The Passover Seder has four main parts: Kiddush (sanctification), Magid (telling the story of the Exodus), Shulchan Orech (the festive meal), and Nirtzah (Hallel—the prayer for the Messianic redemption). This sequence sets the natural arrow of time past-present-future.
Past. During the Magid part of the seder, we retell the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt—the narrative of the history of Jewish people. Eating of the matzah, drinking four cups of wine and other “simonim” of the Seder table—bitter herbs, an egg, a bone, charoset, etc.—are all symbols that have historical significance. This part of the Seder clearly represents the past.
Present. During the Shulchan Orech part of the Seder, we participate in the festive meal. We eat. One cannot eat in the past or the future—one can only eat in the present. Thus, the Shulchan Orech represents the present.
Future. After the meal, we recite Nirtzah—the second part of the Hallel where we praise the Creator for the future redemption. This part is directed towards the future.
As we see, the central parts of the Seder are arranged in the order of time: Past-Present-Future. Before it all, however, we begin with the Kiddush, when we proclaim the sanctity of the day. Kiddush represents the purpose. It is the purpose that orients the arrow of time from the past into the future.
Most physicists today do not believe that time flows from past to future, that it flows it all. Since Einstein proved that simultaneity of events is not absolute, physicists and philosophers abandoned our intuitive notion of the time-flux and the arrow of time— it is all an illusion, they say. This intuitive picture is being replaced by the block universe theory where the time is viewed as a block of ice. There is no arrow of time in this theory, no flow of time, no purpose.
This theory is utter rubbish! A world created by the Purposeful Being cannot be without purpose. Our Passover Seder is a testimony to the purposeful creation and our purposeful existence.
May we all have a purposeful and meaningful Seder, and a bright future ahead!