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This is the Bread of Affliction

According to studies of Jewish life - Passover is the most celebrated of Jewish holy days - more than Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the draw of uniting with family to relive the exodus from Egypt brings Jews back to Jewish space.  I have many friends who eat cheeseburgers on top of their matzah - concerned to the point of upset that someone might put bread on the table - because it is Passover.

I love how deeply engrained into the Jewish psyche Passover is - the story of oppression and liberation.  The journey from slavery to freedom.  The march where our people took with them a mixed multitude of strangers who quickly became ‘fellow travellers’ along the path to a better world.

For those of us concerned with the rules of Passover, we will be using matzah on seder night made of wheat, oats, barley, spelt or rye - one of the five grains from which matzah can be made.  But what many people don’t know is that matzah doesn’t need to be as hard as a cracker- and that you can make your own matzah.

Cracker-like matzah is made for two reasons.  Firstly, because it is easier to make in a factory to ship around the world without going bad.  The second is because some are worried about unbaked dough, and by crisping your matzah, there is little chance it is unbaked.

However, this is a modern invention.  For the past few years, I have made soft matzah - or ‘Yemenite Matzah’ for my children.  Here is a great recipe, which also explains the implications inside of Jewish law every step of the way:

The tastes and smells of the kitchen bring us back to our identity.  The family around us brings us joy, and the memories of other seder tables fills us with nostalgia and love.  I hope that your Passover this year feels freer than in years previous. And let us remember to reach out to those who may not have a seder to fill out our tables.

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Jordan