Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County

Mitzvah Vs. Matzah

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 10:57am -- Lynda Gutcheon

The Torah calls Pesach "Chag Hamatzot." But we call it "Pesach." Why is this so? Rav Chaim Volozhiner explains as follows:
“The word Matzot and the word Mitzvot are spelled exactly the same in Hebrew. Thus "Chag HaMatzot" can be read "Chag HaMitzvot," meaning that by leaving Egypt and receiving the Torah, the  Jewish People now have the opportunity to earn great reward by doing the Mitzvot.”

In this spirit I have watched with great inspiration and excitement as our students continue to plan and execute the mitzvah projects they made commitments to completing as a
result of our program on the first day of religious school and the challenge put before them. 

Our 3rd graders created birthday party boxes for the Humanitarian Service Project. Realizing that some children are not fortunate enough to have birthday parties, our students enthusiastically shopped and delivered cake mixes, icing, sprinkles, goodie bags, items for goodie bags and birthday gifts. 

Our 10th graders, having already completed three projects, will be going to Skokie to deliver Passover food boxes to the elderly as part of the Maot Chitim program. 

Our 8th grade is working hard on creating a service so the religious school can commemorate Yom Hashoah, the memory of the Holocaust, in a meaningful and significant way. 

Our 5th graders are in the process of raising money for the Humane Society. 

Our 6th graders will be shopping and making lunches for the PADS guests who sleep here each Sunday night. 

Our Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 4th grade and 9th grade all completed their projects earlier this year. 

And finally, under the direction of Sindee Viano and Cynde Sawyer, our 6th through 10th graders are creating ceramic bowls for our Empty Bowls project, which takes place in the Fall. 

All of these projects give us insight into our Jewish future and it looks very bright from where I sit.

May the upcoming Passover holiday be meaningful, bringing you a continued awareness of how fragile our freedom is and how taking care of it helps provide for all. 

Chag Sameach