The Taste of Pain and Redemption

When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the biggest ritual of them all was eating the lamb offered as the Passover sacrifice. The great sage Hillel would put the meat in a sandwich made of matzah, along with some of the bitter herbs. While we do not make sacrifices any more – and, in fact, some Jews have a custom of purposely avoiding lamb during the seder so that it is not mistaken as a sacrifice – we honor this custom by eating a sandwich of the remaining matzoh, maror and charoset. We make these sandwiches to remind us of the mortar our ancestors used to construct huge monuments for Pharaoh in Egypt, the bitterness of slavery, and the sweetness that gives us hope that the future will bring redemption and justice to all people.

As you we eat this sandwich, we hope for a more just future in our own communities, and use this sandwich as sustenance for the work ahead.

Everyone: In ancient times, the reverend sage, Hillel, would eat a sandwich of matzoh and maror to fulfill the commandment "They shall eat the paschal lamb together with the unleavened bread and bitter herbs." Thus, he did combine them, even as we now do, and ate them together.

[Everyone: Eat the sandwich. Recline to the left while eating.]

haggadah Section: Koreich
Source: Adapted from