The Seder-Summary

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer


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Chapter 12: The Seder[1]

The following is a mere summary of laws relating to the Seder, and hence footnotes and sources have not been recorded. The full details of this topic with footnotes, sources, and other insights is published in our corresponding Sefer “The Pesach Seder.”

 

General overview of the Seder:

The Shlah Hakadosh describes the order of the night of the Seder as follows: “After completing the festive prayer of Maariv and Hallel one is to return home. Him and his wife are to act like a King and Queen and his children are to act like princes. They are to prepare vessels of gold and silver and wear silk and expensive garments of all that Hashem has made available for them. This is all done to express one’s great joy and gratitude of all the kindness that Hashem has done for us. The holiness of this night and all of its accompanied laws and customs, contains much holiness, as on this night Hashem chose us as His nation from amongst all other nations, and sanctified us with his Mitzvos. Therefore, one is to beware not to talk any mundane speech on this night. One is to likewise warn his family not to talk of any mundane matters, in order so they not to be separated even one moment from their Dveikus to Hashem. The entire night they should be involved in the Mitzvos of that night, retelling the story of the exodus, and publicizing it to his family. However, one who knows the Kabalistic intents of this night is to spend his time dealing with them.”

 

The Mitzvos:

During the Seder we fulfill two Biblical positive commands and a number of Rabbinical commands. The main Mitzvah which encompasses the majority of the steps of the Seder is the Mitzvah of Sipur Yetzias Mitzrayim. The following are the commands:

1.       Saying over the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim. [Biblical]

2.       Eating a Kezayis of Matzah. [Biblical]

3.       Drinking four cups of wine. [Rabbinical]

4.       Eating Maror. [Rabbinical]

 

Erev Pesach Seder preparation to do list:

See Chapter 10 Halacha 16!

 

 

  1. The order upon returning home:

Coming home to a set table: One is to prepare the Seder table on Erev Pesach, before Yom Tov. [This is however with exception to the Seder plate which is only prepared once the father returns from Shul. The cushions for leaning are to also be prepared at this time. It is not necessary to prepare cushions for women if they are not accustomed to lean.]

Having beautiful vessels on the table: On the night of Pesach one is to set the table with his most beautiful vessels. One is to place vessels of beauty on the table even if does not plan to use it during the meal.

Coming home immediately after Davening: One is to return home immediately after Davening has concluded in order to begin the Seder right away.

Acting like kings: The husband and wife are to act like a King and Queen and his children are to act like princes by the Seder. They are to prepare vessels of gold and silver and wear silk and expensive garments of all that Hashem has made available for them. This is all done to express one’s great joy and gratitude of all the kindness that Hashem has done for us.

Distributing nuts to the children: It is a Mitzvah to distribute nuts to the children on the night of Pesach in order to arouse them to ask questions regarding Pesach.

Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil when Pesach falls on Shabbos: When Pesach falls on Shabbos, one is to recite Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil in an undertone upon returning from Shul.

  1. Setting up the Kearah/Seder plate:

Its meaning: Upon saying the Haggadah one must have Matzah, Maror, Charoses, Zeroa and egg placed in front of him on the table.

The Matzahs: Three Matzahs are placed on top of a plate which is called the Kearah. The Matzahs are separated from each other with a cloth, also known as a Matzah cover. One first places the bottom Matzah, which is called the Yisrael, and then the middle Matzah which is the Levi, and then the top Matzah which is the Cohen. [The largest of the Matzahs is to be used for Levi.]

Selecting the Matzahs: We make a point of selecting specifically Matzahs which have a concave shape, similar to a bowl. One must verify that the Matzahs are complete [Shaleim] and do not contain any folded [Kefulos] areas.

The order of the Simanim: On top of the three Matzahs, which are covered by a cloth or plastic [known as the Matzah cover] one arranges the Simanim/foods in the order shown below. It is our custom to place the foods directly on the Matzah cover without placing them in individual bowls or a general plate.

Who should have a Kearah/Seder plate? The leader of the house [and all other males above the age of Mitzvos] are to have a Kearah/Seder plate arranged in front of them. Children who have reached the age of Chinuch should likewise have a Kearah.

When is the Kearah to be brought to the table? The Kearah is placed on the table before the Seder begins.

  1. The Simanim:

The Simanim include Karpas, Charoses, Maror/Chazeres, the Zeroa, and the Beitza.

Karpas: One is to take a raw onion for Karpas. If this is unavailable, or one is unable to eat raw onion, a cooked potato is to be taken.

Charoses: The Charoses is a thick paste which is made in memory of the clay. It is softened with a red liquid [wine or vinegar] in memory of the blood. The Charoses is made from apples, pears, almonds and wine. It is our custom to only add the wine later on during the Seder. The Charoses is placed onto the wine which had spilled from the four cups. We are particular to add only some of the Charoses to the wine rather than its entirety, in order to keep some of the Charoses free from liquids. [However, when Pesach falls on Shabbos, the wine must be added before Shabbos. Alternatively, one may make it on Shabbos into a very think batter, through placing a large amount of wine and making the mixture in the opposite order, which is defined as first place the wine in the vessel and then the Charoses, and to mix it with one’s hand or with the vessel itself, through shaking it. This must be done in order to avoid the kneading prohibition.]

Maror/Chazeres: One is to use romaine lettuce and horseradish for both Maror and Chazeres. This means that both vegetables are to be placed by the area of Maror and likewise by the area of Chazeres. If the leaves of the Chazeres became dry, then one cannot fulfill his obligation with them. However, the spine may be eaten even if it dried out. If the Maror was cooked or was soaked in water for 24 hours, then the Maror is invalid.

Shankbone/Zeroa: This is one of the two foods taken in memory of the Pesach and Chagigah sacrifice. From the letter of the law any dish may be used for this remembrance. However, the custom is to use a roasted shank bone [it is roasted in memory of the roasted Pesach sacrifice]. One is to use a bone with a small amount of meat. The custom is to use the neck of a chicken. The custom is not to eat the shank bone on the night of the Seder being that it appears to be like “Kodshim” [which may not be eaten in impurity]. For this reason, the shank bone may not be roasted on Yom Tov, [being that one will not be eating it then] unless one plans to eat it during the day. One is to leave some meat on the shank bone, despite the fact that one will not be eating it. [The Chabad custom is to remove almost all the meat from the bone.]

Egg: This is one of the two foods taken in memory of the Pesach and Chagigah sacrifice. From the letter of the law, any dish may be used for this remembrance. However, the custom is to use an egg. The egg may be either fried or boiled. The Rebbe used an egg that was still in its shell.

 

General Directives for the Seder:

 

Checklist

ü  Look inside the Haggadah prior to each step.

ü  Lean by Matzah, Korech, afikoman, 4 Kosos. Lean to the left, including Lefties. Women do not have to lean

ü  The Shiurim:

o   Matzah 28.8 grams. By Korech and Afikoman, in time of need may take 21.2 grams

o   Maror 27 grams Lechatchila, if unable then take 21.2

o   Achilas Pras: 4 Minutes.

 

  1. Leaning:

The leaning on the night of the Seder is done as an act of freedom, as this was the common practice of kings.

When? One must lean upon eating Matzah, Korech, Afikoman, and the four cups of wine because all of these acts are done to remember the freedom and redemption. By the rest of the Seder, it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to lean and is not required from the letter of the law. [The Chabad custom is not to lean by the other parts of the Seder, other than those mentioned above which are obligated from the letter of the law.]

How? One is to lean towards his left. This applies also to one which is left handed. One is to prepare his seat with pillows and covers, for him to lean on. One is not to lean on his thigh as this appears like he is in worry.

Who? All men are required to lean. Women are accustomed not to lean. When one is at the same table with his father he must lean however if he is by his Rebbe then one must receive explicit permission to lean. If he is eating on a separate table then he must lean regardless.

One forgot to lean: If one forgot to lean by the above required parts then by Matzah of Motzi Matzah [not Afikoman or Korech] and by the second cup of wine, one is to repeat the eating/drinking. However, by the first, third and forth cups, one should not re-drink the cups because he would have to make a new blessing of Hagafen and doing so appears that he is adding to the four cups. However, regarding the first cup, one should initially have in mind by the first cup to drink more wine afterwards and thus in such a case if he forgot to lean, he may re-drink the first cup leaning.

  1. The law of the four cups:

Drinking in order of the Haggadah: The four cups of wine must be drunk in the order of the Haggadah, otherwise one is not Yotzei.

How much wine does the cup have to hold? The cup must hold at least a Revius of wine. The cup is to be filled to its top. There is a dispute amongst Poskim regarding the amount of a Revius: The Grach Naah writes that it is 86 Mill. [2.9 fluid ounces] Others say that it is 108.8 mil [3.5 fluid ounces]. Others say that it is 115 mil [4.3 fluid ounces].

How much of the wine in the cup does one have to drink? Initially one is to drink the entire cup. If one is unable to do so it suffices for him to drink majority of a Revius.

Does the wine need to be drunk in one shot or can it be gradually drunk? One should be careful to drink the majority of a Revius in one shot. [The Rebbe writes that one should drink the entire cup in one shot]. If one did not drink the entire cup in one shot: Then if one took more than the amount of time it takes to eat a Pras of bread [over 4 minutes] to drink a full majority of a Revius, then he has not fulfilled his obligation. Furthermore, there are opinions who say that if it took one to drink the majority of a Revius, more than the amount of time it takes to drink a Revius, then he has not fulfilled his obligation. Practically, one should be stringent by the first two cups, that if he waited more than a Revius [between his first and second gulp], then he should drink another cup. [However, after the first cup, he may only drink another cup if he had in mind to be able to drink more wine with the blessing over the first cup, and thus he does not have to repeat a blessing over the cup being re-drunk.] However, by the last two cups, one may rely on the lenient opinion, as otherwise it will appear as if he is adding to the four cups.

Who is obligated to drink the four cups of wine? Both men and women are obligated to drink four cups of wine. Children: Girls and boys who have reached the age of Chinuch, which is the age from when they can understand the story of the exodus, are obligated to drink four cups of wine.

Should each participant have their own cup of wine? It is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar for each participant to have their own full cup of wine.

Are the participants to say their own Kiddush over their cup? They are not obligated to say their own blessing, and may be Yotzei with the leaders blessing. [Practically, the custom of many is to be Yotzei and not to say their own individual blessing.]

Which wines should be used for the four cups? All wines which are Kosher for Kiddush, are Kosher for the four cups. However, one should use the best quality wine which he has, whether it is red or white. If the red wine and white wine are of equal quality, then red wine should be used over white.

May grape juice be used for the four cups? One may drink grape juice if there is no wine available, or if one made a vow against wine [or one is unable to drink wine due to the alcohol content]. It is preferable to drink natural grape juice, rather than grape juice with additives.

Is a separate blessing over wine said also on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cups which are drank? Some have the custom to not say a blessing over these cups, as it was already included within the blessing said over the 1st cup. However, in these provinces the custom is to say a blessing on each individual cup, as each cup has its own importance.

  1. Children:

Girls and boys who have reached the age of Chinuch, which is the age from when they can understand the story of the exodus, are obligated in the following:

  1. Drinking 4 cups of wine
  2. Recite or hear Maggid
  3. Recite Birchas Hamazon
  4. Recite Hallel
  5. Recite Hallel Hagadol
  6. Recite Nishmas

The Seder

 

The importance of every step of the Seder:

Every person should perform the exact steps of the Seder as established by the Sages, and no part of this order should be light in his eyes, as every step of the Seder contains significance even if it does not appear so in the eyes of the person.

 

How many steps are there in the Seder?

There are fifteen steps in the Seder from Kadesh until Nirtzah.

 

 

  1. Kadesh:

Have in mind when drinking the first cup, to also drink other wine: Initially, one should have in mind upon saying Kiddush to drink other wine afterwards, if he so chooses. 

Having someone else pour the wine: It is proper to have someone else pour one’s cup of wine, as this is an act of freedom [which is to be emphasized on this night]. [Nevertheless, the custom of the Rebbeim was not to have someone else pour them the wine.]

Saying Shehechiyanu: One who did not say Shehechiyanu by candle lighting is to say it by Kiddush. If a man is lighting the candles, then he should say the Shehechiyanu by Kiddush. If he said it by candle lighting, then he does not repeat the blessing by Kiddush. If one forgot to say it by Kiddush, then he says it immediately upon remembering. The same applies in the Diaspora, that if one forgot to say Shehechiyanu on the Kiddush of the second night, then he says it immediately upon remembering.

Yaknahaz-Pesach that falls on Motzei Shabbos: When Yom Tov falls on Motzei Shabbos, one may not begin doing any Melacha which is permitted on Yom Tov until he says Havdalah, or recites Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh, after the conclusion of Shabbos. It is of importance to remind women of this requirement, and have them say Baruch Hamavdil prior to doing any Yom Tov preparations. When Yom Tov falls on Motzei Shabbos one says Yaknaha”z in the order of Kiddush. The order of the blessings is: 1) Hagafen 2) Kiddush Hayom 3) Ner 4) Havdalah 5) Shehechiyanu. An acronym of this is Yaknahaz. When Motzei Shabbos coincides with Yom Tov the blessing of Besamim is omitted from the order of Havdalah “Yaknahaz”. If one has a candle available, one is to recite a blessing over it after the blessing of “Kiddush” but prior to the blessing of Havdalah. [The custom is to say the blessing of Meoreiy Haeish over the Yom Tov candles that were lit. We do not place the candles together, and nor do we place our nails towards them. Rather we simply look at the candles after the blessing and then continue with Yaknahaz.]

May one drink after Kiddush? One should not drink any wine or intoxicating beverage after Kiddush, until after the second cup is drunk. However, from the letter of the law, if one does not have to say another blessing over the drink, such as he had it in mind when he made the blessing over Kiddush, then he may drink wine and the like, although as stated above, even in such a case one should not do so. Regarding drinking other beverages: one may drink as much as he wants of non-alcoholic beverages even if he is required to say another blessing over them. [Such as he did not have them in mind while saying the blessing of Hagafen, and they were not on the table at the time.]

  1. Urchatz

One is to wash his hands as he normally washes for bread, although without reciting a blessing over the washing. One may not to talk between the washing and the eating of the Karpas.

What does one do if by mistake he said a blessing by Urchatz? Some Poskim rule that one is to continue the Seder as usual and repeat the blessing of Al Netilas Yadayim again before Hamotzi, if he did not guard his hands in the interim. The Rebbe however states that the following is to be done: One is right away to perform Yachatz and Motzi Matzah, saying Hamotzi on the three Matzah in order to save oneself from a Safek Bracha Livatalah. One then eats the Karpas [without a Bracha of Ha’adama, as one is in middle of a meal]. One then continues with Maggid and Maror. Thus, in summary, the order according to the Rebbe is: a) Yachatz; b) Eat Matzah; c) Karpas without Bracha; d) Maggid; e) Maror.

  1. Karpas:

The reason behind Karpas: The Karpas was instituted to be eaten in order to make the children wonder at what is being done, and thereby ask questions on it. The reason for why we want the children to ask questions is because the Mitzvah of telling over the story of leaving Egypt, is for it to be said as an answer to a question that was asked. This is learned from the verse “When your child asks you”.

Which vegetable is used for Karpas? The custom is to use a vegetable called Karpas as it stands for “600,000 were made to work hard.” [This refers to an onion or potato.] If it is not available, then one may use any vegetable which has a blessing of Ha’adama, which is not considered any of the vegetables with which one can use for Maror.

Having the Maror in mind: Upon saying the blessing of Ha’adama on Karpas one is to have in mind to also include the future Maror in the blessing. The reason for this is as follows: There is a dispute amongst Poskim regarding if the Maror eaten later on in the meal is included in the blessing of Hamotzi over the Matzah, and thus does not need a blessing said over it, or if the Maror is not included in the Hamotzi and thus does need a blessing said over it. Therefore, by Karpas we take a vegetable which is Ha’adama and have in mind to also include the Maror in the blessing. 

How much of the karpas should one eat? One should not eat a Kezayis [17 grams] or more of the vegetable, as if one does so there is a dispute regarding if an after blessing must be said.

Dipping the Karpas in salt water: The Karpas is to be dipped in salt water or vinegar. The salt water may be made on Yom Tov, with exception to when Shabbos falls on Yom Tov, in which case it is to be made before Shabbos. If one did not do so before Shabbos, then it may be done on Shabbos following these three conditions: 1) One does so right before the meal. 2) One makes just enough to dip for that meal. 3) One has a ratio of salt that is less than 2:3.

Removing the Karpas from the Kearah: Once the Karpas has been eaten, it is not replaced onto the Kearah. However, the salt water remains on the table in order to dip the egg in it by Shulchan Orach.

Leaning: One does not lean upon eating Karpas.

  1. Yachatz:

Which Matzah is broken? The middle Matzah is broken within the cloth.

Why is the Matzah split? The reason for why the Matzah is split is because the Haggadah is to be said over “poor man’s bread”, and a poor man’s bread is not a whole loaf.

What does one do with the two halves? The larger half [is broken into 5 pieces] and placed under the tablecloth. [Our custom is to place it between two pillows. This is in memory of the Matzah which was wrapped by the Jews within their clothing. Others, however, are accustomed to place it in a pillow case, or the like, and then carry it on their shoulders.] The smaller half is placed back in between the two Matzos. There should be at least a Kezayis remaining in the middle Matzah that is placed back, [and if there is not, then one should add Matzah to it].

The Afikoman: The Afikoman should be placed between two pillows.

  1. Maggid:

General overview: The majority of Maggid, from Avadim Hayinu and onwards, is an answer to the questions asked in the Mah Nishtana and is the fulfillment of the positive commandment to tell over the story of Yetzias Mitzraim. One must explain the Haggadah to the women and children in a language that they understand in order to fulfill this Mitzvah. It is customary to read the Haggadah in a happy tune. Each person is to say the Haggadah to themselves.

Revealing the Matzah during Maggid: One needs to say the Haggadah over the Matzah/Maror/Charoses/Beitza/Zeroa. Therefore, all the three Matzahs should be revealed throughout Maggid. However, whenever one holds the cup of wine (by Vehi Sheamda and Asher Gealanu) we cover the Matzah. Immediately afterwards the Matzah is revealed.

Hei Lachma Anaya-Lifting the Matzah: The Matzah is to be lifted while this paragraph is said. [However the custom of the Rebbeim is to only reveal the matzos and not to actually lift them.]

Mah Nishtana: Before Mah Nishtana the second cup is poured and the Kearah is moved to the side. This is done in order to make the children wonder and thus encourage them to ask questions.

Who asks the questions of Mah Nishtana? The son is to ask his father the Mah Nishtana. If the son does not have the knowledge to say it then the father is to teach it to him. If one does not have any children to ask him, then one’s wife is obligated to ask him. If one is not married then he asks himself, or has a friend ask him. If one has a daughter, she is to ask the questions rather than the wife. If one has an older daughter, and a son under the age of understanding, then the daughter is obligated to ask the questions being that the son is too young to understand an answer and thus, even if he has memorized the Mah Nishtana, the father does not fulfill his obligation in his explanation to him.

Does the person being asked need to repeat the questions? No. However there are opinions who say that the person being asked is to repeat the question afterward. The Rebbeim were accustomed to follow this opinion, and would even repeat the “Tate” introduction to the questions. Practically, each person is to repeat Mah Nishtana after the children complete saying it.

Returning the Seder plate: After Mah Nishtana, one is to return the Seder plate and reveal some of the Matzahs.

Vehi Sheamda: By Vehi Sheamda, one is to cover the Matzos and then lift the Kos.

Spilling the wine by the Makos: We spill wine from the cup for a total 16 times because the sword of Hashem is called yo-cha and is the angel of Nekama. Some have the custom to spill with their index finger and some with the pinky and some with the cup itself. Practically, one is to spill the wine with the cup itself and not with ones finger. The wine is spilled by Dam, Esh, Timros Ashan, each of the ten Makos, and then by Datzach, Adash, Achav. The wine is spilled in a broken vessel, such as a chipped plate or bowl. Upon spilling, one is to have intent to spill the wrath from the wine. After all the above spills are performed one is to refill the cup with wine. 

Dayeinu: Dayeinu is to be recited without making any interval in between.

Holding the Matzah upon saying Matzah, and holding the Maror by saying Maror: When one recites the word Matzah in the phrase of “Pesach, Matzah, Maror” one is to hold the middle Matzah in order show it to the people at the table. Likewise, when one recites the word Maror one is to hold the Maror in order to show it to the people on the table. The custom in the Rebbe’s household is to hold the middle and lower matzos in their covering until the second על שום of the former paragraph. When mentioning the bitter herbs, it is the custom in the Rebbe’s household to rest one’s hands [both hands] on the Maror, as well as on the Maror to be used for the Korech until the second על שום of the later paragraph.

Hallel: One may read this Hallel in a sitting position. However, one may not lean upon reciting it.

May one drink after the second cup? One may drink any beverage to his heart’s content, after the second cup has been drunk.

 

  1. Rachtzah:

One now washes for the Matzah just as he would wash before eating bread. A blessing is recited prior to the washing.

 

  1. Motzi-Matzah:

Upon saying the blessing of Hamotzi one takes hold of the two whole Matzahs and the middle-broken Matzah. Immediately after this blessing, one drops the bottom Matzah, and says the blessing of Matzah with only the top and middle Matzah in his hand.

Having in mind the Matzah of Korech and Afikoman: When saying the blessing over the Mitzvah of eating Matzah, one should also have in mind the Matzah eaten by Korech, as well as the Matzah eaten by the Afikoman.

Does one dip the Matzah in salt? Some dip the Matzah in salt. Others do not do so because they want to only taste the Matzah taste [and so is the practical custom]. Nevertheless, one is to have salt on the table.

Which Matzah is to be eaten and how much is one to eat? One is to break off a Kezayis from both the whole and split Matzah and eat a Kezayis of each at the same time. One is to enter both kezeisim into his mouth at the same time, swallowing one entire kezayis at one time, and then swallowing the next entire Kezayis. If placing two kezeisim of Matzah in one’s mouth is not feasible, then one should first eat a Kezayis of the top whole Matzah, and afterwards he should eat a Kezayis of the broken Matzah. Bedieved, if one only ate one Kezayis of Matzah, within 4 minutes, then whether the Kezayis was from the whole Matzah or from the split Matzah, he has fulfilled his obligation, even if he talked in between.

How much Matzah must be eaten by the other participants? They are each to eat 27 grams of Matzah within 4 minutes. One is to distribute a piece of both the middle and upper Matzah to all the participants.

Leaning: All men must lean upon eating the Matzah. This applies to both Kezeisim eaten by the leader of the table. If one did not lean, then he must re-eat another Kezayis of Matzah.

Not to talk of matters unrelated to the meal from Matzah until after Korech: Being that one has in mind the Matzah of Korech when saying the blessing of Matzah, therefore, one should not talk of matters unrelated to the meal until after Korech, as otherwise the blessing is considered interrupted and it does not count for the Matzah eaten by Korech. Some have the custom to not talk of unrelated matters until after eating the Afikoman [as we also have the Afikoman in mind when saying the blessing over the Matzah] however this custom is a mere superfluous stringency. [This was not the custom of Beis Harav.]

Old and sick: Old or sick people may dip a Kezayis Matzah in water if they cannot eat the Matzah in its hard state.

 

  1. Maror:

Lettuce and horseradish: For Maror, we eat both from the lettuce leaves and horseradish.

Eating the Maror immediately after finishing eating the Matzah: The Maror is to be eaten immediately after eating the Matzah.

How much Maror does one have to eat and in how much time? One is to initially try to eat 27 grams of Maror within 4 minutes. If this is difficult then one may even initially eat 21.2 grams of Maror within 4 minutes. Many write that one may even initially take only 17 grams worth of leaves which is approximately one large leaf or two medium leaves. Both the lettuce leaves and horseradish combine to make up this amount and hence one needs to only take a combined amount of 27 or 21 or 17 grams of leaves together with horseradish.

To place the entire Kezayis in ones mouth simultaneously: It is best for one to place a full Kezayis in ones mouth simultaneously and then swallow it. If this is difficult, then one may rely on the opinion who holds that this is not needed, and thus one may eat it within the time of pras [4 minutes]. If at least 17 grams was not eaten within the time of Pras, then one has not fulfilled his obligation.

Dipping the Maror in the Charoses: Before eating the Maror, it is to be partially dipped into the Charoses. After the Maror is dipped into the Charoses one is to immediately shake it off. As well, the Maror should not be left to soak in the Charoses, and rather is to be immediately removed after dipping it in. It is our custom to only add the wine to the Charoses now, during the Seder. The Charoses is placed onto the wine which had spilled from the four cups. We are particular to add only some of the Charoses to the wine rather than its entirety, in order to keep some of the Charoses free from liquids. [However, when Pesach falls on Shabbos, the wine must be added before Shabbos. Alternatively, one may make it on Shabbos into a very think batter, through placing a large amount of wine and making the mixture in the opposite order, which is defined as first place the wine in the vessel and then the Charoses, and to mix it with one’s hand or with the vessel itself, through shaking it. This must be done in order to avoid the kneading prohibition.]

When is the blessing over the Maror said; Before or after dipping it into the Charoses? One is to say the blessing only after he has already dipped the Maror in the Charoses.

Having in mind the Maror of Korech when saying the blessing: One is to have in mind the Maror of Korech upon saying the blessing over the Maror.

Does one lean when eating the Maror? There is no obligation to lean while eating the Maror, although one is allowed to do so. [Practically, our custom is not to lean.]

 

  1. Korech:

The reason behind Korech: Hillel is of the opinion that in the times of the Temple one only fulfilled his obligation if he eats the Matzah, Maror, and Pesach together. Therefore, according to his opinion, after eating the Matzah alone without the Maror one is to then eat the Maror with the Matzah, and only if one eats them together does one fulfill the Rabbinical Mitzvah of eating Maror.

Lettuce and horseradish: For the Maror of Korech, we eat both from the lettuce leaves and horseradish of the second Maror [Chazeres].

How much Matzah and Maror does one eat and how is it eaten? Lechatchilah, one should eat a Kezayis of Matzah and a Kezayis of Maror simultaneously. If this is difficult, then one is to eat part of the Kezayis of both the Matzah and Maror simultaneously, until one eats a full Kezayis of each the Matzah and the Maror.

How much is a Kezayis? One is to initially try to eat 27 grams of Maror and 27 grams of Matzah within 4 minutes. If this is difficult then one may even initially eat 21.2 grams of Maror and 21.2 grams of Matzah within 4 minutes. Many write that one may even initially take only 17 grams worth of Maror, and 17 grams worth of Matzah. Both the lettuce leaves and horseradish combine to make up this amount and hence one needs to only take a combined amount of 27 or 21 or 17 grams of leaves together with horseradish.

Dipping the Maror of Korech in Charoses? The custom is to dip the Maror into dry Charoses [that was not mixed with wine] and then shake it off.

Does one need to lean when eating the Korech? Men are required to lean towards their left while eating Korech. If one did not do so he is not required to repeat the eating in a leaning position.

 

  1. Shulchan Orach:

Eating an egg during the meal? Some have the custom to eat an egg during the meal in memory of the destruction of the Temple. [Our custom is to eat the egg in the beginning of the meal, and to dip it in salt water.]

May one eat roasted meat on Pesach night? One may not eat roasted meat or chicken during the meal. One may eat meat or chicken which was roasted and then later cooked. One may eat roasted fish.

Not to eat too much prior to Afikoman: One should not eat too much during the meal in order to retain an appetite for the Afikoman.

Dipping foods during the meal: Some have a custom not to dip any foods during the meal

Leaning: It is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to lean upon eating the meal. However, the Chabad custom is not to lean by the other parts of the Seder, other than those mentioned above which are obligated from the letter of the law.]

Check plate to avoid crumbs: Prior to placing food or drink onto one’s utensils, one is to check that they are free of crumbs of Matzah.

 

  1. Tzafun/Afikoman:

Does one fulfill his obligation even if he ate the Matzah on a full stomach? The Afikoman must be eaten with an appetite. If one was full and forced himself to eat the Afikoman, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. However, if he is full to the point that he is disgusted by the eating, then he does not fulfill his obligation.

How much Matzah does one have to eat for the Afikoman? One needs to eat a Kezayis of Matzah within pras [4 minutes]. Lechatchilah, it is proper to eat two Kezeisim within time of Peras, one Kezayis for the Pesach sacrifice and one Kezayis for the Matzah that was eaten with the Pesach. If this is difficult, then one may eat only one Kezayis. In such a case, one should intend that the Kezayis serve to commemorate whichever of the above two subjects is ultimately the one requiring commemoration.

How much is a Kezayis? One is to initially try to eat 27 grams of Matzah within 4 minutes. If this is difficult, then one may even initially eat 21.2 grams of Matzah within 4 minutes. Many write that one may even initially take only 17 grams worth of Matzah.

By what time does the Afikoman have to be eaten by? [On the first night] the Afikoman is to be eaten by midnight. [However, there are those who are lenient to eat the Afikoman after midnight even on the first night. However, on the second night, one can eat it until morning.]

May one eat the Afikoman in two different areas? One may not eat the Afikoman on two different tables. Rather, the entire Afikoman is to be eaten on the same table within the same room.

May one eat his Afikoman in a different area/house then he had the meal/Seder in?  One may eat the meal in one area and then eat the Afikoman elsewhere, [if he had in mind to do so when he washed for the Matzah].

Does one need to lean when eating the Afikoman?  Men are to eat the Afikoman leaning towards their left. If one ate the Afikoman without leaning, he has fulfilled his obligation.

May one eat or drink after the Afikoman, before the 3rd cup? One may not eat or drink any food or beverage, including water, after eating the Afikoman.

If one fell asleep during eating his Afikoman, may he continue to eat it? If one fell into a light doze, then he may continue to eat the Afikoman. Similarly, if he fell asleep prior to beginning to eat the Afikoman, he may eat it after awakening. However, if one fell asleep after he began eating, then if there are other members of his group which are still awake at the table, then he may continue eating upon awakening. However, if he ate alone, or all of the other members also fell asleep, then one cannot continue eating.

 

 

Stealing the Afikoman on the night of the Seder:

Some communities are accustomed to have the children steal the Afikoman on the night of the Seder and hold it ransom until the father redeems it with a promissory gift of some kind. Other communities, however, specifically avoid doing so due to resemblance of the stealing prohibition, and so is the Chabad custom to avoid this Minhag.

 

 

  1. Beirach:

The cup of Eliyahu: It is accustomed in these provinces to pour an extra cup [of wine] in addition to the [four cups] of the diners. This cup is called the cup of Eliyahu. 

When is one to pour the cup of Eliyahu: One is to pour the cup of Eliyahu before Birchas Hamazon, and prior to pouring the 3rd cup.

The third cup: The third cup should be poured after the Afikoman, before beginning the Bentching. The reason for this is because we want to do an additional Mitzvah with the cup by using it for Bentching.

Mayim Achronim: One does not place water on the lips upon performing Mayim Achronim.

Who leads the Birchas Hamazon? The custom is to have the person who read the Haggadah to lead the blessing said after meal, although he has permission to honor someone else to do so in his stead.

May one drink after drinking the third cup of wine, prior to drinking the 4th cup? One is not to eat or drink anything, including water, after having drunk the 3rd cup. This applies likewise to the 2nd Seder which is observed in the Diaspora. Nevertheless, one may drink entire 3rd cup even if it contains much more than a Revius.

  1. Hallel/Nirtza:

When is the 4th cup poured? After the 3rd cup is drunk, one pours the fourth cup.

Shefoch Chamascha: All the doors leading to the public are opened by Shefoch Chamascha to remember that this night is a night that G-d guards and protects us, and we are thus not scared of anything. In merit of this faith, Moshiach will come, and G-d will then pour his wrath on the Gentiles. Shefoch Chamascha is very auspicious time to ask Hashem for one’s requests.

Leaving ones doors unlocked throughout the night: Some even have the custom not to lock their doors at night when they go to sleep, being that it is a night guarded for G-d to take us out of the exile [and bring us to the upcoming redemption]. We thus leave the door open, as if Eliyahu will come, he will find an open door and will be greeted quickly. We believe in this, and this faith carries with it a great reward. Nevertheless, if robbers are common in ones area, then one should not rely on a miracle [and leave his door open].

Having a zimun for Hallel:  It is a Mitzvah to seek a zimun for Hallel. It is best to be done with three men above Bar Mitzvah. The greatest of the three is to say the verses while the others answer. If there are not three adult men present, then one can join a child that has reached the age of Chinuch, or join a woman. Even one’s wife can read the verses and have her husband answer. However, by a Katan, he can only answer and may not be honored to read it.

What does one say after Hallel? After Hallel is said one is to say “Birchas Hashir. Some say that this refers to “Yehalilukah”. Others say that it refers to Nishmas. We do like both opinions.

May Hallel and the 4th cup be said/drunk in a different area? One may say Hallel and drink the 4th cup in a different area than the area of the Seder.

By when must Hallel be completed? There is no need to finish Hallel before Chatzos.

To drink the 4th cup immediately after Hallel: One is not to make an interval between the end of Hallel and the drinking of the 4th cup.

Pouring the cup of Eliyahu: After the Seder, one is to pour the wine of the Kos Shel Eliyahu back into the bottle. One sings Keili Ata of the Alter Rebbe upon doing so.

  1. After the Seder:

May one eat or drink? One is not to eat or drink anything, including water, after having drunk the 4th cup, until one awakens from sleep of that night. This applies likewise to the 2nd Seder which is observed in the Diaspora.

The obligation to continue saying the story of the exodus: After the Seder one is obligated to discuss and deal with the laws of Pesach and the story of the Exodus, telling over the miracles which G-d has done for our ancestors, until sleep overcomes him.

Saying an abridged version of Krias Shema Sheal Hamitah on the 1st night of Pesach: [On the 1st night of Pesach] one only says the 1st paragraph of the Shema and then goes straight to Hamapil. [On the 2nd night of Pesach, however, one says the regular paragraphs as is said on any Yom Tov.]

 

  1. Mivtzaim Sedarim-What does one do if he needs to lead more than one Seder?

If one does not plan to do the Seder together with the public but rather prefers to do a private Seder afterwards in a different area, then the following is the order that should be followed:

Kadesh-Karpas: One says for them the blessings of Kiddush and Ha’adama to be Motzei them, if they do not know to say the blessing themselves. However, it is forbidden for him to eat or drink anything.

Maggid: One then says Mah Nishtana and explains the Haggadah in a language that they understand. One explains those matters which must be said from the letter of the law [see chapter 473]. One says for them the blessing of “Asher Gealanu” at the conclusion of Maggid, although he himself may not drink.

Motzi Matzah-Maror: One recites the blessings of Matzah, Hamotzi, and Maror for the congregation although he himself may not eat anything.

Beirach: One may not read Birchas Hamazon for the public being that only one who has eaten can bentch. However, it is allowed to read to them the Bentching having them repeat after him word by word, just like it is allowed to teach a child.

If one plans to do a private Seder in the same area after the public Seder concludes: Then one may say up until Maggid together with the public, and from Maggid and on-words is to continue the Seder for the public, and after the conclusion he is to continue from Maggid for himself.

May one begin the public Seder prior to nightfall? It is forbidden to begin the Seder [i.e. Kadesh] prior to nightfall [i.e. Tzeis Hakochavim].  [If one is making a public Seder in an area that nightfall begins at a very late hour, and fears that people will not attend, he is to start the Seder early, after Plag Hamincha, through Davening Maariv, saying speeches, Pesach skits, and saying parts of Maggid, and then begin Kadesh after Tzeis Hakochavim. If this too is not viable, then some Rabbanim suggest making Kiddush after Plag Hamincha and beginning the order of the Seder until Maggid. After Tzeis Hakochavim one is to begin Maggid and drink two cups of wine as part of the four cups. Practically, one is to contact his Rav.]     

Eating Matzah before midnight: One who is leading more than one Seder, or plans to lead his own Seder after the public Seder, must make sure to fulfill the Mitzvah of eating Matzah prior to midnight, as explained in chapter 8 Halacha 13!

Intending to fulfill the Mitzvah:[2] Upon eating the Matzah on the night of the 15th, one is to have in mind to fulfill the Biblical command of eating Matzah. One is to publicize this matter to the attendants of the Seder, especially if they have little Jewish background. If one ate Matzah without intent to fulfill the Mitzvah, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation so long as one knows of the Mitzvah to eat Matzah on Pesach, and knows that  the night is Pesach.  


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[1] Based on Shulchan Aruch 470-488

[2] See Admur 475:28-29

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