I have a confession to make: I can’t stand Pessach (Passover). It’s probably the Jewish holiday I dislike the most.
“Why”, you ask? Let me tell you why.
- Despite all the rationalisations – “dust is not Chametz”, or “I never put food inside there anyway” – you end up cleaning too much, too thoroughly and with too much water. My hands are already sore, and we’ve still got 5 days to go.
- And after all that cleaning frenzy, in this dust-cursed region of the world the feeling of contentment from a clean house lasts at best only a couple of days.
- The kids get a two-week holiday from school. Two weeks!
- The debates around the family hospitality, travel and sleeping arrangements are a real nuisance. I put an end to this tiring negotiation years ago, announcing I do the Seder only at my house and כל דכפין is invited. But still the requests come in.
- Those annoying flag sellers at every traffic light, whose entrepreneurial spirit and fear of competition drive them to start pestering commuters more than a month before Independence Day.
- The “kitniyot” polemic of our Ashkenazi brethren rears its ugly head every year, as if it wasn’t chewed over, ad nauseam, last year (at least the “shevi’it ” polemic occurs only once in seven years). “It really is time we lifted this illogical restriction”, say the more liberal rabbis, but then hasten to add “personally we will not eat any kitniyot”. How pathetic.
- Same goes for the Chametz selling charade: to sell or not to sell? Has there ever been a more Jewish question? For most of us, the guilt feeling about bypassing the לא ייראה ולא יימצא prohibition with such an obviously fake solution is quickly overridden by the guilt feeling about throwing good food away.
- And when you finally get to Pessach, there is nothing to eat! Matzot wreak havoc in unmentionable areas of our anatomies, and all the ersatz bread and cakes are good looking, but poor tasting, substitutes.
Come to think of it, the only good thing about Pessach is… Sorry, can’t think of anything.