A pineapple for the Seder plate
OVER the past 20 years or so it’s become the custom in some households to add to the traditional items on the Seder plate an orange, as a symbol of egalitarianism.
It originated with the American scholar Susan Heschel, who once read a remark by a rabbi that there was as much room in Judaism for a lesbian as for a crust of bread at the Seder. Not wishing to use bread on Pesach, she chose an orange instead.
In subsequent years, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) has suggested other emblems: such as beetroot, to show compassion towards animals, or olives, to pray for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
You will need a pretty big plate to accommodate this year’s recommendation — a pineapple. Prized in early America as a sign of welcome and prosperity, the RRC says, it should stand as a symbol of hospitality to the millions of refugees throughout the world who are “crossing through danger and into unknown lands”.