The new moon was sighted in Jerusalem and Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened bread in upon us. It is the time in our lives when we have to remove all the leaven from our homes. Those preparing to keep the Feast search their home and remove any product that has leaven. The search goes on in all rooms looking for the leaven. Why is this?
This on the simplest of levels is following the commandment to remove leaven and and eat the specially prepared matzoh (unleavened) bread as mandated in Exodus. It is much deeper that that. Of course it is important to keep the commandment to the best of our ability but even more important is to understand what leaven represents. Leaven is sin, pride, ego, our wrong doings. The search in our homes for leaven, is in reality, a search in our own souls to remove the “puffing up” of sin.
We all have shortcoming. None of of are perfect. This is true for all, but those that seek to better themselves can use this preparation for the feast to examine their life and work on removing the leaven from their lives.
In my own preparations for Passover I have begun to make my own matzoh a few years ago. I love the process of making my own. Being able to rely on my own to make the most imperfect looking matzoh I have ever seen. Each piece is unique. The shapes remind me of Africa and Israel. Holes pop though the dough. The oven singes my arm as they bake at 300 degrees (570F).
Then we move on to the other main thoughts on passover, freedom. We remember the days when we were in bondage. It doesn’t stop here. It is key to remember all those still in bondage. Those who are not able to free to worship. Those that are still held in chains. Those whose mental slavery has not been abolished.
I will leave you all with one last thought from the Tanakh (the Old Testament).
Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
chag kasher v’same’ach
חַג כָשֵׁר וְשָׂמֵחַ
have a blessed passover
With love to all in the diaspora, the lost tribes and those that dwell in the land of our forefather and all that desire in their hearts to keep the feast of unleavened bread regardless of labels.