Forget Marie Kondo. The French lady among us, Jennyfer Rivkha Dadon, shares how the annual ritual of cleaning for Pesach is actually a way to spark not just joy, but personal freedom.
MAKING SEDER IN OUR LIVES
Contemplating the chaotic scenery of Passover cleaning, menu brainstorming, and all that goes into the preparation of this Jewish holiday can be a little overwhelming. What goes on behind the scenes is quite deep actually. The ceremonial process of Passover preparation is actually a tremendous source of inspiration and strength for us as we approach the Seder, that annual commemoration of our miraculous freedom from slavery in Egypt.
“Seder” is the Hebrew word for order. The cleaning and organizational process we do before Pesach helps us address our need to make Seder in our thoughts and in our souls.
This is the time to clear the metaphorical shelves of unwanted, unhelpful ideas and unwelcome, difficult emotions we have consciously or unconsciously stocked up on during the year: from excuses that stop us from developing our full potential to a rainbow of colorful reasons that prevent relationships from healing or blossoming. It could be emotional burdens that, like heavy bags on our shoulders, we feel we must carry. It could be postponing the things that matter most to us. It could be surrendering to daily life management and giving up on finding love.
This time of the year we have a unique opportunity to tap into the spiritual energy of freedom, and make changes.
Our homes, particularly our kitchens, reflect in many ways the way we feel inside, a little bit like a thermometer/barometer. For me, mastering the art of preparing for the telling of the Exodus has been about realizing how much I could objectively take upon myself (in fact, very little!) and setting my priorities accordingly. As Pesach approaches each year, I relearn to compromise my expectations and to accept my actual limitations with kindness and compassion. Passover cleaning reminds me to let go of many, many things in my home (and even some notions I find I accumulate or social obligations I take upon myself), so that the things I actually choose to keep in my life are those that serve me, rather than enslave me into daily cleaning, organization, or maintenance.
Every little thing adds up and, at this point in my life, with our three beautiful children, a marvelous dog, and a super cute bunny rabbit, I need a light carrier bag on this journey. I wish to keep conscious of feeling charged in good vibes and positive energy. I try to think creatively and, yes, realistically. I choose to let go of negativity and focus my daily actions towards feeling grateful, fulfilled, and empowered.
And for those times/moments where I find myself, almost as a spectator might observe me, feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or imprisoned by too many responsibilities or commitments, I find reassurance by going back to our roots and remembering the greatness and kindness of our all-time Redeemer.
I dare believe in the greatest power of healing ever encountered. I lift my eyes to our Creator and Provider, acknowledging my helplessness, acknowledging in humility that I don’t know it all, that I can’t do it all, and that I believe that in Hashem’s great kindness our prayers will be answered, B”H. B’ezrat Hashem, I say: with G-d’s help, peace and serenity is on the way.
With confidence and emuna we stand up grateful with our riches and strong before our challenges. And most of all, we connect to joy, to simcha, and take inspiration from the Jewish women who took their tambourines and danced on their way out of Egypt, establishing the spirit of freedom and joy, and anticipating success as if it was already a reality.
Everyone in his own gifted and personal way can infuse life with spices of joy and emunah, even in something as mundane as cleaning for Pesach. This is our freedom.
May we rejoice in unity, like in the times at Mount Sinai, all together, as a nation, in Jerusalem!
Graduated from law school in Paris, with a diploma in Management Studies, and a Masters degree in Business Management in London, Jennyfer Dadon worked in the business field as an entrepreneur and an International business consultant in Europe, Israel, and Asia before migrating to Dallas with her family. She is passionate about building up healthy minds, healthy relationships (inward and outward), positive thinking, “Koach Atodaa” (consciousness), and giving strength to transform and blossom. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and (214) 354-1874.