But why is there an orange and a tomato on the Seder plate?
Please Donate to Haggadot.com
We rely on support from users just like you! Please donate
today to keep maintaining this free resource!
Customandcraft.org is a fiscally sponsored project of Jewish Jumpstart (EIN: 26-2173175) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt California public benefit corporation. Your gift is tax deductible to the
extent allowed by law.
Thank you for your donation.
Landscape / Booklet
Print Update coming in 2017
Share this Clip with your friends, family,
community and social networks with just one click.
Copy and paste the URL of this Clip to share or view.
Open in new window
Share This Clip on Social Networks
But why is there an orange and a tomato on the Seder plate?
But why is there an orange and a tomato on the seder plate? This is not traditional for Passover.
Tomato - This tomato brings our attention to the oppression and liberation of farmworkers who harvest fruits and vegetables here in the United States. And it reminds of us of our power to help create justice.
A tomato purchased in the United States between November and May was most likely picked by a worker in Florida. On this night when we remember the Jewish journey from slavery to freedom, we remember numerous cases of modern slavery that have been found in the Florida tomato industry. The tomato on our seder plate might have been picked by someone who has been enslaved. Perhaps this tomato was picked by someone facing other abusive working conditions, such as wage theft, harassment, exposure to dangerous pesticides, or poverty level wages that have not changed for more than 30 years.
But a transformation is underway. Since 1993, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a farmworker organization, has been organizing for justice in the fields. Together with other organizations, they have convinced 11 major corporations, such as McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s, to join the Fair Food Program, a historic partnership between workers, growers and corporations. We can work to help convince other businesses to join this program. There is link to the Coalition where you can find more information and get involved at the end of the Haggadah.
Orange - The orange on the Seder plate has come to symbolize full inclusion in modern day Judaism for those who were traditionally not seen as full participants or leaders in Jewish life and traditions, especially women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. Initially, and for some still, people see the orange as originating as a response to sexism and exclusion of women. The tale was that a man once said that women don’t belong leading aspects of worship in Judaism by saying “A woman on the bimah s like an orange on the Seder plate.” (The bimah is a podium where people stand to read from the “Torah”, as Jews call the Old Testament of the Bible.) Feminists (people believing in gender equality) responded by celebrating the orange, by placing it in the center the Seder plate showing that since women belonged on the bima, so must an orange on the Seder plate. However, interestingly, the true origin of the orange on the Seder plate is actually different.
The actual story is that in the 1980s, a group of Oberlin College students had composed a new, feminist Haggadah. And in it a story is told in which a woman asks a rabbi, “What room is there for a lesbian in Judaism?” The rabbi responds, “There’s as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the Seder plate.” And thus these students began putting bread on their Seder plate. However, a Jewish feminist scholar, Susannah Heschel, who was visiting the college, was uncomfortable with the idea that a lesbian be equated with bread at Passover, since bread is considered a violation of Passover law and tradition. But she loved the idea of adding to the Seder plate to acknowledge lesbian and gay Jews. So instead, she choose an orange as the symbol to be added to the Seder plate because, she said “because it suggests the fruitfulness for all Jews when lesbians and gay men are contributing and active members of Jewish life.” Today, many use the orange to “queer” the Seder and to symbolize the struggle for freedom faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and solidarity with the LGBTQ community. For those of us who are part of the LGBTQ community here at our Seder, it makes us feel good to be acknowledged and included, especially when we were not during many times of history, and still today in many places.
Here is a kid and adult friendly alternative to for the Maggid section (the Passover story section) of the Haggadah. This short play is in the style of "sedra scenes" -- a contemporary take which makes the story current but stays true to the Exodus narrative. I've written it for large crowds -- so there are 13 parts, but if you have a smaller gathering you can easily double up.
The Supportive/Open Minded Child
How do we make our GLBT Seder more inclusive?
We seek to ensure that everyone is included and that all of their needs are being met. For example, there is a movement to encourage the use of gender-neutral pronouns like ze for he/she and hir for him/her at inclusive Seders. We have incorporated many new traditions into our own...
Traditionally, The Four Sons/Daughters include a wise one, a wicked (or rebellious) one, a simple one and one who does not even know enough to ask. Each of the first three ask questions about the Seder, essentially "Explain all this to me - what are my responsibilities?" "What has all this nonsense you are babbling about got to do with me?" and "What IS all this anyway?" while the fourth is silent - requiring the adults...
Slaves eat quickly, stopping neither to wash nor to reflect. Tonight, we are free. We wash and we express our reverence for the blessings that are ours.
Pass a bowl of water, a small cup and a towel around the table. Everyone pours three cupfuls over their fingers. There is no blessing over this washing.
I write this year’s Prologue as Israel is going to the polls to decide whether to replace its present right-wing prime minister with the Zionist Union, a center-left political alliance. Whatever the outcome, chances are that Israel’s recent history of fractured politics and short-lived coalitions will probably continue. But why am I writing about Israel? you might ask. Aren’t there enough issues here at home for...
Around our tables sit four daughters:
The wise daughter understands that not everything is as it appears. She is the one who speaks up, confident that her opinion counts. She is the one who can take the tradition and ritual that is placed before her, turn it over and over, and find personal meaning in it. She is the one who can find the secrets in the empty spaces between the letters...
Ahora es el turno de lavarse las manos
"baruj ata adonai eloheinu melej aholam, asher quitchanu ve mitisvotahv, be tzivanu al netilat iadaim"
Hace muchos años, Alugnos pueblos no judios, creían que, a los judíos no les llegaban las epidemias por su simple condición de judíos. Pero, en realidad, era porque ellos se "lavavan las manos" antes de que esté científicamente...
By Avigayil Halpern
Blood: Young girls tuck tampons quickly into backpacks, secret them in purses, hide them in Ugg boots. It’s not blue dye that the river is running with, and periods are more trouble than the pamphlet in that goody bag from middle-school health class would leave one to believe. “It’s beautiful to be female,” we’re told, but nobody...
Read and Discuss
The Three Levels of Oppression: Ilan Gur Ze'ev
The First level:
In our opinion, the first level of oppression, primitive oppression, is expressed by inflicting aggressive force (physical violence) in order to force someone to act against their will and interest. Uprising against this kind of oppression is possible...
More Clips from Emily Greytak
Now, we make our own customized Freedom Seder plate as a community for today's Seder. Each family can share the object they brought to represent Freedom and explain why they choose it. Then, please place it here on our Freedom Seder pate. If you did not bring an object, that's okay, we still would love to hear what freedom means to your family!