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

Friday, April 22, 2005

A Very Sad Post

Da'as Hedyot, a former chareidi, has a very sad post about his inability to enjoy Pesach (or any of the chagim) for a variety of reasons. The main reason, he notes, is that he has no good memories of the yomim tovim when he was a kid. He went away for Pesach and Succos and, although not miserable, he was never particularly happy or comfortable. Throw in his issues with the entire chareidi lifestyle and the result is a man who has great difficulty enjoying the chag.

I am blessed in that my experiences growing up were almost exactly the opposite. We always stayed home and had the warmest, sweetest, most musical seders that one could hope for. My father, OBM (whose loss I feel especially strongly at this time, the first chag that he is not with us) never went for pilpulim at the seder. His seder was about 'varmkeit' and singing. And, as an added bonus, my mother (zzg) was a killer cook. How could I not love Pesach having grown up that way? I am forever indebted to my parents who provided us with such a wonderful environment.

MHW and I have tried to follow this path. With one exception, when we went away to family, we have been home for Pesach for almost 20 years. We have never gone away for Succos. I think (hope?) our kids are better off for that. We also try to make our seders as joyous and laid back as possible so that our kids, too, will have fond memories of the chag.

Finally, Da'as Hedyot's post also brings home the idea of how important it is to concentrate on your own kids, especially on Shabbos. So many people have company so often that their kids get short shrift (and the parents don't even realize it). This is a very big topic and I will discuss at length another day.

May Hashem bless Da'as Hedyot (and all of us) that we should enjoy the chag, enjoy our families, and appreciate our blessings. A frielichin Yom Tov.