Prelude to the Seder
By Batsheva Gelbtuch Co-Director of JWC Atlanta
The night before the Seder, we check for any remaining bread and the likes, we remove it from our homes, and dispose of it.
Judaism teaches us that everything in the physical world mirrors the spiritual world, meaning, the reciprocal relationship between the finite and infinite, is what empowers us to take actions in the physical world, and create through those actions infinite transformations. It’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in its earliest form, The Pavlovian theory is a core concept in Jewish self-development and self-actualization. The author of, Chovot Halevavot/Duties of our Hearts, a 16th-century sage, states: “after the actions, the hearts will follow,” meaning act and your actions will impact your thoughts and feelings and affect spiritual transcendence.
After we physically search for the leavened bread (spiritually it represents ego and arrogance, judgment, pettiness, and jealousy because what defines it as leaven is that it is essentially “full of hot air”) and after we remove it, we utter a prayer in the hopes that our external actions of search and destroy, are mimicked by our spiritual actions. Imagine a world in which everyone searches the depth and the nooks and crannies of one’s hearts to discover any shred of arrogance, judgement of other or cruelty, and makes a real honest reckoning, and then sets about to invest great efforts to chip away and free one’s heart of the shackles holding us back from becoming all we can be.
May it be four we have stumbled. May we merit to return to our point of origin (pure infinite and powerful) completely, and just like we eradicated the physical chametz from our homes, may we merit to eradicate all bad behaviors that dwell within us, and may we merit to return before you, the Almighty, and in your infinite kindness, show us compassion and help, and support us, for the sake of your honor, (as we are divine beings, created in G-d’s image, and are His ambassadors here on earth), and may we merit to connect to You, and your Torah, and may we always feel and know Your eternal unconditional love for us, our children and the generations that are to come, may it be Your will AMEN.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL CHAMETZ?
About the Author
Batsheva Gelbtuch is a volunteer contributor for the Blue Dove Foundation. Professionally, Batsheva is the Co-Director of JWC Atlanta which creates and builds a spiritual community for women and families in the Atlanta Jewish community.