Passover Seder – Shulchan Orech

2 months ago yhazan 0

Seder means order and on Passover, there are two nights in which a seder takes place.

Fun Fact: There were fifteen steps leading to the Temple, corresponding to the fifteen Shir Ha’ma’alot (songs of Ascent) found in Psalms. Similarly, the Seder follows a fifteen stage-process of ascent.

Shluchan Orech is the 10th. During this step, we eat the festive holiday meal.

 

My favourite part of the seder is the meal, because of all of the delicious food, but mostly, because of the unity.. I enjoy taking the time and laughing with my family and friends during the Shulchan Orech.  The pesach meal is never a dull moment at the Hazan family, conversations about politics, embarrassing stories, Judaism and of course the infamous “ remember when…” or “ when I was your age…” always have me enjoying and appreciating every moment.

 

There are many different customs surrounding the Shulcah Orech. An interesting one that most Sephardi Jews practice is saying “Bibhilouya salome mitzchayim halacha mania beinei chorin”  on every person attending the seder as well as on the table. Writing this article has opened  my eyes to ask why. After speaking with friends  and family my question about why this unique custom is practiced was answered!

 

Let’s back it up to Magid, Mitzvah of relating the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The words “Bibi Lou Yatzanu MiMitzrayim” (Aramaic for “in haste, we left Egypt”) are written in the Hilchot Hametz Umatza, the Rambam’s Hagada. The  Moroccan custom to chant “Bibhilu” while the head of the family passes the Seder plate over the heads of those present has many interpretations mainly remembering that Hashem freed the Am Israel from slavery. A great importance is placed on rousing the curiosity of children at the Seder, so that they may pose questions and further enhance the telling of the Exodus from Egypt. Inturn the plate raised above the attendees’ heads is symbolic of the Anane Hakavod (lit. “Clouds of Glory”) which protected the Jewish people when they left Egypt. Rabbi Haim Palagi says that, on a Kabbalistic level, there are ten Sefirot (lit. “Divine Attributes”) which are alluded to in the ten items on the Seder plate, as described by the Arizal. When lifted, the blessings from these Sefirot emanate from the plate and rest upon those present at the Seder table.  

 

Raising the Seder plate over the heads of those present at the Seder while chanting “Bibhilou” is a well established and ancient custom. Another reason for the chanting of “ Bibihilou” is to say l’ashana haba birushalaim— next year in Jerusalem—which is another way of calling for Moshiach.  Jews from every generation long to be in the holy land of Eretz Ysrael, for this comes this custom of saying “ Next year in Jerusalem”, “Ha shana habah be yerushalim.” Like other customs that call the Jews back to thier rightful holy land.  A “minhag” (custom) is the dipping of the egg in salt water is to commemorate the destruction of  the temple in Jerusalem.

No matter the tradition as Jews we have to understand that “ Kol Israel Arevim Ze la zeh”— we are all responsible for each other. Regardless the tradition, we will forevermore be united for this I say, Next year in Jerusalem!