The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Holiest Week of the Year

My Rebbe is always very excited during the week before Pesach. He often says that it is the holiest week of the year because observing Jews are moser nefesh cleaning, cooking and preparing for Pesach in many other ways. Even those Jews who (nebech) go away for Pesach need to clean this week. In a society where things have become so easy for us, it is good for our children to see us break a sweat serving the Ribbono shel Olam. (My lower back is still recovering from Sunday's garage cleanup. My holy wife is a pack rat, the daughter of pack rats. There was a lot to throw out).

But the mesiras nefesh (self sacrifice) is greatest among the people who stay home for Pesach and not only have to clean, but have to figure out how to convert their kitchens and cook for Pesach while at the same time ensuring that their families don't starve in the days leading up to Pesach.

This problem is exacerbated this year by the fact that Pesach starts Monday night. How do you convert your kitchen on Wednesday or Thursday, cook for Pesach and still make Shabbos? It ain't easy.

Part of this mesiras nefesh is in the eating of leftovers, and, if you're lucky, takeout food. When my daughter picked me from the train station last night (in my car), I asked her what was for dinner. She said dinner was very ecclectic.

And, of course, we all try to find a few minutes here and there to prepare a few things to say at the seder table. My Rebbe always reminds us to keep it simple. Kids have no use for pilpulim.

The seder night is without question my favorite night of the year. I mamash can't wait.


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