Passover: You Too Can Be A Potato!

Rising Higher

Karpas, one of the ritual foods of the seder, is a vegetable that is dipped in salt water and then eaten. Our family has always used parsley for karpas, but Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein uses potato and we love his reason why. 
Certain animals (i.e. cows, fowl) have a holy quality that makes them suitable for consumption or sacrifice. But once the animal has a blemish, it is impure and can never be made holy again. God created humans differently. Throughout our lives we cycle up and down between holiness/joy and impurity/despair.

Now back to the potato. The humble spud spends its entire life underground, surrounded by dirt, but at Passover it is elevated to a place of high honor: the seder plate. Rabbi Rubinstein teaches that even if we spend the whole year stuck in the mud spiritually, or wallowing in the filth of a vulgar and materialistic society, Passover is an opportunity to elevate ourselves. As we recount the story of the exodus from Egypt, we personalize it by focusing on our own personal pharaohs (anger, envy, substance abuse, etc). We too can be like the potato, starting in the muck but reaching a higher level of holiness through the seder ritual.

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