We often forget that the season of Pesach is considered a Jewish New Year. As we should expect, Rosh Hashana gets a lot of attention. But Rosh Hashana invokes teshuvah, a time for introspection, forgiveness and actively trying to change a trait or repair a relationship.
Passover brings a different kind of liberation. Last night, we searched through our homes for remaining pieces of chametz, leavened food. It’s the same food that today, we burn. Completely destroy. Only a few ashes left to remind us of its existence. Burning the chametz is an act that teaches there are some things in our lives that may never be forgotten, but should be consciously recognized, named and destroyed.
Oppression, racism, slavery. That’s the chametz recognized and named in the story of our people. The Pesach story is both collective and personal. We should each feel a deep desire to completely rid our souls of that which eats away at our essence. Rage, fear, questioning our purpose, shame, imposter syndrome, worthlessness and self-doubt. Lingering morsels of yeast that grow throughout the year. Hovering locusts that claim our character as it’s prize.
Biur chametz. The seder starts after we burn the chametz. After. We ritualize an extraction of that which plagues us. Naming our chametz and exclaiming, “I will not let this year hold me back from being me.”
Start this new year with a spring in your step. Let this Pesach be a collective and personal liberation. Set your soul free.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.