It’s the season for house cleaning and almost everyone is happy. Almost everyone because those hard at work grouse that it is way too hard to get ready for Passover. This is when I like to remind everyone that dust is not Chametz and those cleaning are not slaves. Passover is a festival and is meant to be enjoyed. It is hard enough to rid the house of Chametz, no need to take on Spring Cleaning too.

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I talk about this each year, but when I clean…. I spring clean. I find myself unable or at least unwilling to let those dust mites go. I attack those cobwebs with all I’ve got and take perverse pleasure from watching the vacuum gobble them up.


So I asked myself why. Why do I take on the added strain when it wears me down and leaves me exhausted?

Repetitive labor can be meditative so as I cleaned and mused an interesting thought popped into my head. Interesting enough to share.

Chametz is leavened dough. Once the dough rises, it is unfit for Passover. It is well known that the inflated dough is a symbol for characteristics such as ego and anger that cause us to inflate. If ridding the home of Chametz is meant to stimulate our soul searching and rid us of ego and wrath then there must be a symbol for dust too.

Dust is not Chametz, but when it settles over a surface, it conceals it. We nearly forget how beautiful the floor is until we sweep up the dust and knock off the cobwebs. That struck a chord with me. There are people in our contact list that we don’t call because we are angry with them. There are people we don’t call because they have fallen beneath our social station. These are the people we definitely need to reach out to during this Pesach cleaning season. It entails deflating our ego and jettisoning grudges, but that is what Pesach cleaning is all about.

Then there are people with whom we have lost touch simply because life is too busy. The cobwebs of life have lingered and over time those not in our vicinity have faded from memory. It’s a simple case of out of sight, out of mind. Striking at those cobwebs with my cloths and brooms reminds me to knock the cobwebs off my contact list and get in touch with old friends. Reach out to those I used to talk to, with whom I’ve simply fallen out of touch.

It will be Passover soon. It’s a happy time. A time for joyful reacquainting with friends and family that have fallen under the dust. Drop them a line, send them a text. Say hello and tell them you exist. Let them know you are thinking of them and maybe, just maybe, the relationship will spark again.

If that is not a lovely holiday gift, I don’t know what is.


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