Emotional Chametz: A Meditation for Passover

Rabbi Emily Langowitz

Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Begin to feel your body in this space as we begin our seder. Feel your feet steady on the ground, your back pressing into the chair. Feel the weight of gravity root you to this place, in this moment. Continue to breathe.

Imagine your breath stoking a fire in your belly. With every inhale, the flame burns brighter. With every exhale, the flame rises higher. Inhale. Exhale. Feel the warmth of breath, of fire, settling into your body.

Remember where you were on Passover - or at this time of year - in years past. Perhaps in the company of some in this room, perhaps with family or friends, maybe in a different place than you expected. Another year has passed, and with it, joys and challenges, good and bad. Begin to scan your mind, your heart, your memories, for all that has not served you in the past year. What are you holding on to? What lies stale within you? What is your emotional or spiritual chametz?

Picture yourself gathering up all those thoughts or feelings that you wish to free yourself from. Gently, gently, as light as a feather, collect them together. In this moment, hold all that no longer gives you life, redeems you, or helps you sing. Breathe in. Breathe out. And release to the beautiful fire of breath within you all that you do not need.

Inhale. Exhale. Feel the fire course through your bones from your belly to your chest, to your limbs, to every finger and toe. Feel yourself filled with a pure white light. Slowly, slowly, allow the fire to ebb away, knowing that there is always an ember burning, there when you need it.

Take one final, cleansing breath; when you are ready, open your eyes.