LEADER: This is the Seder Plate which contains the main symbols of this evening's service.
PARTICIPANT: First, we have three matzot, commemorating the bread which our forefathers were compelled to eat during their hasty departure from Egypt. We use three matzot to represent the three religious groupings of the Jewish people: Kohen, Levi and Yisroayl. They are placed together to indicate the unity of the Jewish people. In unity, we find our strength and power to survive.
PARTICIPANT: The Roasted Shankbone, called zeroah. While it does not play an active role in the service, it reminds us of the Paschal Lamb, a special animal sacrifice which our ancestors offered on the altar of the Great Temple in Jerusalem on the Passover. It also reminds us of the lambs' blood used to mark their doorposts so that the Angel of Death passed over their homes on their final night in Egypt. Zeroah can also mean arm; some say it symbolizes the outstretched arm of God.
PARTICIPANT: The Roasted Egg reminds us of the second offering brought to the Temple on Passover. It was known as the "Festival Offering," for it was brought on each of the three festivals - Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.The roundness of the egg also represents the cycle of life — even in the most painful of times, there is always hope for a new beginning.
PARTICIPANT: The Marror, the bitter herbs, reminds us of the bitterness of slavery, which our ancesters were compelled to endure.
PARTICIPANT: The Charosett is made to resemble the mortar with which our forefathers made bricks for the building of Egyptian cities.
PARTICIPANT: The Karpas, a green vegetable, is used to remind us that Pesach coincides with the arrival of Spring and the gathering of the Spring harvest. In ancient times, Passover was also an agricultural festival and an occasion on which our ancestors gave thanks for the Earth's rich bounties.
PARTICIPANT: The Chazeret, a second bitter herb, is used in korech or the Hillel sandwich, which consists of matzah and bitter herbs (some add haroset as well).
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