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Hillel’s Wrap: The Halacha & Its Spiritual Meaning

How Do You Sandwich Your Delicious Experiences with Your Bland and Bitter Moments?

1 hr 45 min

Class Summary:

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.


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  • Y

    yehuda -4 years ago

    I loved this shiur. It answers a question I have asked for years.

    I asked, since the Afikoman is Zecher L'Korban Pesach, Hillel must have eaten the Korech at the end of the meal. So why do we eat Korech at the start of the Seuda?
    Now it is clear. It is because the Korech is to validate eating the Maror! And the Brocho on the Maror is on the Korech!

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  • SS

    Sammy Schwimmer -7 years ago

    Per summation it is precisley Hillel who was perfect in the מדה of tolerence which directs us to eat the פסח, מצה & מרור together so we learn and understand to tolerate all levels & types of people and therefore we say כן עשה הלל בזמן שביה"ק הי' קיים. As the Rebbe noted הלל lived 60 years before the destruction and saw the devide in כלל ישראל which he tried to bridge by teaching tolerance.
    If i may add , for this reason we add the words זכר למקדש ,כהלל cause as we know the ביהמ"ק was unfortunately destroyed out of intolerance for one another. And this is the meaning "זכר למקדש" we yearn this night for the redemption and it will only come when there's אהבת חנם we need to remind ourselves over & over again & this is what הלל'ס wrap does thats why its זכר למקדש and davka כהלל

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    • Y

      Yitzchok -4 years ago


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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • April 17, 2016
  • |
  • 9 Nisan 5776
  • |

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 

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