The Seder Plate: So They Will Ask Questions

Passover, Seder, Uncategorized

About the Plate’s Unique Construction:

This Seder Plate is a unique piece of usable art. It is constructed of 36 layers of carefully coordinated paper cuts. Each layer is a different color and cut partially by hand and by cutting machine and then glued to its adjoining layers. The resulting art piece is then sealed in a specially-designed, and individually hand-crafted, clear case to preserve its utility and beauty.  The case was constructed to hang on the wall year-round as fine art. Paper color, thickness, texture and pattern vary from one seder plate to another. Each plate is unique. Each is an original Artist’s Proof, signed, numbered and marked “A.P.”. In addition, each Seder Plate includes a set of 6 beautiful hand-etched bowls designed by Jonathan.

  • This picture shows mySeder Plate prototype. The current version has the larger surface on top and smaller surface on the bottom
    • This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My Reason for Creating this Unique Usable Art Piece:

The Passover seder is built to remove that greatest barrier from freedom – the estrangement from the needed language to both begin and carry on the search for true freedom. This is done through a process of remembering through retelling (actually re-membering, as in putting the members back together through language); of bringing our past up to date for application toward our future. Central to the seder is asking questions about yitzi’at mitzrayim (leaving Egypt, a life of slavery).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Asking questions is not just a time-honored Jewish tradition. It is referred to in many places within our Torah, Talmud, and by the sages and commentators throughout the 2,000 years of dispersal. So central is our leaving Egypt, that in the first Commandment, God refers to himself not as the Creator of the Universe, but as the One who brought us out of the Land of Egypt! So important is asking questions, that a lone seder participant is commanded to ask him/herself questions! As such, communication with others at the seder is only seen as a stepping stone to asking oneself the following ultimate question: “Regardless of my current liberties (or lack thereof) and regardless of how others think of me, what language and contextual view can I take away from the seder to be empowered to set myself free to serve Hashem?”

This Seder Plate was designed to spark curiosity in children and adults to lead to more and different questions during each Passover seder. The more you look at this Seder Plate, the better questions you will ask, and the more secrets you will unravel.


Cleaning and Hanging Instructions:

– Wipe the exterior with a sponge and mild soapy water. DO NOT IMMERSE IN WATER!

  • As with all plexiglass items, NEVER use window-cleaner or other products containing ammonia to clean or polish the surfaces as they will etch the surface.                   
  • Hang out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Posted by

My Profile: The Gemara says that all of our constructs and paradigms exist as a result of suppressing information. From chaos, the sum potential of all that is possible - physicists call it white noise; statisticians call it raw data - we must push away that which is unwanted. We are left to work with our visions and patterns of reality. The big question is, how well do those visions match up to what reality actually is in all its inter-related complexity and detail. On Yom Kippur, we come face to face with the reality that "The hidden things belong to HaShem our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, that we might fulfill all the words of this Torah." (Deuteronomy 29:28). God's ultimate and uncompromising reality must hold us accountable even for paradigms we are NOT aware of! Many refer to this as "The law of unintended consequences." This is why what I hold dear is not answers, but an endless path of growing awareness that attempts to come closer and closer to reality as it really is - not the "reality" that is just a projection of some inner solipsistic construction within my brain. The questions- not the answers - lead me on that path. I have become deeply committed to a life long journey of learning, growth, change, love, discernment, service, play, commitment, questioning, and valuing disagreement. At my core is the notion that without self-doubt and without valuing difference and differing opinions, one cannot develop a fulfilling and meaningful life. My art starts as a white sheet of whole paper, which represents chaos - all the possible pictures that one could create on it - onto which I impose order. Simultaneously destructive and defining, my paper-cutting adds meaning to the paper. Cutting pieces out is a creative process that graphically reveals before me my deeper paradigms so that I can scrutinize them - so that I can better understand the limits and characteristics of the space in which those paradigms work and gain insight as to where they are no longer valid. But it is not just a discovery of my internal landscapes. It is a process of becoming aware of myself within relationship and covenant. It is my simultaneous love and awe of and participation in the splendor of God's continued creation. It is my Avoda.

2 thoughts on “The Seder Plate: So They Will Ask Questions”

  1. Charlotte Siegel says:

    Charlotte Siegel. Don’t post the previous Post. I hadn’t seen the profile description above. I only saw the one in the list of photos of cut paper artworks and the Seder plate and so many beautiful pieces. As a matter of fact, as I scrolled back through now, I don’t see it. I do appreciate your title, Layer by Layer which I would like to share with my mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your great feedback. I’d be honored for you to share it with your mother and look forward to her comments as well.
      Happy Sukkoth!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s