Matzahpalooza: Pesach 2019

by Adam J. Rosenbaum

Pre-Game Chatter: Do you like to eat matzah? Do you enjoy eating it year-round? If you don’t like matzah, to what extent does it diminish your affection for Passover?

Depending on your opinion, matzah may or may not be infused with taste, but to our sages, it is infused with meaning:

The Pitch: “‘This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.” – The first words of the Magid section of the Haggadah

Swing #1: “Not the bread of affliction but the bread of haste. Matzah was the food that the people ate when they were liberated, not while they were enslaved.” – Baruch SheAmar

Swing #2: “The Seder begins with ‘This is the bread of poverty’ and not ‘This is like the bread of poverty,’ as it is written, ‘In order that you may see the bread that I fed you… when I brought you out of Egypt’ (Ex. 16:32).” – Divrei Negadim

Swing #3: “Why is matzah called lechem oni? It is taught: Lechem oni – because you answer with many words. Oni has the same root as the word oneh, to answer or respond.” – Shibolei HaLeket

Late-Inning Questions: What does matzah symbolize to our commentators? Is there value to eating symbolic foods, even if our taste buds don’t enjoy them? If we observe the dietary rules of Passover but eat very little matzah, are we missing out on some of the holiday’s meaning?

On-Deck at Emanu-El: Twice a year, we hold a brief Healing Service at our synagogue. It is open to anyone, but especially geared toward anyone healing from loss, be it emotional or physical. Please join us Thursday, April 26th, at 5:30PM.

The Big Inning at the End: The Miami Marlins might not have a talented team on the field, but its stadium’s Kosher food stand offers first-rate service – it even stays open on the intermediate days of Passover, offering Kosher for Passover fare.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher v’Sameach!