Now that I’ve ruffled some feathers or raised some hackles with PART I, I’m going to (hopefully) redeem myself. After all, Pesach (Passover) is all about redemption.
Passover is a special time to focus on on liberating ourselves from all the oppressive behaviors and influences holding us down.
In the retelling of the Passover tale every year we don’t actually say Egypt in Hebrew, we say Mitzrayim, a word meaning “tight, constricted space.” The first step is identifying the toxic patterns that keep us locked into a tight, constricted space. Is it workaholism? Addictions of any kind? Toxic environments or relationships?
Before Passover begins we prepare by engaging in a thorough spring cleaning of our abodes. The Passover tradition to clean all the nooks and crannies of our homes has an emotional and spiritual equivalent. (Mind, body, spirit). By cleaning your spiritual house you make a defining statement about what you wish to manifest. We are called upon to define our tribe and tend to our flock (human and animal) as Moses did in his story.
The energy we allow to dwell in our spaces can uplift and inspire us or keep us trapped in mitzrayim.
The Torah tells us, “redemption comes on Pesach.” They equated oppression to mochin d’katnut — a small, constricted consciousness.
Mochin d’katnut has the same meaning as the Passover word Mitzrayim. Conversely, the Ba’al Shem Tov said the ticket to emotional freedom is mochin d’gadlut — expanded consciousness.
Here we see the Jewish Sages were talking about two different states of consciousness using the two concepts, constricted space and freedom, that epitomize Passover.
Before Passover begins we clear our homes of chametz (leavened food or food mixed with leaven). In the original definition, “chametz” meant “last year’s spoiled grain.” We can see why it was necessary to get rid of spoiled grain, which may be infested with insects (plagues) and cause serious illness.
On a spiritual level, what is spoiled grain in your life? We prepare to leave our constricted place and redeem ourselves by letting go of the “spoiled/tainted” things that plague us in mind, body and spirit.
In the Torah, once the Israelites were “free,” they lamented leaving Egypt and spoke longingly of the meat and bread they ate there to their fill. They were royally peeved at Moses for taking them out of Egypt!! (Shemot/Exodus 14:11-12/16:3).
In the words of the Jewish Sages, the Israelites not only had to take themselves out of Egypt, they had to learn to take Egypt (Mitzrayim) out of themselves. Oppression and redemption sometimes comes from others and sometimes comes from within.
They were stuck in a state of Mochin d’katnut (small, constricted consciousness). There is fear involved in leaving the familiar state of constriction for the unknown and uncharted territory of liberation.
In Kabbalah, the Divine attribute connected to Passover is Sefirah Chesed (Kindness). Sefirah Chesed is counterbalanced by Sefirot Gevurah (Strength) and Din (Judgment). This tells us that kindness must be balanced by strong and healthy boundaries (good judgment). As long as we are seeking to placate, cleave to and entertain that which is plagued by toxicity, we are not free.
On Passover, it’s traditional to open a door to let the prophet Eliyahu (Elijah) in. Chasidut (Schneerson) teaches that “we open the door not so much to let Elijah in as to let ourselves out.“
©️ 2020 – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED