I love Pesach. I hate Pesach cleaning. I’ve heard that Passover is about spiritual freedom and overcoming personal limitations, but what does housecleaning have to do with it?


My wife finds a new spiritual lesson in the Pesach cleaning every year. Here is her latest insight:

Do you know which parts of the house are the hardest to clean? Which areas accumulate the most junk? You would think it’s the busy areas, the rooms that get the most traffic and the sections that get the most use.

But that’s not the case. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The messiest parts of the house are those you don’t live in. A spare room, an unused cupboard, a neglected garage—these are the most cluttered, dusty and disorganized corners of the house. The more deserted and empty an area is, the more mess it will accumulate. If you don’t fill a room with useful things, it will become the dumping ground for those tchachkes that belong nowhere. Empty space does not remain empty for long. It gathers dust, and much more.

Your life works in exactly the same way. A mind that is left idle is fertile ground for needless worries and fears. It is when we have nothing to think about that we start feeling down and sorry for ourselves. The most dangerous people are bored people. When you have nothing better to do, you get up to no good.

On the other hand, when we are busy, we are less likely to get into trouble. As one great chassidic master said, “I don’t expect my disciples not to sin because they are too righteous to sin. I expect them not to sin because they are too busy.”

So, as you clean out the house for Pesach, ponder those messy corners of nothingness, and marvel at how emptiness can be so full of junk. Let it inspire you to fill your mind with wisdom and your schedule with good deeds.

Want to find some meaning in life? Mind your own busy-ness.