Passover Seder is a ritual meal of the Jews, held on the first day of the Passover week, which begins on the 14th day of Nisan. The feast is held on the first evening of Passover. Seder is prescribed under the Jewish laws. As Passover is celebrated to commemorate the freedom of Jews from their enslavement under the Egyptian emperor, it is obligatory for the Jews to narrate the story of Exodus at the Seder table and honor the event. In fact, the Seder table is associated with several customs and traditions that are to be followed, while having dinner. Read on to know more about the Pesach Seder table and the rituals associated with it.
Seder Table for Passover
Traditionally, Seder table is decorated with the finest place settings and silverware. The family members come to have Passover meal at the table, dressed in their holiday clothes. There is a Jewish tradition, which calls upon the person leading the Seder to wear a white robe, called kittel. Each participant requires only a plate and a glass of wine for the first half of the Seder. The Seder plate containing the various symbolic foods of the Jews is placed at the center of the table. These foods are eaten during the Seder and their symbolism is pointed out, in relation to the Exodus of Jews from Egypt. A plate with three matzah and dishes of salt water (for dipping) are also placed near the Seder plate.
Each member of the family attending dinner at the Seder table is handed over a copy of the Haggadah, an ancient text that elaborates the complete Seder service. The men and women participating in Seder are equally obligated to abide by the rules of the Hagaddah. In many Jewish families, one member at the Seder table recites the critical parts of the Haggadah in Hebrew and Aramaic. There is a requirement that certain parts of the text are to be read in a language everyone can understand, while the critical parts of the text are read in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. The leader reading out for everyone, often, interrupts the reading and discusses the important points with his/her children.
The important points of the Hagaddah are discussed to give the listeners an insight into the meaning of the text and interpretation of words. In some families, the dinner participants recite the text of Hagaddah by taking turns. They may read in the original Hebrew or the translation. According to Jewish traditions or customs, the head of the family and other participants in the dinner should hold pillows behind them to avoid any discomfort, whatsoever, in reading the Hagaddah, or otherwise. During the Seder, the family members lean at several occasions, such as while drinking the four cups of wine, eating the Afikoman, or having the korech sandwich. The Passover Seder is held in all the Jewish families, as per the age old customs and traditions of the Jews.