- Unleavened Bread
- Chametz a symbol for sin
- It is confusing when and where Pesach actually begins and ends
Chag HaMatzot (חג המצות-Unleavened Bread) runs concurrent with Pesach. It is the festival where no chametz may be eaten or possessed for a full seven days. During the thirty days prior to Chag haMatzot our homes are to be cleansed of all possible chametz (products or residue which might contain leavening such as bread, crumbs etc.). This culminates in the Erev Pesach (ערב פסח) ceremony of Bedikat Chametz (בדקת חמץ), when the last vestige of leaven (חָמֵץ-chametz) is completely removed from the house. For the entire week of Chag HaMatzot no leavened products whatsoever are to be in the homes; nor are we to consume any leavened products outside the home. During this sacred period of time we are to be living a “leaven-free” life.
Chametz a symbol for sin:
As a metaphor of sin chametz is considered a corrupting influence, a hidden uncleanness that manipulates purer elements. Like the influence of a lump of leaven in a batch of dough, “spiritual” leaven functions as an evil impulse within us that corrupts and sours our soul. As such chametz is considered a metaphor of sin which we are commanded to put away from us. The removal of chametz is a symbol of our sanctification; our being set apart for Adonai; living our lives to please Him and no one else.
It is confusing determining when and where Pesach actually begins and ends:
Since the Hebrew calendar starts each day at evening it is sometimes *confusing determining when a festival begins and ends. For example Pesach begins on Nisan 14 at evening that is between 3:00 pm to sundown, and continues through Nisan 15. Strictly speaking, then, Passover begins on Nisan 14 and continues through Nisan 15.
*There is a deep spiritual meaning as to why there is so much temporal confusion during this sacred time: there is a “Hidden Day” that is lost in the Hebrew calendar but with discernment can be found.