Making the matzoh for our Pesach dinner was a little like making noodles except they were baked in sheets instead of being rolled out and cut into strips before being boiled in flavorful broth. Matzoh crunches. Noodles, obviously, shouldn’t. But the recipes are strikingly similar.
As I rolled the dough out flat and thin, pounded it with a modified meat tenderizer to get the requisite “piercings” I really didn’t know what to expect when I removed them from a 500 degree oven.
What I pulled from the oven were cracker-like squares with light browning on top, a slight glint of sea salt and tiny pin pricks. All over.
Homemade matzoh tasted marvelous and they were quite a bit more exciting than the store bought cardboard squares we call commercial matzoh.
I had always figured that eating the commercial matzoh was part of suffering of Pesach. Part of the denying myself and joining in the sufferings of Christ sort of thing. Although I don’t think that the Lord was thinking about stale bread when He prayed that the “cup might pass from Him.” Still, stale, bland crackers in the midst of the magnificence of a Pesach feast is a bit of a letdown.
Today, as I was considering making more matzoh for our weekend I remembered something about leaven and the steps of making this bread. I considered what I know to be true about this integral part of both the preparation and execution of Pesach.
We remove the chametz, the leaven, from our home because we are choosing to hunt out those things which “puff up”. Pride. Vanity. Self-sufficiency.
But, matzoh, unless made in a specific manner, still possesses the ability to bubble up. Measuring, mixing, rolling… It’s a process.
But what is it that keeps it flat?
It’s the beating. The piercing. It’s the obvious damage to a smooth, perfect surface that allows the matzoh to remain flat. As it is intended to be.
I smiled wryly to myself. I really did. In fact, it even felt wry when I did it…
My damage. My obvious damage to the perfect exterior I pretend to possess.
That is what keeps me from being hollow. From expanding beyond what I am intended to become.
I’m just going to sit here and marinate on that thought a while longer.
And be thankful for the gracious and gentle Hands that have only allowed me enough damage to be useful but not so much that I am destroyed.