When Are We Free? A Seder Activity for All Ages

One of our Passover traditions, koreich (the sandwich), asks us to combine the maror (bitter herbs) with the sweet charoset (fruit and nut mixture) between two pieces of matzah, just like Hillel the Elder did. This “Hillel Sandwich,” as it is called, symbolizes the need to take the good with the bad, to acknowledge the suffering alongside the redemption.

This Passover, brainstorm some other food combinations that might exemplify the bitterness and sweetness of freedom. Add some of these items to your seder table to try a modern take on the Hillel Sandwich, and then, with your seder guests, use our discussion questions to spur a conversation about what it means to be free.

(Note: Some of these foods, such as peanut butter and Nutella, may not fall within your personal minhag, tradition, when it comes to allowable Passover foods. Those who keep kosher will also want to take care not to include any dairy items, depending on their meal, thus omitting such suggestions as cream cheese or frosting.)

Bitter food ideas:

  • Arugula
  • Bitter chocolate
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Grapefruit
  • Kale
  • Matcha
  • Radishes

Sweet food ideas:

  • Almond butter
  • Blueberry jam
  • Maple butter
  • Nutella
  • Peanut butter
  • Spiced pumpkin butter
  • Strawberry cream cheese
  • Vanilla frosting

In this season of pursuing freedom, lead your seder companions in a conversation about the topic of freedom, guided by these four new questions, in addition to the traditional Four Questions we ask on Passover.

  1. If you could draw a picture of being free, what would it look like?
  2. When have you become free from something?
  3. What’s something you’d like to be free from?
  4. Do you feel free today? Why or why not?