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Horseradish has a Place at the Seder, Just not as Maror

April 12, 2014

Speaking of Slifkin, he himself has of late been decidedly irrational. Earlier he argued that although he believes that Jews, including himself, should wear trunculus techeileth, being that it has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it is the real deal, he himself declines to do so because… it’s too much, or some other non-sense. Read it here. He should just do what he thinks is right, and the bad guys will always find something over which to attack him.

As Rabbi Bar Hayim points out, Jews, including ashkenazim, have always known that romaine lettuce is the best for the mitzwa of maror, and they even had it in their possession, and that horseradish was never considered by any community to be the bitter herb of choice. On this point, Slifkin was also decidedly irrational.

As per the Hazal, I will be using lettuce for maror and celery for karpas, but I will also have onions and horseradish on my seder plate. Why? Well, the celery and the lettuce are the real deals, and as for the onions, they are not truly fit for karpas because they are only eaten as flavoring for other foods and as such are not considered a vegetable upon which its eaters recite the blessing of ha’adama, so together with the horseradish they are a memorial to the harsh golus europa in which my unfortunate ancestors found themselves, wherein they had to resort to using not-so-sufficient alternative vegetables at their passover seders. As such, they add profound personal meaning to my seder.

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From → halacha, original

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