What might it mean to search your inner chambers with a candle? How is this different from searching by daylight, moonlight, or torchlight?
Once chametz is found, it’s swept away with a feather, and then burned. How do these steps of the process translate or resonate when you think about searching for and removing your “inner chametz”? Are there other tools or another process that feel more resonant?
What is the chametz (inner or outer) that you want to search for and remove this Passover? What emotions arise when you consider doing so?
Rabbi Dayna Ruttenberg (www.danyaruttenberg.net, March 15, 2013)
A lot of traditional commentators describe chametz as fluffy, swollen (think of bread rising), and talk about spiritual chametz as the puffy, overextended parts of our ego; the way we try to posture and preen, to achieve renown rather than just existing as we are, being gentle and modest; a mere humble matzah, if you will.
It’s a lot harder to sweep out our illusions about ourselves, the ways in which we try to put ourselves first, the ways in which we hear others a little less well because we think of ourselves as more important, the ways in which we take shortcuts on our integrity and deepest values..
Like the search for physical chametz that happens in the dark, with a candle, we need to be intentional in our attempts to collect all of the parts of who we’ve been that are not nourishing, that are dragging us down. We need to look for it, and we need to be willing to find it; to confront it, to face it, to name it, to take it from where it’s been hidden all this time. This work requires tremendous bravery.
And then, when we find it, we must burn it to give it up completely, to let it go, to transform ourselves by putting the worst of who we have been on the pyre... it is the work of seeking out and releasing our internal leaven that is, in itself, an offering to God.