The complete guide to Passover Seder Table

How to arrange the Seder bowl, what must be on the Seder table, when are the glasses poured and when is it time for the feast. The complete Passover Seder table companion

Ynet, Tzohar|Updated:

The Plate

Even if you do not have a formal Seder Plate, you can improvise by using small plates/ bowls and placing them on a larger tray/ plate. There is also a custom among Yemenite Jews to use the whole table itself as the Seder Plate.
The Plate contains 6 parts:
Shank bone: Roasted shank bone from a chicken or cow; vegetarians use roasted potato or beet.
Haroset: Haroset is usually prepared close to the time of Seder, unless it is store-bought. Ingredients vary by traditions, but commonly include apples, almonds, walnuts, and red wine. Prepare enough for the tray and for the Korech “sandwich” section.
Horseradish: Raw/ shredded horseradish root
Karpas: Typically celery or cooked potato
Egg: Hard-boiled egg in its shell
Maror: Bitter lettuce or other bitter greens
5 View gallery
תמונת ליל סדר משפחתי
תמונת ליל סדר משפחתי

What needs to be prepared ahead of time?

Matzot and vegetables
• Bottles of wine or grape juice; amount depends on the size of your cup; the minimum volume is 86ml. 1 liter contains approximately 8 small cups. Calculate the volume of the cup X number of participants X 4 kosot
• Matzah according to number of people and eating habits
• Celery and/or cooked potato, according to number of participants; not meant to be filling – about half a potato (or size of small matchbox) per participant
• Leaves of lettuce, medium-sized pieces, clean and ready, enough for each participant; if it is your custom to eat the lettuce with maror as well, prepare more additional lettuce.
• Hard-boiled eggs to dip in salt-water, for those who have the custom; approx. half egg per participant
• Bowls of salt-water
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שולחן ערוך לליל הסדר
שולחן ערוך לליל הסדר
Accessories and Equipment
• Matzah cover: if you do not have a special matzah cover with three pockets, napkins work perfectly to separate the three matzot from each other
• Cups for Four Cups; minimum volume = 86ml
• Kiddush Cup
• Cup for Eliyahu (Customary)
• Haggadot (can also be printed from online, and/or colored by children before the holiday)
• Afikoman holder (any cloth/ plastic bag will do)
• Pillows to sit leaning comfortably
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What Comes Next?
Print this guide out beforehand and we will remind you what step follows along the way.

Before we begin

On the table: 3 matzahs separated by napkins/ holder, Seder plate with symbols.
Make sure to smile at those around the table! A smile can go a long way in terms of shaping the environment of your Seder.
5 View gallery
ליל הסדר ליל סדר חג פסח חג הפסח
ליל הסדר ליל סדר חג פסח חג הפסח
Here is the traditional order of events on Seder night, as written in the Haggadah:
Kadesh: Pour Cup #1 for everyone, make Kiddush standing up; cup must be minimum 86ml and most of the cup must be drunk
Ur’chatz: Everyone washes their hands without a blessing; now is also the time to make sure your Karpas vegetable(s) is/ are on the table with salt-water.
Karpas: Traditionally we eat a cooked potato, or raw celery or parsley, dipped in salt-water. Eat a small amount; this is not meant to be the meal.
Yachatz: You will need a bag or piece of cloth to wrap the Afikoman. Split the Matzah into two pieces, the smaller one going between the other two Matzahs, and the larger one becoming the Afikoman. Find a subtle way to hide the Afikoman without the children noticing.
Magid: This is the one of the main parts of the Seder: Tell the story of leaving Egypt! The Haggadah is a starting point, but you should make this story-telling your own, through sharing questions and ideas. You can use this supplement for guidance.
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מתוך הגדת ריילנדס, אמצע המאה ה-14
מתוך הגדת ריילנדס, אמצע המאה ה-14
Page from the Rylands Haggadah
Rachtzah: Wash hands - this time with a blessing. If you still have not hidden the Afikoman, now is the time.
Motzee Matzah: Hold all three matzahs (now they are really 2 whole matzahs, and one half), and bless “Hamotzi”
Put the bottom-most Matzah down and bless on the other pieces “Al Achilat Matzah”
Break up the Matzah and distribute enough so that each person has a solid portion (approx. ¾ of a machine-made Matzah) Note that this means it may be preferable for each participant to start off with 3 of their own Matzahs for there to be enough.
Maror: You’ll need Haroset and clean lettuce leaves. Each participant receives a medium-sized piece of lettuce; eat it with Haroset.
Korech: Break a piece of Matzah and eat as a “sandwich” with Haroset and either horseradish or lettuce (maror).
Shulchan Orech: Now comes the salt-water dipping (eggs, vegetables, etc). And of course, the main meal! Make sure to leave room for the Afikoman.
Tzafun: Now is the time to retrieve the hidden Afikoman. Once found, it should be eaten by everyone at the table before chatzot (Halakhic midnight). After finishing the Afikoman, one should not eat anything else, but may continue drinking.
Barech: Pour the third cup and say Birkat Hamazon. At the end, bless and drink the third cup while learning. Pour a cup for Eliyahu (customary) and say “Shfoch Chamat’cha” (“Pour out your anger”) passage, typically while standing.
Pour fourth cup.
Hallel: Recite verses of Hallel and at the end, bless over and drink the Fourth Cup while leaning. Then say the Bracha Achrona (Final Blessing) over the glass of wine.
Nirtzah: Finish the Seder with songs and praises, each family with its go-to favorites.
May we merit to reach “Next year in rebuilt Jerusalem” together with the entire united Jewish People.
Israel's chief rabbi wishes Jews in the diaspora a happy holiday
(Alex Gamburg)
First published: 02:22, 04.05.23
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