tagged: סגולות segulot

 

Ḥaroset, the Seder’s Innermost Secret: Earth & Eros in the Celebration of Pesaḥ, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

There it sits on the Seder plate: ḥaroset, a delicious paste of chopped nuts, chopped fruits, spices, and wine. So the question would seem obvious: “Why is there ḥaroset on the Seder plate?” That’s the most secret Question at the Seder – so secret nobody even asks it. And it’s got the most secret answer: none. . . .

כּוֹס לְמִרְיָם | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Miriam’s Cup of Water

Rabbi Yosi son of Rabbi Yehuda says: “Three good sustainers arose for Israel. These are they: Moses and Aaron and Miriam. And three good gifts were given because of them, and these are they: well, and cloud, and manna. The well was given in merit of Miriam… Miriam died and the well ceased, as it is written (Numbers 20:1-2) “And Miriam died there,” and it says right afterwards “and there was no water for the community.” . . .

קְלִפּוֹת לֶפֶת | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Turnip peels, after the Holocaust remembrance of Pearl Benisch

Pearl Benisch… remembers Passover in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in the spring of 1945, just days before her liberation. . . .

פִּלְחֵי תָפּוּ״ז | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Orange segments, after the teaching of Susanna Heschel

In the early 1980s, while speaking at Oberlin College Hillel, Susannah Heschel was introduced to an early feminist haggadah that suggested adding a crust of bread on the seder plate, as a sign of solidarity with Jewish lesbians (suggesting that there’s as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the seder plate). Heschel felt that to put bread on the seder plate would be to accept that Jewish lesbians and gay men violate Judaism like ḥamets violates Passover. So, at her next seder, she chose an orange as a symbol of inclusion of gays and lesbians and others who are marginalized within the Jewish community. She offered the orange as a symbol of the fruitfulness for all Jews when lesbians and gay men are contributing and active members of Jewish life. . . .

סִילְקָא דְּרָב הוּנָא | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Beets, after the rabbinic teaching of Rav Huna (ca. 3rd c.)

The color of beets, which never leaves our hands, symbolizes the teachings of the sages, which are still passed down. And the redness symbolizes the blood of the covenant, still there after all these years. . . .

A Second Passover Seder Plate with Seven Additions, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

A Passover seder supplement containing seven additional symbolic foods and their associated ritual presentations, along with their collective organization on a second seder plate. . . .

כְּרֵשׁוֹת | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Leeks

An old Persian tradition involves hitting each other with leeks during the recitation of Dayenu. Nowadays this is replaced with a gentle tap with a scallion for safety reasons. . . .

סדר אכילת הסמנים | Seder Akhilat haSimanim for Rosh Hashanah 5881, by Ḥayyim Obadyah (2020)

A liturgy of symbolic foods exclusively for the eve of the Hebrew new year 5781. A traditional egalitarian Hebrew text being a newly revised liturgy with contemporary text and additional prayers suitable to our perilous and worrisome state at the beginning of this second year of the pandemic and including a modern English translation together with learned annotations and guidance for observance in the home. . . .

סדר אכילת הסמנים | The Seder of Auspicious Foods for the Feast of Rosh Hashanah according to the Persian custom

Thank you to Nili Simhai and Yosh Schulman for sharing the Farsi (Persian) Nusaḥ of this punful minhag — the order of reciting kavvanot (intentions) for the New Year. Profound thanks are also due to Rabbi Simcha Daniel Burstyn of Kibbutz Lotan for his translation. Please help the Open Siddur Project by helping to translate and transcribe all of the Hebrew and Farsi in this seder. Sol’e nu Mobarak! سال نو مبارک — L’shanah Tova! . . .

תְּחִנָה זאָנט מען װען מען בּײַסט אָפּ דעם פִּטוּם פוּן דעם אֶתְרוֹג | Tkhine for when biting the pitom from the etrog (Siddur Ḳorban Minḥah, 1897)

A tkhine for when biting the pitom from the etrog . . .

דָּג לְמִרְיָם | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Miriam’s Fish, recorded by Rav Sherira Gaon in 10th-century Iraq

A millennium-old tradition, recorded by Rav Sherira Gaon in 10th-century Iraq. He would always have three cooked foods on the seder plate. The egg, a product of the birds of the sky, a sign of renewal and rebirth, represented Moses, the law, the heavens, and the revelational aspects of faith. The shankbone, a product of the animals of the field, a commemoration of the original Pesaḥ sacrifice, represented Aaron, the priesthood, the earth, and the ritual aspects of faith. And the fish, representing the constant flowing nature of water, represented Miriam, prophecy, the waters, and the spiritual aspects of faith. . . .

קָפֶה בֵּית מַכְּסְוֶיל | Items for the Second Seder Plate: Maxwell House coffee

Why is this coffee different from all other coffees? Because Maxwell House coffee is a deeply spiritual representation of the Diaspora experience. . . .

סדר אכילת הסמנים | Seder Akhilat haSimanim: The “Symbolic Foods of Life” Seder for Rosh Hashanah by R’ R. Karpov, Ph.D.

Ḥazal, — some of our Jewish Sages, May Their Memory Be For A Blessing — suggest that ‘simanah milsah‘ — a symbol has significance. Some of the teachers of Jewish tradition encourage us on Rosh HaShanah to partake of a variety of foods suggestive of prosperity and happiness. This usage is alluded to in the directive of the prophet Nechemiah to the assembly: ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet …” (Nechemiah 8:10). Our kavvanoth — sacred intentions — are that these Symbolic Foods Of Life are to help us effect a good coming year. . . .

סֵדֶר סִימָנִים לְרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה – שִׁכְתּוּב אַנְגְּלִי שֶׁשּׁוֹמֵר לָשׁוֹן־שֶׁנּוֹפֵל־עַל־לָשׁוֹן | Order of Simanim for Rosh haShanah — an English paraphrase that preserves wordplay, by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Many communities have a custom of reciting “simanim” on the night of Rosh haShanah — invocations on a series of foods punning over their Hebrew or Aramaic names. This is an assortment of common simanim, along with English loose translations that preserve the punning aspects of the foods. . . .

An Accounting of Punny Foods for the Rosh haShanah Feast, by Stephen Belsky

As חז”ל [Ḥazal] taught us, on ראש השנה [Rosh Hashanah] we elevate puns from the lowest form of humor to the highest religious experience. The foods suggested by our Sages had names in Aramaic or Hebrew that symbolized hopes for the new year — here is a list of foods with English names for those of us for whom English is our vernacular. . . .