7. Koreich (Sandwich)
This section on Koreich was contributed by Faustine Sigal, who is the International Director of Jewish Education for Moishe House. She works in France, where there are two Moishe Houses, both in Paris!
In this Reverse Seder, we can do a reverse Koreich Sandwich - place the matzah in the middle, and enclose it with charoset and maror on the outside! That's a messy Koreich, but don't worry, there's two hand washings coming up soon!
As we eat the Koreich, we read a text giving credits for the recipe of this sandwich to Hillel. Why Hillel?
Hillel is a major figure in the rabbinic walk of fame. Descended from King David, he is often referred to for his qualities of wisdom, humility and compassion. In the tractate Avot (like a guide on ethics), he is quoted saying “be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people and bringing them closer to the Torah”. The Jewish concept “ rodef shalom ”, peace pursuer (more than builder) is rooted in his teaching. It is also said of his students that “they were agreeable and humble, and when they taught the law they would teach both their own opinions and the opinions of (their opponents). They even prioritized the statements of (their opponents).”
Hillel is the model we refer to when seeking the ability to reconcile different truths towards peace. His name is associated with the commitment to honour complexity in life, to acknowledge that “these and those are the words of the living God”. Any experience, idea, longing – be it as positive as Redemption – is made of the combination of differences. The seder in general brings together differing, if not opposing things :
Joy of redemption and sadness of affliction;
Memories and compassion with hunger and a festive meal;
Jewish particular memories and values and a universalistic commitment;
Repeating old texts every year and making them fresh every year, etc.
Korech, this part of the seder, is the sandwich version of this view on life. We walk into Hillel’s step and combine different concepts towards one horizon. We bring different elements together into one redemptive bite.
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