The Steps of the Seder as Accomplishments for our Lives
Rabbi Daniela Szuster
Some days or even weeks before Pesach we are very excited about getting ready for the Sedarim. We need to think about guests, meals, the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking, etc. In contrast to other Jewish festivals, we are very busy the days before Pesach. All of a sudden, we celebrate the two Sedarim and all the “magic” and excitement of the festival seem to go away. Pesach lasts eight days and not only the first two nights. However, even though we still continue eating matzah and having special meals, services, during Yom Tov of Pesach and Shabbat; there is a feeling that something is missing.
It is true that the Seder with its fourteen steps is designed only for the Sedarim. However, I believe that the structure of the Seder with its steps teach us a lesson not only for the first two nights but for the rest days of Pesach and the rest of the year in general. Each step shows us a journey for searching for meaningful and beautiful accomplishments we should look for in our lives.
Rabbi Uriel Romano, an Argentinian rabbi who was ordained by the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano, wrote this year “Kavanot for the Seder Steps.” I found these kavanot very meaningful and inspiring. They can be used as a guide not only for Pesach but for the rest of the days of Pesach and for the rest of the year. It contains relevant, spiritual, and important accomplishments we should look for during our lives.
During the last days of Pesach, when we feel that something is missing, we can take it as an opportunity of reflecting on our lives. Therefore, I would like to share with you these Kavanot. I added between breaks the meaning of each step.
I hope you enjoy this text, and find it as inspiring as I did!
Kavanot for the Seder Steps
By Rabbi Uriel Romano
1. Kadesh (Kiddush) -To a life of sanctity.
2. Urchatz (Washing of the hands) -To a life of purity.
3. Karpas (Spring Vegetables) -To a life of renewal.
4. Yachatz (Breaking of the Matzah) -To a life of sharing.
5. Maggid (Narrate) -To a life full of stories.
6. Rochtzah (Washing of the hands with blessings) -To the source of life.
7. Motzi/Matzah (Eating Matzah) -To a life full of flavor and sustenance.
8. Maror (Bitter Herbs) -To learn how to deal with bitterness in our lives.
9. Korech (Hillel Sandwich)-To accept the complexity of life.
10.Shulchan Orech (Meal)– To the shared meals and celebration of our life.
11.Tzafun (Searching for the Afikoman)– To find the hidden meaning of life.
12.Barech (Grace after Meals) – To a life full of blessings.
13.Hallel (Psalms of Praise)– To appreciate life like a song.
14.Nirtzah (Conclusion)– To never lose hope in life.