As of late, I've been sporting the Israeli Tichels that I bought from The Tichel Shop and I absolutely LOVE them. I've been trying different ways to spice it up and am looking forward to adding new tichels and pashminas to my collection! One thing I am having a difficult time with is the social element. Living in Europe is not an easy thing if you want to be different than the majority of individuals. I am not sure what people think of me in the predominately Catholic community where I live but people openly and unashamedly stare at me with a confused and sometimes disgusted expression on their face. Others look at me and quickly look away as if they don't want to stare and if they don't look down immediately they would. There have been beautiful spiritual benefits and surprising health improvement results since I started to tie the tichel over my hair. I just have to be brave enough to ignore the "looks" and "gawks" and even some giggles when I walk past. As I get older and hopefully wiser, I am learning to not care so much what people think of me. If someone wants to assume and you know what ass-u-me'ing does (wink wink) and they don't bother to ask questions to get to know me, then obviously it's just another passing moment that will be but a wink in time but my spiritual walk with HaShem shall endure indefinitely like an undying flame sparking near a blazing bonfire of eternal essence that is unknown and unseen by the masses. As Pesach draws near and we cleanse the chametz from our lives, I too am seeking to break the chains of slavery to this world's hunger to oppress and enslave my soul. Baruch HaShem!
What do you do to prepare for Pesach?
First remove all crumbs and remnants of any leavened products or leavening ingredients.
Purchase well in advance all ingredients needed for Pesach.
Leavening can be found in supplements, medicines and even cosmetics.
Prepare Your Kitchen
"Dishes and Utensils: It is preferable to have a separate set of dishes and utensils just for the holiday. Under certain circumstances, however, certain utensils can be kashered for Passover. A rabbi should be consulted on the exact procedures.
Stove: The stove must be carefully cleaned. It should be heated to the hottest temperature for 1-2 hours. The grates and iron parts of the stove should have a red-hot glow. The oven and stove-top should be covered with aluminum foil.
Microwave Ovens: The oven should be cleaned thoroughly and a clean cup of water should be placed in the oven. Let the water steam up the microwave. Wipe the oven out afterwards. During Passover a piece of styrofoam or other object should be used in the oven to separate the bottom of the oven and the cooking dish. Food should be covered inside the oven to prevent spillage.
Sink: The sink should be cleaned and not used for 24 hours prior to the kashering. Hot water should be poured into every part of the sink 3 times. Do not forget the drain stopper. Remember to use a clean pot which was not used for 24 hours for the boiling of the water.
Refrigerator, Freezer Cupboards, Closets, Tables and Counters: Clean them to remove residue. Cover these surfaces that come into contact with hot food or utensils with a heavy covering.
Tablecloths and Napkins: Run through the washing machine."
Hide ten pieces of Chametz around the home and recite the blessing, "Boruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu, Melech HaOlam Asher Kiddeshnu Bemitzvosov Vitzivonu Al Beor Chometz" which means, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to remove the leaven" then using a safe candle or flashlight search each room of the home for the hidden chametz to be burned the next morning.
Following the chametz hunt, some recite a small prayer to nullify any chametz that my have been missed, "all leaven or anything leavened within my possession, which I have neither seen nor removed, and about which I am unaware, shall be considered as nothing and ownerless and as the dust of the earth."
To Make a Great Matzo: