Countdown to Pesach 1: Which Matzah? Journey Bread
Mitzvah number 114 in the order of the Rambam’s Mishna Torah, is that “You should eat Matzah on the night of the fifteenth.” This is an independent Mitzvah of eating Matzah. There is a separate Mitzvah of Matzah, which is that you must eat Korban Pesach – Paschal Offering – together with Matzah. We eat Matzah to remember that the nation was rushed out of Egypt by their former masters who were now terrified, and the people did not have tome to allow their dough to rise. They already ate Matzah on that first Pesach, before they left, which could not possibly have been because they were going to leave in a rush the next morning. We even say at the beginning of Maggid that; ‘This is the bread that we ate when we were slaves in Egypt.’
There are actually two entirely separate Mitzvot of Matzah: One is the Mitzvah of Matzah you eat to remember what it was like to be a slave. The other Mitzvah of Matzah is to remember how we were rushed out. The first Pesach when they ate Matzah when they were still in Egypt before they rushed out, the only Mitzvah of Matzah was on the first night. They were allowed to eat chametz the next day. That is why it says, ‘Their bread did not have time to rise.’
There is the Matzah of the poor person, and then there is the Matzah of the poor person who has to be rushed out by others because he is frightened of the unknown qualities of his freedom.
However, we ate the Matzah dressed, prepared for a journey. Some people were ready to eat Journey Bread, the bread of transition, the bread you carry when you don’t know what you will have to eat, but you are ready to go and face the future.
Which Matzah will we eat?