Tehine for Passover

The spirituality of preparing for the holy season.

Reprinted with the permission of the author.

We have all, at one time, faced the often overwhelming task of preparing for Pesach with dismay and dread. However, it seems to me that it is precisely this work which allows the family to celebrate a kosher holiday and, as such, it is sacred work and should be approached and appreciated as such. This tehine consecrates the tasks and may be said at the beginning of the preparations or, with some modifications, before the formal opening of the Seder.

Ribono shel olam [Lord of the Universe], I am about to begin the sacred task of preparing for the holy season of Pesach. You, God, who liberated us from our oppressors many years ago, commanded us to make the Pesach offering, to refrain from chametz and to celebrate with happiness. And so I, according to your instruction, will clean my home and my heart, prepare the ritual meals and rejoice in this holiday, remembering your love and salvation.

As Sarah our mother quickly ran to bake matzah for her guests, as Rivka cooked the matamim [food delicacies] for Yitzchak with attention and devotion to a higher cause, as the Isha Hashunamit [the Shunamite woman] prepared her house for the prophet Elisha, so may I complete my tasks with concentration and alacrity.

Dear God, grant me the patience and good cheer to do these often tiring, tedious chores with the same vigilance the kohanim [priests] and leviim [Levites] brought to their labors. May my kavannah [focus] as I clean be like that of the levi’im who cleaned the Beit Hamikdash [Temple]. May it be like that of the kohanim who brought the sacrifices, as I cook. May the smells from the bountiful food you have blessed us with be as pleasing as the ktoret [insense] in your holy Temple.

Ribono shel olam, with trepidation I pray that the tasks I accomplish will enable us to celebrate Pesach secure in the knowledge that this sacred work was done according to Your will.

Dear God, my heart delights in the thought of our children around our table. May they give me and my beloved husband nachas [pride] for many, many years and may we see our family grow and prosper. May our children not be scattered far from home so that we may easily and frequently be together and rejoice in them always.

Dear God, bless the labor of my hands and all my endeavors so the holy work I am about to do will be acceptable to you, will find favor in your eyes and may I, in its merit, deserve the blessings you have bestowed upon me. Amen.

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