Dear reader,

Wow, YOU did it!

This Friday night, after weeks of preparation and anticipation, we’ll be sitting down for the much-anticipated Seder beginning the Passover holiday.

Over the last couple of months, in my own home, we’ve been renovating our basement. Our goal was to have it ready for our guests for Passover. New walls were put up and the cement floor was broken to accommodate underground plumbing pipes.

I would never have guessed how much dirt and dust breaking up concrete generates.

Though all the work was in our basement and though we kept all the doors tightly closed, as if with a will of its own, the dust rose constantly. No matter how much I cleaned, dusted and mopped, for as long as the workers toiled in our basement, the thick layer of dust reappeared.

Minute by minute, it traveled throughout the entire house. To every surface. From the depths of the basement, it even traveled to the far reaches of our bedrooms, situated upstairs on the second floor.

Bookcases. Shelves. Dressers. Nothing big or small was spared. Every tiny niche and corner was covered with the stuff.

And as I prepare for Passover, all that dust in every corner of my home kind of reminds me of all the plagues covering every square inch of Egypt. A dusting of lice. Enveloping darkness. Frogs in every corner, even jumping into the ovens. No clear water, just liquid saturated with blood.

It also reminds me of the comprehensive Passover cleaning to eradicate every bit of leaven. This year, in our home, it was easy to see which part was cleaned, with the before-and-after clearly demarcated by the grayish-white film.

But it also reminds me of the many parts of our lives that get so covered and saturated with “dust”—unimportant, unwanted stuff that none of us need that creates a thin, dim film covering everything and preventing us from seeing to the true value or essence.

As we work on the physical cleaning, hopefully we’re also doing our spiritual work to rid our homes and characters from leaven, symbolizing layers of selfishness and self-inflating egos clouding our vision and perspective. Let's resolve to “pass over” some areas of our lives—those trivial areas that perhaps we have given more import than they are worth, and that consume us more than they should.

So Passover is about “passing over” and freeing ourselves from negative, unimportant things that hold us down, while reaching up and leaping—“passing over”—a drop higher.

Wishing us all a wonderful, happy and kosher Passover holiday, one in which each of us succeeds to lift our part of the world just a little bit higher.

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW