The Passover Seder
During the Hebrew month of Nissan, which falls in the spring of the Gregorian calendar year, Jewish families commemorate the exodus of the Hebrew people from Egyptian bondage in the days of Moses (13th century BCE). At the same time, the participants of the seder (Hebrew for order – the meal follows a specific order which is described in the Hagaddah – Hebrew for telling [of the Passover story]) are mindful that these events are a prelude to the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai, so the seder is an occasion to relive the Exodus as a personal spiritual event. Outside of Israel, the seder is held after dark, on two consecutive nights. The second night repeats the events of the first night. Reform Jews limit the seder to one night. The head of the family usually wears a white ritual robe (kittel) and begins the ceremony by blessing the first of four cups of wine that are consumed throughout the ceremony, reciting a benediction, Kiddush, over the wine.