Let My People Know

"The primary meaning of eating matzah is the return to the starting point"

“The matzah eaten by the Israelites in Egypt has a dual meaning, as is clearly demonstrated by the Haggadah ritual.

On the one hand, it is the symbol of flight and powerlessness.

The dough prepared for the Exodus did not have enough time to rise, because the Israelites had to leave Egypt in haste.

On the other hand, the Israelites were instructed to eat matzah on the evening of Passover to accompany the Passover lamb.

‘They shall eat the flesh that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs’ (Exodus 12:8).

We are commanded to eat matzah although we eat bread the rest of the year and have apparently reached a higher level of knowledge.

One of the basic features of Jewish existence, both on the personal level and on the level of collective history, is that there is no possible beginning without a return to the roots of faith, to a state of pure knowledge free of all rationalization.

The rest is only construction, superstructure, and embellishment.

The primary meaning of eating matzah is the return to the starting point.

This return is necessary even when I have ‘eaten’ more sophisticated nourishment.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From The Seven Lights by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz