An Orange on the Seder Plate

Haggadah Section: Commentary / Readings

In the mid-1980s, Susannah Heschel and feminist Jewish college students put an orange on their seder plate as a symbol of inclusion of gay and lesbian Jews. They were building on traditions created by feminist chavurah groups earlier that decade. This year we add a citrus fruit to our seder plate to honor our LGBTQ history and to taste our liberation.

Torah teaches that we went forth from Mitzrayim/Egypt as a “mixed multitude,” or erev rav./p>

As we sit here at our table, we picture Jews and allies around the world sitting at their seder tables.

We hold in our hearts the LGBTQ Jews who are out and proud among our families and allies, and also those who are sitting at the table while in the closet.

We hold in our hearts the LGBTQ Jews who are not at a seder tonight or any night because they have been rejected and hurt by their Jewish communities. And we hold in our hearts every LGBTQ person who is living under threat in our country and around the world.

We picture every one of us here at this table liberated and free. We imagine a world where LGBTQ people belong everywhere.

[Sit quietly for a minute to imagine. Then go around the table, each person share one vision or image of that world.]

May all who are hungry for community find their way to all the love and belonging they deserve.

As we eat this fruit, may we taste the sweetness of a community in which all of us are cherished.

[Say together:]

Nevarekh et Eyn HaHayim, matir/matireh/matirah asurim/ot.* 

We bless the Source of Life, who frees the imprisoned.

*masculine/nonbinary/feminine Hebrew

Orange image by Pragya Kothari


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