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Haggadah: Yachatz I Rav Kook

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: What’s the next step after Karpas? Yachatz. You break the Matzah in half. So Rav Kook says you need to eat because you need to eat. And there’s another type of eating, eating for spiritual purposes, a free eating, They are both absolutely necessary, in fact unless you eat because you need to eat, your never going to reach s stage to eat on a spiritual level, you need to learn what the food is.


So you break the matzah in half, one side representing eating because you need to eat and the other represents eating with a sense of freedom only because we want to connect to God. One half is open, connected to physical eating which are our needs.

The other we hide, one we eat during the meal and the other we eat in the afikoman. So the matzah in the meal is the necessity, and the other is free from compelling to eat we eat because we want to. That’s why you have to be hungry. With the second one you can’t be full, you’re almost full but it’s not gross to eat it or that its painful to eat.

Rav Kook says the first mitzvah are the people need to eat and the other half is freedom learning to eat as a free person is eating and drinking is a way to connect more and more.

So what are you doing taking matzah and breaking it in half, what is it, physical eating is one half that can destroy the spiritual its only for needs. The only way you can enjoy the other type of eating is if you first learn how to eat. If you eat all the time and you loose the enjoyment of eating as what it could do for me then I’m going to start watching myself to learn how to eat well. So I first need to experience the dissatisfaction of eating just to eat or eating because I’m hungry, I have to learn to live with that and decide that its not enough for me before I can reach the level of eating as a free person. I have to experience slavery in order to experience freedom. You have to know what its like to live with out to really appreciate it. The Jews had to experience slavery before they could understand.

So the Yachatz, and the Karpas culminate and remind us that there’s an idea in creation in the way we live as human beings to first needing to fall so to speak and live at the lower level to eventually understand we have to live at a higher level.

So it take another step, your still eating when you’re at on a spiritual level, but it’s a different kind of eating. Were still slaves even though God has fed us, were Gods slaves, its that were doing the same thing we did before but were doing it in a different way. Were eating in both cases but in the first case were eating in a spiritual non constructive way and then we learn how to eat in a spiritual way. First we were slaves in a non constructive environment and then we learn to be slaves with a sense of freedom.

So really the karpas and yachatz are indication of exactly what was happening in Egypt. We have to fall low in order for us to eventually enjoy freedom. Not only but to also enjoy how to be slaves in freedom.

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