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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Passover Seder

Editor’s Note: This article was updated for Passover in 2023.

Passover begins at sunset this Wednesday, April 5, and we want to wish everyone in the Jewish community a happy holiday! Celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt, Passover Seder is a tradition filled with storytelling, community, and, of course, food. As part of the holiday, each special plate holds at least five different designated spaces for symbolic foods that represent part of the story.

1. Karpas

Representing hope and redemption, Karpas is a vegetable — usually parsley or celery. As an Ashkenazi custom, it is served with a bowl of salted water to represent the tears shed by the Israelites.

2. Maror

Maror symbolizes the harshness of slavery and is customarily served as a bitter herb like horseradish.

3. Beitzah

Representing the rebirth of the newly freed Jewish slaves, Beitzah or Baytzah alludes to the sacrifice brought to the Temple in Jerusalem during the ancient times. Beitzah comes in the form of a hard-boiled egg.

4. Charoset

Charoset, a mixture of apples or dried fruit, nuts, wine, cinnamon, and other spices, symbolizes the mortar the Jews used as slaves in the construction of the buildings for the Pharaoh.

5. Chazeret

The second bitter herb on the Passover Seder plate, Chazeret often comes in the form of a bitter green vegetable, often romaine lettuce or endive. Some families will exclude this herb from their plate or use horseradish twice.

6. Zeroah

Signifying the Paschal sacrificial offering and the outstretched arm of God, the Zeroah is usually a piece of roasted lamb shank bone. This is the only part of the Seder plate that is not eaten. Vegans will often substitute this with a roasted beet.

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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