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Passover Seder Plate Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Passover Seder Plate Placement of Foods

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days (in Israel or eight days for Orthodox, Hasidic, and most Conser­vative Jews.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 begun. In the Northern Hemisphere Passover takes place in spring as the Torah prescribes it: "in the month of [the] spring­" Exodus 23:15). It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays

Passover or Pesach is an important, biblically derived Jewish holiday. The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commem­oration of their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. It commem­orates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. According to standard biblical chrono­logy, this event would have taken place at about 1300 BCE (AM 2450).

The Seder plate is the focal point of the procee­dings on the first (two) night(s) of Passover. Whether it is an ornate silver dish or a humble napkin, it bears the ceremonial foods around which the Seder is based: matzah, the zeroa (shank­bone), egg, bitter herbs, charoset paste and karpas vegetable.

Zeroa — Shankbone

Also transl­ite­rated Z'roa, it is special as it is the only element of meat on the Seder Plate. A roasted lamb or goat shankbone, chicken wing, or chicken neck; symbol­izing the korban Pesach (Passover sacrif­ice), which was a lamb that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, then roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night. Since the destru­ction of the Temple, the z'roa serves as a visual reminder of the Pesach sacrifice; it is not eaten or handled during the Seder. Vegeta­rians often substitute a beet, quoting Talmud Pesachim 114b as justif­ica­tion; other vegeta­rians substitute a sweet potato, allowing a "­Paschal yam" to represent the Paschal lamb.

Beitzah — Roasted Hard BoiledEgg

A roasted hard-b­oiled egg, symbol­izing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night. Although both the Pesach sacrifice and the chagigah were meat offerings, the chagigah is commem­orated by an egg, a symbol of mourning (as eggs are the first thing served to mourners after a funeral), evoking the idea of mourning over the destru­ction of the Temple and our inability to offer any kind of sacrifices in honor of the Pesach holiday. Since the destru­ction of the Temple, the beitzah serves as a visual reminder of the chagigah; it is not used during the formal part of the seder, but some people eat a regular hard-b­oiled egg dipped in saltwater as the first course of the meal

Passover Seder Plate

Maror — Bitter herbs

Bitter herbs symbol­izing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery the Hebrews endured in Egypt. In Ashkenazi tradition, either horser­adish or romaine lettuce may be eaten in the fulfil­lment of the mitzvah of eating bitter herbs during the Seder. Sephardic Jews often use curly parsley, green onion, or celery leaves.

Charoset — A sweet, brown mixture of foods

A sweet, brown mixture repres­enting the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to build the storeh­ouses or pyramids of Egypt. In Ashkenazi Jewish homes, Charoset is tradit­ionally made from chopped nuts, grated apples, cinnamon, and sweet red wine

Karpas — A vegetable

A vegetable other than bitter herbs, which is dipped into salt water at the beginning of the Seder. Parsley, celery or boiled potato is usually used. The dipping of a simple vegetable into salt water, and the resulting dripping of water off of said vegetables visually represents tears and is a symbolic reminder of the pain felt by the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. Usually in a Shabbat or holiday meal, the first thing to be eaten after the kiddush over wine is bread. At the Seder table, however, the first thing to be eaten after the kiddush is a vegetable. This leads immedi­ately to the recital of the famous question, Ma Nishtana — "Why is this night different from all other nights­?" It also symbolizes the spring time, because Jews celebrate Passover in the spring.