Washingtonian

Why You Might See Pineapples On Your Seder Plate This Year

Published April 11, 2017

Last night, Jews marked the beginning of Passover with a plate of food symbolizing the Israelites’ flight from slavery in Egypt millennia ago. Along with typical elements like hard-boiled egg and bitter herbs, many are including something new this year: pineapple.

Each item on the seder plate is meant to be a symbolic reminder of generations of bondage. The introduction of tropical fruit into the traditional Jewish meal is meant to as a reminder of modern-day oppressed peoples.

“In American colonial times, the pineapple was a symbol of welcome and prosperity,” Rabbi Deborah Waxman, the president of Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, says in a YouTube video. “They were special gifts because of the great labor and expense required to ship them from the tropics. As we think about those in the midst of crossing through danger and into unknown lands, we aim to bestow upon them the gifts of hospitality and a sweet welcome.”

Other Passover observers have started adding bananas to their seder plates, a connection to 3-year-old Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washing up on a Turkish beach in 2015 became one of the most circulated images of the Syrian refugee crisis…read more here.

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