Want to know why you haven’t heard from me in a couple of weeks? You would never be able to guess if I don’t tell you.
I’ve been cleaning.
I’ve been cleaning so intensively and with such passion that I didn’t have time to write.
Look how clean that pantry is! Could I have done that as a mere physical cleaning job? Certainly not!
Passover, in my opinion, is God’s way of getting me to clean my kitchen. You see, Jews are commanded to refrain from eating leavened grains on Passover and that means cleaning all the old food, crumbs and random mysterious jars out of the kitchen before the holiday begins.
It took me three days to get organized and get the work done. I cleaned the refrigerator, even the things that were stuck to the shelves! I burnt everything out of the oven, (including the finish on the racks)! I scrubbed the sink and rousted out every mysterious crumb in the cracks between the stove and the countertop!
And then I covered all the surfaces, an aspect of holiday cleaning I’d never tried before. Some Jews cover the surfaces to make sure any trace of leavened grain is rendered inaccessible.
Nothing rouses the soul like a clean kitchen, I suppose.
I learned something interesting later that evening when I tried to fill the cats’ food bowl. I spilled a kibble on the covered counter.
At first I was annoyed. Why did I do this whole exercise if only to ruin it in the first hour?
Did I ruin it?
No. Not really. The point of all this activity, at least for me, is not to render the kitchen physically perfect. It’s to acknowledge the connection between the physical and the spiritual.
I cleaned the physical kitchen but I also turned an otherwise mundane activity into a supremely spiritual one. I swept out the leavening, which represents the ego, and by doing so invited transcendent God into my physical life.
I voluntarily made a connection between the ordinary nature of my life and the holiness that sets human beings apart.
In other words, I infused meaning into an otherwise tedious job.
Passover is known as the “Holiday of Spring”, but I am also calling it the “Holiday of Cleaning”.
It’s meaningful either way.