Passover Seder Plate In Judaism

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No piece of art in the Jewish tradition so perfectly manifests the ethics, narrative, and stubborn pragmatism of the Children of Israel as the ke’ara, or Passover Seder plate. The Seder itself is inherently familial in celebration, and stresses the importance of community. However, before we turn our attention to how the Seder plate is so expressive in the Judaism, we must familiarize ourselves with Passover and the Seder. It is a story well-known worldwide, often from childhood: the epic tale of the prophet Moses, son of the Hebrew slave woman Jocheved who saved him from pharaoh’s wrath by hiding him in a basket in the Nile, where pharaoh’s daughter discovered him in the bulrushes and raised him as a prince of Egypt. It is here that the story…show more content…
Passover is among the most widely-observed holiday in the Jewish calendar, even among less affiliated or less observant Jews. Beginning on the fifteenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan (the Gregorian equivalent being approximately March and April), Passover lasts for either seven days in Israel, or eight days in the diaspora. In the Jewish tradition, a day commences at dusk and lasts until the following dusk, thus the first day of Passover only begins after dusk of the 14th of Nisan and ends at dusk of the 15th day of the month of Nisan. The rituals unique to the Passover celebrations commence with the Passover Seder when the 15th of Nisan has…show more content…
Thinking of the Seder plate as a clock face, the zero’a is placed at about two o’clock. The second item is the charoset, which a pasty mixture of fruits, nuts, and wine, is reminiscent of the brick and mortar that the Hebrew slaves used to construct the Egyptian cities during their enslavement. It is located under the shank bone, at four o’clock. At six o’clock is the chazeret, one of two bitter herbs on the plate which are used in the korach sandwich. The “bitter herbs” used here is usually romaine lettuce, but the leafy greens of a horseradish or carrot plant are also acceptable. Both the chazeret and the other bitter herb, the maror (located in the center of the plate) represent the bitterness of the slavery. It is noteworthy and worth pointing out that the Seder refers to the slavery in Egypt, but is also calls upon observers to look at their own bitter enslavements, such as bad habits or addictions. Next at eight o’clock is the karpas, which can be small slice of boiled potato, onion, or sprigs of parsley. At the start of the Seder, the karpas is dipped into salt water to signify the tears and sweat of enslavement. According some, the salt water is also (and arguably paradoxically) a symbol for springtime, purity, and the sea. Lastly on the plate is the beitzah at ten o’clock, a roasted egg included to remind

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