Before beginning the seder this Wednesday night, it is important to make certain that everything necessary is available. No seder table is complete without the following:

1) Three Unbroken Matzot (Kosher for Passover) — Many have the custom to use shmura (specially supervised) matzah for the seders.

2) Wine/Grape Juice (Kosher for Passover) and Wine glasses or cups — All participants should be given a glass or cup (minimum size of 3.3 ounces) from which to drink the required four cups of wine/grape juice.

3) The Seder Plate — It is traditional to place the following items on a special seder plate:

Bay’tza/Roasted (hard-boiled) Egg, symbolic of the cycle of life because of its round shape and representative of the Jewish character – the more you boil them, the harder they get. The egg also represents the missing chagiga (holiday) sacrifice that was offered on Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot.

Z’roa/Shank Bone (of a lamb or the bone of another kosher animal or fowl), representing the Passover lamb offering that we can no longer bring today because of the absence of the Temple.

Maror/Bitter Herbs, reminding participants of the bitterness and pain of slavery.

Karpas/Vegetable (usually a piece of celery, parsley or potato), which is dipped in salt water as part of the seder ritual.

Charoset, a tasty mixture of chopped walnuts, wine, cinnamon and apples, representing the mortar the Jewish slaves used to build Pharaoh’s cities (recipes may vary by community).

Chazeret/Bitter Vegetable (like romaine lettuce or celery), which is sometimes placed on the seder plate to remind us of the bitter lives of the Israelites as slaves.

4) Salt Water — The karpas (vegetable) is dipped in salt water as a reminder of the tears of the Jewish slaves. Usually, the salt water is not placed on the seder plate, but near it.

5) Elijah’s Cup — This cup, filled with wine, is used to invite Elijah the Prophet, the harbinger of the Messianic age, to come to the seder, and hopefully, begin our final redemption.

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