The Significance of the Olive

It is hard to believe that Passover is almost upon us. Because it is such a significant celebration of freedom, the traditional Passover Seder has many important elements that recognize different aspects of our people’s journey from slavery to freedom.

Over the years, some people have added additional symbols to their seder plates. This year, many are planning to include an olive. You may ask, “Why?”

The first mention of the olive in the Torah can be found in Genesis. After the Great Flood, Noah sent birds from the ark to check if the waters had receded. On the 301st day of the flood, a dove came back to the ark with an olive leaf in her mouth. It was then that Noah knew the waters were receding.

The olive tree’s ability to survive the flood demonstrates strength, even in the midst of difficult times. An olive on this year’s seder plate is very apropos; it serves to remind us of the incredible strength of the Ukrainian people, and of our hope for a peaceful ending to the crisis.

In addition to adding an olive to this year’s seder plate, some people are choosing to reward the child who finds the afikomen with something for them AND coins for their tzedakah box or a donation to the Ukraine Emergency Fund. Every amount makes a difference in the lives of those effected by the conflict.

Wishing you peace this Passover.

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