Leader: We come now to the first element of the Seder Plate: Karpas, the green vegetable.
Reader: The Karpas is a symbol of the Spring. It represents the reawakening of life and reminds us that beneath the snow, the earth is not dead, but dormant. It signifies the life-sustaining crops of our ancestors, and with this blessing, we make favorable their growth.
Reader: The parsley is also historically symbolic of the biblical herb, ezov. It was this plant the Hebrews used to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifical lamb on their doorposts so that they would not be sticken by the 10th plague, the slaying of the first-born.
Leader: We temper this symbol of hope and rebirth by dipping it in salt water, symbolic of the tears of our enslaved forefathers. For without sorrow, how can we know joy? Without struggle, how can we know strength of will?
Take a sprig of parsley, and dip it in salt water.
All: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha’olam, borei p’ri ha’adamah.
(Blessed art thou, the LORD our God, King of the Universe, who createth the fruit of the earth)
Eat the parsley.
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