The Seder Table

Haggadah Section: Introduction

Before beginning the Seder, it is important to make sure that you have everything necessary. No Seder table is complete without the following:
1) Three Whole (unbroken) Matzot -- which should be covered by a cloth. One should try to use shmura (specially watched) matzah for the Seder, and one should make certain that the matzah is marked Kosher for Passover.
2) Wine (grape juice) and Wine Glasses -- All participants should be given a glass or cup (minimum size of 3.3 ounces) from which to drink the required Four Cups of Wine (wine is preferable, grape juice if necessary). Of course, only Kosher for
Passover wine or grape juice should be used.
3) The Seder Plate - It is traditional to place the following items on a special Seder Plate as a way of “beautifying” the mitzvot of the Seder. The items should be placed as diagramed below:

--- Bay’tza /Roasted (hardboiled) Egg -- The egg is included as a symbol of the cycle of life because of its round shape.
--- Z’roa /Shank Bone -- The offering brought to the Temple on Passover was a lamb. Because we do not have the Temple today, we place the shank bone of a lamb or the bone of another kosher animal or fowl on the Seder Plate, to symbolize that offering.
--- Maror /Bitter Herbs – Bitter herbs are part of the Seder to remind participants of the bitterness and pain of slavery.
--- Karpas /Vegetable -- A vegetable, usually a piece of celery, parsley or potato, which is dipped in salt water as required for the Seder ritual.
--- Charoset – A tasty mixture of chopped walnuts, wine, cinnamon and apples that represents the mortar the Jewish slaves used to build Pharaoh’s cities (recipes may vary by community).
---Chazeret/Bitter Vegetable – Chazeret is a bitter vegetable, like lettuce or celery, which is sometimes placed on the Seder Plate to remind us of the bitter lives of the Israelites as slaves.
4) Salt Water -- in which to dip the karpas. Salt water reminds us of the tears of the Jewish slaves. Usually, the salt water is not placed on the Seder Plate, but near it.
5) Elijah’s Cup -- Toward the end of the Seder, this cup is filled with wine, the door is opened, and Elijah the prophet, the harbinger of the Messianic age, is invited to come to the Seder, and hopefully, begin our final redemption.

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Passover Guide

Hosting your first Passover Seder? Not sure what food to serve? Curious to
know more about the holiday? Explore our Passover 101 Guide for answers
to all of your questions.

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