Two types of bread were eaten by Israel: when they left Egypt [on Pesach] they ate matzah, the bread of affliction and in the wilderness they ate bread from heaven, as it is written: "Behold, I will rain for you bread from heaven". (Ex. 16:4) Therefore, the offering of this day [Shavuot] is bread [we bring two leavened breads corresponding to the Manna] and all the other offerings were offered in addition to the bread. The bread is the main part, as is written: "And associated with the bread, you shall bring seven unblemished lambs" (Lev. 23:18) and is written:"You shall bring from your dwellings two wave-loaves". (Lev. 23:17) For this is the bread [the Manna] through which Israel became wise with the supernal Wisdom of the Torah, and entered its ways [for the Manna's unique qualities prepared and opened their hearts up to the Torah].

We should now observe that during Pesach, Israel came away from the bread [from the domain of the kelipot, the Other Side] that is called 'chametz', as it is written: "And no chametz shall be seen" (Ex. 13:7) and: "For whoever eats that which is leavened." (Ex. 12:19) What is the reason [that eating chametz on Pesach was forbidden]? It is because of the honor of the bread that is called 'matzah'. Now that Israel merited a higher bread [on Shavuot] would it not have been proper for the chametz to be abolished and not be seen at all? Why was the offering [on Shavuot specifically] chametz, as it is written: "they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven"? (Lev. 23:17) For on this day [through being given the Torah], the Evil Inclination [the secret of chametz] was negated, as the Torah, that is called 'freedom', is available.

Similar to a story of a king who had an only son who became ill. One day he wished to eat. They said: Let the king's son eat healing food, but before he eats it, no other food or nourishment should be in the house. They did so. After he had eaten the healing food, they said: From now on he may eat whatever he desires and it will do him no harm.

Similarly, when Israel left Egypt, they did not know the essence and secret of Faith. G‑d let Israel taste healing, and until they take this healing, no other food should be visible to them. As soon as they had eaten matzah, which is a curative to aid in coming into and knowing the secret of faith, G‑d said: 'From now on, chametz is suitable for them and they may eat it, because it can no longer harm them'. And more so on the day of Shavuot, when the supernal bread [i.e. the Torah] was present, which is a complete cure [for the evil inclination]!

Therefore, we offer chametz [i.e. the evil inclination, on that day of Shavuot] to be burnt on the altar.1 [power of the] chametz is burned in the fire on the altar [by way of burning the two sheep offerings], and cannot have power over nor harm Israel. Therefore, Holy Israel cleave to G‑d on this day through the remedy of Torah.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

Here is one of the intentions of eating matzah, and not eating chametz during Pesach, which falls — can it really be?! — five weeks from tonight. We work on both passive abstention from chametz as well as actively eating matza during the week of Pesach.

On Shavuot, when we receive the Torah fresh and renewed, we are specifically commanded to offer chametz. That is because we are so strong and cured after 7 weeks of self-refection during Omer, we can handle any presence of "puffy inflated-ego" type bread in our presence.

What does the above mean to you, and why is it being revealed to you today?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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