Passover Seder Plates

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Passover Seder Plates
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How to prepare a Seder Plate

Passover comes from the Bible, first mentioned in the book of Exodus. As God pronounced to the people of Israel enslaved in Egypt that he would free them, he said he would "Smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt." However, he instructed the Israelites to put a sign of lamb's blood on their door posts: "and when I see the blood, I will pass over you." (Exodus 12) also see: Jewish Holidays - Names of Jewish Months

You've cleaned the house for Passover, now it is time to prepare a seder plate:
Here's How:

1: The Seder Plate can be specially made for Passover or simply a paper plate on which your children have drawn and written the Passover symbols.

2: Important part is that the plate display the following items:
Chazeret (optional)

3: Remember everything you will need will have to be kosher for Passover. Next to the Kosher Symbol will be a P or the words "Kosher for Passover.

4: You will need the following foods for your seder plate: apples, walnuts, kosher wine for Passover, cinnamon, sugar, shank bone or poultry neck, egg, parsley or potato, celery, horseradish root or prepared horseradish.

5: Charoset is mixture of apples, nuts, wine and spices.

Charoset is symbolic of the mortar the Jewish slaves made in their building for the Egyptians. To make charoset, prepare 1 cup of walnuts, 1 granny smith green apple, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. sugar, and red wine to moisten. Chop the nuts and apples to the consistency you want (a food processor can be used). Sprinkle with spices, and moisten with wine. The texture of the charoset should remind us of mortar.

6: Zeroa is a shankbone or neck of poultry, roasted. Zeroa is a reminder of the "mighty arm of G-d" as the Bible describes it. It is also symbolic of the Paschal lamb offered as the Passover sacrifice in Temple days. Roast the shankbone in the oven for about 30 minutes.

7: Baytzah is a hard-boiled egg. Baytzah is symbolic of the regular festival sacrifice brought in the days of the Temple. Some authorities have interpreted this as a symbol of mourning for the loss of the two Temples (the first was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., the second by the Romans in 70 C.E.). With the Temples destroyed, sacrifices could no longer be offered. The egg symbolized this loss and traditionally became the food of mourners.

8: Karpas is a vegetable. Parsley or a potato is generally used. Karpas is dipped in salt water to represent tears. The custom of serving karpas dates back to Jerusalem of the 1st and 2nd centuries when it was common to begin a formal meal by passing around vegetables as hors d’oeuvres.

9: Maror is bitter herbs. Horseradish root or prepared horseradish is generally used. Maror represents the bitter life of the Israelites during the time of their enslavement in Egypt.

10: Chazeret is a bitter vegetable. Celery or lettuce can be used. Those who do not put chazeret on their Seder Plate sometimes put a dish of salt water in its place.

Passover Last Minute Tips:

Prepare the Seder Plate long before the Seder meal so you are not pressured to get it ready at the last minute.
Allowing children to help you prepare the Seder Plate is a fun and effective way to teach them about the symbolism of the food and their connection to the Passover story.

How long will the seder take? Good question -- Plan on at least 3 hours for the seder and meal. However, that is a very fast seder.... some last to the early morning.

Since "Seder" means "order", it is not unexpected that there is an order to the night's proceedings. The night goes as follows [the Hebrew read left to right]:

Kaddesh קדש (Saying of Kiddush blessing and the first cup of Wine)
Ur'chatz ורחץ (The washing of the hands)
Karpas כרפס (Dipping of the Karpas in salt water)
Yachatz יחץ (Break middle matzoh. It becomes the Afikomen)
Maggid מגיד(Telling of the Passover story. The saying of the Four Question.)
Rochtzah רחץ(Second washing of the hands)
Motzi/ Matzah מוציא / מצה (Saying of the matzah blessing)
Maror מרור (Eating of charoset and maror)
Korech כורך (Eating of Matzah, charoset, and maror)
Shulchan Orech שולחן עורך (Dinner is served)
Tzafun צפון (Eating of the Afikomen)
Barech ברך (After dinner blessing, Wine, and in Ashkenazi families: welcoming of Elijah the Prophet)
Hallel הלל (Song singing, more wine)
Nirtzah נירצה (Conclusion)

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