The Seder Plate

Miguel: In the center of the table, there is a special plate called the Seder plate. Each of the foods symbolize some part of the Passover story. This story is not only a story of physical deliverance from bondage; it is also a story of our spiritual deliverance. Every part of Passover paints the portrait of that redemption. There are three foods God tells us to eat on this night and other foods later added by men to help us remember Passover.

1. Karpas - The parsley symbolizes the growth and fertility of God's people in Egypt. This non-bitter vegetable is dipped into salt water representing the tears of slavery (Ex 1:7).

2. Charoset - The apple, wine, and nut mixture represents the mortar used by the Hebrew people to build the Egyptian cities (Ex 1:13-14).

3. Maror - The horseradish is a bitter herb that represents the harshness of slavery (Ex 1:13-14). This is one of the three foods God commands us to eat as we remember Passover.

4. Lamb shank - This symbolizes the korban pesach that was sacrificed unto God and whose blood was put upon the doorposts. While this is not the actual sacrifice, one day we will be gathered in Jerusalem for Passover and eat as we are commanded to do.

5. Matzah (unleavened bread) - This reminds us that the Hebrews left Egypt in a hurry, leaving no time for their bread to rise. This is the bread we are commanded to eat for seven days.

6.  Roasted Egg - Merely symbolic, the egg represents the time of the Temple where a "korban chagigah" (festival sacrifice) was given.  This was normally a meat offering. 

haggadah Section: Introduction