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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Picking Up The Pieces

Round hand-made 
"shmurah matzah" is becoming more popular even among secular Jews in the United States.

Round hand-made "shmurah matzah" is becoming more popular even among secular Jews in the United States.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression).  It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free!  Matzah in bed!

(NOTE: Matzah makes more crumbs than anything, chometz included.  And they hurt.)

But Pesach is not just about lying in bed and eating.  I get all these questions that I have to answer.  Pesach more than ever.  Some questions aren’t even officially sent in.  Some of them, people just come up and ask me.

 

Hey, Mordechai,

What’s the weather supposed to be like on Pesach?

Snow Joke

Dear Snow,

What’s it supposed to be like?!  It’s supposed to be springy.

(And by “springy,” I mean, “Set out for a Chol HaMoed trip in a winter coat, and then have to drag it around all day over your arm.”)

But I don’t care about the weather on Pesach itself, even though it affects Shefoch Chamascha, especially when it’s windy, and you open the door and it slams into you, getting even more wine on your kittel than usual.  It’s like Eliyahu HaNavi is in a rush.

But no.  I care about what the weather is going to be like on erev Pesach.

I say this because I have a minhag to eat breakfast outside on erev Pesach, apparently, sitting on the stairs to my porch.  And last year, erev Pesach was in middle of the winter.  I saw snowflakes.

So I was sitting on the stairs with my kids, eating cereal in mittens, when all of a sudden, the wind caught our open box of Cheerios and blew it off the porch and onto the driveway, raining Cheerios everywhere.  And there was no way that animals were going to come and eat all of that within the hour before z’man biur chometz.  Especially in the snow, and especially with all of us sitting out there and watching our milk freeze over.  And especially since most of the animals in our yard are nocturnal.

So I got a broom and started sweeping the driveway.  I’m insane, right?  Who sweeps their driveway?  It was also garbage day, so I was trying to get this done before the trucks showed up.  So I swept the driveway until I had an overfull dustpan of Cheerios and rocks, and then I poured it into a garbage bag.  And as I was doing that, the wind came along, again, and even though I managed to hold onto the dustpan, a lot of the rocks and dust blew it into my wife’s cereal just as she was about to take her first bite.

So my point is that I’m done with cold erev Pesachs.  This is why the Torah very clearly says “Spring.”  I think, arguably, we should have had 3 or 4 Adars this year, just to be safe.

 

 

Dear Mordechai,

I would like to make the Seder more interesting for my kids.  What do you think of getting props for the makkos?

Just for the Kids

Dear Just,

A lot of articles I’ve read recommend buying props for the makkos as a way of making the Seder “more fun.”  For example, you can buy something called a “Bag of Plagues,” which does not sound like something you would ever want to buy, unless you know the context.  You can also buy “10 Plagues Masks,” so you can pretend to be the various makkos, such as a dead cow.  There are also various puppet sets you can get, though it’s hard to find one with a “Choshech” puppet that is not vaguely racist.

But these people forget that the makkos are like two lines in the middle of Maggid.  Or, if you have a picture hagaddah, ten pages that you have to turn really quickly with wine on your pinky.  Meanwhile, you’re trying not to get wine on your ten finger puppets, you’re constantly switching masks, and your teenager is yelling, “Wait!  I have a vort on Dever!”  Using toys for the makkos will actually make Maggid take longer, and your kids want to get to Shulchan Orech already so they can go play in the living room.

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2 Responses to “Picking Up The Pieces”

  1. Why do you talk about Jesus on a Jewish page? That’s *your* Bible, not ours. A person repents for their own sins. That’s teshuvah.

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