Why is there an orange on the Seder plate?
An orange is not one of the traditional symbols of Passover, yet today many choose to include it on their Seder plate. The story goes that a man once yelled at Rabbi Susannah Heschel that "a woman belongs on the bima like an orange belongs on the Seder plate", but this story as actually untrue.
The real story of the orange on the Seder plate comes from a story that Heschel had read wherein a girl asked her rabbi what room there was in Judaism for lesbians, and the rabbi proclaimed, "there is as much room for lesbians in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the Seder plate". Heschel adapted the story and began to add an orange to the Seder plate, to symbolize the fruitfulness for all Jews when those marginalized by the community--women, widows, LGBTQ-identified individuals, orphans--would be fully accepted in Judaism. Solidarity with the queer community has always been at the heart of the orange on the Seder plate, and is an important reminder of the growth towards equality that the Jewish community is still undertaking.
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