Not an Orange

As a sign of solidarity with our lesbian sisters, Susannah Heschel added an orange to her Seder plate. This powerful symbol was perverted using a false story about a man telling Ms. Heschel that a woman on the bimah would be like an orange on the Seder plate. Since then, in a misguided attempt to symbolize a woman’s place on the bimah, many have included oranges on their Seder plates. We need to stop. This is why:

Not an Orange

We are parsley; a mess of curls and overlapping lines. We spill outside our oblong spot on the Seder plate, never having been good at knowing our place.

We are life-giving egg, as smooth as we are precarious. Born with our own seed after our own kind.

We are bitter; Justice unrequited ferments and burns acidic inside us.

We are charoset. Sweet, yes, but born from a complex mixture of tree and vine and hive. We entice with wine and earth, we sooth with honey on our lips.

We are bone; our strength as solid as the wild from which we come.

We are all these things and sometimes none. We are all these things and sometimes more.

There is something we are not.

We are not an orange…standing out among those that have their rightful place, added as an afterthought or protest. We are not an afterthought any more. We are not a protest.

We are as natural to this plate as the moisture dropping each year from tongues that try to catch the salty water falling off a parsley sprig.

We are not an orange.

We belong.

– Rabbi Andi Berlin

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