Toras Avigdor Junior
Eating the Food of Kohanim
Leil Haseder in the Israelowitz House
As Totty and the boys walked into their house, they almost couldn’t recognize their own dining room. Mommy and Leah had set the table with a beautiful tablecloth, gleaming with the shine of beautiful china plates and crystal glasses. The silver ka’arah proudly displayed the maror and charoses, and the edges of three freshly-baked matzos peeked out from under their cover.
“Ooooh wah!” said Chaim. “This must be what a king’s table looks like!”
“Yeah,” Avi smiled at his younger brother as he placed his pillow on the chair next to Totty. “Boy, I can’t wait to eat the matzah!”
“Why?” asked Chaim. “We eat matzah almost every week at Shalosh Seudos!”
“No, but this is not like the chometzdik matzah we eat during the year. This is the special matzah that we only eat once a year! This matzah is only for Pesach!”
“Actually kosher l’Pesach matzah isn’t only for Pesach,” said Totty with a smile as he entered the room wearing his immaculate white kittel. “Don’t you remember what we read in shul on Shabbos?”
“Oh that’s right,” said Avi. “It says that the Korbon Mincha had to be matzah and they couldn’t cook it with chometz. I was wondering about that. Why did they have to eat matzah if it wasn’t Pesach?”
“That’s a great question,” Totty said with a smile. “You see, matzah is more than just the food we ate in Mitzrayim. Matzah is the food of the Kohanim!”
“But why is it the food of kohanim?” asked Chaim. “My rebbe only said we sit like kings tonight. Are we also supposed to be like Kohanim on Pesach?”
“Oh no,” exclaimed Totty. “We are Kohanim the whole year!”
Avi was confused “We are? Then how come you got chamishi on Shabbos, while Rabbi Katz always gets Kohein? And if we are Kohanim, why isn’t our name Kohenowitz instead of Israelowitz?”
“Wow,” said Totty. You boys are asking so many amazing questions and we haven’t even gotten to the Mah Nishtana yet! I want to continue talking about this, but why don’t we start the seder and we will continue talking during Magid.”
“Kadeish, urchatz…” Totty began to sing, joined by the entire family…
Later, during Magid
“Matzah zu she’anu ochlim al shum mah…” everyone read.
“Totty, this reminds me – you didn’t answer Avi’s question yet,” said Leah. “You said Matzah is the food of the Kohanim and that we are Kohanim. But we’re not really Kohanim like the Katzes and the Caplans.”
“Thank you for remembering, Leah!” said Avi. “Yes, Totty can you tell us now?”
“Ah you kinderlach are asking such incredible questions tonight,” said Totty. “You are mamesh making this seder so geshmak!”
The children all beamed, partly because of the chocolate chips Mommy was giving them each time they asked a good question, but also because of the joy they got talking about Yetzias Mitzrayim.
Totty continued. “So of course we aren’t Kohanim who will serve in the Beis Hamikdash. But Hashem told us that we would be a ‘Mamleches Kohanim’ – a nation of Kohanim. Every Yid, even if he is an accountant, a lawyer, or a salesman – his main job is to serve Hashem. No matter what his day job is, he always must look at himself as a ‘Kohein’ – someone whose purpose is to serve Hashem.”
“Rav Avigdor Miller explains, matzah isn’t just to remind us about Yetzias Mitzrayim – it’s to remind us of the reason Hashem took us out. And what reason was that? So we could be a ‘Mamleches Kohanim’, devoted to serving Hashem. Sure, a Kohein was allowed to eat chometz – but when he was eating a korbon mincha as part of his avodah in the Beis Hamikdash, he could only eat matzah – to remind him that his main job is serving Hashem!
“That’s why, on Pesach, Hashem tells us to eat matzah and not chometz. Hashem wants us to fill ourselves up with matzah so that we think about it and fill up our minds with that idea that our main purpose in this world is to serve Hashem, that we are his nation of Kohanim!”
And a few minutes later, the entire Israelowitz family crunched through their k’zeisim of matzah, thinking “we are eating this matzah because we are Hashem’s Kohanim – we are here because Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim so we could serve Him!”
Have a Wonderful Shabbos
And a Kosher and Freiliche Pesach