The arrangement of the Seder plate according to the Arizal includes one space for "Marror" and another for "Chazeres" (the latter intended for use in Koreich). Does this reflect a tradition to use lettuce only for Koreich, but some other species for the primary Marror? The names are especially jarring for those who use horseradish exclusively.

  • Aren't they just as jarring for those who use romaine lettuce exclusively? Or endives exclusively?
    – Double AA
    Apr 10, 2016 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


Shaar Hakollel (48:11) says that indeed some people, because of this difference in terminology, do use different species for each one. Their rationale, he says, is that they're not sure which are the five species listed in the Mishnah (Pesachim 39a), so they prefer to use an actual bitter vegetable (horseradish, I guess) for maror, and then lettuce for chazeres.

However, he says that this practice is incorrect: lettuce should preferably be used for both. (Present-day Chabad custom is to compromise and use lettuce and horseradish for both.) The reason for calling the stuff for koreich "chazeres," he says, is to make it clear that it needn't be the actual species called "maror" (wormwood).

In his commentary on the Haggadah, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l cites this, but argues that if that's the reason, then the term "chazeres" should have been used for both items on the Seder plate. So he suggests that the reason for the different terms, maror vs. chazeres, is simply that each of them reflects different Kabbalistic concepts: one related to the maror that's eaten alone, the other to koreich - but not necessarily that they are meant to be different species.

  • If it's the same species, then why have two separate spots?
    – Double AA
    Apr 10, 2016 at 2:56

The other vegetable is probably the one used for karpas, if I understand the Ramba"m in Hilchos chametz umatza 8:1,2 correctly. It is clear from the g'mara on which these halachos are based (P'sachim 114b) and Tosafos (ad loc.) that chazeres (i.e. some type of lettuce) is the assumed species of maror and a suitable species of karpas as well.

  • How does that explain why one is called "maror" and the other "chazeres"?
    – Dave
    Apr 13, 2011 at 21:15
  • The Tosafos I referenced explains that the mishna used that term specifically to indicate that even if the only vegetable available was one suitable for maror one would still dip twice in order to inspire the children's questions.
    – WAF
    Apr 14, 2011 at 1:21
  • Sorry, I don't understand how that answers the question. They should either both be "marror" or both "chazeres."
    – Dave
    Apr 15, 2011 at 0:03
  • The advantage could be that while one is named after the mitzva done with the object, i.e. maror, the other simply names the material to be placed there (like betza) because it is specifically not associated with a mitzva.
    – WAF
    May 1, 2011 at 13:14
  • 1
    Yes. But the point of having the chazeres as a separate entity on the plate is for use as karpas, even if it is the same species as the marror, and technically can be put together in one spot. People would use the chazeres for karpas and then again for marror. Perhaps the reason why the other position is labeled marror is because it is pointed to (or lifted) when we say "marror zu...". The same is implied in Abarbanel's haggada.
    – jake
    May 1, 2011 at 17:17

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