Passover Seder & Easter Dinner Recipe Round-Up

Here at OUR KrAzY kitchen we love round-ups and parties. We are also a multi-denominational group of foodies and want to make sure to include everyone and their traditional foods. So during the month of March we are looking for you to link up your family favorites and traditions as you celebrate your holiday with us. Passover begins on March 29th at sundown and Easter Sunday is April 4th this year. We also thought we would offer you a bit of history on both holidays.


According to Wikipedia, The Seder is a family ritual prescribed according to Jewish law and based on the interpretation of the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt… Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah, an ancient work derived from the Seder service prescribed by the Mishnah (Pesahim 10) including the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud, and special Passover songs. Seder customs include drinking of four cups of wine, eating matza and partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate. With a Haggadah serving as a guide, the Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.

Jews generally observe one or two seders: in Israel, one seder is observed on the first night of Passover; in the Diaspora communities other than Reform and Reconstructionist Jews hold a seder also on the second night.

While many Jewish holidays revolve around the synagogue, the Seder is conducted in the family home, although communal Seders are also organized by synagogues, schools and community centers, some open to the general public. It is customary to invite guests, especially strangers and the needy. The Seder is integral to Jewish faith and identity: as explained in the Haggadah, if not for divine intervention and the Exodus, the Jewish people would still be slaves in Egypt. Therefore, the Seder is an occasion for praise and thanksgiving and for re-dedication to the idea of liberation. Furthermore, the words and rituals of the Seder are a primary vehicle for the transmission of the Jewish faith from grandparent to child, and from one generation to the next. Attending a Seder and eating matza on Passover is a widespread custom in the Jewish community, even among those who are not religiously observant.

The Passover Seder Plate (ke’ara) is a special plate containing six symbolic foods used during the Passover Seder. Each of the six items arranged on the plate have special significance to the retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The seventh symbolic item used during the meal—a stack of three matzot—is placed on its own plate on the Seder table.

The six items on the Seder Plate are:

* Maror and Chazeret; Two types of bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt. For maror, many people use freshly grated horseradish or whole horseradish root. Chazeret is typically romaine lettuce, whose roots are bitter-tasting. Either the horseradish or romaine lettuce may be eaten in fulfillment of the mitzvah of eating bitter herbs during the Seder.
* Charoset; A sweet, brown, pebbly mixture, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt.
* Karpas; A vegetable other than bitter herbs, usually parsley but sometimes something such as celery or cooked potato, which is dipped into salt water (Ashkenazi custom), vinegar (Sephardi custom) or charoset (older custom, still common amongst Yemenite Jews) at the beginning of the Seder.
* Z’roa; A roasted shank bone, symbolizing the korban Pesach (Pesach sacrifice), which was a lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and was then roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.
* Beitzah; A roasted egg, symbolizing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and was then eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.

Also according to Wikipedia, Easter (Greek: Πάσχα) is the most important annual religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to Christian scripture, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day of his crucifixion. Christians celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday[2] (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday), two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday. The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be between AD 26 and AD 36. Easter also refers to the season of the church year called Easter tide or the Easter Season. Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day but now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the vernal equinox.[3] Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21 (regardless of the astronomically correct date), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar their celebration of Easter therefore varies between April 4 and May 8.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover not only for much of its symbolism but also for its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast called Easter in English is termed by the words for passover in those languages and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover.

The above passage from Wikipedia I don’t believe is as clear as it could be based on Chaya and I chatting. I believe they meant that the symbolism is important to each faith, but it does come across sounding almost like they are similar, which is not actually true. I think Chaya says, it much better:

There is one point that, Jews would not agree with. The symbols for Judaism don’t come close to Easter. Think about it. Crucification. Many still believe that the Jews killed Jesus. The Passover symbols are all about the Jews escaping from the Egyptians and freedom. I think it diminishes the strength of both holidays (to lump them together).”