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Passover Seder Plate - A Popular Judaica item

Passover is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month Nisan, according to the Hebrew calendar (usually falls on April). On Passover, the Jewish people celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from enslavement by the Egyptians thousands of years ago. During the eight days of the holiday, the Jews keep a special dietary regime: they abstain from bread or any kind of food made with flour, and eat a special type of flat bread called matzos instead. During the holiday's most festive diner, or Seder in Hebrew, traditional foods are eaten that symbolize the suffering of the Israelites in ancient Egypt under the reign of King Pharaoh. The traditional dishes are placed on a central tray usually decorated with elaborate designs, known as the Seder Plate.

It is fascinating to trace back the origins of this holiday. The Bible tells the well-known story of Exodus which begins with the enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt. The Hebrews were forced to work night and day for the Egyptian king who kept their lives a misery in order to break their spirit. At some point, Pharaoh began to worry at the increasing number of the Hebrew men, fearing rivalry or uprising. It is then that Pharaoh decides to make the Hebrews suffer even more and commands to throw every Hebrew new born child into the Nile River.

As a child during that time, Moses is saved miraculously from the evil fate. When Moses grows up, G-d commends him to go to King Pharaoh and demand that his People are set free. Pharaoh refuses to free his useful slaves. To help change Pharaoh's mind, G-d punishes the Egyptians with ten plagues that inflict terror and havoc on the Egyptian people. In the tenth plague, every first male born in Egypt is killed. That was the last straw for Pharaoh.

The Israelites leave Egypt in haste, fearing that Pharaoh would change his mind. As they prepare to escape Egypt, the Israelites don't have enough time to let their bread rise. They take with them the partly baked bread which feeds them during their journey to the land of Canaan (Israel) through the Sinai desert.

Passover is all about commemorating the miracles G-d had performed in Egypt to free His people from enslavement. On Passover, we eat a type of flat bread called matzah (Matzo) to commemorate the successful escape of the Jews from Egypt. Additionally, at Passover's biggest ritual meal, the Seder, the Jews gather around the table to reenact the story of Exodus by reading the stories in the Haggadah book and singing the traditional songs.

The main purpose of the rituals surrounding the Seder meal is to relive the experience of the Israelites during these historic events. The Seder Plate includes between five and six traditional dishes; each dish symbolizes the sufferings of the Israelites in Egypt.

The six tradition foods are:
Maror- bitter herbs that symbolize the bitter and harsh lives of the enslaved Hebrews.

Charoset - a sweet brown mixture that resembles the clay used by the Israelites during construction work for the Egyptians.

Karpas – a vegetable, usually parsley or celery, dipped in salt water. This ritual represents the bitter tears of the enslaved Hebrews in Egypt.

Zroa – usually a chicken wing or other specific parts of certain animals are eaten during the Seder as a reminder of the sacrifice that was offered to G-d in the sacred temple in Jerusalem.

A Roasted egg – is eaten as a reminder of the destruction of the second temple. In the Jewish tradition, eating a roasted egg is a sign of mourning and grief.


 

Many Judaica artists design Seder Plates with designated spots for the six symbolic foods. They often incorporate additional common motifs in the Jewish tradition such as the seven species that the land of Israel is blessed with.
A few Israeli Judaica artists, for example, have designed Seder Plates shaped as pomegranates or grape vines. A Seder Plate can be made from assorted materials and styles. Since the ultimate goal of the Seder is to celebrate the freedom of the Jewish people from slavery, many Judaica artists choose to paint the Seder Plate designs with cheery and fun colors. Other designers prefer more modern, metallic colors such as Aluminum or silver. In addition to the traditional ways, Israeli Judaica artists have created Seder Plates in groundbreaking and innovative designs that might even surprise you.

These designers offer a modern interpretation with an artistic design, expanding our minds to what we might imagine as a Seder Plate. The innovative spirit and fascination with traditional stories that Judaica artists express through their Seder Plates designs may explain why the Seder Plate itself has become a popular Judiaca item. In recent years, it has increasingly become an appreciated custom to bring your Jewish family and acquaintances a Seder Plate. People enjoy them because they make a practical gift that adds festivity and beauty to this holiday. The designers do their best to ensure the Seder Plate is the most impressive item at the Passover dinner table.
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Dune Travel Seder Plate by Laura Cowan - Mixed Metals
Dune Travel Seder Plate by Laura Cowan - Mixed Metals
Price:$220.00

Away from home? Laura Cowan has created for Pesach travelers an exclusive traveling Seder Plate that will give a luxurious look to your table. Six dishes of polished stainless steel and anodized aluminum hold the Seder ritual items. The wave style is a reminder of the Dead Sea the Jews crossed and the gold color resembles desert sand.

An artistic touch is the magnetic dish that holds the ritual hard-boiled egg and the neat box for storing the dishes.
Dune Design Travel Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Dune Design Travel Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Price:$246.00

Away from home? Celebrate Seder Night in your usual style with this traveling Seder Plate – six compact stainless steel dishes polished to perfection in the hallmark Laura Cowan style and curved to symbolize undulating desert sand dunes. Afterwards, stack the plates in the special gift box and store safely for next year.

A gift from Laura Cowan – a magnetic dish to hold the ritual hard-boiled egg.
Moonscape Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Moonscape Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Price:$285.00

Inspired by the exploits of space exploration, Laura Cowan’s moonscape Seder Plate unites Jewish tradition and contemporary science. The gentle curves of the dish resemble the soft craters of the moon and the six indentations are for the ritual items as indicated in the circular titles written in Hebrew.

A Laura Cowan Seder Plate is a unique expression of Jewish tradition in a modern contemporary medium.
Dunes Mixed Metals Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Dunes Mixed Metals Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Price:$285.00

Join Laura Cowan for a journey into the past with her inspiring three-tone Seder Plate. The dishes, made from stainless steel, silver and gold-colored anodized aluminum, are shaped like waves imitating the flow of movement of the Dead Sea and resembling the sand of the desert. The result is a priceless work of art.

With the Seder Plate comes a small eye-catching magnetized dish to hold the egg.
Stainless Steel Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Stainless Steel Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Price:$318.00

Laura Cowan's stunning Seder Plate brings aristocracy to your Seder. Exclusive-looking stainless steel Seder Plates engraved with the name of the ritual item rest on a polished aluminum base. The curved shapes are reminiscent of the sand dunes the Israelites crossed. Included is a small magnetic dish to hold the egg.

In the hands of Laura Cowan cold stainless steel breathes life and becomes a precious work of art.
Ripple Effect Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Ripple Effect Seder Plate by Laura Cowan
Price:$344.00

Laura Cowan’s exclusive Seder Plate presents six rain drop shaped porcelain dishes with a magnetized base resting on a mirror polished stainless steel base, engraved in gentle circular style with verses from the Haggadah. As rain drops created ever widening ripples, so too every person has the ability to impact the universe.

Using the magnetized base turn the plates inwards to focus on security or keep the points outward to widen the social circle.
Lively Chad Gadya Seder Plate by Tzuki Art
Lively Chad Gadya Seder Plate by Tzuki Art
Price:$490.00

Laughable rendering of the traditional Chad Gadya Passover song.
Lively Chad Gadya Seder Plate by Tzuki Art
Chad Gadya Seder Plate by Tzuki Art
Price:$490.00

Lighthearted rendering of the traditional Chad Gadya Passover song.