And for our Jewish friends...Happy Passover! The Angel of Death will pass you by another year so that you can dip parsley in salt water. Thanks Angel of Death!
For those not cool enough to spend their childhoods asking the same four questions over and over, the Passover Seder can be a tricky thing to understand. The traditional dinner where everyone sits down, breezes through a four-hour service in about fifteen minutes, watches every male member of the family try to one-up one another in bad jokes and everyone pretends to enjoy gefilte fish is a delicate dance for even the most grizzled veteran of the Seder circuit.
If you find yourself as a Passover Seder, it's best to keep quiet, laugh at all the bad jokes, eat EVERYTHING a woman over 40 serves you and if someone tells you to read something about whiny Moses the Complainer (Waaah, let my people go, waaaaah), just do it.
Here's where it get tricky. There's going to be this really big plate on the table. On that plate will be a lot of things you wouldn't normally eat. On this night, however, you have no f***ing choice but to eat those things and you'll do so when told. Everything on the plate means something and the most Jewish thing you can ever do is eat a lot, so, this combines both those things.
Here's what I hope is a very easy guide to understand the Passover Cedar Plate in a way that Syracuse fans can easily understand.
Maror and Chazeret: These are the bitter herbs, usually something like horseradish and beets. They represent the bitterness and harshness of the slavery which the Jews endured in Ancient Egypt.
They're the Greg Robinson Era of the Seder Plate.
Charoset: Some kind of amalgamation of nuts, fruit and other sticky substances, Charoset representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build the Pyramids. It sounds unappealing but it's actually quite tasty.
Kinda like Ryan Nassib. No Syracuse fan will ever be accused of mistaking Ryan for Donovan McNabb (for multiple reasons), and yet, Nassib has a chance to be the program's best QB since McNabb.
Karpas: Almost always parsley and salt water. You take the parsley, dip it in salt water and you eat it. Another one of those things that sounds gross but is actually not bad. Once you acquire the taste for it, I suppose. The salt water represents the bitter tears Jews cried during their bondage.
Why parsley? Dunno, what else are you going to do with parsley? But everyone remembers the parsley. It's just one of those things. So, you've got the parsley, which gets a lot of credit but is ultimately just a vehicle of distribution for the salt water, which ends up being the real tasty part of the equation.
Dare I say this is the Scoop Jardine/Rick Jackson portion of the meal? Scoop certainly isn't bad, but Rick Jackson definitely evolved into something you never expected.
Zeroa: A roasted lamb bone, which apparently symbolizes the lamb offered in the Temple in Jerusalem at some point that has nothing to do with Passover. I always thought it represented the lamb that was sacrificed in order to paint your door in blood so that the Angel of Death would pass over your house (read that sentence to yourself a couple times and wonder why there are Atheists in this world).
Obviously, this is The Bone. Scott Shafer's dangling carrot (eww) for the defensive player who has the biggest hit in each game. Everyone wants the bone. But there's only one. Who wants it most?
Beitzah: A roasted egg, which is a symbol of mourning (bet you didn't know that).
Ask every adult at the table what the egg represents and I guarantee you each of them will give you a different answer. It represents the "rebirth" of the Jewish people? Sure. It represents chickens that were eaten by the Jewish people? Why not. It represents some Pharaoh with an egg-shaped head? Makes sense. Honestly, no one knows.
The Ernie Davis portion of the Seder Plate. We mourn Ernie but we also celebrate his memory. I don't see why we just don't make that the meaning for everyone, really.
Orange: Believe it or not, you might actually find an orange on the plate as well. It's not a traditional addition but it was added some time in the 1980's to be "a symbol of the fruitfulness of all Jews." It also has roots in women's rights to be Rabbi's as well as gay & lesbian rights. It's a very loaded orange.
When you sit down, you might also notice that one seat at the table is let empty on purpose. No, it's not for a Grandpa currently lost in the house. It's for Elijah, the coming Messiah (think of him as Jesus, Part II). That's right, every Jewish family keeps a spot open just in case Eli decided to return tonight. And apparently they expect the Messiah to grace the planet with his presence by sitting down to eat some parsley in Long Island.
I suppose the Syracuse equivalent would be the Next Great Running Back To Wear #44. It seems a pipe dream but Syracuse fans hold out hope that one day our messiah will return, wearing the numbers that have been pre-ordained. In fact, you should probably set up a chair in your house right now for NGRBTW#44. Make sure it's comfy and there's a place to put his helmet.