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Kneel and Jump - April 21 2017

Kneel and Jump - April 21 2017

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The day after Passover, on Wednesday, Sara and I were visiting with family in Brooklyn. As lunchtime approached I asked if anyone had any leftover Matza. Boy were they surprised! Who wants to have Matza for lunch the day after Passover? Were eight days of the crunchy stuff not enough for you? (I found my Matza and ate it anyway.)

Matza for lunch after Passover is not only a strange idea, but something that's actually discouraged by the Torah. Well, kind of. There's nothing wrong with eating Matza the day after, but the 'Matza mentality' is supposed be put aside until next Passover. How so?

Matza is flat (so it shouldn't rise) and has only flour and water (to remember the 'poor man's bread' we ate in Egypt). The 'Matza mentality' is one of humility and simplicity. Humility is bedrock of growth. You can't jump without bending down, you can't teach without learning, you can't love without being loved, you can't create without being inspired, you can't grow a tree without planting a seed. Prosperity and success always sprout from humble beginnings. 

That is the message of Passover. We recall our modest birth as a people, when we were mere slaves. We relive those experiences not as a means of putting us down but as a means of getting in touch with ourselves and spurring growth and rejuvenated zest for life. That is also why the 'Matza mentality', representing that idea of humility and introspective simplicity, is meant to subside after Passover has passed. 

The period after Passover is known as the 'count of the Omer', when we count down fifty days until the next holiday, Shavuot, which is the day we received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. This nearly two month long count is a time for us to build our characters and actions upon the humble foundations of Passover. Now is a time to grow. 

This can be summed up as a 'kneel and jump' experience - we 'kneel' during Passover and 'jump' afterwards. This Passover message of 'kneel and jump' is quite practical.

As we move on from Passover, it's a good time to think of some way to move from the 'kneeling' experience of the holiday to positive actions. Pick a good deed, a Mitzvah, and make it real. Maybe smile more, or put the phone down during dinner time and be present with your family. Maybe start putting on Teffilin once a week or light Shabbat candles on Friday night. We knelt during Passover, know it's time to jump.

 

Rabbi Avrohom

 

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