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matzah

This flat bread is known as “matzah”. The three Hebrew letters are mehm, tzaddik, and hei.

mehm, tzaddik, and hei

by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis

A large, cracker-like wafer that is eaten throughout the holiday of Passover in place of risen bread, in order to commemorate the slavery and liberation our ancestors experienced. It is a symbol of ritual and spiritual purity, free of leaven just as we must free ourselves of the “leaven” of ego, sin, and old habits.

It is also a symbol of paradox: it is the bread we eat when other bread is forbidden, and it simultaneously symbolizes slavery and freedom.

matzahAt the Seder, three pieces of matzah are prominently displayed, reminding Jews of both the three Biblical classes of Jews (Priest, Levite and Israelite) and of the three epochs (Eden, Historic time, and the Time of the Messiah).

A matzah is made using only specially supervised (yeast free) wheat and water. It is then baked precisely eighteen minutes (the number symbolizing life).

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