On leaping, without delay - Reb Nachman on leaving Mitzrayim
A Passover letter to my son

Worth revisiting before Pesach

As Pesach draws ever-nearer, I want to take a moment to lift up excerpts from three of the pre-Pesach posts I've made in previous years.


I'm fond of the metaphor which holds that, as we clean our houses of hametz before Passover, we can take the opportunity also for spiritual housecleaning, ridding ourselves of hametz -- that ego which puffs us up -- in the process. Here, too, the notion that hametz and matzah contain the same ingredients has something to teach me. The part of me which is appropriate for the festival of freedom, and the part of me I want to sweep away and burn, are made of the same stuff -- me. What I want to rid myself of is not a foreign object. It's made of the same flour and water, the same Rachel-ness, as the parts of me I want to keep.

Read that whole post here: Passover, matzah, dialectics (2006).


Because Pesach is a holiday so many of us observe through dietary constraints, it's a great time to make eating a mindfulness practice. Every time we eat this week is an opportunity for remembrance. This week we're meant to relive our exodus from the Narrow Place, our journey from slavery into freedom. And we can remember it, at least for a flash of a second, every time we choose what to put in our mouths -- whether we "keep the Pesach" in a traditional way, or not.

Read that whole post here: On mindfulness and matzah (2007).


I can't change the world financial situation. I can't change the reality that we live in bodies which break. What I can change is my reaction to things-as-they-are. I can change how I experience them, by committing myself to recognizing that I can feel expansive, liberated, grateful even though the world isn't always an easy place to live.

Everything hangs on that even though. I have to find a way to feel grateful for the innumerable blessings in my life even though other things are tough. I have to find a way to understand (again) that I'm always already liberated, that the freedom we celebrate at Pesach is always real. That's what redemption means. We speak in our liturgy about God Who redeems us from slavery -- that's always ongoing.

Read that whole post here: Exiting Mitzrayim (2009).

I hope at least reading the excerpts (even if you don't click through to read the whole posts) offers you some good food for thought as we draw nearer to the season of our liberation.