Ask the Rabbi

Q. Why is chametz only forbidden on Passover?
A. The Exodus from Egypt was the beginning of our birth as a nation at Sinai. So in our spiritual service during Passover we are at the beginning of our trip. In the beginning, the most important thing is to rid oneself of arrogance. If you’re full of yourself there’s no way you’re going to absorb anything: a full cup cannot contain anything. When a student wants to learn from the master he’s got to remove any preconceptions and be totally open to this new wisdom But once Passover is over and we’re out of the beginning stages, then a sense of self becomes a good thing. It doesn’t have to lead to arrogance it can lead to confidence. When you’re feeling good about doing the right thing: that’s holy chametz.
The inflated and rising nature of Chametz is symbolic of the aloof attitude of arrogance. On Passover we empty ourselves of all chametz so that we can be a humble vessel.
But once Passover is over and we’re out of the beginning stages, then a sense of self becomes a good thing. It doesn’t have to lead to arrogance it can lead to confidence. When you’re feeling good about doing the right thing that’s holy chametz. That’s why on Shavuot, the holiday that comes after Passover, chametz not only is not forbidden it becomes a Mitzvah. The offering that was brought in the Temple on Shavuot had to contain chametz.
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