What is the Significance of the Seder Plate?

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Every Pesach, also known as Passover, Jewish families gather for an 8-day celebration of the events recorded in the Bible in the book of Exodus. A central part of the celebration is a meal that contains symbolic food to remind modern-day families of the struggles of their ancestors.

The Seder Plate

The Passover meal is a focal point of a celebration that includes games, songs, reading stories, and of course, food. Special items are presented on Seder Plates https://cazenovejudaica.com/uk/seder-plate which all have a distinct meaning. The items are:

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–       Beitzah – These are hard-boiled eggs and they have a dual meaning. Part of that is an offering that used to be made to the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, but another meaning is that while most substances get softer when heated, eggs get harder. This is a metaphor for the way the Jewish people have grown stronger due to their struggles.
–       Zeroa – A lamb shank bone, which represents the lambs that were slaughtered to mark the doorways of Jewish families to the angel of death so it would pass over. This isn’t eaten during the feast and is presented again the next night.
–       Chazret and Maror – two different types of bitter herbs that represent the bitterness of the Jewish people being in slavery
–       Karpas – celery leaves of other vegetables to represent the crops that slaves grew, dipped in salt water to symbolise the tears of those who grew them
–       Charoset – a paste made of nuts and fruit which symbolises the mortar used between the bricks that slaves used to build the pyramids

Together with these items are three Matzah (sometimes spelt Matzo or Matza) which is a type of unleavened bread. When the slaves left Egypt, they had to go quickly, they didn’t have the time to let their bread rise. Three pieces of Matzah are put on Seder Plates to represent the three groups of Jews; Priests, Levites, and Israelites.


Pesach is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar and lasts for 7-8 days. If you need to reference Jewish calendars, you can find out the dates of upcoming Passovers here.

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Passover is the longest continually celebrated festival in the world, bringing friends and families together for fun and remembrance. A celebration of great meaning for the Jewish people for hundreds of years.

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