The Seder plate is a Passover table staple, but what goes on a Seder plate?
Passover (Pesach) commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. G-d "passed over" aka Pesach the Jews when imparting the 10 Plagues, including the last plague that convinced the Egyptians to let the Jews free, the death of the first born.
The Israelites were in such a hurry to leave slavery (wouldn't you be?) that they didn't have time to let their bread rise, and that's why we have matzah! We host a seder meal, which means order, read the story of Passover from a Haggadah, and of course eat (and drink four glasses of wine!)
The central part of the seder is the seder plate, a traditional plate filled with symbolic ingredients. But what goes on a seder plate anyway?
- Maror- a bitter herb, usually horseradish, symbolizing the bitterness of slavory
- Hazeret- another bitter herb, usually romaine lettuce
- Charoset- symbolizing the mortar the Israelites used to build the Egyptian pyramids
- Beitzah- a hardboiled egg, symbolizing life and birth
- Karpas- a green leafy vegetable, symbolizing hope, usually parsley
- Zeroa- shank bone, symbolizing sacrifice