Leilu Nishmat Reb Eliyahu Tzion ben Reb Chananya Niasoff ז"ל
And in the merit of our partner in Torah Yigal Yisroel ben Sofia שיחיו
One of the lovely rituals of the seder (Passover meal) is the consumption of a unique sandwich comprised of two pieces of matzah (unleavened bread) with maror (bitter herbs, like horseradish, or romaine lettuce) inside. This tradition seems strange. At this point in the seder, we have already eaten a large piece of matzah, followed by a significant amount of maror. Why the need to combine the two in a single sandwich? To explain this enigma, we traditionally say these words before consuming the sandwich, explaining the significance of the ritual: "This is what Hillel did, at the time that the Temple stood. He wrapped up some of the Passover lamb offering, some matzah (unleavened bread) and some maror (bitter herbs) and ate them together…" But what was the reason for this Hillelian menu? Hillel was a second-Temple-era sage who was born in Babylonia (known today as Iraq) and some decades before the Roman destruction of the Temple, became the leader of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Supreme Court located in Jerusalem. Why did he from all people invent this wrap? This class explores the halachik analysis behind this sandwich, as well as its spiritual meaning. We come to discover the unique personality of Hillel and his view in Jewish law and life.