The Seder Plate and Today’s Refugees
The Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). Seder plate is one of the oldest symbolic representations of the Jewish people’s historic refugee experience.
In the face of unprecedented efforts to limit refugees’ ability to seek safety in the United States – even as more people are displaced by violence and persecution than ever before – these powerful symbols of both the unimaginable suffering and the boundless resilience and hope of refugees feel particularly poignant.
Download HIAS’ 2018 Lit. "Telling.” The haggadah is the book used at the seder table on Passover to tell the story of the Exodus, the central commandment of the holiday. It is rich in song, prayer, and legend. There are many different version of the Haggadah produced throughout Jewish history. supplement to explore these symbols in the context of the contemporary refugee crisis.
The black and white version is optimized for printing at home. Learn more: https://www.hias.org/passover2018.