Jonathan Prokter

Cleansing the Dirtied Hands Before Eating the Matzah

As it is known, the Hebrews left Egypt in a hurry. They baked their flour into Matzah, since they did not have enough time to let the bread rise. As they were running out of their homes, they dirtied their hands with the guilt of leaving their old lives behind. As they were walking towards Canaan, they smeared their hands with the doubtfulness that they would ever reach the Holy Land. When it came to eating the Matzah, they did not have time to wash their hands, nor did they have the resources to do so. This prompted them to eat with their guilty hands, and thus they daubed the Matzah. The Matzah was inedible, and gave way to many diseases, thus infecting a handful of people. God saw this as a problem, and decided to help the Hebrews with the dilemma. God commanded Moses to instruct the Hebrews to say a certain prayer before they ate the Matzah. At the exact moment the Hebrews uttered the prayer, water came out from nearby rocks. This allowed the Hebrews to wash their hands, and made the Matzah edible. The prayer that was uttered is the same prayer that we recite today during the Seder, right before we eat the Matzah during Rachtzah.

haggadah Section: Rachtzah