Every year around Passover, I teach the inner meaning of the ten plagues. And as I do, I try to reflect on which one is plaguing me the most. This year, it is definitely lice.

I would like to believe that I am thinking of lice simply because my child's class just had an outbreak. But no, I don’t believe it was being around children scratching their heads that is making me connect so strongly.

Lice is actually a bit bizarre to even be one of the ten plagues. I mean, looking through them, the others are quite devastating. We are dealing with all the water turning to blood, wild beasts, debilitating and paralyzing darkness, and more. But lice? Sure, it is annoying. An inconvenience. But an actual plague?

Sure, it is annoying. An inconvenience. But an actual plague?But here is how I see it, and why it connects to me so much right now. Lice are small. Practically invisible to the naked eye. When one has lice, it is rarely detected from finding the actual louse, but rather from the symptoms. My children already know that if they so much as touch their heads I pounce on them, ready to inspect.

But the louse itself is incredibly hard, if not impossible, to find. It not only blends in with the hair, but it is fast. Even when you see it, it often disappears before you can actually strike and kill. And yet, what can be found are the eggs. And man, oh man, can those louse reproduce. One little louse one day, and hundreds of eggs the next.

Now I know if you are still reading this you are scratching your head, as one cannot discuss lice without a psychological reaction on the part of others. But bear with me. There is a message here . . .

The eggs stick. They are close to the root of the hair, and must be removed. One by one. (And if you think you got them all with those nifty little combs, think again. Each and every one must be removed, or the process starts all over again.)

So, why do I find my life connecting to lice? Let’s redefine lice. Let’s think of those lice as negative thoughts. As positive as I can be, there is that pessimistic streak. It is so subtle that it can be hard even for me to detect. But it is there, running around my brain (covered by that scalp from which our hair protrudes) and laying its eggs. I rarely notice the lice until I notice the eggs, but by the time I do, they are everywhere.

The lice can be removed. Yet, only when we recognize we suffer from themI wash my hair, I comb it, I check what I can, and I ask others for help to check as well. And then the removal process must begin. Sometimes one by one. Sometimes dozens at a time by overpowering them with something positive, like rosemary or another oil they can't stand. But ultimately each negative thought, each pessimistic reaction, must be destroyed. And we must be vigilant. Because lice does not just affect the one who has it. Lice jump. If I am infested, give it another day, and my whole family will be suffering.

Fortunately, there are no wild beasts in my life. My water is clear, and the locusts are not swarming. But I do need to deal with the lice. I need to be real and honest with myself, and search out what is hard to find. The lice can be removed. Yet, only when we recognize we suffer from them. And only if we are willing to put in the hard work required to search and destroy. If ignored, they will not go away. Not even close. They will then be the ones to search and destroy.

But I am ready. I have my spray, my shampoo, my comb and patience. I want them gone. Forever. And I am determined to find them. Each and every one that is trying to work against me. To slow me down. To prevent me from doing what I know I can do. So, lice, beware. You may be small, sneaky and fast. But I am on to you. And, ready or not, here I come!