The Seder plate is the focus of the entire Seder night. It retains the six distinct ritual foods that are consumed and used symbolically through the evening. This is our essential guide to the items on the Seder plate so that you can begin your night right!

Eggs are used symbolically in Judaism several times each year: they show up on the Seder plate, and would be the last thing eaten before the 9th of Av fast. On both occasions, they represent regret at the destruction of the Temples. On the Seder plate, the hardboiled egg stays in its shell, which can be charred so help visualize the burnt Temples.

Zeroah

The Zeroah is a shank bone, which is roasted to signify the burnt flesh of the first Pascal lamb sacrifice. As lamb bones are fairly large, most individuals use a chicken leg or something equally sized.

Bonus fact: interestingly, since there's not any longer a Temple to provide a Pascal lamb, it is traditional not to eat any type of roasted meat in the Seder.

For the true maror, it is normal to use grated horseradish.

Hazeret

Hazaret is the second sort of sour vegetable used, for exactly the exact reasons as the first. It is traditional to use a sour leafy vegetable, such as endive or bok choy, for this second kind, which can be used with matzah and harvest for the Korach sandwich.

Karpas

Eaten as a mini appetizer at the start of the Seder, Karpas signifies the spring and can be any vegetable. Raw herbs are not necessarily the easiest alternative, so some folks use carrots, radishes, pieces of cooked potatoes, or even strawberries! Beware sweet berries, however -- the karpas is dipped in salt water for a reminder of the tears cried by our enslaved ancestors.

Haroset

Haroset is a thick, sweet taste that looks like the cement which the Jews needed to combine and pour to use while building during their slavery. Luckily, it does not taste like cement! Made from sweet wine, apples, nuts, and dates or honey, it is used to temper the mayor's bite in the Korach matzah sandwich.

Published by Julia Morison