Thursday, April 17, 2008

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Spiritual Preparation for Passover

by R. Nati and Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

We're in the midst of our Passover preparations, and if you're like we are, cabinets are being emptied, counters are overflowing, water is boiling, furniture is being moved, the children are either hungry, annoying, or both. Supplies are being hauled in, runs are being made for things missing, Passover boxes are being opened and dishes taken out.

Scrubbing is going on, koshering is going on, the house is upside down and somewhere between chometz and Pesach in kashrus (kosher status).

There's a story from Rebbe Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev, the Kedushas Levi, zt"l, who in the midst of this stood up and screamed, "Ribono shel Olam, Master of the Universe, may the scrubbing, the scrapping, the kashering, form angels that appear before you in the merit of the Jewish people". (The initials of those words in Yiddish being the same as the shofar blows on Rosh Hashana.)

Yet, in the midst of this joyous preparation, and many of you probably gagged when you read the words "joyous preparation", we must remember that it is absolutely imperative that it be a joyous preparation! For the Jewish people merited leaving Egypt due to their complete emunah (faith) in G-d, and their complete and joyous preparations. Meaning, if we get bogged down in the details and forget the essence, we've lost the meaning of Passover and lost it's potential as the time of our redemption.

This doesn't mean the details aren't important. But if in the process of ridding ourselves of physical chametz we're yelling at the kids, arguing with our wife, and expressing how much hard work this holiday is, then we're baking spiritual chametz!

Be b'simcha! The season of our redemption starts Sunday! And one should consult ones rabbi to determine if a chumra, an excess stringency is worth losing the spirit of the holiday over.

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