Symbolism of foods

The ke’arah, Seder tray, contains unique foods used at the Seder. The meal celebrates the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt. The table is set before nightfall with a white cloth, candlesticks and flowers. Miriam’s Cup represents past redemption and Elijah’s Cup, future redemption when the Messianic age will bring universal peace. The Book of Exodus instructs each generation to retell the story of deliverance.

Maror: Bitter herbs such as horseradish that symbolize the bitterness of slavery.

Z’roa: A roasted bone for the lamb sacrificed to God.

Haroset: A mixture of apples, nuts and wine, reflecting the clay with which the Israelites made bricks for the Egyptian pharoah.

Hazeref: An additional a bitter vegetable used for the korech sandwich that is one matzah spread with horseradish and another with haroset. The bitterness represents slavery and the sweet part, freedom.

Yayin: Four cups of wine or grape juice for God’s four promises of freedom to the Jews.

Three matzah: These represent people who are not yet free, those who don’t care about others and those who work to help others be free.

Karpas: Fresh vegetable such as celery or potato, a reminder of spring and new life.

Beitsa: A roasted egg symbolizing an offering in the temple.

Source: Temple El Emeth

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