As the Jewish calendar falls out this 5784/2024, we read Metzora (the Torah portion about the healing process of a leper) on the Shabbat just before Pesach/Passover. This year, more than usual, there’s so much to heal, & we hope Passover can be a cathartic healing process.

Rebbe oft-quoted the Zohar: Matzah is called “Bread of Faith” and “Bread of Healing”. Most years we focus on the faith aspect, which goes back to the biblical story, but perhaps this year, when so many are hurting, more so on its spiritual healing & cleansing properties.

Calling Matzah “a bread of healing” often can elicit a shrugged shoulder or chuckle, after all, its not an easy food on the stomach and digestive tract. But the Chabad Rebbes took Matzah’s healing properties seriously. Even in the physical sense! Back in Chabad history there was Avraham the Doctor who used the Rebbe’s matzah in his medicinal healing. And to many who wrote to Rebbe with health issues around Passover time, Rebbe encouraged Shmurah for this reason.

When it comes to mental health and emotional wellbeing, Matzah has a lot to offer. Matzah’s messages are loaded with golden character nutrients like humility and gratefulness, not taking things for granted, no sense of entitlement and expectation, a healthier sense of self and belonging. Matzah fortifies us with a sense of heritage and history. Matzah reminds us we’re not alone, we’re not doing this ourselves. Matzah allows us to transcend our limitations and connect with that which is much greater than the challenges we face.

This is the season and this is the year to especially dig into Matzah. We can use the healing!