Can I Prepare For Pesach Without Stress And Misery?

Guest post by Chaya Kurtz

The talk around town, at least amongst the lady folk, is cleaning for Pesach. This is horrible on so many counts that I cannot begin to count them. Here is why: Do I go around saying, “The yoke of heaven is so heavy on me! Aye! It chafes my skin!”? Do I? Do you? Do we go around saying, “I had such a hard time davening Shacharit this morning!”? Do you (do I) talk about your avoda like that? Is it cool to do that?

Now think about it. If every time you asked me how I was doing, I would reply something like, “I said asher yatzar after I went to the bathroom! Woooo hoooo,” you would want to hit me in the face. You would think that I was flaunting my avoda, trying to win the race for most bittul. You would think I was wicked annoying.

Listen, people, cleaning for Pesach is avoda. Avoda is hard. But talking about it, and competing for who does it better, and having to hire a cleaning lady when you are flat out broke…what is going on here? (Answer this, also: What if you are the cleaning lady? What…are you going to hire yourself? Believe it or not, Jewish cleaning ladies exist. I was one.) This is not OK.

I frankly want to hear about your avoda as much as I want to hear about gruesome organ removal operations. So maybe you are so cool that you clean that cabinets that you are taping closed anyway. Cool for you. If I am not kosher enough for you, then don’t eat at my house.

Ladies: This is a rallying cry for a sane Pesach cleaning season. You don’t have to go broke hiring cleaning ladies, whose work you’ll have to redo anyway. You don’t have to spend $1000 to replace every single item in your kitchen and dining room, including your chairs. You do not have to throw away your chairs! Where the heck did people get the idea that you have to throw away your chairs at Pesach??? Just wipe them down, spray them with Lysol, and call it a day.

Here are Auntie Chaya’s guidelines for a sane Pesach cleaning:

  1. Drink as much alcohol as you want to drink while cleaning.
  2. Lysol spray renders chametz inedible, and it is your best friend.
  3. If there is chametz in your bathroom, then someone is eating in the bathroom, and that should only happen in middle schools.

Now let’s all have a Pesach cleaning party. Pour yourself a bottle of wine, get out the oven cleaner, and have at it. But please, please…we are not in a race for who can be the most bittul. So this year, let’s just tape it up, cover it in garbage bags, sell it, and douse the place in chemicals. It’s gonna be awesome.

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