Extra, Extra, Tell Us About It: Additional Seder Plate Items

Haggadah Section: -- Cup #2 & Dayenu

The Spoon on the Seder Plate

On all other nights we use spoons only to eat or to serve food. Why on this night is there a spoon on the Seder plate?

Two years after Rabbi Elliot Kukla’s “Spoon on the Seder Plate” supplement was first written, addressing the devastating disparity and bias in treatment being experienced by disabled and fat people during this pandemic, the crisis still rages on today. Though there are surges and reprieves, the ableist and fatphobic biases embedded in medical systems continue to, in many ways, determine who will live and who will die. We must change this, but how do we do it and where do we begin?

Ableism is one of many interpersonal and systemic plagues we must heal from as a society in order for disabled people to be treated as fully human. Healing from ableism means committing to addressing both the ableist ideas that we have internalized as individuals, as well as the ableist practices that unfold in broader society, such as in our schools, workplaces, transportation systems, and centers of commerce and culture. Healing from ableism also means weaving strong networks of care and aid that tend to the needs of all community members, shifting us away from a world in which some lives are disposable, and transitioning us into a way of being that treats each and every person as vital and necessary.

Source: Narrow Bridge Candles Next Year in Freedom Haggadah Supplement

Garlic on the seder plate

Garlic is a symbol for reconnecting with and revealing ancestral healing and protection practices and divesting from harmful practices and institutions that offer an illusion of safety at the expense of others. Garlic is also braided throughout Jewish sacred texts - held as a specific delight of shabbat, as medicine and as amulet. It helps us remember that policing, borders, militarism - violent practices based in settler colonialism and xenophobia - don’t make anyone safe. Garlic, whose teaching moves on scent and taste, reminds us of times, past and future, in which people build a sense of protection and rootedness through connection to plants, stones, celestial bodies, soil, water, ancestral stories, with the Divine and with each other.

The term “Garlic Eaters” is found in the Talmud; Jews have identified ourselves as “Garlic Eaters” for thousands of years. Conversely, we also been identified as Garlic Eaters as an antisemitic trope; for centuries, Jews have been targeted and persecuted for our affinity and association with this powerful plant. A fifth question for Passover might be why? What happens when we lose these ancestral traditions and ancient blessings of protection? What do we turn to for protection when we’re stripped of or abandon traditions of community care and interdependence? What happens when centuries of trauma/assimilation/modernization/xenophobia separate us from the pungent blessing of garlic and seed us with shame about smelling like garlic?

Source: Dori Midnight

A tomato on the seder plate

A symbol of contemporary slavery (underpaid and overworked farm workers) is represented by the tomato. This ritual, developed by T’ruah and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Floria, places a tomato on the seder plate in recognition of the farmworker who picked the tomato and their struggles for justice. Since the “Tomato on the Seder Plate” was first introduced in 2012, thousands of Jews have added it to their home observance of Passover, discussing modern-day struggles for liberation alongside our own. Updated in 2019 with new text, new statistics, and beautiful new photography.

Source: T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

A pinecone on the seder plate
We “pass over” pine cones every day. Inside each of these pine cones is among the most precious of all nuts - the pine nut. Most of us pass more pine nuts in a single day than one could count in a year. Yet, they remain hidden, unseen. The pine cone “imprisons” its seeds, and only hard work on the part of nature compels it to open up. Thus these seeds remain “out of sight, out of mind.”

We pass over prisons every day as well, and so rarely do we ever see what is inside. People of Colour make up approximately 67% of the incarcerated population even though they constitute less than 37% of American's population. In so-called Canada, Indigenous adults make up 30 per cent of the country’s prison population despite only representing five per cent of the national population, while Black adults represent three per cent of the Canadian population but more than seven per cent of federally incarcerated people. On Passover, we refuse to pass over the pine cone because we know that hidden inside is something precious.

Source: The Passover Pine Cone - Putting Prisons On The Seder Plate

Fair trade chocolate, coffee, or cocoa beans on the seder plate

This is Fair Trade Certified chocolate, coffee and cocoa and it is grown under standards that prohibit the use of forced labor. It is on our seder plate to remind us that forced labor is still with us today. At a time of your choice, such as after the bitter herbs and maror or, after dinner, when the Afikomen and dessert are being eaten, we can partake in the taste of these Fair Trade items. It is Fair Trade chocolate, coffee and cocoa that tastes not of exploitation, but of sweetness and freedom and a reminder that workers, both children and adults, are being exploited in unfair and horrible working conditions; we can advocate for an end to unpaid and underpaid forced labour in our own communities and abroad, fight for a living wage, not a minimum wage, and if possible, buy products from local and ethical producers.

Source: Fair Trade Judaica and Global Exchange Passover Haggadah Supplement

Inspired to create
your own Haggadah?

Make your own Haggadah and share with other Seder lovers around the world

Have an idea
for a clip?

People like you bring their creativity to Haggadot.com when they share their ideas in a clip

Support Us
with your donation

Help us build moments of meaning and connection through
home-based Jewish rituals.


contributor image
Esther Kustanowitz
4 Haggadahs44 Clips
contributor image
JQ International
1 Haggadah40 Clips
contributor image
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
5 Haggadahs109 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah13 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah78 Clips
contributor image
Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
1 Haggadah36 Clips
contributor image
American Jewish World Service
1 Haggadah44 Clips
contributor image
3 Haggadahs57 Clips
contributor image
Repair the World
12 Clips
contributor image
5 Haggadahs48 Clips
contributor image
Be'chol Lashon
2 Haggadahs27 Clips
contributor image
PJ Library
1 Haggadah17 Clips
contributor image
Jewish World Watch
3 Haggadahs42 Clips
contributor image
Secular Synagogue
10 Clips
contributor image
1 Haggadah9 Clips
contributor image
The Blue Dove Foundation
20 Clips
contributor image
24 Clips
contributor image
Jewish Emergent Network
1 Haggadah22 Clips

Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.


Haggadot.com by Recustom, is a free resource for all backgrounds and experiences. Consider making a donation to help support the continuation of this free platform.

Copyright © 2024 Custom and Craft Jewish Rituals Inc, dba Recustom, dba Haggadot.com.
All Rights Reserved. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. EIN: 82-4765805.