Friday, April 06, 2012

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There Is No Spoon

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

2012-04-05 There Is No Spoon 001The night before Passover we perform the mitzvah of Bedikas Chometz, the search for leavened products (bread, etc), verifying that we’ve properly removed it from our homes.  (Removing it from ourselves and our souls, that’s another story.)

The custom is to perform this with a wooden spoon (dustpan), a feather (broom), and a candle (light source).  While this might seem like a small dustpan and broom, the assumption is you should only be finding tiny bits, if any at all.

For convenience, for the past 30 years or so companies have been selling “bedikas chometz kits”.  These include 1 wooden spoon, 1 large chicken feather, and 1 lengthy if thin candle.  (Many charity organizations buy these and send them out to their mailing lists for free.).  In Israel such a kit sold this year for around NIS 10 ($2.50).

The kit my wife picked up this year is pictured to the left.  As you can see it has the standard components, one lengthy candle, one large chicken feather, and one…wait, there’s something wrong with that “spoon”…

2012-04-05 There Is No Spoon 002

That “spoon” is a flat piece of wood cut out in the shape of a spoon.  No depth!  Sweeping chometz into that?  Impossible.

The truth is we don’t actually use the spoon nowadays, nor really the candle.  Here’s what happens when you do…

Some years ago using the candle to look behind a piece of furniture, bending over I burned a hole in my beard.  Another time I laid down to look under a bed and started igniting the bed linens.  This is besides dripping wax on the carpet around the house.  (At least in Israel it drips on tile.)

Today I search with an actual dustpan and a powerful flashlight (torch for our British readers).  This allows me to check under and behind things easily, without igniting either the furniture, linens or myself!

There is no spoon.

2012-04-05 There Is No Spoon 003

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