Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 118:2
Preparations for the Seder

2. For the first dipping [at the Seder] (1), which is called "karpas", many people use parsley. It is preferable to use celery, which also tastes good when eaten raw. The choicest vegetable to use is a radish (2).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) The Sages instituted this dipping of a vegetable in salt water before the meal begins (that is, before eating the matzah), something that is not done on other nights of the year, in order to stimulate the children's curiosity and draw them into asking why this night is different from all other nights - "Ma Nishtana Halaila HaZeh..." Asking the "Four Questions" during the seder is not supposed to be a ritual formality; rather, there is an obligation to do things that will stimulate actual curiosity and questioning, because answers do not make a difference to people who don't have questions (See Rambam, Yad, Chometz U'Matzah 7:3).

(2) The species called "karpas" includes both celery and parsley; one of the reasons this species was originally chosen for this dipping, is because if we reverse the Hebrew letters of the word "karpas," we get the letter "Samech," which has a numerical value of sixty, alluding to the sixty myriad (60 times 10,000) of Jewish males above 20 years old who left Egypt, and the word "Perech" (lit: "break-apart") which alludes to the "back-breaking" labor. We dip it in salt water to allude to the fact that the Jews walked through the split Red Sea in order to escape the Egyptian army. The salt water also alludes to the tears and sweat of the bondage.

Since this pre-meal dipping was instituted primarily to arouse the curiosity of the children, one may use any vegetable not included in the family of bitter herbs, that requires a blessing of "boreh pri ho'adamah," and that is used as an appetizer. The potato was introduced in some countries where there were no other affordable vegetables; those who's ancestors used a potato for "karpas," continue to do so at present.

Back  Paragraph 1  Table of Contents  Paragraph 3 Next 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 

ARTICLES ON EIKEV:

View Complete List

Priorities: Nothing is Small
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774

Fear of Heaven - No Small Matter
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Torah - What Is It Worth To You?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

When Tragedy Strikes...
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Just One Request
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Heaven-like Clarity
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

> The Beauty of Dependence
Shlomo Katz - 5766

All By Myself
Rabbi Yaakov Menken -

The Pitfalls of Perfection
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

O'er the Ramparts We Watched
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

On Cue
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Choices and Miracles
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

ArtScroll

Of Bread and Milk
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

The Spice Of Life
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

The Spice Of Life
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

On the "Heel" of Moshiach, Part II
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information