Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let's leave Egypt, so we can scrape our ovens with our toothbrushes!

I know this will be 2 Jewy posts in a row, but since it's the week of Passover, I think I'm entitled. I have an appropriately bizarre interview with Wife that has to be posted, but first it must be polished to a high sheen, then typed by my helper monkey. Don't think you're going to earn your dinner just by throwing feces and grinning, Rainbow!

Downstairs, as I write this, Wife's mother is banging her head against the Great Wall of Passover. Desperately she tries to clean her kitchen, scrubbing and soaking and boiling and swiffererering. I'm sure some rabbis will commend her, and I'm positive it'll go in her mitzvah checklist, kept by Herbert, the Accountant Angel (sure, you mock him, but Heaven has been in the black for three thousand years. Beat that, Purgatory! Your balance sheets are a mess! Hahahahahahaha!).

But in the end, through all the cleaning and removing by hand the dill from her famous chicken soup, is her Passover any more fulfilling, any more enjoyable? Sure, she wins the OCD category in her local Hadassah chapter's annual awards. And there is indeed a trophy. But, as Mother of the Fancy Pants likes to say, "G-d is sitting up there laughing His omnipotent ass off." I understand the laws, the requirement of eradicating leavened materials from the home. And she does a super job, as do most mothers - because let's face it, there are few men with the patience or inclination to scrub an oven grill until it shines. Who do you think came up with all the loopholes? But why does this holiday turn everyone into Lady MacBeth (and no, I won't quote the line for you. If you don't know what it is, go back to high school, or learn to read. Neanderthal.)?

So, in honor of my mother-in-law, I hereby suggest the following. If

1) you are the principal preparer of the Passover home;

2) you are hosting at least one seder;

3) you are preparing more than 4 recipes that are over 40 years old, one of which requires you to reach into a boiling pot of broth and squeeze out the fresh dill that has been soaking therein for the past 6 hours; and

4) you have a cleaning lady, but you don't really trust her work, so you do the entire house yourself anyway,

you don't have to celebrate any other holiday all year. No fasting, no shaking the fruits and veggies, no sitting in the hut. Because if you're going to blow one holiday out of all proportion, it should cover the rest of the year.

Have a lovely 8 days of constipation and leftovers, my glorious 5 readers.

1 comment:

Ali said...

um, yes, every year i celebrate this lovely little holiday i start to realize how entirely absurd it is. i mean, i get the "don't eat bread for a week" deal...but for pesach paper goods? have you ever? also? coffee? surely, god didn't have my morning stop at Tim Horton's in mind when making all these rules...