THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) COMBINING DIFFERENT TYPES OF MAROR
QUESTION: The Mishnah lists a number of different types of vegetables which
one may use for the Mitzvah of Maror. The Mishnah concludes that small
amounts of these vegetables may be joined to make a k'Zayis of Maror. The
Mishnah continues and says, as it does with regard to Matzah (35a), that
vegetables of Demai, Ma'aser Rishon from which Terumah has been separated,
and Ma'aser Sheni and Hekdesh which were redeemed, may be used for Maror.
2) HALACHAH: THE TYPE OF "MAROR" WHICH ONE MUST USE TO FULFILL THE MITZVAH
Why did the Mishnah that dealt with Matzah (35a), which also mentioned five
types of grains that may be used, not mention that they may be joined to
complete a Shi'ur?
(a) The BARTENURA says that this line in our Mishnah, saying that the
different types join to make a Shi'ur, refers back to Matzah as well.
This answer is difficult, because then this Halachah should have been
mentioned in the Mishnah discussing Matzah, just like the Mishnah there also
mentions the Halachah of using Matzah which is Ma'aser Sheni, which is
mentioned in both Mishnayos.
Perhaps the Bartenura means that it is *obvious* that all of the different
types of grains can join to complete a Shi'ur. The reason the Mishnah
mentions joining different types with regard to Maror is *only* to point out
that a person must eat a total of a k'Zayis of Maror. Since the Torah never
mentions the word "Achilah" with regard to Maror, we might have thought that
it is not necessary to eat a k'Zayis of Maror. The ROSH (10:25) tells us
that even so, a k'Zayis of Maror is still needed because we recite on Maror
the blessing, "Al *Achilas* Maror." When it comes to Matzah, though, it is
obvious that one must eat a k'Zayis, because the Torah uses the word
"Achilah" with regard to Matzah, and "Achilah" is defined as a k'Zayis of
food. (M. Kornfeld)
(b) The RAN says, similarly, that it was not necessary to teach that
different types of grains join to make a Shi'ur of Matzah. It was necessary,
however, to teach it with regard to Maror, because we might have though that
that different types of bitter vegetables do not combine. Since the point of
Maror is their bitter taste, perhaps different types may not be combined
since each has its unique taste. The Mishnah therefore found it necessary to
teach that they may still be combined.
(c) The RASHASH suggests that if the Mishnah about Matzah would have said
that the five grains combine to make a k'Zayis, we might have thought that
*only* those types combine. The Yerushalmi, though, states that even Orez
(rice) and Dochen (millet) combine with the five types of grain to make a
k'Zayis, if most of the k'Zayis is one of the five grains mentioned in the
Mishnah. For this reason, the Mishnah leaves out specific mention that the
five types of grain combine to make a Shi'ur.
(d) The SEFAS EMES offers a novel explanation. He suggests that perhaps this
line of the Mishnah refers not to combining the different types of
vegetables to make a Shi'ur of Maror, but rather, it refers to the Halachah
mentioned immediately prior to it. The Mishnah says that certain items may
*not* be used for Maror, such as vegetables that were pickled (preserved in
vinegar) or those that were cooked. The Mishnah now adds that those
vegetables -- even though they may not be used by themselves for Maror --
*may* be combined with acceptable types of Maror to make a Shi'ur!
The logic behind this is that the reason one may not use cooked vegetables
is only because they lose their taste and are no longer bitter. Therefore,
suggests the Sefas Emes, although one must eat a k'Zayis of Maror to fulfill
the Mitzvah, as we derive from the Mitzvah of Maror, perhaps the bitter
taste does not have to be emanating from the entire k'Zayis of the Maror.
The Sefas Emes concludes, though, that this is a very novel interpretation
of the Mishnah, and it is not necessarily correct Halachically. It would
seem more correct to explain that the reason a cooked vegetable is not valid
for Maror is because it is simply not considered to be Maror at all, and not
because it loses its bitter taste. (Cooked Matzah is also not valid, even
though there is no taste requirement with regard to Matzah.)
OPINIONS: The Mishnah states, "These are the vegetables with which a person
fulfills his obligation [to eat Maror] on Pesach: Chazeres, Tamcha,
Charchavina, Ulshin, and Maror." The Gemara cites the opinion of "Acherim"
who state that "every bitter vegetable, [with which one may fulfill the
Mitzvah of Maror,] emits a milk-like sap when cut, and the vegetable's color
is whitish." Rav Huna says that the Halachah follows their opinion.
It seems from the Gemara that any bitter vegetable (all of which meet the
criteria of having a milk-like sap when cut, and a pale color) is acceptable
for use for the Mitzvah of Maror. RASHI on the Chumash (Shemos 12:8) indeed
states that the word "Maror" in the Torah refers to "any bitter vegetable."
However, the MAGEN AVRAHAM (473:15) and REBBI AKIVA EIGER (Sukah 13a) ask
that it can be proven otherwise from the Gemara in Sukah (13a). The Gemara
there states that one does not fulfill the Mitzvah with Maror that has a
"Shem Levai" -- a modifying name, such as "such-and-such Maror." Only
generic "Maror" may be used for the Mitzvah, for that is what is mentioned
in the Torah. If one may use *any* bitter vegetable, it should not make a
difference what the Maror is called!
(a) The ME'IRI (Sukah 13a) explains that from our Gemara it is clear that
there is an order of preference for which Maror to use on Peach. Chazeres is
the first choice, either because it is most bitter or because its name
alludes to the mercy which Hashem showered upon us when He took us out of
Mitzrayim. The Gemara in Sukah does not mean to say that one does not
fulfill his obligation at all with Maror that has a "Shem Levai." Rather, it
means that *Chazeres* with a "Shem Levai" is not considered to be the choice
Maror. (RASHI in Sukah indeed explains that the Gemara there refers to a
particular type of *Chazeres*, and Tosfos there questions Rashi's source for
explaining that the Gemara is referring to a type of Chazeres. Perhaps
Rashi's means to explain like the Me'iri.)
HALACHAH: What type of Maror may we use? The RIF and RAMBAM do not mention
the opinion of "Acherim" in our Gemara. They quote only the five species
mentioned in the Mishnah. It seems that they hold that the Halachah is like
the Mishnah and not like "Acherim." The SHULCHAN ARUCH (OC 479:5) rules like
this as well, mentioning only the five types of Maror and nothing else.
(b) In our Gemara it appears that there is a dispute among the Tana'im
regarding the types of Maror that one may use. The Tana of our Mishnah seems
to maintain that only the five species listed may be used. If so, the Gemara
in Sukah could be following the opinion of our Tana, that Maror must be a
specific type of herb, the name of which is "Maror." If it has a "Shem
Levai," it no longer "Maror." Our Gemara, on the other hand, is going
according to the opinion of "Acherim" who say that *any* bitter vegetable
may be used for the Mitzvah.
However, our Gemara states that the Halachah follows the opinion of
"Acherim." Why, then, do the Rif, Rambam, and Shulchan Aruch not mention
that other types of bitter vegetables may be used?
(a) The BI'UR HALACHAH writes that today we are not expert in what is
considered to fall into the category of "bitter vegetables" and therefore we
do not use anything other than what is specifically mentioned in the
(b) Perhaps the RIF and RAMBAM understood the Gemara differently. "Acherim"
are not arguing on the Mishnah. Rather, perhaps they are arguing on the
opinions mentioned immediately preceding theirs, which state that anything
that emits sap, or which has a whitish color, qualifies as Maror. "Acherim"
respond that those are not signs of Maror, because "all vegetables" have
both of those signs. Therefore, only the five types mentioned in the Mishnah
may be used. (M. Kornfeld)
(c) Some Rishonim *do* mention the ruling of "Acherim," such as the MAHARAM
CHALAVAH. Perhaps the RIF and RAMBAM (and Shulchan Aruch, who quotes them),
too, agree that the Halachah follows the opinion of "Acherim." They
understood that the Mishnah itself alluded to that opinion when it mentioned
in the list of acceptable vegetables that "Maror" may be used. The word
"Maror" refers not to a specific type of vegetable (as Rashi explains), but
to *anything bitter* -- as the RE'AH cited by the RITVA and ME'IRI explain.
If so, by quoting the five types mentioned in the Mishnah, they are also
including *any* bitter vegetable, because that is the definition of "Maror."
The mentions specifically that a person who does not have these five
types may use any other type of Maror. The Poskim agree that b'Di'eved, if
one does not have the five types mentioned in our Mishnah, he may use any
3) FULFILLING THE MITZVAH WITH MAROR OF MA'ASER SHENI
QUESTION: The Gemara questions whether one can fulfill the Mitzvah by eating
Maror of Ma'aser Sheni. Even though one may not eat Matzah of Ma'aser Sheni
in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Matzah (because it is not eaten in all
places) that is because it is mid'Oraisa. Maror, though, is mid'Rabanan
(RASHI explains that Ma'aser Sheni of vegetables is mid'Rabanan), and thus
perhaps Maror of Ma'aser Sheni could be used.
RASHI earlier (36b, DH Af Ma'aser Sheni) stated with regard to Matzah of
Ma'aser Sheni that mid'Oraisa the Ma'aser Sheni can be redeemed and eaten in
all places, because "Kelitas Mechitzos" is only mid'Rabanan. If so,
according to Rashi, the reason that Matzah of Ma'aser Sheni cannot be eaten
in all places is also only mid'Rabanan! Why, then, should Maror be different
because the obligation to separate Ma'aser Sheni from vegetables is
mid'Rabanan? In both the cases of Matzah and Maror, it is a rabbinical law
that prevents each from being eaten in all places! (OHR CHADASH)
ANSWER: Perhaps Rashi understood the Sugya as follows. The question of the
Gemara is that since separating Ma'aser from vegetables is mid'Rabanan and
"Kelitas Mechitzos" is only mid'Rabanan, perhaps the Rabanan did not
institute "Kelitas Mechitzos" at all for Ma'aser of vegetables. Therefore,
it *may* be eaten in all places, even mid'Rabanan. That was what the Gemara
means when it asks if "k'Ein d'Oraisa Tiken" -- did the Rabanan institute
that "Mechitzos Kolet" even for Ma'aser of vegetables which is mid'Rabanan?
If they did, they cannot be eaten in all places and thus perhaps one may not
fulfill his obligation to ear Maror by eating Ma'aser Sheni. (M. Kornfeld)