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Haggadah Insights


Written by the rabbi


Why do we recline?
Because we became free and free people can recline. One might ask how is it that we became free? We went from serving the Egyptions to serving Hashem we are still serving! However the answer is that freedom without laws is meaningless. If two people have complete freedom then either one can infringe on the others freedom hence neither has real freedom. This is where the saying "only he who is a slave to the truth is free" comes into play. In the Torah this saying can be found in one word. It says in the Torah that Charoot (engraved) was on the tablets. However, the word can be read Cheroot (freedom) was on the tablets meaning that now that there were laws there is real freedom and now that we are slaves to the truth are we really free.

Why do we dip twice?
Because the going down to Mitzraim started with the dipping of Yosef’s cloths in blood and it ended with the Jewish people dipping blood on the door posts.

Why eat Marror?
Marror reminds us of all the bitter work and suffering the Egyptions put us through. It is a custom to use Romaine Lettuce for Marror because just as lettuce is sweet at first but then turns bitter after chewing it, in all of our history every galut we were in, started off sweet but then turned bitter (Egypt, Spain Germany etc.). This is to teach us that if we try to be too comfortable and blend into their society, Hashem will make them remind us that we are different. This idea speaks volumes about the present assimilation situation in America.

Why eat Charoset?
Charoset represents the mortar they used for the bricks.

Why eat korech?
Korech is the sandwich of matzah, marror and charoset. It teaches us that to build bricks of matzah which holiness and G-dliness we need to go through marror (bitter times) held together by charoset (hard work). As long as we keep our eyes on the end point the hard work and the bitter times will become much easier to cope with.

Why eat egg?
Egg is a reminder of the korban Chagiga. An egg was chosen to represent the Jewish people. The Chatam sofer says that the egg is the only food that the more you boil it the harder it gets. This was the Jewish people in Mitzraim as it says "the more they afflicted them the more they multiply" (Shemot 1:12). Another reason we eat the egg is that it is a mourners food and we are mourning the fact that we have no Beit Hamikdash to bring the Sacrifice (Chagiga sacrifice represented by the egg) in.


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