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Karpas - Dipping the Vegetables

Karpas -

Dipping the Vegetables

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Dipping Parsley

The third activity of the traditional Passover Seder is to partake of the karpas, a vegetable (often parsley, celery or a radish) dipped into salt water or vinegar.

Various explanations for the karpas ritual have been given, including the idea that is a means to make the children at the Seder more curious, or that it is a luxury of the free person to eat an appetizer before a fancy meal. The vegetable symbolizes the lowly origins of the Jewish people; the salt water symbolizes the tears shed as a result of our slavery. Parsley is often used for this purpose because when you shake off the salt water, it resembles tears.

The seder leader calls out, "Karpas!" and then everyone present will recite the following blessing before dipping their vegetable in salt water and eating:

Ha'Adamah Blessing

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
borei p'ri ha'adamah.

"Blessed art thou, Lord our God, Master of the universe,
Creator of the fruit of the earth.

Note that during the Seder we will actually dip twice - the second time we will dip maror into the charoset - as a symbolic gesture of freedom (the ancient Greeks it was customary to begin a meal with a number of dips). Hence, one of the "Four Questions" asked is, "Why do we dip twice?"

Blood of the Lamb

The parsley also represents the hysop that was used to daub the blood of the Passover lamb upon the door posts and lintel of the house. Today we apply the blood to the doorposts of our hearts by putting our trust in the work of Yeshua as our Passover Lamb.

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