Sharing Torah Insights

Pesach- Eat Right!

Posted on י״א בניסן ה׳תש״ע (March 26, 2010) | in Pesach | by

A thought from Rav Shimshon Pincus, Tz”l on pesach.

Rav Pincus explains that our eating on Pesach is unique. It is the only holiday in the Torah, besides for eating karbanos/sacrifices in general, in which the commandment to eat something is focused on the particular food that you are supposed to eat. There are many times the Torah tells us to eat: erev Yom Kippur (the gemara derives this, actually), on the chagim/holidays, on shabbos, etc. However, the Torah never tells us to eat a certain food- not gefilte fish, or even challah! (I think, actually that the source for eating on shabbos comes from the verse, And you will call shabbos a delight (Isiah 58) ) The point is that only matza, maraor, and the karban Pesach- which are supposed to be eaten together (see Hillel’s practice in the hagada) are right off the Torah’s menu.

There is an opposite element on Pesach as well. Eating chametz/unleavened bread, is forbidden.

The punishments for not eating karban Pesach as well as for eating chametz are both kares (either children die, or the person themself dies young) Why?

The answer is that these foods on Pesach are necessary for our spiritual dietary regimen (at this point in the year) Eating the matza gives us spiritual nourishment, the understanding of which is outside our purview. Eating chamtez, at this point during the year, on the other hand, is spiritual poison. In this light, chamtez is akin to non-kosher foods, as the gemara in Gittin (7, I believe) deems destructive.

On other holidays and even on shabbos, the Torah does not urge us to eat any particular food (except maybe wine for kiddush.) On Pesach, it does. I do not remember if Rav Pincus addresses this deeper point, but let us leave that as food for thought: What is singular about Pesach in this regard?

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