Congregation Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue takes matzah baking seriously. If they hosted a matzah baking activity to teach children about the mitzvah, it would have been enough. If they got a matzah oven to bake kosher for Pesach matzah by hand, it would have been enough. If they made sure the wheat was watched (shmurah) from the moment of harvest, it would have been enough. But this year, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld helped harvest the grain himself, and members of the congregation of all ages hand-ground 200 pounds of wheat berries into RaSHI flour. (RaSHI stands for reichayim shel yad, meaning milled by hand.) Next week, they will bake the flour into RaSHI matzahs — only time will tell if they will make enough!
Meanwhile, at Chabad of Downtown’s Matzah Madness event in Baltimore on Thursday, March 15, young professionals baked matzah for the purposes of education and enjoyment. The event included pizza and beer, so the matzah was not kosher for Pesach, but it made for a great evening activity.
Matzah making was just one piece of “Matzah, Charoset & Plagues ... Oh My!”, a hands-on Passover experience at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV). At the event on Sunday, March 18, Rabbi Shloime Adler from Chabad of Northern Virginia demonstrated how to make matzah. Then children had the opportunity to mix and roll their own matzahs and create artistic items for use during the Seder, including a Seder plate, Elijah cup, and bag of plagues.