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Countdown to Pesach 4: The Arrogance of Chametz

The Kli Yakar says the chametz always is a symbol of arrogance and that arrogance merits destruction. In other words, certain personal attributes demand that a person work on them and learn to control them. The Kli Yakar explains that arrogance is not simply something on which a person can learn to control: The person must actively and deliberately go out of his way to destroy it. You do not try to control arrogance. You destroy it. The Rambam teaches that an arrogant person should walk around with clothes that clash so that people will laugh. Why? Because we must actively destroy arrogance. It is not simply that you control it. You have to destroy it. You have to do things that will make you look stupid.


Rabbi Natan Adler, the Rebbi of the Chatam Sofer, says that the reason that you have to do both, mevatel the chametz and burn the chametz, is because since we use chametz all the time it is the most natural thing in the world to use chametz. Because it is such an established pattern in our lives, it is much more difficult to break the pattern and that is why you need two steps. One is the negation of your rights and the other is the destruction of the chametz itself. And he uses this as a springboard for a discussion of how certain behavior patterns or certain behaviors that are already becoming patterns, t need a more conscious and deliberate breaking then things which have not become patterns.

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