shmura matza
Ultra-Orthodox Jews prepare 'shmura matza' in Kfar Chabad in central Israel Photo by Gil Cohen-Magen
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Blessed are You,
Creator of the Second Chance,
Vendor of questions and plagues
Just this once, just for this cup,
Come on down. Take a seat.
Take a sip. Taste. Volatize the esters
Of this cup meant to bring an end to plagues and questions.
Roll them on your Sacred Tongue, taste as if chewing
Taste what we taste
Come on down.

We're ready to leave Egypt now. We've said our goodbyes and punched the clock for the last time.

We've done what you asked. We sang Dayenu, which means "You shouldn't have. You needn't have. You're too kind."

We did what you asked. We went through what we had, and we took with us only what we thought we really needed.

We have gone two cups. We're almost at the river. No longer slaves, not yet free. It's getting hard to focus. We're ready to eat. Come on down. Your children are hungry. Some of them are already thinking, Make it stop.

This cup, this is the end of Magid. This is the end of the Q and A, of Your chance to explain.

Blessed are You, who created us, each of us wise and wicked, innocent and too full of shame to know how to ask.

This is the night of second chances. Of reliving seders remembered, and of asking children to remember what they are living now.

Come on down. Taste what we taste. Hold your demands.

Not tonight. Not this week. We're busy this week. We're busy cleaning and making crumbs, debating the meaning and the ethnicity of beans. This week we are serving You.

Help us, God, to remember that freedom begins the day Pesach ends.

Blessed are You, Creator of the human trait of rebellion, and, thus, inventor of freedom.

Next week, next month, may we take with us out of Egypt only what we really need. May we take with us out of Egypt the idea that we get freedom when we give freedom.

May You, and we, let all who are hungry come and eat.

Blessed are You, our Lord, our God who runs the world and sets the rules of nature, and who creates this fruit of the vine.