A Bisl Torah

What’s Missing?

One of the main themes of Passover is humility. We eat matzah that is flattened as a reminder to calm down our often puffed up egos. But I think we forget to concentrate on that which is missing: The yeast.

As many bakers witness, yeast is activated by triggering agents. Hot water and sugar allow those familiar bubbles to emerge in the beginning process of baking bread or challah. It takes an activator for the dough to rise. There are particular ingredients that cause the yeast, if you will, to come alive.

Spiritually, our egos may not be so different. When engaged with what feels like threatening situations, our chests puff out, activated to protect our seemingly fragile hearts. When someone shakes up what feels comfortable, disturbs the status quo, pushes boundaries or offers what may be an unwelcome change, we react. We rise up, sometimes with anger, bravado, words we didn’t mean, actions we later regret. We’re activated. And sometimes, we’re out of control.

Passover is a lens into those agents that trigger activation. The personalities that tend to cause our hearts to race. The environments that confuse us. The patterned moments that turn us into characters we don’t recognize. What agents should we name, remove, or even confront so that we remain steady, calm, humble and true to ourselves?

Matzah is the goal. But imagine the impact Passover will have if we consider how matzah is made, not letting the ever present yeast and activating agents in our world control who we are and who we want to be.

Enjoy your matzah-filled Pesach: Crunchy, humbling, and good for the soul.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach

In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.

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