The Torah calls Pesach " Chag Hamatzos. " But we call it " Pesach. " Why is this so? Rav Chaim Volozhiner explains as follows:

The word Matzos and the word Mitzvos are spelled exactly the same in Hebrew. Thus " Chag HaMatzos " can be read " Chag HaMitzvos ," meaning that by leaving Egypt and receiving the Torah, the Jewish People now have the opportunity to earn great reward by doing the Mitzvos.

Pesach, on the other hand, means Passover: Hashem "passed over" the houses of the Bnei Yisrael. By calling it Pesach, we emphasize the good that Hashem has done for us.

Our Sages teach us not to serve Hashem with an eye to the reward; rather we should serve Him out of a sense of love and gratitude. By calling it Pesach we de-emphasize the reward that each Mitzva brings, and instead focus on the good that Hashem has done for us.

Rabbi Reuven Lauffer

haggadah Section: Kadesh