The Jewish Passover Seder Meal

Carla Diretto

What is the Jewish Passover Seder?

A Passover Seder is a Jewish ceremonial dinner that signifies the commencement of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is held on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan according to the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel, and like all Jewish holidays it starts and finishes at sunset.

What is a Seder?

The word "seder" means "order" in Hebrew, referring to the 15 parts of the Seder ritual which are observed in a specific sequence during the ceremony and centers around the Passover Seder meal.

Who prepares the Seder meal?

The family who is hosting the Seder prepares the Seder meal.

What items are on the Seder table?

There are several traditional items on the Jewish Seder table:

  1. Three Matzoh
  1. The Seder Plate
  2. Roasted Shankbone
  3. Roasted Egg
  4. Bitter Herbs
  5. Charoses
  6. Parsley, Lettuce or Watercress
  7. A wine goblet for each participant
  8. Wine, or grape juice
  9. A large goblet filled with wine at the center of the table ("Cup of Elijah")
  10. A pillow or cushion placed on the left arm of the chair used by the Leader, or close to it
  11. Dishes of Salt Water
  12. Extra Bitter Herbs and Charoses

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Are the Seder foods religiously significant?

All the traditional items on the Seder table are symbolic and are included to represent specific parts of the story of the Jewish people's exodus from Egypt.

Who is in charge of the Seder ceremony?

The leader or host for the evening (anyone). The leader is usually chosen by the host family. A good Seder leader should have the ability to encourage participation from everyone at the Seder.