Friday, April 28

Pesach Passed Over This Year

We interrupt this account of spiritual enlightenment to report to you the saga that was Kasamba’s Pesach.

Hello boys and girls!
I have been away for Pesach for the first time in my whole lengthy life! It was absolutely surreal. I abandoned my side of my family; parents, brothers to go to Italy and party with my in-laws.
Considering that this was my first Pesach ever not having peeled a potato, you would think that I would have loved the whole 'being served' scenario. Read on....

The hotel was like a palace, with ceiling so high that I don't know how they change light bulbs. It was sumptuous and opulent without being gaudy- simply stunning. The hosts were gracious and hospitable, the food delicious. All we had to do was change outfits three times a day, eat and sleep. Sounds great, no?


Pesach just did not feel like Pesach.

Kabbalistic teachings tell us that we do not celebrate holidays as an anniversary of an event; rather we celebrate the energy that allowed that occurrence to happen. So if we try, we can actually tap into the energy that a Yom Tov affords us. This Pesach came and went and Icouldn't tap into its energy. We held a massive family seder in a private through room where people where walking in and out to get to other rooms, the kids felt inhibited to speak in front of the waiters and the passing guests. Even though they had most incredible Rav and Rebbetzin on hand who gave fantastic shiurim, I just couldn't feel anything.
I think I'm just one of those people who has to earn her Pesach. When I spend Pesach at home, my greatest thrill is to mentally tour my home and know exactly where everything is.
I love cooking Pesach food because you get extra points just for making it edible.
So I felt like a gefilte fish out of water; as if I was missing my purpose.

Hotel stays are always geared for 'me, me, me', and it is a testament to good midos that the people in our Hotel behaved so graciously towards the staff. However there was one exception; my little one started to order our poor waiter around. Uh, oh. I'd better keep an eye on her!
People who go to a hotel, sometimes feel stressed by the fashion requirements. I was actually told by numerous people there that it took them a minimum of two weeks shopping to aquire the wardrobe required for Pesach in a hotel. Quick, pass the Valium!
The packing didn't bother me as much as making sure my kiddies had clean clothes for the next meal, which seemed to have come as often as sunrise on the space shuttle; every ten minutes.
(Just how many times do you have to say Shachris up there?)

I came home with a very empty feeling, as if I was so close to something that proved to be just out of reach; but I have to say, Hubby looooved the whole thing.
Too bad on him, IYH next year we're staying home!
(If I don't feel like I've left Mitzraim- does that mean I'm still there?)


At 3:52 PM, Blogger jemima3 said...

I've done the pesach in a hotel thing and believe me, the month I spent shopping beforehand for millions of outfits for everyone caused me major stress! Did I enjoy not lifting a finger, being served morning noon and night, having on tap entertainment for my kids, food so great that I didn't even notice it was Pesach? it was hell! Seriously, though, the whole point was that it didn't actually feel like Pesach, it just felt like a great holiday.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Welcome home..although I love Italy..and would jump at an oppotunity to go back...I agree that pesach in a hotel is just not the same...

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

of course hubby loved it he just had to put his suit on and away we go, no agonizing etc. one big fress-a-thon and NO WORK! and of course YOU!

At 1:18 AM, Blogger G Green said...

Glad some people had a good time. Glad that others know where their priorities lie!

(Did you get my email?)

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Amishav said...

What an interesting post! I've never had pesach anywhere but in my own home- and I think that I'll keep it that way! Thanks for writing about this.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Hello everybody!
Jemima and David: Yeah, it was a 'holiday' as oppossed to a 'holy day'!

Limey; I love the word, 'fress-a-thon'!

Ggreen; I do feel a bit guilty for not enjoying it as much as everyone else seemed to!

Amishav; hello my friend! Pesach at home is tons of work, but at least you experience it.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Chasidishe Shaigitz said...

I have been to Italy twice for pesach! I have a uncle who is a rabbi there (chabad) so I've been there twice with other guys (cousins and friends) to help run the seder, and let me assure you with all the preparations and work we put into it, we sure did feel what pesach was all about. (spiritualy and physicaly)

I have never been to a VACATION hotel for pesach, although last year I helped out with a seder in a hotel in Hawaii, yet it was more community oriented and not really the vacation type of crowd, I can only imagine what it must be like by one of these pesach vacation getaway hotel's, doesn't sound like much of a spiritual chag.

At 2:34 AM, Blogger browneyedgirl said...

hey kasamba- i always wondered if pesach in a hotel would be amazing, or exactly how you described. I kind of suspected it would be how u described. I still think id choose to go if given the option!

At 4:55 AM, Blogger The Jewish Freak said...

Kas: Please also remember that Pesach is a holiday, one that is meant to be enjoyed. You only have one life, enjoy it to the fullest. If G-d gives you a gift, embrace it with both hands, because he may one day ask you why you didn't.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Chasidishe Shaigetz; I think I'm just a masochist- I just need toi feel the work so I can feel the accomplishment.
Try spending Pesach where everyone congregates in the lobby waiting with bated breath for your next costume change...
(But Hawaii does sound amazaing!)

Browneyedgirl; 'Ello darlin! I also suspected that it was going to be the way it was when my mother in law told me to bring my entire wardrobe and the crown jewels!

The Jewish Freak: I do know that you are right in a way and I suppose I do feel ungrateful; but what can you do if you feel nothing spiritually on a holiday that is the crux of our entire religion?

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

Is there a place where you can have both? holiday and holyday
(for me lots of good food but you dont have to bring the crown jewels)

At 5:37 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Ooooooh now you're talking!!!!
Does anyone know of this utopian Pesach getaway?

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Okee said...

Hi Kasamba--I've always gone to florida for pesach--which is holiday-like, and the wardrobe issue was always more stressed than the slavery issue, so i get what yer saying. But on the other hand, i think it haqs to do with what your used to, or how you prepare. i'm used to going to florida for pesach, so i prepare for that-like i bring good books to read on the beach, or think of divrei torah that apply to sunny gorgeous wheather and lots of people milling around looking for dates! Good luck for next pesach, wherever you end up!

At 7:22 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I always wanted to go to a hotel for pesach. One year I did and it was loads of fun but it was not a spiritual pesach. It's hard to have it relaxing and spiritual. Besides for a full time maid in the house I suppose. I commented on your comment in my baby safe blog. Keep visiting me there and my other blog.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

Glad you had an enjoyable time. Good for you.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

you are hereby tagged for the a-z meme

enjoy ;)


At 8:12 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

At last!!!
I've been tagged!!!

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Lady-Light said...

Kasamba, I just discovered your blog - nice read!
I could very much relate to it; Pesach spirituality is in the preparation. You are absotively, posilutely right!
I have known about people who have separate Pesach kitchens, and just close up the hametz one & open the Pesachdike one. Some tirchah, eh? And THAT would even be better than a hotel, because at least you can do your own seder with your own minhagim, on your own turf!
The beauty of the Pesach spiritual high is working your way up towards it.
Hey, and J-Cop beat me to it - I was going to tag you for the A-Z Meme!! Not fair!

At 9:45 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

I dont know... I hear it and I feel bad you couldnt get into the spirit of Pesach but I just dont get why people have such a hard time with going away. I find that its not so hard tapping into the feeling... its all up to us...!

OK take Pesach out of the equation... as a vacation wasnt Italy amazing? It's def on my to-do list :-)

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

I tagged you too
I go to my in laws for the utopian getaway....

At 10:41 PM, Blogger jemima3 said...

This year I had the best of all worlds, holiday and holyday. I went away so didn't have all the hard work (not to a hotel) and it was a really beautiful yom tov 'cos it was spent with family. Question is, would you do the same again next year? Also, I'm curious, did it feel incomplete being without your whole family (I mean your 'challenging child') or did it give you a much needed break to recharge your batteries? please disregard the last question if it's too intrusive.

At 4:55 AM, Blogger Stacey said...

Sorry this experience didn't quite cut it for you. I can understand why it would have been hard for you to really get into it there.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I have often wondered about going away for Pesach.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Okee; Maybe you're right- maybe if I prepared more, I wouldn't have felt that way!

Socialworker/frustrated mom:
The term 'relaxing Pesach' just might be a misnomer! (I'll keep visiting!)

Lady light;
I just looooved what you said;
"The beauty of the Pesach spiritual high is working your way up towards it."
It really sums up the whole thing for me.Thanx for tagging me!

Frumgirl; I agree that it's all up to us and that's one of the reasons I feel so bad about not being able to feel anything. As a vacation Italy is A+ for sure!

Limey2001: Do you inlaws have room for us? ;)
Thanks for tag!

Jemima3: Glad to hear that you got the mix right! About next year- well, we'll see cuz Hubby really got into the whole shebang. About your other question (never be afraid to ask!) I felt so guilty about my challenging son being in NY while we were living in up in Italy. But it was his choice and he got so much attention from my parents and my brothers that he flourished there! And it allowed my younger 'perfect' child, who is completely overshadowed by this older brother, a chance to shine. so that made things ok. (And it gave me a chance to pretend that I have a normal family which was nice)

Jacks Shack: Well, if you got the wardrobe- go for it!

Howudoin Stacey! Yeah, all was not as it should have been.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger tafka PP said...

Been eating the odd meal at my grandparents' Pesach hotel table for the last 7 years. But I also make Pesach in my house- I agree it doesn't "feel" like Pesach if you don't scrub through the night and unearth all the changeover stuff. And almost everyone who does the Hotel thing seems to feel that way- you are not alone!

At 2:15 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Tafka; it is comforting to know that there are others!

At 4:58 AM, Blogger torontopearl said...

I've always said it would be nice to spend Pesach in Italy...or Switzerland...or Arizona. But I also knew from hearing stories about the wardrobes "needed" for a Yom Tov among strangers. That's not my cup of tea, and detracts from the meaning of the chag, in my humble opinion.
But it was nice that you could go away...

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

They sure do? and you'd have a blast too, much more excitng destination than Italy

At 3:44 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Torontopearl; You're right; it was nice to go away!

Limey: Can I book reservations now?;)

At 12:43 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

Rabbi Godlewsky of Edgware Torah Centre took a whole load of families to Leicester for Pesach. It cost £1500 for each adult and kids went free. Basically it was for young frum bt families who can't go to the parents and it would cost the same or m ore to make pesach themselves. My friend loved it and said if next year in Jerusalem doesnt happen then it's next year in Leicester.
My friend works and is about to have a was a G-dsend not to have to pesach clean this year, it wasn't a hotel, it was a campus (pesach fell at easter) and each family were allocated a 4/5 bedroom apartment. So no roomservice, no hotel experience, no pesach cleaning but still a nice spiritual element.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Lentils said...

Do you know if Godlewski is doing anything similar this year - or if anyone else is?

I am not up to making Pesach this year but really don't want the 'hotel' experience. Something like that sounds like what we would be looking for as a family.

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