Mah Bo’air? (or Where’s the Fire?)

biur-chometz-15-picBoth titles have the connotation of something huge is happening – but the literal translation of the Hebrew is more apt to what I want to convey – it means, what is burning?


And last Friday many Jews were burning their chometz, leavened products which are forbidden to possess during our holiday of Pesach. Discussions of what chometz means, and why we burn it can be found I’m sure on many Jewish links


But what disturbed me was seeing a fire with dozens of pitot in it – why on earth did they have so many pitot??? They knew Pesach was coming, why did they buy so much????


The idea of freeing ourselves from our own chometz is a nice idea, whether that be interpreted as something we are arrogant about, or something we feel enslaved to, either way, it’s good to be released and grow. But why does that mean we need to waste???


Many Jews plan ahead and try to use up all their chometz. Some just put it in a chometz closet to be sold during Pesach. Both those paths make sense to me. But besides getting rid of food items, this is also a time many do spring cleaning (talked about that before), which is also a cleansing process and admirable – but here too one can do it in different ways. Either people try to recycle, give to others (charities, swaps, recycling groups) or sadly, just throw it in the garbage – and basically, in this age of abundance, we have way too much garbage. In the short term, it feels good to get rid of things. But in the long term, what does all this garbage do to our environment??


I wrote earlier about our holiday of Tu B’Shvat being one of more environmental awareness. Pesach could be also if people were more into the idea of REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE – the last two seem to be catching on, but not the idea of REDUCE.

Katy Wolk-Stanley from says:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”  Another link worthy of reading would be who says “Buy less, waste less, live more…”


We have a wonderful new initiative for recycling in Givat Shaul (in Jerusalem) but what I saw there just made me so sad – loads of clothes, many in excellent condition – but not being brought to people who might need it – but rather they are being recycled into either cloth or rags (I will go back and ask again) 20150403_100559Again, recycling is a good idea, but first REDUCE, then REUSE


May all the people of the world be liberated from slavery – of all kinds.


Moadim L’Simcha –


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