Tuesday, March 27, 2012

#LifeCircle 9 - Defeated by Passover Cleaning

Life Circle task 9, set at the beginning of March and giving us almost the whole month to complete, was to create some me-time for ourselves. As the old saying goes: Laughed? I almost cried! Which brings me nicely to an opportunity to explain Pesach (Passover) cleaning.

Everyone does some sort of spring cleaning around this time of year, it's human nature to want to shake out all the dirt from a home that's been closed and heated throughout the long winter months. We want to throw open the windows and doors, roll up the rugs, put away the thick blankets, etc... So we do. We do as much or as little as we want. You would think. Until spring cleaning becomes a religious obligation, and then all of a sudden there are rules, standards to be met and, dare I say it, a certain amount of keeping up with the Cohens.

During the festival of Pesach, which lasts a full week, we are not allowed to eat any leavened bread (to comemorate the unleavened 'cracker' type bread the Israelites had to take out of Egypt with them in their haste to leave, i.e. no time for the dough to rise). In order that we don't make any mistakes on this one, the goal posts have been moved thus: We have to change to a special set of Pesach kitchenware (yup, everything in the kitchen that touches food - you can see my meagre Pesach kitchenware and supplies here). We have to buy all new food that contains no wheat flour (except for the matzo crackers which are baked and timed under rabbinical supervision). Ashkenazi Jews (of European descent) also eat no pulses or rice, incuding any foods that contain derivatives of such foods like rice vinegar  or soy sauce. And - here's the biggy - we have to clean our homes from top to bottom (every cupboard, drawer, under bed and over wardrobe) to make sure there are no crumbs anywhere. And anything that cannot be sufficiently cleaned must be covered. It takes days.

Passover Overkill

Normally it's just me at home so I do what I like can. On years that we go to my family in London I just lock the door behind us and don't even think about Pesach cleaning. This year, after last year's Seder Night fiasco, there was no way I wasn't going to stay with family. So we booked and then I saw a request from a friend on fb to rent an apartment in Jerusalem for Pesach. I jumped at the chance to make some extra money and, of course, assured said friend that the place would be 'clean for Pesach'.

So this month I've been working flat out - because half of next month is holiday, and trying to not just clean for Pesach, but also declutter and organise everything to make it suitable and comfortable for guests. They are coming on Friday morning so, after realizing that I was teaching until today, that gives me two more days to do what I have to do (dust, scrub, hoover, sweep, tidy, wash the floors and windows). And I did want to write one of those visitors' guides like they have in the holiday house swap programmes but I ran out of time.

As far as Midlife Singlemum is concerned, and after briefly considering scheduled posts and other such options, I have admitted defeat. This will be my last post until we return after the holiday. I'm probably committing blog-suicide by taking a three week break but I can't do everything. And the state of the blog will make for an interesting post when we get back. Yes, I could blog from England but I've made the decision that this will be my me-time. I'm going to go out with friends while Grandma and Grandpa babysit, I'm going to read a book or two, I'm going to watch British tv, and I'm going to see if I can remember what living in reality 24/7 was like.
Happy Pesach to those celebrating with me and Happy Easter to others. See you all next month!

* All illustrations from Google Images under Passover Cleaning.


  1. Have wonderful break and I can barely bring myself to say it "me time"! - look forward to all the details upon your return! x

  2. "See" you in three weeks! Have a good rest, and a great break! Emma :)

  3. see you in 3 weeks, we will be here when you get back!

  4. Good for you lovely. It won't be blog suicide at all, you are a pleasure to read and there will be lots of you pleased to see you back on our timelines when you return. I took a 6 week reak for Lent in 2010 and it was amazing!

    Have wonderful fun, just down the road from me...

    Mich x

  5. You're going to be in England? Which bit of England? Would love to meet you one day :) have a great holiday.

  6. Have a great time with your family and friends from way back. You have too many fans for "blog suicide." We'll all be waiting for the stories on your return.
    Chag Sameach

  7. enjoy the break, enjoy being you, enjoy time with your little one and your family; your blog can wait.
    and is you step foot over the border north, please get in touch...
    safe travels

  8. Enjoy the free babysitting! Enjoy the TV! I'm jealous already!

  9. Oh I know how you feel...I've taken an approximately 8 week semi-blogging break and have to say I notice a difference. However,my real bloggie friends stayed true :-))You'll be fine with 3 weeks...and you'll have lots to tell us. we'll be waiting!

    Enjoy your time with family :-)

    xx Jazzy

  10. Have a wonderful time, and when you get back there's something over at mine for you :) xx