The Traditional Service , unfrotunately, excludes the meaning of some of the items found on our Seder plate.

This charoses, for example, what is its meaning? This charoses is made to have the appearance and consistency of the materials that, when we were in slavery, would have been used to make the bricks. And the saltwater that we dipped the greens in near the beginning, what is its meaning? It is the tears that were shed by us when we were enslaved, and by extension a reminder of the tears shed by all those oppressed, up to this modern day.

And this orange, what is its meaning? The orange is not part of everyone’s Seder plate, nor is it part of the traditional Seder plate. But Judaism is an ever-evolving religion, and many families now add an orange to the Seder plate as a way of acknowledging the role of Jews who feel marginalized within their community. Professor Susannah Heschel first spread the use of an orange on the Seder plate within the past few decades. She would ask each attendee to take a segment of the orange, she would make the blessing over the fruit, and all would eat it as a gesture of solidarity with all Jews around this orange-shaped world. The orange seeds, being the part of the fruit that is not sweet, represent homophobia and general intolerance, and once the segment is eaten we spit out the orange seeds onto our plate, to show that we reject such bigotry and accept all Jews and all Peoples into our lives.

ברוך אתה יי אלוהינו , מלך העולם , בורא פרי העץ

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, borei porei ha-etz.

haggadah Section: Koreich