’m embarrassed to admit this, but how glad I am that Pesach is over!

We all worked so hard to bring Pesach in with joy, with gratitude that we were celebrating in good health, and that we have the means to, while many other families struggle to buy bare basics for Yom Tov.

I try very hard to keep all the chumros you’ve outlined since the first time we made Pesach, and I do it willingly, even though in my childhood home things were more lenient and easy-going. I know this is very important to you and do my best to please you.

Yet as much as I try, I feel you make it harder for us each year. For at least ten days before Pesach, you stay home, dropping all your other duties to “help” bring Pesach in.

You’re busy overseeing all the work, on top of everything that happens in this house, starting from the money spent (“Why did you buy that, didn’t I tell you we’re tight?!”), to checking what food was purchased, not trusting that after all these years, I know the hechsherim and products we use.

You make sure everything is running exactly according to your whims, that the table is covered with at least five layers, the fridge is scoured and every corner covered — nothing misses your scrutiny. You keep on repeating the stringencies and halachos to me and the children throughout Yom Tov; it’s one of the only subjects discussed.

I want to enjoy Yom tov, I want to enjoy the cheirus after all the hard work, I want to serve Hashem with simchah. Yet I feel it’s impossible with all your checking, criticizing, and controlling.

Do you really believe that all this is Hashem’s will?

Do you really believe that this is how our children will absorb the emunah that Chag HaPesach brings with it, that this will imprint it into their hearts?

Or will they sigh when they remember Pesach and think: Oy, that’s the Yom Tov my father went nuts about, that’s when the tension in the house was unbearable. That’s the Yom Tov when Mommy often cried because she felt hurt, alone, and overwhelmed.

I know that you yourself suffer from all this tension. Pesach is only one of the times your obsessions surface. As I’ve told you often: There is help out there. I beg of you, don’t be too proud to acknowledge you have a problem. Help yourself and your whole family.

Don’t disguise your problem with Yiddishkeit and frumkeit! The ways of the Torah way are pleasant. Know that if you don’t get help, you’re chasing your family away from the beauty and simchah of being a Yid, from the joy of doing Hashem’s will pleasantly. Don’t cry if one of our children will, or already secretly is, defying you and your ways, or chas v’shalom, Hashem and His ways. Please get help, so you can bring the beauty of Yiddishkeit into our home.

In pain,

Your Wife

(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 587)