This Shabbat we begin to turn our thoughts to the approaching holiday of Pesach, with its rigorous focus on eliminating leavening from our households and from our plates. Pesach requires preparation, and we see that in our work to clean our houses after the winter and make them ready for a different sort of diet than our usual bready fare. But we have to keep in mind that our physical preparations are intended to prompt inner, spiritual transformation as well, and we can’t focus on one to the exclusion of the other. Where have we become disconnected from the powerful ancient story of oppression and freedom? In what places have our hearts, like Pharaoh’s, become hardened to the suffering of others? How can we prepare our souls to think differently about seeking justice for those who are oppressed in our own time? The Haggadah teaches us that “In every generation, each person should consider themselves as if they came out of Egypt.” May we take time in these weeks of preparation to consider how our past can and should shape our actions in the present.