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
I'm in hour three of cleaning my kitchen and there's still no end in sight.
Crouching on my kitchen floor, refrigerator door open, food stuffs spoiling around me, I wonder
Is this what the Israelites did?
Did they throw out their moldy jars of pasta sauce and shriveled vegetables, so rotten I'm not sure what some of the things once were?
I have taken my kitchen apart in a rather manic...
“An Invitation to a Plant-Based Meal”
Adam Gorod, Jewish Veg. D.C.
Our food choices during the Exodus were so much simpler. We could subsist on manna alone. Free of animal products, manna was a bread from heaven with a taste like coriander seed. Today the options—even during Passover—are more varied. Any number of Kosher-for-Passover items sit in the curated displays of...
Remember the days of old:consider the years of many generations (Deut. 32:7)
Every year, hundreds of giant sea turtles swim hundreds of miles from their homes near Brazil to a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean in order to find their mates. For years, scientists tried to understand how the turtles could find their way every time, from so far away. It was a tiny island, and even airplanes sometimes had trouble...
Not Just Handwashing
Ask for two volunteers: one to carry a pitcher of water and to pour water over each guest’s hands, and one to carry a basin and a towel.
Use ice water to remember people who do not have warm water.
Have everyone take off their bracelets and rings, even wedding bands for the handwashing (or for the whole seder, to be returned when the afikomen is found) to...
The next item on our plate is the karpas: the vegetable representing spring. Many families use a green leafy vegetable because the green makes people think about freshness, coming alive, being healthy- all the wonderful things that go along with freedom. But when families do not have enough resources they can't always get fresh fruits and vegetables. When our family lived in Eastern Europe it was also...
After performing most of the central mitzvot of the evening (telling the story of the Exodus eating matza and maror, etc.) and just before we are about to enjoy the festive holiday meal, the haggadah structures a moment in which we symbolically repeat the practice of Hillel the Elder who would “wrap” his portion of the paschal offering with matza and maror and eat it as a type of sandwich, in literal fulfillment of...
1. God, have You forgotten me?
I have forgotten how to breathe.
The air here is tight around me
Each day presses in and tomorrow feels impossibly far away
I long to feel Your wide, wide love
To feel hard earth beneath my cracked feet, shade on my bent back, cool mist on my sun-scorched skin
I long to hear sweet words
For respite from the sting that forces...
Over the years, the Passover story has evolved from a story just about Moses and Aaron to include their female counterparts. We set aside a cup of water for Miriam, celebrate Shifrah and Puah for their act of bravery and comment on Pharaoh’s daughter’s defiant move. As we commemorate the leadership of matriarchs in the Exodus story, the questions about our contemporary relationship to women’s rights and liberation...
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...