Food is central to so many holidays, and that’s certainly true of Passover. The best way to retell the story of Passover is to tell it through an image of the Seder plate. There is more to this plate than stoneware and porcelain; there is a sad story. A story of Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt and running to a better life. We use this plate to guide us, each year, through the steps of the Seder, and it allows us to understand and retell the story generation after generation. Each element represents a lesson that we can take from the story, and we use a physical item to further connect us to the struggles and triumphs of our heritage.
Here’s the Seder plate I made, and below what each food represents.
- Haroseth (Charoset) represents the mortar that the Jews used to make the pyramids. Haroseth is made with chopped apples, walnuts and sweet wine (or grape juice!).
- Parsley (and lettuce) represents spring because that is the time of the year this holiday falls.
- Roasted hard-boiled egg symbolizes the Temple sacrifice and the continuing circle of life (in previous days, people used burnt offerings as a way of praying).
- Bitter herb and horseradish (Maror) to represent the bitterness of slavery.
- Roasted lamb shank bone (zeroah) symbolizes the ancient Passover sacrifice.