I am in spring cleaning mode these days. Cleaning. De-cluttering. Wiping. Sorting. Cleaning. Tidying. Cleaning. Throwing away. Washing. Giving away. And So On.
We have close to finished the bedrooms. And it feels good. To open up a cabinet door and see orderly shelves. To know what is there. I always find some lost treasures as I go along. It actually has been a saying in our family for years, when we have lost something somewhere in the house, we say – well, at least we will find it when we clean for Pesach…
Because that is what I am doing. Cleaning for Pesach (Passover). I have felt the itching for a long time already, and had to even start a little before Purim. Then I call it Pre-Pesach-Cleaning, and it is more focused on sorting than on cleaning. The Pesach-cleaning itself is very focused on cleaning, as we want to clean out all leaven from our houses. And as leaven is found in just about everything, and has for sure been in the air ever since Pesach ended last year, – it is found everywhere, so we clean everywhere.
Anyway, I kind of like it. I have to admit that every year I look forward to Pesach Cleaning. I guess I see the need for it. And I enjoy the result of it. And the fact that we do it as a people, together, makes it all the more enjoyable. Cleaning-supplies are on special sales in the supermarkets, reminding me that I am not the only one spending my spare time cleaning these days.
What adds meaning to this rather mundane task, is also to remember the symbolism of it all. Because, of course, as this has to do with Jewish tradition, – it is full of symbolism! Even though leaven is something that we use in abundance, and of course it benefits us during the non-Pesach-days of the year, it has a negative meaning in what it symbolizes. As it is something that helps things rise, it symbolizes unhealthy pride, someone who thinks too highly of himself, who thinks he can make it on his own, that he is better than others and so on. Basically, – it symbolizes all bad things! And that is what we now put so much effort in cleaning out of our homes. Getting rid of it all!
So, our spiritual Pesach Cleaning is then to clean all of this stuff out of our lives, of our thoughts and minds, our words and actions, our hearts. This is something we speak with the children about as well, and they get totally into it. That is what I love about symbolism. It makes it so easily understandable!
May we all make good use of this time, and get rid of all the leaven, all the bad stuff, from our homes and our lives, – so that we can get a good, clean start come Pesach!