We use salt water two times during the Seder. This is once for the hard boiled eggs, and once for the parsley.

I have two questions that relate to the salt water.

The first is how salty should it be? Are there any official guidelines as to how much salt I should add per (say) cup of water?

I am also wondering whether it is okay to use the same salt water for both the eggs and the parsley dipping.


1 Answer 1


I could not locate any source that discusses the salt to water ratio. the idea behind the salt water is that it symbolizes the tears that the Israelites shed from the suffering of the hard work.

If you wanted to adhere to this symbolism, I guess the amount of salt should be equivalent to the saline concentration of human tears. I'm no chemist, so I have no clue as to what this is.

However, otherwise, there doesn't appear to be any particular amount of salt needed, as long as one can taste the salt. Of course, for health reasons, you want to or need to limit it for you or guests, anyway. As far as I know, there is no problem with using the same bowl of salt water, unless you are squeamish about "double dipping".

Just a note: dipping the parsley (or whatever karpas you use) is a Seder requirement. Eating a hard-boiled egg is not a Seder requirement and is simply a custom.

  • 2
    This article gives the concentration of NaCl (common salt) in tears as 6.6g/L. Shabes.net recommends one teaspoon per glass of water מכינים על השולחן צלוחית ובה מי מלח לטיבול הירקות: שמים כפית מלח אחת לכוס מים. a teaspooon is 5mL. Salt weighs 2.2g/mL. A glass is approximately 200 mL. So we have 11g/200mL or 55g/L, over 8 times the concentration of salt in tears. Apr 6, 2015 at 9:28
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    @AvrohomYitzchok - Haven't had time to view the linked article, but from what you cite in the commnet, you should move this as an answer.
    – DanF
    Apr 12, 2015 at 18:51
  • @AvrohomYitzchok - Do you have any idea why they recommend 8 times the salt concentration? If that's the case, I may as well use matjes herring or pickle juice ;-)
    – DanF
    Apr 13, 2015 at 14:35
  • I remember but cannot find that I read somewhere that the salt water had to be very concentrated. No idea why though. But celery dipped in matjes herring juice is bordering on an real hors'd'oeuvre. A definite idea. Apr 13, 2015 at 16:14

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