The Crumbs of Our Inner Pharaohs

Found In: Parts of the Seder

Tags: meditation, matzah

By Ilana Pengelly | Ritual Component

At the beginning of the seder we allotted meaning to the three ritual mazot. To the top one we gave the future when all will be free. To the middle one our present state. And to the third piece of matzah, the one from the bottom we allotted the belief in our past redemption -- our Exodus from Mitzrayim.

That symbolism is not just about the historical events we repeat tonight but also about the enslavers or Pharaohs that we carry with us each day in our lives. Some are imposed upon us. Others we create for ourselves. But all restrict our souls from reaching the Source. The re-enacting of the Exodus experience of our past tonight provides us with the opportunity to examine the many "narrow places" from which we can seek freedom today.

(Break off a piece of the bottom matzah and pass it along until everyone is holding a piece)

Take a moment to close your eyes and find your inner Pharaoh. Invest your piece of matzah with the name of your personal place of tightness. It may take the form of anxiety, depression, loneliness, grudges or something else...anything that you feel is restricting or limiting for you.

(Silence for a while...)

Now open your eyes. Invest your piece of ceremonial matzah with the name of your Pharaoh and crumble it into the bowl being passed around. In recognition of how poorly these restrictions have served us we will now open the door andl throw our tyrants out to vanish in the wind.