* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
During these days leading up to Pesach, we will no doubt find ourselves lamenting the quantity of books, clothing and possessions in general that demand meticulous dusting and cleaning. Yet it may be worthwhile to remember that what we have is not to be taken for granted, much less considered a burden. Here are a few words on this subject from Dr. Miri Kahana of Efrata Teachers College, words that can bolster and inspire us as we embark on our annual Pesach cleaning enterprise:
"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 immediate 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, clothing, 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 in their backpacks that they did not even taste.
"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 every night since the poor person sleeps in that cloak; or the matter of a poor person washing his only shirt on Erev Shabbat (prior to the era of washing machines).
"Despite the difficulties and challenges of our generation, I am certain that all of us had at least one great-grandfather who would be surprised and overjoyed if he could 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."