Eating Matzah – that’s what it’s all about!

by Shira Epstein

Passover is the time when we celebrate the freedom from slavery for the children of Israel. It is the holiday where Jews don’t eat leavened food.   But why? What is eating matzah all about? What is the connection of matzah and the holiday of Passover?

The Biblical Source for Matzah

“In the first month of the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, you shall eat matzot.” (Exodus 12:18)
“Seven days shall you eat matzot.” (Exodus 12:15)

Well, there is your answer in short. We eat matzah at Passover because God tells us too. But let’s take a deeper look.

Why Matzah?

Rabbi Michael Chigel explains that matzah in fact holds the true essence of the holiday of Passover. He once again turns back to the Bible itself where God has written about the Israelites baking and eating matzah.

“And they baked matzah-cakes of the dough that they had taken out of Egypt for it was not leavened, since they had been driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.” (Exodus 12:39)

Rabbi Chigel explains that the true miracle of Passover was not just the exodus from Egypt but it was in fact how the exodus actually happened. This is reflected in the explanation of the matzah in book of Exodus, with reference to the speed in which the exodus happened. It is how God took them out of Egypt.

The first of the 10 commandments references the fact that God took the Children of Israel out of Egypt. The sages explain that the reason this is there is because of the supernatural way in which the exodus took place. The exodus from Egypt truly revealed the infinite power of God with the many number of miracles that happened. God didn’t wait or give the Israelites time to prepare.  Instead, He took them out of Egypt in such haste that they didn’t even have time to make some bread.

This is why matzah is so important. Matzah is the reminder of the power of the Infiinte Almighty God.

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