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Day Twenty One of the Omer


The first of the Four Questions – remember them? - points out that what is special about Pesach is NOT that we eat Matzah, but that we eat ONLY Matzah. We recite the normal blessing for Bread but then add an additional one for the eating of Matzah. With all the pre-Pesach fuss about running down stocks and ordering and buying matzah and matzah-meal and cleaning and burning and – for some people – even 'selling' all the cereals and biscuits left over it is easy to overlook this. For one week we can have only bread made quickly, bread made flat, bread baked on an open tray rather than in an oven – just as we can the rest of the year! It is only the risen, baked or fermented food that has to be removed for a week.

So – after the week is over – how do we return to normality? It is usually an anticlimax. In our family we have taken special crockery out of cupboards, special canteens of cutlery, and placed them where we need them while the cupboards are sealed. Now we unseal the cupboards, return the 'Pesachdike' crockery and towels and bowls and pans until next year, and take back the 'normal'. But what to do with left-over Matzah?

Why, we return to the ''all other nights''. We can eat Chametz or Matzah, Chametz and Matzah. Yummy! I like matzah, smeared with salted butter and cheese or various spreads. I can and do eat too much of it. But I like the fact that we do not have to clean the entire flat once more just to remove any trace elements of pesachdike food, or seek out and burn the last coconut macaroon. Back to normal! Bread, crispbread, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cake – and Matzah.


Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild Berlin


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