Daily Zohar # 1334 – Pinchas – Choosing freedom
Zohar Pinchas, Vol. 20 (English)/Vol 15 (Hebrew)
Continued from previous DZ
After the slaughtering of the lamb, God instructed the Israelites that for a week they can not eat leavened bread.
“לֹא-תֹאכַל עָלָיו חָמֵץ, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תֹּאכַל-עָלָיו מַצּוֹת לֶחֶם עֹנִי”
“You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction”
“שִׁבְעַת יָמִים–שְׂאֹר, לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְּבָתֵּיכֶם: כִּי כָּל-אֹכֵל מַחְמֶצֶת, וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מֵעֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל–בַּגֵּר, וּבְאֶזְרַח הָאָרֶץ”
“For seven days leaven (מַחְמֶצֶת) is not to be found in your houses. Indeed, any person who eats anything leavened, is to be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land”
The word used in this verse for leavened bread is מַחְמֶצֶת. The first letter and the last letter spell מת, meaning ‘death’. The middle three letters spell ‘חָמֵץ’, meaning leavened bread.
This restriction is not just about eating but also about possessing it. The danger of eating leavened bread during the seven days brings the aspect of death on the person regardless if he is Israelite or an alien.
Every ‘event’ in the Torah has a spiritual effect that appears every year at the same time. When God let the Israelites control the god of the Egyptians he also told them to remove the desire for the self alone. Their meal had to include unleavened bread and bitter herbs. At that time, which was the fourteenth day of Aries, Nisan, God killed all the firstborns of the Egyptians including the firstborn of their animals. That energy of removal of negativity and enjoying freedom requires the removal of the desire for the self that is impacted by the food we are eating.
The restriction of seven days is to guarantee disconnection from the negativity and purify the desire for the self alone on all the levels, which is the seven Sefirot from Malchut to Chessed. The Shabbat that occurred during that week gives the purification from Binah and that is why we also have a special Torah reading for it.
The restriction is not just about the food but also about our behavior. In order to enjoy freedom we must sacrifice the ego and all desires for the self alone.