Three Explanations

Haggadah Section: -- Cup #2 & Dayenu


Rabban Gamliel used to say: Whoever has not explained the following three things on Passover has not fulfilled his duty, namely: Pesach - The Passover Offering; Matzah - The Unleavened Bread; Maror - The Bitter Herbs.


Pesach - Why did our fathers eat a Passover offering during the period when the Temple still stood?


Because the Holy One, Blessed is He, passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt, as it is written in Exodus 12:27, "You shall say" 'It is a Passover offering for Adonai, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and spared our houses; and the people bowed down and prostrated themselves'

The middle matzah is lifted and displayed while the following paragraph is recited.


Matzah - Why do we eat this unleavened bread?


Because the dough of our fathers did not have time to become leavened before Adonai revealed Himself to them and redeemed them, as it is written in Exodus 12:39, "They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into unleavened bread, for it had not fermented, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for the way.

The maror is lifted and displayed while the following paragraph is recited.


Maror - Why do we eat this bitter herb?


Because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our fathers in Egypt, as it says in Exodus 1:14, "They embittered their lives with hard labor, with mortar and brick, and with all matter of labor in the field: whatever service they made them perform was with hard labor.

In every generation it is one's duty to regard himself as though he personally had gone out from Egypt as it is written in Exodus 13:8, "You shall tell your son on that day: 'It was because of this that Adonai did for "me" when I went out of Egypt.'"

It was not only our fathers whom Adonai redeemed from slavery; we, too, were redeemed with them as it is written in Deuteronomy 6:23, "He brought 'us' out from there so that He might take us to a land which He had promised to our fathers"

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