- Torah regulations
- Spring Cleaning
- Messiah, the Spirit, and the Conflagration of Chametz
- Without Messiah’s sacrifice our sin would remain upon us, forever
Requirement #1. The Torah regulations require that all leavening be disposed of before the beginning of the 15th of Nisan (Exodus 13:7).
Requirement #2. An unblemished lamb or kid is to be set apart on Nisan 10 and slaughtered on Nisan 14 “between the two evenings” (1, 2).
Requirement #3. Between the two evenings means the afternoon. The lamb is to be consumed “that night,” Nisan 15 (1, 2).
Requirement #4. The lamb is roasted without the removal of its internal organs and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (1, 2).
Requirement #5. All of the sacrifice must be eaten or consumed by fire before the sun rises (Exodus 12:10).
Requirement #6. The sacrifices may only be performed in the sacred District of Jerusalem (1, 2).
Requirement #7. The Torah commandments concerning the Passover stress the importance of remembering (1, 2, 3):
וְהָיָה הַיֹּום הַזֶּה לָכֶם לְזִכָּרֹון וְחַגֹּתֶם אֹתֹו חַג לַֽיהוָה לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם חֻקַּת עֹולָם תְּחָגֻּֽהוּ׃
“And this day shall be a memorial for you, and you shall observe it as a festival to Adonai; throughout your generations you shall observe this festival as an ordinance forever.”
וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־הָעָם זָכֹור אֶת־הַיֹּום הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר יְצָאתֶם מִמִּצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים כִּי בְּחֹזֶק יָד הֹוצִיא יְהֹוָה אֶתְכֶם מִזֶּה וְלֹא יֵאָכֵל חָמֵֽץ׃
Mosheh said to the people, “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand Adonai brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten.”
וְזָכַרְתָּ כִּי־עֶבֶד הָיִיתָ בְּמִצְרָיִם וְשָׁמַרְתָּ וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת־הַֽחֻקִּים הָאֵֽלֶּה׃
“You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.”
Observant Jews typically spend the weeks before Passover in a flurry of thorough housecleaning to remove every morsel of chametz from every part of the home. Even the cracks of kitchen counters are thoroughly scrubbed to remove any traces of flour and yeast, however small.
Traditionally, observant Jews do a formal search for remaining chametz (bedikat chametz) after nightfall on the evening before Passover which is also the evening that precedes the Fast of the Firstborn (תענית בכורות).
A blessing is read “on the removal of chametz” (chametz biyur al) and one or more members of the household proceed from room to room to ensure no crumbs remain in any corner. In very traditional families, the search may be conducted by the head of the household. In more modern families, the children may be the ones who do the search, under the careful supervision of their parents.
Messiah, the Spirit, and the conflagration of chametz:
It is customary to turn off the lights and conduct the search by candlelight. The collecting of the chametz is done using a feather and a wooden spoon.
וְזֶה דְּבַר הַבְּשׂוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וַאֲנַחְנוּ מַשְׁמִיעִים לָכֶם, שֶׁהָאֱלֹהִים אוֹר הוּא וְכָל חֺשֶׁךְ אֵין בּוֹ.פ
“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that G-d (Avi HaMe’orot) is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
Collecting and Destroying the Chametz #1. Candlelight effectively illuminates corners without casting shadows. Meaning: Avi Ha’Orot (אבי האורות-the Father of Lights) is the One who sent His Light (האור שלו) to us and in His Light there is no mixture of darkness at all.
Collecting and Destroying the Chametz #3. The wooden spoon collects the crumbs. The Spirit takes our chametz to the wooden spoon. Meaning: The wooden spoon represents the accursed tree where Messiah (הגואל-HaGo’elthe Redeemer) was crucified for our sin.
Collecting and Destroying the Chametz #4. The wooden spoon is wrapped in linen, along with the collected chametz and bound with a cord. Meaning: The linen and the cord represent Messiah’s death and burial.
Collecting and Destroying the Chametz #5. The collected chametz that is wrapped in linen and bound with a cord is then removed from the house to be consumed the next day by the fire. Meaning: The fire represents Messiah’s descent into Sheol where our sin was burned up, consumed, and destroyed.
Without Messiah’s sacrifice our sin would remain upon us, forever:
Without the redemptive work of Messiah our chametz would have no where to go. Therefore, our sin would remain upon us and we would die in our sins. We would remain in a state of unending, eternal impurity. We would be judged as unfit for Adonai because we lied and said there was no shadow in us (no darkness, no sin); instead of confessing the truth and receiving the Salvation of Adonai. Our house would remain desolate of His Presence. We would abide in a perpetual state of defilement. So Messiah has told us:
לָכֵן אָמַרְתִּי לָכֶם כִּי תָמוּתוּ בַּחֲטָאֵיכֶם כִּי אִם־לֹא תַאֲמִינוּ כִּי־אֲנִי הוּא בַּחֲטָאֵיכֶם תָּמוּתוּ׃
“That is why I have said to you that you will die in your sin. For if you do not believe that I am He (Ha-Mashiach), you will die in your sin.”