The karpas, the green vegetable, is the first part of the seder that makes this night different from all other nights. While the wine and the hand washing are significant, they do mnot ark any difference; they are regular parts of meals. The karpas, however, is not. The differentness of this night starts starts now.
This difference between slavery and freedom brings us hope, joy, and renewed life. But getting to this point of freedome involves pain and tears. We have shed these tears ourselves and we have caused others to shed tears. Making a difference can also be dangerous.
Tonight, we dip the karpas into salt water, and as we taste it, we taste both the fresh, celebratory sweetness of freedom and the pain and tears that come with all rebirth.
Together we say:
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu ruach ha'olam borei pri ha adamah.
You are Blessed, Our God, Spirit of the World, who creates the fruit of the earth.
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