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Friday, April 22, 2016

Celebrate Freedom--From Passover Cleaning. Chag Samayach!

The Oreck Family seder. 
All around the world, Jewish women are frantically getting ready for that most wonderful of Jewish holiday celebrations, the Seder. This is a family powerhouse celebration combining food, prayer, religion and four cups of wine in one long, crazy, wonderful night. 

The preparation starts about a month before. I know people who clean their entire house, to make sure there are no crumbs or chometz, people who get down the two sets of Passover dishes, one for milk and one for meat, and pack up the two sets of regular dishes (ditto) and sling the into the attic or crawl-space. I know people who are even now covering their countertops with brown paper, or at our old synagogue, I overheard some women speaking longingly of being able to afford to buy plexiglass covers that could be brought up from the basement and put on every kitchen counter to prepare for every Passover. 

(I said, brightly, "Yes, just like Moses and the Israelites had in the dessert."

There is a reason why we no longer belong to that synagogue.) 
A Duluth family seder

Many people---whoops, make that women-- buy special breakfast cereal, ketchup, marshmallows and chocolate chips. 

So, yes, we celebrate freedom from slavery by having women slave away for a month or so before the holiday, for a couple of days before, and during the meal itself, bringing and taking away dish after dish after delicious dish of food. 

I hereby declare myself free of the obligation to do any of this. Okay, I'll mop the downstairs and clean the stove, but I'm not pouring boiling water over it to kasher it. I'm not hosting a giant seder. And I'm not keeping separate Passover dishes. 

Wolomin, Poland, 1920's. 

Remember, she kept Kosher with this stove and these pots.  Dayanu! It will have been enough!

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