Sedra of the Week: Tsav
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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

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