Monday, March 4, 2013

Pessach, Bah Humbug

Quite often in the last few days I have been asked to define my particular dislike of the upcoming holiday of Pessach.

Is it the obsession for Spring Cleaning beyond the halachic guidelines?  Not really, I don't get trapped in that phenomenon.
Is it the internal division that I feel the food issues of the holiday create?  A bit.  There are enough unfortunate elements that divide the Jewish people, and I do believe that we should all be able to sit at one table and eat together on Pessach.  Kitniyot [legumes, forbiden to Ashkenazim], Gebrachts [Are you allowed to eat matza balls in your chicken soup? Only G-d seems to know], bah humbug.

A pateint told me yesterday that according to the halacha, I must buy food for our cat Harry that is Kosher for Passover, though it need not be Kosher per se.  I have seen this special food, at least double the price and it's like feeding your cat Pringles for the week.

But today I discovered the true reason that this holiday sets me into a tailspin of anxiety and Christmas-like depression:  every year I must figure out where Raphaela and I will spend seder, a completely family-centered event in a country where I have no real immediate family members.

 For the past several years, we have attended a wonderful seder at neighbors;  today they informed me that "it will not work out this year, sorry."  I am trying very hard not to take it personally, perhaps they plan on traveling this March to children who live outside Jerusalem, or some other factor that is perfectly reasonable and has nothing to do with me.  That insecure part of me immediately started to wonder if it something I did last year at seder that we are not invited this year.

I am starting to even feel physically ill at the thought that Raphaela and I will not have an invitation for seder, and I dread the activity of going through my list of friends and acquaintances, asking/begging to be included and hearing "no" more often than I wish.  For part of this day I was even considering calling my travel agent to see if she could arrange decently priced plane tickets for the United States, two weeks before one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is the idea that people would be nice to us out of pity.
There, it's official, I hate Pessach.

1 comment:

tesyaa said...

Is there any way you can make your own seder (doesn't need to be fancy), and invite someone else whom you know and like who is alone, or perhaps a couple without kids? That would give your daughter a chance to be the hostess, and show her that you are your OWN family.