According to this explanation, we can understand the commandment of marror rationalistically as well. As everybody knows, bitter is the opposite of sweet. And-

"The Egyptians cherished honey so much, jars of the liquid gold were buried with deceased royalty to give them a sweet transition into the afterlife. Among wine, jewelry and weapons, honey was also valuable enough to be stashed in King Tut's golden tomb—still edible after 3,000 long years."

This is because the Egyptians were not nomadic, so they could keep bees. But the nomadic Israelites were commanded to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and eat bitter herbs, befitting the grizzled steppe lifestyle they were to aspire to.

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I point this out every year

During Covid, when people started making sourdough from starters and learned what it takes to make a new starter, it becamae easier to understand what a sacrifice it is to get rid of your sourdough starter, as they were commanded to do. These starters, properly cared for, can last for years, and some say, even generations. A new starter may or may not succeed - and at minimum it takes 3 days.

So when we were asked to leave Egypt, we were asked to get rid of the starter that we had there, and to make a new one - that might or might not succeed, a risk we were forced to take. But we couldn't take Egypt's starter with us

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"'Which may be why Potiphar entrusted everything to Yosef except baking bread - see Bereishis 43:32"

LOL. Now THAT is a novel way of explaining כי אם הלחם אשר הוא אוכל!

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I remember this from when you first posted it. Why is the Torah's reason not good enough, again? And why is it "rationalist"? A little reframing and a yiddish word or two, and it's what passes for Chassidishe Torah. "The Egyptians ate Chametz, we must remove the Egypt within ourselves," or something like that. I think it's been done.

Again, the Torah says a reason: כי בחפזון יצאתם מארץ מצרים ולא יאכל חמץ

Why can't we apply that to the night of the fifteenth, when so many laws of the Korban Pesach were in fact related to the anticipated haste? And not having any leaven all week makes a similar point, after all, the Exodus took seven days.

Regarding the Ramban, yes he is explaining the passuk in an unfamiliar way, but the point about haste remains.

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In Scripture we find four places where guests unexpectedly arrived and they were served matzoh. One place is the story of Lot and the angels.

Matzoh was served because it takes much time to prepare than bread does.

THAT is the rationalist explanation!

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I said it over as a torah linking Pesach with Purim and I included the maror and hasobah explanations. First people took it seriously, but then everyone had a good laugh.

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I am glad u pointed out that Biblical matza was not flat, but rather soft, like a deflated pita. To my mind, the transition to flat matza made the concept of gebrukts entirely obsoletely. Smashing down the dough with heavy perforated rollers made potential pockets of raw dough nearly impossible.

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Apr 5, 2023·edited Apr 5, 2023

This rationalist explanation does not rationally account for the severe punishment of eating chametz. Ironically, “mystical” interpretations are perhaps much more rational, because the severity of punishments are proportionate to the transgressions’ deep and vast implications.

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A nice pshat, and a good article, except for referring to yourself in the third person. Even if disguised as a self-deprecating poke (by your current thinking) at your younger self, it still comes across as classless. The way to say it is simply by saying "I".

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