Thoughts on Pesach

Pesach is a time when Jews across the world commemorate the freeing of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

BY: Malachi Kosanovich


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Really want chocolate cookies? There are chocolate-covered matzo cookies to replace regular ones. Really want spaghetti for dinner? No problem – we’ve come up with pasta that is kosher for Passover. I have to wonder what we are robbing ourselves of with all of these convenient replacement foods. We give up the bread we love for a reason. We make sacrifices for a reason – to connect to our ancestors, to participate in the community of Judaism all across the globe, to acknowledge in front of G…d that we are grateful for the salvation of our people.

Pesach is a holy time, a time for spiritual reflection on the struggles of our people, on the struggles and oppression of all people. It is a time to be thankful for the miracles that help us survive, and a time to be cognizant of the oppression that still continues in the world. There are still people in the world for whom waiting for the bread to rise could be a matter of life or death.

There are people in the world who are running for their lives – not only in countries like Syria and Iran, but here, in the United States. Passover is a time to recognize this and try, for a mere week, to understand what the totality of their lives might be like. When we rob ourselves of the opportunity to sacrifice by creating instant substitutes, are we really able to say that we are doing the spiritual work of Pesach? When we cannot, even for a week, give up the bread we love, how are we going to continue the work of relieving oppression – a work which takes much greater sacrifices than our dietary desires?


Malachi Kosanovich is a Jewish convert, scholar, and the mind behind Beliefnet blog On the Doorposts of My House.




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Related Topics: Judiasm, Pesach, Well Being