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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

It’s that time of the year when many members of our family are counting the days until Passover.

With that for some comes the planning, shopping, the inviting and ah yes, the cleaning.

It’s probably good to own a car wash with high-powered vacuum cleaners around now. Many of us will work to find that very last Honey Nut Cheerio lodged somewhere underneath the back seat. Along the way, we’re certain to find gooey coins and something inside a plastic bag that was once a peach for a long-gone lunch.

If you think that’s the pits, then don’t worry, there’s still the house to clean, the refrigerator to take apart.

All of this to eliminate the chametz in our homes.

Remember what we were doing just over six months ago? It was the 10th day of the month of Tishrei. We were having a serious conversation with Hashem. We asked forgiveness from one another. We fasted. We prayed with urgency and intensity hoping to be sealed for another year in the Book of Life. Now as we are on the approach of Nissan’s 14th day, we should remember and wonder if what was said to Hashem on Yom Kippur had follow through. Or is the chametz, the personal chametz still inside of us. Did we forget to give Tzedakah? Did we forget to care about a friend or loved one? Did we pick up with the same loshon hora that we left off with before Yom Kippur? Perhaps we promised to stop substance abuse or overeating. Maybe we promised not to hit anyone anymore. Or did we forget to simply say “I love you” to a loved one?

Or are we still stuck in Mitzrayim, stuck in our shackles of pride, self-doubt and apathy?

Passover Seders are attended by a large portion of the Jewish community. It’s a chance for us to tell our children of how we as a people escaped bondage to become free. It’s an opportunity for our children to ask questions of us. It’s about babies and children and teens, parents and grandparents… It’s about continuity. And there’s nothing like a steamy bowl of matzoh ball soup from a special family recipe to be the string of that continuity.

It’s a time to press our own personal “reset” buttons, perhaps remember what we talked to Hashem about months ago.

It’s a time to renew that conversation. And get rid of that chametz. Have a wonderful Passover.

By Phil Jacobs