Traditionally, Jewish homes rid themselves of Chametz, foods with leavening agents, prior to Passover. Since Perla is taking such a spiritual approach to the tradition of cleaning the house of all crumbs and using a feather like a tiny broom and a candle to make sure we clean everything out of even the darkest corners, I am taking the liberty of including her words now. This year, the last night of Passover coincides with entry into Easter, times in both the Christian and the Jewish traditions for cleaning out our dark corners.
Cleaning out our dark corners
by Perla Abrams, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Leavened bread, planted and hidden by me.
To be removed by me with a feather.
WHAT A CONCEPT!
If I leave the hidden piece of bread (my pride) for more that two days, it will start to harden. Crispy bread gives pleasure to my tongue and gives purpose to my jaw (gossip).
When I leave the crumbs longer, they start to harden enough that it becomes difficult to soften; tongue and teeth don’t welcome it anymore (righteousness).
A little longer, and it becomes like a rock, and I discard it as trash (you are not good enough for me).
Sometimes it can grow mold, and mold can be fungus (life sucker); or be made into penicillin (life giver). Penicillin—What a discovery. A cure made from a malady.
If I don’t use the feather of gentleness and compassion, to remove this leavened/puffy stuff, I could be using the scrubbers of guilt, or the scissors of shame; and never completely get rid of it.
I pray that my heart is feathered-swiped, my gut, my thoughts, my tongue! May my self-righteousness, my greed, my isolation, my self-pity, be swept away by the feather of kindness and compassion to my-self.
I pray that the deepest corners of my heart be lightened with the illumination of the candle of willingness. With this candle I have to get closer to look. When I get closer, I have to hold my breath so the light (my focusing) will remain steady, as I give my attention to what is painful to see. I recognize that I hid the bread, and I can remove it.
I am humbly grateful to You, God, for waiting for me, and for-GIVING me the constant opportunity to sweep my house with YOUR feather.