Saturday, March 23, 2013

Koreich: Why do we eat a sandwich?


Once we eat matzah and marror separately, why do we combine them for a sandwich in Koreich?

The Torah instructs us regarding the combination of the korban pesach, matzah and marror, in Shemot 12:8 and Bamidbar 9:11.

The Talmud (Pesachim 115a) records a debate regarding the proper interpretation of the Torah's instruction in Bamidbar 9:11, "They shall eat [the korban] upon matzah and marror." Hillel debates the rest of the sages, and there are two views as to what their respective positions were:

1. Rabbi Yochanan: Hillel says a sandwich is acceptable; the Sages say it is unacceptable;

2. Rav Ashi: Hillel says a sandwich is necessary; the Sages say it is unnecessary.

Therefore, we eat the two items separately to satisfy Rabbi Yochanan's understanding of the position of the Sages, and we eat them together to satisfy Rav Ashi's understanding of the position of Hillel.

This is why we preface Koreich by saying that we are eating the sandwich to commemorate the Beit haMikdash, as Hillel did it.

For more on the technical issues surrounding the sandwich, feel free to download my audio shiur here.

Have a great day,

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