Thursday, March 26, 2015


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Tzav
Shabbas Hagadol
7 Nisan 5775/March 27, 2015
Every Tuesday and Friday is garbage pickup for our block. On those mornings I have to remember to lug the garbage cans up the driveway to the edge of the road, so the garbage collectors can dispose of them properly.
On one occasion I arrived home on a Tuesday afternoon to find that some of the loose garbage which I had placed next to the garbage bin had not been collected. I realized that although I had placed the garbage at the top of the driveway it wasn’t close enough to the road. It wasn’t clear that it was to be thrown away, and so remained there it remained.
On another occasion I found one of our children’s tricycles close to the garbage pile. Thankfully it too was not closer to the curb or it would have been disposed of. I reminded my children that if they leave a bike at the top of our property, the sanitation workers may think it’s garbage and dispose of it.
Often we may be inspired to want to change. We may decide that once and for all we are going to rid ourselves of our negative habits and foster meaningful change. But within a short amount of time we find ourselves right back where we started.
If we are really honest with ourselves we may realize that sometimes we don’t really want to change. There is a great deal of comfort in what’s familiar and it’s exceedingly difficult to let go.
As the old adage goes “Let go and let G-d!” But if we are clandestinely holding on to our trash we aren’t really allowing G-d to help us cart it away.
Before Yom Kippur a friend sent me a picture of a young Chassidishe boy lovingly and emotionally clutching the chicken that he was apparently given in order to schlugg kapparos. The deeper meaning behind the picture is that often even when we externally proclaim that we wish to rid ourselves of certain character faults, internally we may really seek to clutch it close to our chests and hold onto it. The unknown and unfamiliar is daunting and intimidating. The path of least resistance and settling for our default mode is always easier.
Before Pesach we are all involved with destroying our chometz. 
The Radvaz writes that the reason why we are so hyper-vigilant - not only to search for chometz - but to completely eradicate every trace of it, is because chometz is a symbol of our evil inclination.
While we are investing so much time and energy into divesting ourselves of all chometz we are wordlessly praying that Hashem help us divest ourselves of the chometz in our hearts and souls as well. But we have to first have a sincere desire to get rid of that inner chometz.
If we really want to take out the garbage we have to make sure to leave it by the curb where it’s going to be collected.

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
            R’ Dani and Chani Staum     

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