זֵכֶר לְמִקְדָּשׁ כְּהִלֵּל. כֵּן עָשָׂה הִלֵּל בִּזְמַן שבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הָיָה קַיָים: הָיָה כּוֹרֵךְ מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר וְאוֹכֵל בְּיַחַד, לְקַיֵים מַה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ.
Eating matzah, maror and haroset this way reminds us of how, in the days of the Temple, Hillel would do so, making a sandwich of the Pashal lamb, matzah and maror, in order to observe the law “You shall eat it (the Pesach sacrifice) on matzah and maror.”
We eat this to remember the almost-completely different sandwich that was eaten during the Temple period. It seems strange to eat this paltry sandwich, compared to the (very artisinal sounding) smoked meat and horseradish sandwich that was a product of the sacrificial rites.
And yet, this is an adaptation to a "new" ritual, with a nod to an "old" ritual, which can show us a little bit more how rituals can be created for our contemporary needs, how we can nod to our past in creating those rituals, and how this can still connect us with our ancestors. As we move forward and lay the groundwork for our futures, how are we creating rituals and patterns that pay homage to certain traditions of our past - whether they're culinary or otherwise? Certainly, food is a way to connect us to our ancestors, most of us remember our grandmother's specialties - those memories are the fruits that they planted, which now we enjoy.
As we eat this odd sandwich, which gives way to our proper meal, let's give thanks for the nurturing, sustaining legacies that can become our new rituals.
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