Are there any alternative answers historically given as to why the Hagadah (page 8 of this) says to remove the wicked son's teeth, besides the usual gematria answer?

Related: Source of the "remove his teeth" gematria


4 Answers 4


The Rebbe Rashab has a kabbalistic answer to this, in that don't read it as teeth, rather as the letter shin. By removing the Shin from רשע, you leave the רע, and cut off its source in holiness that lets it exist.

The Abarbanel explains that it means he is making himself as a foreigner, so take away his eating of the Korban Pesach - hit his ability to use his teeth.

But the plain meaning is likely an allusion to Yirmiyahu 31:28 and Yechezkel 18:2. The Abarbanel makes the association but doesn't quite explain how it works.

  • Is there a specific person that writes that this is a reference to Yirmiyahu and Yechezkel? Mar 31, 2014 at 17:25
  • 1
    @AvramLevitt, The Abarbanel, as I wrote.
    – Yishai
    Mar 31, 2014 at 17:36
  • Ah, I thought that was unrelated to the Abarbanel (a third answer). Sorry! Mar 31, 2014 at 17:41

In the hagadda attributed to the Malbim - just as your teeth are blunted from that which you feed yourself, you put the food in your mouth which blunts your teeth, so too you answer the Rasha from his own message - he said "for you" (and did not include himself), so too you respond to him by saying "for me and not for him"

  • @Y e z - can you please elaborate on your answer? Apr 17 at 1:30
  • @Y e z - can you explain your answer a little more? Apr 17 at 1:33

I think the simple explanation is that since the wicked son is only using his mouth to speak cynically, we should prevent him from continuing to speak.

  • Source? I'm looking for historical answers to this, not a fresh dvar torah. Mar 31, 2014 at 17:17
  • I described what "I think [is] the simple explanation", not a dvar torah, such as the wonderful ones brought by Avram Levitt, Backseat Chazan and Yishai.
    – Ypnypn
    Mar 31, 2014 at 18:48
  • @Ypnypn then this should be a comment. The question asks for historically given answers. Mar 31, 2014 at 18:50
  • @YEZ The word "historically" was just added to the question.
    – Ypnypn
    Mar 31, 2014 at 19:11
  • @Ypnypn Sorry, I see that now. Nonetheless, your answer has (unfortunately) become a non-answer. Mar 31, 2014 at 19:13

Why knock out his teeth specifically and not any other punishment? Since he counted himself out and refuses to eat Matzah, Why does he need teeth!?

ואף אתה הקהה את שניו: למה דוקא הקהת השינים ולא עונש אחר אלא לפי שרשע זה הוציא את עצמו מן הכלל ואינו רוצה לאכול מצה אם־כן, שינים למה לו ?‏

From נרות שבת No. 102

  • Why is it assumed that he refuses to eat matzah? Mar 31, 2014 at 23:59
  • @avramlevitt hmmm not sure
    – user3113
    Apr 1, 2014 at 0:15
  • @avramlevitt, he is rejecting the "avodah" which is the Mitzvos of the night. Matza is the only one that is still Min HaTorah today.
    – Yishai
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:17

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