Friday, April 02, 2004

Karpas - for how long?

The mishna in the 10th perek of psachim, 114a begins:
הביאו לפניו מטבל בחזרת עד שמגיע לפרפרת הפת הביאו לפניו מצה וחזרת וחרוסת ושני תבשילין אע"פ שאין חרוסת מצוה
and the previous mishna was
מזגו לו כוס ראשון ב"ש אומרים מברך על היום ואחר כך מברך על היין וב"ה אומרים מברך על היין ואחר כך מברך על היום

so you mix the first cup and drink it. then they bring the chazeret (in this case karpas) and he dips "until he reaches" the parperet hapat, which seems to be maror according to Rashi (and Rashbam who says the same thing verbatim).

What is the meaning of this phrase "until he reaches", עד שמגיע ? According to Rashi, this AD means BEFORE he reaches, and the purpose of the phrase it to show that this is an earlier dipping, and not that of dipping the maror. I don't know though; מטבל בחזרת עד שמגיע לפרפרת הפת seems to me to be a continuous action of dipping, which continues until this parperet hapas. In other words, AD means UNTIL. That is, before doing parperet hapas, there is a course which can go on continuously until it is time for the next mitzvah.

*If* the latter were true, then people could munch on karpas throughout maggid, which would make it somewhat easier to bear.

As to the definition of parperet hapas:

Rashi (,Rashbam) states that it is the parperet brought with - that is, after - the pat, the matza, which you make Al Achilat Maror on, and the purpose of this statement is to distinguish this first dipping from the latter.

The tosefta says, in the 10th perek:
אפילו לא אכל אלא פרפרת אחת אפילו לא טבל אלא חזרת אחת חוטפין מצה לתינוקות בשביל שלא יישנו
even if you have only eaten a single parperet, even if you do only dipped a single lettuce, you hurry the matza to the children so that they should not fall asleep.

here is parparet again (just as in the mishna), and again in the context of something distinct from dipping chazeret.

from the tosefta it is somewhat difficult to claim parperet is maror, because we say even if you dipped chazeret only once - only once would be karpat (or according to an opinion in the gemara, if you had kavana for maror by the first dipping you satisfied your requirement for maror.) But if you dipped it twice, that would be maror, which would be the parperet. But how would you be eating the parperet at distinct from (and possibly earlier than) the dipping of the chazeret?
Further, we state, even if you only ate a single parperet. Why would you eat more than one parperet, if it is maror. (unless we are referring to korech in addition). It seems problematic if parperet = maror = chazeret.
further, the way we currently practice the seder, the maror follows the matzah. So how could you say "even if you only ate one maror", as an explanation of parperet? If so, you would already have served the matza, so why is there a need to give the children even if we have only reached this point? we already gave them matza!

Jastrow associates parperet with פרפר, which means to crush. פרפריין is a dish of bread crumbs and vegetable mash.
Parperet, associated with crumbs, means a minor dish, a salad, a hash, etcetera.

elsewhere the gemara speaks about a parperet lifnei hamazon, (an appetizer) before the meal, and a parperet betoch hamazon, within the meal, and leachar hamazon, after the meal (a dessert).

so according to this, it would be some kind of course, and I would claim he he can keep eating karpas until he reaches that point. perhaps they had other courses throughout maggid (or perhaps, maggid I seems to be later??), and that is what the tosefta is saying, that you should make sure the children get matza even if you have only served one course, which preceded matza.

The mishna, again:
הביאו לפניו מטבל בחזרת עד שמגיע לפרפרת הפת הביאו לפניו מצה וחזרת וחרוסת ושני תבשילין אע"פ שאין חרוסת מצוה ר"א <בן> [ברבי] צדוק אומר מצוה ובמקדש היו מביאין לפניו גופו של פסח:

it seems that they bring all this karpas, parperet hapat, matza, chazeret, and charoset, and 2 items of food, and in the zman hamikdash, the korban pesach, all before the second cup, for the next mishna is mixing of the second cup. And the asking of ma nishtana, and maggid, takes place on the second cup. So this seems to imply that have the meal before maggid. {Update: The answer is presumably that you bring forth all these items, but do NOT eat them (the mishna does not mention eating them) until after the second kos. And this is then the impetus for the seder plate, which they bring before him with all those items, and is on the table during maggid even though you do not eat it yet. The thing is, I am not sure which gemara this comes out of. end update.}I'll return to this question perhaps in a later post - there is what to talk about.

Jastrow cites an interesting opinion, of the Bartenura (a commentary on the mishna). Bartenura suggests that the words עד שמגיע לפרפרת הפת should really be עד שמגיע לפרפר את הפת
that is, parperet hapat is really lifarper et hapat, to break the bread. That is, he eats the karpas until yachatz, where he breaks the bread. This is promising and a wonderful solution, EXCEPT...

for the slight problem that the mishna talks about it in the context of dipping chazaret, and it occurs in a similar context in tosefta, and in tosefta, it says explicitly if you one ATE a single parpetet. so in the tosefta it cannot refer to yachatz (breaking the matza) and so I doubt it refers to it in the mishna as well.

I hope to return to the order of the meal and maggid in short order, in a later post.

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