This is the time of year for those of us who keep the Jewish traditions of Passover to really begin an unbelievably fulfilling new journey. The classic teachings relate the story of the Jews flight from the slavery of Egypt. So what could this mean for us, here in 2012? We are given the opportunity of escaping the slavery of what ever holds us back – keeping us in the narrowness of old habits, learned behaviors, entrenched ideas – places of darkness, that exist in each an every one of us.
What does the matzoh mean and why do we eat it? If you break a piece of matzoh it looks the same on the inside as it does on the outside… this is the goal for the journey of Passover – to find that essential inner self and to live it authentically, fully both inside and out.
Why don’t we eat any leavened products or grains? The leavening represents the puffed upness of the ego. In order to find that place in ourselves where we are like matzoh, we need to release our ego. This is why we don’t eat any thing that puffs or swells during Passover.
The Sages say that the spiritual world and the physical world are mirrors of each other. In order to prepare ourselves to let go of the traps in our life, we physically clean our homes and remove all leavened products called Chametz. We even close up our usual kitchen and create ” new temporary” kitchens taking into Passover only the essentials of life, living simply, eating simply allowing our bodies and souls a time to release and re-energise.
Every year I dread the cleaning, the disorder of it all. Yet just at the end, before we sit down to the Seder table, somehow I have created order again, new fresh, open and clear. May these words inspire you to prepare not only the Seder, but also yourself. May you reach the deepest parts of yourself and blow off the dust, rinse and shine them as you enter into a period of new beginnings, free from the blocks that have kept you enslaved in aspects of yourself that you prefer to leave behind.
Grab this opportunity, it doesn’t get better than this auspicious moment. May you taste the matzoh fully and know that this is your story and your people’s story, as has been told for centuries. Happy cleaning!