Friday, March 23, 2007


by Reb Jay

We eat bitter herbs to remember the bitterness of our ancestors’ slavery in Egypt (Either grated horseradish root or romaine lettuce is used). In maror lies an important concept. The taste of maror is bitter. Nonetheless it is a mitzvah to eat maror, and mitzvos are to be fulfilled joyfully. How can this be accomplished with maror? Furthermore, why during korech is the maror eaten with matzah in a sandwich? In our exiles we have undergone many bitter times, too numerous to count. We believe that it was all for a purpose, that there is rhyme and reason to all that we have undergone as a people. Only when the messiah comes, will it be clear to us why everything that has happened had to happen the way it did.

When we eat the maror we taste the bitterness, and remember the bitterness of our ancestors’ slavery in Egypt, and all the other exiles, including the one we are in now.

But we also eat it knowing that this is only a stage. After the maror, we eat the matzah and maror in a sandwich together (Hillel sandwich). We combine the suffering and the redemption, symbolizing that it is all towards one goal. And finally after the sandwich we eat the delicious meal with a feeling of joy. This symbolizes that when the redemption comes, we will understand all that led up to it, and enjoy our state. The meal alludes to yemos Hamoshiach when the world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem, and mankind shall live in peace.

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