Is there a connection between פסח (Pesach) and פה (peh / mouth)? They sound similar. Plus, we are commanded to do lots of symbolic eating on the holiday. Has it been written about or discussed? Thank you.


The Arizal (Pri Eitz Chaim, Shaar Mikrah Kodesh, ch. 4) related it to the idea "Peh sach" - "a mouth converses" (as noted by sam in a comment). This can also be connected to the mitzvah of magid.

See also: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pagefeed/hebrewbooks_org_52839_131.pdf :

The Arizal taught that the word "Pesach" is composed of the words peh sach, which means "speaking mouth." When Bnei Yisrael sacrificed the Korban Pesach, they sacrificed their speech to Hashem - by refraining from uttering forbidden words of lashon hara, anger and contention. Accordingly, the Korban Pesach was an essential catalyst of the Exodus from Egypt. By sacrificing their peh sach, their "speaking mouths", they proved their greatness and their worthiness to be redeemed.

  • (I haven't heard it connected to the eating we do. We Jews tend to eat at every festivity;)
    – Loewian
    Apr 1 '15 at 21:11
  • On second thought, this site throws it in, albeit parenthetically: "...the Arizal writes is all about “peh sach,” when the mouth does a lot of talking- when speech, sippur, and hallel (and eating, of course) are the order of the day..." jemsem.org/…
    – Loewian
    Apr 1 '15 at 21:13
  • It should be noted, although it really goes without saying, that this obviously contradicts the various views of he Rishonim regarding the etymology of Pesach. (And is difficult to fit with the psukim). I imagine he probably meant that there is a homiletical, rather than etymological connection. If so, consider editing "the word "Pesach" is composed" to something such as "the word Pesach can be interpreted as"
    – mevaqesh
    Apr 1 '15 at 22:55
  • @mevaqesh That was a direct quote from the reference. But yes I think it goes without saying that it is intended as a derash. I assumed that was all the OP wanted.
    – Loewian
    Apr 1 '15 at 23:03

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