As the meal approaches on Seder night, we read the following - Rabban Gamaliel states, “Whoever has not referred to these three matters on Passover has not fulfilled his obligation, and these are they: the Passover [offering], unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. ‘Passover’—because the Omnipresent passed over the houses of our ancestors in
‘Unleavened bread’—because our ancestors were redeemed in Egypt . ‘Bitter
herbs’—because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our ancestors in Egypt .”
How do we cover this obligation? Other than actually reading the above passage, we have the Maggid section of the Haggadah, where the story of the Exodus and the holiday of Passover is told.
An excellent custom for this Shabbat before Passover, Shabbat Hagadol is to read the Maggid section of the Passover Haggadah in advance of the first Seder. This preview of the ritual meal offers a way to deepen our immersion in liberation consciousness. When given serious attention beyond the Seder itself, the Passover Haggadah offers us a message for transforming the way we eat and the way we conduct ourselves all year long.
Indeed, putting even a little effort into the service we will run alongside all the effort that goes into cooking and cleaning, can help us express in terms meaningful today our gratitude for our redemption from bondage and the start of our journey to a promised land.