Avoda Zara 74 and Pesach- No coincidences

Today’s daf Avoda Zara 74 starts with a straightforward Mishna- These are the things that are prohibited in even the most miniscule amounts “nesech wine, hearts of animals used for idol worship , a goring ox,  hair of a nazir etc. ”   What is conspicuously missing? The Talmud immediately jumps on the list and asks is chametz on pesach not on the list.”  The Talmud persists in the question.  The question is better than the answer given. The Talmud points to another Mishna in Orla for that answer.

Coincidence? The day of the big holiday and the Talmud hits onto to this. We are tractates away from Pesachim and yet we hit on the theme!

The Shikkerdovid would like to weigh in.  The things that make this list are things that are always prohibited-100 per cent of the time.  One is always  prohibited  from nesech wine, the goring ox, the heart.  All these things are perpetually tainted.  The difference is Chametz is innocuous for 51 weeks per year. In fact, it is necessary for so many things that contribute to mitzvos.

For one week we are forced to shun it.   It is the will of  Hashem that we take off one week from eating chametz to re-orient and examine ourselves.   The cessation of Chametz is not because it is evil or frowned upon like the nazirus existence,  but rather to make us stop in our tracks, examine our existence or our behavior.   It does not make the list, but  its prohibition in the miniscule amount is to stop our humdrum existence and make us re-examine ourselves.

Happy and Dry Passover to all the Shikkers out there.

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