We have two objects on our seder plate designed to remind us of the pain of slavery. Both the maror and the charoset are meant to evoke similar feelings in us. The bitter herbs mirror the bitterness of life in Egypt, and the charoset looks like the mortar that Israelite slaves used to build for the Egyptians.
Charoset on its own may look like mortar, but it tastes delicious. So too do our well-meaning family members cautioning us to stay in the closet, or trying to make our lives "easier" by telling us not to present like another gender, look like they are performing acts of love, when they are actually making our lives harder. Today, we make a Hillel sandwich - a piece of matzah with both maror and charoset on top - because sometimes slavery tastes sweet, and we need the bitterness of intolerance to remind us that smothering is not a healthy type of love.
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