The word “radical” comes from the Latin word, radix, for “root.” Etymologically, the suggestion is that for an idea, person, or thing to be “radical,” it must have the effect of uprooting the status quo altogether, therefore changing it fully. 

This same Latin root gives us the word “radish,” which of course is a literal root.

The radish on our Seder plate tonight symbolizes our radical potential as Jews to change the world. During this Seder, we have advanced the millennia-old story of our liberation from Egypt. But we have also discussed, intermittently through the evening, the ways in which our Jewishness can inspire us to change the status quo.

We have meditated on the world around us—both what it is and what it can be. So as we say the following blessing over the radish, we are really blessing ourselves and our people…to go forth and change the world.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam borei p'ri ha'adamah. 

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the ground. 

Everyone eats a piece of radish.

haggadah Section: Hallel
Source: Seder for Radicals