2018-09-23 - Exodus ~ The Seder Table
The Hebrew Christian Passover
There is another group for whom the Passover has great meaning, the meaning God intended it to have. This is the Hebrew Christian. Scripture teaches that there is always a faithful remnant in Israel. This is the Hebrew Christian. It is true, in once sense, that we are all Jewish and spiritual decedents of Abraham. But there is a group of true Jews, in the sense that they are both the spiritual and physical decedents of Abraham. These are the Hebrew Christians. And we also celebrate the Passover, but we celebrate it in terms of how it pictures the Messiah.
Just a note, the Haggadah I am using today is Hebrew Christian Passover Haggadah, compiled by Arnold G. Gruchtenbaum, 2nd edition, published by Beth Sar Shalom Fellowship.
Previously, we introduced the elements that make up the Passover Seder. Let me recap what they were, and their traditional meanings. Reading again from The New Haggadah:
THE SEDER TABLE
“The Seder table should be arranged as attractively as possible. It is customary to decorate it with flowers, lighted candles and embroidered mazzah covers, designed especially for use on this occasion. These mazzah covers are generally divided into three sections.
The traditional Seder table includes a number of symbolic objects, which are placed together on a Seder plate, or on an ordinary platter in front of the person who leads the service.
The complete Seder setting should include the following:
- THREE MAZZOT: placed separately in the sections of the special mazzah cover, or in the folds of an ordinary napkin. Two of these mazzot symbolize the two loves of bread over which the usual benediction is pronounced on Sabbaths and festivals. The third mazzah emphasizes the role of the mazzah in the Pesah ritual …
- A ROASTED SHANK BONE: to commemorate the paschal sacrifice which our ancestors brought to the Temple on Pesah, in ancient times.
- A ROASTED EGG: to symbolize the haggigah or festival sacrifice, which was always brought to the Temple on festive occasions, and which, on Pesah, supplemented the paschal lamb.
- BITTER HERBS: to symbolize the bitterness of Israel’s bondage in Egypt. Horse radish is usually used.
- HAROSET: to symbolize the mortar which the Israelites used in building the “treasure cities for Pharaoh.” The harosed is a mixture of grated apples, chopped nuts, cinnamon, and a little wine.
- PARSLEY, LETTUCE, WATERCRESS, or any other green herb, and a dish of salt water, into which it is to be dipped before it is eaten. These greens symbolize the coming of Spring, and suggest the perpetual renewal of life, and, hence, the ever-sustaining hope of human redemption.
- FOUR CUPS OF WINE: to be offered during the Seder service; one at Kiddus, one following the recital of the first part of the Hallel, one after Grace, and one at the conclusion of the Seder. These four cups symbolize the four-fold promise of redemption which, according to the Bible, God pledged to Israel: “I will bring you forth,” (EXOD. 6:6); “ I will deliver you,” (ibid.); “I will redeem you,” (ibid.); and “I will take you,” (EXOD. 6:7).
- CUP OF ELIJAH: A special cup in the center of the table, known as the Cup of Elijah. … This Cup of Elijah remains unfilled until the conclusion of the meal, when it is filled, and left untouched.
As a symbol of freedom, a cushioned armchair is provided for each person at the table.” 1
- Kaplan, Mordecai M., ed. and Eugene Kohn and Ira Eisenstein for the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, The New Haggadah, Behrman House, Inc, Publishers, New York, NY., 1942, p. ix - xii.
Exodus study, to be continued.
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