Planning a Traditional Seder

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated March 29, 2010)

In the Jewish religion, perhaps the single most important holiday is the Passover. As many people may remember, the Passover is when the Jewish exodus from Egypt is celebrated. While the Passover is actually an eight day celebration, the Seder feast is what is used to help celebrate this holiday, and to reenact the actual Exodus. As such, planning a traditional Seder is fairly easy, at least if you follow these guidelines.

  • Get a copy of the Haggadah. To properly celebrate the Passover holiday, you will need to get a copy of the Haggadah, which is a book that has the rules and procedures for a Seder in it. This is very important, since things need to be done in a very specific way when celebrating a Seder. You can get an idea of how important if you stop and consider that the word "Seder" literally means "order."
  • Create a guest list. An important part of celebrating a Seder is to have some guests. Don't limit your guest list to only Jewish members of your family, and friends. Part of the importance of the Seder is to remember that the Jews were once strangers in Egypt. In addition, this is an opportunity to share the rich history and tradition that is the Jewish culture, don't miss it.
  • Decide the day. While the very first day of the Passover season is usually the most celebrated, that doesn't mean that is the only day that you can use. Instead, talk it over with your friends and family to determine when would be the best time to have your Seder.
  • Create a menu. Traditional food and drink is an expected part of a traditional Seder, but don't worry since you will be able to choose from a wide variety of different foods. For example, you can have things like beef brisket, roasted turkey and chicken, hard-boiled eggs, candied carrots, potato kugel, chicken soup, gefilte fish, and matzo balls. Refrain from serving anything pork or any leavened bread (bread which has had yeast added) as they are forbidden. For a truly traditional Seder, be sure that you also remove any other Passover forbidden items from your kitchen before the season arrives.
  • Don't forget the ceremonial items. Ceremony and tradition are an important part of the Seder feast, and this means that you will need to get a few items specifically for this. These items are usually kept on the Seder plate, and include the following: matzo (an unleavened bread), karpas (which is fresh parsley), maror (which is bitter herbs, such as horserasdish), charoset (which is an apple, nut, and honey dish), a lamb shank bone, and a roasted egg. In addition, you will also need to be sure that you have enough kosher-for-Passoverwine so that each person will be able to have four glasses.
  • Prepare the readings. There will come a part of the Seder where you are expected to read some passages from the Haggadah. Make sure that you consider your guests when you are making your reading selections. They should be age appropriate if you have children. Ask your guests if they have any favorites, and incorporate them into the selection list.
  • Prepare your table. While preparing the table for your meal, you need to make sure that you have enough seating for everyone plus one. This extra seat is traditionally reserved for the Prophet Elijah, in case of his return. There should also be a small pillow near the left arm of the Seder leader's chair, and small bowls of salt water for everyone to dip greens into. Finally, there should also be a small bowl and a towel which the Seder leader can use to wash their hands in if necessary.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Country Home Decorating

Country home decorating is not necessarily about country music (though many people are inspired by it). Instead to many ...

Discover More

Beer Brewing Necessities

If you have never done it before, making some homebrew beer can be a really enjoyable hobby. However, in order to brew beer ...

Discover More

Orange Chicken

If you, and your family, are in the mood for some fine Asian cuisine, but don't want to have the same old dish again, then ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Dinner Party Invitations

Have you ever wanted to host a formal dinner party, but were just a tad unsure where to begin? The proper place would be with ...

Discover More

Creating a Memorable Dinner

Whether it is your turn to put together a dinner for your family and friends, or you simply want to do something a little ...

Discover More

Seven Layer Dip

If you are having a get together, or are simply looking for a great dip to go along with your favorite chips, then you really ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)