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copyright ©1999-2001

a personal passover
by Joanna Piatek |
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continued from page 2

How to host a Seder
The centerpiece of the Seder table is a platter that contains a boiled egg, bitter herbs (horseradish is generally used), a roasted shankbone, charoset (a mixture of walnuts, wine, cinnamon and apples), and salt water-dipped parsley.  On a separate plate, there should also be three pieces of matzo covered with a cloth. Each of these foods has symbolic meaning, and is meant to be a reminder of the struggle that the Jews experienced as they made their way towards freedom:

Boiled egg | spring
Bitter Herbs | the bitterness of enslavement
Charoset | the mortar the Jews used to use to hold the bricks of the pyramid together
Parsley dipped in salt water | the parsley represents spring, while the salt water symbolizes tears
Bone | symbolic of the sacrificial lamb offered at Passover in ancient times
Matzo | Flat bread. Represents the unleavened bread the Jews ate, because in their haste to leave Egypt they did not have time to let the bread rise. Because of this, flour or leavening can not be used during the week of Passover

If you have children attending your Seder, itís traditional to hide a special piece of matzo, called the Afikomen. When the children aren't looking, take the middle matzo from the plate on the table, then break it in half and hide it in the house. After dinner the children search for the other half, and if it matches the half on the table they get a dollar. Or something equally exciting! . Charoset
1Ĺ cup shredded apples
Ĺ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2-3 tbsp. honey
Ĺ tsp. cinnamon
2 T kosher red wine
1" piece grated fresh ginger

Blend until mixed. Serve on Matzo, or as the Haggadah dictates.


Each person will drink four glasses of wine during the Seder. Traditionally, this wine is the sweet kosher wine. (The evening gets more interesting after each glass.) Be sure to fill an extra cup of wine for Elijah the Prophet -- if you leave your door open after dinner, itís said he will visit your home, bringing peace.

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