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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 9, 2004 /19 Nissan, 5764

To be a matza

By Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo



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Something profound to think about the next time you take a bite of those funny shaped and sized 'Passover crackers'


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The Talmud in Tractate Berachos ( 17a) poses the question why it is forbidden to eat or posses chametz, leaven, such as bread, on Passover. What is there in the nature of leaven that it should be forbidden on Passover? And why is matza the most desirable food for Passover?


Instead of providing us with a straight answer, the Talmud responds by asking still another question. Why do people sin altogether? Understanding that people will continue to transgress, the Talmud tries to analyze the paradoxical situation in which many people find themselves: Man's desire to do good and his constant encounter with his/her evil inclination. Realizing that this inclination is difficult to overcome, it suggests that human beings and especially Jews should make the following declaration whenever they try to obey the laws of the Torah but fail to do so:


"Lord of the Universe
It is well known to You that it is our desire to do Your will
But what prevents us?
The yeast in the dough."


The expression: "The yeast in the dough" is well known in the Talmud. It is the description for the evil impulse in human beings. The last is the one that is responsible for "all ferment in the human heart" and why man does not always behave the way he should.


We now understand the circuitous answer the Talmud provides to the original question concerning the reasons why it is forbidden to possess or consume leaven on Passover.


Leaven is, after all, used to cause the yeast in the dough to rise and in a literal sense it is exactly that which also causes bread to become bread that is forbidden on Passover.


In other words: It is the most distinct symbol of the cause of all human transgressions!


This however begs the question. Why is the evil inclination symbolized by leaven? What does leaven do wrong that it should be used as the symbol for the evil urge in man?


A closer look however reveals a most fascinating idea.


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Bread, chametz, is blown up matza. It is matza that went overboard and became "wild".


What is, after all, the essential difference between both? They are made from exactly the same ingredients. It is only the speed that makes the difference between the two. If the dough is baked quickly you get matza. However, if the dough is left for a while, it will rise and after being baked turns into bread.


The only real difference between the two is therefore hot air. An ingredient of no real substance!


And it is this substance which makes bread look powerful in comparison to matza. It rises, becoming haughty, making the impression that it consists of a great amount of substance and abundance while in reality it mainly consists of hot air. The matza, however is humble, there is no attempt to make more of itself than what it really contains: plain dough.


Bread, then, is an arrogant matza. And it is for this reason that it symbolizes the evil inclination since it is the attitude of haughtiness, blowing oneself up beyond one's real self which leads to undesirable acts that causes man to go astray. It is the source of all transgressions. Would a human being be humble, he or she would not contemplate doing anything wrong. Only arrogance leads man to undesirable deeds.


On Passover, which symbolizes the beginning of the Jewish people, Jews are once more reminded that their mission to become a light to the nations can only start in the spirit of humility. Arrogance can never be the foundation of spirituality and moral integrity. It cannot inspire others, nor will it have a lasting effect.


Consequently the art achieving real life is to be like a matza in a world of chametz.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a world-renowned lecturer and ambassador for Judaism, the Jewish people, the State of Israel and Sephardic Heritage.

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© 2004, Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo