Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

An Inauguration Seder Plate

By Heather Ciociola
inauguration seder plate

I was hard-boiling eggs the day before the inauguration, and I had the idea to make a seder plate that would honor our coming out of the wilderness, the narrow place that has been this past administration, which was a symptom of so much of our history. I crowdsourced among friends, thought about what is meaningful to me, and what symbolism and representation I wanted to include in this ritual. I love that this is ultimately a collection of all of those things, and honors where we are and where we still need to go.

Ritual Items

Hard-boiled egg, the original inspiration, for life and renewal, out of the narrow place.

Pecan, for Georgia flipping the Senate, Stacey Abrams and all the amazing organizers I know, thank you.

Date, because time's up! And really, for sweetness and sustenance, with homage to opening the fast on Ramadan with my Muslim sisters, for hopes that the Muslim Ban will be rescinded soon.

Salt water and parsley, for the tears of all the loss and pain and grief and sadness, and hopes for a coming spring.

Sage, for purification and cleansing, much needed!

Votive candle, for light and knowledge and wisdom, with gratitude to everyone who shared their lights during this dark time and made our days a little brighter.

Challah, for all the bread we baked, and because bread is a miracle.

The written word, "Let America Be America Again," by Langston Hughes.

Postcard from a friend, in honor of friends who reach out, and postcards, and words I believe!

Elijah's cup, to welcome the stranger; filled with Jamaican rum in honor of Kamala Harris, our soon-to-be new VP, and all the firsts she represents.

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, shehekheyanu, v’keyemanu v’higianu lazman hazeh.

Thank you to Jennifer Ryan, Simone Crespi, Michelle Peltier, Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Susan Waskow and Jessica Brenner Baskin for your ideas, to Aaron Fichtner for supporting, and to Sarah Brammer-Shlay for encouraging me to contribute this idea.

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