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Monday, March 20, 2006


Once Upon A Time

A modern Fairytale
The witch (played by a loving mother)

The frightened children (played by brats)

The hero (played by a bunch of bricks).

It’s the exodus all over again, only this time packed with less Matzo and twice as many clothes.
Turn a page in the Hamodia, in the Jewish Press or any other Jewish periodical and try not to notice the many advertisement promoting hotels from New Jersey to Jerusalem.
All offer the very best Hersheirim(kosher food), the most eloquent guest speakers and the best ambiance.
All vie for honored Pessach guests.

Everyone remembers the nerve wrecking weeks before Pessach at home.
If you were so much as seen with a cookie outside the kitchen you’d hear about it, you had to shake out your books and eat on the porch (even in cold weather).
Then the dreaded two days before Pessach came and Pizza was the sole food available, there was nothing home. Pizza places were crammed and by the time you had found a seat your slice had lost part of the cheese and the taste.
You had to go down to the dark cellar, inhabited by eerie creatures and perhaps also bats, to bring up all the Pessach cutlery and dishes, always breaking at least one thing on the way, incurring mother’s wrath.
Mothers would be so nervous and tired and fathers would cleverly find excuses to come home late.
Basically you were on your own.

Thank G-D, a visionary man saw the terror of all the little children and decided to come to their rescue, and help himself at the same time.
He came up with a brilliant idea to deliver mothers and consequently husbands and children from their misery.
“Have them all come to Willy Wonkenstein’s Pessach hotel in Ford Lauderdale”, he announced.
Cooking was a thing of the past, Pesach cleaning reduced to a minimum, no pushing in line in the supermarkets erev Pessach, and no beating over the head for having forgotten to place an order for Shmurah Matzos(special Passover bread) a month earlier.
It’s a fair exchange, one's savings to keep one's sanity.

It’s highly recommended by all psychologists and Hashgocho providers. And apparently endorsed by all the major frum newspapers.

If like me you can’t or to choose not to go to one of the magnificent hotels all over the world, a little organizing can spare you the agony of all the above mentioned details

Youi are so right-the Pesach panic has commenced-man its hell especially all tha tkashering
over here its almost fistfights to get an available cleaning lady
I went and read some about Passover and it's very interesting. Do you actually search the whole house and get rid of any leavened things like bread,cake,etc? We have a similiar bread which we make on the first day of Lent and it's called lagana. It's unleavened but very delicious!
but isn't it more heimishe to stay at home and keep our traditions alive? I know I much prefer it, even if it does entail near fanatical cleaning and guarding against any leaven-related transgressions.
This is my favorite holiday!
Datingmaster-Good luck getting one, if not I suspect your wife’s mood ain’t gonna improve over the holidays.

Evangelia –I left a comment for you on DM’s blog.

About your question yes we do, the entire house needs to be rid of any leavened foods like cookies, cake and bread and sadly spaghetti(I’ll miss you) too.
Of course it doesn’t have to happen in one day.
Although it’s a mont away for now we eat things that crumb only in the kitchen. As we get closer to the holiday we’ll only eat Pizza outdoors, it’s quite complicated but it’s basically something we grow up with.
The special Passover bread can be quite tasty but it often has a disastrous effect on the “may I be excused” habits.
Is the same true for Lagana?

Erica- I agree with you it is much better to celebrate Pessach at home.
I actually had a chance to go to a hotel but I declined.
Any help with the cleaning?
lol very cute...
Some of the ads...get me mad..
I got an email..
"The cure for the mundane Pesach"

Mundane Pesach?? What are we teaching our kids..ourselves?
Prag... wow you certainly have allowed your sense of humor to show through lately... I really like it!!!

Your post of course rings a bell with my childhood memories, lol. Sometimes we go away now, sometimes not. No Bigee... the trick is start early and keep a straight head about it.
LOL. I live in South Florida and always manage to escape from here during Pesach. I hear that's the best, being that about 250,000 frum Yidden engulf Miami during Pesach (ok, probably not that many, but it feels that way!)
well, panic or not with the cleaning, pesach will come whether you are ready or not!

and yep, start early and be organised. my mother used to clean the house in our summer holidays (january) and then we would not be allowed food upstairs until pesach. nowdays we all pitch in and help but i can't help but think that pesach away would be a lovely break though!
Pessach is one of my favorite holidays and some of my best childhood memories are connected to it. Luckily this year I only have to clean our small apartment in Hungary... and we´ll use plastic plates and glasses etc. I am very much looking forward to our first Pessach in Hungary, I am sure it will be one of a kind, especially as there is no kosher store and I´ll bring everything from Switzerland :D (let´s hope they don´t stop me at the border and I´ll have to explain gefillte fish and mazzot to them....)
This is one of your more amusing posts, with the best grain (no pun intended here)of truth in it.

I see those Hotel Seders advertised inside the Jewish Journal all the time.

All of our family is in NY or Florida, and now Hawaii. I usually invite the few other Jews in the neighborhood over to my home for Pesach, so we will not be alone.

Since I do not like cleaning ANY time, I do not do it for Pesach either! Sorry to dissapoint you.
Sounds like my dad, every year before pesach he goes through the Jewish press/mess and counts how many new hotels are opening this year and where, just for kicks.

Truth is with a family as large as mine, my dad would almost have to take out another mortgage on our house to take us all, its insane how much they can charge sometimes.

For my mom however, it would be heaven... no cleaning! no cooking!

As a single chabad guy, i get to go on buchor shlichous, which means if i want i can arange to go help out any chabad rabbi, anywhere! (if it works out) so last year i was in hawaii for pesach, and for two years before that in italy... you wont find me complaining :)
ugh. pesach cleaning is the worst, especially with little kids now. luckily, i've already started thinking about it. come monday, i actually start DOING it.
ironically, i love pesach. go figure.
pessach is a beautiful holiday but its tough in till you get there.
maybe they wanted us to experience the freedom that the jews had when they left Egypt. when we come the sader (specifically the women) we all feel like we just came out of egypt to freedom;-)!
you get what you pay for.
David –If there is one good reason not to go, then it has got to be chinuch.

Frumgirl –Thanks, I tried to sound funny but I didn’t know if it worked.

Missshona- Maybe not that many, but I know it’s a favorite during Pessach.

Sarah –starting early is the only way to avoid going completely mad.

Mia –Not too much work I see, then you’ll really be able to enjoy Pessach

Oobrowneyez- did you mean ‘scary’?

Barbara –thanks, I’m glad the humor was evident.
It’s so nice of you to invite people over, as a matter of fact, having guests over is a central theme of Pessach (Holachmo Anyo-Bread of the poor)
You don’t seem like the kind of person who would allow herself to live in a messy house, so who does all the cleaning by you? Do you eat only unleavened food for Pessach?

Chasidishe shaigetz- It’s definitely the mothers who dream of going to hotels for Pessach.
It’s so cool you can go to all these places, are you expected to do some work then?
Where in Italy were you?

Bec –Pessach itself is fun, it’s the preparations no one likes.
Brace yourself for Monday.

Keep on smile’n- that’s a nice analogy, I’ve never thought of it that way.
Thanks for commenting
Thanks for the nostalgia.... Funny how it's always the same by all of us jews!
As a cronic last minuter I watch everyone rush around with some interest... Erev Pesach is when I start, to the aguish of my mother. Worrying never got the cleaning done faster!
I guess it's the same everywhere-just don't forget to enjoy the beautiful side of the prepeasach spirit!
I've been away for Pesach and I've been home. There are good things about both. One of these days I'll get around to writing a post about it... good job Prag.
was this Pesach post aimed at all those bored housewives who have taken over Frum blogging?
Nemo- That’s what I like about meeting new heimische people, they can always relate to my life.

Exsemgirl- a couple of hours before Pessach starts, it’s time to enjoy the sudden quiet and spiritual day approaching fast
And I can’t agree more, worrying only slows everyone down.

Must gum-thanks, waiting to see the pros and cons by someone who’s seen it all…

Datingmaster- how did you know??
My family has been to a Pesach hotel exactly once, when I was younger...and we were thrown out before Pesach was over for being too noisy. Apparently, the hotel was more geared towards old people who weren't exactly fond of six loud children.
Even if you're not going to be home for Pesach, don't you still have to clean? At least some of the house?
Prag; Thank you for the most lovely fairy tale of them all!!!In fact, i shall make it bedtime reading for my Hubby! (Maybe he'll take the hint!)
PRAG- I'm sorry just once i have to exceed my quota.
my question is related to my post and your comments-should i feel cheated for not getting what I htought i was going to get?
I do the whole family getting together type of Pesach at home. My mother actually put in anew hot water tank to accommodate all 22 of us that need to shower right before Pesach comes in. I do want to try the Pesach hotel once, though. I live in NY & my parents still live in Canada, so it's not like I do any prep work, but it would be nice to never have to peel potatoes, chop up countless salads, clear, serve...

Prag, as you mentioned , some would still not go since frumkiet wouldnt let them be Pesach anywhere but home, or just cause you like being home for Pesach.

I would suggest we should go to hotels for the 2 weeks before pesach, and go home for Pesach.

Very true. In my house (not that I have been home for pesach the last few years) we have a big pesach kitchen, so we just seal off the regular kitchen with all the chomets inside.

Besides going away for pesach is never a option as my dad only trusts his own kitchen for pesach.
Prag - I know so little about your jewish traditions, it's interesting to read your blog and do a little learning.
Prag, you're more than welcome to join me in conneticut for pesach. :)
Tobie-Well even if someone leaves for Pessach, his house should be rid of all chamets gomur(like bread, cookies) .
But I think (not sure) that if someone would ‘sell’ the house symbolically, than he would not really need to clean it at all.

Kasamba –Let me know if it worked.

DM-For this one time it’s ok.:)

Roz- Going to a hotel is a real treat, but the family atmosphere is just not the same as it is home.

Moochy- Marvelous suggestion. Recovering from all the pre-Pessach work in a hotel, and then coming home for Pessach itself.

The Real – This way the work is kept to a minimum, and your father is probably rights, I’ve heard more than a few stories that have put the super Hasgochos to shame.

Lucy- Thanks, I’m glad you find it informative but please bear in mind, that I this is not a scholarly blog and that some things may be exaggerated for the purposes of humor.

Eshet- Hi, welcome back, it’s good to see you online again.
I’d love to but as you can make out from this post I’m sort of against going to hotels for Pessach.
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To me Pesach means spending hours together cleaning and cooking and then hours at the Seder, and I love it. True it may be difficult to do all the cleaning, the cooking gets tedious and the Seder sometimes go a little to long... but it's worth the time and effort. One of my earliest memories is from Pesach, with family from all over coming to my grandparent’s house.

I believe Pesach is for family and doing it at a hotel is cheating, cheating because it saves you the work and because it cheats your child out of what may be their fondest of memories when they grow older.
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