From Rabbi Amitai Adler (April 2016)
Beginning the Cycle Again
As we are about to enter the month of Nisan again, the first month of our Jewish year, once more we begin the process of gearing ourselves up for the Pesach (Passover) holiday.
In the next week or so, we'll send out by email the little guide to Seder preparation that I have put together. But in the meantime, I encourage you all to begin thinking about your Pesach experience: this is the holiday of freedom, but not just freedom from slavery, the freedom from slavery in order to covenant with God.
Things to think about as we prepare for Passover include "To what am I personally enslaved?" and "What are the ways in which I will use my freedom this coming year to make my life holier?"
Remember that our annual purging of chametz (leavened products) is more than merely the ritualization of spring cleaning. It is symbolic of the effort that we must make as we do our physical cleaning to also do spiritual cleaning within ourselves. Chametz includes products that puff up or ferment: symbolic of the things inside ourselves that cause us to swell with arrogance, or pride, or baseless hatred, or greed, and so forth; or the things within us that turn us sour, embittered, acidic, and so on. These elements within ourselves have to be cleaned out for Pesach, just as surely as the bread, cereal, vinegar, and other such products have to be cleaned out of our kitchens.
I encourage everyone to begin contemplating what kind of spiritual cleaning they would like to do for Passover. With what kind of cleanliness would you like to enter into freedom and into covenant?
Rabbi Amitai Adler