Seder Plate Symbols

Maror – The bitter herb reminds us of the bitterness inside of all of us. Living in a racially discriminatory society means that racism infects our thoughts and actions, even if we don’t want it to. We must call attention to the prejudiced ideas we all carry inside us in order to actively resist and uproot them.

Egg – The egg in its shell reminds us that we can choose how we identify ourselves, but we can’t always choose how the world sees us—we’re vulnerable to other people’s assumptions about who we are inside (and out). Tonight we commit to celebrating everyone as they wish to identify.

Haroset – The haroset mixture reminds us of the interconnectedness and intersectionality of all social forces. Racism exists alongside and within sexism, classism, anti-Semitism, disability oppression, homophobia, and transphobia. We all may be privileged and also experience oppression. Haroset also reminds us of the sweetness of our diversity.

Beet / Shank bone – The beet or shank bone represents the blood that flows through us all. We celebrate our similarities while honoring the rich cultures and traditions of our many differences.

Karpas – The green vegetable reminds us to help each other along as we learn and grow.

Matzah – A traditional seder table features three pieces of matzah, the “bread of affliction.”

Orange – The orange is a symbol of the inclusion of women, LGBTQ individuals, and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community. It represents the fruitfulness for all Jews when women and LGBTQ folks are contributing and active members of Jewish life.

Olive – The olive serves as a universal and ancient symbol of hope and peace.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Jews United for Justice (Becca Goldstein)