As we try to finish our last minute preparations for Passover, we can find ourselves in a very hectic state. Chometz must be disposed of, we must make sure we have Matzah and Marror, the house and dishes have to be changed over, and the Seder preparations must be made. This certainly can make a lot of pressure on is, our spouses and our families. Add to that the complications of having 2 Shabbos meals that are composed of Passover food, with Challah bread that must be around – enough to make even the calmest person a nervous wreck. As careful as we may be, the possibility of having Chametz mix into our special Passover food and dishes is very disturbing.
Then we add to this mix the reality of having to deal with extended family over the Holiday, and the pressures of accommodating all the various personalities that we will be sharing time with, and there is certainly enough of a challenge to maintain our cool. Exactly at this time, we must be able to take a step back and prepare for the Holiday. We must buy something for our spouse and treats for the children. We must pause to reflect on what message we want to share with our family and friends at the Seder. And finally, perhaps most important of all, we must reflect on how we hope to grow as better Servants of G-d and as better people, by reliving the Exodus from Egypt. If we read in the Haggadah “In every generation a person must look at themselves as if they personally went out of Egypt”, then our behavior and attitude must reflect that. Perhaps our perspective on what is important in this world could change. After all, could you imagine someone just released from a concentration camp complaining or feeling bad that they could only afford a used car? Perhaps we could appreciate more the basic goodness that surrounds us all the time. After all, could you imagine how grateful a survivor who has just been liberated is for bread, (Or matzah!!), water, a peaceful bed, a house, even just to breath fresh air in peace!!!!! Maybe what other people do to me or say to me wouldn’t really matter so much. After all, do you think someone just liberated from a camp really would pay attention to the foolishness of someone who said something inappropriate? How about gratitude to G-d? How would we feel if He just rescued us from a burning and living Gehenim (Purgatory) to be free? Wouldn’t our hearts be full of thanksgiving and appreciation to Him?
Hopefully, as we celebrate Passover and ignite the feelings that are in the hearts of a liberated person, we will merit a new feeling of closeness and a new relationship to Hashem.