We say the words “ha lachma anya”, meaning the bread of our affliction, in the beginning of the seder because we want to recall the slavery of the Jews in Egypt since this is the whole point of the Passover seder. However, if we want to recall the slavery in Egypt, why is food the symbol that we use to accomplish this? In other words, there were a lot of worse things that happened to the Jews during slavery, so why is matza the symbol that we choose to recall this atrocity?
The part of the story of the Exodus out of Egypt that has always been emphasized to me was that when the Jews were leaving, they did not have enough time for their bread to rise, so instead of being bread, it became matza, and this is what they left Egypt with. Because this was the beginning of the Jews’ successful escape out of Egypt, I believe that this is why it is the symbol that we use to remember the slavery. Just like the matza was the beginning of the Exodus, so too the matza, the symbol of the slavery in Egypt, is shown in the beginning of the seder.
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