Designer Suzanne Herzberg has created a beautiful vegetarian seder plate with images of a beet instead of a shankbone as well as the traditional seder plate foods. The seder plate is 12 square inches and comes with five small glass dishes. This travertine-marble seder plate is normally $125 (with free shipping and handling in the U.S.), but if you order before March 18, you'll get a 10 percent discount. Matching trivets and coasters are also available for purchase.
Herzberg started selling the vegetarian seder plate two years ago and estimates that she has sold about 30 so far. Her Web site, VegetarianSeder.com, notes that this is the world's first specifically vegetarian seder plate. The seder plate was featured in Hadassah Magazine last year.
Herzberg explains that the beet is a common alternative to the shankbone at vegetarian seders. "I believe most vegetarians use a beet for a replacement for the shankbone, primarliy because it appears to 'bleed' when cut into," she says. "The beet is also mentioned in the Talmud, Pesahim 114b, as one of the foods that can appear on the seder table."
Vegans who shun eggs and shankbones needn't feel excluded, says Herzberg. "I am sympathetic to those who do not eat eggs," she explains. "I see the egg, however, as both a powerful symbol of spring and a celebration of life. I think it's possible to view its depiction on the seder plate in those ways, even if one chooses not to include an actual egg at the seder."
Go to VegetarianSeder.com to order a vegetarian seder plate. Order before March 18 to receive the 10 percent discount.