Have Questions or Comments?
Leave us some feedback and we'll reply back!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Phone Number)

    In Reference to

    Your Message


    I. Berachah Rishonah on Maror

    Tosfos (Pesachim 115a, s.v. vehadar) raises a basic question regarding the maror eaten at the seder. Why, when we eat maror, do we not recite a berachah of borei pri ha’adamah beforehand? The answers that the Rishonim provide to this question have many far-reaching implications. They also serve to elucidate many of the underlying themes of the halachos of the seder. One simple answer advanced by Tosfos is based on the rule that םירבד†הדועסה†תמחמ†םיאבה†– any food that is nor mally includ- ed in the course of a meal – is exempted from a berachah through the birchas hamotzi at the beginning of the meal. Tosfos writes that vegetables used in the fulfillment†of†the†mitzvah†of†maror†are con- sidered תמחמ†םיאבה†םירבד†הדועסה†be cause a vegetable salad eaten at the beginning of a meal whets one’s appetite for the main course. Therefore, in practical terms, vegetables have a place in the course of a meal, and the eating of the maror does not require the recitation of a separate berachah rishonah. [Chrein (horseradish), which some use for the mitzvah of maror, in contrast to romaine lettuce, may possibly be viewed as something distinct from that which is normally eaten in the course of a meal. According to this opinion in Tosfos, chrein may indeed require a borei pri ha’adamah prior to its consumption as maror.] A related suggestion of Tosfos (Berachos 42a, s.v. iy hachi) is that for the seder meal, the Halachah declares that maror is part of the menu. We should not view each of the obligations of achilah on this night – pesach, matzah, maror, se’udas Yom Tov – as distinct entities. Rather, all of these obligations blend together, so that the obligation of se’udas Yom Tov on this night is to partake of a meal that consists of pesach, matzah, and maror. According to this understanding, even if, in practical terms, maror might be considered extraneous to a meal, since, al pi din, the Torah established maror as obligatory in this meal, we label it as םיאבה†םירבד†הדועסה†תמחמ.

    II. The Opinion of

    Rav Yosef Tuv Elem Tosfos in Pesachim presents an additional answer to the question of why the maror is eaten without a preceding borei pri ha’adamah based on the krovetz for Shabbos HaGadol, “Elokei HaRuchos,” composed by Rav Yosef Tuv†Elem†©or†Bonfils¨†in†French®Æ

    In the piyyut, he writes: ראש†≠המלו†הוצמ†לש≠†תרזח†רוטפל†¨הליחת†ןיאב†≠תוקרי†הל†היואר≠†הכרב†. Why do other vegetables†©karpas®†come†firstø†In†order†to relieve the chazeres (maror) from its required berachah [rishonah]. In other words, the purpose of the karpas is in order to recite borei pri ha’adamah on it, so that we may eat the maror later without the need for a berachah rishonah.

    The opinion of Rav Yosef Tuv Elem is that the maror is not among the םיאבה†םירבד†הדועסה†תמחמÆ

    The reason we do not recite a berachah of borei pri ha’adamah on it is that we have already recited this berachah on the karpas, at which time we intended to exempt the maror from its berachah. Thus, when the Gemara (Pesachim 114b) states that the reason for karpas is אריכיה†תוקוניתל†– to pique the interest of the children – it is referring only to the reason for the placement of karpas at the beginning of the seder, and not later, before the eating of the maror. The reason for the institution of karpas is solely to relieve the maror from its be- rachah rishonah. Why was it necessary to institute karpas in order to relieve the maror from its borei pri ha’adamah? Why could we not simp- ly recite this berachah on the maror? The rationale behind the opinion of Rav Yosef Tuv Elem seems to be that both berachos, borei pri ha’adamah and al achilas maror, could not be said on the maror, because this would be a violation of the principle ןישוע†ןיא†תוליבח†תווצמ†– we do not perform mitzvos in bundles.

    The Gemara presents different applications of this principle. The Gemara in Sotah (8a) teaches that we may not administer the sotah-water to two women at once, nor may we purify two metzora’im at once, nor may we bore the ears of two slaves at once, nor may we decapitate two eglah arufah calves at once.

    Each mitzvah should be accorded its own individual importance, and we therefore may not perform multiple mitzvos at once.

    The Gemara in Pesachim (102b) presents a second application of this principle. One may not use the same cup of wine for both Birchas HaMazon and the recitation of kiddush. Similarly, the Gemara in Berachos (49a) teaches – ”םיתשב†םימתוח†ןיא†.We do not conclude one berachah [which contains one pronouncement of shem u’malchus – the Name of Hashem and His Kingship] with two distinct praises.” In these cases, ןיא†תוליבח†תווצמ†ןישוע†pro hibits the use of one (הוצמ†לש†אצפח†mitzvah-object®†to†fulfill†two†distinct†mitzvosÆ

    Rav Yosef Tuv Elem applies this latter form of the principle to the case of maror, so that we must avoid reciting two berachos, both borei pri ha’adamah and al achilas maror, over maror. Since the maror would be the הוצמ†לש†אצפחt of both the borei pri ha’- adamah and of the al achilas maror, using the same vegetable for both mitzvos would be a violation of תוליבח†תווצמ†ןישוע†ןיא. Instituting karpas earlier in the seder was meant to alleviate this concern.