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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Another Post-Pesach Thought: How Does She Do That?

My in-laws were over for the second days. On Friday night, my MIL asked me whether MHW had any yahrtzeit candles. (We traditionally light 24-hour yahrtzeit candles the night before we say Yizkor). Now, I know that MHW keeps a bunch of them in the garage but I also know that she keeps them with the chametz food that had been covered for Pesach.

So, I thought, if MHW hadn't taken out the candles before Pesach or bought new ones, we were hosed.

I am embarrassed that such a thought even entered my head. Even though I am the one who needs the yahrtzeit candle, and that she had a zillion things to do and think about for Pesach, of course MHW thought of it. She had purchased a few new ones and they were right there among the Pesach goods.

I can barely remember to tie my laces in the morning but MHW never misses a trick. How does she do that?


Customer Service

Tomorrow morning, I'm flying to Washington on the Delta Shuttle. I had booked a 10:30 a.m. flight on line a couple of weeks ago without realizing that OYS will be returning to Israel that same morning. Last night, I tried to change the reservation to the 11:30 flight (my first meeting in Washington isn't until 2:30 p.m.)

I tried to change the flight on line but that didn't work so I called the number on the website.

Not surprisingly, I was greeted with a lovely voice that asked me a bunch of questions. New reservation or existing? Domestic or international? Record Locator code? I was then transferred to a real human being (probably someone in India judging from the accent) who then started from scratch, leading to the conclusion that none of the information I had given to the lovely voice had actually been captured and that that whole exercise was some sort of Kabuki dance.

Nevertheless, I was happy to be speaking to a real live human and, once I gave her the record locator, she was able to easily change my reservation. As I was about to sign off, she said, "The change in the reservation will cost $492."

Inasmuch as the original round trip fare was about $280, to change one leg of the reservation would have cost more than 3 times the original fare. I said "no thank you", confirmed that my original reservation was still intact, hung up, and then arranged for a car service to take OYS to JFK tomorrow morning since I would not be around and MHW will be caring for TT (and, anyway, does not have the stomach for any more children-leaving-to-Israel-airport-scenes).

(A digression. Back in the day, one could simply show up for the shuttle without a reservation and they guaranteed you a seat, to the extent that they would role out a new plane if they couldn't seat you on the first plane. When did that go the way of the do do bird?)

Two questions for Delta:

Why make me go through the voice-recognition Kabuki dance if you won't use the information? It's annoying.

Why didn't the "customer service rep" tell me immediately that it would cost a ridiculous amount of money to change the reservation? We could both have saved a lot of time.

(A third question. Why does it cost three and a half times more than the original fare to change the reservation?)

Enquiring minds want to know.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Deep Baseball Insights From OOD

OOD has become a serious Yankees fan over the past few years and I have spent a fair amount of time discussing with her some of the nuances of the game. In particular, we've talked about some of the conventional wisdom that influences how the game is played that flies in the face of statistical analysis. (For example, how stealing bases is only a good idea if you are successful at least 80% of the time).

So, it was with great interest that I fielded her question after a night game that she watched last week. The Yankees had apparently tried a hit and run. The pitch was way outside and the batter literally threw his bat at the ball in order to avoid a sure throw out at second base. OOD simply could not understand the concept of a hit and run. Why would someone waste a strike, or hit a bad pitch?

I explained the concept behind a hit and run ("staying out of the double play", putting the fielders in motion, etc.) but agreed with her that I thought the concept was hogwash. I've never been convinced that the hit and run is a good play and I'm not sure there is any statistical evidence that supports it. It seems to me that it is just as possible to hit into a line-drive double play as avoid a 5-4-3 one, or hit the ball right where a player moves rather than the spot he vacates.

I had much Yiddishe nachas from OOD that she inherently understood the fallacy of 150 years of baseball lore.


Post Pesach Roundup: 5768 Version

1. All-in-all, Pesach this year was very sweet, BH. The davening in our shul was generally very nice, the sedurim were meaningful and tasty, and we got to spend some quality time with the mishpacha. TT did a nice job on Mah nishtanah (at least the first verse; not bad for a three year old). It was especially nice to to have OYS home for a couple of weeks after 8 and 1/2 months at the Mother Ship.

2. The WQ at my shul on Acharon shel Pesach was off the charts, no matter how you measured it. I'm not sure why, but maybe it has something to do with Ikvesah d'Meshicha.

3. I went to family court on the first day of Chol Hamoed. I was greeted by a new judge, a new lawyer for Ohel and a new lawyer for OCS. The birth mother changed lawyers a few months ago. It seems like the only ones who've been around from the beginning are the MoC family! The good news is that the status quo remains in place for another six months.

4. Speaking of TT, not a day goes by when she doesn't say something that cracks everyone up. Her language has developed mainly by conversing with adults and adolecents and reflects those influences. (As does her taste for food; she is as likely to eat an avocado or asparagus as a lolipop). I think she is a teenager in a three year old's body.

I know there's more but I have to get back to work now.


Cottage Cheese, Instant Coffee and Borsht

What do these three have in common?


Friday, April 25, 2008

Email Kills

A few years ago, my old firm litigated a case involving a credit derivative. I won't bore you with too many details. Let's just agree that the case hinged on whether a "credit event" had taken place. We said it had and that, therefore, the defendant, our counterparty, owed us $4MM. The defendant said it hadn't occurred.

The question of whether a "credit event" did or did not happen is a legal question based on the facts and circumstances of the particular situation. Yet, one of our dopey credit analysts felt compelled to write an email that said, "I don't think a credit event has taken place".

This email was, of course, uncovered by the defendants during pre-trial discovery and, effectively, killed our case. There went our $4MM.

This morning I read a story about the fight going on in he Clear Channel case. The issue there is whether or not a bunch of banks committed to finance a takeover by a couple of private equity firms of the communications company, Clear Channel .

Here's part of what the article said:

Much of the hearing was consumed by an audio-visual presentation from the buyout firms’ lawyers in which they highlighted internal bank emails from bank executives. In one, a bank executive said, “let’s draft the nuclear version” of the documents. In another, a bank employee wrote of drafting “draconian” documents. These emails clearly demonstrated, argued Mr. Hansen [the lawyer for the Private Equity Firms] , a deliberate attempt by the banks to blow up the deal so they could avoid potential losses on the Clear Channel debt funding the buyout.

Mr. Struve, the banks’ lawyer, acknowledged that the banks asked the buyout firms for concessions on some of the loan’s terms, but that it was done in an effort to make the loan package more marketable to investors while at the same time trying not to make the terms less appealing for the buyout firms. And what about the banks using the terms “draconian” and “nuclear”? Mr. Struve attributed such language to the “tendency of human beings to use colorful terms.” Which is something, he added, that “we all might have been guilty of at one point or another.
You might have thought that senior executives at a major bank would know better than to use terms like "draft the nuclear version" when emailing his colleagues about a deal that was very likely headed to litigation.

The only difference between my case and this one is the number of zeroes at the end of the number.


Friday, April 18, 2008

"I Am a Mother".

Every once in a while I receive a comment that is so spot on that I like to highlight it.

This is one of them, in response to my recent post on staying home for Pesach.

I am a mother. I have been working myself to the bone. My husband and I are weary with exhaustion. Only 2 days left to the seder. The lists and shopping are done and now just work, work, work.

Would you recommend that I go to a Pesach hotel? Of course, why shouldn't I "enjoy" my yom Tov? Well, that would be the worst thing. I have had a chance to turn the last two months of my life into Avodas Hashem. Every sore muscle, drop of sweat and minute of lost sleep are counting to my Olam Haba. I don't have to have lofty spiritual thoughts to connect to Hashem. Neither me or my husband has to concentrate to be koneh our Yom Tov. Our efforts are enough that we are connected. We are told L'fum Tzarah Agra. Why would I give up this opportunity for a few days of rest?

As for the time with my children, If I were in a hotel, I would be shmoozing with friends, my kids would be screaming and pulling at my skirt. i would want to go to a shiur and leave them with a babysitter. They would be at the children's program instead of with me. I would keep them up either too late at night or leave them in their room alone.

Instead, my 2 year old runs to get me a potato to peel and we discuss shapes. He sits munching on an apple as I explain how to check eggs. My five year old and I check the romaine, prepare salt water and discuss why Totty goes to shul while Mommy watches the baby. this is their holiday now too since they put in the work aside from the coloring and pasting they did in school. They see how we drop everything we are doing, literally, to run do a chesed. We laugh and sing and cry and spend time together working together. They see that challenges are things to make us stronger not to run away from. The key to keeping this time sane has been to turn off my cell and regular phones. It's amazing how much calmer the family is when it's just us. As for Mothers & Bubbies being Shmatas, they don't need to be if Fathers & Zaidies would pitch in. When everyone views the Yom Tov as team play and not as "when can I get my nap" it is the most beautiful time of the year.

As for not being together with my whole extended family, I am not sure if that is such an issue. Leil HaSeder is our chance to transmit our mesora to our children. I don't need to transmit that mesora to my nieces, or great-grandparents or third cousins. Just to my kids. If being together helps with that, great. if not I would rather be at my or my parents' seder where we focus on our kids.

Pesach is a stressful time. I am lucky to have a part-time job so I could do a lot of work with the kids. But attitude and preparation make the difference. It's not about "why should I be the one to do it" but rather "I'm so lucky that I can be the one . . . "


Another Reason I Love My Shul

I often poke fun at my shul for its well deserved reputation as a house of weirdness. (And, as my friends always remind me, I probably had as much to do with attracting the weirdos as anyone).

But I also respect the fact that the members of our shul are overwhelmingly sincere m'vakshai Hashem.

Yesterday I had one of those experiences that remind me why I love this place.

This week, I am in charge of the mikvah. The two regulars are away for Pesach and I am the backup to the backup (For the first three years I was the primary backup but I got tired of picking up other guys' dental floss from the floor). Last night I went to the mikvah to turn the filter on. I also checked the temparature.

This is the thermometer we use in the mikvah.

You have to love this place.

Wishing everyone a chag kasher v'sameach.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How I Really Feel...

...About going away for Pesach.

Despite making fun of Yonason Rosenblum's recent column in Mishpacha Magazine, I happen to agree with him, fundamentally, that going to hotels for Pesach is not a good thing. Where I disagree with Reb Yonason, and the point of my parody, was with his suggestion that going away for Pesach is one of the biggest problems in Yiddishkeit. It's not. Just like Shiny Shoe music is a bad thing, it's also not the end of the world.

This is what I wrote a few years ago about preparing for Pesach:

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. 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.
Many of our kids' friends have literally never been home for Pesach. They've never seen their mothers work like dogs to make sure everything is ready for Pesach. They've never seen their fathers pitch in with the cleaning, the shlepping, the grating of the maror. They've never had to help. They've never had a seder in their dining rooms.

I don't really think about how extravagant or goofy some of the hotel programs are. I'm sure some are more than others (certainly many of the advertisements are ridiculous, taken in context of what Pesach is supposed to be about). That's really not my issue.

I just think it's sad that a large portion of an entire generation of kids has never experienced Pesach where and how it was meant to be observed. At home. With your family.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Real Greatest Threat To Yiddishkeit


To my guests via Dov Bear who do not know me so well and did not get the joke: This is, indeed, satire. And, as Jewboy, points out, it is a page out of Joe Schick's playbook. Finally, this is a definition of Shiny Shoe Music

I will never forget an address by Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman at an Agudath Israel of America convention on the topic "Living a Life of Ruchnios amidst Gashmius." I had never before heard Rabbi Wachsman, and I practically jumped out of my seat when he thundered: This topic represents a fundamental mistake. There is no ruchnius amidst gashmius. To the extent that a person is living in the world of gashmius he is removed from ruchnius.

I was reminded of those words recently on a recent trip to Brooklyn, where I had a rare opportunity to speak with a rav whose wisdom has always impressed me. In the course of our conversation, he asked me, "What would you say is the greatest threat to Yiddishkeit today?" I leaned forward eagerly, confident that he would mention one of my favorite subjects. But I must admit that his answer would not have been on my top ten-list.

"Shiny Shoe Music," turned out to be the winning answer. And my friend's central criticism was similar to that of Rabbi Wachsman: the Shiny Shoe Music industry takes what should be one of the ultimate spiritual experiences of every Jew's life and encases it in a thick wrapper of materialism. Read the advertisements, he told me: "MBD: The King Of Jewish Music" right next to "The Greatest Concert Ever;" "600 Piece Orchestra" next to "Separate Seating Only."

Smoke and sound effects, digital distortion, dancing bears, disco sound and famous singers are de rigueur for the full musical experience. And many throw in exotic locations – Hawaii, Cancun, the Bahamas. What exercised my friend the most was the way that well-known community leaders are impressed into service in the advertisements, as if to put an imprimatur of ruchnius on the festivities.

My friend was raised in a particularly biting style of mussar, and he was just warming to his subject. He described the screaming by teenie bopper girls when the kids in goofy vests runs out and the rush forward on stage. Concert producers have to put security guards around the stage, lest some poor soul from the audience jump up to wish a Shkoiach to the performers.

"The chilul Hashem alone," he said, would be reason enough to close the concert extravaganzas. What does the staff at the record producers and concert halls come to think of frum Jews? That they care only about playing horrible music and nothing but money? What impression does it make to see a group of pot-bellied men in Armani suits and shiny black shoes trying to reach ridiculously high notes?

He related to me the story of one local frum boy who had accompanied his father to a kumzitz. They found only a guitar and some percussion. On the way out, the boy asked his father why there weren't 25 horns and ten violins. He had never in his life seen, much less participated, in such a kumzitz.

That boy, my friend lamented, cannot possibly connect to the idea that Jewish music parallels an inner process of removing the se'or she'b'isa – the physicality and inner materialism that holds us back in our performance of Hashem's commandments. His experience of Jewish music has nothing to do with destroying the chametz either within or without.

When we gather in our homes around the CD player, and contemplate the deeper meaning of a niggun, we link ourselves to all the generations of our ancestors. But if our ancestors could return to observe our kumzitzin, they would recognize their descendants and feel comfortable joining us. It more doubtful they would recognize us gathered around a concert hall stage – even if we were wearing a shtreimel and bekeshe.

EVEN MY FRIEND recognizes that there are many perfectly legitimate reasons that families might go to a shiny shoe concert. Not every Jew understands the depth of a beautiful niggun.

For such cases, there should be alternatives. But it is not these families that are fueling a hundred million dollar industry, or who have transformed Jewish music into a kosher version of disco.

The issue of concert extravaganzas is, in truth, just one more aspect of an ongoing tension in modern Orthodox life. Rabbi Yehoshua Geldzhaler once described to me the pre-war Antwerp Jewry of his youth. During the Three Weeks, he said, you would not see an older Jew smile or engage in any frivolity. The Churban was present for them. Today, Jews listen to "sefirah CDs."

Jews who can really feel the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash are much rarer today. On the other hand, Rabbi Geldzhaler remembers, most of the younger generation in his day was in headlong flight from Yiddishkeit. Today, however, we have made it so much easier to be frum. Our kids can enjoy most of the pleasures of their secular counterparts, and no longer feel the need to rebel to such an extent. Religious observance may not be as internalized as formerly, but at least most of our youth remains within the fold.

We ask our rabbonim and roshei yeshiva to elevate our understanding of Jewish music to the point that a series of horrible, digitized, overproduced CDs is self-understood to be a contradiction to the freedom from materialism that Jewish music celebrates.


Monday, April 14, 2008

The Big Pots' Big Day III

Mazal Tov to the Big Pots. It their anniversary.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stevie Wonder and the Closet Shiny Shoe-er

I started to suspect that OOD was a closet shiny shoe music fan a couple of years ago but I kept it to myself. Not that she doesn't appreciate Carlebach et al; she does. But she also liked to occasionally listen to some other Jewish musicians who who dress in Armani Suits and shiny black shoes, wear hocker glasses, are pudgy and sound like the Chipmunks (or some combination thereof). Over time, I could deny it no longer; OOD is a shiny shoe music fan.

As a parent, one must continue to show unconditional love and acceptance despite this chisaron, and hope that, one day, OOD will see the light and come back to the proper music derech.

Then, this morning, I heard something that both surprised me and gave me hope. OOD and The Toddler were dancing to a Stevie Wonder song off her iPod. Stevie Wonder? Where did that come from?

I don't think I had ever heard OOD play a rock song. Ever. Stevie Wonder?

It turns out that her very good friend hooked her up. She purchased a couple of songs on iTunes.

L'maisa, I used to love Stevie Wonder. (I actually saw him open up for the Rolling Stones in Madison Square Garden about 35 years ago).

I told OOD that I approved. I noted that Stevie Wonder played b'simcha rabbah, and that I'd rather that she listen to Stevie Wonder than to shiny shoe stuff.

Could this be the beginning of her return?


The Best of Pesach, Part I

Because I will be slaving away with Pesach preparations this week (OK, that's a lie), and won't have time to post much, I am linking to a previous link of best of Pesach posts.

Great chidushim and insights from MoC on Pesach.


Mo Rivera To Start

Well, not exactly.

Actually, I will be davening Shacharis for the amud this ciming Shabbos rather than Musaf. I can't remember the last time I davened Shacharis for the amud in the main shul. I am usually called upon as the "closer" when there is a particularly slow ba'al Shacharis. This week, with erev Pesach falling on Shabbos, we need to get through davening quickly so that we can eat before the prohibition against eating Chametz kicks in.

So, since, l'maisa, Shacharis usually takes longer than Musaf they are looking to me for a rare start.

B'ezras hashem, I will be equal to the task.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Mazal Tov To Us

As noted in the previous post, OOD is graduating from college next month. Mazal Tov to OOD. I just sent the last tuition check for her college. Mazal Tov to us.

Two down, two (or three*) to go.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

*(If we are zoche to raise The Toddler, it will be our greatest pleasure to pay her college tuition. By that time it will be like raising an only child and, with G-d's continued help, it should be easy as compared to having multiple tuitions to manage now.)


"MoCs Take the Stairs"

This morning I was privileged to take the train to work with OOD. OOD, who is graduating from college next month, has to take some silly cumulative exam for her major and scheduled it for this morning.

As we walked toward the 34th Street exit of Penn Station, OOD told me she needed to pick up a train schedule, so we parted ways.

The exit was very crowded, with long lines to get to the two escalators and a shorter line to get to the stairs. Shortly after I got to the top of the exit, I received a text message from OOD, who had apparently been following right behind me.. "MoCs take the stairs".

I'm not sure how much OOD learned in seminary and three years of college, but as long as she understands the deeper meaning of "MoCs take the stairs", I am confident that she has learned a lot about life.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Great School

OYS arrived in New York on Monday morning. I was able to arrange a flight on El Al through my Matmid points but the best I could do was a flight to Newark. OYS's main concern was that he get back home in time to daven shachris at his old high school on the morning of his arrival. (He did).

I find this quite remarkable and a real testament to the warmth and excellence of his school. And it isn't only OYS. I know that many of his friends flocked back to the school as soon as they could. Indeed, OYS and many of his classmates are spending most of their time bein hazmanim at the DRS Bais Medrash.

And the school, its Menahel, its Rabbeim (and its coaches) go out of their way to keep up this kesher.

Rock on.


Random Thoughts From Sunny California

1. I like nice weather.

2. If you have to be on the road, you could do a lot worse than Santa Monica.

3. American Airlines s@*cks. I flew to LAX business class and the flight attendant who covered me could not have been less pleasant. I understand that AA must be a horrible place to work, but since you have to, you might as well smile and make believe you're enjoying yourself (or at least don't act like you're in the middle of a dental procedure without Novocaine). Then, today, I received an email that my flight from Dallas tomorrow has been cancelled because AA failed an FAA compliance test and had to examine about 1000 planes.. Luckily, I was able to get an alternate flight, albeit to La Guardia rather than JFK (which is ten minutes from home). I'm also fortunate that my flight to Dallas, the last one out tonight, has not been cancelled (like some of the earlier ones). (On the other hand, going home or staying in Santa Monica another day would not have been bad alternatives. But I digress).

4. In contrast to the miserable AA employee, the employees at Hertz were uniformly pleasant. In fact, the shuttle bus driver who took me back to the terminal was very funny and had a little rap act that elicited smiles from all on board.

5. I ran for 40 minutes yesterday morning on the Santa Monica-Venice promenade. The last time I ran was exactly one year ago during my last visit to Santa Monica. My quads feel the way they did after I finished the 1994 New York Marathon. (Which is precisely how they felt last year after my annual run; what was I thinking?). The truth is, I do love to run, all these years later. I think I will mix up my biking with some running this spring and summer.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Nochi's Wedding

I was zoche to attend Nochi Krohn's wedding last night. Nochi is one of the nicest, most sincere and most lishma guys in the J music business and you could just feel the warmth at the wedding hall. I've know him since he was a 17 year old kid doing sound and playing keyboards for Chaim Dovid.

Not surprisingly, the crowd at the wedding reminded me of the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars. Lots of J musicians, wanna be J musicians, yeshiva bochrim (do they all have to smoke so much? It reeked of tobbaco anytime I got in the middle of the dance floor with them).

Lots of, shall we say, interesting people there.

All in all, a lovely ime was had by all.

Mazel Tov!


Corned Beef

I hosted a business lunch in my office today. This morning, my administrative assistant emailed me, asking whether anyone else needed kosher food. I replied, no, and told her that she didn't need to order for me (I'm not much for big lunches on Fridays and I figured I'd get by with a fruit).

Ignoring my wishes, she ordered a corned beef sandwich from Mr. Broadway. With cole slaw and everything. I don't think I've had a corned beef sandwich in ten years. Not that I don't like corned beef. I just don't fargin myself corned beef. Corned beef is like a flieshig Devil Dog; it's great going down but you regret it the rest of the afternoon.

Nevertheless, not wanting to be a ba'al taschis, I had no choice but to eat the corned beef sandwich.

Not too shabby.

But I need a nap.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Interpreting Data

Two people can look at the same data and reach completely opposite conclusions.

Take my gym, for example.

The gym has been ridiculously crowded for the past few weeks (ironically, I rarely get there any more because I am so busy). The gym is not inexpensive.

What conclusion can one reach about the economy from the fact that the gym has been very crowded?

One person could conclude that the economy must be robust since so many people are able to afford gym membership. He would, of course, be wrong.

The right conclusion is that businessmen and women are not busy so they have time to go to the gym. They have always had gym memberships but are only now using them during business hours. This does not bode well for the economy for at least the next six months since deals take a while to get done and people are getting buff rather than doing deals.

(Of course, in a few months, when the gym starts getting much less crowded, two more conclusions could be reached. First, people are busy again so things are looking up. Or, conversely, people are getting fired so they no longer have their company-paid gym memberships. Only time will tell which one it will be).


You Say It's Your Birthday

...Happy Birthday to you...OYD. Pepin Rocks!

Not just any ol' birthday. Her 16th Birthday.

You know what that means? Drivers permit.

There a few things that get more difficult as you age. For example, changing diapers is far more difficult at age 53 than it was at, say, age 35. (Not the act of changing the diaper; straightening out your back after changing the diaper is what's challenging these days).

And, of course, teaching 16 year olds to drive. As you age, your nerves tend to get more frayed and your patience wears out more quickly. For that reason, MHW is happy to hand this assignment to me. The truth is, I'm a pretty patient driving instructor, I expect OYD will be a pretty good student, and I don't think teaching OYD will be a problem.

So, Bring it on!


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No Food Month

Over the years, I have posted from time to time about how fortunate we are that we stay home for Pesach. The mere thought of going away makes me shudder.

On the other hand, staying home is very hard work, particularly for MHW (but even for me, especially as I get older, with all the shlepping).

Nevertheless, it's a happy trade off for all of us.

But there's one other aspect of Pesach preparation that goes largely unnoticed. Starting after Purim, the food supply in the house starts to dwindle. By the week before Pesach our home is a total No Food Zone.

Already this past Shabbos we had to eat bakery challah rather than MHW's scrumptious home brew (MHW didn't want to bake a whole new batch of challahs; this would mean challahs left over for Pesach. Luckily, I happen to like Zomick's challah, so it wasn't the end of the world).

Pretzels are no longer to be found anywhere in chez MoChassid.

The spaghetti supply is getting low; replacements at this point are doubtful.

You get the idea.

But we can handle this for another 2 plus weeks. We just have to think about how the Master of the Universe will appreciate our mesiras nefesh.

On the other hand, there's always Mendys at Grand Central Station.