Tzav (Pesach)

An old tradition sees chametz as inflated pride and earthly desires; matzah, of course, is spirituality and purity of mind. What tired dichotomies! Why, in this symbolic system, would Pesach only last seven days? Why would we ever eat bread again? Pesach is a brief dip into fanatical puritanism, valuable only in that we quickly reject it and ascend to an integrated lifestyle of compromise, contradiction and paradox. The ancient Thanks-Offering was presented “on matzah cakes and cakes of chametz.” Freedom is the power to create and destroy symbolic systems. We exist in this complex world with all our being, the ugly and the beautiful, we give and receive everything there is; thankfulness means acknowledging the world as it is.

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[Inspired by: Vayikra 7; Zohar Vayikra 12b; Likkutei Halachot YD Giluach 3; R. Joel Levy; The Costume of Yorkshire by George Walker.]

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