Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
As miraculously and suddenly as geulah appears, it may disappear. Like sand between our fingers, it could quickly escape our grasp unless. Unless we vigilantly guard our borders from maror. We need to remember that the Egyptians were initially kind to our ancestors and only later embittered their lives with persecution.
Hillel’s sandwich teaches us this very lesson. The Pesach meat, matzah and maror are all parts of the same redemptive process. Should one of the ingredients be missing, we lose the ability to fully appreciate what it means to become truly free.
The maror sandwiched between two matzot conveys a similar message. The Torah gives us two reasons why matzah is eaten on Pesach. Matzah is lechem oni, the bread of affliction. It reminds us the hardship of our slavery. Even as it recalls our slavery, it reminds us of the swift and hasty manner of our redemption.
Matzah represents the rush to freedom as well as the bread of affliction.
Both reasons create the basis for the mitzvah to be observed at all times, and the rationale for continuing Hillel’s practice even when the Pesach meat can no longer be consumed. When the nation of Israel finds itself safe and secure in its own land, freed from foreign rule and dominion, matzah is to be eaten as lechem oni, lest the nation suffer the illusion that its present state is natural and sure to continue. Remembering the past prompts us to “keep our guard up” and to maintain a vigil against external, as well as internal, intrusions.
When we are not safe and galut and maror overwhelm our existence; when the nation of Israel is once again under foreign rule, the matzah we eat will remind us that, “You came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste.”
There is always hope in the Eternal. Our fate can change in an instant.
The lechem oni of the past need not be reinforced in the present state of affairs, when oni is yet again relived in our contemporary galut. What needs reinforcement, then, is the chipazon element of our faith, remembering that even when one sees no glimmer of hope and is apt to despair, God can change it all in a moment.
In galut conditions, matzah saves the nation from despair. At the same time, when the nation is in geulah, the matzah is like the watchman, keeping the nation from being seduced by the illusion of security. This is the reason the Torah tells us to “remember the days you left Egypt all the days of your life.” That is, during the days of geulah as well as the days of galut.
The forever dynamic of galut and geulah is the essence of the Jewish experience. They make up a single sandwich – a single experience.
Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is OU Kosher’s vice president – communications and marketing. He is the author of “Kos Eliyahu – Insights on the Haggadah and Pesach.”
About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies
Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.
Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.
Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.
Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]
The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.
Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.
To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.
The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.
Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.
What defines kana’ut these days? Throwing rocks at passing cars on Shabbos? Burning an Israeli flag on Yom Ha’Atzmaut?
One who may leave his wife an agunah is not included in the general rule that we may not imprison on Shabbos.
“Fulfill my requests for good, grant my request, be mindful of us for deliverance and compassion…remember us for a good, long life…give us bread to eat, clothes to wear…”
Too often, as parents and teachers, we think it means talking at our children, delivering to them good and worthy content that they should simply hear and assimilate into their minds and hearts.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/give-me-a-troika-the-hillel-sandwich/2011/04/28/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: