Passover: A “Captivity and Freedom” Seder

As I have said in previous posts, it is good to: (1) cut the haggadah short in some way at your Passover Seders and (2) have multiple Seders during Passover week (or even some Seder-anticipation meals before, but without Passover matzah).

I will be having three Seders this year: one with my family on the first night, a congregational Seder the second night, and a “Meal of Messiah” Seder the seventh night (click here for the Meal of Messiah haggadah by Vine of David).

I promised to give some outlines for themed Seders. Here is the “Captivity and Freedom” Seder outline. I include a PDF file to use specifically with the Vine of David (Messianic) Haggadah (click here) and another PDF file to use with the Elie Wiesel Haggadah (click here). I outline what to include and some short scripts to explain the portions during the evening. This will shorten your Seder and liven it up with inspiration.

This is a general outline and script. At the end there will be two PDF files, one with page numbers from the Vine of David Haggadah and the other with page numbers from the Elie Wiesel Haggadah.

Say, “The Sages teach that we sanctify (Kadesh) for Passover by saying Kiddush (sanctification), which we do on every Sabbath and Yom Tov. Yet on Passover, Kiddush is over the first of four mandated cups of wine. Those who are slaves or exiles would not be able to obtain wine. In saying this blessing and drinking wine, we assert our freedom and think of those who have been, are, and will be unable to enjoy the fruit of the vine before the great Jubilee of God comes.”


Say, “If the greens are life, the saltwater is tears, like the collected tears of those in exile and slavery. How tragic that lives are immersed in tears and captivity. May the Eternal set all the captives free by the hand of his Messiah.”

Say, “The broken bread is poor man’s bread. One half can be said to represent the first redemption from Egypt, which was reversed and so we now have poverty and captivity in the world. The larger halfis Afikoman, and it can be said to represent the second redemption which comes at the hands of our Messiah, which will never be reversed.”

Read only the parts listed below. Those unlisted are to be omitted in this themed Seder.

Say, “Did our ancestors actually eat matzah while slaves in Egypt? Some commentators have said this statement is untrue. Whether the slaves in Egypt had time always to raise the dough and eat soft bread is unknown, but matzah is bread of distress at any time. So, in eating it tonight we remember those whose lives are too difficult to have the luxuries of life. We invite the hungry to join our Seder and this is a sign that the world is still in exile and slavery. The generation that wrote this said, ‘Now we are slaves,’ because they were in exile in the Roman empire. We are still in exile until the Kingdom of the Holy One, Blessed be He, comes.”

MAH NISHTANAH (Four Questions)
Give these answers after the questions are recited by a child, “BREAD-Captives fleeing have only poor bread to eat. BITTER HERBS-Life is bitter for many in this world. DIPPING-We have the luxury or dipping vegetable while others are hungry and saltwater is like their tears. RECLINING-We are blessed to be able to recline in freedom; may Messiah grant such freedom to the world.”

AVADIM (We Were Slaves)
Say, “We tell the story again and again. If the world truly understood captivity and freedom, Messiah would come. If evil were really exposed, if all desired to walk in the light, the light would come. God set us free, but we chose exile again. Likewise all peoples of the world choose exile again and again. Even if we were wise, we would tell it again and again. Blessed are those who experience freedom that is never reversed.”

BARUCH SHOMER (Blessed is He who keeps His promise)

V’HI SHE’AMDAH (And it is this promise)
Stop before Tzei Ullamed (Go forth and learn what Laban…). Say, “In this captivity, many have been lost. Millions have perished. But the nation has been saved, blessed is the Eternal.”

ELU ESER MAKOT (These are the Ten Plagues)
Stop before the saying of R. Yosi. Remove a drop from the second cup as each plague is recited. Say, “As wine drops fall from our fingers, so the plagues fell from the finger of God. So again will the final judgment be like the Ten Plagues, only worse, as the captivity of men and women is ended by a judgment of fire from the finger of God. Blessed are they who serve the Eternal in bringing justice and peace before the finger of God sends final judgment. Blessed are they who have the sign of Messiah’s blood and as disciples serve and heal the way he did. For all who turn away the afflicted one turn away Messiah himself. But those who give water to the afflicted one quench the thirst of Messiah and will in turn drink wine with him.”


Read the saying of Gamliel and the explanation for all three items.

BARUCH ATTAH ADONAI ELOHEINU MELECH HA’OLAM ASHER GE’ALANU (Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the World, who redeemed us…)
Say the blessing and drink the second cup while reclining on your neighbor to the left.

RACHTZAH (Handwashing)

MOTZI MATZAH (Breaking and Eating the Two and Half Matzahs)
Say, “Now we eat the bread of affliction, but it is also the bread of the festival. As the matzah is both a sign of hardship and rejoicing, so it is with this world for us. If we are able to recline, to drink, and to eat bread and delicacies tonight, then in one sense we are free. So this is bread of rejoicing. Yet we are not ultimately free, but in exile with the world and Messiah is with us in this exile. So, for now, let us rejoice and eat this bread. Our Messiah said he fervently desired to eat Passover with his disciples and he spoke of a cup in the coming kingdom. So let us eat now in anticipation of ultimate freedom for the world.”

Note: Some haggadahs have you dip lettuce-as-maror into charoset. Others suggest thin slices of horseradish root as maror. A third option would be to use matzah to hold grated horseradish and put a little charoset on it. Say, “Many Pharaohs have risen up to embitter the lives of countless people. In our time the tears of slavery still fall unanswered. The sweet charoset reminds us that the promise of redemption is sweet to those who believe even while in exile and servitude. Let us mix the knowledge of suffering with faith in redemption through our Messiah by the plan of the God who so loves the world.”

KORECH (Hillel’s sandwich)
Since we do not have a Pesah (lamb), we use a piece of matzah on top to stand in for the lamb. Say, “The Sages debated whether we were to eat the Pesah, matzah, and maror separately or together. Hillel took the word “upon” literally and ruled we should eat together. Thus again we eat bitterness and redemption, maror and Pesah, together. While we wait for Messiah, we know both captivity and freedom.”

SHULCHAN ORECH (The meal is served)

TZAFUN (Eating the Afikoman)
Some think the matzah Yeshua called “my body” was the matzah before the meal (as in the Vine of David Haggadah). In this outline, we are keeping the Afikoman as the remembrance portion. The Afikoman is like the portion of Pesah lamb that was saved for last, to be the last food eaten on this night. Read a scripture such as Isaiah 53:3-6 and/or Luke 23:26-46. Say, “On the night he was betrayed, Yeshua recited the blessing, broke the bread, distributed it, and said, ‘Take, eat, for this is my body. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And so Yeshua is forever remembered as our Passover. We thank you, Our Father, for the life and for the knowledge that you made known to us through your servant Yeshua. Yours is the glory forever.”

BARECH (Grace After Meals)
After Grace, we take the third cup (redemption). Say, “And likewise Yeshua distributed the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.’ We thank you, Our Father, for the holy Vine of your servant David that you made known to us through your servant Yeshua. Yours is the glory forever.”

You may wish to abridge the Hallel praises and integrate some musical worship.

After reading, say, “Our Father, we look to Jerusalem for the end of all our captivity and the freedom of your kingdom. May the mourners be comforted. May the hungry be filled. May the pure in heart see you. Bless the meek and oppressed, the crushed in spirit, and the poor. Let the last be first and exalt the servant of all. Bring to us the life that is from above and may we, in Yeshua, be with you always in a Renewed Jerusalem and a Renewed Earth. Amen, come Lord Yeshua.”

PDF Files to Insert Into Your Haggadah
These are designed so they can be printed front and back and make a one-sheet (folded in half) insert into your haggadah:

Insert with page numbers for the Vine of David Haggadah:
Pesah “Captivity and Freedom” Vine of David

Insert with page numbers for A Passover Haggadah with Commentary by Elie Wiesel:
Pesah “Captivity and Freedom” Elie Wiesel


About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in Holidays, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, Passover. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Passover: A “Captivity and Freedom” Seder

  1. mjgot says:

    The inserts were a nice idea, but they fold the wrong way. It would be better if they read the same direction as the haggadahs.

  2. Pingback: The 2011 Passover Palooza of Information! | Messianic Jewish Musings

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