We now take the parsley, representing our joy at the dawning of spring after our long, cold winter, and dip it into salt water, a symbol of the tears our ancestors shed as slaves. Before we eat it, we recite a short blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-adama.
We praise God, Source of Life, who creates the fruits of the earth.
We look forward to spring -- to baseball and the reawakening of flowers and greenery. These things haven’t been lost, just buried beneath the snow, getting ready for reappearance just when we most needed them.
As a plant bursts forth with new energy to bloom, so too we recognize that at this time of Jewish history we are blossoming in different ways. As the garden needs tending, so, too, do our relationships with spouses, in-laws and families of other traditions. Weeding out all that is not necessary and loving, we make room for fresh insight and respect. We welcome those who sit around this table for the first time or the twentieth, bringing new ideas and insights to our discussion.
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