Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Dirt is not Chametz

Hi everyone! I hope everybody had a wonderful and enjoyable Purim.

...and surprise, about four weeks later we find ourselves at the Seder table for Passover. It's really quite incredible. Get rid of that Purim candy! Someone suggested on Facebook that we should be giving Kosher for Passover candy at Purim time so we don't have to stress about getting rid of it so quickly. It's clever, but I'm pretty sure that idea will not go mainstream anytime soon.

So, not to stress anyone, the first Seder is a week from this Friday night. Believe it or not, this shouldn't be a big deal on the "cleaning" front. The magic mantra that you need to start repeating to yourself is, "Dirt is not Chametz."

I'll tell you a quick story. Many years ago, I did not know what I needed to clean for Pesach. Seriously. When I heard the expression, "time to clean for Pesach", I thought we needed to actually clean the house for Pesach - dirt and all. This is very stressful for someone when their house would generally fall on the cluttered side of living. An understatement of that would be... it was hard.

I ended up going to Israel some years later to study more about my Judaism and one of the most important ideas I heard there regarding Pesach was that dirt isn't Chametz. Chametz is leavened bread - in other words, food made with flour... bread, cake, cookies... you get the idea. 

What should we practically take away from this? Where don't you eat? The bathroom! See, that was easy, knock that off the list. The bedrooms? Just vacuum and make sure there's no sandwich hiding under your blanket. In my house, the basement is a food no-go zone, I'm very strict about that since it's virtually impossible to get it clean (in other words, it's a toy filled area - try not to kill yourself there). 

Think about what you can cross off your Pesach Chometz cleaning list before you start. It'll make your life soooo much easier! If you eat in front of the television, that room will need to be cleaned - vacuum under the couch pillows (maybe you'll find some treasures!) and clean the floor. The kitchen obviously, will be your focus. Self-cleaning ovens are Gd's gift to mankind (along with whiskey and coffee) and you'll end up with dealing with stove tops/fridges/floors. Truthfully, it's not terrible.

If you need more information - I am not a rabbi and do not play one on TV - please check Aish and Chabad. They are the main two websites I depend on.

Please remember that the goal is not to drive yourself crazy before Pesach. G-d wants you to come to the Seder and actually enjoy yourself. I know that this runs counter to all the Jewish mother jokes out there - but we are not supposed to hate Passover preparations - or Passover. Holidays, or Holy Days are there in order to help us connect us to our Creator and remind us of all that's been done on our behalf over the last 3300 years. 

Wishing everyone a Wonderful and Enjoyable Passover/Pesach.

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