Blah, also Passover

Yeah, it’s just been kind of like that the last few days.  Feeling unmotivated and snacking at night.  I’m having trail mix which isn’t so bad but it’s also my first reintroduction of peanuts and the next day my stomach is not happy with me.  And my exercise routine has fallen to the sidelines the last two weeks as well.  I’m just feeling kind of, meh, right now.  Also doesn’t help with the Passover preparations when we have to get the house Passover ready in less than two weeks.   

Can we sidebar on the topic of Passover for a second?  I feel as though Passover gets a bad rap mostly stemming from the cleaning aspect of it.  People clean probably way more than they need to and turn it into “spring cleaning” which it’s not and many rabbinic opinions say as such.  But it is probably the most Jewish thing we do.  Think about it, you keep super extra stupid crazy kosher, it’s one of those holidays even non-connected jews celebrate, gefilte fish on everyone’s table, and we’re recounting the Exodus story, the big story every one has seen Charlton Heston star in.

But at the same time it is one of the most differentiating holidays we have.  Go to two different seders and neither will be the same.  Customs vary from country to country, city to city, shul to shul, and house to house.  When my wife and I started hosting Seder at our home we made the decision to make our seder kid-centered.  Now some of you out there might not find this unusual, considering Chazal talks about keeping the children engaged throughout the seder, but a kid friendly seder wasn’t something she grew up with and this was another way for us to create positive and fun jewish moments and memories for our children that they will be able to look back on and, hopefully, keeping them connected.  Basically I let the kids run the show, our seder is based on what they are learning in school that year and it expands, little by little, each year.  And it’s not just for the kids, we enjoy providing a different jewish experience for her family, especially her sisters.  An experience that, I think, shows the way Judaism can be fun and engaging.  It’s a faith that’s supposed to celebrate life and we are encouraged to be happy doing mitzvot and not be ashamed.  Sometimes, when heavy topics get thrown into the mix, you can lose focus on that aspect of Torah.  Just as the song says of Torah:

עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ. וְתמְכֶיהָ מְאֻשָּׁר:
דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נעַם וְכָל נְתִיבותֶיהָ שָׁלום

It is a tree of life for those who cling to it, and those who uphold it are happy. Its ways are pleasant,​ and all of its paths peaceful.​ 

Happiness and joy are the truest sign of a strong emunah (faith).

May we all merit to walk in this world on that level.

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