Saturday, April 08, 2017

Bread of Freedom

The bread of freedom is a hard bread. The contrast between bread and matzo possibly points the contrast between the lush Nile civilization that the Jews left behind them on the first Passover and the gray rubbled desert in which they came into their identity....
Leavening, then, would represent in this image the corruption of slave life. But the symbol has ramifications. The rabbis called the passions of man "the yeast in the dough." Leaven is a strange and pervasive substance. It is alive; it is immortal; it is impalpably everywhere in the air; it ferments grain into bread, and grapes into wine; it is the sour whitish paradigm of the stuff of life itself. For one week in the springtime, in the time of seeding and growth, when the Jews celebrate their independence, they cut all trace of leaven from their lives. No one has ever wholly accounted for this vibrant symbol.
-Herman Wouk, This Is My God

If you must hate, if hatred is the leaven of your life, which alone can give flavor, then hate what should be hated: falsehood, violence, selfishness. -Ludwig Börne (1786–1837), The Eternal Jew

The Exodus from Egypt occurs in every human being, in every era, in every year, and in every day.
-Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772–1810)