Parshas Mishpatim
{Exodus 21:1 - 24:18}

Matzoh / Chometz ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mordechai and Augusta Litman, may they rest in peace.

We are a little less than three months away from Pesach. 74 days from Shabbos Mishpatim to be exact. It is interesting that the Gematria for Ayd pronounced "Aid", meaning witness, is 74. So it is in this week's parsha that a witness of Pesach appears. See first blule Gematria at top of page.

We are told, "Three times a year you are to celebrate with Me {Hashem}, You must keep the festival of Matzos. You must eat matzos for seven days as I have commanded you. {This festival must be celebrated} at the appointed time, during the month when the grain is ripened, for it is {at this time} you went out of Mitzriam. {You must also keep} the festival of Harvest, {with bringing bikurim} the first fruits of your labor, which you planted in the field; also the Festival of In gathering, at the close of the year, when you gather in {the fruits of} your labor from the field. Three times a year, every male among you must appear before the Presence of the Master, Hashem. You must not sacrifice - while chometz is present." Exodus 23:14-18

Our sages say that chometz represents sin. Leaven / yeast is the active ingredient that causes the dough to rise. When dough rises it becomes puffed up. The effect of chometz is compared to puffiness, haughtiness, and pride. The puffed up dough represents sin! We are warned about pride by Shlomo Ha Melech. He said, "Pride precedes destruction, and arrogance comes before failure." Proverbs 16:18 We see this pride in the final letter of chometz. The Tzaddi is raised up. See second red letter at top of page.

Our sages say that matzoh represents sinlessness. Matzoh is 100% sin free. Matzoh has no leaven / yeast in it. The effect of this is humility, meekness and being unpretentious. We see this in the example of Moshe Rabbeinu who was considered a very humble / meek man. We see this humility in the center letter of matzoh. The Tzaddi is lower and not raised up. See first red letter at top of page.

The point to this is the eighty-ninth command which says, "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread." Exodus 23:18.

That is why in our home immediately after Purim we begin a room by room, special Pesach cleaning. We begin with the least used rooms first. We vacuum floors; move furniture; clean closets; check every box, container and article of clothing for any chometz. Then we secure the room until Pesach. We do about one room a week until Pesach.

Many kosher products are not kosher for Pesach. We carefully box and seal certain dry foods, canned foods, drinks, soaps, deodorants, etc. Then we store those items away until after Pesach. We sell all the chometz to a non Jew before Pesach. After Pesach we buy it back.

Our kitchens require very special preparations. All the counters are covered. Dishes, pots, pans and silverware that we use all year long are either removed and sealed in an airtight box, or the areas where these items reside are sealed until after Pesach.

Stoves and ranges must be scoured and covered with aluminum foil, etc. Most dishwashers cannot be used during this time unless they are stainless steel or "Just For Pesach."

We do many things to insure that there is no chometz in our homes, etc.

What is the point to this ritual? Is it to make sure our homes get really cleaned once each year?

Simply put, the point is to insure that we are extremely careful to observe Hashem's command, "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread."

Most Jews understand the significance of Pesach cleaning. Certainly even the most liberal rabbi understands the significance of Hashem's command to remove chometz.

Well, the New Testament records that neither Jesus nor his followers observed this commandment. They deliberately sinned!

First, notice that there is no misunderstanding. "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread {matzoh} the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat Passover?" Matthew 26:17

From this statement alone we observe that the followers of Jesus understood Pesach required preparation. Pesach was a time of unleavened bread. I have taken the time to briefly explain the significant preparations that begin normally weeks before Pesach arrives so people who are unaware will understand the problem. Also people unfamiliar with Greek or Hebrew may pass by this very significant issue on matzoh and chometz.

It is now evening after dark, Jesus is in the upper room well after the time of day when all chometz {bread} was to be removed. "While they were eating, Jesus took bread {NOT matzoh}, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.'" Matthew 26:26

This is a most troubling problem for Christians / Messianics who believe Jesus was sinless.

First, Jesus took leavened bread which represents puffiness, haughtiness, and pride. Jesus took bread that represented sin. He violated the command, "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread."

This is not an error in translation! IT WAS LEAVENED BREAD! The Greek word for raised bread is Ar Tos. This is the word used in Matthew 26:26. The Greek word for unleavened {bread} is Ad Zoo Mos which was not used. I became curious as to how various Hebrew translations of the Greek New Testament would handle this word.

David H. Stern, a Messianic type, glossed over this problem in his translation. He said matzoh.

The New Testament translation of the Greek into Hebrew text by a British Bible Society used the correct translation of Leh Chem, meaning raised bread, leavened bread, chometz.

Christians / Messianics normally serve unleavened wafers for their communion service. Why is this? It is because even Christians / Messianics understand that Passover is the time when unleavened bread is used. Yet very few of them know that Jesus used leavened bread. This issue presents a most troubling conflict.

Second, Jews are forbidden to entice other Jews to sin. Here Jesus gave leavened bread to his followers. That was wrong.

Please remember every Jew, both then and now, are obligated to observe the Torah! Jesus and his followers were not exceptions to this rule! The New Testament is filled with these types of problems.

Wishing you the best,
Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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