Seek and destroy

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3/12/2015

Seek and destroy

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us concerning the removal of chametz.”

(the pre-search sundown prayer)

Covering our kitchen platforms with tin foil and scrubbing the inner depths of our drawers – coursing through our children’s back packs and jacket pockets for candy wrappers which may be tainted with microscopic traces of “chametz” – splurging on the deluxe car-wash for that extra deep vacuum job, and lifting out removable car seats to get down in the cracks hunting for orphaned honey nut cheerios… who are these little monsters – these foreign invaders which lurk within the cracks of our homes that we have to burn, nullify and sell?

The meaning of chametz (leavened foods that are forbidden on the Jewish holiday of Passover) and matzah (an unleavened bread traditionally eaten by Jews during the week-long Passover holiday), is deeper than you might think.

The Torah tells us “You shall guard the matzos” (Exodus 12:17), to prevent them from becoming chametz. The word “matzos” here is spelled the same as the word “mitzvos” (precepts and commandments as commanded by God). We learn from this that we are to guard the mitzvos.

Just like we cannot let the matzos turn into chametz by waiting too long to bake them – so too must we not let a mitzvah turn into chametz. If a mitzvah comes your way – seize it swiftly – don’t let it become chametz. Seize the opportunities which come your way – the opportunities to provide assistance to those in need – the awakenings from above, before they pass over us – before they become more than stale – before they turn into that which we must rid ourselves from, in order to exit the slavery of accumulated missed opportunities holding us captive.

It is taught that the influence of the adversary in our hearts that rises and turns us into chametz is the yeast in the dough – and that at the time we destroy our chametz before Passover we should remember that the chametz alludes to the adversary within us, the yeast in the dough – and even the tiniest amount of chametz is forbidden.

We are therefore obligated to search for it in every hole and crack on our property – to destroy it, nullify it and relinquish any connection to it, thereby purifying ourselves before the holiday of Passover – the holiday of emancipation from external and inner slavery.

Any area where we can reasonably suspect that chametz might have been brought during the year must be thoroughly searched and cleaned. Our homes, offices, cars, boats, desks, drawers, pockets – anything we own must be thoroughly checked to make sure not a crumb is left behind.

And if we cannot destroy it, we must sell it. We cannot own or derive any benefit whatsoever from chametz during Passover.

And then, after we’ve reached the point of looking ourselves in the mirror honestly and believing that we did all that we reasonably could to rid, destroy and disown all chametz – we publicly declare any possible unseen chametz null and void by reciting the following:

“All leaven or anything leavened which is in my possession, which I have neither seen nor removed, and about which I am unaware, shall be considered nullified and owner-less as the dust of the earth.”

(the post-search nullification prayer)

This ritual that we are commanded to perform prior the holiday which celebrates our exodus from slavery, and deliverance to the loving open arms of our Source, corresponds to the riddance of our egos, bad habits and mental blockages which we must shake free from prior to most effectively connecting to the holy work of Divine service – transforming ourselves into channels of Godliness in this world.

Purity is a big thing in our holy work. Purity of mind, action and intention. Just like we are obligated to kill off all of the nation of Amalek, which Kabalistically corresponds to “doubt” – so too must we kill off the adversarial influences within our heart which can blow up like yeast and lead us off of the spiritual path.

As the band Metallica so eloquently put it:

“Running,
On our way
Hiding,
You will pay
Dying,
One thousand deaths
Running,
On our way
Hiding,
You will pay
Dying,
One thousand deaths
Searching,
Seek and Destroy
Searching,
Seek and Destroy
Searching,
Seek and Destroy
Searching,
Seek and Destroy”

As we set sail into Passover preparation, the annual “spring cleaning”, may we merit to become illuminated with deeper understandings and connections to all of the actions that we undertake leading up to the annual celebration of freedom from slavery – and may we merit to leave behind all traces of material and mental slavery – in the miraculous crushing waters of the Red Sea.

Blessings,

Etan

Seek and destroy

3 thoughts on “Seek and destroy

  1. Rob says:

    exit the slavery of accumulated missed opportunities holding us captive.

    Really good post, TR. And Metallica? You have crossed over into some exceptional air young Jedi warrior. Sonic boom!

    Like

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