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Friday, March 8, 2013

Passover aka Pesach Wars and Battles

Please don't get me wrong.  I haven't mixed up Pesach with Chanukah or even Purim.  The "wars and battles" I'm referring to are in a very different sphere, or spheres. 

  • One aspect is the emotional and physical violence many of us find ourselves in when attempting to clean, prepare for the Passover Holiday.
  • Another war or battle is the competition many well-meaning Jews participate in as they search for and adopt stringencies which had never been accepted by a majority of poskim, experts in Jewish Law.
I must admit that I have been a victim and following that even the abuser in the battle to prepare my home for Passover.  Cleaning isn't my greatest homemaking talent.  So once it comes to this time of year, between Purim and Passover my stress levels rise, and as a young mother I was completely incapable of making Passover preparation fun.

To this day I'm incredulous when friends tell me that the clean as a form of relaxation, that they feel joy when scrubbing.

I don't even think it would help if I had the cheerful "whistle while you work" blasting throughout the house.  Getting the house ready for Pesach makes me feel more like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

I do appreciate that some rabbis make some efforts to "calm things down" and claim that the kitchen is all that needs to be done, and it can be done in a short period of time.  Rav Aviner is known for his "quick cleaning" headlines, but if you read his site, it shows practical, useful and Halachik tips.

The OU has published an article with a similar message.  There is lots more common sense being heard in some circles, which is good. 

We don't have to go to war against dirt, and we don't have to destroy expensive electrical appliances by taking them apart.

The second battle field is the one of the chumra, the extra strictness.  Frequently those chumrot  only make the holiday a living Hell for the family.  So, if those customs aren't part of your family history, then why invite trouble into the house?

And considering that we're very close to Pesach and Shabbat is in a few short hours, let this post suffice for now.

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