Sunday, April 17, 2011

Our First Seder

Matt and I attended our first Seder, or Passover dinner, last night. Seder marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The story of the captivity of Jews in Egypt is told, as well as their liberation. 

It was especially interesting to Matt and me; after being raised in Christian households we knew all of the stories of Moses and such. Our new friend, Aaron, was one of our hosts, and led us through the Seder. It really meant a lot to us that we were invited to this religious and personal event, and he was so gracious with explaining things that we didn't understand, or answer any questions we had. And Abi, whose house we had the dinner at, was such an amazing host. She made it feel like a family gathering, and we had such an amazing time.

Here are some pictures:
 Elijah's cup - In Judaism, Elijah never died, but ascended into Heaven.  So at Passover, there is a cup of wine left for him, and during the dinner a door is even opened to allow him in.
 Matzo Bark.  It was a bit of a challenge to find a vegan/kosher dessert for Passover.  I just took matzo, poured caramel on top, then ganache on top of that.  Sprinkle on chopped walnuts and kosher salt, and you have matzo bark :)
 Matt finishing off matzo ball soup.
 Finishing off my second cup of sparkling cider.  In case you didn't know, there are four, yes FOUR, cups of wine consumed during Seder - per person!  It's crazy.  I decided to stick to cider.

Below:  The Seder plate.  Maror is the bitter herbs - horseradish - symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt.  Charoset is the purple mixture to the left of the bone, and it is composed of nuts, fruit and wine.  Charoset represents the mortar used by the Jews to build the storehouses of Egypt.  Next is Zeroa, or the lamb bone which symbolizes the korban Pesach, or lamb sacrifice offered at the temple in Jerusalem.   The parsley is the Karpas, or the parsley which is dipped into salt water, twice, and then eaten at the very beginning of the meal.  And last, the Beitzah, or the egg.  the Beitzah symbolizes korban chagigah, the festival sacrifice, that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, and then eaten on Passover night.
 Here Matt prepares to eat the Karpas.  It is quite possibly the most bitter thing I've ever consumed.
We survived our first Seder!

For the recipe for Matzo Bark, visit my other blog, Becoming a Veganista


Bakersg said...

this is incredible! i am fascinated by the Jewish religion / culture - I bet it was really interesting!

Das Coles said...

i always have been too! that's why i was so siked to be invited. quite fascinating :)