Pesach Musings...A Retrospective

Now that Pesach just ended...I can reflect somewhat on the beauty and intensity of the chag. I can only say, with utter ethnocentricity, that I am IN LOVE with my Judaism. I don't know quite how to explain it. I just know that every day I thank Hashem for creating me a Jew. It is such - (and believe me, I see the faults. we are far from perfect) - a high-level, highly civilized, do-good religion and culture, thanks to our connection with Hashem - that I am absolutely awestruck. I am humbled by the holiness of just what our religion can be (and of course, as I said before, not always is. But the framework is there for it to be). Just compare it with other religions to figure this out (hey, try Islam, for starters!). Who knows - if I had been created a non-Jew, would I have had the smarts (and insanity) to realize TRUTH and CONVERT? Aw, I probably would have just kept the שבע מצוות נח and גמרנו !

Pesach, I started to say in a previous post (see two down) creates for me and hopefully for my family as well, a major paradigm shift. On the one hand, I can understand why someone would want to 'go away' for Pesach, let us say, to a hotel; the older I get, the more difficult Pesach preparations become, physically. Spiritually however, there is nothing like cleaning out your personal hametz and getting out of your "metzarim" in your own home.
Our seders (hakarat ha-tov to my Father, alav hashalom) are intensly רוחני and kadosh. Our form of "avodat Hashem" is through song. Once one gets through the preparations & cooking - no easy feat - it is the most intense, wonderful chag, bringing me to a dimension not normally revealed in the world of חול . (I guess you could also say that I am not one of those M-O's - 'moneyed Orthodox- that might have something to do with the fact that I don't go away for Pesach...! ) Pesach changes reality to a spiritual dimension, not fully seen ("nistar") in everyday life. I am always in a kind of brief - grief (am I a poet, or what?!) at the end of the chag (holiday)...I don't want it to end. I am like this for every Jewish chag, but more so for the shalosh regalim (pilgrimage holidays).
But now, here's one gripe I have: Personally, I am disgusted by the modern Jewish minhag of having kasher-le-Pesach bagels, pizza, pancakes, french toast and the like. What the heck is this?? The whole point of eliminating hametz is to ELIMINATE IT, for crying out loud. It should be 'bal yira'eh u-bal yimatzeh', not Pesach hametz look-alikes! The whole idea is to separate yourself from things hametzdik. I'm a little different that way...not only don't I miss hametz, I LOVE matzah, and tonight we will be making hamotzi on left over matzah shmurah. That's the way it is. For seudah shniyah we'll have challah, at a full seudah kiddish in shul.
But tonight, it's only hand shmurah for us - yum!!


ayala said…
I miss pesach.
This was a beautiful post.
Lady-Light said…
Thank you so much for your kind words. I get so 'high' at the shalosh regalim, that it is difficult for me to 'come down'. But, one must go on - seven weeks to greater purification at Matan Torah(remember to count the Omer!)
ayala said…
I got all the way to the second night this year. Yay for me?
It's pathetic, I know, but I always forget. I need a buzzer that reminds me to count or something.
Lady-Light said…
I used to be very MAKPID with my kids about counting the Omer. It became very important to them because of my seriousness; it almost became a challenge: Which one would "win", counting the Omer with a brachah all the way to Shavuot!
Most of our kids counted through to the end, but last year - 'fisfasti'!
This year, our younger son, still in Tzahal, came for Pesach, and he, my husband & I are still GOOD TO GO with the counting! The other kids, one in FLA and three ba-ARETZ, blew it already. They didn't have Eema reminding them.
'mah la-asot'??
Lady-Light said…
Ayala, forgot to add in my comment: Get yourself an Omer Calendar, and continue counting (albeit w/o a bracha for this year). Next year, it should help you remember.
Also, there are websites which have Omer calendars which you can print out - I sent my son one URL and he printed it out in Israel. Keeps it in his siddur...and hasnt' forgotten yet(bli ayin ra-ah, poo poo poo!).
You can search the OU site, CRC, STAR K, Chabad, and Aish HaTorah websites to see if they have one. Good luck!

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