The source for the practice of Koreich, the matza-maror-charoset sandwich, is Hillel's practice of doing the same (although his included the Korban Pesach instead of charoset), based on Bamidbar 9:11:

בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם, בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם--יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתוֹ: עַל-מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים, יֹאכְלֻהוּ.

In the second month on the fourteenth day at dusk they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and (lit. on) bitter herbs.

Now, Hillel's approach of literally eating the Korban Pesach on Matza and Maror is (seemingly) not required by the other authorities. However, they, who only require the eating these three foods, would certainly admit that Hillel was Yotzei-- lechatchila, even.

With this in mind, what is the reason for Motzi Matza and Maror? Isn't Koreich be enough to fulfill the obligation, according to all opinions?

  • Can you edit in sources for any of the many claims in this answer? (Ideally including but not limited to: the identity of Hillel's practice, what it is based on, that it is the source for Koreich, that it is not required by others, that others would "certainly" accept the practice, that anyone requires eating Charoset) Right now the question says "they, who only require the eating these three foods, would certainly admit that Hillel was Yotzei-- lechatchila, even... Isn't Koreich be enough to fulfill the obligation, according to all opinions?" which is essentially "assuming X, isn't X true?"
    – Double AA
    Mar 21, 2016 at 2:46
  • @DoubleAA, I think it's asking "since korech suffices for fulfilling the obligations, what's the reason we eat them separately?", which is not tautological.
    – msh210
    Mar 21, 2016 at 14:01
  • @msh210 How does he know korech suffices? Answer: he asserts it without basis in the previous paragraph. It's easy to come up with contradictions if you can assume anything.
    – Double AA
    Mar 21, 2016 at 14:02
  • @DoubleAA I agree with you completely that citations are needed, just not that the question is asking "assuming X, isn't X true?".
    – msh210
    Mar 21, 2016 at 14:05
  • @msh210 How about "assuming X, isn't this problematic trivial logical consequence of X true?"
    – Double AA
    Mar 21, 2016 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


(provisional repsonse)

Some equivalences between Pessach Rishon and Pessach Sheni. Mishna Pessachim 9, 3:

‏ מַה בֵּין פֶּסַח רִאשׁוֹן לַשֵּׁנִי, הָרִאשׁוֹן אָסוּר בְּבַל יֵרָאֶה וּבַל יִמָּצֵא, וְהַשֵּׁנִי, מַצָּה וְחָמֵץ עִמּוֹ בַּבָּיִת. הָרִאשׁוֹן טָעוּן הַלֵּל בַּאֲכִילָתוֹ, וְהַשֵּׁנִי אֵינוֹ טָעוּן הַלֵּל בַּאֲכִילָתוֹ. זֶה וָזֶה טָעוּן הַלֵּל בַּעֲשִׂיָּתָן, וְנֶאֶכָלִין צָלִי עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרוֹרִים, וְדוֹחִין {ז} אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת {ח}:‏

‏ ר"ע מברטנורה וְהַשֵּׁנִי חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה עִמּוֹ בַּבָיִת. דִּכְתִיב (בְּמִדְבָּר ט) כְּכָל חֻקַּת הַפֶּסַח יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתוֹ, מַשְׁמַע מִצְווֹת שֶׁבְּגוּפוֹ, כְּגוֹן צָלִי וְעַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרוֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ, עוֹשִׂין אוֹתוֹ כְּכָל חֻקַּת הַפֶּסַח‏[1]‏, אֲבָל מִצְווֹת שֶׁעַל גּוּפוֹ מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, כְּגוֹן תַּשְׁבִּיתוּ שְׂאֹר וְלֹא תִשְׁחַט עַל חָמֵץ, אֵין עוֹשִׂין אוֹתוֹ כְּכָל חֻקַּת הַפֶּסַח: ‏ ‏

‏ עיקר תוספות יום טוב: אַף עַל גַּב דְּעַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרוֹרִים מִקְרָא מָלֵא הוּא בְּפֶסַח שֵׁנִי, הָ קָאָמַר, דִּכְלָלָא דִּכְכָל חֻקַּת וְגוֹ' מְרַבֶּה צָלִי, דְּדוּמְיָא דִּפְרָטָא דְּעַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרוֹרִים כוּ'

Hillel and Rabanan in Gemera Chapter 10, Daf 115A

Rabina said, R' Mesharsheya son of R'Nathan told me: Thus did Hillel) say on the authority of tradition: A man must not make a sandwich of mazzah and bitter herbs together and eat them, because we hold that mazzah nowadays is a Biblical obligation, whereas bitter herbs are a Rabbinical requirement and thus the bitter herbs, which are Rabbinical, will come and nullify the mazzah, which is Biblical[2].

And even on the view that precepts cannot nullify each other, that applies only to a Biblical [precept] with a Biblical [precept], or a Rabbinical [precept] with a Rabbinical [precept], but in the case of a Scriptural and a Rabbinical [precept], the Rabbinical [one][3] comes and nullifies the Scriptural [one].

Which Tanna do you know [to hold] that precepts do not nullify each other? - it is Hillel.

For it was taught, it was related of Hillel that he used to wrap them together, for it is said, they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

R`Johanan observed: Hillel's colleagues disagreed with him.

For it was taught: You might think that he should wrap them together and eat them, in the manner that Hillel ate it, therefore it is stated, they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, [intimating] even each separately.

To this R`Ashi demurred: If so, what is [the meaning of] 'even'?

Rather, said R`Ashi, this Tanna teaches thus: You might think that he does not discharge his duty unless he wraps them together and eats them, in the manner of Hillel therefore it is stated, they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, [intimating] even each separately[4].

Now that the law was not stated either as Hillel or as the Rabbis, one recites the blessing.'

[Who hast commanded us] concerning the eating of unleavened bread' and eats; then he recites the blessing, 'concerning the eating of bitter herbs,' and eats; and then he eats unleavened bread and lettuce together without a blessing.

in memory of the Temple, as Hillel [did].

(Soncino's translation)

Nowadays, with Korech, may be that we can fullfill the mitsvat maror, but not Matsa and Hillel itself agrees to this.

(I need to learn this a little more)

[1] The Bartenura and Ikar Tosfot Yom Tov, as a digest of the Gemara says that the law extracted from a verse talking about Pessach Sheni is relevant for learning that we do eat Korban Pessach in presence of matsot and maror.

[2] Nowadays Hillel to agrees that we can not fulfill the Mitsvat Matsa through the Korech, despite that two Mitsvot deOrayta do not annullate one another.
[3] Maror is rabinical because nowadays, because we have not the Korban Pessach. Maror is a mitsva only to implement the korban pessach meal
[4] See Tosfot. According to tosfot, one may fulfill the mitsva with a korech following Hillel and Rabanan, the Machloket is Lechatechila. Despite that generally Mitsvot annulate one another according to rabanane, here it is different because a special mention of the verse that it is possible to eat together Matsot and Merorim


This question is addressed by R. Yechiel Michel Epstein. He explains (Aruch Hashulchan O.C. 475:6) that if we only did Korech, we would not fulfill the mitzvah of matzah. Hillel was able to do both matzah and maror together because in his time both were Biblical mitzvos and therefore would not cancel each other out. However, nowadays when maror is only Rabbinic it would cancel out the matzah.

This explains why we need the step of matzah as well as the step of korech. But why do we also need the separate step of maror? Once we already consumed matzah, the matzah in the korech would only be Rabbinic and since both the matzah and the maror are Rabbinic they would not cancel each other out. So the individual step of maror should be unnecessary.

R. Epstein explains (475:7) that according to Hillel himself this would be true. However, we are simply acting out of doubt as to who is correct – Hillel or the Sages. But if the Sages are actually correct then there is no requirement of korech at all. This would mean that while the maror is a Rabbinic mitzvah the matzah is not a mitzvah at all and would therefore cancel out the maror. Thus, in order to fulfill our obligation according to both Hillel and the Sages, we eat matzah and maror independently and then we eat them together. This is essentially an elaboration of Tosafos (Pesachim 115a).

ואח"כ יקח כזית מרור וישקענו כולו בחרוסת מפני שיש כמין ארס בהמרור והחרוסת מבטלו אך לא ישהנו להמרור הרבה בהחרוסת שלא יתבטל טעם מרירותו ומטעם זה צריך לנער החרוסת מעליו ויברך על אכילת מרור ויאכלנו בלא הסיבה מפני שהוא זכר לעינוי ולא שייך בו הסיבה כבני חורין ואם אכלו בהסיבה יצא ולפי שיש פלוגתא בגמ' דהלל סובר דצריך לכרוך ביחד המצה עם המרור ולאכלן כאחד ואין מבטלין זה את זה דאפילו למאן דס"ל איסורין מבטלין זה את זה כמ"ש ביו"ד סי' צ"ח מ"מ מצות אין מבטלות זו את זו האמנם אפילו להלל אין זה אלא בזמן המקדש ששניהם הוי מן התורה אבל בזמן הזה דמצה דאורייתא ומרור דרבנן אתי מרור דרבנן ומבטל ליה למצה דאורייתא

ולפיכך אנו אוכלין תחלה מצה לחוד ומרור לחוד ואח"כ נוטלין המצה השלישית כדי לקיים בה מצוה ושמין המרור בין המצה וכורכן יחד ואוכלן בהסיבה ואומרים זכר למקדש כהלל ויש בזה שאלה ולמה לנו לאכול מקודם מרור בפ"ע נאכל מצה שהיא דאורייתא והדר נכרוך מצה ומרור בהדי הדדי דשניהם דרבנן ואין מבטלות זו את זו דכמו כששניהם דאורייתא אין מבטלות זא"ז כמו כן כששניהם דרבנן ולמה לן לאכול מרור בפ"ע והתשובה לזה דוודאי להלל יכול לעשות כן אבל אנן מספקא לן בגמ' שם כמאן הלכתא ואולי הלכה כרבנן דא"צ כריכה וא"כ המצה שבכריכה הוי רשות ולא מצוה ואתי מצה דרשות ומבטל לה למרור דמצוה

  • The Mishnah Berurah says most of this as well.
    – robev
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:17
  • @robev The Mishnah Berurah only addresses the first part (why Korech alone does not suffice). It does not address the second part (why Korech + Matzah does not suffice).
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:26
  • Which is why I wrote most
    – robev
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:27
  • @robev Fair enough. But I don't know if I would quite call it "most".
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:29

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