Spring Cleaning, Jewish Style.

I am in spring cleaning mode these days. Cleaning. De-cluttering. Wiping. Sorting. Cleaning. Tidying. Cleaning. Throwing away. Washing. Giving away. And So On.

Late Spring cleaning

(Photo credit: storebukkebruse)

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

clean room

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.

Our daughter has gotten a new shelf to decorate in her room. It is one of those made for plates, but is works great for books as well. She loves it!

Our daughter has gotten a new shelf to decorate in her room. It is one of those made to display plates, but is works great for books as well. She loves it!

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!

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6 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning, Jewish Style.

  1. Paula Romer says:

    Ahhhh… Spring cleaning. Spring certainly was in the air here today and daylight savings time begins on Sunday! Yeah!

    I love what you said about the communal aspects of preparing and cleaning for Pesach. I also love that sense of community by doing ordinary rituals. It binds us together.
    You home is already so tidy… But I know we all need a good, deep clean seasonally.

    Becca’s room is so darling and so girlie!
    She must feel like a princess in there.
    I love the book rack. They are popular here in the states and I would love one myself!
    Pottery Barn kids has long ones… Which I love!

    Here is my nosy question to you… Where do you keep all your craft supplies and how do you organize them. I’ve been in your home and know that everything has its place… But please tell me you struggle with craft clutter, too!!! What’s your solution?

    • Te'ena says:

      Hi there, Paula!
      Thank you for your nice comment once again! I am sure Pottery Barn’s shelf must be beautiful! Becca’s is from IKEA. And I admit, I REALLY want one myself in the kitchen, to display some of my favorite cups and plates etc.

      To your question about craft supply, it sure is quite a challenge to keep those in order! So two years ago before Pesach I had shelves put in in a cabinet in my office, custom made to fit my boxes of stickers, glue, paper etc etc. I feel very blessed to have the space to allow a cabinet for craft supply. After that it has been much easier to get stuff in and out for various projects. It is still sort of messy, but it’s better to have an order in the mess, than a mess in the order….. 😉

  2. I like this element of Pesach as well. It appeals to my orderly self.

  3. […] of my favourite Israeli blogs is Te’ena in Jerusalem. She put it perfectly in her post about spring cleaning for Pesach […]

  4. Talia says:

    “well, at least we will find it when we clean for Pesach…” I like that!!

    This will be our first Pesach in Israel (hopefully we can come back another year also!), and seeing as we’re on holidays I’m not sure how we’ll go with cleaning etc., but I am looking forward to it none the less!

    In previous years we haven’t really done a big spring clean (Pesach is in Autumn for us as we normally live in Australia) for Pesach, but I think it would be a good (and important) thing to do more thoroughly!

  5. Spring cleaning is certainly a whole mode as it requires some consistent effort for a week or so. The good thorough clean-up can hardly be done in a single day for the whole house. Fortunately, me and my husband are handing it all well. Your daughter’s room is pure magic.

    Best regards,
    Cheryl and Barry from Cleaning House London

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