The Magid Seder Plate
1994, glass, Jerusalem stone and sterling silver.
Height 26cm, Diameter 44cm
Limited edition, signed and numbered by the artist
On the Passover holiday, we retell the story of the exodus of the Israelites from
Egypt. This retelling is the “Seder” (the Hebrew word for “order”). Traditional
foods are eaten in a specified sequence. They are arranged and displayed on
a Seder plate. Each item has a special symbolic significance. The shank bone,
for example, symbolizes the Biblical reference to “the outstretched arm of G-d,”
while matzah, unleavened bread, is eaten to remind us of the haste in which the
Israelites fled from Egypt.
The artist depicts the Jewish experience in Egypt in his Magid (“Storyteller”)
Seder Plate. It is composed of four layered plates, each tier separated by three
The plates are made of sand-blasted and etched glass. The three lower sections
are marked Priest, Levite, an Israelite. On the uppermost level the tradition of the
Seder night is told in fourteen words etched around the edge of the plate. Six silver
receptacles, inscribed with the names of the traditional foods, are embedded in
the sculptured stone surface. A desert landscape is evoked by two glass pyramids
which flank either side of the Nile river.
This piece resounds in symbolic connotations. The title Magid (“Storyteller”)
refers to the Biblical commandment “Thou shalt tell thy son” (Exodus 13:8). The
material employed, sand-blasted glass is reminiscent of the sands of Egypt.
The simple clarity of the glass, representing the poor slaves, is juxtaposed to the
opulence of the silver, which symbolizes the newly-freed nation. The three tiers
for the matzahs remind us of the hierarchy of the Jewish people: Priests, Levites,
and Israelites. Two pyramids symbolize Pitom and Ramses, two cities believed
to have been built by the Israelite slaves. The top plate is available in Jerusalem
stone and glass.
Each work is signed by the artist and is available in a limited edition.