Here, as I write this at the one week/seven day countdown, it seems like pre-Passover is just an awful, stressful time. That's nowt what it's supposed to be.
The countdown to Pesach has officially begun, complete with its angst, anxiety, stress and exhaustion. Tragically, many people associate Pesach with backbreaking work, exorbitant expenses, endless preparation, and bread deprivation. It is not unusual to hear moans, groans and krechts coming from both men and women when mentioning the upcoming holiday. Most describe themselves as rolling into Pesach “like a shmatta (rag),” unable to enjoy the festive atmosphere, meaningful Sedarim, or even quality time with friends and family.My usual theme is that most people skip the most important message. It's not that we were "slaves in Egypt." The problem was that "we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt." That was our mistake.
Nowadays when I get all these email petition etc requests that I should join the many protesting to Obama and his ilk to stop putting pressure on Israel, I'm outraged. No, I'm not outraged at Obama; he's not my president. I'm an Israeli, yes, granted with an American passport, and my Government is the Israeli Government. I'm not a slave to any other.
The responsibility for our fate is in our hands and our relationship to G-d. As I had earlier watched last year's clever little video from aish.com, it suddenly hit me.
We shouldn't have been begging Pharaoh for our release from bondage. If we had been on a spiritual level to go straight to G-d for our request, we would have been "transported" miraculously to the Holy Land. It's alike when Joseph asked Pharaoh's chief butler to try to get Pharaoh to free him instead of praying to G-d, Genesis Chapter 40 בְּרֵאשִׁית.
יד כִּי אִם-זְכַרְתַּנִי אִתְּךָ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יִיטַב לָךְ, וְעָשִׂיתָ-נָּא עִמָּדִי, חָסֶד; וְהִזְכַּרְתַּנִי, אֶל-פַּרְעֹה, וְהוֹצֵאתַנִי, מִן-הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה. 14 But have me in thy remembrance when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.Chazal, our sages say that Joseph should have prayed to G-d, and if he had, he would have been released much more quickly. So, my feeling is that the entire Passover-Exodus story could have been much quicker if only we had prayed directly to G-d. And then I/we wouldn't have this nightmare of Passover cleaning to do.