Just One Speck – בדיקת וביעור חמץ

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The process whereby a piece of dough turns into chometz requires only one

microscopic yeast cell. When this one little yeast cell flying around in the air

lands on a piece of dough, it begins to duplicate itself very quickly. One cell turns to

two, two into four, four into eight, etc. It takes only a short time for one cell to turn

into billions of cells. These cells start a chemical process whereby they

break down the dough and release carbon dioxide, which in

turn causes the dough to rise and turn into chometz. It all

starts with only one microscopic cell. The warmer

it is, the quicker it will happen.

Scientists have discovered the great

danger of viruses and bacteria. All it takes is

for one dangerous virus to enter a cell. Once

it gets inside, it takes full control of the cell’s

mechanism and begins to duplicate itself. In a

short time there are billions of them. These

new viruses each begin to attack the other

cells and destroy them as well. Bacteria, too,

grow at a very rapid rate. They can double every twenty minutes. Just take a calculator and see what happens when you keep

doubling a number thirty times.

An aveirah – a sin – operates in the very same manner. One small sin quickly

leads to many more. The Yidden in Mitzrayim had to be very careful not to become

contaminated by Egyptian morals and their perverted ways. Even the slightest contact

with Egyptian culture had to be avoided. Those who were not very careful soon

became totally assimilated and unfortunately died during the plague of Choshech

– Darkness.

The Torah clearly warns us of the dangers of even eating or drinking kosher food

with them. What starts out as a casual friendly meal may ultimately end up with a

romantic relationship which often ends in marriage. The Torah constantly warns us

of the dangers of following in their ways and warns us to keep a distance . Once we

begin imitating their foreign culture we will soon become just like them.

The most difficult part of our slavery in Mitzrayim was to remain completely

segregated and isolated from Egyptian culture and morals. Yidden kept their Hebrew

names and didn’t change their style of clothes or even their language so as to remain

easily identifiable and remain completely apart. Just look at what happened to

the many Jewish families that have lived on American soil far less than 210 years.

Once they lost their distinctiveness and began to imitate their ways, they became

unidentifiable. Intermarriage has unfortunetly taken a terrible toll with millions of

Jews no longer knowing what Torah and mitzvos are all about.

Hashem in His great mercy took us out of Mitzrayim on the condition that we

follow His mitzvosChometz alludes to the irreversible change caused by even the

slightest impurity. Allow the yetzer horah to enter through the eye of a needle and

soon he will become a permanent resident and take over the entire operation of the

house. Our chachomim compared him to “The yeast within the dough.” Just let an

immoral picture enter the human brain and it replicates itself very quickly causing

life-long damage.

The Gemorah in Mesechta Sukkah tells us that when Mashiach will arrive and the

yetzer harah will be killed, the r’shaim will perceive the yetzer harah as a tiny speck.

They obviously don’t realize the great danger of the yetzer harah and therefore failed

to keep their distance. The tzadikim, however, will perceive the yetzer harah as a

large mountain. They clearly understand that this tiny speck will eventually turn into

a large mountain and therefore kept their distance.

As the “Tree of knowledge” – The Eitz Ha’daas – grows larger and expands, we are

faced with ever-increasing dangers. Along with all the great benefits it has brought

in its wake, it has also enabled the worst of the world’s mores to make their way into

our homes through metal rods and disks perched on our rooftops and through wires

snaking their way out of the ground. Many have tragically allowed this perversion to

enter their living rooms and contaminate their homes. Some have even connected

their phones to sites that the Torah clearly forbids.

As in Mitzrayim, if we want to make sure that the Angels of Destruction don’t

enter our home, we must make

sure that the entrance has a

kosher mezuzah. The Rambam

explains that the mezuzah

serves as a constant reminder

of Hashem’s presence in our

lives and homes. “Every time a

person enters or leaves his house

and encounters the unity of the

Divine Holy Name, Blessed Be

He, he will recall his love for

Hashem, and will be aroused

from his slumber and errant involvement in the vanities of everyday life and

recognize that nothing lasts for eternity except for the knowledge of the World’s

Creator. This will immediately bring the person back to reality and get him to

walk in the path of the upright.” ( Rambam Hilchos Mezuzahperek 6:13).

ביחוד  יפגע  ויצא  שיכנס  זמן  וכל  תמיד  הכל  חובת  שהיא  מפני  במזוזה  להזהר  אדם  חייב 

שאין  וידע  הזמן  בהבלי  ושגיותיו  משנתו  ויעור  אהבתו  ויזכור  ב”ה  הקדוש  של  שמו  השם 

לדעתו  חוזר  הוא  ומיד  העולם  צור  ידיעת  אלא  עולמים  ולעולמי  לעולם  העומד  דבר 

ובזרועו  בראשו  תפילין  לו  שיש  מי  כל  הראשונים  חכמים  אמרו  מישרים  בדרכי  והולך 

הם  והן  רבים  מזכירין  לו  יש  שהרי  יחטא  שלא  הוא  מוחזק  בפתחו  ומזוזה  בבגדו  וציצית 

ויחלצם.  ליראיו  סביב  יי’  מלאך  חונה  שנאמר  מלחטוא  אותו  שמצילין  המלאכים The

message of the mezuzah is that one’s house and possessions are only fleeting, and

the only real permanence is the awareness of Hakodosh Baruch Hu, the world’s


In the merit of fulfilling this mitzvah, we are also assured of receiving Hashem’s

c o n s t a n t

protection. The

Zohar hakodosh

tells us that a

mezuzah on one’s

doorpost is similar

to the blood that

the Yidden put on

their doorposts

when they were

in Mitzrayim.

Hashem’s Name

of Shin Daled

Yud written on the

outside also hints

at Shomer Dalsos

Yisroel – He

protects the doors

of the Jew. What

greater protection

can there be than

having Hashem

Himself guarding

and protecting us

from all evil! Yet, what protection can a mezuzah provide when the yetzer horah is

allowed entry through the roof or through the wires coming up from the ground.

Our redemption from Mitzrayim was not just a physical one but a spiritual one

as well. Its ultimate purpose was Torah and mitzvos. When we search for the chometz,

we do so using a candle which represents the neshamah, as the posuk says “Ki ner

Hashem nishmas odom.” Our holy seforim tell us that we must at the same time

also carefully search our own home and ourselves and make sure to remove all the

non-holy contaminants from our possession. When we allow chometz which alludes

to the yetzer harah to enter our homes even momentarily, he will soon become a

permanent resident and even invite his friends into ones home to join in the “fun.”