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

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The Holiest Week of the Year IV

If, as my Rebbe says, this is perhaps the holiest week of the year, then today, Erev, Erev Pesach, may be the holiest day of the year.

After turning the kitchen over last night, the cooking for Pesach began this moning in earnest. At the same time, all of the Pesach stuff has to be brought out and inventoried and the holes filled in. Trips to the supermarket, a trip to the kailim mikvah (I don't recall ever celebrating a Pesach when I didn't have to go to the kailim mikvah to tovel something two days before Pesach). My oldest cleans the silver wine cups and seder plates. The youngest two are peeling vegetables for the soup and potato kugel. My older daughter is driving around town doing a few errands. My holy wife is surviving on fumes.

Take out food for lunch (that has to be eaten outside, of course). Dinner at a restaurant. B'dikas Chametz in a few hours.

On this day in particular I feel bad for people who go away for Pesach. Despite the hard work, there is such a geshmak in every little act. As I'm shleppping the dishes from the basement storage area I get a chill thinking about all the years that I've done this and all the memories of family around the seder table.

I'm crawling out of my skin in anticipation of the Seder.


My holy wife just bought a Black & Decker "Gizmo". It's an electric grater.

For over thirty years, it's been my job to grate the marror on Erev Pesach. I started doing it at my parents home and have done it wherever I've been since (mostly, Baruch Hashem, at our own seder). I use a very old hand grater that looks something like a rectangular squash racquet.

This is a seriously hard job since, to do it right, you have to sacrifice some of the skin on your knuckles and a little blood. At the same time, you can't help but cry because the fumes from the marror are so brutal (one time I wore swim goggles; they actually worked). My kids are always amused by my struggles.

I will have to decide tomorrow whether to take advantage of modern technolgy or stick to the old Mesorah. I don't know what to do.

Macaroons and Other Inedible Pesach Foods III

I want to be melamed zchus on the Chag of Pesach (as well as perform a public service) so I want to identify some good desserts for Pesach despite my earlier posts to the contrary.

Pistachio Nuts
Fruit (for women, anyway)
fruit rolls
Potato chips
Potato sticks
Ice Cream

If you stick to these and stay away from the macaroons and cakes, you'll be safe.


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