Scrubbing the oven clean, I sweat out the energy that has held me back. Spring has arrived and I am ready for renewal.
It has been a while since I cleaned out my heart for Passover. It gets harder and harder as the years go by and I find that once what was hametz slowly transforms into manna. The lines between the pure and impure blur. My eyes swell with pain from the satisfaction of letting it all go. Little corners of dust and debris cower in the darkness. The pungent smell of bleach fills my lungs. I breathe in the miracle and scrub some more.
I empty out the cabinets to dispel all of their richness: cookies, tortilla chips, chocolate spread, fresh-baked loaves….
To the eye, I am kosher certified and only my heart knows the truth: I am nibbling on the hametz you left inside my heart.
Secretly I have been living in my own personal Egypt. I am terrified to release and let go. Ultimate freedom comes with a price. I thought I could obtain freedom by letting you go, but I was fooled by Pharoah’s deceit.
Its been 3 years and I am still nibbling. 3 years since I walked the streets of Talpi’ot, 3 years since I cleaned out my heart for you, 3 years since I thought you were mine. Now I’m married; I’ve moved on with life. I was everything for you and it still wasn’t enough.
My outer shell is happy (ish). I am a diligent wife with a creative mind and I have been given love by a fabulous man. Yet he is not you and I feel guilty for thinking that. I feel undeserving because I miss your redemption hugs and freedom kisses. I miss singing hallel to your touch. I can’t let you go. You are my guilty pleasure.
I trusted my feet that crossed the Sea of Reeds. I trusted my spine that held my body firm, moving forward in the desert. I trusted my hands that cling to another’s grip. I was uplifted out of Eretz Yisrael and brought into my home of restoration. Yet I cling to the distant memory of Sinai when our souls met and I wonder if I will ever truly be free?
I sit shallow and empty, my soulless existence wandering this land again. It’s been a hard three years and he is has pulled me through it, and yet I am still the wanderer in the desert, filled with the chametz, unavailable for consumption and enslaved to myself.
I don’t want to be a wandering Jew anymore.