Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Burning Out the Chometz From Our Hearts - R' Moshe Weinberger & Rav Tzvi Mayer

Tonight is Bedikas (the search for) Chometz and tomorrow morning is Biur (the destruction of) Chometz. B"H, in our kehilla were were fortunate to hear Rav Moshe Weinberger speak at Shalosh Sheudos about what to think about while cleaning for Pesach, and doing bedikas and biur chometz.

First I want to traslate a short tefillah before Bedikas Chometz from the sefer Avodas Hakodesh, brought in the Koidinov Hagaddah, which was assembled by the current Koidinover Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Tzvi Meir Ehrlich of Koidinov (who we were zocheh to have in our home for two Shabbos seudos a little over a year ago).
May it be Your Will Hashem our G-d and G-d of our forefathers that you cause us to merit to examine and search the biases of the recesses of our souls which we have defiled at the counsel of our evil inclinations. And cause us to merit to return to You with perfect Teshuva. And You, in Your great goodness, have mercy upon us. Help us, G-d of our salvation, in the matter of the honor of Your Name. And save us from the prohibition of chametz, even the smallest amount, this year and every single year for the rest of my life Amen, so may it be Your will.
Rav Weinberger gave over some words from Rav Zvi Meyer Zilberberg from Divrei Chizuk on what to think about and work on during bedikas and biur chometz. It is known that we work harder to get ride of any trace of chometz than we do any other davar asur, forbidden thing. This makes no sense al pi pshat, on a simple level, unless we understand that we're really supposed to be davening the whole time to get rid of the chometz in our hearts, our yetzer hara, our bad traits and midos.

It is also know that many Tzadikim spent hours and hours doing bedikas Chometz. Many of them lived in tiny apartments that probably would have taken less than an hour to check for chometz. So what were they doing for all those hours? Their whole time checking for chometz was filled with crying and davening that they be ableto do teshuva and get rid of the chometz in their hearts.

Rav Tzvi Mayer connected some of these thoughts to the words of bitul chometz that we say in the morning after burning the chometz. When we say "כל חמירא דאיכא ברשותי, דחזיתיה ודלא חזיתיה," "all chometz in my domain that I have seen and that I have not seen," we're really saying something much deeper. We know all too well about many of our faults and must live with that knowledge every day until we correct them. But there are other faults that we do not know about because we have never even seen though (though unfotunately our wives, husbands, parents, etc. can see them all too clearly). So we're asking Hashem to remove both the faults that we do see in ourselves and even those that we have turned away from because we don't want to see them, "דחזיתיה ודלא חזיתיה."

And then there are faults that we knew about, and we worked on them. We thought that we got rid of them. When we say "דבערתיה ודלא בערתיה," we are saying that there are yetzer haras, faults that we thought we got rid of, דבערתיה, but really, "ודלא בערתיה," we did not really get rid of them. They were just swept under the carpet and they are still part of our lives. For those things, we should daven during bitul and biur chometz that Hashem should help us get rid of those yetzer haras.

Rav Tzvi Mayer suggested that we use biur and bitul chometz as a small beginning to start working on and davening for getting rid of some of the chometz in our lives, even in a small way by making a small kabalah. We should make some small commitment to change one thing about ourselves, a bad mida, a yetzer hara, an indulgence, something... And to work on that thing throughout the year starting at biur chometz.

Hashem should help all of us remove the chometz from our hearts and bring us close to Him.

Picture of the biur chometz in Belz, Yerushalayim, courtesy of porges.net. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

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