I Am Matzah

rabban gamaliel sarajevo

I am matzah
Discourse of the prison house
Big Tent #46

We skipped to the most known least mined of R. Gamaliel’s three things: the matzah. Of all the stories of quick release my friend from the former Soviet Union reminding me in the refusenik days preparing the matzah in the middle of the night so they would not be eavesdropped on in other parts of the Soviet concretion of an apartment building it’s the subversive aspect of the matzah that moves for me most now.

It’s the Jungian symbology of this image of inner life (Zohar: bread of faith, better to describe the inscrutable) this image-symbol-metaphor of inner life that in a reverse Kohenic sense (think: Koan) folding back into the Levitical pure-impure dynamic and re-fashioning it as a continuum, a continuum in the sense that matzah becomes chametz, matzah is chametz in arrested development, the ingredients of matzah will become chametz if not for this if not for that and the implication that you are what you are becoming, you are becoming what you are, the thought that you have been that freedom you seek all your life in potential, that within each of us is the source the seed the history of a freedom-becoming person and remember our holy –

R. Levi Y. of Berditchev who posed the koan-kohen question: When does freedom begin? It’s infinitely regressible who taught you what, who was it that gave it to whom who gave it to you that spawned an act a gesture bold or subtle that erupted or evolved into a freedom-taking act, freedom-baking act, who taught whom back before way before any of us became free who planted those seeds through how many generations of retro-vision that in your life on this day this season this year expresses in an act of freedom-taking that you cannot claim as your own why would you want to when you have legions behind you who have contributed to your act of freedom now, and this is what R. Levi Y. of B. is reminding you when he asks you to think, now answer: When does freedom begin? It begins now.

It began then, regressing back to that paradigm act when M. walked out of his complacency and interceded in that scrum of bullying. And who planted what in him that he moved that way, that day? His mother? The midwives? Someone.

Think it through think it back thank them all and when you move out of your complacency this year you are giving something back that you didn’t earn you didn’t ask for you received the bounty of your wonderful-terrible history and the whole of your humanity with their hands at your back pushing in the most gentle way: Go ahead, you can do this you can make this freedom, you can do this thing, we are behind you.

The holy Passover
Jail-house, 2016