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You Can't Escape
We gotta eat the matzah
With this post coming to you on the day of the beginning of Passover, I wanted to share a post in the form of a kavvanah. In contemporary parlance, a kavvanah, literally meaning intention, is a short teaching offered as a frame for entering a particular situation. Whether you’re a Jewish person celebrating Passover or not, I think this thought is universal.
There are a lot of rules and limitations that Jewish people take upon themselves to observe this holiday. There is a lot of cleaning, cooking, and spiritual prep work that goes into it. It feels arduous!
In particular, the worry about coming into contact, seeing, or eating chametz (leavened grains) is a source of deep anxiety. So much so that in a collection of teachings from the Breslov Chasidim, they wonder if maybe it’s just easier to swear off eating matzah at all. After all, if you don’t eat matzah, then you won’t have to worry about coming into contact with anything potentially leavened.
Their answeris powerful-
Actually, the Torah forbids this to teach a lesson. A person cannot escape in life from facing all of their challenges. The essence of being in service to something greater is the ability to withstand challenges and overcome them.
We cannot go through life, no matter how hard it gets, trying to eliminate all the bad stuff that we face. It is the heart of our work in life to try to confront our challenges. This doesn’t mean we have to solve every problem or that we won’t fail horribly and be in pain from our challenges. But it does mean we have to face them.
This is why we eat matzah. We’re like matzah. Even in its wholeness, we know it crumbles everywhere. Every year we come back to it because we need that reminder about ourselves. We can’t run away from it. We are complete within our brokenness.
Chag Sameach! May your holiday be joyous and redemptive.
Siah Sarfei Kodesh 1:387