The Bitter Herb
A Meditation on Maror By Ira Steingroot
(from A Different Night:: The Family Participation Haggadah, by Noam Zion and David Dishon)
Personally, I cannot imagine Passover without horseradish. Its combination of intense pleasure and pain makes a good analog for the bittersweet nature of our memories at Passover. We remember good times with family and friends, often with those who are no longer with us or are far away. We give our brief lives added dimension by linking them to the pain and triumph of Jewish history. As the Irish fiddler Seamus Connolly once said in the name of this mother, "We're never so happy as when we're crying." We never enjoy the horseradish so much as when it brings tears to our eyes.