A Kabbalistic Kavanna for Eating Matzah at the Seder

Pesach 2021 / 5781
by Sarah Yehudit Schneider

Matzah on Pesach is a powerful remedy that penetrates to the soul’s depths and heals ancient wounds.

The 613 mitzvot correspond to the 613 organs of body and soul. A mitzvah is an exceptionally powerful act that brings light, fixing, and healing to some part of ourselves (which is often the area active in performing that mitzvah). Rav Tzadok notes that the first sin was an act of unrectified eating (from the Tree of Knowledge). Because Adam contained the souls of all humanity within him/her, we all participated in that decision to eat and we all suffered the shattering consequences of it. We all have a fracture deep in our soul inherited from that primordial time. We all have an eating disorder – a dysfunction in the way we take pleasure from the world. This ancient soul wound is the cause behind the cause behind the cause of all neuroses, personality imbalances, and existential dissatisfactions…of everything that is not working in our lives (and in the world). Every imperfection and corruption devolves from there.

The Pesach seder is the only time of year when three acts of eating are actually commanded as religious obligations. It is the only time that we say asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav over an act of eating. That makes these special Pesach mitzvot our only opportunity to bring light and healing to that deepest crack in our soul, the fissure caused by our unrectified eating.  On Pesach the gates open for us to (metaphorically) rub salve directly onto that ancient wound. Most of the time we are working with its secondary expressions, the distorted thoughts and wrong actions that it instigates. On seder night, when eating becomes a full-fledged mitzvah, we bring healing lights all the way down to this bedrock fracture that continues to fester because it is not yet infused with faith.

Take these few minutes while you wash to think about how to use these extremely precious moments of mitzvah eating. What essential truths and faith-principles would you would like to fix into your nerve net this year? It could be an affirmation that you want to integrate, a change you want to make, a goal you want to attain, a vision (individual or collective) you want to actualize, a resolution you want to fulfill, a faith you want to deepen, a prayer (for yourself or others) you want to see fulfilled. Since you cannot talk between hamotzi and your eating of the matzah, this makes it a very conducive time for prayer and yichudim. Close your eyes and seize the moment. This is a very powerful eating meditation.

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[1] Sefer Maamarim-Kintrressimm vol. 1, p. קה – 214[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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