Today is Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan, which means it’s time to start cleaning up and getting ready for Pesach right quick, if you haven’t started yet!
All half-jokes aside, this is a pretty wonderful month all said and told. We’re coming into the month of geulah, as on Pesach Hashem rescued us from Mitzrayim. It is known from the sifrei sod that every time a Yom Tov comes around, the same energies are active as they were in the event that inspired the first time the Yom Tov happened. This is one of the reasons why the reading for the Megillas Esther must be so exact, because it is written in such a way that the events are described as present and future tense, which shows we must live through the events of Purim each year. The same idea applies to Pesach and the rest of the yomim tovim.
So in regards to Pesach, we have to look into the reasons according to sod as to why we have to remove all chometz, and eat only matzah. Rebbe Nachman from Breslov zy’a states in Likkutei Moharan that we have to be very careful to avoid “chometz hamochin,” chometz of the mental faculties. He explains that this refers to “chochmas chitzonius,” external wisdom, referring to philosophy and such things that can reduce a person’s yiras shomayim and ahavas Hashem. In regards to this, I can see many people reacting with scorn to the idea that a person should avoid certain forms of expression. The truth is, that these things, philosophy, certain forms of scientific understanding, etc. are not inherently bad things. Chochma, Wisdom, is like flour, for the sake of moshol. You can make bread out of it, or matza or something. When the flour is mixed with yeast and water, it becomes chometz; when it is mixed only with water and baked quickly enough, it becomes matzah.
Matzah according to Reb Noson of Breslov zy’a, as written in Likkutei Halochos, is the Nahama D’m’heimenusa, the Bread of Emunah (Faith). A person comes to Emunah through learning Torah, and seeking Hashem through prayer at any opportunity he can take. If a person is full of Emunah, and looks at the world through this lens, then they can avoid coming to the aspect of chometz hamochin. This should be our goal in getting ready for Pesach, to attain the recognition of Hashem and the vast amount of wonders He has accomplished for us now and throughout all time. We need from Rosh Chodesh Nissan to work at removing the things in our minds that take us away from this awareness, in order to experience the Geulas Mitzrayim to the fullest degree possible. Mitzrayim is the aspect of coarse physicality which tries to take us away from Hashem, chas v’sholom, so when we learn Torah which is completely spiritual and one with Hashem, as it says in the Zohar “Kudsha Brich Hu V’Oraysa kulo chad,” the Holy One Blessed is He and the Torah are completely one, we then cleave to Hashem through our mind and can break the klippos that impede our perceptions of Hashem’s might and wonders.
Hashem should bless us all with a wonderful Rosh Chodesh, a frailichen kusher’n Pesach, and that we should merit to the geulah sh’leima swiftly!