The traditional seder plate is a towering figure in the world of Jewish iconography. From the sting of the bitter herbs to the smooth implacable roundness of the egg, every item in the seder plate symbolizes some aspect of the Jewish redemption from slavery.
This year, anti-genocide group Jewish World Watch is asking that you consider not just the slavery of the past but also those suffering in chains at the present. Consider them with a plate of six alternate items, each related to issues troubling the millions of refugees in the world today:
1.Kitchen matches, to spark conversation about the ethnic cleaning fires that destroyed Rohingyan village in Myanmar.
2.Band-Aids to represent the medical supplies desperately needed by Syrian war-wounded civilians.
3.A tomato, bringing to mind efficient farming techniques that can save the hungry in Darfuri refugee camps.
4.A cell phone to remind you of the conflict minerals mined in Congo, where children are often forced to work under unsafe conditions.
5.A toy to remind you of the lost childhood of millions of refugees.
6.A glass of water to remind you of the millions who don’t have access to clean water.
Feel bad yet? Download the flashcards on JWW’s website for the full dose of Jewish guilt.
Shira Feder is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org