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Seder Plates

The Passover Seder Plate is a special plate, which contains symbolical foods eaten or exhibited at the Passover Seder.
Passover is a holiday full of ritual symbols that retell the story of the Exodus. A lot of these symbols are shown on the Seder plate, which is placed in the center of the Seder table. A Seder is a service held at home, which concludes with a dinner. It is always celebrated on the first night of Passover, and in a few homes on the second night as well.

The Seder Plate Symbol
There are seven symbols that you can put on a Seder plate, although not all of them are essential. They consist of the following:
Vegetable - This part of the Seder plate goes back to the first and second century custom in Jerusalem, which involved starting a formal meal by dousing vegetables in salt water prior to eating them. Therefore, at the start of the Seder a vegetable - typically parsley, lettuce, radish, or cucumber - is doused in salt water and eaten. The salt water symbolizes our ancestor’s tears that was shed during the time of captivity.

Orange - A nonobligatory food. The orange is a new add-on to the Seder plate and not commonly used in every Jewish home. It was brought out by Susannah Heschel, a Jewish scholar and feminist, as a symbol which stands for admitting women and homosexuals in Jewish tradition - both groups that have frequently been marginalized.
Roasted Beet/ Shank bone - The roasted shank bone of a lamb reminds us of the tenth plague that happened in Egypt, when every firstborn child of the Egyptians was slain. The Israelites put a mark on the doorposts of their homes using lamb's blood as a sign that death should pass over them. The shank bone is sometimes named the Paschal lamb, with “paschal” meaning "He [God] skipped over" the houses of Israel.

Bitter Herbs – Since the Israelites were slaves in Egypt the bitter herbs are eaten to remind us of the roughness of slavery. Horseradish – either a prepared paste or the root– is most frequently used. A small quantity of maror is typically eaten with an equivalent ration of charoset. It can also be made into a "Hillel Sandwich," where charoset and maror are sandwiched between two pieces of matzah.

Bitter Vegetable – This piece of the Seder plate also represent the bitterness of slaveholding. Romaine lettuce is typically used, which doesn’t appear quite bitter but the plant contains bitter tasting roots. When hazeret is not available on the Seder plate some Jews will place a small bowl of salt water as replacement.
Hard Boiled Egg – There are two versions of the representation of the hardboiled egg. One is that it is an early fertility sign. The other is that it is a symbol of lamentation for the loss of the two Temples, the first of which was demolished by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. and the second of which was ruined by the Romans in 70 C.E. Hard boiled eggs were usually the food of grievers and therefore they became a suitable symbol for the ruin of these sacred places.

Charoset – is a combination that is frequently made of spices, apples, wine, and nuts in the Ashkenazi tradition. It signifies the mortar the Israelites were forced to use while they constructed structures for their Egyptian taskmasters.