#blogExodus 3: Cleanse


blogexodus Passover is supposed to be a time of physical and spiritual cleansing – but is it?

If you know what I do for a living, you will appreciate how tempted I was to insert something here about the nutritional cleansing that I help people with. But I will refrain. If you want to know more about that, check out the other pages on this website.

Here, I’m going to talk about the conflation of spring cleaning and Pesach cleaning. One of the greatest halachic statements I ever heard, from Rav Aviner, was in an article titled “How to do your Pesach cleaning cheerfully in less than one day.” It is a very sensible article, reminding women that we didn’t come out of Egypt just to make ourselves into slaves again. He concludes with the following:

Dirt is not chametz and children are not the Pesach sacrifice!

In other words, Pesach cleaning is not spring cleaning. We need to clean out the chametz, which involves some serious cleaning in the kitchen and dining room, but otherwise it’s really not necessary to make ourselves crazy.

Pesach is a time to think about the things that we truly cherish in our lives – our family and friends, gathered around the table to remember the story of our trip through the narrow place into freedom, through pain and fear into the bright light of the desert.

Our ancestors had a long journey ahead of them, to be cleansed from the shame of slavery. Let us make sure we don’t regress to that abject state.

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