Pesach: Seventh Day

Exodus 13:17 - 15:26, Maftir Numbers 28:15 -25

Pesach: Eighth Day

Deuteronomy 15:19 - 16:17, Maftir Numbers 28:15 -25

The Bread Of Anguish ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in loving memory to Kathryne Lynn Wright, may she rest in peace.

Soon we will begin packing up all our Pesadik things and putting them away until next year. We will switch over dishes, silverware, etc. Our period of eating unleavened bread is concluding. Have you ever stopped to think what if it were just the opposite? What if we were returning to matzoh instead of chametz?

The purpose of separating these days of Pesach, which are longer this year than most, has to do with humility. We can be a very proud people. We can be arrogant. We can be very spoiled. This is one reason we remember that we were slaves and we ate the food of poor Jews. Remembering our poverty and dedication condition in Mitzriam is supposed to have an effect on us. It is supposed to change our attitude. Do we feel different after all these days of eating Matzoh?

We are instructed to eat the Leh Chehm - Oh Nee {bread of anguish}. {Deuteronomy 16:3} The Gematria for the Leh Chehm - Oh Nee is 208. The bread of anguish has no leaven. It represents an unprideful state. Leh Chehm - Oh Nee represents a state of submission. Leh Chehm - Oh Nee represents humility. The characteristics mentioned above are the characteristics of the Patriarch Yitzchok whose Gematria is the same. In addition they point to the place of humility. Avraham and Yitzchok traveled to a specific place. We call that place Mt. Mariah. Then they climbed the mountain until they came to another specific place. That place is where Yitzchok willingly offered himself as a sacrifice. What is interesting here is that they traveled three days and climbed a high mountain all in an attitude of humility. The Gematria for Har {mountain} is 208.

Leh Chehm - Oh Nee {bread of anguish}
208 = Yud 10 Nun 50 Ayin 70 - Mem 40 Chess 8 Lamid 30

208 = Kof 100 Chess 8 Tzaddi 90 Yud 10

208 = Reish 200 Chess 8

This teaches us that it is possible to be humble when we are leaders. It teaches us it is possible to be humble when we reach high levels of righteousness like Avraham and Yitzchok did. Unfortunately this so often is the exact opposite of how some of our leadership acts. This is inappropriate! This is against the attitude of Pesach.
This opposes the very purpose intended when we eat the bread of anguish. Leh Chehm - Oh Nee is a correction time for every Jew. It is a time when we are supposed to adjust our perspective. It is when we get ourselves back on track. It is when we get in touch with a life many of us no longer live thank G-d!!

Pesach is like a roadblock in our life. We cannot get around it. At least it should be like this... We MUST deal with Pesach! Pesach is a sign that says to every Jew DO NOT FORGET MITZRIAM! DO NOT FORGET SLAVERY! DO NOT FORGET POVERTY! DO NOT FORGET THE GENOCIDE OF OUR CHILDREN! Pesach is a time when we free ourselves of pride, arrogance, anger and other harmful emotions.

Chassidim, the point is have we changed in the past seven days? Have we dealt with our attitudes? How are we exiting from Pesach? Are we simply going to return to chametz just as we left it or are we going to experience the bread of anguish and be better people for it? Have we climbed the mountain? Have we reached a level closer to Yitzchok?

Wishing you the best!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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