- For vocabulary words pertaining to the seder plate and the ordered sections of the seder, see these listed separately in Worthwhile Information & Tidbits.
- For a list & explanations of the four names of Passover, see So Many Roots.
- These vary in difficulty, so it depends on level and goals as to what you choose to use (see some suggestions in the section Let's Get Busy). These words are grouped loosely by category. The character names are given in Hebrew form simply to have handy for decoding practice, other kinds of lessons or for blowing up size and printing out for some activity.
- Aharon אהרון
- Eliyahu Hanavi אליהו הנביא = Elijah the Prophet.
- Miryam מרים
- Moshe משה
- Par-o פרעה
- Yosef יוסף
Passover Themes and Foods
- afikoman אפיקומן
(from the Greek) = "dessert". With 3 matzot on the seder plate, this is the middle one. The leader of the Seder will break off a sizeable portion of the middle matza (of three). At some point he will quietly hide the larger portion for the children to hunt for after the meal. A prize goes to the lucky finder. The reason for this is that it is held for "ransom" – since the seder cannot be ended until the afikomen is returned ;-) . This was designed to also help keep the children more alert through the seder as well, of course.
- aviv אביב
- chag (singular), chagim (plural) חג , חגים
- chametz חמץ
= "leaven", or "fermented dough".
By the way, chometz / חומץ = vinegar, and chamutz / חמוץ = sour.
- cherut חרות
- eved (singular), avadim (plural) עבד , עבדים
By the way, the word for work in Hebrew (noun) is avoda / עבודה .
- hagada הגדה
= "telling" (like a narrative). Our manual & readings for the seder. Same root as lehagid / להגיד – to tell, and Magid / מגיד – the 5th section of the seder.
- ke-ara קערה
= the term for a seder plate, in the context of Passover.
In modern Hebrew for daily purposes though, ke-ara קערה is the word for bowl & tzalachat צלחת is the word for plate.
- korech כורך
= aka "Hillel sandwich" due to his custom (based on "you will eat it [referring to the paschal offering] with matza and bitter herbs" (Numbers 9:11). The modern word for sandwich is karich / כריך .
- koso shel Eliyahu כוסו של אליהו
= Elijah's cup.
- lechem oni לחם עוני
= "bread of affliction" or "bread of the poor". It represents the bread we ate during our slavery. The 3rd matza on the plate is the lechem oni. The other 2 matzot represent the double portion of Manna provided to the Israelites before Shabbat to cover 2 days, and are called lechem Mishneh לחם משנה
- matza מצה
= "unleavened bread".
- mitzrayim מצרים
- seder סדר
= order, sequence. Also the ritual service (in 15 sections) we perform at home the 1st night (or 2 in the Diaspora) of Passover.
- shalosh matzot שלוש מצות
= 3 matzot for the seder plate.
- yayin יין
= wine. We drink 4 cups of wine during the seder & also put out a cup for Eliyahu Hanavi.
The Holidays Calendar
- chol hamo-ed Pesach חול המועד פסח
= the intermediary days of Passover, treated as semi-holiday (there is also chol hamo-ed Sukkot) – working is permitted during these days.
- Pesach פסח
- shalosh regalim שלוש רגלים
= the 3 Pilgrimage festivals – also our harvest festivals – Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. At each of these times one would travel to Jerusalem to bring sacrifices to G-d at the Temple.
- yom tov יום טוב
= full holiday day – no working if you are observant. The first day (or first two, in the Diaspora) & the final day of the festival are treated like a full holiday.
From the Hagada
- Adir Hu אדיר הוא
= "Mighty / glorious is He". Poem sung at end of seder.
Describes how God's strength brought us freedom from slavery.
- Avadim Hayinu עבדים הינו
= "We were slaves" – song, part of seder.
- arba-a banim ארבעה בנים
= 4 sons / children. A part of the hagada which speaks of four kinds of children. They are characterized by how they ask about Pesach, and described as wise, scornful, simple, and unaware.
- arba kosot ארבע כוסות
= 4 cups [of wine].
- arba kushiyot ארהע קושיות
= 4 questions (literally "4 difficulties").
Traditionally recited by the youngest child able to do so.
- Chad Gadya חד גדיא
= "An Only Kid" (Aramaic). Song sung at end of seder.
Written for children's entertainment (designed kind of like a nursery rhyme). May be viewed as an allegory for the coming destruction of all who oppress others.
- Dayenu דינו
= "it would have been enough for us". Song, part of seder.
In modern Hebrew, day / די means "enough".
- Echad Mi Yodea אחד מי יודע
= "Who Knows One", sung at end of seder.
Each number (up to 13) covers something to do with basic Jewish beliefs, traditions etc.
- eser makot עשר מכות
= 10 plagues.
- Ha Lachma הא לחמא
= "this is the bread" (Aramaic).
Prayer at start of Magid, starting off with "This is the bread of affliction…"
Within this prayer is also an invitation for the needy to join us at the seder.
- Ma Nishtana מה נשתנה
= "What's different" (the start of the Four Questions).
We have some free multimedia samples from our Hebrew course that you may also find helpful – e.g. Hebrew vocabulary for counting, fruit, vegetables, and animals.
You can find these at our Free Hebrew Lesson Collection page.
(It’s a handy page to add to your links for teachers and families generally).