Like everything in Judaism, our seder evolves each year and the props seem to pile up. A few years ago we added an orange to our seder plate, symbolizing that a woman, too, can lead a seder. — Joan Nathan, New York Times
A member of Rabbis for Human Rights, an interdenominational, Israeli-based organization that numbers modern-day slavery among its educational and advocacy issues, Rabbi Marcus will put the tomato in the center of her seder plate — alongside the traditional bitter herbs, charoset, parsley, shank bone and eggs, and an orange, a recent addition in many homes — as a symbol of contemporary slavery. — Steve Lipman, Jewish Week.
A few years ago, olives started showing up on the seder plate as a call for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. – Sue Fishkoff, JTA
An orange on a seder plate? Olives? How many symbols do we need during a ritual already bursting with symbols? Lots, that’s how many. I’m covering all my bases this year. Here’s a peek at my family’s seder plate:
Apple: Expresses our admiration for Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Grapes: These symbolize my love of grapes
Scallions: Kurdish Jews have a Passover custom of striking one another with scallions to symbolize the burdens of the Israelites. I like to put scallions on the seder plate to mock the Kurdish Jews.
Strawberries: Expresses solidarity with professional athletes struggling with addiction problems.
Carrots: The color orange reminds us of an orange, which symbolizes that a woman, too, can lead a seder.
Asparagus: A reminder to support SPUTI, the Society to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections.
Bell pepper: Reminds us that May 17 is the anniversary of the birth of James Thomas “Cool Papa” Bell, who had the best nickname in the history of baseball.
Broccoli: The surprising fact that broccoli is a member of the cabbage family helps us understand how some of our family members can actually be related to us.
Pineapple: Just as a pineapple starts out sweet and ends up causing cold sores, something something something about your brother’s new girlfriend.
Bananas: Reminds us that a man, too, can wash the damn dishes after the seder.