“Why is this night different from all other nights?” This is a question that is asked by the youngest member of a Jewish family (or the American housecleaner…Me!) at the Passover Seder. On Passover, it’s considered the family duty to retell the story of the exodus out of Egypt when God “passed over” the homes of the Israelites during the last of the 10 plagues.
Each of the six items on the Seder plate have a specific meaning in regards to the story of Passover.
- Maror: These are the bitter herbs, meant to symbolize the harshness the Jews were treated with when they were slaves in Egypt. Red horseradish is often used for this.
- Charoset: This is a mixture of apples, wine, walnuts and cinnamon and is used to represent the bricks and mortar used by the Hebrews to build the pyramids.
- Karpas: A vegetable, often celery, is used to represent hope and renewal. The karpas is dipped in salt water before eaten to represent the tears of the Jews when they were slaves.
- Zeroah: The shank bone on the plate symbolizes the Pascal Lamb whose blood was painted on the doors of the Israelites so that God would pass over the homes during the 10th plague (slaying of the firstborn).
- Beitzah: The hardboiled egg represents the circle of life.
- Matzo: Three pieces of matzo are stacked on a separate plate. The middle matzo is broken and one half of it is put aside as the afikomen, which the father will hide and have the children search for in return for a prize (or the children hide it and have the father search in some homes). The other half of the broken matzo will be used to make a Hillel sandwich, which includes the maror and charoset.
I believe if you’re going to have people trust you to come into their homes and businesses, you need to respect their cultural traditions that make their lives “make sense” to them, along with giving them a connection with their family and friends of their cultural background. We can learn so much from each other if we would open our hearts first and then our minds.
Our minds are like parachutes, they mean nothing if they don’t open!
Peace ♥ Harmony