13 comments on “How Was Your Pesach?

  1. Normally we spend Pesah with my wife’s best friend and family in Israel. This year a tragedy in the community prompted my wife to say ‘we’re making Pesah at home this year.’

    So we drove 6 hours to Denver to do the Pesah shopping for several households. On the way back a spring snowstorm created thick whiteout conditions on the interstate, and we truly barely made it to a motel at an exit about an hour still from home. In a borrowed minivan full of Pesah good. All the frozen and refrigerated stuff kept fine because the temps were below freezing anyway. We had our yet uneaten deli sandwiches for dinner in our motel room. We hadn’t been able to safely pull off anywhere to eat them outside the car. We had leftover slices of pizza from Denver for breakfast, and the weather had blown through so we could drive on.

    Pesah preps went well. I am a minimalist, and my wife only demands a little more. I kind of enjoy setting up the mountaineering stoves in the driveway and kashering small items. We have a Pesah pantry which makes our lives much easier at times like this. We discovered we didn’t have enough small wine glasses (4 oz.) and had to run around until we found some at funky World Market. Do you know how hard it is to find 4 oz wine glasses? We bought a box of two dozen for good measure. A GI virus made its way around our hevra, which created some challenges. Arranging the sale of hametz had some interesting questions about someone who had a share in a food business, and some other folks who would be travelling half way ’round the world. Then the kid across the street who’s been in yeshiva in Israel suddenly came back just a few days before Pesah and had to make yom tov here. His non-observant parents were as accommodating as could be; but there were still some challenging moments. They asked him to make second seder at home for the family (not having shopped for anything in advance), and he made last day yom tov meal for them. He’d come running over to us in the middle of something and ask ‘what do I do now?’ ‘Is this permitted?’

    First seder was just me and my wife. It was great. Not very long, but it allowed her to participate fully and relaxed without worrying about guests. Second seder we had a number of guests, almost none of whom were observant. Even trying to move it along, it went pretty late. During the meal the disposable pan holding the meat folded and dumped nearly all of it on the kitchen floor. Our dogs thought they’d died and gone to doggie heaven! (The cats weren’t interested, somehow.) My wife kept me at the table and she just took it in stride and pulled it off like it was planned!

    All told, we had an adventure. First time we made a seder at home in about 8 years. And when the non-Jew sold back the hametz she was pleased to see not only her downpayment and a little profit, but also two dozen eggs from the hens she had owned over the holyday! (Selling them saves me all sorts of headaches.)

  2. We had a wonderful Pesach, beginning with the fact that our children and granddaughter spent their Pesach vacation with both us and our mchutanim and that our sedarim were punctuated with Divrei Torah, shirah including some new niggunim for some portions of the Seder and visits on Chol HaMoed from our relatives. Our SIL gave a shiur at his parents’ shul and we drove them to the airport last night and watched them go thru the airport security. I could only think of one idea-Mi Kamachea Yisrael, Goy Echad BaAretz, as we began the wait to our next trip to see our childen and granddaughter.

  3. Twice a year I feel as if I went through a neshama-wash (sort of like a car wash, but without the hot wax.): Yom Kippur and Pesach. I feel different again this year, so it did, well, something.

  4. David, please remind your daughter that she took a vow, although it was with a Bli Neder, that should would not reveal the secrets of the disappearing Matzoh trick.

  5. Seders were great. Kids participated from youngest to oldest. Shabbos lunch at the Frankels, no comment ;) The longer days allowed for ample resting and learning. Overall, great Yom Tov.

  6. We had two wonderful seders, bli ayin hara. I complimented my husband on his ability once again to strike just the right balance between allowing people to give divrei Torah on the topic of yetzias mitzrayim and moving the seder along al pi halacha. Also I think we added just the right touch of personal humor and creativity without sacrificing the importance of these mitzvos. The only problem, on the first night the adults were exhausted but the little kids were running wild. On the second night, the adults were more rested and the kids were more subdued. Plus two of our older grandchildren and their parents who live nearby walked over on the second night to be at our seder with us (the first night was just nonstop pouring rain). It was a lovely Pesach, although I couldn’t have turned over (and turned back) my kitchen without a lot of help and hard work from my twenty-year-old son, who worked like a ferd (mule). I don’t know how we’ll manage next year to do it all if he’s in Eretz Yisroel learning. There’s a whole lot more than just cleaning and scrubbing: lining shelves, kashering the sink, covering the dining room and kitchen tables, burning and foiling the oven and stovetop, covering counters, carrying away chometz pots and dishes and unpacking and and bringing up and setting out the Pesachdike pots and dishes. Then of course on motzoei Yom Tov, carefully packing away the Pesachdike dishes and running out for the very first pizza pie after Pesach. There’s just too much to do, and not enough Kochos (strength) anymore to do it.

  7. I’ve decided to hold off on much of the scholarly d’vrai Torah during the sedarim and shift focus 100% to my kids getting something out of it and feeling postive about what they can add to the seder. (my kids ages are 3,7, and 10).

    This year I read the commentaries of two different haggados during the first two days and Shabbos Chol Hamoed.

  8. Every year I have a similar feeling come Pesach time – after spending weeks in preparation in Yeshiva, learning the haggada and really looking forward to that special seder night – yet I know that with the family it just isn’t that. Everyone’s making jokes about when the food will come, what page we’re on, a few mentions of Obama here and there… and all this is without any input of divrei Torah from my side. I’m not really sure how I can make the seder something more.

  9. David

    Sorry to hear about the in-law problems. I had a much smaller problem – my mother insisted on bringing a pesach cake to the second seder with her. The question was whether we could eat it, since she drove with it from her house to ours on Yom Tov. A number of my friends and I had an enjoyable time trying to come to an independent decision based on (among other things) the section in Orach Chaim discussion when, whether and by whom something cooked on shabbat could be, kibbud aym, shalom bayit and derech eretz.

    We then consulted a rav for the actual decision. We hadn’t spread quite a wide enough halachic net – the key part of his decision was based on the laws of eating an egg laid on yom tov.

  10. My Pesach started off with my non-frum in-laws stating upon their arrival that they are not coming back next year for Pesach. Over the course of the first two nights, they complained that our seders started to late and went too long.
    My MIL tried to pressure us to agree to come to them next year even though we have previously told them that we can not come to them for Shabbos or Yom Tov since they are not within walking distance of a shul. We told them this when they were in the process of house-hunting.

  11. In brief, I started off attempting to work on an tap into the Avodah of Emunah (Faithfulness).
    I realized that by the 7th day of Pesach, I really should be working on Simplicity.
    Overall the Yom Tov was great and I’m glad I had plenty of time to spend with with family and close friends.

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