Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pesach Part 3

The Seder Plate consists of six items that are placed in a very specific order.

  1. Shank Bone - a piece of roasted meat that represents the sacrificial lamb offering that was offered on the afternoon before Passover. You can also use a roasted chicken neck if a shank bone is not available. The shank bone is not eaten. After the meal it is refrigerated, and used a second time on the Seder plate the following night.
  2. Egg -
    a hard boiled egg represents the holiday offering brought in the days of the Holy Temple. The meat of this animal constituted the main part of the Passover meal. Place one egg on each plate. As soon as the actual meal is about to begin, remove the egg from the Seder plate and use during the meal.
  3. Bitter Herbs - remind of the bitterness of the slavery in Egypt. Fresh grated horseradish, romaine lettuce, and endive are the most common choices. This must be done before the holiday begins. Horseradish is placed on the Seder plate, on top of a few cleaned, dried leaves of romaine lettuce. After the recital of most of the Haggadah (book that retells the story of the exodus, from which the Passover seder is conducted) comes the ritual hand washing. Then matzah is eaten, followed by some maror (bitter herbs) followed in turn by a sandwich of matzah and maror. The plate is placed on top of the covering of the three matzot and is placed in front of the head of the household.
  4. Paste - a mixture of apples, nuts & wine which resembles the mortar and brick made by the Jews when they were slaves for Pharaoh. This is used as a type of relish into which the marror is dipped (and then shaken off) before eating.
  5. Vegetable - a non-bitter root vegetable that brings to memory the work of the Jews as slaves for Pharaoh. Place a slice of boiled onion or potato & place it on Seder plate. On the table, next to the Seder plate, place a small bowl of salted water. After recital of Kiddush (blessing recited over a cup of wine expressing the sanctity of the Sabbath or of a festival) the family goes to the sink and ritually washes their hands, less saying the usual blessing. The head of the household cuts a small piece of the vegetable, dips it in salt water, and gives each person at the table a very small piece over which they say the appropriate blessing.
  6. Lettuce - symbolizes the bitter enslavement in Egypt. The leaves of Romaine lettuce are not bitter, but the stem, when left to grow in the ground, turns hard and bitter. The Lettuce is used in conjunction with horseradish. It is used when eating the marror and when eating the matzoh and maror sandwich. Place the leaves in two piles on the Seder plate, one under the maror and one separately at the bottom.
*Information gathered from Chabad Lubavitch

1 comment:

Sarah Lulu said...

That was very interesting and all new to me.

Thank you for posting it.

Many blessings to you,

Sarah Lulu