Participating shops will be listed in this post this week and you can search on Etsy with the keywords: "pesach" or "etsychai". Please remember to use the word "Passover" in Notes to Seller when shopping with EtsyChai members this week!
The table for the Seder is set with the best Passover china and silverware (dishes and utensils that have never come in contact with leavened bread and are exclusively used over the week of Passover). There’s a Seder Plate with the following six items:
• Maror –- usually horseradish
• Chazeret -- typically romaine lettuce
• Charoset -- A sweet, brown, mixture, usually chopped apples, walnuts, matzah meal, and wine
• Karpas -- usually parsley, but some type of vegetable
• Z'roa -- A roasted shank bone
• Beitzah --A roasted egg
Maror (bitter herbs)
A blessing is recited over a bitter vegetable, traditionally horseradish and/or romaine lettuce) and it is eaten. This is symbolic of the bitterness of our years in slavery.
The matzah and maror are eaten together with matzah in the form of a small sandwich, often with some charoset, that mixture of apples, walnuts, matzah meal and wine. This is known as a Hillel sandwich, since it was Rabbi Hillel who “invented” this symbol.
Shulchan Orech (holiday meal)
We’re now done with the first part of the Haggadah and everyone takes a break to eat the sumptuous Passover meal. In my family there was always hard-boiled eggs, Gefilte Fish, matzah ball soup, brisket, and a wonderful sponge cake. Since my birthday often falls during the holiday, sponge cake often served as my birthday cake as well.
Tzafun (the afikomen)
After dinner, it’s traditional for the children at the table to go out and “hunt” for the hidden piece of matzah. The Seder cannot continue until it is found. A prize (=$) is usually given to the child who finds it first, though many families give each child a small prize at the successful conclusion of the search. In some families, the roles are reversed, with the children hiding the piece and ransoming it back to the parents. At any rate, this helps keep the kids awake for the conclusion of the ritual part of the evening. The found piece is then shared as the final “dessert”.
Barech (grace after meals)
The third cup of wine is poured and everyone recites the universal Birkat Hamazon. A blessing is said over the third cup and it is drunk. Then the fourth cup is poured (Kos shel Eliyahu Hanavi), as well as an extra cup put out for the prophet Eliyahu (Elijah). Someone goes to open to door in case he has arrived to herald the coming of Moshiach (the Messiah). Some less traditional, more forward thinking families also put out a cup of Miriam, filled with water.
Hallel (songs of praise)
Several psalms are recited, a blessing is said over the fourth cup of wine and it is drunk.
A simple declaration is made that the Seder has been completed. One of the famous wishes of Jews in the diaspora is also made, that next year we may celebrate Passover in Jerusalem, “L’shana haba’ah b’Yerushalayim!” For Jews, who do, indeed, already live in Jerusalem, they say “L’shana haba’ah b’Yerushalayim habnuya!” (next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem).
At this point the formal Seder is complete, but many families sing additional songs, talk, and/or study until it’s time for bed.
How do you set your table to make the holiday special?
Participating shops are listed here & you can search on Etsy with the keywords: "pesach" or "etsychai". Please remember to use the word "Passover" in Notes to Seller when shopping with EtsyChai members this week!