To those unfamiliar with the terrain, the desert can seem like a harsh and empty place. Indeed, the desert of the Passover story is devoid of sustenance and life. At this point in the Seder, it is tradition to reflect on liberation and rebirth as connected ideas. To symbolize rebirth, we take a vegetable, like parsley, and dip it into salt water, which represents the tears shed by our Jewish ancestors when they were enslaved. Mixing the sweet and the bitter remind us that in times of joy, it is important to remember where we came from. Similarly, as we embark on this Seder, with the promise of a nourishing meal ahead, we take a moment to reflect on those going without food as they seek a better life. Though the Jewish people may have left Egypt, many people around the world are still waiting to be freed.
We recite this short blessing, then dip our parsley.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei p’ree ha-adama.
We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who creates the fruits of the earth.
Written by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler
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