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As Respected Equals: Jewish Belonging for those Needing to Eat Chametz on Pesach

Written by Sarah Osborne, founder of A Mitzvah to Eat

published in Times of Israel

Dear God,

As I prepare to eat chametz [leavened bread] on Pesach [Passover],

because I need chametz to survive, may You help me find comfort.

May I truly feel what it means to be free,

as I fulfill the principle of pikuach nefesh [saving a life]…

In April 2022, I composed a prayer for those who care about the traditional observance of Pesach (Passover), but need to eat chametz (leavened products). Although Jewish law prohibits eating and even owning chametz for those who are able to survive without it, I had recently learned that some Jews who care about Jewish law need to eat chametz as an act of pikuach nefesh (life-saving). I understood how hard it could be to seem to go against normative tradition and practice. I wanted to support those facing this challenge.

When I finished writing the prayer, I posted it to the social media accounts for A Mitzvah to Eat, the project I originally founded to support those who must eat on fast days. The post received many positive reactions, reaching an audience of over 5000 people in just 36 hours.

Read more here.

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