Getting ready for Pesach

Getting ready for Pesach

Pesach – Preparation for The Geula

We are all about to celebrate the holiday of Pesach, the holiday that commemorates our exodus from Egypt and our freedom from slavery.

One of the biggest preperations we are all busily involved in right now is the cleaning of our houses from Chametz. I don’t think there is any other holiday that has such an intense and involved preparation as Pesach does.

That being the case, let’s pause to take a look at what we are really doing. What exactly does this act of cleaning the Chametz have to do with the upcoming holiday celebrating our freedom?

The answer is as follows; it is precisely the chametz in our lives that is preventing us from being free and experiencing our geula (redemption) from slavery. Now we are not talking about the physical chametz here, rather it is the chametz which is represented by all the things we are enslaved to in our lives which are preventing us from being free to serve Hashem.

Let’s explain, you see in the story of our exodus which we read about in the Bible, we see that “Am Yisrael left chamushim.” This is generally translated as armed, but Rashi comments that there are midrashic interpretations that say that only 1 of 5 left, and there is another opinion that it was 1 of 50, and even another opinion that it was only 1 of 500 that made it out. The portion of Am Yisrael who did not want to leave died and were buried during the plague of darkness.

With that in mind, we can also understand what our preparation and getting rid of the chametz is all about. You see, just like many of Am Yisrael (80% according to the most lenient opinion) did not leave Egypt, there may also be many of us who are not truly able to let go and get rid of all our chametz and experience the geula now either.

So what exactly is this chametz we are talking about? Here are a few examples of some of the questions we must ask ourselves and the places we must search if we really want to find and eliminate all of our chametz.

Clothing:
Ask yourself; Is the way I am dressing truly for Hashem’s honor, or do I do it to steal attention and satisfy my own desires? Now why is this chametz, because Hashem want’s us to be His, and not sold out to all the fashion and filth in the streets! Do we really want the geula, or do we want to make sure we are getting as much attention as possible for our bodies before the worms and maggots have their go at us when we are under the dirt?
And men, this applies to you too. Since when did your pants and jackets get so tight and fitted? Whose attention exactly are you after?

Hair:

Do we wear our hair in a modest way for Hashem’s honor? Are we trying to get attention for that too?
And if you are married, is your hair covering modest?

Career:
If you are a young woman attending college or more advanced studies; what are you really doing it for? When do you think you will have time to get married and raise a family?

Holiness:
Are we really behaving as holy as we should be. What thoughts are really in our head when we walk in the street – would we be ashamed for someone else to hear what we are thinking? What will come in the end from all these lustful desires? Are we truly Happy with what Hashem has given us, or are we rebelling against His good by desiring what is not ours?

Why is all this stuff chametz? because it keeps us enslaved to this physical world! To our bodies and to all the vanities of the times. But if we want to truly be free, we have to start doing some real soul searching and realizing who we really want to be serving. This is the same trap that caused most of the Jews to perish in Egypt, they just couldn’t let go of the physical world that Egypt had to offer. In the end they just became another brick in the pyramid and never made it out! They were too scared to let go of it all and just follow Moshe out to the wilderness.

May Hashem give us all the strength to truly clean ourselves of all and any attachment to this physical world so that we can truly experience the Geula once and for all this upcoming holiday of Pesach.

All the best and Chag Kasher VeSameach,
Yehoshua

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