It’s time once again for everyone to learn a thing or two about Passover via Tigers cartoons: the best educational method the internet has ever devised.
As many of you know, ceremonial dinners called seders mark the first two nights of the Passover holiday. The centerpiece of a seder is the seder plate, which displays food items symbolic of various bits of the Passover tale (which is the ‘Moses leading the people out of slavery in Egypt story’).
illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
The Paschal lamb or shankbone represents the sacrificial offering, which was traditionally a lamb. Alex Avila, as the most consistently beat-up Tiger, is very obviously our sacrificial lamb. We offer him up on the altar of home plate, hoping that the Baseball Gods will be appeased by the gift of his body.
The karpas is a green vegetable (often parsley) that is dipped in salt water. This represents the tears shed by the Jews while they were enslaved in Egypt, building pyramids for the Pharaohs and whatnot. As he will be starting the season on the DL, it is only appropriate that Justin Verlander is the karpas this year. His tears flow as freely as his triceps do not.
The maror or bitter herbs is just shredded horseradish (although horseradish is naturally white, at a seder you often see bright red maror, which has been mixed with beet juice). This represents the bitterness and harshness that the Jews suffered while they were enslaved. JD Martinez experienced great bitterness and suffering while in the Astros organization, before he was led through the Red Sea by Dave Dombrowski to the promised land of Detroit.
What is the deal with the egg? It is always included on the seder plate, but there are many conflicting stories about why it’s there. One story has the egg as an ancient symbol of fertility and rebirth (as the Jews come out of slavery and are reborn as a free people). One has the egg as a symbol of mourning, because all sorts of Jewish holy sites had been destroyed. One has the egg as another representation of the sacrificial offering, which is confusing because that’s also the shankbone, and those are from two different animals, so… it’s there because it’s a nice symbol for all sorts of things, I guess. This is Miguel Cabrera, certainly a fine symbol of the rebirth of the Tigers, and sometimes a sacrificial offering in the lineup, especially if he’s not adequately protected by a strong slugger batting behind him. He’s not really a symbol of mourning right now, and hopefully we will keep it that way.
The charoset is a mix of chopped up nuts and apples and spices, representing the mortar that the Jews had to use to build things for the Egyptians. Nick Castellanos, as the youngest member of the Tigers right now, is what we are going to build upon.
The matzah is usually next to the seder plate, not on it, but it is a vital part of any seder, and one of the most recognizable symbols of Passover for Jews and goys alike. When they were getting out of Egypt, the Jews had to leave ASAP, with very little warning. They had to grab bread right out of the ovens to take on the journey, so it didn’t have time to rise. That’s matzah. The fastest Tiger is Rajai Davis so… Matzah Davis.
Have a very Happy Passover, cats and kittens!