Spring is a time of refreshment and renewal. “The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land” (Song of Songs, 2:12). Inspired by nature, we spring clean our homes, store away our winter clothes and bring out our summer ones. On Passover, the Festival of Spring, Jews refresh their collective memory and reconnect to it. As the Mishnah (Pesahim,10:5) instructs:
In every generation a person must regard himself as though he personally had gone out of Egypt, as it is said: “And you shall tell your son in that day, saying: ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.’”
The online age has brought new kinds of refreshment into our lives. A click on the ↻ symbol next to the address field in our web browser, or a press of the F5 button on our keyboard, reloads website content, updating what we see on our screen. However, this kind of refreshment is a shallow one; much of what you see on the screen is generated from data stored previously in the browser’s cache. For deeper refreshment, you can press CTRL+F5. This cleans out the cache and downloads all the site’s content anew.
Marie Kondo, in her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, recommends the latter approach when decluttering our homes. Each item must be taken out of storage, held individually, and subjected to the question: Does this bring me joy? If the answer isn't an enthusiastic “Yes!”, the item has to go.
Some of the most significant moments of our lives are those in which we hold our most deeply cherished beliefs, values or practices to a similarly demanding test. Is this really what I believe, care about or want to do? Or am I thinking and acting out of habit?
This spring, I wish us the courage to clean out the cache and refresh deeply.
Happy Passover (and CTRL+F5)