Now is the time when we start diving into the landscape of our Seder table. We begin to bring together all the disparate bits, beginning with Karpas - it gives us spring, nature's bounty of vegetables, and the growth that's taking place all around us. It also reminds us of the cycles of flourishing and laying fallow. 

We dip the karpas into our saltwater, which is said to represent tears. Tears move us from one place to another, through the two most basic and essential elements - water and salt.

That we dip these first sprigs of spring - reminds us that ritual, lifecycles, and growth all happen in and with our tears. In this ritual, our tears are essential, which feels pretty profound at a moment like this. Especially because they're not just supposed to be our tears. We learn that this also represents the tears of the enslaved. They're tears of empathy for our ancestors and for the plight of those who are enslaved, who are strangers, who are wanderers, who are laboring in narrow places. Parts of all these live in us, reminding us that we're never alone.

In recognition of all of this, our blessing is for the earth's fruits.

haggadah Section: Karpas
Source: Ariel Kates