Almost two thousand years before the Earl of Sandwich supposedly invented the Sandwich, and had it named after him, Hillel the Elder was the real inventor. At that time, the Jews were commanded to eat a piece of the meat prepared for the Seder and representing the “Paschal lamb,” which was sacrificed in the Temple. In addition, they had to eat the bitter herbs, to remind them of their troubles in Egypt, and of course the matzah, to remind them of the hastily baked bread they took with them during the Exodus.
Hillel combined the three items, putting the meat and the bitter herbs between pieces of matzah, and ate them together. The reasoning was that life presents us with both good things and bad things, and we must accept them all and treat them positively. So the meat, representing abundance, the bitter herbs, representing the difficulties of life, and the matzah, representing liberation and freedom, should be taken together.
These days we do not have a temple and we don’t sacrifice a lamb there. Instead, we eat the charoset, which is a sweet mix of apples, wine, and nuts to remind us of the good things we all share. So the two thousand years old sandwich is still with us. Happy Passover to anyone who celebrates it, and a wonderful holiday to everyone who celebrates the other spring festivals, be it Easter, the Equinox, or any other holiday I am not familiar with. Spring is here!