This Pesah finds me preparing to move out of the apartment I’ve lived in for nearly 30 years to a smaller space, so the question of what to hold onto and what to let go of truly resonates for me.
What is the spiritual hametz I need to get rid of?
As I review my possessions and decide what to keep and what to leave behind, I ask myself:
What do I really need? (Certainly a lot less than I have.)
What am I obligated to preserve?
Do I use this in my daily life or on special occasions, Shabbat, the holidays?
Does this enhance my life?
Is it beautiful?
Does it evoke a memory that still has meaning for me?
Am I holding onto it for myself or someone else?
If I am keeping it for the next generation, will these things matter as much to them as they do to me?
Is it time to entrust them with it?
Are things I inherited from my parents still treasures or do I keep them only out of guilt, because it feels like a betrayal to move on without them?
Does this thing speak to my yetzer hara or yetzer hatov–my negative or positive inclinations?
Am I holding onto something painful, the last remnant of a broken relationship? Time to let it go. I toss things I should have discarded long ago. Why have I held onto them? I choose what to leave behind.
I choose what I want in my life moving forward. As I shred, toss, donate, and give gifts to family and friends, I bring peace and order to my soul, and experience the joy of making space for my new home, my new life.
For your seder table, name something that you have held onto from an earlier part of your life that you might now be ready to part with, and what that would mean for you.
Marcia Kaplan is a long-time and active member of BJ who lives and works downtown. She is an attorney with the N.Y.S. Dept. Of Health, Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct. Marcia is moving a mile west to Chelsea, and looking forward to a shorter commute to shul.