The (Crowded) Vegan Seder Plate
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The (Crowded) Vegan Seder Plate
The Seder Plate holds elements of the Seder story. This vegan Seder plate removes animal products, and adds the orange ensuring a space for women at this table.
- Zeroa - for some a 'roasted bone', but on our plate a roasted beet that represents the Passover sacrifice offered while the Temple stood in Jerusalem (before 70 CE)
- Beitza - for some a roasted egg, but for on our plate it is an avacado seed (or olives) representing both the Passover offering and the cycle of life and death.
- Maror - A bitter herb (horseradish), which reminds us of the bitterness of enslavement.
- Charoset - A mixture of fruit, nuts, wine and spices, which represents the mortar our ancestors used to build the structures in Mitzrayim (Egypt)
- Karpas - A green vegetable (beet greens), which symbolizes hope and renewal.
- Chazeret - A second bitter vegetable (parsley), again reminding us of the harshness of slavery
- Orange - acknowledging the role of women in Jewish myths, community and society overall
- Olive -
Reader: This year, our Seder plate has a new symbol – an olive. Why an olive? Because, for slavery to be truly over, for a people to be truly free, we must know that we can feed ourselves and our children, today, tomorrow, and into the following generations.
Reader: In the lands of Israel and Palestine, olive groves provide this security. When olive groves are destroyed, the past and future is destroyed. Without economic security, a people can much more easily be conquered, or enslaved.
Reader: And so this year, we eat an olive, to make real our understanding of what it means each time a bulldozer plows up a grove. Without the taste of olives, there will be no taste of freedom.
Keep one olive on the Seder plate, and pass out olives
A word about God: everyone has his or her own understanding of what God is. For some people, there is no God, while for others, God is an integral part of their lives. While we may not agree on a singular concept of God, we share a common desire for goodness to prevail in the world. And this is the meaning of tonight: freedom winning out over slavery, good prevailing over evil.
Please consider the source of...
¿Qué hace diferente a esta noche de todas las [demás] noches? ¿Ma nishtaná haláila hazé micól haleilót?
1) En todas las noches no precisamos sumergir ni siquiera una vez, ¡y en esta noche lo hacemos dos veces? ...shebejól haleilót éin ánu matbilín afílu paám eját, haláila hazé shtéi peamím?
2) En todas las noches comemos jametz o matzá, ¡en esta noche solamente matzá? ...shebejól...
Reader 40: In recent history, we have added an additional piece of matza in our Seder. This matza is set aside as a symbol of hope for the Jews of the World. It reminds us of the links that exist amongst us. While we observe this festival of freedom, we know that there are some areas in the world where discrimination towards Jews still exist.
At Passover each year, we read the story of our ancestors’ pursuit of liberation from oppression. When confronting this history, how do we answer our children when they ask us how to pursue justice in our time?
WHAT DOES THE ACTIVIST CHILD ASK?
“The Torah tells me, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue,’ but how can I pursue justice?”Empower him always to seek pathways to advocate for the...
Throughout our history, violence and persecution have driven the Jewish people to wander in search of a safe place to call home. We are a refugee people. At the Passover Seder, we gather to retell the story of our original wandering and the freedom we found. But we do not just retell the story. We are commanded to imagine ourselves as though we, personally, went forth from Egypt – to imagine the experience of being...
We are going to conclude our dinner tonight with a celebratory toast - a l’chaim.
Rather than filling our own cup tonight, though, and focusing on us as individuals, let’s fill someone else’s cup and recognize that, as a family and group of friends, we have the resources to help each other and those in our community if we are willing to share our resources and collaborate – whether those resources are...
Let us all refill our cups.
[Take turns reading. Each person is invited to read a grouped set of lines - or to pass.]
Tonight we drink four cups of the fruit of the vine.
There are many explanations for this custom.
They may be seen as symbols of various things:
the four corners of the earth, for freedom must live everywhere;
the four seasons of the year,...
The Passover seder serves many purposes. First and foremost it is a ritualized celebration of the Israelites’ dramatic journey from slavery to freedom. But even early on, the seder was never just about our history. As the format of the seder was finalized in Mishnaic and Talmudic times, rituals were included to make each participant feel as if they personally were experiencing the journey from slavery to freedom. This...
Is there really any reason for a sprig of parsley to be on the Seder Table? What is the connection between karpas and the Jewish People leaving Egypt?
Winter, with its bleak landscape and cold, short days, can lead to gloom and despondency.
In contrast, spring breeds hope. Seeds that have been frozen in the earth haven't died, and in the spring they re-awaken. Even when all is cold and dark,...
By Marge Piercy
The courage to let go of the door, the handle.
The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very
stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles
of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast,
a child’s naughtiness, a loud blistering storm
that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.
The courage to abandon the graves dug into the hill,
Our hands were touched by this water earlier during tonight's seder, but this time is different. This is a deeper step than that. This act of washing our hands is accompanied by a blessing, for in this moment we feel our People's story more viscerally, having just retold it during Maggid. Now, having re-experienced the majesty of the Jewish journey from degradation to dignity, we raise our hands in holiness, remembering...
Use this piece in tandem with the telling of the Exodus story. Think about the connection between the Jewish story of Exodus from Egypt to more contemporary examples of persecution and forced migration. How did the formation of the territory now known as the United States depend upon the forced migration of people already residing on the land?
The Hebrews’ Exodus from Egypt is a climactic...
There they were at the Seder table, as they always are. Between the first cup and the second cup, right in the middle of the telling of the tale, they made their appearance, right on schedule. First was the wise child, the one who seems to have all the answers; sober, sensible and responsible in everything he does. “We knew the end was coming,” said the wise child. “Mom had a long life, a good life. Her time had...
More Clips from Laura Craig Mason
RESOURCES & FOOTNOTES:
i Adapted from the Camp Kinderland 2003 Hagaddah.
ii “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963.
iii From Velveteen Rabbi’s “Hagaddah for Pesach,” Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, 2001.
iv Exodus 6:6-7
v Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group, 2006.
vi Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group, 2011.
In the words of the Ramban (Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachman, 1194-1270), “Since God will
not perform this sign or miracle in every generation to refute the evil sinner or rebel, we
are commanded to make a continuous remembrance and sign to that which our eyes
have seen, and to impart it to our children and children's children... to the last
From the order of the service, to the...