As Passover approaches, Jewish families worldwide begin the annual tradition of cleaning their homes from top to bottom. This deep cleaning is known as “spring cleaning” in many cultures, but for Jews, it has a much deeper meaning. In this blog post, we will explore why Jews clean for Passover and the significance behind this tradition.
Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is one of the most important Jewish holidays. It commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, as told in the book of Exodus. According to the biblical story, the Israelites left Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have time to let their bread rise. Therefore, Jews refrain from eating leavened bread, or chametz, during the eight days of Passover.
To ensure that no chametz remains in their homes during Passover, Jews engage in a rigorous cleaning process. This cleaning process can take up to several weeks, depending on the size of the house and the number of people living in it. The cleaning process involves removing all chametz from the home and cleaning every surface that might have come into contact with chametz.
Jews use the 10 days leading up to Passover to perform this cleaning process. The 10-day period is significant because it is said to represent the 10 plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptians to persuade Pharaoh to free the Israelites. Jews view the cleaning process as a way of cleansing their homes of any spiritual chametz that might have accumulated during the year. By doing so, they are spiritually preparing themselves for the holiday.
The cleaning process involves several steps, including checking all cupboards, drawers, and appliances for chametz, removing any chametz found, and cleaning the surfaces thoroughly. Jews also change their dishes, silverware, and cooking utensils to those that are specifically designated for Passover use. They also sell or donate any chametz that they cannot get rid of before Passover.
In conclusion, Jews clean for Passover as a way of spiritually preparing themselves for the holiday. By removing all chametz from their homes, they are cleansing their homes of any spiritual impurities that might have accumulated during the year. While the cleaning process can be time-consuming and arduous, it is an essential part of the Passover tradition and a way of connecting to Jewish history and culture.