When looking at matzah, what appears to be a stale cracker, an outsider would ask, “Why can't Jews get some tastier bread?! They aren’t slaves anymore!” The nature of how we talk about, think about, and process the culture of sexual violence in and out of the Jewish community has evolved in a similar way. One might question why rape is still a topic of discussion, especially in the spotlight of a Seder. “Haven’t we as a society grown out of such a problem? Anyone can call for help easily on their phone!”
Both matzah and discussions about rape culture cannot be forgotten. For centuries, Jews have been persecuted; similarly, rape culture has persisted throughout history. Jewish rituals can help us to reclaim what belongs to us. We as modern, largely upwardly mobile people aren't reliant on matzah the way our ancestors once were, yet we still make the choice to embrace what our people needed to survive. In this practice, we reclaim space and our autonomy. Rape culture is everywhere, whether you're shopping and you see a high fashion advertisement that commodi es women’s bodies, or when someone texts you an unrequested “dick pic.” To an outsider, matzah is something bland and easily forgotten, yet going forth, we must embrace such topics deemed tasteless and unwanted to ensure that we don’t perpetuate them
The familiar hamotzi blessing marks the formal start of the meal. Because we are using matzah instead of bread, we add a blessing celebrating this mitzvah.
Distribute and eat the top and middle matzah for everyone to eat.
ּבָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz.
We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who brings bread from the land.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל אֲכִילַת מַצָּה
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al achilat matzah.
We praise God, Ruler of Everything, who made us holy through obligations, commanding us to eat matzah.
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