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Why is chametz only forbidden on Passover?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

Library » Holidays » Passover » Chametz | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The Exodus from Egypt was the beginning of our birth as a nation at Sinai. So in our spiritual service during Passover we are at the beginning of our trip. In the beginning, the most important thing is to rid oneself of arrogance. If you’re full of yourself there’s no way you’re going to absorb anything: a full cup cannot contain anything. When a student wants to learn from the master he’s got to remove any preconceptions and be totally open to this new wisdom

But once Passover is over and we’re out of the beginning stages, then a sense of self becomes a good thing. It doesn’t have to lead to arrogance it can lead to confidence. When you’re feeling good about doing the right thing that’s holy chametz.
The inflated and rising nature of Chametz is symbolic of the aloof attitude of arrogance. On Passover we empty ourselves of all chametz so that we can be a humble vessel.

But once Passover is over and we’re out of the beginning stages, then a sense of self becomes a good thing. It doesn’t have to lead to arrogance it can lead to confidence. When you’re feeling good about doing the right thing that’s holy chametz. That’s why on Shavuot, the holiday that comes after Passover, chametz not only is not forbidden it becomes a Mitzvah. The offering that was brought in the Temple on Shavuot had to contain chametz.


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Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Chametz
Any leavened product which is produced from wheat, barley, rye, spelt or oats. This includes bread, cake, cereals, crackers, biscuits, yeast, pasta and whisky. It is forbidden for a Jew to possess or consume Chametz throughout Passover.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
Shavuot
Early summer festival marking the day when the Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai in the year 2448 (1312 BCE).
Exodus
1. The miraculous departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage in 1312 BCE. 2. The second of the Five Books of Moses. This book describes the aforementioned Exodus, the giving of the Torah, and the erection of the Tabernacle.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.