web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Seder Night And Back Seat Drivers (Pesachim Perek 10)

There are lots of back seat drivers at the Seder. Your kezayit (portion) of matzah is not big enough, they chide. Red wine only; shmurah matzot or nothing; don’t start the Seder before nightfall; must finish the meal before midnight; don’t drink wine between the four cups; the Seder plate set in the wrong order. This article is intended as a defensible guide for the brave volunteer who leads the Seder (the ba’al haseder).

Let’s start with the Seder plate. According to the Ari and the Aruch Hashulchan, the following items are placed on top of the Seder plate in this order:

At the bottom of the top level, facing nearest to the ba’al haseder, lie the chazeret, lettuce or horseradish. Above the lettuce lies the charoset on the right and the karpas, parsely, alongside it on the left. In the middle level of the top level, facing the baal haseder, lies the marror. Above the marror on the top level, facing the baal haseder, lies the shank bone on the right and the egg alongside it on the left. Below the top level of the Seder plate lie the three matzot.

The charoset is made of fruits, wine and spices to form a thick mixture reminiscent of the mortar used by the Jews in their slave labor. Karpas, which is mostly parsley, celery or radish, may be any vegetable over which the blessing “Boreh peri ha’adamah” is recited, except vegetables such as lettuce, which qualify for marror. The purpose of karpas, not usually eaten before a meal, is to trigger the curiosity of the child to whom the story of the Exodus should be principally addressed. The word karpas consists of the Hebrew letters that spell out 600,000 Jews in slavery.

For marror, horseradish is most frequently used, even though the Mishnah enumerates five species of eligible marror. The horseradish should not be eaten whole but should be grated after one returns home from synagogue and kept covered until used in order to preserve its strength. The purpose of the marror is to remind us of the bitter times endured by the Jewish slaves. The Torah requires the marror to be eaten together with matzah and the Korban Pesach. Since this is no longer possible today, marror is a rabbinical, not a biblical, requirement. Accordingly, there is more room for leniency, and a sick person or one who would become sick from ground horseradish may instead eat the horseradish leaves, provided they are fresh enough to be eaten. The minimum amount of marror required to be eaten is a kezayit, approximately one fluid ounce, and it should be consumed within nine minutes.

The shank bone, like the Paschal Lamb it signifies, should be roasted before Pesach, but in the absence of the Temple it should not be eaten on Seder night. The roasted egg, which represents the korban chagigah, the regular festival offering, was chosen for this purpose because it symbolizes national mourning for the destruction of the Temple which has rendered both the korban Pesach and the korban chagigah inapplicable. Eating matzot on the first Seder night is a biblical requirement independent of the korban Pesach; accordingly, there is less leniency in its application.

The minimum amount of matzah the Torah requires a person to eat on the first Seder night is a kezayit, which according to the Chazon Ish is approximately one half of a machine-made matzah. The additional rabbinical requirements of eating matzah with maror and eating the afikoman require the consumption of at least an additional whole machine-made matzah, being a total of one and a half matzot in all. All who are required to abstain from eating chametz on Pesach are required by the Torah to eat matzah on the first Seder night; this includes men, women and children even as young as five or six who understand the Exodus story.

Matzah may only be made from flour and water, the same ingredients that if left together for more than 18 minutes would become chametz. Shmurah matzah is required for both Seder nights. According to some halachic opinions (Rif and Rambam), in order for matzah to qualify as shmurah, it is sufficient that it be guarded from becoming wet from the time the grain is ground into flour. According to this opinion, today’s machine-made matzot qualify as shmurah. According to a stricter opinion of the Rif, in order to qualify as shmurah, the wheat must be guarded from becoming wet from the time it is harvested. The matzot we refer to as shmurah matzot are those that comply with the stricter requirements of the Rif.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Seder Night And Back Seat Drivers (Pesachim Perek 10)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Betar soccer fans pour out on the field at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium, where Hamas planned to carry out a mass-casualty attack.
Hamas Planned Massive Attack at Teddy Soccer Stadium in Jerusalem
Latest Judaism Stories
Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

What if, at the moment of the late brother’s death, the surviving brother cannot effect yibum because the widow is a niddah?

The Torah lists twenty-one close relatives a man may not marry.

In the same way as a married woman is precluded from marrying another man without a get, so too is this widow prohibited from marrying another man without chalitzah.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

We are told that after returning home from Ne’ilah and breaking our fast, the first activity we should engage in is building a sukkah.

In addition to Yom Kippur, there is at least one other instance when a person may fast on Shabbat – the case of a ta’anit chalom, in which a person wishes to fast to prevent an ominous dream from becoming reality.

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/seder-night-and-back-seat-drivers-pesachim-perek-10/2013/10/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: