Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An interfaith marriage at Passover.

The hubs grew up Jewish while I grew up Catholic - we're not very religious but we both still feel very connected to our faiths. I definitely identify as a Catholic, but I've always been fascinated by Judaism; marrying into a Jewish family that's been so welcoming has been a total blessing. Learning about the faith and the culture has been an enriching experience. At this time of Passover, with Easter on the horizon, I feel very lucky to take part in both celebrations.

Usually we head up to the hubs' home town in Humboldt County for a Passover Seder with the family and close family friends. This year we won't be able to sneak away, so I decided to put together our own mini celebration. Here's our Seder Plate:

Everything on the plate is very symbolic. Here's the break down: 

The bone (a lamb bone in this case) is symbolic of the special lamb sacrifice that was made before the exodus, and would have been made annually at the temple the afternoon before Passover. 

The egg represents the holiday offering brought durring the day to the Holy Temple. 

Bitter herbs (maror) remind us of the bitterness of the slavery of the Jews in Egypt. Grated horseradish, romaine lettuce, and parsley are commonly used for this.

A root vegetable (onions here) is symbolic of the back breaking work of the Jews under Pharaoh. 

Charoset, a mixture of apples, nuts, wine, and (sometimes) honey symbolizes the bricks and mortar from the Holy Temple and also reminds us of the work of the enslaved Jews. 

The three matzot (usually covered and placed below the plate) are symbolic of the three castes of Jews: Priests, Levites, and Israelites.

But why the orange (er, tangerine)? In the 1980's, Susannah Heschel, a well-known Jewish feminist scholar, famously included an orange on her Seder Plate as a symbol of inclusion of women, gays, and other marginalized people in Judaism. Spitting out the seeds of the orange once eaten takes this a step further to symbolize the rejection of homophobia within the faith. Isn't that beautiful? 

The top photo is the hubs and I under our chuppah with our Rabbi on our wedding day (by Lisa Fitts), the bottom photos via yours truly. 


  1. It was very interesting to read. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I just found you and I like your blog - will be back! :-)

  3. Such a cool blog! Knowing both faiths too, I knew the food and symbolism there, and I am amazed at the great way you explained it! And thankful because I didn't know about the orange! It's so cool, such a nice way of including the groups that are always either rejected or taken for granted! Such a nice post! Happy Easter (and Pessach!)

  4. Thank you all for such sweet comments! xo!


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