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Parashat Shemini/Pesach

I do not have high hopes for the number of people that will read the Dvar Torah this week. Today is the true test of the Jewish people, Jewish homes are in a pre-Pesach frenzy.

The cleaning has taken over our every psyche, the nagging itch that has been on our minds since the end of Purim has now become a full-blown headache of trying to remove every morsel of bread from our homes before Pesach.

And we are stocking up food as if Pesach lasted a month rather than a week. As the Chag draws nearer, we slowly realize that we are missing this or that and make final dashes to Woolworths. At 6 pm last night I arrived at the PseudoColes where the scene mirrored what I imagine a zoo looks like moments after its animals are set free from their cages.

Frenzied fathers dashed through the aisles grabbing any Kasher le Pesach products they can find while mothers wrestled employees from closing the store down.

Chicken soups are boiling. Tensions are high. Uni assignments are due.

As fun as it all is, I can't help but feel concerned. We seem so wrapped up with ridding our homes from the tiniest morsels of bread, that we've forgotten why we shouldn't have bread there in the first place. Something about the whole shtick strongly resembles slavery, and isn't that the whole thing we're meant to NOT to be participating in?

But then I realized. This is the greatest example of experiential learning since the invention of the station rotation program.

I know if I wanted to teach my chanichim about the unleavened bread Bnei Yisrael smuggled out of Egypt, I wouldn't just make them read about it, I would hide breadcrumbs around the room and make them physically remove it.

And that's what we do every Pesach, we go through the process of cleaning, in order to fully absorb what it means to be without leavened products. This powerful education tool allows us to actively engage with the content of a story that happened so long ago in our past.

Turns out, whoever created this Pesach shtick is the greatest Hineni Madrich of all time.

Pesach Kasher V'Sameach

Shabbat Shalom

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