Project Genesis

The Calendar and Holidays (incl. Sabbath)


Bread of Affliction …or Freedom?

Question: Why is it that on Matza represents freedom if we also consider Matza a poor mans bread that we had in Egypt as slaves?

Answer: I attended Rabbi Soloveithchick’s (The Rav’s) lectures where he asked the same question: “Matzoh on the one hand symbolizes freedom and on the other hand symbolizes poverty and helplessness (Since the Jews were helpless when they were expelled from Egypt and didn’t even have time to bake bread). How can one object symbolize two opposites?”

The Rav provided the following answer:

  • Matzoh does not exclusively symbolize freedom
  • Matzoh does not exclusively symbolize poverty
  • Rather Matzoh symbolizes God’s capacity to transform freedom to poverty.

In other words when we eat Matzoh on Passover we are eating something symbolizing the poverty of slavery. But this symbol of slavery simultaneously symbolizes God’s capacity to redeem us while we were slaves.

Have an enjoyable Passover,
Dr. Russell Jay Hendel;

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