If charoset in the Seder symbolizes mortar in backbreaking bricklaying,

… why is it sweet? This comes up every Passover at my Seder.


BTW, Happy Passover! :slight_smile:

IANAJ but look at the ingredients you need to make the stuff, it has to be symbolically mortar so it is ground fruits and nuts. What would you make it from? Keep it in the realm of edibility and kashrut :slight_smile:

Thanks. Sort of feels like mortar (but way to crunchy, at least the way I like it, but the question remains: why sweet?

From what I’ve read about Sephardic customs (Sefardim==Jews in diaspora in Muslim countries) charoset has dates and and honey and pomegranates and all sorts of sweet goodies also.

The bitterness of slavery was already covered in one of the big three, the bitter herbs, so this supporting player could actually taste good. I read on Wikipedia however that the ingredients are an allusion to foods mentioned by King Solomon in The Song of Songs as symbolic of the Jewish people, so let’s go with that!

I’ve always thought it was because of Exodus 16:3, and how in hindsight, slavery can seem sweet.

You obviously can;t use anything dairy as the binder. Mayonnaise (assuming the kind you buy is pareve) wouldn’t be traditional. So, OP let me challenge you: if not honey, the most obviously sticky binder shared by both modern and ancient Jews, what?

BTW, the way we make charoset, we use a little honey but also wine, and grind the walnuts into powder to act as a binder. Our charoset is actually not that sweet.

You’ve obviously never tasted mortar. It’s just like charoset.

But seriously, I wonder whether the mortar connection was imposed after charoset was already being eaten. I’ve read the claim that unleavened bread was originally an offering of the first grain, and the “haste” story came later to explain it.

Why shouldn’t it be sweet? What, haven’t we suffered enough?

I’m putting dates in mine this year.

Because even when it seems like everything about your life sucks, you can still find a little sweetness somewhere.

That sounds plausible. Cite? (really) In oral Torah?

A facetious, yet very valid answer. Passover is a celebratory holiday; the fast is done for rememberance, not in repentance. Ergo it is unecessary to cause a celebration to be needlessly unpleasant. Eating it with a dose of horseradish reminds one enough of the bitterness of oppression.

Ah Wiki…their article on charoset has two wonderful cites, one in see also (or it refernces?) another in external sites on sexual liberation.

Persians (? I’m on a cell and can’t multitask well) have 40(!) ingredients in their charoset.

For all I know 3000 years ago they used on purpose nasty-tasting charoset. I find it hard not to doubt some massive changes…

Religious correction(obviously not historical one): according to the Rabbis,
1312 BCE was the year of the Exodus. The first Seder took place the night before the Exodus.

Did anyone else think that the thread title sounded like it came from one of those random spam sentence generators?