Analysis Of The Seder Plate In Passover Tradition

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While living in the Bay Area, I have a valuable opportunity to experience many interesting food cultures. Doing my report on cultural traditions, I am inspired to enrich my knowledge in the culture that I have little knowledge of. Through the interview presentations, personal experiences shared by students, and several suggestions of indicative foods by the instructor, I have gained interests in different food habits and food symbolisms. After doing small research on each topic to decide what I am really interested in, I chose to learn more about the Seder plate in Passover tradition. The meanings of the celebration as well as the symbolic foods intertwine with the Jewish history of more than 210 years of slavery in Egypt. Though I have learnt about the cruelty of slavery, I have never known about any celebrated festival to commemorate on the journey to freedom from bondage. I am curious in understanding how symbolic foods that are emphasized in this festival represent the experiences that the Israelites faced and their passage to freedom. Passover (also known as Pesach in Hebrew) is one of the most sacred festival in the Jewish calendar and the longest continuing ritual in the human history. Since 1300 B.C, Jews celebrate this tradition to commemorate the national freedom of the Children of Israel and recalls stories behind the Israelites' departure from the land of Egypt. Spring time signifies the season of Passover, which begins at the sunset marking the fifteenth day of Nisan, the first month in Jewish calendar. In modern calendar, that is between April and May. The story of Passover is written in the Book of Exodus, the second book of Hebrew Bible. Over 3000 years ago, Pharoah, the King of Egypt, enslaved Jews and tortur... ... middle of paper ... ...e tradition. Hopefully, the younger generations will continue to celebrate the sacred celebration to maintain their heritage in the future. Besides the historical meaning behind this tradition, the Seder plate in Passover celebration not only teaches the younger generation to recall the past painful experiences from slavery, but also emphasizes on the positive sides of their successful journey and their joyful moments. Each of the symbolic foods of the Passover Seder Plate has an interesting meaning, and together, they created complex layered meaning of the tradition. Family and friends come together to reflect upon history, sympathize the tragedies, and celebrate the triumphs of their ancestors. It is extraordinary that all Jews around the world strongly symbolize their ancestors’ experiences and spread it as the foundation of national identity.

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