torah and Prophets see 488:3. The prayer for rain is discontinued starting with the MUSAF service (488:3). On the second evening, the counting of the OMER (for 49 days) begins; it is counted standing, and preceded by the blessing “…Who commanded us about counting the OMER” (489:1). For details about the counting see 489:1-9; the 50th day of the OMER is SHAVUOS (Pentecost; see below). New grain must not be eaten until the 18th of Nisan (the 17th, in the land of Israel; see 489:10). On the readings on the second day see 490:1; on the prayers and readings on the intermediate days see 490:2-6,9. After the second day, the first parts of Psalms 115 and 116 are omitted from HALLEL (490:4). On the prayers and readings on the seventh and eighth days see 490:7-8; “…Who kept us alive…” is omitted from KIDDUSH on those days.

It is customary not to fast on the day after a holiday (429:2;494:3), and it is customary to read the Song of Songs on Passover, Ruth on SHAVUOS, and Ecclesiastes on SUKKOS (Tabernacles; 490:9). In HAVDALAH after a holiday, the blessings on fire and fragrance are omitted (491:1). On HAVDALAH when a holiday occurs on Saturday night see 473:1;491:2;599:1. Some are accustomed to fast on the first Monday, Thursday, and Monday after the months of Nisan and Tishrei; see 492:1. It is customary not to marry or cut the hair between Passover and the 33rd day of the OMER, and not to recite TACHANUN on the 33rd day; see 493:1-3. Women are accustomed not to do work at night between Passover and SHAVUOS (493:4). On the prayers and readings on SHAVUOS see 494:1-2. It is customary to decorate the house and synagogue with grass on SHAVUOS, and to eat dairy foods on the first day; see 494:3. TACHANUN is not recited from the first to the eighth day of Sivan (494:3).

Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project Genesis, Inc.