The Barebones Seder

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People from families where passages from the Haggadah are skipped during the Seder need to know what is absolutely required. I’ve never seen it spelled out explicitly except in regard to soldiers. Here is the relevant parts from what R. Nachum Rabinovitch advised soldiers who are in an emergency situation (Melumedei Milchamah, no. 83):

On the Seder night there are two biblical commandments and four rabbinic:

A. Telling the exodus story —

1. When you can take a Haggadah with you, take it and say as much as you can.
2. In an emergency situation, say: We were slaves… and God took us out; Our ancestors were originally idolators; Pesach, matzah and maror based on what…; the blessing on the Ge’ulah…

D. Hallel — There is no need to say it at the place of the meal, and you should say it wherever you are…

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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