01 Apr 2014

Tuesday Morning Torah – April 1, 2014

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Today we begin the Jewish month of Nissan, meaning that we have just two weeks to go until the festival of Passover begins! Nissan is all about beginnings. As we begin the Passover season, I often feel the Jewish calendar is giving us an opportunity to engage in some personal self reflection and prioritization. We are offered a chance to do some spiritual spring cleaning, cleaning out the clutter of our lives, just as we clean our homes in preparation for Passover. We are more than half way through the Jewish year. On Rosh Hashanah, we made promises to ourselves, our family, our friends, and  our God about how this year would look for us. Today, let us begin the process of checking back in with ourselves.

With the new month of Nissan upon us, and  Passover just two weeks away, here are some questions to help us engage in some spiritual spring cleaning.

1. How am I doing? Do I have my life in order? Am I living a spiritually fulfilled life? What do I most value in my life and what needs to change?

2. Acknowledging that Judaism equates the puffed up nature of unleavened bread (chametz), with a puffed up sense of self, I wonder:  Am I living with enough humility in my life, or have I let my ego get the better of me during this past year? How can I actively work to  bring more humility to my daily existence?

3. What false idols do I have in my life?

4. What is enslaving me, and how can I take the responsible path towards freedom?

Nissan has arrived. Spring (we hope!) is upon us, symbolizing rebirth, renewal, and a fresh start as we come out of the darkness of winter.  Let the preparation for the celebration of our freedom begin. Our homes, and our souls, could both use a bit of spring cleaning!


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