Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Pre-Pesach Matzah Ban

According to custom, we're not allowed to eat Matzah 30 days before Seder night. The stated rationale for the minhag is that we're to abstain from Matzah so we can eat it at the Seder with gusto. I used to think that this was Rabbinically enjoined cognitive dissonance - i.e. everyone knows that Matzah is terrible, so by telling us we can't 'spoil our appetite' we're to think that Matzah is actually decent food.

Then I got to thinking about what makes transitioning to a Hametz-Free house ("making Pesach" as I now call it) so hard. And, at least for me, it's the delicate balance of eating Hametz while the whole house has to be cleaned for Pesach - and that it would be so much easier to prepare for Pesach if I could just eat Matzah for the few days beforehand...

Then I realized with a bolt outa the blue why my Rabbinic brothers invented this minhag! If we were allowed to eat Matzah before Pesach then my wife, and doubtless every homemaker since Eishet Rashi, would have converted the whole house to Pesadik a week ago! Why not? It's almost logical in a humra sense - two weeks of Pesach instead of one.

This minhag allows me to eat my pop-tarts today. Thank you unnamed rabbis!

Pic from here.

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