The Foundation Stone Haggadah: Karpas 2
I don’t want to spend time explaining how it works, but in Kabbalah, Karpas is a metaphor for Din, or judgment. (As is the salt, into which you dip.) Chazal explain the dipping into saltwater as an act of someone who is free or wealthy. It’s not like eating a donut, but having coffee with your donut so that you can dip the donut into
the coffee. It’s a sign of leisure. When you have the time to dunk the donut into the coffee, you have a certain amount of leisure. You are free. This is where Dunkin Donuts got it from. In the same way, we dip the Karpas to soften Din. That’s an important thing to know, but there is a lot more to Karpas. It’s very interesting because we usually run through the first few steps of the Seder.
There’s a difference of opinions as to what Karpas is. The Kabbalists say that Karpas is a combination of two words: the letter samech, which represents the 60 myriads, or 600,000 that left Egypt with the word, perach, which means hard labor. It also represents the six directions.