"In every generation a person is obligated to regard himself as if he had come out of Egypt"—The Haggadah.

Though the seder traditionally features many tantalizing dishes, the Torah-mandated foods which take center stage on Passover Night are the matzah and maror (bitter vegetable). The rabbis completed the obligatory seder menu by adding four cups of wine to the carte du jour.

The event organizer apparently neglected to choose a "taste theme" for this evening's gathering: matzah is flavorless. By design. Matzah is "pauper's bread" and may not be seasoned, nor is one allowed to add eggs, sugar, or oil to its dough. Downing the mandatory ounces of dry matzah at the seder is never an easy task! Maror has a taste—a very distinctively bitter taste. Wine possesses a rich taste especially savored by those with a refined palate. We imbibe this noble beverage to celebrate the exquisite "taste" of freedom we acquired on Passover.

The event organizer apparently neglected to choose a “taste theme” for the evening’s gatheringSome 3300 years ago our ancestors left the immoral and corrupt Egypt and embarked on their journey towards Mount Sinai and the Holy Land. Pharaoh's slaves were now a free people; free to receive the Torah and realize their immense potential of being a "Light upon the Nations." On this night, we relive this monumental event and endeavor to escape our personal "Egypt" – our enslavement to our egotistical impulses and immoral tendencies which impede our growth – and serve G‑d as "free men." The specialized cuisine consumed at the seder is intended to assist us in achieving this holy night's grand goal.

So, what is the true taste of personal redemption? Is liberation supposed to be tasteless or tasty? And if you have chosen the latter option, is redemption supposed to have a pleasant taste or is it meant to leave a bitter taste in your mouth?

Perhaps the seder menu is teaching us that there are different roads to redemption. Each one of the seder foods and drink is symbolic of a valid path to this desired destination.

Matzah: No one wishes for a dry and tasteless life; we all want to feel gratification, fulfillment, and delight. However, Egypt typically leaves us with ruined taste buds; with a destructive appetite for unhealthy tastes… More importantly, Egypt ascribes inappropriate primacy to taste. Matzah represents redemption which is achieved through prioritizing and understanding that ultimately life is not about "taste," but about the endgame—serving G‑d. In truth, a Torah-life is tastier than all alternative lifestyles (which also leave their adherents with an empty and aching stomach) but that is a fringe benefit. Egypt cannot function without "taste," and pleasure, and thus "deprioritizing" taste is a one-way ticket out of there.

Maror: The Egyptians embitter our lives. While the corrupting influence of Egypt may be disguised as "enlightenment," "progress," or the "right of self determination," it is downright painful for the Jewish soul. Allow yourself to feel your soul's pain. As Jeremiah pleaded: "know and see that your forsaking the L-rd your G‑d is evil and bitter." Go ahead, this anguish has therapeutic benefit. Feeling this pain will send you dashing from Egypt. You'll run so quickly that the dough won't have time to rise…

Egypt typically leaves us with ruined taste buds; with a destructive appetite for unhealthy tastes

Wine: Instead of dwelling on the bitter taste of slavery, focus on the rich intoxicating taste of freedom which is entirely within reach. Earnestly contemplate the possibility of enjoying a holy and meaningful life; a life dedicated to an ideal infinitely more important than your stock portfolio. Dwell on this thought for a while and suddenly the Egyptian delicacies will lose much of their allure—and you'll be well on your way towards Mount Sinai. 

Choose your favorite path. Or do as the great sage Hillel did—make a sandwich and eat them all together!

Have a happy and tasteful Passover!