How Much Money I Found While Cleaning for Pesach
Yesterday I set the timer for 40 minutes and cleaned out my “drawer of important things” (yes, that’s actually what we call it. In distinct contrast to the “box of important things” in an upper kitchen cupboard.)
The drawer of important things had become so full of things that were anything but, that over the last few weeks I’d had to squish down the accumulated mess with my hand in order to close it shut.
And that’s why I chose this drawer for my first Pesach cleaning project.
Yesterday afternoon I opened up the drawer of important things and removed a screwdriver, plyers, two bags of screws (small ones and smaller ones)– and then climbed up the ladder to place them in the toolbox in the attic. I removed 4 magic markers and 3 crayons which I placed in Tsoofy’s coloring box on the living room table. I threw away a second copy of the still unpaid property tax bill, around 8 broken pens and pencils, some old test review sheets and art projects, and a single purple hair elastic which was on the verge of snapping.
By the time I had finished, 40 minutes later (actually 60 minutes later, since those 40 minutes were interrupted by two requests for cornflakes, a fight in need of refereeing, a knock at the door, and a phone call that required my full attention) my drawer of important things had been restored to exactly that, occupied only by the family calendar, a single still unpaid property tax bill, a few current medical referrals, about 20 working pens and pencils, 4 pairs of scissors, 2 library cards, and a phone charger.
Oh, and I forgot to mention. My reward for those 40 minutes was 600 NIS! 150 dollars which I found in an unlabeled envelope stuffed into the corner of the drawer.
And if I hadn’t found those $150? Would those 40 minutes have been reward-less?
Over the last two decades of cleaning for Pesach (some years more, some years less), I have come to feel that Passover cleaning has some serious rewards of its own.
First of all, for most of the year, my home and the stuff it contains feel somewhat overwhelming to me and even somewhat OUT OF CONTROL, on account of the mess sprouting in most Weisberg family cabinets, drawers, and corners. And I love that during the month before Pesach, my family members and I make order all over (Even if that order, in this house, usually doesn’t last especially long…)
Secondly, I love that this cleaning links me with the Festival of Miraculous Freedom just a month away. Sort of like the discomfort mixed with intense anticipation of the ninth month and the pain of labor leading up to the glory of smelling a fuzzy new baby.
I once heard that the only way to the access the spiritual lights of Passover is through physical hard work.
Which I think means that an inspired Passover doesn’t fall into our laps. We have to clean our way there.