6 Cheshvan 5781 / Saturday, October 24, 2020 | Torah Reading: Noach
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Memories of Pesach    

Memories of Pesach

I have wonderful memories of Passover. Our house sparkled, and we felt as if we were expecting something special to happen. The Seder Night created a...


I have wonderful memories of Passover. Our house sparkled, and we felt as if we were expecting something special to happen. The Seder Night created a deep feeling of pride and joy. The entire event was designed to pique the interest of the children, for the initial  "Kadesh, urchatz," chant to the breaking of the matzah and hiding the Afikomen, from the candlelight trek to open the door for Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet) through the final declaration of Next Year in Jerusalem!
My sisters and I knew, without a doubt, that no matter how many guest joined us, we were the central players in the unfolding of Jewish history.
Preparing for Pesach was quite a challenge. My parents worked hard making sure that everything ran smoothly. Every single item in our home, from my mother's jewelry boxes to the freezer in the basement, was emptied, cleaned and reorganized. The "villain" was anything leavened or that contained leaven; even perfumes and medicines with a grain alcohol base were moved to the garage where they were sold to a gentile for the duration of the holiday.
Often we would become a bit edgy from the chaos of all the preparations. Finally, at the end of the process, was bedikat Chametz, the halachic and mystical search for leaven, performed the night before the Seder. We, the children, gathered together with our mother and father and, using a feather, spoon and candle, searched for the ten hidden pieces of bread. All ten pieces were carefully gathered together, tied snuggly and burned the following morning. We made two declarations to nullify the leaven, one at night, and one in the morning. At the same time we tried to "nullify the leaven of the heart," to desire nothing egotistical.
And when, the next day, we burned the Chametz, there was a clear feeling that we were really prepared, both within our hearts and within the house for the holiday.

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