Karpas Hag Haviv

Haggadah Section: Karpas

KARPAS Here we dip a vegetable in salt water. The vegetable is food, whereas the salt water is fluid. A significant difference between food and fluid is that food supplies us with nutrients, whereas the fluid enables those same nutrients to be transported within our bodies to all of the organs that need them. In this case food itself is important, but the fluid is a medium for something else.The fluid is a means to an end, whereas the food is an end in and of itself.

We tend to separate means and ends: we are delighted to finish first, but less enamored simply to take part; we like to arrive, but see the journey as an inevitable evil and bother; achieving becomes essential, while preparing and toiling cause distress and affliction.

This is not the way it should be. Rather we need to sanctify and revel in the getting there as much as in the being there. There is often as much merit in the journey as there is in the arrival, and so we must learn not to overlook the way.

This is the message of the Karpas. We fuse the food with the liquid, the end with the means, and consume them together.

Rav Kook

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