Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PESACH: Why do we eat Matza during Pesach?

Today is the 17th day of Adar II, 5771

Upon our sudden departure from Egypt, we, the Jewish people ate Matza. There was no time to prepare anything else for the journey, not even bread - so Matza brings the good memories of "rushing into freedom".

On the other hand, when we were slaves in Egypt, every single day of the week we ate only Matza! (Ha lachma anyia di akhalu abahatana be-ar'a'deMisraim). Matza was the food conceived by the cruel Egyptians as the ideal diet for the Jewish slaves. It was cheaper than other foods, and lasted longer than regular bread in the slave's stomachs.

One more things: it was very easy to prepare. To make regular bread you need to let the dough rest for approximately 10-15 minutes and only then you put the spongy-dough into the oven. In Egyptian captivity, the raising of the dough was skipped. Instead, they put the flat dough into the oven. Why? Because the Jewish slaves had to work without a pause. The Egyptians were not willing to concede the Jewish slaves 10 minutes of rest, which would allow the dough to raise and made into bread...

During the Pesach Seder we revive and literally "taste" the bitter experience of slavery and the sweetness of freedom, both represented by the Matza.

When eating the Matza, we celebrate our freedom, but without forgetting our suffering.

A tour to a Matza Factory, hosted by Martha Stewart:

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024