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Cleaning for Pesach

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

It's three weeks until Pesach. Dr. Miri Kahana from Efrata Teachers College brings a slightly different perspective on cleaning during this time of year:

"I wanted to share a thought to which I continually return: all of this arduous cleaning is only because we are very rich. Not just me, but all of us. Each of us lives with our family in our own home. There is a separate room for the parents, a kitchen, a shower, and a bathroom. Our houses are full of furniture, clothes, appliances, and food. Our children have more than enough to eat to the point where they forget unopened bags of snacks in their desk drawers and leave sandwiches that they did not even taste in their backpacks. How far we are from those distant halachic discussions regarding a public oven for several families; or the issue of a poor person's cloak taken as collateral for a loan that must be returned each night since the poor person sleeps in the cloak; or the matter of a poor person washing his only shirt Erev Shabbat, despite the prohibition of laundering on this day (prior to the era of washing machines).

Despite the difficulties and challenges of our generation, I am certain that all of us have at least one great-grandfather who would go out of his mind with surprise and joy if he would see the prodigious prosperity in which his great-grandchildren live. Therefore, every once in a while, I remind myself to stop complaining about how much we still have to clean or how much we still have to cook, and simply focus on how much we have."


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