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Why Is There a Rabbi at My Door Holding a Pizza Box?

Why Is There a Rabbi at My Door Holding a Pizza Box?

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It’s not a Pizza. The box contains a matza. A special matza. A shmura matza. An expensive matza, but it’s worth it.

That matza in that box is special because the wheat that made it was shmura -carefully guarded to make absolutely certain that no water came into contact with itIt is special, because it was hand-made during the harvesting or milling process, which would render it chametzunfit for Pesach consumption.

It is special, because it was hand-made by an expert team of matza bakers who, before every stage of the process, intoned “l’sheim matzot mitzva this is being done to help Jews fulfil the G‑dly Commandment of eating Matza at the Seder”.

It is special, because in Kabbalistic thought hand baked Shmura Matza, eaten at the Seder, is said to bring health, healing and faith.

If it’s so special, why are we giving it away for free?

A rich man once approached the Lubavitcher Rebbe with a fabulous sum of money that he proposed donating to a worthy cause, but with one proviso: “Rebbe, I want it to go towards a groiser zach (a big project)”

The Rebbe’s face grew very serious and he urged the man to immediately donate the funds to Lubavitcher Shluchim who would buy and distribute Shmura matza to the Jews of their respective communities.

The magnate was unpersuaded. “No, Rebbe, you’ve misunderstood me. I want it to go towards something permanent and substantial. Something that will last for a long time. You know, like a building that will carry my name.”

The Rebbe’s reply was brief, but classic. “If you want a building, there are plenty of other communities where they’ll be happy to build a fancy building, but if you ask me, what I call ‘a groiser zach’, it’s making sure that one more Jew has a Shmura matza for the Seder”.

Over the course of decades, the Rebbe spoke over and over about the importance of sharing the gift of faith and healing that is Shmura Matza, with as many Jews that can possibly be reached. He pressed the Rabbis of each Shul and neighbourhood to distribute matza to their congregants and urged every one of us to give Shmura Matza to our families, friends and acquaintances.

I personally know of people who have undergone a drastic change of attitude to Pesach and, indeed, to Judaism just because they received a Shmura Matza. There are a number of families in our community who have been inspired to commit to a more traditional observance of the Seder just because they have a box of ‘the real stuff’ lying on the table. I can personally attest to the positive ramifications of giving Shmura Matza to those who would otherwise go without.

Now it’s your turn.

Your local Lubavitcher Rabbi can’t possibly get to everyone and doesn’t even know everyone.

You do.

You’ve got friends. You’ve got businessPlease share the gift with others partners. You’ve got family who need this gift of healing and faith in their lives.

Please share the gift with others this Pesach. Become one of the ‘pizza-box’ delivery people and help bring the awareness of Pesach and the enjoyment of traditional Yiddishkeit with others.

Call your local Chabad House or Shul today and volunteer to join the circle of giving. Pick up pre-packed boxes of Matza to distribute to your own friends and family. Donate to the cause that the Rebbe described as a groisre zach. Share the bread of faith and healing and help ensure that every Jew has the real stuff at their Seder this year. You can’t go wrong and you can do so much right.

With all of our combined efforts, we’ll all have a fantastic Pesach and celebrate freedom throughout the year.

Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum is spiritual leader of Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation and co-director of L’Chaim Chabad in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia.
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