Friday, March 30, 2012
So I was headed to the gym to work out right before Shabbat HaGadol, that last Sabbath before Passover, and was thinking how my workout regimen was designed to reduce that extra puff in my middle region. Or in other words, remove the chametz from me; the rise in my doughy middle, the stretch in my belt. The Rabbinic mindset has often compared yeast, the essential ingredient in chametz, to our all too human arrogance. It makes me think that the two are not unrelated. All too often, we use food as less a means of sustenance and more a means of fulfillment and indeed we get filled, overfilled, stretching out over our waistlines. Using food in this way is arrogant. We are so consumed by our own neuroses that we think, even if unconsciously, that food can actually solve a physical, emotional or spiritual problem. Arrogance, because it is the most available, accessible, transportable and transfigurable property. Arrogance, because when the evidence is staring us in the face, or blocking our toes from view, we still ignore it. Passover affords us the opportunity to reevaluate this chametz in our life, in the form of food, body, mind and spirit and to begin to deflate the arrogance that hinders us.