"Chametz searching, Chametz sweeping,
In the home of---- every Jew.
But the hardest Chametz to remove,
Is the chametz---- inside of you!"
Okay, now that i have your attention, please stick around for the drasha (lecture). I've tried to make it as un-bais yaakovy (no translation available), as non-judgemental, as awe-inspiring as i can. At least read it, even if you aren't going to comment (:
So, I'm not going mention the P-word but you all know what's coming up in just a few weeks. The time of year when easygoing mothers are turned into maniacal cleaning Nazis, barking out orders like a drill sergeant and snatching cookies from the hands of innocent toddlers. We all know the drill; all leaven products (and their crumbly remnants) must be swept, vacuumed, sponjad, emptied, washed, scrubbed, or otherwise disposed of. Owning chametz on the 14th of Nissan is strictly prohibited by the Torah.
Many of us are familiar with the age-old rebuke that in addition to reaching into the recesses of our closets and drawers in search of chametz, we must also take a good look at ourselves and see if there are any Middos (character traits) in need of a thorough cleaning job. It's while we're elbow deep in soapy water or piles of outgrown t-shirts that we need to stop for a moment and do a brief "Cheshbon HaNefesh" (personal accounting). As we bleach our countertops in the hopes of covering up that stubborn stain, let us also try to scrub out any imperfection in our personalities or behavior which is detracting from the shine of our Neshamos (souls).
Maybe the stain is a tendency to be impatient with a coworker, spouse, child, or student. Perhaps it's being too selfish, or too pushy, or too demeaning. The stain might be a habit of speaking negatively about others or acting out on angry feelings. It could be a laziness in making Brachos (blessings) or an unwillingness to volunteer to do Chessed (kindness). It might even be the blind eye we turn to another's difficult situation as we pretend to be blissfully unaware that something is the matter. Whatever it is - now is the time to fix it, to polish up those imperfections so they shine like the freshly scrubbed bathroom sink.
Well, what are you waiting for? The P-word is only 3 weeks away!
Happy internal cleansing, everyone!