Simple Bread


“This is the poor and simple bread that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.”

Focusing on the matza is what makes this story unique. The Haggadah, unlike other publicized historic events, is privately recited within the confines of the home. The “poor bread” or “simple bread” can also mean “the bread of recital” (Pesachim 116a).

Have you heard of slave owners or fierce dictators giving their slaves bread and food to eat? Do poor people only eat unleavened bread?

“With the Peasach sacrifice eat ‘poor bread’ for you left Egypt in haste” (Devarim ch.16).

Poor person’s bread has to do with Israel’s hasty departure. It’s called ‘poor bread’ because it is poor and simple in it’s ingredients. Regular bread contains dough and yeast and sometimes other additives. Matza contains only the basic essentials.

Poverty means simplicity in this sense. The life of being someone or somethings slave is complicated — always being under control of a master. A free person is independent, like matza which is simple dough without all the additives. A home is made up of free individuals. Demands and expectations complicate things by adding bubbling yeast to our relationships, often encroaching on our individuality. This year, tell a unique and simple story within the confines of your home, over the family table, where we eat the matza. Enjoy the matza!

(Based on the Maharal Haggadah)



About Shimshon Meir Frankel

Rabbi Shimshon Meir Frankel is a clinical psychologist and founder and president of the Chedva Institute for Relationship Enrichment. He was trained at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology and has been working privately for nearly twenty years. His rabbinic studies -- along with extensive coursework in communication, child development, and group dynamics -- help Rabbi Frankel guide others seeking to actualize their potentials and form healthy relationships. Rabbi Frankel founded the Chedva Institute for Relationship Enrichment to provide worldwide access to experts specializing in the various challenges faced by those in relationships. He lives with his wife and children in Northern Israel.
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