Passover order and cleanliness

With my children home from war, I understood the importance of the Passover Seder this year more than ever.

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Passover
Cleaning kitchen utensils for the upcoming Passover celebration in Bnei Brak. Archive image: Gili Yaari/Flash 90
Cleaning kitchen utensils for the upcoming Passover celebration in Bnei Brak. Archive image: Gili Yaari/Flash 90

I thought that as the years go by and the children grew up and moved out, I wouldn’t have much to arrange before Passover.

I also thought that they would take most of their personal belongings with them. So I thought… Theory and reality are far apart in this case.

But this time, unlike previous years, there was justification for what happened in my house. On October 7th, many things changed, including disorder in the house. Most of my children no longer live at home. They enlisted in the reserves and stayed there for about four months. Every time they went on leave, the first place they came was, thank God, to our house, the natural and right place for them.

And I was happy and grateful for every such moment. I waited and expected and wished for it. I prayed for it night and day. I got organized with cooking and shopping. And I made sure that the house always had food ready to receive them and everyone who would come with them. And every time they came they brought equipment from the army with them, and put it in this room or another.

The rooms filled with more and more equipment, clothing and bags. Photo: Anat Schneider

During the reserve days, soldiers received many donated items from citizens. And every time they came back their bag had thermal shirts, vests, and other equipment that I don’t even know the name of. And every time the rooms were filled with more equipment and more clothes and more bags. And when they returned to the base they took with them only what was most necessary. And without me noticing, my house became a “storeroom.”

Since at that time I was not interested in anything but seeing them, I did not notice how the house was overflowing with equipment. And now the days before Passover have arrived, and in these days, as always, I have a strong need to refresh the house, tidy up, renew and reorganize. This year more than usual. I asked the whole family to come help. We brought order. And we transformed what felt like a military camp, back into a home.

While we were working together, they constantly made sure to tell me how important all this equipment was. They told me stories about amazing citizens who came to them and took care of them, and when they started telling they also talked about things that maybe they didn’t mean to share in the first place. A lot of things I didn’t know came to light, because they are mostly quiet.

I understood the importance of the Passover Seder this year. It is not only external, not only to clean dust and wash floors. This year’s Passover is very significant in our ability to go inside ourselves to clean and remove even a little of what is stuffed in there. To release a little of the distress, of the hardships. To bring clean air into the sore and injured places and feel even a little, the exodus from slavery to freedom.

A little neater. Photo: Anat Schneider

And as for the physical house, we arranged everything in an organized manner in bags and stored it in a place that is not visible to the eye, but easy to retrieve. And I did not forget during all this time to pray and whisper in my heart:

God – may they never have to use this equipment again. Please God let us not have to pull it out. And I promise I won’t complain about the dust that accumulates on it.”

Amen.

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One response to “Passover order and cleanliness”

  1. Disciple 1978 says:

    Passover is one of several appointed times the Lord gives us to clean up our lives before him. As we observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, clear out our normal bread and eat matzot, we are reminded that we don’t live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4) Our matzot week compliments our bible readings that week. The practical application of the word of God to everyday situations and even world events becomes more relevant that week. The week usually has a lasting effect on the rest of the year as we again realise that the leaven of everyday life is not only opposed to the word of God but also to our well-being. We become better children of God as a result of remembering Messiah is our Passover Lamb and that our true life is in his word.

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