Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hametz Musings

Hametz is known as the “puffy stuff” (Thanks R Jonathon Omer-man) we find in bread. Hametz expands and takes up space. Hametz restricts movement and causes narrowness (Mitzrayim). The narrowness tends to build up over time and restricts movement. This is a loss because movement is life. Life does not exist without movement.

Consider two kinds of Hametz; External and Internal. They impact each other.

Jews throughout the world seek and remove hametz in their homes in preparation for Pesah. Spring cleaning is a useful and pragmatic practice that promotes cleanliness and purity. This is an external hametz seeking practice.

The internal work is just as important. Consider – What is the “puffy stuff” that gets in the way of moving forward on my path? Are there aspects that get in my own way?

R Zalman Schachter-Shalomi teaches that the ego is a great manager and a lousy boss. We need ego to enable us to “show up”. Without ego – knowing who we are in the world – we could not share our gifts and contribute.

It is essential to know ourselves and what our gifts are.

Ego can become distorted. When we become overly self important ego can get in the way of movement. Hametz – the puffy stuff - is a cause of Mitzrayim – narrowness (that can grow and accumulate over time.)

Hametz cleaning invites us to remove unneeded puffiness in our homes and in our selves.

A zissen Pesan to all.

1 comment:

  1. What does Pesah have to do with a root canal?

    Sunday night, I got a terrible toothache. Tooth pain can be intense. No surprise that on Monday I was at the dentist first thing.

    Dr Naftalin, my dentist since my childhood, sat me down and numbed my mouth. He filed away in the deep canals of my tooth. The files make a distinct sound as he remove the “hametz” held deep inside my tooth. This, apparently, had been building up for years unnoticed. (Since I mistakenly bit into an olive with a bit that cracked my tooth. This was after getting some bad news – another story. It was like biting into a “Klipah” – a kernel of negativity that the holy Ariz”l teaches always contain a Divine spark.)

    The “hametz” was in very deep, deeper than Dr Naftalin could go. A specialist was needed who has tools that permit reaching into deeper, smaller and more subtle spaces. Tuesday AM I saw specialist, Dr A. He used more refined tools to enter into the orifices of my tooth. He filed away at the insides and shaped a new form within it.

    Apparently, the build up of “hametz” (the growth of tissue around the problem area) was layered and thicker than could be removed during that sitting. A dissolving agent was left in the tooth for two days to allow Dr A to access and clear out the remaining “hametz”. This is a slow and needed release hametz release.

    Thursday I return, and God Willing any remaining “hametz” will be removed. Soon after, a crown will be placed on the re-newed “hametz” free tooth.

    What is the relevance?
    Hametz – that is energies that block vitality - exists on many levels physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Hametz causes “Mitzrayim” . Said another way, the “puffy stuff” caused narrowing of the channels and restrict flow. Sometimes, hametz hardens and sticks stubbornly in its place. Removing Hametz is a process. It takes time, tenacity and focus to clear it and allow nourishing flow to continue in a natural manner.

    Blessings this Pesah for free life sustaining movement of blessing into your life. May all channels that need be open be open and all boundaries that need contain, contain exactly what is needed. May abundant blessings be available to all.

    A sweet Pesah!