Matzah Meditation


“Tatty, if Pesach is the holiday of freedom, why do we eat food that tastes like slavery? (some say that Shmurah matzah tastes like a cardboard box).

The answer to this thoughtful question of my daughter is a meditation that many people have found to be meaningful.

But first, a little intro:

Eating matzah on the first night of Passover is a mitzvah, commandment from G-d.

A mitzvah is a physical action that G-d gave us Jewish people as a gift, and if done according to His “parameters” can channel G-d’s infinite light into this material word, to make it a bit holier.

It’s like typing a URL or dialing a phone number. One digit off and you don’t reach your intended destination.

Here are some parameters to make the Matzah Mitzvah work:

  1. Eat it on first night of Passover

  2. After sundown 

  3. At least the size of a full-size olive (approximately 30 grams).

  4. Eat the matzah by itself (no salt, butter, honey, matzah brei, cheese, hamburger & ketchup etc.)

  5. It’s best to fulfill the mitzvah with round, hand baked shmurah matzah (even though it’s so much more expensive)

  6. It’s best to have intention that you’re fulfilling the mitzvah of eating matzah (specific meditation below).

My children measured and packed 600 bags of Matzah with exactly 30 grams that were distributed to every Jew we have an address for in Temecula. If you received a bag, now you know why it says not to share. It’s to bring the light of Passover into the world on G-d’s terms. 


And now for the meditation:

Passover celebrates the transition from slavery (Egypt) to freedom.

What is modern day slavery? Is it fair to call an addict a slave? I think so. He’s a slave to his addiction.

Imagine a druggie who is 7 days into recovery. How does he feel? Probably miserable, as he’s likely experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

He doesn’t feel free at all.

What about six months later? If he’s still clean, he’ll likely have a job, his family back, and be grateful to have a second chance at life.

Now he feels free.

Ask him when he got his freedom and he’ll likely go back to day #1 of recovery, when he didn’t feel free at all.

In other words, the way life works is that the beginning of freedom doesn’t taste like freedom. Or maybe the taste of fresh freedom is different that the taste of mature freedom.

We read in the Passover Hagaddah, “In every generation, a person should view themselves as if he/she individually was taken out of Egypt.”

The Hebrew word for Egypt, “Mitzrayim” means “boundaries”.

On Passover night, before eating the matzah, we should think about the things that we are enslaved to. We know that on this night, G-d is taking us out of our slavery, to a better place.

But we also acknowledge, that to the extent we are slaves, we can’t really taste the taste of mature freedom yet.

And that taste of fresh freedom is matzah!

No sugar, no salt, no butter, no brei (as in matzah brei). Matzah is the taste of fresh, pure, and immature freedom. It will mature with time (after counting 49 days until Shavuos, when we were ready to receive the Torah).

As you eat your matzah on Wednesday, after sundown, think about what slavery G-d will be taking you out of, think about this commandment you’re fulfilling by eating it, and concentrate on the pure taste of your newly found fresh freedom (matzah).

And that’s why we eat “tasteless” matzah on Passover night.

Thank you Moussia for the inspiration to write this article!


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