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Listening To The Matzah Print E-mail

HagadaI first hand out the portions of Matzah to everyone at the table and only then do I begin eating my own portion. We are all leaning to the left, crunching away at our Matzah. Inevitably someone at the table begins to giggle at all the crunching. The problem is that since I begin after everyone else, I am usually that last one crunching. They can all laugh at my crunching while I am trying to focus on the Mitzvah. I remember how as children, my siblings and I would not dare giggle aloud at my grandfather’s or father’s crunching. For some reason my children do not have the same self-control. I wonder why.


I imagine that first Pesach, in Egypt, when it was a tense time. Everyone knew that something tremendous would happen that night and they would soon be leaving Egypt. Did they have a momentary release when they giggled at all the Matzah crunching? It must have been a wonderful gift - a moment of laughter amidst all the tension.

Matzah is a complicated Mitzvah over which we worry from the moment the grains are harvested. We guard the grain, and then are meticulous in how it is ground into flour, mixed with water, and then how long it bakes. We are careful to eat the proper amount. Everything is directed by Halacha - Jewish law. And then we have the joy of listening to the Matzah, when we can enjoy the Mitzvah and, yes, giggle away. Just, please, not at my expense!

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