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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 17, 2006 /19 Nissan, 5766

Wonder Bread

By Rabbi David Aaron


Baking Matza in Jerusalem
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Tapping the Transformational Power of Faith



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During the seven days of Passover we are required to eat only Matza— unleavened bread that looks somewhat like a cracker and is made of just water and flour. The Matza reminds us that we were slaves to the Egyptians who treated us as if we were subhuman and fed us brittle and tasteless unleavened bread. The Matza is therefore referred to as the "bread of affliction." However, Matza also reminds us of how we left Egypt in an astounding record time, faster than it takes dough to leaven into bread. How can Matza be both a sign of our painful affliction and our joyous freedom?


The Zohar, the Kabbalah classic, refers to Matza as the "Bread of Faith." In other words, when we eat the Matza, we are internalizing the message of faith that it embodies. That message is — know that even if you hit rock bottom and feel far and alienated from G-d, G-d is right there to help you and free you from your enslavements, addictions and obsessions. Even when you feel that it's been years that you are trapped in your personal Egypt and it would seem that it will take years to get out — just know, as the Psalmist put it, "The salvation of G-d is within the blink of an eye."


Although Matza is the very bread of affliction and exile, at a blink of my eye, it can become the bread of freedom and redemption. Revolutionary transformation is available to us all, as long as you believe it can happen. The paradoxical symbolism of the Matza teaches us that G-d Himself, at any moment, can do a miracle for you. Even if you reach the bottom, never despair, never give up. Therefore, Matza, the "Bread of Faith," is an antidote to despair and nurtures within in us faith and hope.


The Exodus from Egypt assures us that if the Jewish people could get out of Egypt, then we could get out of any situation. Certainly G-d could have orchestrated the Jewish people's liberation through some kind of worthy deed that they would do to earn them their freedom. However, He precisely arranged it to be without merit so as to instill forever within us the confidence that His love is unconditional. Therefore, no matter how low the Jewish people or any of us may fall, we should never despair.


The paradoxical symbolism of the Matza also teaches us that in the very bitterness of affliction and exile, lays the sweetness of freedom and redemption. The great Hasidic Master, Rabbi Nachman of Breslav taught, "Being far from G-d itself is for the purpose of coming close…the downfall can be transformed into a great ascent."


It all depends on the way you look at it. The Matza itself is basically tasteless. If you want, you can taste the freedom and redemption that lies at the core of affliction and exile.


Perhaps this is the meaning of G-d's response to Abraham when he requested a sign that the land of Israel would be an eternal inheritance for him and his descendents. G-d showed him the future history of exile. Abraham experienced a great darkness and fear. But G-d comforted him saying, "Know that your offspring will be strangers in a strange land. There they will be enslaved and afflicted for four hundred years. Also the nation that will afflict them I will judge and your children will leave with great assets." In other words, although your offspring will endure much suffering, they will survive and even profit from it. So don't worry, don't lose faith. Even the darkest hours are the very seeds of growth, transformation, renewal and redemption.

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Rav Nachman of Breslav also taught, "Sometimes when you want to come close to G-d, you encounter new and even greater obstacles than before. However, don't let that discourage you. G-d is only challenging you so you will try even harder and thereby come even closer. It's really all for the best."


The Gerrer Rebbe, another great Hasidic Master, taught that on Passover we can achieve a huge leap forward in our spiritual evolution. In other words, in general, great feats take much time. However, on Passover, we can accomplish great moves at a "beyond-time" pace.


The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mizraim, which also translates as "narrowness." Indeed, Egypt represented the deification of the narrow confines and limitations of nature, time and space. To leave Egypt also meant to leave this narrow and confining attitude. It meant leaving the world of nature, science, logic and reason and enter into a new worldview — the world of faith and unconditional love.


There are many people who own mansions and yet there is never enough space in their lives for others. And even when they are free of any obligations of time, they never have time for others. These people live only in the world of time and space. However, in the world of love, time and space are not obstacles.

Happy Birthday
Passover is the birthday of the Jewish people. It is a time to remember that we are children of G-d, born with an innate Godliness. Our relationship to G-d is similar to a parent and child relationship. From the child's perspective he and his parent are two separate beings. However, the parent sees herself and her child as one. Therefore, the parent loves the child with the same unconditional love that she has for herself. Sometimes parents give to their children not because their children deserve it but simply because they are their children — an extension of their own selves. However, with all the love a parent may shower on her child, it is up to the child to acknowledge and thereby enjoy the ecstasy of that connection.


The Torah refers to the Jewish people, so to speak, as the firstborn child of G-d. This is because the Jewish people are the first nation in history who believed that G-d is like a loving parent and they are His beloved children. And His love is unconditional and forever.


May everyone in the world realize that they too are beloved children of G-d.

For more on the power of faith, please see:Seeing G-d: 10 Life-Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah

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JWR contributor Rabbi David Aaron is the founder and dean of Isralight, an international organization with programming in Israel, New York South Florida, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Toronto. He has taught and inspired thousands of Jews who are seeking meaning in their lives and a positive connection to their Jewish roots.

He is the author of the newly released, The Secret Life of G-d, and Endless Light: The Ancient Path of Kabbalah to Love, Spiritual Growth and Personal Power , Seeing G-d and Love is my religion. (Click on links to purchase books. Sales help fund JWR.) He lives in the old City of Jerusalem with his wife and their seven children.



© 2005, Rabbi David Aaron