Chametz

Chametz is such a curiosity to me. ¬†During the rest of the year, we can enjoy it in its various forms, Challah, pizza, cakes…but in the days leading up to and all through Passover, we eliminate it from our lives. ¬†We seek it out, remove it and even burn any remaining Chametz.

We replace Chametz with Matzah, flat breads, made quickly. ¬†The Jewish people ate Matzah because they were in such a rush to leave Egypt (who wouldn’t be?) the bread had no time to rise.

Shabbat meals include fresh, yummy fluffy Challah.  Passover, dry Matzah.

I had learned that when it comes to a Mitzvah (or say, being rescued by G-d from slavery) we should rush and do it.  No hesitation, Just Do It as the Nike slogan says.

There are times when we need to sit back and just be, like Shabbat.  We eat Challah which usually takes hours to prepare (after rising and baking).  We hold on to Shabbat for as long as we can, with meals such as Melaveh Malkah.

Shabbat is meant for Chametz activities. ¬†I admit, sometimes I am a bit more Chametz in the day to day. ¬†I don’t always feel like making dinner. ¬†Or laundry. ¬†Sometimes I want to just sit in my pyjamas all day and relax. ¬†Eventually I push myself through, but my body, yearns to be Chametz.

This post is part of Twitter’s @imabima’s list of writing prompts for the first two weeks of Nissan leading up to Passover.

Slavery

An obvious theme of Passover is slavery.  The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt.  The slavery was particularly awful because much of their work was back breaking labour meant more to waste time than to actually build anything.

The word for Egypt in Hebrew is Mitzrayim, meaning constriction, also relates to the theme of slavery.

Every year as we approach Passover, we are reminded to ask ourselves about what enslaves us.  What is slowing us down from reaching our potential?

I think my list can go on for a very long time.  I am impatient.  I am stubborn.  I very much cannot let things go until they are resolved.

Even today, I am tested on those weaknesses. ¬†I am trying to book lodging through a website. ¬†This should be a simple task. ¬†The owner has not yet accepted the reservation through the website (but he messaged me saying, “Great see you when you arrive!”) which means there is no reservation. ¬†Nothing will happen. ¬†I don’t get the actual location of this lodging and there is no payment. ¬†Talk about constriction!

I feel my anger and frustration building. ¬†It isn’t easy to find the best place for a vacation and once you find THE place, you want things to go very smoothly. ¬†I keep staring at my inbox waiting for the confirmation. ¬†Refresh. ¬†Refresh. ¬†Refresh.

I know what I am doing. ¬†I know it’s all from G-d. ¬†I try short bursts of busy work, but I am back at the laptop. ¬†Refresh.

What enslaves you?

This post is the third post, part of Twitter’s @imabima’s list of writing prompts for the first two weeks of Nissan leading up to Passover.

Retelling

One of the main activities of Passover is the retelling of the story of Exodus.  We retell the story to remember.  We retell the story to learn from the past.  The cycle of Jewish holidays is described to be spiral; although we end up at the same point after each cycle, hopefully we are moving up and growing.

One would hope that in the retelling of the Passover story each year, we will gain new perspective.  We will pick up on some detail we missed the previous year or some  lesson that we will integrate into our lives.

In our family, there is homework for our Seder.  I ask each person (I admit, so far it has only been my husband and myself) to share something connected to one of the themes of Passover.  The idea is to find something meaningful to share and hopefully in the sharing we will pick up that new thing each year.

This year I am excited to be hosting our first ever guests at one of our Seders. I have already asked them to find something to share and they are very excited to participate.

How do you retell the story each year?

This post is part of Twitter’s @imabima’s list of writing prompts for the first two weeks of Nissan leading up to Passover.

Believing

On twitter and instagram, @imabima has made a list of writing prompts for the first two weeks of the month of Nissan.  I have decided to do my best and try to write something for each theme (each day).  Day 1 is Believing.

I believe that G-d loves me and you. ¬†I believe that G-d makes things happen when the time is right. ¬†I believe that G-d sends hints our way to let us know, He’s there and listening, just be patient (a character trait I admit to be lacking). ¬†I believe everything happens for a reason, we just don’t always understand the reason.

I came to believe because when I arrived at my “now what?” moment a few years ago, G-d answered. ¬†It started with a simple invitation to Shabbat that I was unable to accept. ¬†It opened doors. ¬†In fact it opened up my soul.

What do you believe?