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Seder at the White House

ifoodiee's picture

Tonight, President Obama will be hosting the Passover Seder at the White House. It is the first time that a president is hosting the Seder at the White House. Though President Clinton allowed Seder to be held, he did not attend them.

It seems that last April, when campaigning President Obama attended a Passover seder in the basement of the Sheraton Hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He liked it so much that at the end of the dinner instead of saying Next year in Jerusalem, he said Next year in White house. Looks like Obama is keeping his promise.


The traditional Passover Seder is conducted in a strict order and includes symbolic food.  Lets take a peak into what the menu for the White House tonight.
 Three unleavened bread or Matzoh is placed within the folds of a napkin and served. This is done to symbolize how the Israelites had to flee Egypt in a hurry without even having time to let the dough to rise.




Maror or bitter herbs like horseradish or romaine lettuce is served to symbolize the bitterness of slavery.


A mixture of apples, nuts, wine, and cinnamon called Charoses is used as a symbolism of the concrete which was used by the Jewish slaves to construct buildings.


  Ingredients for Charoses



Next on the menu for Seder is Beitzah, a roasted egg. The egg stands for life and its perpetual nature. Karpas a vegetable, usually parsley or celery is served with a bowl of salt water. The salt water indicates the tears shed and parsley, the new hope and redemption.

The piece of roasted lamb shank bone called Zeroah completes the Sedar meal and symbolizes the paschal sacrificial offering. At least four glasses of wine will be consumed at the traditional Passover Seder feast. The fours rounds represent the four fold promise of redemption. A special glass is left for Elijah the prophet. I guess there will be quiet a few inebriated guests at the White House tonight.


I can’t comment on the political consequences of holding a Jewish feast at the White house, but I sure can say, that it seems that the Obamas’ are headed for a wonderful and meaningful feast where the food speaks for itself. Happy Passover!!

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Seder At The White House