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Cleaning up (our souls) for Passover

Yesterday marked the official beginning of Passover preparation. We read the special Torah portion, Parah (Num. 19:1-22), that spells out the impossibly mysterious mobius of becoming ritually and spiritually clean by washing with the ashes of a perfect/no-blemish/no-gray-hairs-anywhere red cow.

For some Jews, this means an onslaught of serious housecleaning, getting rid of the chametz (unleavened aka not-kosher-for-Passover) stuff or a rampage of cooking - or a combination of both.

But kicking off the season with a reading of the Red Heifer suggests there's more to Pesach Prep than the physical. Pesach Prep involves more than hauling garbage bags, scrubbing the stoves and refrigerators and cooking up a storm. It involves getting ourselves ready to experience God's miracles.

Our souls and minds need to be as ready for Pesach as our homes and kitchens. Are we ready to let go of slavery? Are we ready to be taken out of slavery?

The point of our Passover observance - no chametz, all that cleaning - is to experience slavery and freedom. "B'chol dor va-dor, chayav anu lirot et atzmeinu k'ilu yatzanu mi-Mitzrayim." In every generation we must see ourselves as being brought out of Egypt. We were there then, we are there every Pesach.

Are we spiritually ready? That's what really began yesterday.


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