Don't let the spirit of Pesach be stolen

Think about Pesach. Live Pesach. Don't let the preparations confound you.

Sivan Rahav-Meir ,

Various cleaning products
Various cleaning products
Photo: Flash 90

The preparations for Pesach are likely to confound us. So writes Aviad Hezni, an officer in the military rabbinate:

"Today at a bus stop I heard two older women saying that there is nothing to eat on Pesach. Yesterday a friend let slip the remark, in evident sadness, that matza upsets his stomach. During the last few days, I have encountered dozens of social media posts regarding the distress brought on by cleaning for the holiday. Friends, don't let the spirit of Pesach be stolen from us!

Pesach is the most revolutionary holiday in human history. A nation of slaves dares to provoke the greatest world power and goes free thanks to incredible miracles. Pesach is the holiday that celebrates faith. Pesach is about taking a bruised and broken slave and whispering in his ear that he is more than a number. He has dreams, feelings, and phenomenal forces within himself. And above all – he has a mission. Pesach is meant for telling him about previous generations, instructing him about their true faith, and persuading him that he can follow in their footsteps.

Pesach is a holiday about the extraordinary struggle of a nation, about its readiness to travel on a long journey, about a process of radical refinement. Pesach is a holiday of simplicity: a dough of flour and water and an oven. To know how to find pleasure in simple things that lack sophistication. Think about Pesach. Live Pesach. We cannot allow a shallow conversation to steal the Pesach spirit from us. In truth, our 'suffering' comes from decisions we make to embark on exaggerated cleaning projects. Pesach halachot are simple, non-threatening, and are meant to generate an inner process of spiritual striving. We cannot allow the secondary importance of cleaning or what we can't eat to become the main thing. We cannot allow the spirit of Pesach to be stolen.

• Translation by Yehoshua Siskin