Picture of the author
Picture of the author

Why the Dipping? Why the Charoses? Talmud for Beginners

Class 4 of 5 in Talmud Tractate Pesachim Chapter 10

55 min

Class Summary:

Class 4 of 5 in Talmud Tractate Pesachim Chapter 10


Show More

Please leave your comment below!

  • A

    Amnon -11 years ago

    The Key Point
    This article covers most reasons. I would emphasize and expand on the observation of the Jews not liking themselves. There is a deep cause for our low self-esteems and a need for wisdom on how to remedy it. Just like in the Purim story, when the Jews united in being THEMSELVES, fasting and praying as one soul, Divine salvation ensued. If Jews today only saw this true power they possess, and made an effort towards unity, maybe we could see similar salvation taking place concerning the Arabs' hate. Where is our Mordechai of today?

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • A

    Abe -11 years ago

    I Do Not Feel Hated

    The only thing I would comment on, is that it has, what i call, the "Idealism Gap." (I made up that term.)

    You are telling Jews what they supposedly have inside them and the reaction they cause within the non-Jew, when most--even Halachic Jews--don't feel they have that kind of power.

    They have to take it from you-- the rabbi, the philosopher--but, then, why should they believe you?

    Also, if what you write in the essay is truly the case, is it maybe worth addressing the issue to try to educate boorish people who are happily living an "empty" life, to see their lives differently and to stop hating a system which is really "best for their souls."

    Or are these people just not noble enough for these lofty ideas and they will continue to go thorough life living a vapid, banal existance hating anything that might remind them of their emptiness?

    And what about a simple Jew who also doesn't "get" it? Is his life also less noble than a person that does?

    In other words, is this idea/ideal practical for the average Joe/Yankel, or is it a theological idea come down from on high with no place to fully rest itself?

    And, as an aside, one could argue, that besides for a relatively few quacks, anti-Semitism doesn't really exist much in pluralistic united states, where probably for the first time in history, children from all walks of life are being educated together in the same classroom.

    When one is exposed early to the "other" and can see how all can get along despite their differences, it will make a huge impact on future generations (ironically the only ones not in these classrooms are the religious Jews who, according to the essay, are ostensibly carrying around this message.)

    All the cases you mentioned were of monolithic societies, where the Jew was always the minority, in a place and time where being differeny was just not cool. This includes Nazi Germany, which was probably more monolithic than all of them.

    That is why Jews and Muslims today have a harder time in Europe than in the U.S., because, almost by definition, Europe is so much more homogenous than America.

    I guess what I'm saying is that i don't walk around feeling hated, and i definitely don't want to start doing that  :-).

    https://mail.google.com/mai..." />

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • J

    Josh -11 years ago

    Great article.

    Small mistake, you wrote Adalf instead of Adolf.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • M

    Mechaneches -13 years ago


    Rabbi Wolf, sheyichye

    Thank you for the wonderful shiurim which my family and I always enjoy. We listened to your previous shiurim about the Borrowers and still remember the Four Categories. However, I disagree with your assertion that it's better to wait for children to ask about what is important for them to do. As a shlucha and machaneches, I agree that of course it's important not to push too hard, but we nevertheless have to guide our children, students, and mekuravim, We can't just wait for them to decide on their own to explore and then choose. It's impractical, takes too long, and unfortunately may just never happen because children and people on that level many times don't yet have the maturity to know what is truly good for them. We have to learn from the Rebbe. He always asked people to grow in their Yiddishkeit. Maalim BaKodesh! And we can't tarry too long and chas vesholom keep Moshiach waiting...

    Yasher koach & Hatzlacha rabba!

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

    • REW

      Rabbi Eliezer Wolf -13 years ago

      Re: Education
      Thank you for your feedback.

      I agree with you that classic Jewish education is about the elders (parents/educators) guiding the young (children/students) onto the correct path, and not just allowing for the young to dictate their own path through life. An unkept garden just allows for weeds to grow!

      Yet, there are 2 ways to guide our children. One way is to actively 'impose' upon them this way of life - take them where they need to go and give them what they must have. The other is to actively work very cleverly and hard to create an atmoshphere in the home whereby the home-environment itself 'raises' the child, guides the child into seeing the right things and asking the right questions. This way, the child will learn the right things and pick up on the correct path without it just being imparted to them 'whether they like it or not', but rather due to their own quest for the correct path that surrounds them so magically and enticingly in their home.

      The latter way will have a much more long-lasting and 'pnimiyusdike' impact.

      Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • M

    miri -13 years ago


    1)Is this worm in the lettuce you speak of similar to bugs that are commonly found in lettuce? This is not such a rare occurrence; I find bugs in lettuce quite often.

    2)You said that Reb Papa learns that we need to dip the whole leaf into the charoses from the fact that we wash our hands before. But we don't wash our hands before maror! We wash them before karpas!

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

    • A

      Anonymous -13 years ago

      Re: maror
      1) According to most, the kappa worm was unlike any other worm or bug. The bugs we ordinarily find in our vegetables are bugs that have crept in from outside, and are forbidden to eat. This is why we must be very carefel to check our vegetables before eating them. The kappa worm actually grows from within the lettuce. It is thus not an ordinary "sheretz" which the Torah prohibits from eating. The only issue eating the kappa is one of a danger to one's life. And this danger is taken away through the charoses.

      2) In the class we only alluded to a lengthy discussion amongst the medieval commentators about how to properly understand this passage of Talmud. From the fact that Rav Papa speaks about 'dipping into charoses' it would seem that he is talking about the marror. However, 1) if he is explaning the first part of the Mishnah, well then the first part is talking about karpas, and 2) the law about washing one's hand is only for before the karpas. One explanation is, that Rav Papa understood from the Mishnah that the chazeres lettuce is to be used for karpas too. If that is the case, then it needs to be dipped into charoses in order to neutralize the danger. However, as we mentioned, it could also be dipped into any other sharp / acidic liquid, such as salt water of vinegar. They would have the same impact as the charoses. Also, as we mentioned, the chazeres is only an example of one of the things we can use for karpas. Any other vegetable is good too. In fact, most would caution that the chazeres should not be used for karpas, and that rather one should wait until the marror to eat the chazeres.

      Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • LCC

    Linda Cohen/Larry Cohen -13 years ago

    Very nicely done. Helping us to prepare spiritually for the seder. We wondered when the term "Rabbi" was started. In the Tanach we don't notice this title used. Were these the men called the elders, the Sanhedrim or Anshei Kinesset HaGedola?

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

    • A

      Anonymous -13 years ago

      Re: Excellent
      Throughout the Tanach, we don't find the title "Rabbi" used for the Jewish leaders. Normally, in Biblical times, the leaders consisted of the Priests (Kohanim), Levites (Levi'im), Kings (Melochim) and Shoftim (Judges). Even at the beginning of the Second Commonwealth (5th century BCE), when judicial power was mostly transferred to the Jewish court (Sanhedrin - Anshei Knesset Hagedolah), these 71 "Rabbi's" were normally referred to as Judges (Dayanim).

      Only towards the end of the Second Commonwealth (1st century CE), at about the time of the beginning of the Tannaitic era (which created the Mishnah), and when the Sanhedrin institution came to an end, the Rabbinic infrastrucure of Jewish life turned mostly into teacher/student relationship, in which "Roshei Yeshivah" - Heads of Academies taught large amounts of students. At this point, the title "Rabbi" emerged.

      Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Eliezer Wolf

  • April 1, 2011
  • |
  • 26 Adar II 5771
  • |

Related Classes

Please help us continue our work
Sign up to receive latest content by Rabbi YY

Join our WhatsApp Community

Ways to get content by Rabbi YY Jacobson
Connect now
Picture of the authorPicture of the author