Walking towards Freedom - Oranges and Apples on the Seder Plate?

The Seder is packed full of symbols and foods to encourage us to ask questions and engage with the Pesach story. In the last decades people have begun to suggest new symbols; taking nothing away from the ancient ones, but begging new and challenging questions of us and how we engage with questions of slavery and freedom.
One of the most famous is the Orange on the Seder plate, the story of which everyone tells differently. The way I have heard it is that Susannah Heschel placed it on her seder plate as a symbol of how fruitful the Jewish community could be when full rights and freedoms are granted to all regardless of gender or sexuality. The gender part has dominated the telling of the story with the orange being a symbol of women's rights to be on the Bimah. This year Anat Hoffman is leading a Women of the Wall campaign retelling the story once again:

 And a new campaign has been launched this year, encouraging us to place an apple on the Seder plate, as a symbol of our own complicity in the oppression of workers for big corporations abused with terrible working conditions, long hours and low pay. The video is available on vimeo, and I haven't worked out how to embed here I'm afraid, but it's definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it yet: http://vimeo.com/39174363

There are so many ways we can encourage questioning and engagement in these issues. Perhaps ask guests to bring something that symbolises freedom for them, and have others guess what it means before they share the story. Making these issues contemporary and relevant help us appreciate what slavery meant to our ancestors, and our responsibility to do something about it today!


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