Bo–Bread Without Ego

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a festival to the LORD.  (Exodus 13:6)

The festival we call Passover originated as a combination of two ancient holy days:  Passover, a shepherds’ festival in which each spring a lamb was sacrificed,  and Unleavened Bread, a celebration of the barley harvest, at which time all leaven/fermentation products were avoided.

Philo gave a classic moral interpretation of this latter festival: “Bread which is leavened and fermented rises, while that which is unleavened is low.  Each of these is a symbol of types of soul, one being haughty and swollen with arrogance, the other being unchangeable and prudent, choosing the middle way rather than extremes . . . .” (Questions and Answers in Exodus 1.15)  Or, as Rabbi James Stone Goodman likes to say, matza is bread without ego.

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