You're trapped in your marriage. You've said certain things, she's said things, both quite unforgivable, so now you're imprisoned in this cube of tense silence you used to call "home" and the only place to go from here is down. Yes, there is a way out — just yesterday there was a moment, a fleeting opportunity for reconciliation. But you were too big to squeeze through.

You're trapped in debt. There's the house redo you just had to do, the car you absolutely had to have, the vacation you simply wanted (you deserve something for yourself, too). The bills are closing in, and the only place to go from here is down. Yes, there's a small opening, through which a tiny voice inside you sometimes beckons, "You don't really need this." But you've gotten too big to squeeze through.

You're trapped in your life. Whichever way you turn, you encounter walls — unshakable habits, antagonistic colleagues, elusive desires. The only direction that seems not to be closed to you is down — the direction leading deeper into the quagmire.

Sometimes, the weather clears enough for you to see the escape hatch set high up in the wall — the way out to freedom. But it's so small. Actually, it's not so much that it's small as that you need to make yourself small — veritably flatten yourself — to fit through. You need to deflate your selfhood enough to say to yourself: "Wait a minute! I've got the wrong idea of what it's all about! It's not about me, it's about Us. It's not about what I can be and have, but what I can do and accomplish."

We celebrate the festival of Passover by eradicating all chametz (leavened foods) from our home and replacing it with matzah, the unleavened bread. The Chassidic masters explain that in order to re-experience the freedom of the Exodus — the moment in history that liberated our souls from all and any future forms of slavery — we must eradicate the chametz from our souls and replace it with matzah.

Chametz — grain that has fermented and bloated — represents that swelling of ego that enslaves the soul more than any external prison. The flat, unpretentious matzah represents the humility, self-effacement and commitment that are the ultimate liberators of the human spirit.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe points out that the liberating quality of matzah is also shown in the forms of the Hebrew letters that spell the words "chametz" and "matzah". The spelling of these two words are very similar (just as a piece of bread and a piece of matzah are made of the same basic ingredients) — chametz is spelled chet, mem, tzadi; matzah is spelled mem, tzadi, hei. So the only difference is the difference between the chet and the hei — which, as the illustration above shows, is also slight. Both the chet and the hei have the form of a three sided enclosure, open at the bottom; the difference being that the hei has a small "escape hatch" near the top of its left side.

Which is all the difference in the world.