Sedra of the Week: Tsav

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Sedra of the Week: Tsav

Rebbetzin of Pinner United Synagogue, Abi Kurzer, looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

Torah scroll (Photo by Tanner Mardis on Unsplash)
Torah scroll (Photo by Tanner Mardis on Unsplash)

Rosh Hashanah is to sourdough as Pesach is to matzah. Both are made of the same two ingredients, flour and water, and yet the outcome is vastly different. 

If it hadn’t been for the sourdough hobby craze sweeping the locked-down nation, I wouldn’t have had this epiphany. Hearing reports of people staying home in order to ‘feed’ their starter and achieve the perfect rise finally clarified to me why the Jewish people didn’t have time to make bread without yeast before they left Egypt: sourdough takes forever; matzah is made in 18 minutes. 

In parashat Tzav, the minchah offering requires bringing matzah. It is the humblest of all offerings, and the quickest to put together. 

Matzah is linked to chipazon, the haste in which we left Egypt. With no time to allow the ingredients to ferment, we took what we had and made matzah. The mitzvah to eat matzah on seder night transports us back to a feeling of rushing from one reality to another. 

Rav Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin explains that sometimes in our religious lives change happens slowly and carefully. This is more like sourdough and the deep and slow change that takes place at the time of Rosh Hashanah. 

Sometimes change requires an element of haste: we need to ‘just do it’ and not overthink or analyse. Instead, we need to capitalise on our enthusiasm and inspiration and move ahead with our plan. 

To achieve something as ­momentous as becoming a nation, we need to act with chipazon, haste, to propel us out of Egypt and into a new place. 

Matzah is the food of that moment, the food of Pesach. 

  •  Abi Kurzer is the Rebbetzin of Pinner United Synagogue

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: