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Spiritually Preparing for Passover

The Holiday of Emuna

Pesach cartoon

If I were Moshe Rabbeinu, I would say: "For the next 40 years we do Zumba and cross training until we're about to collapse, and in between all that we'll power walk and eat lots of guacamole-flavored manna."

By this cute cartoon, it seems that the manna really did become whatever we wanted it to be. It's a good thing we don't have manna today, because I'd be eating a full, all-you-can-eat buffet every night. This year more than ever, it's way too easy to eat whatever you want on Pesach. There's no feeling of lack any more. You can eat all kinds of cakes, cookies, even pizza that are from potato starch and gasp gluten free! But be forewarned: gluten free is a big scam! Aside from being a necessity for those with Celiac, gluten free just means TONS OF SUGAR. 

And all that sugar raises your insulin, and high insulin means you're storing more calories as fat instead of burning them. So eater beware. Don't end up with a Pesach Potbelly. I'll do my best to follow my own advice too, for once.

Speaking of potbellies, did you know that Pesach is connected with emuna? I have no idea what those two things have to do with potbellies, but I didn't have another lead-in. And I'm very, very tired. Like, fading out tired. This last sentence took me six minutes to write. Let's focus on the Pesach/emuna connection. Rav Brody talks about the strange contradiction between the bread of poverty and joyous celebration. Certainly these two don't go together, right? Wrong! Rav Brody makes an amazing connection between matzah and emuna, and I promise it's much better than my lame connection between potbellies and emuna. Don't miss this must-read article before Pesach, A Most Welcome Guest! 

Rav Shalom Arush says that to appreciate Pesach, we must learn gratitude as well. Amazing. I'm not exactly sure how, but in the midst of getting ready for Pesach and freaking out on our kids because they keep sneaking food into their rooms, we're supposed to look for our good points and thank Hashem for them. I've gotta try that sometime. I think that focusing on our Good Points and Gratitude is a great way for us to save our sanity and keep us from doing something that might get us a little jail time, if you get my drift. 

My featured article this week has nothing to do with Pesach, but it has a whole lot to do with emuna! You'll be amazed by this true story of a good friend of mine, who came back to Judaism through her Japanese student who wasn't Jewish, as she was living in Japan and teaching English and she ended up marrying him, and then there was this massive earthquake, and you seriously have to read From Riches to Righteous! 

I can't believe it. It happened again! I got chills at the end of Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen's article! How does she do it?? Read the amazing story of Shlomo, her son, and do your best to learn from her example. I know I will! Enjoy these beautiful Fruits of Emuna!  They're low-carb!

Dr. Zev Ballen gives us great tips for how to get out of the same destructive patterns that we fall into when dealing with our kids. I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. But for all the rest of you parents that aren't perfect like I am, do yourselves and your kids a big favor and read Ending the Crazy 8.

It's obvious to me that Jennifer Woodward is one totally righteous woman. Just the title of her article alone is something I couldn't even write. While she's sharing her personal journey through some tough challenges and her attempts to reach Level 3 emuna, I'm still scratching my head and wondering if I'm ever going to reach Level 1. I'm really not kidding. Are any of you as amazing as she is, that you can see The Beauty of Tribulations in your life? Please, let me know who you are! I want to be your friend!

You know, I'm starting to wonder what I'm doing in such awesome virtual company. Dr. Rivka Levron writes about her amazing and terrifying (for me) car crash with The Flying Tire, but from the aspect of complete Divine Providence. Seriously, who does such a thing? I'm making myself sound more pathetic as I write, aren't I? Well, that's a-okay! 

Oh, brother. Here's another righteous one. Lori Steiner writes about Blessing the Evil Inclination.  Yes, it's true. Our evil inclinations are actually here to help us get closer to Hashem. Lori gives us great tips that help us use him for our benefit while not falling into his wily trap. What does wily mean? I'm too lazy too look it up. 

Just when you thought you couldn't be as righteous as our writers, I'm here to tell you that you can! Be a part of Rav Arush's incredible Kimcha d'Pischa fund, which gives food for Pesach to impoverished families. Imagine what beautiful blessings you will receive by sponsoring a poor family's Seder! It's priceless, I tell you! 

So that's it. I'm packing up and going on vacation to Eilat. By myself. Sometime in the next 20 years. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Shabbat and Pesach Kasher V'Sameach! 

~Racheli

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