Rabbi David Paskin
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From Rabbi David
I have always taken Passover cleaning pretty seriously. Our pantry is completely emptied, dishes and cookware changed, kitchen scrubbed and chametz packed away. And while I do all of this, in part, in preparation for the holiday itself I have found that the preparatory work itself has become a sacred ritual for me.
Whether or not my cleaning helps me observe the myriad laws of kashrut on Passover, getting ready has become its own Passover practice. Even going to the kosher market just before Passover, which I did this past Sunday, gets me into the Passover spirit. It is packed with people all vying for the last box of gluten-free matzah or prepared Passover kugel. By the time I work my way to the check out I feel a bit like my ancestors must have in Egypt. And when I walk out the front door (after paying much more than I probably should have for eggs and potatoes cooked in every possible way) it feels just a little like I have crossed the Sea of Reeds and am heading for freedom in the Promised land.
On Passover we are supposed to see ourselves as if we had been enslaved in Egypt and freed by God. Passover isn't a story we tell about some other people, long ago - it is an autobiographical tale of our own experiences. I think that's why the "getting ready" is so important to me. No great transition in my life has happened without proper preparation and so if I am to leave the narrowness of Egypt for the expansiveness of freedom that too will take some getting ready.
My prayer for this Passover is that your preparations are as meaningful as your Passover and that, in some small way, you are able to feel freedom wash over you even as you step out into the parking lot of your local kosher market.