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    The symbolism of Chametz

    The prohibition of chametz on Pesach is very strict. The Torah insists, “No chametz shall be seen or found in your border” (Ex. 13:7).

    The symbolism of the chametz law has a message for everybody.

    Chametz represents the sin of pride: as matzah is made from grain that is capable of becoming chametz, so every human being is capable of getting a puffed-up ego, behaving arrogantly, showing off and becoming impossible to live with.

    Chametz represents the need to keep one’s self-pride under control.

    Chametz also stands for the evil inclination in a person (the yetzer ha-ra), the internal ferment that has the power of bursting up and leading the person to commit a transgression.

    The Jewish sages say that even the evil inclination can be good for a person; they mean that one’s ambitions and energies are a blessing because they lead to heroic achievements, but only if they are subjected to the yetzer ha-tov, the good inclination, directed wisely and controlled well.

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