The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, , at sacred-texts.com
1. On the eves of the passovers near to the time of evening prayer a man must not eat till it be dark. And even the poorest in Israel must not eat till he can recline at ease, and they must not withhold from him the four cups of wine, even though he receives the weekly alms.
2. When they mix for him the first cup of wine, 1 the school of Shammai say, "he shall repeat the blessing for the day, and after that the blessing for the wine." But the school of Hillel say, "he shall repeat the blessing for the wine, and after that the blessing for the day."
3. The attendants bring before him greens and lettuce. He dips the lettuce in its sauce till he come to the time for the seasoning of the bread. They bring before him unleavened bread, and lettuce, and the fruit sauce, on two dishes, even though the fruit sauce is not a command. Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Zadok, said (it is) "a command, and in the time of the sanctuary they used to bring before him the body of the passover offering."
4. The attendants mixed for him the second cup, and here the son asks his father, and if the son have no knowledge his father teaches him, "in what is this night different from all other nights?" "Because in all other nights we eat leavened and unleavened bread. In this night all is
unleavened. Because in all other nights we eat every herb, in this night bitter herbs. Because in all other nights we eat flesh roasted, well boiled, and boiled. In this night all is roasted. Because in all other nights we dip what we eat once, in this night twice" (i.e. in the sauce and the seasoning). And according to the knowledge of the son his father teaches him. He begins in shame and he ends in praise. And he expounds from "a Syrian ready to perish was my father," 1 till he end the whole passage.
5. Rabban Gamaliel used to say, "every one who did not speak of these three things in the passover did not discharge his duty, and these are they:the passover, the unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. Passover, because OMNIPRESENCE passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt. Unleavened, because our fathers were redeemed from Egypt. Bitter, because the Egyptians made the lives of our fathers bitter in Egypt." In every generation man is bound to look to himself as though he in person went out from Egypt, as is said, 2 "And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt." For this reason we are bound to acknowledge, to thank, to praise, to glorify, to exalt, to magnify, to bless, to elevate, without limit, HIM who has done for our fathers and us all these miracles. He brought us from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to festivity, and from thick darkness to great light, and from servitude to redemption, and let us say before Him Hallelujah.
6. "How far does he repeat?" The school of Shammai say, till "a joyful mother of children." 3 But the school of Hillel say, till "the flint into a fountain of waters," 4 and he finished with a "blessing for redemption." Rabbi Tarpon said, "'Who redeemed us and redeemed our fathers from Egypt,' and he does not end with any other blessing." Rabbi Akiba adds, "So the Lord our God and the God of our fathers shall bring us to holidays and other feast-days yet to
come to us in peace, rejoicing in the building of THY city, and delighting in THY service; and we shall eat there the sacrifices and the passovers, etc., until 'Blessed be Thou, Lord, the Redeemer of Israel.'"
7. When the attendants mixed for him the third cup 1 he says the blessing for his food, with the fourth cup he finished the hallel, and said over it the blessing of the Song. 2 Between the first and second cups if he wish to drink, he may drink as much as he likes. Between the third and fourth he must not drink.
8. Persons are not free after the passover to ask for more food. "If some fall asleep during the passover?" 3 "They may afterwards eat of it." "All?" "They must not eat of it." Rabbi José says, "If they dozed?" "They may eat of it." "If they slept?" "They must not eat of it."
9. The passover after midnight renders hands legally unclean. False intention and the remains of the feast render hands legally unclean. 4 "When one repeated the passover-blessing?" "He is free from the sacrifice-blessing, but the sacrifice-blessing does not free him from that of the passover." The words of R. Ishmael. Rabbi Akiba said, "this does not free from that, nor that from this."
116:1 It was after the first cup of wine was drunk that our Lord washed the disciples feet (John xiii. 5; Luke xxii. 17.)
117:1 Deut. xxvi. 5-11.
117:2 Exod. xiii. 8.
117:3 Psalm cxiii. 9.
117:4 Psalm cxiv. 8.
118:1 The third cup was called the "cup of blessing" (1 Cor. x. 16). It was the one used by our Lord for the institution of the holy sacrament.
118:2 Psalm cxxxvi.
118:3 They may have been overcome with wine (1 Cor. xi. 21).
118:4 This is explained in the treatise "Hands."