Introductory Material and Other Parts of the Haggadah

This page features Ha Lahma, Avadim Hayinu, The Ten Plagues, and other parts of the seder, including several from Judeo-Arabic traditions.

Judeo-Arabic

Near the beginning of Magid, there are a number of traditions in Judeo-Arabic-speaking communities.

Misharotam

Syrian (and other Sephardi and Mizrahi) Jews recite Misharotam, a brief theatrical exchange reenacting the Exodus.

Children practicing the Misharotam ceremony from the Passover seder. Jewish English text from Zimrat Ha'Aretz Haggadah, printed by Congregation Sha'are Zion in 1988 (Brooklyn, Syrian tradition).

Transcription, translation, and transliteration of the Mish-arotam ceremony courtesy of Asher Shasho Levy, based on his family tradition from Aleppo, Syria:

After the leader breaks the middle matzah, he places the larger piece (the afikomen) in a napkin. One participant holds this in his right hand over his left shoulder and recites:

 

.מִשְאֲרֹתָם צְרֻרֹת בְשִׂמְלֹתָם עֵל שִכְמָם. וּבֵֽנֵי יִשְרָאֵל עָשׂוּ כִּדְבַר מֹשֶה

Mish-arotam serurot besimlotam 'al shikhmam. Ubene yisra-el 'asu kidbar Moshe.

…their remaining possessions tied up in their bags on their shoulders. And the children of Israel did as Moses commanded (Exodus 12:34-35).

The seder participants then ask the person holding the massa‫:

Min Jayye?

Where are you coming from?

The individual holding the massa replies:

Mimmisrayim

From Egypt

The seder participants then ask‫:

Lawen Rayyih?

Where are you going?

The individual holding the massa replies:

Lirushalayim (be'ezrat ha-el)

To Jerusalem (some say: with God's help)

 

The maṣṣa is then passed to the next oldest, who repeats the whole ceremony. This continues until everyone at the table has participated.

Hagda Qsmllah / Hagda Qsem Allah

Moroccan Jews have a custom of reciting a passage in Judeo-Arabic at the Yaḥaṣ section of the Seder, when the leader takes the middle of three maṣṣot and breaks it into two pieces. This recitation demonstrates how God split the sea, serving as an introduction to the following section of the Seder, the Maggid, or telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

Here is the Judeo-Arabic text (transliterated):

Hagda qsem Allah libḥar, 'ala tnas leṭreq

ḥen kherjou jdoudna min maṣar

'Ala yid sidna unbina Mousa bin 'Amram

Ḥen fiqhoum ughatehoum, milkhdema se'iba alḥouriya.

Hagda yifiqna haQadosh Baroukh Hou wenomar Amen

(some say: Hagda yifiqna min had legalout, wejibna Liroushalayim l'aziza 'alina leme'an shemo hagadol wehanora.

Translation:

This is how God split the sea into twelve paths when our forefathers were taken out of Egypt by our master and prophet Moshe, son of Amram, peace be upon him. Just as at that time God saved and redeemed them from slavery to freedom, may the Holy One Blessed be He liberate us, our children and the children of our children, Amen may it be God's will.

(some say: May he redeem us from this exile and bring us to our beloved Jerusalem.)

Ma Chabar - A Yemenite Women's Seder Summary

(Text and translation from Yosef Qāfiḥ's הליכות תימן : חיי היהודים בצנעא ובנותיה and Madar, Vered. 2006. "Ma Khabar and Qussat Hannah: A Gendered Reading of Two Stories in the Culture of Yemenite Jewish Women." Nashim 11.)

Women in Yemen did not have the Hebrew education to understand the haggadah text, so they recited a summary in Judeo-Arabic:

What makes this night different from all nights? Our elders and forefathers left Egypt, the house of slavery. What did they do there? They mixed the straw with bricks and the bricks with straw. For whom? For Pharaoh, the absolute evil man, whose head is like a monster, whose mouth is like a furnace. And God brought upon the Egyptians: blood, frogs, locusts, lice, beasts, cattle disease, boils, hail, darkness, and the slaying of the firstborn. Even a wrinkled old woman, who had an idol made of dough – the dog came in and ate it, and she cried that night. And there was a great outcry in Egypt to fulfill the verse that says, “There was no house without someone dead.” And God saved them with a mighty hand and outstretched arm and great judgments, signs, and wonders, through our leader, Moses, may he rest in peace. And that is the answer.

Mitlu hadha khibz elmasakin

 

Ha Lahma in Syrian Judeo Arabic, sourced from Shaar Binyamin, transcribed by Asher Shasho Levy 

 

מִתלוּ הָאדָא כִבְז אֶלמַסַאּכִּין אִלַדִי אַכַּלוּ אָּבּהָָתָּנָא בְאָרְד מָצָר. כִּל מִינוּ

ג'וּעָאן יִגִ'י וָיָאכּוֹל. כִּל מִינוּ מִעְתָּאז יִגִ'י וָיָעאִד. הָאלסִנִה הוֹן. סִנִת אֶלגָ'איַה פִי בָּלָד אִסְרָאִיל. הָאלסִנִה הוֹן עָבִּיד. סִנִת אֶלגָ'איַה פִי בָּלָד אִסְרָאִיל בָנִין מָעָטוּקִין.

 

 

Mitlu hadha khibz elmasakin iladhi akalu abhataba be-ard maṣar. Kil minu ju'an yiji wayakol. Kil minu mi'taz iji waya'id. Halsini hon. Sinit eljaya fi balad Israil. Halsini hon 'abid, sinit eljaya pi balad israil banin ma'aṭuqin.

 

This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All those who are hungry, let them enter and eat. All who are in need, let them come celebrate the festival. Now we are here. Next year in the land of Israel. This year we are enslaved. Next year we will be in the land of Israel as free people.

Hadha khibz el miskin

Ha Lahma in Iraqi Judeo Arabic, transcribed by Asher Shasho Levy

הָאדָ‪'א כִבְז אֶל מִסְכִּין אִלַדִ'י אַכְּלוּ אָּבּהָָתְּנָא פִי בָּלָד מָצִר. כִּל

ג'וּעָאן יִגִ'י וּיָאכִּל. כִּל מִעְתָּאז יִגִ'י וִיְפַסִּח. הָל סָנָא נִחְנָא הוֹן. סַנְתְּ אֶל גָ'איָיא פִי בָּלַד יִסְרָאִיל. הָל סָנָא נִחְנָא הוֹן עִבִיד. סַנְתְּ אֶל גָ'איָיא פִי בָּלַד יִסְרָאִיל בִּנִין אֶל .מִטְלוּקִין

 

 

Hadha khibz el miskin iladhi akelu abhatena fi balad maṣir. Kil ju'an yiji wuyakil. Kil mi'itaz yiji wiyefasiḥ. Hal sana nihna hon. Sant el jaya fi balad Yisra-il. Hal sana niḥna hon 'ibid. Sant el jaya fi balad Yisra-il binin el miṭluqin.

 

This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. All those who are hungry, let them enter and eat. All who are in need, let them come celebrate the festival. Now we are here. Next year in the land of Israel. This year we are enslaved. Next year we will be in the land of Israel as free people.

Ha Lahma in Iraqi Judeo Arabic begins at 4:20

A Moroccan tradition is to recite the "Bibhilu" piyyut while waving the seder plate over guests’ heads before Ha Lahma. This video features this tradition among Jews in Brazil.

Ha Lahma is chanted at the beginning of this video.

Passing the seder plate over the heads of guests at a Moroccan seder. From Steven M. Lowenstein, Jewish Cultural Tapestry.

Ha Lahma from the English/Hebrew/Iraqi Judeo Arabic haggada from Naim Dangoor's Exilarch Foundation in London, 2000.

00:00 / 23:51
04 Tunisia Ya Illana S2 3
00:00 / 03:00
00:00 / 04:57
00:00 / 11:15

Recordings of songs from a Tunisian Judeo-Arabic haggadah

Judeo-Spanish/Ladino
12 - Haleua MidbarGreece
00:00 / 02:22
Passover song - Weich-Shahak collection
00:00 / 03:47

Ha Lahma Anya: Este el Pan de la Afrisyon

From the Sephardi Federation of Palm Beach County

Este el pan de la afrisyon ke comyeron muestros padres en tierra de Agyfto. Todo el ke tiene ambre venga i coma. Todo el ke tiene de menester venga i paskue. Este anyo aki, a el anyo el vienen en Tierra de Yisrael. Este anyo aki siervos, a el anyo el vienen en Tierra de Yisrael ijos foros.

Seder of a family from Rhodes. At 3:35 they sing Ha Lahma in Ladino.

This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, come and eat; whoever is in need, come and celebrate Passover with us. Now we are here, next year may we be in Eretz Yisrael. Now we are here as slaves; next year may we be in Eretz Yisrael as free people.

Seder of a family from Rhodes, singing the Ten Plagues in Hebrew and Ladino.

Avadim Hayinu: Siervos huimos

Siervos huimos a Paro en tierra de Agyfto, i Adonai, muestro Dyo, nos saco de ayi con mano fuerte i brazo extendido. Si el Santo bendicho sea, no huviera sacado a muestros padres de Agyfto, nosotros, muestros ijos i los ijos de muestros ijos huvieramos, continuado subjugados al Paro en Agyfto.

Chanting of the Order of the Seder and Ha Lahma

Order of seder and Ha LahmaNeil Sheff
00:00 / 01:04

Introduction to the Four Sons in Hebrew and Ladino

Intro to Four SonsNeil Sheff
00:00 / 01:04

We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord our God took us out of there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Had God not taken our fathers out of Egypt, then we, our children and grandchildren would still be slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.

Ten Plagues in Hebrew and Ladino

Ten Plagues part 1Neil Sheff
00:00 / 01:04
Ten Plagues part 2Neil Sheff
00:00 / 01:04

Jewish English

Several song parodies have become popular at American seders. You can see more here and here.

There's No Seder Like our Seder

(to the tune of "There's no Business like Show Business")

There's no seder like our seder,

There's no seder I know.

Everything about it is halachic

Nothing that the Torah won't allow.

Listen how we read the whole Haggadah

It's all in Hebrew

'Cause we know how.

There's no Seder like our seder,

We tell a tale that is swell:

Moses took the people out into the heat

They baked the matzoh

While on their feet

Now isn't that a story

That just can't be beat?

Let's go on with the show!

Our Passover Things

(to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music)

Cleaning and cooking and so many dishes

Out with the hametz, no pasta, no knishes

Fish that's gefillted, horseradish that stings

These are a few of our Passover things.

Matzah and karpas and chopped up haroset

Shankbones and kiddish and yiddish neuroses

Tante who kvetches and uncle who sings

These are a few of our Passover things.

Motzi and maror and trouble with Pharoahs

Famines and locusts and slaves with wheelbarrows

Matzah balls floating and eggshell that clings

These are a few of our Passover things.

When the plagues strike

When the lice bite

When we're feeling sad

We simply remember our Passover things

And then we don't feel so bad.

The Ballad of the Four Sons

(to the tune of "Clementine")

Jewish Neo-Aramaic

Recitation of various parts of the seder, including the Order of the Seder, Ha Lahma, the Four Questions, and the Four Sons.

Jewish German

 

El Bene - Bau dein‘ Tempel schiro

Allmächtiger Gott, nun bau dein‘ Tempel schiro.

Also schiro und also bald, in unsern Tagen schiro, ja schiro.

Nun bau, nun bau, nun bau dein Tempel schiro, barmherziger Gott, Demut liebender Gott, immerwährender Gott.

Nun bau dein‘ Tempel schiro. Also schir‘ und also bald, in unser’n Tagen schiro, ja schiro.

Nun bau, nun bau, nun bau dein Tempel schiro.

Du bist Gott und keiner mehr, bau dein Tempel schiro. Also schir‘ und also bald, in unsern Tagen schiro, ja schiro.

Nun bau, nun bau, nun bau dein Tempel schiro.

 

Almighty God, now build your temple quickly.

So quickly and soon, in our days quickly, yes quickly.

Now build, now build, now build your temple quickly, merciful God, humility loving God, everlasting God.

Now build, now build, now build your temple quickly.

You are God and no one more, build your temple quickly. So quickly and soon, in our days quickly, yes quickly.

Now build, now build, now build your temple quickly.

 

Ki Lo Naeh - Herr im Himmelreich

 

Herr im Himmelreich, dir ist keiner gleich. Der Engelschar singt immerdar.

Dein ist Glanz und Pracht, dein ist Himmelstracht, dein ist Tag und Nacht.

Du, o Herr regierst allein. Du, o Herr wirst ewig sein.

Glanz umstrahlt dein Reich, schützest alle gleich. Der Engelschar singt immerdar.

Ihm geziemet Preis und Dank…

Du, o Herr regierst allein. Du, o Herr wirst ewig sein.

 

Lord in the kingdom of heaven, none is like you. The band of angels sings continuously.

Yours is glory and shine, yours is of the habit of heaven, yours is day and night.

You, o Lord rule alone. You, o Lord will be forever.

Shine light upon your kingdom, you protect everyone equally. The band of angels sings continuously.

Praise and thanks are due to him…

You, o Lord rule alone. You, o Lord will be forever.

Lowenstein.jpg

Video of Steven M. Lowenstein singing Jewish German Passover songs

Jewish Malayalam

20 Mulamuteyon Ekan (Baby Moses Taken FrOh Lovely Parrot - Women of Karala
00:00 / 01:58
22 Misrinnu Mintatupole (Redeemed From EOh Lovely Parrot - Women of Karala
00:00 / 01:37
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

Subscribe to learn about events here, and follow us on Facebook and YouTube here:

Copyright © 2002-2020    Jewish Language Website 
Editor: Sarah Bunin Benor      Last update: 2020-10-20

HUC Jewish Language Project logo.jpg