INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HOST OF THE SEDER:
LENGTH OF SEDER: Approximately 45 minutes before dinner is served. Approximately 10 minutes afterwards.
YOU WILL NEED: Seder plate (it is nice to have one for each table if possible), and seder elements (shank bone, which can be obtained through local butcher, charoset, horseradish, parsley, matzot, salt water (at least one bowl for each table). Shofar, hand held bell (this bell will be used during the plagues portion of the haggadah. You should assign one adult or an older child to ring this bell when indicated. Matzot holder (or linen napkin). Place cards (store bought or hand made). Haggadah, provided on this site (it is nice to have one for each person, although sharing is possible). Scriptures to ponder handout (provided on this site) to provide for each family, for further study. Jar or other vessel in which to place the reward for the finder of the afikomen. If you are planning to do the search for the leaven on this evening before the beginning of the seder, you will need a wooden spoon for each father who will be present, a feather (can be obtained at hobby store), candle (one for each father). Paper bag.
This is a nontraditional haggadah. For each guest invited, provide a place card, as the fact that they were invited and a place prepared for them, will be mentioned within the haggadah. These can be purchased or easily crafted incorporating a Passover theme.
If children will be present at your seder, and you wish to reward the child who finds the afikomen, you may wish to ask your guests to bring a contribution of spare change. One year, we were fortunate to find a lamb bank in which to place this reward. Other years, a mason jar has done the job nicely. We like the children to remember that, when what is lost is found, great is the reward. We were also blessed on several occasions, when the child who found the afikomen, chose to share the reward with the other children.
Although this haggadah was developed for a group of 30-40 guests, if you are hosting a smaller group and wish to combine reading parts, this could be easily accomplished by simply instructing that all adult parts on one page be read by the same individual before switching to the next adult for the next page, and so on.
THE HUNT FOR LEAVEN
During the “telling,” mention is made of the children’s search for leaven. This search is done prior to the beginning of the seder. Pieces of bread are intentionally left behind for this purpose. If several large families are present with children of varying ages, you may want to divide into two age groups and leave leaven in two separate locations. (We have found it helpful to place these crumbs on a piece of paper to make its complete removal easier). The leaven hidden for the older children will be intentionally more difficult to find than that left for the younger group. The children are asked to go to their fathers who have a wooden spoon (which represents the cross), a feather (representing the Holy Spirit/Ruach HaKodesh), and a candle (representing the Word of God). The children and their fathers are directed to the general areas where the leaven has been concealed and the area is darkened if possible. The children are instructed to search for the leaven with the lit candle (for younger children, a parent or older child will need to handle the candle). When the bread crumbs are found, the child must not touch them, but instead, call to their father for help. The father will then come with the feather, and brush the crumbs onto the wooden spoon. The wooden spoon(s), along with the crumbs, will then be carefully placed in a paper bag (the tomb). The bag will be crumpled, and taken outside where it will be completely burned, completely destroying all evidence of the sin.
There are many great free resources online to help make your Passover seder memorable. You may want to search for Passover coloring pages, or Passover music, as well as Passover recipes. Many Passover music parodies have been written over the years which we believe add a great element of fun, as well as and help our children remember the story of Passover. A search for Passover parody will result in a selection of sites from which to choose.
It is our prayer that the resources provided here will enhance your Passover seder and that through our combined efforts, the name of God will be glorified.
O magnify the LORD with me. Let us exalt His name together.