The seder begins with a recitation of the 15 elements of the seder. Each aspect of the seder is important and has many meanings. The seder takes us from slavery to freedom on many levels. Preparation is necessary to experience the wonder and beauty of the seder. Unfortunately many are so entrenched in the daily oworld they are blind to the significance of the Passover seder and merely go through the ceremony mechanically.
A man once sat and listened to a rabbi teaching about the many elements of the Passover seder and wanted to follow in the Haggadah, but could not because he was blind and therefore could not read. At one point someone handed him a piece of matzah. The blind man carefully felt the matzah and became angry and frustrated and than exclaimed: “Who wrote this trash!”
All the elements of the seder run into one another and compliment each other. The third part karpas is when a green vegetable is dipped in salt water and eaten and the next part is yachatz when the middle matzah is broken in two.
The word karpas is related to the words kar \ which refers to one’s pillow, and pas the palm of the hand. Taken together with yachatz, which also means to share, these words suggest the idea that one must learn to share his possessions, both spiritual and material, with others (i.e., one must take his pillow in the palm of his hand and share it with others). This is what Pesach night is all about – we share our spiritual treasures with our children and teach them of our people’s heritage, and we also share our material treasures with the poor and the needy, who are freely and generously invited into our homes.
There is another message to be extracted from the (karpas) and the (yachatz) here. One’s pursuit of a livelihood should be divided. In other words, one should not totally immerse oneself in purely material gain, but should rather divide their pursuits between the material and the spiritual. Thus, for example, one should engage in serious Torah study half one’s time and in earning a livelihood the other half, as our Sages tell us: “Half for bread and half for the Almighty” (Chatzi lechem v’chatzi l’Hashem). This is a proven recipe for a successful and meaningful life and enriches the individual, his family and his community.