Packing for the Journey

My parents still live in the house I grew up in. Since leaving it, I have moved 14 times. Each time I move, I have to get rid of the clutter that has accumulated -sometimes more, sometimes less – usually books, but since my child was born, also toys, clothes outgrown, keepsakes from each stage of his life…

I know that I should acquire less. Even though we buy little, it creeps up on me, until I feel weighed down by it all, and yet, many of those things feel precious and irreplaceable. And some of them are.

Each year at Passover, I wonder at all the stuff that seems to be required to leave Egypt -and I think of the Israelites, who left too fast even for bread to rise, but managed to remember their tambourines. No wonder it was so hard for them, no wonder they complained so much: I can imagine them saying to themselves, I can’t leave behind little Dvorah’s first clay bird sculpture, Aharon’s project, that straw-woven hat… even though the straw and the clay were both reminders of the slavery they were escaping.

Sometimes I wish for the purity of having nothing. Sometimes, I long to hold my history in my hands and I am ready for Passover to end, not so I can eat bread, but so I can, for a little while, pretend that the things around me will last into the future.

Like this post? Join the conversation through MyJewishLearning’s weekly blogs newsletter.

Discover More

A Small Victory for Dialogue Between Enemies

All eyes followed me in as I walked down the center aisle of the lecture hall. The members of the ...

Fall Fashion: Election Day Edition

Leaving the school parking lot on the last Friday before we return to standard time, I see red. The leaves ...

Spiritual Hangover: Coming Down From the Mountain

Here’s a one-question pop quiz, and everyone gets an “A.” Now that this year’s Jewish High Holy Days are done, which of ...