How to Make Passover More Meaningful

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What do you think of when you hear the word Passover (Pesach)?

Matzah, cleaning, guests, cooking, more matzah?

Over the years, (decades actually), I’ve hosted thousands of people for Passover seders at GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant and our Chabad House in Venice, Italy. Yet, the thing I think about the most is myself.

Sort of.

In the days leading up to Passover, I think about myself, but probably not in the way it sounds.  It’s more about being like matzah (aka matzo).  

The Rebbetzin Unplugged, Shachar Banin, checks in a boat delivery of hundreds of pounds of handmade Shmurah Matzah for the Passover Seders in Venice, Italy
Making Passover More Meaningful: Checking in a boat delivery of hundreds of pounds of
handmade Shmurah Matzah for the Passover Seders in Venice, Italy

Matzah – Traditional Passover Food or Something More?

Matzah is flat and unleavened. It hasn’t had a chance to rise like the dough of typical bread.  Bread, which rises and inflates, represents ego. Matzah represents selflessness, otherwise known in Hebrew as “bittul.”

The literal meaning of bittul is self-nullification. Yet, bittul doesn’t mean that we have to think of ourselves as nothing. (Here’s where the matzah comes in and teaches us a lesson about ourselves). Matzah reminds us that as we go about bettering our lives and the world around us, we can do it in a way that transcends self-concern. We can be more humble.

During the holiday prep, the seders and all the matzah crunching, I can’t help but be reminded how important it is to work on myself. And, I know that if I give it my all during the eight days of Passover, then those efforts will set a strong foundation for the rest of the year. 

If you’d like to spend a Jewish holiday with us, here’s a great place to start:

Passover Downloads

p.s. Have you seen my two free Passover downloads yet? You’ll find them in this Passover post here: 

I’d love to hear about your Passover inspiration! You can share anything and everything from your favorite matzah brei recipe, Passover table settings or something special you’ve learned in the comments below.


  1. Rochel Faust Reply

    Dearest Shachar, Your words of chizuk and inspiration came at such an opportune time for me. Pesach has always been a challenge for my neshama… falling into the trap of saying “I can’t do this anymore”… “I don’t want to do this anymore.” But now I have shifted my inner speech to echo your message that I must bittul myself and invest in the avodah because it’s a privilege and I will come out of Pesach stronger and with a foundation to build upon. Thank you so much. May you and the family and all of your blessed guests enjoy a Chag Pesach Kasher v Sameach. We miss you!

    • Rebbetzin Unplugged Reply

      Dear Rochel, words can not explain the chizuk that YOU gave me! I am so glad that my brief heartfelt blogpost was so meaningful to you. It is quite amazing how each of us has the power to affect one another. Thank you for your very kind words and I wish you and yours a very happy, kosher, freilichen Pesach. Miss you too! xoxo. p.s. Feel free to share it 💛

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