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Many of the seder plates I have seen which are called Arizal karahs(seder plate) look like this Courtesy of Star K :

enter image description here

However from the reading of the Beir Heitiv 473:8 (who brings the shittah of the Arizal) it seems like it should look like this (my drawing) with marror being centered in between the egg and shank:

enter image description here ... ותניח אלו הה׳ לברים למעלה על הג׳ מצות להיינו זרוע שהיא חסל בימין שלך וביצה שהיא גבורה בשמאל שלך מרור שהוא רומז לת״ת באמצע בין הזרוע והביצה כי ת״ת מכריע בין חסל לגבורה ואח״כ החרוסת בקו ימין תחת הזרוע מפני שהיא רומזת לנצח ואח״כ הכרפס שהיא רומזת להול תניח תחת הביצה בקו השמאל שלך ואח״כ תקח חזרת ותניח לממה מן המרור בקו האמצעי שהוא מגל היסול והוא כלי לעשות אח״כ כריכה עם החזרת...

Is my reading correct ,and has anyone seen a seder plate that looks like my drawing based off the Arizal ?

  • +1, interesting question. It would be further improved by adding alt text for the images: meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/3426. – Fred Mar 19 '15 at 2:17
  • Maybe it's simply a matter of efficient use of space if the plate is not oblong; the maror and chazeres are still essentially in the middle, but they are vertically offset somewhat. – Fred Mar 19 '15 at 2:28
  • yea but that's a cop out answer, if it goes in middle it should be in middle,it could be that's how the regular one evolved. – sam Mar 19 '15 at 2:32
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I think you should read באמצע as simply being in the middle of the egg and shank, and not necessarily between them horizontally.

As the Arizal taught (cf. Shaar Hakavanot 83b), and as your source similarly cites, the order of the seder plate is a representation of the sefirot. The shank represents chesed, the egg represents gevura, and the marror represents tiferet. Tiferet connects chesed and gevura, and is always depicted as being between and slightly below the two. This is because kabbalistically, chesed and gevura are anthropomorphically depicted as the right and left hands, and tiferet is considered the torso (cf. Zohar 1:77b).

I have never seen an Arizal seder plate done in the way you suggest, probably for that reason above. If you are looking for a source that specifically details the marror in the Arizal seder plate, here's R. Yisrael Bitan's commentary on the Yalkut Yosef Pesach (p. 313):

When arranging the Seder platter, however, the custom of the Sefardic Jews in the Land of Yisrael is to follow the instructions of the Arizal, and as the Kaf Hahayim Sofer cited from the Etz Hayim. Therefore, we place maror (endives) in the center of the platter and we position the lettuce on the side closest to to the leader of the Seder.

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The word באמצע doesn't refer to the middle of the Egg and Shank. Rather, it refers to the middle of the plate (or the "middle view" of the one looking at the plate). Traditional drawings of the 10 sefirot (of which six are listed here) generally place Tiferet slightly below Chesed (incidentally, several daleds in the quote above are written as lameds) and Gevurah. See Sefer Yetzirah for a famous drawing in this fashion. Further, to read the text the way you do would require the Chazeret to also be between the Carpas and Charoses, which your picture does not represent.

  • I'm pretty sure the question is more on the words 'בין הזרוע והביצה', which seems to go unaddressed in this answer. – ephraim helfgot Apr 10 '16 at 2:57
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