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By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

In the Hagada we read that the recitation of the Hagada is done at the time when there is matza and marror in front of you. This halacha is derived from the posuk in Shemos, Perek Yud Gimmel, Posuk Ches that says, “You should teach your son on that day as a result of Hashem taking us out of Mitzrayim.” The Mechilta learns from this posuk that the Hagada must be said while there are matza and marror in front of the person.

One could kler a chakirah on this dependency. On one hand, we could say that the mitzvah of “sippur yetzias Mitzrayim” is dependent on eating matza and marror. On the other hand, the din of telling your son the story of our redemption is dependent on having matza and marror in front of you.

We can say that this is based on a machlokes rishonim. The Mishna in Pesachim, daf kuf tes zayin, amud bais says in the name of Rabban Gamliel that if one did not say the three things of why we eat Pesach, Matzah and Marror, he does not fulfill his obligation of “sippur yetzias Mitzrayim.” The Ran says that he is not yotzei the mitzvah properly, but is yotzei the mitzvah somewhat. The Darkei Moshe explains that one is yotzei the mitzvah of hagada even without the matza and marror, it’s just not the mitzvah min hamuvchar. The Rambam in Perek Zayin, hilchos chametz umatza, halacha alef agrees and says that saying these three things is a chelek in the hagada and the telling of yetzias Mitzrayim.

The Ramban in Milchamos in Brachos, Daf Bais, Amud Bais, in the dafim of the Rif disagrees and says that when Rabban Gamliel said one is not yotzei, he means that one did not do the mitzvah properly; however, it does not mean that one has to eat the matza and maror again. The Avudraham and the Kol Bo agree with the Ramban that the mitzvah of “sippur Yetzias Mitzrayim” is dependent on the eating of the Matzah.

We could differentiate between these two opinions if a child wants to eat matza before the proper time. If you say that the mitzvah of “sippur” is dependent on eating the matzah, then the child may eat it. On the other hand, if the mitzvah of teaching your son about the hagada while the matza is in front of you is paramount, then one may not feed his child from the matza before he says the Mah Nishtana.

May we be zocheh to be redeemed very soon just as we were redeemed from Mitzrayim.

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