Monday, March 15, 2010

Passover Preparations

I haven't researched the phrase "Spring Cleaning" but I would have to believe that its origin is related to Passover Preparations.  There is something rejuvenating about cleaning beyond the normal outer surfaces; pulling the stove away from the wall to scrub and mop behind it, going through all of the pantry items and separating the hametz or leaven, and even depriving oneself of eating leavened items during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

I like to do something special for my house each Passover season as well.  Sometimes it may be just purchasing new living room furniture; this year it is repainting the interior of the house and major de-junking.  So we started two weeks ago and I am really enjoying the process.  I love the way my house feels so clean and new.  As I was thinking about this, I couldn't help but make the spiritual connection.  After all, Passover is a celebration of our deliverance from Egypt (or sin).  Can you imagine carrying a 200 pound pack on your back for all of your life and then taking it off?  What a wonderful, refreshing feeling that must be.  That's how it is when we carry unrepented sin around.  It just keeps dragging behind us like the proverbial ball and chain.  But if we come to the Passover table after spending conscious effort to rid our physical lives of hametz and our spiritual lives awakened to our inner condition, we can experience G-d's deliverance anew. 

I never get tired of the retelling of the exodus from Egypt and every year I get some new spiritual revelation from the story. His Torah really is a living word and I love the opportunities the Holy days afford us to re-commit our way to Him and be restored to a right relationship with our Creator.  The rest of the year we can eat hametz but as the calendar approaches Nisan 14 again, we find ourselves needing a spiritual "spring cleaning."  My husband calls these times, "speed bumps" on the road of life.  They make us slow down and watch what we're doing.

So there is still time.  If you haven't started thinking about Passover yet, do a little housework and while your fingers do the cleaning, allow G-d to speak to you about the condition of your inner self.

Chag Sameach!

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