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Pesach Cleaning - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Pesach Cleaning
With Purim behind us, Pesach is around the corner, which means cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. Plus lots of planning and shopping. Since my observance level has gone up exponentially since last year, I'm reading Blumenkrantz's "The Laws of Pesach" for 5763 more carefully than I might otherwise have done. I'm still mostly skimming, but not as much as I usually do.

But I came across the following and I'm having mixed feelings

Consider the many women who do not eat breakfast and will fast most of the day and nothing bothers them. But as soon as you tell them tomorrow is a fast day, they complain of headaches. I mention women, not because men are different in nature, since they too will find it more difficult to fast when they have to do it than if it is their own choice. However, it is the woman who generally shoulders the responsibility of preparing the house for Pesach. It is they who generally become more overwhelmed with their responsibility than the men: (a) because they are more sensitive to cleanliness and what it is all about, and (b) because they are, by nature, more scrupulous in their approach to Yom Tov preparations, especially Pesach. They will prepare that extra kugel lekovod Shabbos or that extra cake lekovod Yom Tov. In general, her sincerity in complying with the mitzvos she accepts and appreciates makes her sometimes go above and beyond the call of duty. in my opinion, this virtue is at least one reason women were never required to wear a yarmulka to remind them of Hash-m...

Now, I'm a little confused. First of all, let me point out that this sefer would be a lot easier to use and reference if Blumenkrantz would refrain from throwing in his opinions like this. But okay. He's trying to make a point. Women do in many, if not most, cases shoulder the majority of the responsibility in preparing for Pesach. I'm very lucky and I have a husband who is very good about helping with most of it, but the kitchen is my responsibility. And it's my responsibility because I want it that way because I'm the only one I trust to do it, short of hiring someone more knowledgeable to come in and take care of it.

So I'm not disagreeing with Blumenkrantz about the fact that women bear the brunt of the responsibility. And he's right that sometimes we go above and beyond the call of duty. He goes on to further postulate that if we recognize the difference between the little bit that we're required to do and what we want to do, we'll have a healthier attitude about it. I can buy that, too, though I gotta say this isn't likely the year that I'm going to get to that point.

But I guess I don't see how this relates to wearing a yarmulke. It could be that it's nearly 1am. Is it because we are already so sincere in our appreciation of mitzvot? I mean, sure, I can buy that. I'll take it as a compliment. But it just doesn't quite seem right. I don't know, I just feel like I'm missing something.

On another note, until reading this chapter, it never occurred to me that I should check my earthquake emergency kit for chometz. Oh, that's right. I live in Maryland. I don't have an earthquake emergency kit.

Current Mood: confused confused

5 comments or Leave a comment
kmelion From: kmelion Date: March 27th, 2003 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the reference about the yarmulke is in regards to "In general, her sincerity in complying with the mitzvos she accepts and appreciates makes her sometimes go above and beyond the call of duty."

I was told that the main reason a man wears a yarmulke is to remind him of Hashem above him. Men need these physical reminders much more than women, who intrinsically know that there is a God above them, and is ready with her acceptance and appreciation.

May I add you to my riends list?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 27th, 2003 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)


certainly you may add me to your friends list.

I suppose I'm just sort of raising an eyebrow at the idea that I'm more aware of G-d above me than my husband. Then again, he wears a kippah, so maybe that's the point.

Perhaps I shouldn't speculate on these things at this hour of the morning.
cellio From: cellio Date: March 28th, 2003 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I have been told this by a number of Orthodox men (never women). It is given as one reason that women are exempt from certain mitzvot (and therefore forbidden to do them in situations where men could). Basically, the claim is that women are on a higher spiritual plane and don't need all the reminders and prods that men need; we're (according to this theory) inherently more holy.

I don't agree with this interpretation; I'm just doing my best to repeat it accurately.
From: bodnej Date: March 31st, 2003 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Earthquake kit...

You may not have an earthquake kit, but you should have a terrorist kit. Seriously. You live what, 6 miles from Downtown DC? A major (or heck) minor attack, and you've got about zero chance of getting out of the area by roads. Staying in place until whatever passes is probably all you can do.

But then again, I worry. I'm the guy who wanted to wear a foam rubber suit when I lived in California.

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 31st, 2003 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Earthquake kit...

3 miles, actually. But who's counting?
5 comments or Leave a comment