- Doubly free
- Redeemed by the life (blood) of the Pesach
Dipping the Vegetables (the “Appetizer”). A small piece of onion or boiled potato… is dipped into saltwater and eaten (after reciting the blessing over vegetables). Dipping the karpasz in saltwater alludes to the backbreaking labor performed by the Jews in Egypt. The saltwater represents the tears of our ancestors in Egypt. The Seder Leader calls out Karpasz. The third activity of the Passover Seder is to partake of the karpasz, a vegetable (onion or boiled potato, parsley, celery or a radish) dipped into salt water or vinegar. Various explanations for the karpasz ritual have been given, including the idea that it is a luxury of the free person to eat an appetizer before eating a formal meal. The vegetable symbolizes the humble origins of the Children of Israel; the salt water symbolizes the tears that were shed as a result of slavery. Parsley is used as a medium to shake off the salt water because this action causes the shaken off salt water to resemble tears.The Seder Leader calls out, “Karpasz!” and then everyone present will recite the following blessing before dipping their vegetable in salt water and then eating it:
“Blessed art You, Lord G-d, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth.”
“Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam, Borei p’ri ha’adamah.”
We dip twice during the Seder. The second time the maror is dipped into the charoset. This is a symbolic gesture of freedom (i.e. ‘doubly free’). During the Seder one of the Four Questions the children ask is, “Why do we dip twice?” Therefore, the answer is because “We are doubly free.”
Redeemed by the life (blood) of the Pesach:
The parsley represents the hysop that was used to apply the blood of the Korban Pesach (sacrificed lamb) upon the door posts and lintel of the house. This speaks of our applying the redemption of the Holy One to the the doorposts of our hearts by putting our trust in the work of our Kinsman Redeemer, Messiah, the Lamb of G-d, who is our Passover Lamb.