So many of our rituals start and end with light. Shabbat begins with the lighting of candles and ends with the flickering flames of Havdalah. On Passover we begin the festival with bedikat chametz, the searching of our homes for chametz with the light of a small candle to lead the way.
As we search out leavened bread with a candle, so too we are meant to search out the pride, egotism, and haughtiness that weigh down our souls. As I mentioned this concept to a friend, she explained that it sounds like a ritual celebrated during the Persian New Year, Nowruz. The custom is to jump over a fire and recite, “My yellow (light) is yours, and your red (light) is mine.” Meaning, the red energy of life, joy, and love should enter your life and the yellowness of illness, loneliness, and heartache should be removed. The light is used to both extract impurity and infuse holiness.
As we search our homes with the light of a candle, our wish for the Passover season is the same. We wish to rid our souls of the “yellow”. May the chametz of impatience, anger, frustration, short-tempers, and conceitedness be removed from our homes. And may the “red” light of the candle bring us rejuvenation, reinvigoration, and renewal.
Let this be a holiday of introspection, searching, and perhaps, even some red light. Amen.