Letter: Out of Egypt, with the Rabbi's sandwiches

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Sir: I noted a popular misconception in the article on sandwiches (3 February). The etymology of the word sandwich may derive from the Earl of Sandwich, however the invention was that of Rabbi Hillel, who lived under Herod of Judea and was one of the most influential thinkers of Judaism.

When celebrating the exodus from Egypt, during the festival of Passover, he combined bitter herbs between two pieces of matzah, unleavened bread, symbolising a moral migration from wickedness to virtue. Thus the first sandwich was born. The Earl's experiment was merely a renaissance.

Yours faithfully,


London, NW11

3 February