Leah’s Blog – April 22, 2016 – Preparing for Pesach is always an insane frenzied time, especially when it comes to working together in washing down and cleaning with lots of suds and foam- and ideas of where what and who will do it. My usually not so neat and tidy husband is buying three packs of oven cleaner and Windex and unscrewing everything with a nut and bolt (what kind of chametz is in there?) He’s removing everything that was placed anywhere, scrubbing with vigor. He is standing now on top of the kitchen counter searching way above the cabinets for what! beats me. No-one has ever eaten there ; I roll my eyes and run downstairs where I’ve glossed the floor for the final time (I think). He runs behind me then pours more boiling water on the tables – how long will this go on? I am literally foaming.. The unlikeliness of this side of him comes out only right before we ask “Why is this night different than any other?” Soon there will be an exit from all of this, yes, an escape. Then we’ll go back to me being the baalaboosta –the housekeeping boss and a whole year will go by before this madness returns, that – and my allergies.
It’s really funny how Hashem keeps us busy. Some people more than most. I have had, over the last decade the zechut to know a man swamped with 1001 things to do because of a Pesach fetish. Unassuming, you would walk right by him in the street but he is a True Tzaddik, up all night from Purim to Pesach calling meat factories, special matzoh shemurah places-( even hand made as well ) olive oil presses and grape juice merchants making orders for thousands upon thousands of pounds of these items for hundreds of homes all over Yehudah and the Shomron. Chesed personified, no stone goes unturned as he continues to search for the names of families, even those who live out on the most remote hilltop, making sure we all have enough on our plates on this Chag. Then he goes knocking on doors in NYC ,asking for people to help. We on Itamar have had the incredible zechut to be a part of this mitzvah of Kimcha DePischa and have seen the look on the faces of the gmach coordinators as they pull up to fill up shefa and bracha and know there is someone out there that REALLY CARES – I want to take this opportunity to thank Alan and Barbara Hirsch of Brooklyn New York for their extreme generosity, humbleness and awesomeness and all the people that partnered in this project. It is through acts of lovingkindness as so demonstrated here that the mitzvoth become a deeper yet more pragmatic dimension of avodah – and bring us closer to Hashem and to people we care about.
As we begin our ascent from Mitzrayim to Har Sinai and finally to Eretz Yisrael with this night of remembering as we have for always and forever I will be thinking about the passuk “Israel encamped at the foot of the mountain as one man with one heart.” Teamwork is the name of the game and the journey hasn’t ended as we march toward new challenges.. It is up to each and every one of us to stand up to the Pharohs of our time and impact. There is nothing worse than a person who has such potential and inner power and vibrancy but makes himself/herself small ,insignificant and powerless by someone else.- No-one should let that be done to them. All the more so, Israel as a nation will roar like a lion when necessary. The little lost sheep image is no more, tonight ends the saga of the sheep people that came to herd in Shechem and threw their brother in the pit- later they were saved by him and given a place to live in Goshen- a place special for sheep in Mitzrayim …..but later became slaves. Tonight we eat Korban Pesach and leave exile, leaving that phase behind us and into freedom and to being baalabatim of our own Land – ke”Shechem Echad Al Achecha!” together as one in brotherhood, rectifying disunity ! I want to bless you all with a chag kasher veSameyach- may we all truly mean when we say´” Next Year in Jerusalem” and strive to make it happen. Thank you for responding to our Pesach appeal mailing; please do come and visit and see how you’ve been blessing us. Tehiyoo Broochim (you- be blessed!) Enjoy the beautiful season!