Jewy goodness · lists

Is it that time already?

Yes, it is. Purim was over a week ago and I only have three weeks before Pesach (Passover). Three WEEKS, people. That’s nothing! In  that time, I’m expected to do the following:

1. Rid the house of all chametz (leavened foods), including the crumbs in the couch, pretzel bits in the board books, and stale bagel pieces hidden among K’s toys. Realistically, this means a really really thorough spring cleaning – even though I KNOW that dirt is not chametz (could someone please tell my mom that, btw?), the reality of toddlers is that there’s probably chametz everywhere. Sigh.

2. Switch over my kitchen, meaning clearing cabinets to make room for the passover dishes, pots, utensils, etc. In our small kitchen, this is a bit tough. Maybe I’ll stick to disposable kitchen stuff this year and save myself some of the headache?

3. Find new haggadot (plural of haggadah) so that our seder is not plagued yet again by awkward translations and dry text. In a related task, I need to figure out how to make our seder not suck. My initial suggestion (“let’s just not invite the people who think this is nothing more than an excuse for a family dinner”) didn’t fly, so I have to somehow accommodate the following attitudes:

  • the traditionalist who feels that if we miss any text, it hasn’t been a real seder. Particular peeves of the traditionalist include skipping the singing of “Dayenu”.
  • the serious guy who feels that “fun” additions like props and toys to illustrate the ten plagues are inappropriate since they make the Egyptians’ suffering amusing, which it’s not supposed to be.
  • the impatient one who really just wants to get past all the reading and eat, already.
  • the bystanders who will pretty much go along with anything, as long as they don’t have to make any effort

One year, my cousin (a rabbi, and a very engaging one at that) was at our seder. He took me aside during the meal and said, “man, this is a tough crowd. I don’t know how you do this every year!” Yep, it’s official. This crowd is a pain in the ass.


There are other things I need to do before Pesach, like making sure we all have nice holiday clothes and, of course, cooking for two nights of four-course dinners for twenty people (helping my mum. I am NOT hosting twenty people in my house). But the above are the big things, the stressy things, and three weeks is just not enough time.

4 thoughts on “Is it that time already?

  1. I hear you!!!! Determined this year to chart a new course. Hoping to please all of the people some of the time, but wouldn’t dare to dream I may please some of the people all of the time!!!

    I’m thinking the ‘bedouin tent’ idea (with crudite and other snacks) on cushions in living room and then moving to the dining area for dinner and back to the tent for the end of the seder. I will let you know if I pull this off!!!

    Am also trying to my own haggadah this year – with a little bit for everyone…oy!!!!

    And did you say it’s now only THREE weeks away!??!!?!?!?!


  2. Um, I could have written this post! Tough crowd at our table too. (It is not seder night if a certain relation who shall not be named doesn’t ask “Do we really have to read after the meal?” at least five times.) I tried to think of further categorizations but I really think you’ve covered them all. I will admit to falling into category number 2 (yikes).

    By the way, I found you via Jennifer and am glad to have discovered your blog!

  3. This is very difficult. I can sort of relate, at least about the translation question. There is currently no standard English translation for the services in Orthodox Christianity, and some of them are very clunky and extremely hard to sing. However, strides are being made every day, I’m sure. I think that if I were at your table, I’d be one of the “you have to read everything or it won’t be a real Seder” folks. Last year, when we left out a hymn at our Pascha (Easter) services, I almost cried about it. I mean, how dumb is that? Have fun cleaning! Oh, and really… If you don’t think that dirt is chametz, then I think you need to go for more Yenta lessons. 🙂

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