Bracha613 requested I write about Pesach cleaning. I'm not sure this was what she had in mind, but I thought this would be more useful than a rant about how Pesach cleaning just isn't that much fun. 🙂
It is that time of year to take out the rags and vacuum cleaner --
To clean every inch of every space, not just getting rid of crumbs, but also negative demeanor.
We wash, cleanse, and scrub, but it goes well beyond this to a purpose that is higher,
For you see, for self-transformation in Judaism, change that is “outside-in” we require.
What we do, not what we think, creates who we are,
Our actions overrule our thoughts, aspirations, and intentions by far.
Thus most of the mitzvos of the Torah are physical, hands programming the mind and the heart,
And so, our Pesach cleaning affects our inner space more permanently than it does our outer space, its counterpart.
What inner “dirt” are we targeting and cleaning is then the question,
If it isn’t just about our physical things, it’s then about what is our inner possession.
Chometz is likened to ego, as they both rise from pockets of hot air,
Ego persuades us that things of little real value are hugely significant and our judgment it impairs.
It’s our battle with pettiness, desire, selfishness, or negativity,
Anything that holds us back from becoming the great people we can be.
We’re effectively liberating ourselves from our own personal Metzrayim,
Breaking out of the things that make us tzar* (narrow), preventing us from fully serving Aveinu shebashamyim.
So cleaning is as much about getting rid of physical chometz as it is about removing negative demeanor,
To properly clean we need introspection, not just a vacuum cleaner.
*”Tzar” is the shoresh of Mitzrayim