One of the main focal points of the traditional Passover seder is the maggid, the telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. This story begins with the youngest person at the seder asking the Four Questions (Mah Nishtanah), and don’t worry; if you’re the youngest and Hebrew isn’t your area of expertise, you’re off the hook! These questions provide the impetus for telling why this night is different from all other nights.
Mah nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilot?
How is this night different from all other nights?
- Sheb’chol haleilot anu ochlin chametz umatzah, halailah hazeh, kuloh matzah.
On all other nights, we eat chameitz and matzah. Why on this night, only matzah?
- Sheb’chol haleilot anu ochlin sh’ar y’rakot, halailah hazeh, maror.
On all other nights, we eat all vegetables. Why, on this night, maror?
- Sheb’chol haleilot ein anu matbilin afilu pa’am echat; halailah hazeh, sh’tei f’amim.
On all other nights, we don’t dip even once. Why on this night do we dip twice?
- Sheb’chol haleilot anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin; halailah hazeh, kulanu m’subin.
On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. Why on this night do we all recline?