Friday, Adar 26, 5777 / March 24, 2017
This Shabbat we again read from two Torahs. From the first Torah we read the final two Parshiot in the Book of Exodus (Shmot), Vayakhel and Pekudei. From the second Torah we read Parshat HaChodesh – about the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh, which G-d gave us two weeks before the Exodus.
Parshat HaChodesh is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Being that Rosh Chodesh is Monday night and Tuesday (one day) we read the Parsha this Shabbat.
The matzah we eat at the Seder celebrates the miracle of The Exodus when we left Egypt in great haste and as a result the dough of our forefathers didn’t have enough time to rise and was baked flat. Our sages explain that there is also a deeper meaning to eating matzah on Pesach. It is not only a remembrance of what took place many years ago, it’s also a lesson which is valid to this day.
Our sages tell us that matzah, which is flat, represents humility. Bread (Chametz), which is prohibited on Pesach, is made from dough that rises and represents haughtiness. The lesson of the matzah on Pesach is, that, although we have been chosen by G-d as His people and attained our freedom from slavery, we must always remember to be humble, just like the matzah..
A Talmudic sage was once walking with Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet). On the way, they passed by a dead horse. The smell was unbearable so the sage held his nose with his fingers. However, the smell didn't bother Eliyahu Hanavi.
Then they walked by a wealthy man dressed very elegantly. He was wearing a wonderful perfume. The rich man held his head high and walked as if the whole world belonged to him. As the man passed, Eliyahu Hanavi held his nose.
“When we passed the dead horse you didn't hold your nose. Yet, when this man walked by us you held your nose! Tell me, why?" asked the sage.
Eliyahu Hanavi answered him, "The spiritual smell of this haughty person (“ba’al Ga’avah”) is much worse than the physical smell of the dead horse."
When the Jewish people were enslaved they naturally felt very humble. Now, that they were attaining their freedom, G-d told them to eat matzah, as a reminder to always be humble.
Montrealcandle lighting time: 6:54 / Shabbat ends: 7:58
Dedicated in memory of David Berkovitz – David ben Levi Naftali -yartzeit is today.
May his Neshama-soul rest in peace in Gan Eden. May his memory be a blessing.
From: his grandson, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.