Krav Maga Matzah
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

Saturday night, March 26, 2016, Israel

Hand made Matzah for the festival of Pesach/Passover

Having just completed the holiday of Purim now all eyes are on the festival of Pesach, known in English as Passover.

Passover commemorates the exodus of the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery and bondage.  The major symbol of Passover is the unleavened bread, known as Matzah. We are told that we must eat the Matzah every year at this time to remember that "you came out of the land of Egypt in haste."  and we did not have time to wait for the dough to rise. Regular bread takes a little longer and the dough rises, but the matzah was made in haste and thus became unleavened. Dough is considered to begin the leavening process 18 minutes from the time it gets wet; thus, matzah must be completed before 18 minutes.

Thus, the Children of Israel were in a great hurry to get out of Egypt, they needed bread but did not have the time to wait and prepare a nice, tasty bread. There was no time for anything but the essentials and thus matzah was born.

Let us contemplate that for a moment and think if we can apply that to our own lives. People are often asked, in games, if you could take with you a few items on a trip, what would you take?

Well today we have an endless variety of breads around the world. French breads, Italian breads, garlic bread. Every culture has its own unique bread. When I travel the world teaching Krav Maga I notice that each country takes the flour and water and creates something totally different.

But the essence is still the same. To fill our bellies the taste does not really matter, a hungry man does care about the differences between flat bread and a fancy pastry.

It is the same with martial arts, self-defense, Krav Maga. At IKI we are the matzah, nothing but the essentials. We too, like the Children of Israel, have very little time. We too are in a hurry. We are not Jean Claude van Damme in a movie, we do not have twenty minutes for a fight, we have very little time.

We have no time to wait, we are the unleavened Krav Maga, flour and water and in a hurry, nothing but the bare necessities.  We have no time to prepare fancy French pastries, only flat Israeli bread. Taste does not matter now, only fill our empty stomachs and get on our way. All the non-essential ingredients must be left out.

In Israel we live this "on our bodies" and we do not have the luxury of pretending we are Steven Segal (in a movie), JC Van Damme, or Jackie Chan. We are just regular people who want to live, and our style of Krav Maga is geared towards that.

We are always evolving because we are always seeking a better way, a simpler way, a more effective way. And we must keep up with our enemies for they are always innovating as well. "Who wants yesterday's paper?"

So, as we approach the Festival of Freedom, we must remember that Freedom is never Free, and we must fight for it in every generation. And in this fight we must stick to the essentials. Our soldiers on Normandy Beach did not carry French pastries, only combat rations, only the essentials. And so must we, keep it simple, effective. And as Prof. Cohen would always say to me, "Stay safe".

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Members of Tour and Train June 2013 paying respects to soldiers from the Land of Israel who went down with the Erinpura on May 1, 1943.

The ship was on its way to Malta where the members were to participate in the Allies invasion of Sicily.

World War Two: Convoy MW 27: The troopship was hit by a bomb in her forward hatch or deck by aircraft from Kampfgeschwader 26 at approx. 20:15 hrs, and sank within four minutes with the loss of almost 1,000 men, 30 nautical miles (56 km) north west of Benghazi. May 1, 1943

Among those on board were 334 volunteers from Israel. 137 were never found, they are commemorated here.

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