The brave thing we did this past Pesach
We did a brave thing this past Pesach: We did not go to a hotel, but stayed home. Not only did we love it, but we also became the curiosity of the neighborhood. Here are some of the questions neighbors asked me and some of my answers:
Q. Did you miss the 24-hour tea room?
A. Truthfully, we prefer to sleep at night rather than have tea and ice cream at 3 a.m. Besides, at home we have a well-stocked refrigerator, also open 24 hours a day.
Q. What about the visiting famous chazzan?
A. Our shul’s regular baal tefillah was excellent, as he always is. No histrionics, no dramatic arias or concerts during Kedushah or Hallel. I had my regular seat in my regular shul. I knew everybody and they knew me, and the davening was heimish and geshmak.
Q. Did you miss the luxurious hotel room and the efficient maid service?
A. Our home has plenty of room, we didn’t have to crowd into one small room. And our children were much more efficient than the best maids. And we didn’t have to tip them…
Q. And the visiting scholar?
A. Our grandson supplied us with all we needed to know about the Haggadah and Moshe and Pharaoh and the Splitting of the Sea. Did you know about Yisro’s connection with Pharaoh? He has all the details.
Q. What about the world-famous chef?
A. My wife is not famous but she should be, because her cooking is the best in the world. And at our meals we didn’t have to wait 30 minutes between courses, and we didn’t have to sit in a crowded dining room for two hours per meal. And like every hotel, we had no gebrochts.
Q. And the guided Chod Hamoed tour?
A. Our kids showed us places we didn’t know existed, right here in our own town. As for traveling, we didn’t have to drive for two hours to get to our accommodations, and we didn’t have to wait in the lobby for the rooms to be ready. Plus, we didn’t have to schlep any luggage with us.
Q. And the Badatz hechsher?
A. We had a mashgiach temidi — my wife — who is 100% reliable.
Q. But your wife had to work very hard to get ready for Pesach, which she wouldn’t have had to do if you had gone to a hotel.
A. Yes, she did have to work harder, but we also took in a special Pesach cleaning service, plus we all pitched in more than we normally did. And my wife says it was all worth the extra effort.
Q. But what the hotels themselves? If people follow your example, they will all go out of business.
A.Not a problem.
Q. Why not?
A. Because these words will probably never see the light of day, since most publications — with the possible exception of Mishpacha magazine — live in fear of their advertisers and do not print anything that might negatively affect them.
Q. Fascinating. Who knows, maybe you have pioneered a new way to observe Pesach — to stay home. We might be on the cusp of a revolutionary idea whose time has come. But somehow, we have to get it into print.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 762)