Aha, just as I thought. The headline caught your eye, since we are all less likely to be considering world news right now, as we are caught up in cleaning out every last scrap of dust behind our fridge in a mad race towards tomorrow.
As we purge our homes and our souls from chametz, that unfit-for-Passover consumption bread and the like, we must make sure to get the message. This holiday is about freedom, and as we scrub on hands and knees, it is this image that remains before us. Davka, as we Israelis like to say, from slavery comes freedom. From scrubbing comes celebration.
So finish up that last shelf, remember that spring cleaning can wait til next month, and lay out your holiday clothing. Make sure to set aside time in the next week, not just for eating matza but for playing with the kids, for wandering our beautiful flowering land and enriching the whole family with Passover traditions to last a lifetime and beyond.
Which brings us to one of the first memories-in-the-making: Tips for stealing the Afikoman? Kids and adults alike, beware of the hot spots tomorrow night: In the sofa cushions, behind the painting, in the tablecloth drawer. But don’t check too hard, that’d mess up the fun of gift-giving. Bring out a few choice catalogues (trust me on this, those who fondly remember the H&H catalog), to get ideas for presents the kids can ask for, so that dessert can be served up quickly towards the Seder’s end.
But mainly, do everything right now to welcome the holiday into your home – throw off the dust of cleaning, and the yoke of slavery, and get going with a terrific, uplifting holiday that joins family and friends in traditions that will last.
And don’t forget, stuck under the dining room table might be the best place to hide that Afikoman – Chag sameach!