Passover- A Time to Be Crunchy
Passover is a time for reflection.
It’s a time for thinking about our history and our stories and how we pass both on to our children. I know that sometimes, holidays can feel like a burden because we think about the things we have to do, what a hassle it’s going to be to change our routine, the fun and also the potential hassle of seeing family and friends. It’s a lot to think about. And, there is no denying the stress that the change in routine can add to a life.
However, if your experience of the holidays is stress and dread, than so will your kids experience be. So, I suggest releasing the burden of doing holidays exactly as it “should be” or how it was when you were growing up, and find a few things that have meaning for you to embrace and enjoy.
My favorite Passover symbol is the matzah. For most of the year, we eat fluffy, full and doughy breads and cakes and pizza. But, on Passover we are asked to only eat unrisen, flat, crumbly matzah and matzah products. For many the tradition is filled with the difficult task of dressing up said matzah into palatable snacks and meals, not to mention the constipation that results from a week of it.
It’s helpful to attach a deeper meaning to the endeavor.
For me the meaning of the matzah has long been one about ego and vulnerability. For much of the year we are full of padding and cushioning for our fragile inside self. We dress up and act our way into feeling fluffy and soft and we carry ourselves in ways that try to hide our hard edges. Passover gives us a unique opportunity to lead with our crunchy, fragile, easily broken inside self and explore our vulnerabilities.
While, on the surface, this might not seem like a fun time, this is an important practice. Through remembering how we are easily broken, we can remember others’ fragility as well. Through giving attention to our crunchy parts, we are focusing on parts of our ego that are often neglected. Tending to these tender parts can help to heal, or at the very least, soothe aspects of our egos that usually are covered by the busy-ness off our day to day.
I like to think about how I am covering up my “crunchiness,” how I might be hiding my vulnerable self from the world, and wonder about making a different choice. During Passover, I look inside and challenge myself to be more authentic and brave.
Creating meaning that resonates with you can help to make the holidays deeper and more relevant for your whole family. Take some time to think about how you want to experience the season and allow the tradition to guide you.
One final thought. Tradition can be so important for a child. Filling your child’s world with holiday symbols and festivities helps to shape their year, give them a sense of self, and create special memories that tie them to their family.
I wish you a happy, healthy and meaningful Pesach!