We begin our narrative of the Seder – following a few ritual prerequisites – with the saying of Ha Lachma Anya (“This is the bread of affliction...”). This is a most unusual item, with myriad questions abounding.
A room is rented to a non-Jew, because it contains the chometz that was sold to him as part of the mechiras chometz. May I enter the room in order to remove something that was not included in the sale? On an occasional emergency basis, my daughter requires use of a medicine that is not listed as being chometz-free. Should we include this medicine with what we sell to the non-Jew, and if we do, what should we do if she needs it during Pesach?
Imagine walking into a factory, noticing the ceiling, 25 feet overhead, lined with rows upon rows of similar-looking pipes. “How am I possibly supposed to know what goes through these pipes? How can I possibly check if they have been cleaned properly, and how can I possibly kasher them?"
When we purchase products for Pesach, we look for a hechsher that we respect, and we rely on that hechsher to make sure everything is done properly.
Rav Kook, in his innovative style, explains the necessity for modern man to clean his Chametz in order to achieve individual and national independence and freedom on Pesach. If it's so natural to want to improve, and this "evolution" is built-in to the essence of the world, what are the factors that hold us back from being free to be ourselves? The Rav analyzes the symbols of matzah, maror and their merger in the Korech sandwich, in conjunction with free will, as well as nationalism.
Many other articles germane to Pesach are available on the website RabbiKaganoff.com. You can find these articles using the search words:
matzoh; chol hamoed; chometz; ga’al yisroel; hallel; omer; mei’ein sheva;