Why matzah? | Examiner.com

Dear LA Teacher,

Last year I was invited to my first Passover Seder at a home in Encino. I really enjoyed myself as everyone read from the Haggadah, the spiritual text, but that matzah... Why do Jews eat that tasteless, flour/water flatbread for eight days?

Curious Christian

Dear Curious Christian,

The reason we eat matzah is the same reason people of other faiths eat certain foods during their holidays. Christians eat eggs for Easter because eggs are a symbol of fertility. Catholics, during Eucharist drink wine and eat bread declaring them to be the blood and body of Christ.

Jews eat matzah for a very practical reason. During the Exodus from Egypt our ancestors didnt have time to wait for the bread to rise. Who knew if Pharaoh would change his mind again? So the Hebrew slaves grabbed their bread out of ovens before it could rise. We eat matzah for eight days as a reminder of the long Exodus from Egypt.

Theres a deeper psychological meaning, too. According to Rabbi Ari Shishler, a Chabad rabbi in Johannesburg, South Africa, matzah is made from unleavened dough. Puffy bread is symbolic of ego. Flat matzah represents humility. It is with humility that an individual opens himself up to spiritual growth. It is with spiritual growth that men and women can improve themselves as human beings.

You can buy matzah at Cambridge Farms, the largest kosher supermarket in California. Cambridge Farms is located on Burbank Blvd in Valley Village. The store stocks all your Passover shopping needs. As you munch on matzah enjoy this new Fountainhead video about Passover.

Happy Passover,

LA Teacher

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