Seder Plate: The Vegetable

A non-bitter root vegetable alludes to the back-breaking work of the Jews as slaves. The Hebrew letters of karpas can be arranged to spell "Perach Samech".

Perach means backbreaking work and Samech is numerically equivalent to 60, referring to the 60 myriads (10,000), equaling 600,000, which was the number of Jewish males over 20 years of age who were enslaved in Egypt.

Peel an onion or boiled potato. Cut off a slice and place on Seder plate. On the table, next to the Seder plate, place a small bowl of salted water.

Role in the Seder:
After recital of Kiddush, the family goes to the sink and ritually washes hands, but without saying the usual blessing.

Then the head of the household cuts a small piece of the root vegetable used, dips it in salt water, and gives each person at the table a very small piece over which they say the appropriate blessing. Care should be taken that each person eats less than 17 grams ( 1/2 ounce).