Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rachtzah vs. Urchatz


When we washed our hands before Karpas, we called it "URchatz", an imperative meaning, "And wash!" Now, though, we call our washing "Rachtzah", which is a general term, "washing". Why do we alter it?

Rav Kook explained that the earlier washing was meant for the individual to remove his impurity before handling food, and so this was a command to an individual. The later washing removes more than just impurity; this is meant to signify the end of the slavery we described in Maggid. This is a national washing, and so we alter the name to "Rachtzah".

Have a great day,

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