Maraz Studios

Hot colors, cool porcelain

Passover 2008


Passover celebrates the history of Jewish slavery and their freedom from bondage in Egypt. It is an eight day observance during which special dietary rules are followed. This year, 2008, the first seder is held on the evening of April 19. Seders, (the word means “order”) or special dinners, are held on the first two nights to commemorate the mass exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Seders can last well into the night as families read from a special book called the Haggadah, which tells the story of the Israelites plight. They sing songs, put on plays and generally celebrate the fact that they are no longer slaves in the land of Egypt.

Below are some of the customary ritual objects used during the Seders. 

Kiddush Cup

 Wine, the Jewish symbol of joy, sanctifies this festival of freedom. There are four glasses of wine drunk during the course of the Seder. Each cup of wine, is raised high and a special prayer of thanksgiving is said to God. “Let us praise God with this symbol of joy and thank Him for all the good things He has given us. We thank Him for life and strength, for home and love and for the family and friends seated at this Seder table. With joy let us celebrate the way in which God brought His children out of Egypt, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, so that all of his children would be free.” “Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe Who makes the fruit of the vine.” Amen

The Maraz Studios kiddush cup is available in many color combinations.  It is bright, bold and beautiful and speaks to the connection of all assembled at the seder table as well as to all of our ancestors who fled Egypt to freedom.


Seder Plate


The Seder plate is the focal point of the seder table. It contains the elements of the story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Shank bone: a roasted bone that symbolizes the lamb that was roasted and eaten on the Seder night in Temple days. It reminds us of the sacrifice made by the Jewish people to God before He led them out of Egypt. Today it also reminds us of the sacrifices which good people make each day so that we may live in freedom. Roasted egg: a roasted egg represents eternal life and the renewal of life in the springtime. Maror: a bitter root (horseradish) which symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. Haroseth: a mixture of chopped walnuts, apples and wine representing the mortar which the Jewish people used to build the Egyptian cities when they were slaves. Karpas: parsley or any green vegetable stands for hope. Chazeret: ground horseradish which is eaten on matzo later in the Seder Salt water may or may not be on the Seder Plate: it represents the tears of the Jewish people.

Margie's 7 piece seder plate set will indeed be the focal point of your Seder. Or order the one piece multicolored ribboned plate which is 15 inches in diameter.  Other colors available.

Matzah Plate

Matzah is the bread which our ancestors ate in the dessert during their flight from Egypt. “Let anyone who is hungry, come in and eat. Let anyone who is needy, come in and make Passover. This year we are here, but next year we will be in Israel. This year we may be slaves, but next year, we can be free.”
There are three matzot on the Matzah plate. We break the middle matzah, and call it the afikoman. The leader of the Seder hides the afikoman away, while the younger generations learn of our freedom from slavery. Later when the children find the matzah half in its hidden place, they will get a reward and everyone at the seder will partake of the afikoman.

The Matzah tray shown here is part of a matching set but comes in many color combinations.  After the afikoman ceremony and during the meal, it can hold about a dozen 8" matzos.


CUP OF ELIJAH

There is an extra cup of wine on the table. We call it “The Elijah Cup”. We read that Elijah wanders about the earth teaching children and helping the poor. It is also told that a time will come when everyone in the world will be happy and good. Then Elijah will appear as a messenger from God to announce the coming of this perfect world. It is customary for a child to go at this time and open the door while the Seder leader lifts up the Elijah Cup and says, “We open this door on Passover to welcome any guest who may stand outside. We wish that all the poor and hungry people might celebrate this Seder as we do. We say, “Welcome Elijah, for with your coming, comes the time of peace and goodness on earth”. The door is then closed.

This makes a wonderful gift as the Elijah Cup holds a special place on the Seder table.  Every year we hope that Elijah will come and drink wine from his cup at our table.

MIRIAM’S CUP 

         

Miriam, sister of Moses, prophetess, and leader, is associated with water. It was she who convinced her mother to place the basket, with baby Moses inside, into the waters of the Nile and who then convinced the daughter of Pharaoh to save the tiny infant. And, when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, Miriam led all the women in a dance of celebration and thanksgiving on the shore. Due to the merit of Miriam, a wonderful well of healing, sweet, fresh water followed our people in their wanderings in the wilderness. So now we, collectively, fill the Cup of Miriam, with water from each of our own glasses, signifying that, through our unique contributions, we strive to bring refreshment and healing to our world.

The practice of honoring Miriam at the seder is a fairly recent one.  The Maraz Studios Miriam's Cup is passed from person to person with each individual adding a tablespoon of water from their own water glass into the Miriam's Cup until it has passed completely around the table.  With their bold flowing colorful design, these cups remind all assembled of the youthful vibrant spirit of the prophetess and the role she played in the freeing of the Jewish slaves from Egypt and in their travels to the land of Israel.