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What are the lessons we can draw from the removal of leavened foods, and the bland crackers we eat for a full week?

Leaven and Matzah

Leaven and Matzah

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I Feel Like a Matzah
Sometimes those challenging moments, when we feel that we have been flattened and held against the ropes, are the very moments that make us stronger, better and crunchier.
No Bread
There are other components to the human diet, and technically we can subsist on other foods. But there is something about bread which marks it as the quintessential food, and as the metaphor for all that nourishes our existence.
Arrogant Bread
Jews are strictly forbidden to eat any leavened foods on Passover. Bread is replaced by Matzah – flat baked wafers made only of flour and water. Jews all over the world, take scrupulous care to avoid eating even the smallest particle of Chametz.
The Spirituality of Dough
If we are in Egypt, we now look to G-d for His assistance to release us. For one who is bound cannot release himself. (If he could it would make a marvelously entertaining act.)
The Escape Hatch
You're trapped in your life. Whichever way you turn, you encounter walls -- unshakable habits, antagonistic colleagues, elusive desires. There is a way out, but you're too big to squeeze through
A Tale of Two Matzahs
Why Shemurah Matzah?
The baking of the matzah is the beginning of the mitzvah. Mixing the dough, rolling and shaping the matzah and putting the dough into the oven to bake—are all activities that must be performed by adult Jews.
Matzah After Midnight
First you had faith. Then you grew up. Then you discovered truths you always knew you knew but which your knowledge obscured. That's why we have pre-midnight matzah and post midnight matzah
The Perfect Quarrel
The Three Festivals: One Big Fight
The relationship, from its very inception, has been plagued by a quarrel between the spouses. As is common with many couples, they find themselves continuously and constantly arguing the same argument.
Freedom in a Cracker
It contains no oil or honey, nuts or fruit, not even a coating of egg and poppy seeds . . . How did this “bread of poverty” wangle center stage in the festival celebrating our acquisition of the greatest of wealths—our freedom?
What's the Rush?
So, they happened to eat matzah because they were in a rush. So what? I thought that Passover is about freedom, not food!
Bread of Faith
Matzah hurriedly chewed on an empty stomach is virtually tasteless; but at the meal's end, especially after a glass or two of wine, it is a feast for the senses...
Chametz: What Would Your Psychologist Say?
Why the big fuss? Torah prohibits many items at various times, but-- thankfully!--we are not obligated to embark on an all-out assault against every banned item.
A Speck of Flour
If chametz is so intolerable, why do we eat it all year round? And what is the significance of the unexpected appearance of “wet matzah” on the eighth day of Passover?
The Freedom to be Honest
What if I'm so bent on being honest that I consistently find fault in my own actions? What if I find myself claiming too much "credit" for collective miscalculations and blunders? In a strange way, being hard on yourself can make you feel good...
A Matzah Meditation
Ordinary food is not extracted from heaven. Unlike the manna, the hand of G‑d is concealed in our bread. But there's an exception to this rule: Matzah.
The Matzah Mentality
Matzah represents faith, because to have faith takes recognition that one can’t control everything. It’s okay to let go. So, G-d told the Jews to find a matzah mentality, in order to leave their personal Egypt. It wasn’t easy...
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