The Parsha Discussion: Tzav — What’s Wrong with Hametz?

Posted by Alex Israel on March 20, 2018
Topics: The Parsha Discussion, Pesach

Did you know that hametz is not merely forbidden on Pesach?! It is also disqualified from the Temple altar. In last week’s parsha we read:

“No meal offering that you offer to the Lord shall be with leaven [hametz], for you shall burn no leaven [se’or] or honey in any fire offering to the Lord.” (Lev. 2:11)

It appears again this week in Parshat Tzav:

“And the remainder [of the meal offering] shall be eaten by Aaron and his sons; it shall be eaten as unleavened cake [matzot] in the sacred precinct…It shall not be baked with leaven…’ (Lev. 6:9-10)

Why is hametz a problem? Please discuss:

  • We have a mitzva of matza because we emerged from Egypt speedily. But why is leaven forbidden?
  • Why do we scour our kitchens and expunge all leaven from our homes?
  • Why is hametz a problem on Pesach?

Click here to read more from Rabbi Alex Israel in this week’s Parsha Discussion: Tzav: What’s Wrong with Hametz?

Please note that if you are printing The Parsha Discussion on US paper, please select the option “fit to print”.

About Alex Israel

Alex teaches Bible at Pardes and is the Director of the Community Education Program and the Summer Program. Alex was born and raised in London. He holds degrees from London School of Economics, the Institute of Education London and Bar-Ilan University. Alex studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion under Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and Rav Yehudah Amital, and gained Rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate. Click here to read more.

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