Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Preparing for Passover

With Purim over with, it's now time to focus on preparations for Pesach, which begins this year at sundown on April 8th.

For the home keeper, this is a huge task. Each room, each closet, each shelf needs to be cleaned and vacuumed, scrubbed free of any sign of "chametz," leavened grain (which represents sin). Of course, some areas that you never take food in, you don't really have to worry about but in a huge house with a huge amount of children, you pretty much need to sweep the place clean, know what I mean? This is where the idea of spring cleaning began.

Now is the time to start. My plan is to take one room or one section of a room each afternoon and thoroughly clean and vacuum it. (For lots of information of how to clean for passover, go here.) I plan to go through all of the stuff in said room too, in hopes that some of it can go in to my ever increasing garage sale pile for our big April sale. But, more on that later.

I am planning to start with the upstairs rooms, as they really don't see much leaven, and then work my way around the house. In the mean time gathering all of the leavened foods and trying to use them up before the day they must be out. I will focus on the kitchen last, closest to the holiday when we will be having guests and a Seder dinner.

Never had one of those? You should try it this year. There are so many interesting and wonderful aspects that will deepen your understanding of who Yeshua was and is. But don't take my word for it, we are commanded to keep the feast, read on:

"And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever." Exodus 12:13-14

That evening sets off the week of unleavened bread, where we do just what the names suggests, refrain from eating any leavened bread. Remember the children of Israel as they leaving Egypt? They took Matzos with them, unleavened bread. We are supposed to do it too.

"Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever." Exodus 12: 15-17

With God, there is always a physical picture of spiritual things. In ancient times the women would use the same starter for their bread week after week, throwing it out for this special time, Passover. With this understanding, this scripture makes a lot more sense: "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth." 1 Cor 5:7-8

Eating without leaven sounds easy but it's not. No pasta, no bread, no crackers or flour. Menu plans (Go here to see Tammy's menu) must be made and, as time comes closer, shopping must be done.

Many will say that we are not Israel so we're out of the game. Do you consider yourself as one who is grafted in (check out the whole wild olive idea in Romans 11)? It is my suggestion, Ladies, that you do what is required.

So, looking forward to the Passover holiday and its accompaniment, the week of Unleavened Bread, there is much to be done. Consider it a joy to do as the many generations of women have done before us. Follow the Word of God.


Tammy said...

I enjoyed your post, Jennifer! :)

I did want to mention, since you linked to my passover menu -- it is not flourless. Personally, we abstain from what we consider to be leaven, but we don't refrain from eating flour, etc... :)

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

I have never gone this far...and really need some help Jennifer! It's all ringing true- I believe it, I am just overwhelmed!
One thing's for sure, I'm not going to start another bach of sourdough mother yet!

Thanks for going to the WVCHS support group meeting Friday- I was sick, but also forgot I had plans for out of town company at my home and we were all going to the Brad Scott seminar! Yikes. Saw your husband. I have alot of wuestions. Care for a coffee date someday?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,

Tammy's point is actually my question. Do you remove all flours from your house as well or just the leavening agents? I have heard of people doing both and just wondered what your family does and what your take is on it, (if you don't mind sharing, that is!)

PS: Great post. Do you check soles of shoes and pockets, too? :)

Jennifer said...

We don't use any flour or have it in the house during that week. Why? Flour has natural yeast in it. That is why matzo is cooked so quickly, other wise it will rise slightly.

Check this out for more:

Tammy L said...

Jennifer, I'd love to hear your take on what the Hebrews usually used to leaven their bread, and what the first Passover's unleavened bread contained (ingredients)! :)

Didn't the Israelites take their dough with them out of Egypt? If so, then their dough was probably mixed for more than 18 minutes ;). I know the Talmud says that anything after 18 minutes is considered leavened, though.

Also, if you make your own matzos I'd love to know your recipe! :D