Yes, I know, your seder table is noisy. There is a lot happening and a lot of things to think about and see and smell and taste and hear and sing and tell and retell. How do I practice the Mussar trait we call “Hitboddidut” – being alone with oneself?  How can I find even a moment in the midst of this sacred bedlam?

So, I give you one thought. It is at the very beginning of the Seder. The candles have been lit; the first cup of wine sipped; hands washed without a blessing; parsley dipped in salt water and eaten. And we raise up the Matzah. But not just any Matzah – the middle one in the pile of three. The one that is inside – the one you have to dig at to get to – the one that is the inner you. And we break it. Listen to it crack or try to recreate that moment in your memory. That sound is the voice your inner being calling out for attention. Listen to it and silence the electronics, the radio, the news, the noises of ordinary living and hear the truth of this moment.

None of us are whole. The Matzah breaks into uneven pieces. The small one we keep and call it the bread of affliction. The larger piece is hidden and becomes redemption. The smaller one is a mirror of our present. The larger one is a promise of our potential. The message is liberating. We are more than we think we are; the cracks in our souls may hurt but they are a promise of souls on a path to our own personal perfection. We are works in process on a journey from Egypt to the land of promise.


haggadah Section: Yachatz