The Meaning of "Pesach"
Basically, Orthodox Jews must turn over their entire homes, cleaning them thoroughly of any chametz, or leavening. It is a prosciption from the Torah, our Holy Bible (Old Testament) not to have any leavening in any form - bread, cake, flour, or any non-kosher for Passover processed foods - visible or found during the enitre week of Pesach.
Leavening is a 'puffing up'. It is also a metaphor for egotism and self-centeredness. We are not only cleaning out our physical leavening, but cleaning ourselves out spiritually.
In this holiday, we need to relate the story of the Children of Israel's Exodus from Egypt, not as if it is a 'history lesson', but we need to insert ourselves into the story, and feel as if it is we ourselves who are being redeemed from slavery.
During Pesach, if we prepare correctly, intensely and thoroughly and with the right attitude, reality changes. Our so-called "real" world, our physical world, starts to shimmer and shift. We become one with the Children of Israel of 3,000 years ago, experiencing the signs and miracles brought forth by G-d, and the deliverance from 200 years of slavery in Egypt. It is a paradigm shift - to put it in modern terms, think of the movie "The Matrix."
I actually felt that just today, while driving with my younger son who had a short leave from the army, visiting from Israel. What we think is reality, really isn't...it is a smokescreen, hiding the REAL reality. G-d's reality. My son actually 'opened my eyes' to this in a most electrifying way. We think, in our everyday lives, that 'this is all there is.' But that is so far from the truth. I should actually write, "Truth", because there is only one (in my humble opinion); and we are placed here to make the right choices, and find it. Before it is too late. Does that sound like a threat? It actually is a promise: That, no matter what we do, we will arrive at THE TRUTH/THE END. But we can get there through our noble and good actions, in doing Tikkun Olam - ( the name of this Blog - look it up. It's in my first post ), or the hard way - by doing evil, or inaction. And suffer the consequences to oursevles and to the world.
It is, amazingly, all in our hands...Pesach Sameach (happy Passover).