Halachot of the Night of the Seder

Preparing for the Seder

The seder plate (Qe’ara or in Arabic “Sinya dBibhilou”) is set up after noon before the Hag; there is also a custom to set it up closer to the actual seder.[1] The tradition is to do so according to the opinion of the Arizal, with the salt water/vinegar not on the plate itself. In the middle of the plate is the maror. Directly on top is the zero’a (shank bone), and continuing clockwise is the haroset, hazeret (lettuce), karpas (celery), and besa (egg). Resting on top of all this are the three masot.[2]
Some have the minhag to set out a special cup called “Kos Shel Eliyahu HaNabi” and a place setting for Eliyahu HaNabi z”lé.[3] Most, including Ribi Shalom Messas, do not have this minhag.[4]
Some have the tradition to place roses on the seder table[5] while some put a bowl of live fish on it.[6]

The Seder Night

When the seder falls on Shabat, the minhag is to not say Shalom ‘Alekhem. Rather, the first step, Qadesh, is commenced immediately with “Yom HaShishi.”[7]
On the seder nights (nicknamed in Arabic “Lilt Lihgada”) men wear a white djelaba (Moroccan tunic) in honour of these special days.[8]
The custom is that the father of the household sits at the head of the table and directs the entire seder to ensure that it is properly conducted. At the beginning of each step of the seder he announces in a loud voice: “Qadesh,” or “Urhas,” etc. Many also have the tradition to sing the steps “Qadesh, Urhas, etc…” stopping at the one they are about to perform. For example, when starting “Magid” they sing “Qadesh, Urhas, Karpas, Yahas, Magid.”[9]
Some have the tradition to encourage the children to participate by saying to them: “Whoever has the strength to stay up until the end of the seder will merit seeing “Shefokh” (the last step of the seder which opens up with the words “Shefokh hamatekha ‘al hagoyim” – “Pour out Your wrath unto the nations…”) and the intent is that the children will get excited and ask “Who is Shefokh a boy or a girl?!” They will then stay up in order to see who “Shefokh” is, when really it is only the last step of the seder.[10]

Reading the Hagada

The common practice is that everyone at the table participates in reading the Hagada. Each person reads a paragraph word by word in a special tune with everyone saying the last sentence of each paragraph together.[11]
In many families the hagada is read only in Hebrew on the first night. On the second night it is usually read in Hebrew and then translated into Arabic or Spanish. Today, any language that everyone at the table understands must be used in conjunction with Hebrew because the main misva is to understand what is being read.[12]

Customs and Traditions of the Seder

a) Leaning

Although the general practice in Morocco was that women would not lean, nowadays, there are reasons to say that circumstances have changed and it is worthy for women to be strict and lean when eating or drinking the different required foods of the seder.[13]

b) Qadesh

The custom for Qidush is that the entire family stands, each with their own cup of wine in their hands. The father (or whomever is leading) makes Qidush with everyone responding “Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo” during the berakha.[14] When the father arrives at “asher bahar banu mikol ‘am” all those at the table recite it aloud with him until the ending berakha. Then the father alone says the blessings and everyone answers Amen, sits, and drinks the Qidush (first cup) while leaning (in Arabic “mrtba”) to the left.[15]

c) Karpas (Celery)

In some places only the father of the family would perform the washing for the karpas (“krafs” in Arabic).[16]
The common minhag is that one eats the karpas without leaning;[17] however, some are accustomed to eat it while leaning.[18]

d) Yahas

At the point in the seder when the middle masa is broken in two (yahas), it is customary to say a short paragraph in Arabic as follows:[19]
“Hagda qsm l’lah allab’har, ala tnas ltreq, hen kherju jdudna mn masar. Ala yid Sidna oun’Bina, Mussa bn ‘Amram, ‘Ala slam oursa, hen fiqhum ughathum mlkhdma se-iba alhouriya. Hagda yfiqna HaQadosh Barukh Hu, wenomar amen.”
“This is how God split the sea into 12 paths when our ancestors went out of Egypt by the hand of our master and prophet Moshé, son of ‘Amram, may peace be upon him. Just as God redeemed and saved our ancestors from slavery. In this same manner HaQadosh Barukh Hu will take us out [of our current exile], let us say Amen.”
Instead of this last sentence, some say:
“Hagda yfqena min had legalout, wejibna liroushalayim la’aziz ‘alina, lema’an shemo hagadol wehanora.”
“In this same manner we will be taken out of this exile and brought to our beloved Yerushalayim for the sake of His great and awesome Name.”
After breaking the middle masa it is said in Arabic: “Nins bin llmida llmindil, unins ‘lafiqomen – Half between the top and bottom [masot], and [the bigger] half for the Afiqomen.”[20]
In some places, following yahas, the father of the family acts as if he is leaning on a stick, with a package on his back containing the Afiqomen, and those at the table ask him “Me’ayin bata?” – “From where are you coming?” and he responds “Miyose-é misrayim ani, vezé ‘ata baqa’ HaShem et hayam, ubné Yisrael zakhu bekhesef vezahab shel hamisrim, vekevan shelo yakhelu lehitmameha, lo hispiq veseqam lehahmis veyasé-u ‘im ‘ugot masot ki lo hames – I am from the ones who left Egypt and now HaShem has split the sea and Bené Yisrael received the gold and silver of the Egyptians. Since they could not delay any further, their dough did not have enough time to rise, and so they left with masa (unleavened bread) because it did not rise.” Everyone answers him aloud and in a nice tune “veaharé khen yaséu birkhush gadol – and after this they left with great wealth.” Some say “vekhol hamarbé lesaper bisiat misrayim, haré zé meshubah” – “anybody that extensively tells over the story of leaving Egypt is praiseworthy.”[21]

e) Bibhilu

Before the passage “Ha lahma ‘anya” at the beginning of the hagada, Moroccan Jews, as well as some Tunisians, Algerians, and Yemenites, have the minhag to take the qe’ara and wave it over the heads of each person at the table, starting with the ba’al habayit (normally the father), and then everyone else descending from eldest to youngest. The qe’ara is waved three times over each person’s head followed by a soft bump. This is done while reciting in a special tune: “Bibhilu yasanu mi-misrayim, ha lahma ‘anya, bené horin” – “With haste we left Egypt, this is poor bread, [now] we are free.”[22] As the Qe’ara is passed over the heads of everyone, one should have in mind that it should serve to bring berakha upon everybody for the indicated reasons.
Some, specifically those from Marrakech and its surroundings, would do “Bibhilu” with a flowerpot and not the Qe’ara.[23]
Some have the minhag that when a family members is absent on the seder night the Qe’ara is waved over the table itself in their honour.[24] It seems to be that this was done by most people as a special berakha for the house regardless of the family’s presence.
Many wave the Qe’ara over the head of a pregnant woman four times. Already it is done three times over her, and a fourth in honour of the child that she is carrying.[25]
After performing “Bibhilu,” many say together in Arabic: “Hagda kherju jdudna mn masar” (“This is how our forefathers left Egypt”)[26] while others raise and point to the middle masa continuing with the paragraph “Ha lahma ‘anya.”[27]

f) Spilling Wine for the Ten Plagues

When the Ten Plagues and Ribi Yehuda’s acronyms for them (“desakh ‘adash be’akhab” and “dam vaésh vetimrot ‘ashan”) are said in the hagada, some wine from the cup of the youngest person at the table is spilled into a bowl after mentioning each one,[28] along with a simultaneous pour of water from another cup.[29] The remaining wine and water in the cups is poured into the receptacle into which the drops were spilled and the cups washed out.

f) Haroset

Haroset is the sweet fruit and nut preparation, eaten with masa and bitter herbs (romaine lettuce), which serves as a reminder of the brick mortar that Bené Yisrael made as slaves in Egypt. 
The custom is to make haroset using the following ingredients: wine, apples, figs, pomegranates, almonds, and dates.[30]

g) Maror

Sefaradim universally use Romaine lettuce (hasa, in Arabic l’ksas) as maror.[31] In the city of Dra’a a different green was used called “Leshan Tor;” if this was not available then Romaine lettuce was used.[32]
It is important to note that one should be very careful in washing all lettuce, vegetables, and fruits in order to remove any insects that may be on them, especially Romaine lettuce.[33]

h) Paragraph of Masa

When the father, or head of the seder, arrives at the paragraph of “masa” he raises it and asks aloud, “‘Al shum ma?” – “Because of what is this?” Those at the table answer him with the response written in the hagada. Similarly, this is done for Pesah and Maror, but for Pesah the zero’a (shank bone) is not raised nor touched; rather it is pointed to.[34]
Many kiss the masa and maror before eating them.[35]
When arriving at the paragraph of “bekhol dor vador” just after masa, everyone sings along until “ga-al Yisrael.”[36]

i) Amounts That One is Required to Eat

On the seder night one is required to eat specific amounts of masa and maror, namely a total of five kezetim of masa and one kezayit of maror.
According to Moroccan posqim, these measurements are determined in volume, not weight[37] and most are of the opinion that the sizes of eggs and olives have not decreased with the passage of time.
However, because it is difficult to properly determine the volume of masa due to air pockets and the like, the minhag of Sefaradim has developed to determine these measurements in weight. Accordingly, a kezayit equals 28 grams, or practically speaking, a half of a circular hand-made masa shemura.[38] Nonetheless, one should weigh the masa and maror prior to the seder in order to ensure that he and everyone at his meal have the necessary provisions to fulfill these Tora prescribed laws. One may even perform this task on Yom Tob, albeit with a non-electric scale, as it is for a misva.
An elderly or sick person is allowed to dip the masa for the misva in water to facilitate consumption.[39]
The proper amount of wine to drink is at least a rebi’it (approximately 3 fluid ounces or 89 mL). Ideally one should drink the entire contents of the cup. However, if one drinks the majority of it he has fulfilled his obligation.[40]

j) End of the Hagada

In some places they would wrap the Afiqomen with a napkin, put it on their backs, and walk around the room saying aloud “Kakha yaséu Yisrael mimisrayim, mish-arotam serurot besimlotam ‘al shikhmam, ubné Yisrael ‘asu khidbar Moshé” – “This is how Bené Yisrael left Egypt: with their bags packed and clothes on their shoulders, and Bené Yisrael did so according to the word of Moshé.”[41]
The doors of the house are completely opened when saying the paragraph right before Halel of “Shefokh….”[42]
There is a popular tradition for everyone to read Halel together including “Nishmat kol hai,” in its particular tune.[43] At the end of the seder “Shir HaShirim” is sung.[44]
In Nirsa, the poem “Had Gadya” is sung in Arabic or Spanish along with the Hebrew version.[45]

[1] Some set up the qe’ara earlier so that once everyone arrives home from the synagogue after ‘Arbit they will not be bothered by having to set it up then. The other reason is that one might have forgotten something and if this realization occurs around noon, one will have time to obtain everything needed. The reason for someone to set it up closer to the seder is only if they know that they have everything needed so at this time they will bring the children to help and spark their interest. See Osrot HaMaghreb (Pesah) and Ribi Abraham Hafuta s”t.[2] The arrangement of the qe’ara is based on Qabala with each component set specifically to parallel the sefirot (spiritual spheres: hokhma, bina, da’at, etc.); anything additional would be detrimental. See Netibot HaMa’arab2 (p.177), QS”A Toledano (Siman 421:16), and Kos Eliyahu (p.18).[3]. This is done to strengthen one’s faith by drawing the following comparison: Just like in the days when the Jews came out of Egypt and merited seeing that redemption, so too will they see the redemption of Mashiah speedily in our days, as this redemption will be heralded by Eliyahu HaNabi, zakhur letob. See Hoq Ya’aqob (480:7:7)[4]Yalqut Shemesh (p.107) records that Ribi Shalom Messas did not have this custom because there is no basis for it in Shulhan ‘Arukh and is originally an Ashkenazi minhag as Keter Shem Tob (Heleq 3, p.80) writes.[5] It is written in Shir HaShirim (2:2) “Keshoshana ben hahohim ken ra’yati ben habanot” (“Like a rose maintaining its beauty amongst the thorns, so too does My faithful beloved among the nations”). Hazal explain that Yisrael amongst the Egyptians reflects this pasuq. To embody it some would place roses on the table during the seder. See Noheg BeHokhma (Pesah §6, p.162) and Osrot HaMaghreb (Pesah).[6]Ner HaMa’arab (p.303) by Ribi Ya’aqob Moshé Toledano (1911).[7] Generally Shalom ‘Alekhem is recited on Friday night in order to greet the two angels that accompany the Ba’al HaBayit home from the synagogue. However, on the night of Pesah, HaShem Himself is present with us and thus no need to greet His servants. Similarly, it is written in the hagada: “Ani velo mal-akh, ani velo Saraf” – “I (God) and not an angel, I (God) and not a Saraf (a type of angel)” when describing who it was that took the Jews out of bondage. See Ben Ish Hai (Rab Pe’alim, Heleq 1, Sod Yesharim).[8] This serves as a remembrance to the white clothing worn by the Kohanim during their service in the Bet HaMiqdash since the seder serves as a remembrance to the Qorban Pesah. It also serves the purpose to make sure that we do not become distracted from this night. The white djelaba also serves as a reminder of the shrouds that were worn by the Jews in Egypt. See Osrot HaMaghreb (Pesah) and Ta’amé HaMinhagim (p.274).[9] The reason for this is in order to ensure that everyone present act like Kings who are free men. The announcement of every step ensures that everyone is concentrated on the hagada. See Bayit HaYehudi (Mo’adim Siman 27:22).[10] This helps the kids to stay awake for the entire seder to hear story of Pesah because children are the main point of the seder, as it says in the pasuq (Shemot 13:8) “Vehigadta lebinkha” – “And you shall tell over [the story of Pesah] to your son.”[11] Through this, people will be aroused to fulfil the misva of telling over the story of leaving Egypt, like halakha states we should. See Qobes Minhagim (Pesah).[12] This is so that everyone sitting will understand and will fulfil the misva of “Sipur yesiat misrayim – Recounting the story of leaving Egypt.”[13] Ribi Yehoshu’a Maman s”t confirms that women would never lean in Morocco. Shulhan ‘Arukh (O”H Siman 472:4) rules that women are not required to lean, and the Moroccan custom is based on this ruling. Rema further explains that the women did not lean based on the ruling of Ra-abia (Ribi Eli’ezer ben Yoel HaLevy ~1200s Vienna). Ribi Mordekhai Lebhar s”t adds another reason being that they were too involved with preparing the seder and would not be present at the table so much. Fortunately, nowadays, all women take part in the seder and thus should also lean. However, if a woman did not lean she does not have to go back and re-eat or re-drink that which she did not lean for, as is required of men.[14] The minhag of saying “Barukh Hu Ubarukh Shemo” is discussed and it is not considered an interruption (hefseq) according to generations of Spanish and Moroccan Sages. See ‘Emeq Yehoshu’a (Heleq 3, Siman 21) and QS”A (p.147).[15] Each person holds their own cup because everyone is obligated to drink four cups. Therefore, the father blesses and everyone stands with their cup ready to drink while leaning.[16] During the rest of the year Moroccans do not wash their hands before eating something dipped into one of the five liquids (among them water). Therefore, the father would wash his hands to invoke the children’s curiosity and prompt their questioning. See Kos Eliyahu by Ribi BenHarosh (p.20), ‘Emeq Yehoshu’a (ibid.), and QS”A (Siman 421:34). Ribi Ya’aqob Benaim s”t (Maghen Abot, O”H p.426 §36) writes that in Tetouan everyone would wash for the karpas. In regards to not washing before eating something dipped in one of the five liquids, see Maghen Abot (p.140) for more detail as this is the ruling of Ribi Shalom Messas (Shemesh Umaghen Heleq 2, Siman 46) and Ribi Yishaq ibn Danan (LeYishaq Reah §9) who attest to this being the ancient Moroccan minhag in line with the opinion of many Rishonim (see Mishna Berura Siman 158:20).[17] The prevalent minhag is not to lean because the karpas comes about only so that the children will ask questions. Therefore, leaning is not required because it is not part of the seder per say, rather, it is an unordinary action done to bring children to ask questions. See Ben Ish Hai (Year 1, Sav §32), Pé Yesharim (p.11) by Ribi Habib bar Eliyahu Toledano of Meknes, Qisur Shulhan ‘Arukh (Siman 421:36) by Ribi Refael Barukh Toledano, and ‘Emeq Yehoshu’a (Heleq 3, Siman 21). See further Maran HaHida in Birké Yosef (§14) who reasons to not lean because the karpas is a sign of slavery, and only those who are free are considered like royalty worthy of leaning while eating.[18] The Hagada Abotenou (p.5) cites this as the opinion of Ribi Refael Bibas of Salé, the grandfather of HaMal-akh Refael Berdugo, as cited by Ribi Abraham Anqaoua in his hagadaHuqat HaPesah (1840). This is also the opinion of the Abudirham and Ma-amar Mordekhai.[19] See the ‘Ereb Pesah Hagada (published in Livorno) as well as the hagadaKo Lehai who writes that the minhag is to say the above and its translation.[20] This piece of masa that is set aside for the Afiqomen is not hidden in the house or “stolen” as is done in some communities. Ribi Yishaq Hazan in his hagadaKo Lehai writes that the reason is so as to not habituate children to steal and act in devious ways.[21] This is done in order to illustrate the story of Yesiat Misrayim for the people at the table causing everyone to fulfill that which is said in the hagada “mish-arotam serorot besimlotam ‘al shikhmam” (“with their bags packed and clothes on their shoulders”), and that which is written (Shemot 12:11) “vekhakha tokhelu oto, motnekhem hagurim na’alekhem beraglekhem umaqelkhem beyedkhem” – “And this is how you shall eat it: your loins girded (prepared to run), your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand.” See ibid., Ta’amé HaMinhagim (p.285), and Ba-er Heteb (Siman 477:1).[22] See the hagada of Rambam (See Mishné Tora, Sefer Zemanim, end of Hilkhot Hames Umasa). The oldest source for the custom is the medieval hagada, Pesah LaDorot by Ribi Yishaq Al-Hadab, which seems to imply that this was customary in many Jewish communities. Ribi Yosef Benaim (Noheg BeHokhma p.163) mentions that Maran HaHida in Ma’agal Tob, observed this custom in Tunisia and Ribi Hayim Palaji (Hayim LeRosh, p.49) writes that it was also customary in Turkey. Ribi Yosef Benaim (ibid.) and Ribi Refael Barukh Toledano (Qisur Shulhan ‘Arukh Siman 421:17) both testify that this indeed was the custom in Morocco as well. There are multiple reasons for this minhag:
1) The simplest reason is to do something out of the ordinary to prompt the children to ask questions as writes Dibré Shalom VeEmet (Heleq 2, Pesahim 115b, ibid.).
2) It acts as a remembrance for the ‘Anané HaKabod (Clouds of Glory) that HaShem used to guide and protect Bené Yisrael in the wilderness for forty years. The circling of the qe’ara is alluded to in the pasuq (Shemot 13:18) “Vayaseb Eloh-im et ha’am derekh hamidbar yam suf…” – “And God circled the people toward the way of the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds….”
3) Ribi Hayim Palaji (Hayim LeRosh, Magid Siman 10) writes that the qe’ara alludes to the 10 misvot that correspond to the 10 sefirot (Celestial/Qabalistic Spheres) whose merit protects the Jewish people. With the “Bibhilu” ritual, the berakha represented in these spheres will fall upon the person beneath the plate. This explains why the plate is lowered and softly bumped on the person’s head; as a sign that the berakha should come down onto the person.
4) There is an allusion to this minhag in the pasuq (Tehilim 26:6) “…va-asobeba et mizbahakha Ado-nai” – “…and I circle around Your altar, HaShem”). The word mizbahakha can be an acronym for: Masa, Maror, Zero’a, Besa, Haroset, Hazeret, Karpas, all of which are the items present on the qe’ara with which is circled.[23] Pesah is also called Hag HaAbib (the Spring Holiday) so they would use a flowerpot, specifically a gladiola, to symbolize the beginning of Spring. This is known to be the tradition of Marrakech as heard in the name of Ribi Reuben Abitbol.[24] Generally speaking much is done to increase the happiness of the night and create a pleasant ambiance. Therefore, everyone in the family is acknowledged even in their absence. See Osrot HaMaghreb (Pesah).[25] A similar minhag is observed regarding Kaparot on Yom Kipur there the chicken/money is waved over each person’s head four times. See Qobes Minhagim (Pesah).[26] As commonly witnessed in Meknes, this tradition further express the implications of the sederplate (qe’ara) and all that it contains, see Meknes’ Iri (Pesah).[27] Acting and involving those present further publicizes the obligations of the night. See Qobes Minhagim (Pesah).[28] This is the common Moroccan minhag. Ribi Ya’aqob Benaim s”t (Maghen Abot, O”H p.427 §64) confirms that this was the minhag of Tetouan and its surroundings.[29] The wine is considered to have a ruah ra’a (a bad spirit) as it was used to commemorate the plagues, which is weakened by water. It is for this reason that the posqim advise spilling the wine into a broken container and then disposing of the contents outside in a place where people do not normally walk.[30] Even though Shulhan ‘Arukh does not mention them, Ribi Yosef Messas lists in one of his letters (Osar HaMikhtabim Heleq 2 §1128) the ingredients with which Moroccans customarily made haroset. Dates are added as a reminder of the pasuq (Shir HaShirim 7:8) “Your stance is like a date palm….” The Maté Moshé corroborates this and adds that raisins and wine are also used as a reminder of the grape vine to which Jews are compared. Rema lists the recipe for haroset (O”H Siman 473:5) where the Mishna Berura further explains that each of the ingredients can be compared to Bené Yisrael and are all derived from pesuqim in Shir HaShirim.[31] See Ribi Barukh Toledano (QS”A Siman 311:18) and Pé Yesharim (p.27). Lettuce in Aramaic is hazeret, also called hasa, which alludes to HaShem’s mercy falling (“has”) on us. Some have the minhag to use endives as maror.[32]Kos Eliyahu[33] See Pé Yesharim (ibid.) by Ribi Habib Toledano and the QS”A (Siman 311:27) by Ribi Refael Barukh Toledano who write extensively about the great prohibition of eating insects. The QS”A writes that one must check each leaf individually at least three times. He explains further that it is better for one who does not have properly checked lettuce to not eat it at all, or just eat the stalk. The Ko LeHai (p.121) writes that one must check the stalks many times with light from an electrical source. See Leb Mebin (Y”D Siman 99), Yismah LeBab (Y”D Siman 14), and Peri Toar (Siman 15) who also discuss the gravity of eating insects.[34] Since the paragraphs of Pesah, masa, and maror make up the main portion of the hagada until “Amar Raban Gamliel,” anybody that does not say these three things on Pesah and understand them is not fulfilling their obligation. Therefore, much emphasis is put on saying them.[35] This is to exemplify the love that the Jewish people have for the misvot, specifically the misva of masa, which is called by the Zohar “Nehema Dimhemnuta” – “Lehem HaEmuna” (The Bread of Faith). Similarly, the same act of kissing is done when performing many misvot such as donning tefilin and shaking the lulab.[36] From here on out, the reader of the hagada recounts in depth the misvot of the night, and gratitude is given to HaShem for all that He did for the Jewish people. See Qobes Minhagim (Pesah) and Osrot HaMaghreb (Pesah).[37] In accordance with the ruling of Ribi Shalom Messas (Mizrah Shemesh 98:1 & Shemesh Umaghen Heleq 2, Siman 73 and Heleq 3, Siman 45) which contrasts the ruling of Ribi Maimon Berdugo in his Leb Mebin, who writes that his father, HaMal-akh Refael Berdugo, measured kezetim in weight.[38] The Moroccan minhag is to follow this opinion, specifically as confirmed by Ribi ‘Amram Assayag s”t and Ribi Mordekhai Lebhar s”t. Sefaradi posqim contend that a kezayit is 28 grams; included among them Ribi Shalom Messas in the approbation to Miqra-é Qodesh by Ribi Moshé Harari, and Debar Emet (Siman 1).[39] See Pé Yesharim (p.27) by Ribi Habib Toledano.[40] See Kos Eliyahu (p.21) who says that the majority of Moroccan posqim rule that the size of an egg has not diminished over time, which puts the required amount to drink at 80ml. See Rashbash (Siman 44), Mayim Hayim (Heleq 2, Siman 14), Debar Emet (ibid.), VaYomer Yishaq (Siman 7), Yismah LeBab (Siman 8), and the hagadaKo LeHai (p.79).[41] This is the minhag of Marrakech. See Noheg BeHokhma (p.164), Osrot HaMaghreb, and Ta’amé HaMinhagim (p.283).[42] The doors are left open to demonstrate that the misvot guard and protect a person, that one has no one to rely on for protection except for our Father in Heaven, and that there is no fear of the gentiles. At what better time to do this than right before Halel when all the misvot of the night have been fulfilled; a night that is nicknamed “Lel HaShemurim” (The Night of Guarding). See QS”A (Siman 428:3), Osrot HaMaghreb (Pesah), Mo’adé HaShem (p.302), and Rema (Siman 480:1). To read more about this see mahzorMo’adé HaShem.[43] This is done because the spiritual importance of “Nishmat kol hai” is very great, especially on Pesah night when the concept of protection is greater than any other night of the year.[44] “Shir HaShirim” illustrates the unconditional and everlasting love between HaShem and the Jews and is said at this point to highlight this central theme of the night.[45]Had Gadya is a deeply spiritual poem that serves as a metaphor for the entire history of the Jewish people’s persecution and subsequent salvation through God’s hand. Even though it might sound like a “simple” poem, Ribi Ya’aqob Abihsera (Abir Ya’aqob) at the end of his sefer Bigdé HaSerad, writes two long explanations for each line of the poem, one based on the literal meaning and one based on the deep Qabalistic secrets contained within it.