My grandmother died on Shavuot when I was sixteen years old. She had chest pains while cleaning for Passover but didn't stop working for a moment. Up and down the four flights of stairs to her attic apartment, she carted out debris and brought up fresh new surfaces and food for the holiday. Her death by heart attack angered me. Why did she succumb to the pressure of tradition? Why didn't she complain? Why didn't she rest?

Now that I have a home of my own and have made peace with Bubbie's tradition, I, too, do the Passover overhaul. But I hire someone for the hard jobs and enjoy my husband's help. When Jews wish one another Pesach kasher vesameach ("A kosher and joyous Passover") they are conveying a great blessing. May you be healthy enough to make a kosher Passover with the spiritual strength to be truly happy doing it.

The philosophical conclusion of quantum physics is that physical reality is determined by a human observer. Halachah (Torah law) requires me to check every corner of my home. Corrective observation. I move my desk and refrigerator and look. I don't look only for half-eaten pretzels and candies ingeniously implanted by little hands. I look at how I lived my life this year and reconstruct it. All those unused extra dishes. I should invite more guests. Oy, my file cabinet. Worse, my inbox. Did I answer every message? Maybe I was proud or impatient in my correspondence. How many times did I take offense when I could have laughed?

Outside in the streets, on the roads, Jewish blood is being spilled. A baby in her mother's arms in Hebron. Two yeshiva boys in the Sharon. It is usual to suffer a terrorist attack in Israel during the pre-Passover heat waves. But this is a horrendous spiraling plague.

How many drawers do I have to empty, clean, and reorganize? How many mattresses do I have to overturn to get to the point? Where have I violated G‑d's will? What is my part in this boomerang of violence? How can I clean up my dark inner corners so that next year we shall be free in Jerusalem, celebrating the final redemption?