Passover, "chag kasher v'same'ach" (חַג כָּשֵׁר וְשָׂמֵחַ)
Each year, as Pesach draws near, DannyLee and I must go back to the Scriptures and ask ourselves many questions. We have no "family traditions" to fall back upon in keeping the Feasts of Elohim. We have only the Scriptures, the internet and the lessons we've learned over the years as we've tried to learn how best to observe these Feasts.
Sadly, any hopes we might have in learning anything about these commanded Feasts from our Jewish brethren have been dashed year after year as we see the things they're willing to embrace in their pursuit of "worldliness". We have to ask ourselves what YHVH Elohim thinks about "progressiveness" when it leads away from Him and into things that HE clearly says that HE hates. So, in the interest of pleasing HIM, more so, than in showing ourselves to be "progressive" and "tolerant", we keep our focus on the simplicity of what is given to us in the Scriptures. We might not be getting it exactly right, but we're not left with any fears about getting it horribly wrong.
One of the primary questions we have to ask each year is, "What is leaven?". It used to be simple and obvious, but as our foods have become more and more chemically processed, it's not that easy anymore. I can quickly gather the most obvious things from my cabinet where I keep my bread-making supplies to get the "leaven" out. I then move to the few processed packages of Rice-a-roni and pasta packets to gather them up.
The last focus is on eating all of the bread that we have in the house and most of that falls on DannyLee as he was forced to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches three days in a row due to my lack of forethought. It's not like we can just pass it off to the neighbors when we don't have any. I sweetened the deal for him with a pineapple bread pudding made from the few pieces of challah left in the freezer.
The final task is to clear away any leftover crumbs and that means cleaning out the toaster and wiping out a few cabinets. I did read an interesting article where a woman was talking about the excessive cleaning that some people put upon themselves as a part of their Pesach preparation. She noted that cleaning the windows, floors, etc. isn't a part of preparing for Pesach, it's "spring cleaning" and should be scheduled for another time. I had to agree with her.
This background picture is our kitty cat, Yoshi, trying to get in on our Pesach meal. It's funny. She never tries to get up to the table with us at any other time, but this evening, she decided that she wanted to be a part of what was going on. She made several efforts to convince us to let her join in and when I finally allowed her up on a chair. She was happy. We didn't realize we'd adopted a "Hebrew" cat...
Now that we're in the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it's "matzah pizza" and "matzah with chocolate spread" for dessert. Fortunately, we've got "lotsa matzah" to enjoy this year.