Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Queen of De Nial

I am the only Jewish woman I know who has not yet begun cleaning for Pesach (other than my Mom, who, if you mention the word Pesach to her, will look at you quizzically and shake her head as if she's never heard the word before. Let's call her the Supreme Goddess of De Nial.)

I don't like Pesach. I don't like the hysteria that precedes it. I don't like the ludicrously high prices that we pay for food that tastes terrible anyway. I don't like tiptoeing around the house in the dark, looking for 10 pieces of bread that I "hid" only minutes earlier. I don't like the second seder, which is easily the dumbest custom we have. (The first seder is nice, the family gets together and everyone has fun. But to do the exact same thing over again the very next night? I always feel so stupid, especially when I realize that 7 million Jews in Israel do not have to make a second seder. What are we trying to prove? That we're somehow holier than they are?) I really, really don't like "three day yomtovs" which are an endless cycle of preparing food that hungry children do not find satisfying. And after eight (or nine, or ten) full days of hearing "Mommy, I'm hungry!" and "Mommy, I'm bored!" I am SO ready to send everyone back to school. But wouldn't you know it, even after the holiday is over, the kids still have one more day off from school. It is, after all, "Isru Chag" (another stupid custom created to torture women.)

So. Every year I tell myself that this year will be different. This year, I will not have to make Pesach. This year, I can enjoy the onset of spring without worrying about all this mishagoss (craziness).

But wouldn't you know it, every year, I turn out to be wrong. But not this year. This year, there will be no Pesach. And I'm willing to bet my crown on it.


The Babka Nosher said...

I like seeing the family. I hate the preparation. I'd be happy if we took Pesach off the calendar this year.

mother in israel said...

I like it. I like the atmosphere, the smells, the Pesach dishes. I even like the cleaning (although I don't have the stamina I used to).

But I'm with you on the second seder.

Leora said...

I like this post. It makes me grin.

Isru chag. Yes. We need to travel back on our wagons to our shtetl, so the kids get another day off.

BrooklynWolf said...

"Mommy, I'm bored!"

We've trained the Freds never to say that they are bored. They know that if they tell us that they're bored, we'll find something for them to do -- there's always something that needs cleaning, washing or straightening up. :)

The issue of the second day of Yom Tov is not that we're trying to prove that we're "holier" than those in Israel; it's due to the fact that way-back-when there was some confusion as to the date of Pesach if one lived far from Jerusalem. Yeah, we now have a set calendar so we don't need the extra day anymore, but like so many other customs that have accumulated, this one has just stuck with us.

Nonetheless, I understand your frustration with Pesach.

The Wolf

The Babysitter said...

I actually always enjoyed the 10 pieces of bread thing. It was like a game. That and burning the chometz the next morning were the most exciting parts.
Second seder is good for families where there are a lot of kids and not everyone gets a chance to say over everything they learnt the first night. So the second night the other kids get a chance. Also, since you already did it the first night your more familiar with what to do, so it usually goes faster.
About 3 day yom tov's and the kids being bored, I agree with you. It can be hard having the kids in the house a whole day with nothing for them to do. If its nice out then you can always take a walk or go to the park or visit some friends.
About the food, I always found it exciting to buy kosher le pesach food, we would get boxes of lady fingers, that was the best part.
Also, look at it this way, chol hamoed will be weekdays so you get to do more/better stuff. Which can be good or bad depending.

Frumteacher said...

I guess everybody has a favorite holiday. I LOVE Pesach because the weather gets nice, the moon is full, and it's really inspiring.

Well, let me come up with some great reasons to like Pesach this year (hoping this will not send you into a crisis with the cleaning ;-) I still have most of my cleaning to do, I guess this is the only time of the year I am happy to be living in a tiny apartment).

- There is so much depth in Pesach, that you really need that extra seider to share all the fascinating ideas. We buy a new haggadah every year so we have new things to tell

- Preparing for Pesach with your students is the best. I shared some thoughts on the haggadah with them, and they had some great ideas that they prepared themselves.

- I am with you on most of the Peasch cooking, although I must say that the thought of pesachdike brownies and lemon bars (visit for the lemon bars) totally make up for everything

- If it wasn't for the once a year thorough Pesach cleaning, I don't know what my home would look like. I don't think I would ever clean behind the stove.

- I love Pesach songs. has a great jukebox that helps me get in the mood.

- I agree with the previous comment. This year's chol hamoed really makes up for the three days in a row. There will be plenty of time for nice things to do.

There. Convinced you? ;-)

Baila said...

Let me just assure you that you are the second person in the world not to do anything yet for Pesach, your looking at the other one right here.

This year we will just do a quickie look-see in the bedrooms to make sure we find no sign of chametz when? cant tell you). Then someone will clean the kitchen (who?????????)

For the seder we are only making gefilte fish and matzoh ball soup, since for the past twelve years running after we eat those things, everyone says I'm full, don't want anything else and I am left frustrated at everything else I have cooked and everyone is "full".

And for the first time ever, I will be celebrating our redemption with one seder and thanking Hashem that I don't have to repeat the redundancy....

Everything'll get done, SR. It always does....

RR said...

LOL You're right, we're both on the Pessach-complaining train! And I'm already ready to send my kids back to school. Oh, what fun the next 2 weeks will be!

Michael said...

Superraizy, I grok!

I'm a work-at-home-dad, and I know how you feel about that two break from school...

It's nice to be in Israel, with only one seder, too; the kids could never have handled it twice in a row!