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    Pointing to the paschal lamb – Ask the Rabbi

    shank bone pesach sederQ. When reading the section of the Haggadah in which Rabban Gamli’el says one must speak about “pesach (paschal lamb), matzah and maror (bitter herbs)”, why do we point to the matzah and maror but not to the pesach?

    A. The bone which represents the pesach is not the real thing. It does not come from a lamb sacrificed as prescribed by the Torah (Ex. 12). Further, though it stands on the Seder table, we do not eat it. By way of contrast, matzah and maror are the real thing and we do eat them. In relation to maror, one might ask why we do not lean when we eat it. The answer is that leaning is a sign of freedom and relaxation, and maror represents the exact opposite – slavery.

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