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Passover: a Time to Reflect on Our Attachments and Addictions



As the night before Passover approached, I found myself in Publix doing some last-minute shopping. Standing in front of the small Passover display, I was approached by a young man holding a loaf of gluten-free bread. He asked me if he could eat it during Passover, noting that he knew it was not kosher but was gluten-free.


Familiar with the brand, I informed him that the bread was kosher - but not kosher for Passover. As gently as I could, I informed him that during Passover, we only eat matzo and suggested that he give bread a break for the next eight days.



Despite my explanation, the young man seemed determined to find a kosher-for-Passover bread, even suggesting he visit a kosher supermarket that would have a much bigger selection. Who knows - with all the processed Passover fake noodles and cereal, etc., maybe there is a fake “bread” concocted by the food chemists.


Kudos to him for wanting to get the "right" type of bread, but I couldn't help but reflect on his reluctance to give up bread for just a short period. The young man's insistence reminded me that attachments sometimes go beyond physical cravings.


Passover is not just about abstaining from products containing chometz; it is a time to examine our attachments and potential addictions. Passover challenges us to confront these attachments and consider what lies beneath, uncovering aspects of ourselves that have been hidden or suppressed. The inability to refrain from something for a week should, at the very least, generate an internal conversation.


Just as we choose to eat the purest form of matzo during Passover, stripping away additives, we can use this holiday to strip away distractions and get to our essence. In leaving Egypt, symbolizing a place of narrowness and restriction, we are encouraged to shed anything that keeps us small.


This can include unhealthy attachments to substances, habits, or even ideologies or ways of thinking limiting our growth. Passover invites us to contemplate who we are at our core and what could be revealed if we let go of things we hold onto tightly.


The journey towards self-discovery and liberation that Passover signifies extends beyond the eight days of the holiday. Just as we strip away the chametz to connect with our essence during Passover, the 49-day journey to Mount Sinai that culminates in the holiday of Shavuot challenges us to examine our attachments and addictions further.

 

We count the Omer during this time, marking each day as a step toward spiritual growth and transformation. The Seder commands us to consider ourselves making the journey from slavery to freedom personally. In the same way, we are retracing the steps of the Jewish people during their trek to Mt. Sinai, culminating in the holiday of Shavuot when we received the Torah at Mt. Sinai.

 

As we continue this journey towards self-discovery and liberation, let us carry the lessons of Passover with us. By confronting our attachments and addictions, we can uncover the depths of our true selves and embrace the freedom of letting go of that which no longer serves us.


Internalize and Actualize

 

1. Reflect on a time when you felt reluctant to give up something. What did this attachment reveal about you?

 

2. Consider the metaphor of eating pure matzo during Passover as a way to strip away distractions and get to your essence. What distractions can you strip away to reveal your true self?

 

3. Think about the idea of shedding anything that keeps you small, as symbolized by leaving Egypt in the Passover story. What habits or attachments must you let go of to grow a

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Apr 26

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