There’s something interesting about Pesach that is uncommon, if not unique.
There are many mitzvos and rituals which commemorate that something happened. What we don’t find too often is commemorating the way something happened.
The reason we eat Matza is not just that our ancestors left Egypt, but the way they left Egypt, in a hurry – בחפזון. They left in a hurry so didn’t have time to bake bread, so we eat a quickly cooked dough as well.
What’s different and important about the fact they left in a hurry?
Doing something quickly can be good or bad depending on the context. Yet Rav Hutner notes that getting things done quickly is a celebrated principle in Judaism – זריזין מקדימין למצות.
Rav Hutner explains that the source of this principle is learned from the Matza our ancestors ate because they left in a hurry. The Midrash warns us to guard the Matzos / Mitzvos – ושמרתם את המצות. Speed is not just an extra credit; waiting will spoil it!
The Vilna Gaon notes that in our daily prayers, we thank God for creating space, but also for time – ברוך אומר ועושה, ברוך עושה בראשית.
The moment the Jews became connected to the Creator, they underwent a metamorphosis from existing within the system to immortal souls operating on a plane above creation and above time. When something eternal meets something temporal, the result is something quick; where נצחי interacts with זמן, you get חפזון.
Perhaps that is why the final plague happened כחצות, in a non-moment.
This might sound complex, but it’s intuitive. When something is important, you do it as quickly as possible.
R’ Shlomo Farhi teaches that a lack of urgency can profane something from sacred to just another item on the to-do list. And the source of this key concept is the birth of the Jewish People, commemorated by the Matza our ancestors baked in a hurry.