Monday, March 17, 2008

The Great Pesach Hotel Debate

Wolfish Musings had a posting on Is Going to a Hotel for Pesach Bad. I'd like to expand on my comment on that posting.

Where you are for Pesach is strictly your own business. The rest of us have no right to point fingers and make comments. Every husband and wife has the right to make decisions for themselves without the rest of us shaking our heads. Pesach is family business, not community business.

Having said that, let me also say this. There are some good reasons that people give for going to a hotel or family for Pesach. There are also some good reasons for staying home.

Going to a Hotel:

1. My home is not big enough to have all my married children come for Pesach at the same time along with my parents. In a hotel we can all be together for yom tov. Siblings can have time together and their children can forge close relationships. Everyone gets to spend time with their grandparents.

2. Both my husband and I work 40 hour jobs plus commuting and we simply cannot do all the preparations necessary to have Pesach at home. Going to a hotel is our only alternative to not having Pesach at all or certainly not having it correctly.

3. My husband and I get limited vacation days from our jobs. We have to take many of those days for yomim tovim. There are few if any days left for us to really have a vacation and go somewhere with our family. Going to a hotel for Pesach is really our only vacation a whole year. We still celebrate yom tov this way but also get vacation time with our children.

4. Making Pesach at home is not an inexpensive undertaking either. We pay a little bit more and actually get to enjoy yom tov instead of constantly having to prepare and cook and clean.

5. On Pesach we say "avodim ho'yinu." Trying to make Pesach while busy with other things makes us avodim again. Going to a hotel makes us "free men."

6. I'm just plain getting too old to put in the work to make Pesach in my own home.

Staying at Home:

1. Making Pesach at home is cheaper then the cheapest place available in a hotel. Even if we hired cleaning help every day for four weeks and add in the food items purchased we still would spend more if we went to a hotel.


2. If cooking everything from scratch is a problem because of time constraints there are take home food stores just about everywhere. Some things can be purchased ready made to save some time.

3. The convenience of sleeping in our own beds and eating at our own convenience can't be understated. In a hotel you work on the caterer's clock, not your own.

4. In our own home we can keep the focus strictly on yom tov. There are no competing activities like beaches and shows and spas.

5. I'm just plain too old to start developing a whole set of new minhagim regarding Pesach.

Now I'd like to put in my own two cents worth. I work hard to make Pesach, a severe understatement. I also work outside of my home. Despite that, neither my husband nor I have ever once considered Pesach at a hotel. It's not a question of money. I won't give up all the things that are part of my yom tov.

I want to bentch lecht in my own lachter. I want the k'orah on the table that is ours. It was a 25th wedding anniversary gift to my husband and I want the pleasure of seeing him use it in the home we have built together. I want the bechers that are ours, each with their own story. I want our hagaddahs, the ones with the "hinenis" in them. I want the children's Pesach machberot that have been put away for so many years and lovingly get taken out and reminisced over. I want the afikomen holder made by one of the children years ago and still in use. I want the pillow covers my mother embroidered to be used at the sedorim.

I want the smell of Pesach to be what I remember from my childhood and that my children remember from theirs. I want to smile when people come in the door erev Pesach yelling "something smells fantastic!" I want the foods that spell yom tov to me. And yes, I want, selfishly, to hear my husband say, as he does every year, that no one but no one makes lokshen like I do. I want the feeling of connectedness that comes over me when I unpack the pots from the attic and the first one out of the box is that strange white and red enamel pot that my mother brought with her from Europe. I like the fact that my daughters argue over who will eventually get that pot when I can no longer make Pesach. I want the niggunim at my seder that have come down through the generations of my husband's and my family. I want yom tov to be ours, not something shared with hundreds of strangers.

I want the stories that are triggered by what is seen on my table. I want the remembrances of family members no longer living but whose presence is felt through the legacies they left us, the memories we share. I want the "Do you remembers" to come fast and thick. I want our seder to last as long as we need it to last, not hurried forward by a waiter tapping a foot impatiently. I want to weave yet another thread into the tapestry of life in our home that is the most important yerushah of all that I can leave my children.

This is just some of why we don't go away to a hotel for Pesach. In the best sense we are flaming sentimentalists and for us Pesach spells home. I won't tell you you are wrong to go to a hotel for Pesach. But for me and mine being at home is the only way that seems right.

28 comments:

Bas~Melech said...

Although there are circumstances, such as the ones described above, in which going to hotels can be a solution, it's also important to note that "developing a whole new set of minhagim" is not a matter of "being too old." One's minhagim are a special part of the fiber of our heritage, especially at Pesach time when there is a strong element of "vihigaditah livincha"-- passing the tradition from parents to children.

That, and the fact that I like to KNOW exactly where my food has been as much as possible for kashrus and chometz purposes, (until I started working long hours, I didn't even eat out much during the year) are the biggest factors that would make me uneasy about hotelling. All the other reasons that people will find to bash others are really personal and rather irrelevant.

Bas~Melech said...

(I haven't made my hamentashen yet, and she's blogging about Pesach. Overachievers... sheesh)

Come play Purim Torah Tag on my blog!

Matt said...

Prof K,

My question is not about this topic per se, but about your introduction: Where you are for Pesach is strictly your own business. The rest of us have no right to point fingers and make comments. Every husband and wife has the right to make decisions for themselves without the rest of us shaking our heads. Pesach is family business, not community business.

What are your criteria for classifying something as "family business" and "everbody's business"? I am asking this because I am pretty sure that some people would say the same thing about many of the topics you write about on your blog, especially in matters of dating and marriage. On what basis do you determine whether it is appropriate to point fingers and make comments about the way other people live their lives?

Elitzur said...

Let me disagree with you ProfK. I think there are communal aspects to going away for Pesach.

1) Are actual communiites severely weakened because so many people go away? Related, can rabbanim leave their communities for Pesach?
2) Is there an aspect of keeping up with the Cohen's when it comes to going away (we always complain about this with fancy weddings so why should Pesach hotels be different)?
3) Can people getting tuition breaks or shul membership breaks go to hotels for Pesach i.e. must I pay for their vacations?

In addition: so many people won't eat at others' houses on Pesach for kashrus reasons but you're willing to trust the hotel?

G said...

As I stated on the Wolf's post:

Perhaps slaves to a pharoah we no longer are, but servants to God we surely remain.

The question becomes what sits at the center, the hotel/vacation or the Yom Tov.

Yes we are free people, but free from what and free to be what?

ProfK said...

Matt,
Hopefully an answer won't take all remaining available space here.

The difference between family business and everybody's business? Halachas of kashrut aside for a moment, who is eating in your own home or who a family invites to eat in their home or whose home they go to eat in have never been public business. Where a person spends yom tov has also never been public business. I've never seen anyone rail at people who go away for succos, or shavuous or rosh hashana or any regular shabbos. For succos in particular, saying in the home only would cause some people to have no sukkah to eat in because they don't live where they can put up a sukkah. Plenty of shuls/hotels in areas where people tend to live in apartments that provide for eating all meals communally. No one to my knowledge has ever said don't go spend yom tov with your parents, siblings, aunt or whomever of a private nature.

Pointing a finger at a yeshiva or school system is not a question of private versus public. The yeshiva exists solely for the purpose of providing a service to individuals who are members of Klal, and is by nature public. I am a member of that public and am affected by the actions of that institution, whether directly or indirectly. Ditto for all Jewish organizations that take as their "customers" the members of Klal. If an organization does something wrong, it is not only that organization which suffers public comment--it is all Jews who are pointed to.

When the group of women misbehaved on the airplane their actions impinged on me even though I was not there. I'll bet any amount of money that what was said was not "look at those misbehaving women." I'll bet it was "look how these Jewish women behave in public." That puts it squarely in my court, because "Jewish" includes me too.

Shidduchim and making marriages is an area where we like to claim privacy issues but can't really. Shidduchim are Klal's business. Why is it a commandment for a man to have a child? Is it solely for his own fulfillment? No, it is for the good of Klal. Seeing to it that people get married is the business of Klal, to guarantee Klal's continued existence. The more spread out Klal has become geographically, the more everyone needs to be involved in helping people find a spouse. Particularly when we have rules in place that seem to preclude a single person's being able to meet other singles and find a spouse solely on their own, there is a necessity for public involvement. And where there is public involvement there is also public comment. Is someone seriously saying that a shadchan can't "complain about the customers"?

The financial escapades of Klal also impinge on everyone. About 10-12 years ago there was a tremendous economic turndown and in each community there were members who were in sudden danger of losing their homes because the earners were no longer employed. Those of us still working were asked for money to help those who weren't. No one in our community lost their homes nor did they go hungry nor were their children removed from yeshiva for failure to pay tuition. We pitched in financially because one Jew helps another, because "Kol Yisroel ahrayvim zeh loh zeh."

However, that economic turndown was unexpected. When some people in Klal act in a manner that is going to cause financial disaster, when some of Klal behaves in a financially irresponsible way, when some members of Klal have arranged their lives so that someone else will have to foot the bills, that isn't their private business. When I will end up doing the paying then it is both my right and my responsibility to make public comment.

When Jews drink on Purim and make a public spectacle of themselves, that is also the business of Klal.

When rabbanim make public pronouncements they have invited public comment and certainly public query. And the more "off the wall" these pronouncements appear, and the less explanation that is given, the more public commentary there will be. Judaism has no "heavenly annointed Princes" today.

I am not naive about why some people rail at those who go away for Pesach. Commenters all over the blogosphere have brought up the question of kashrut. But until someone, a lot of someones, properly credentialed someones, gets up and says plain and poshut "All hotels are by definition treif for Pesach" then the choice to go to one is not a public issue. If kashrut for the individual is a community issue, then where is the hue and cry over the millions of people who eat treifus every day? Where are the huge movements for kiruv work?

I'm not 20 anymore and I have lived long enough to see a lot of things come and go. Some things I was very happy to see go; others bother me. Where I see value in something, perhaps others might see as well, if it were pointed out. For those who see no value in what I discuss, they are more than free to disagree with me. No where do I state that my point of view is "psak halachah." My right to comment and to do so publicly is, however; see the US Constitution.

ProfK said...

Elitsur,
Yes, there are communal aspects to going away, as you mentioned. If a community is so small that having enough individuals go away would mean there is no minyan left, then the community needs to discuss this. I don't know about other shuls, but our rav is under a written contract and being here for ALL the yom tovim is part of the contract. He took a job that has made his personal secondary to the public. If shul members are upset that their rav goes away for Pesach, let them vote with their checkbooks.

Of course there is the aspect of keeping up with the Shwartzes in some of the going away for Pesach. But I think it is with the choice of where to go rather than in the going away. Going to the Podunk Motel in New Jersey is not the same as going on a luxury liner cruise or going to Palm Springs or other places with "snob" recognition.

Can people who get tuition breaks go away for Pesach? Not with our local yeshivot they can't. But let me play devils advocate for just one second. If Pesach costs $2000 if you stay home, and it costs $2000 if you go away, then what difference does it make? Would we begrudge the $2000 spent at home? And if the difference in money was $100 cheaper to stay home? Or $200? The problem is where to draw the line.

Kashrut. Sigh. I don't eat by anyone else on Pesach except my mother. Heck I can't even eat in my own sister's house because she cooks gebrokts and I don't. But I know that there are people who don't hold the way we do. I, ProfK, don't pasken for them, and I expect that they won't pasken for me.

If there is a truly recognizable problem with kashrut in the hotels then surely that is an area where our rabbanim should be making public pronouncements? Either something is kosher or it's treif--I didn't think "maybe some of both" was one of the answers to choose from.

ProfK said...

G,
I've never been away in a hotel for any yom tov. All I know of what goes on there is what I hear others tell me or what I hear others repeat that they have heard from still others. I can't tell you what actually goes on. I can't tell you if all the hotels are basically the same in what they offer as activities. In short, I have no way to know if yom tov takes center stage or if everything else does. I therefore do not feel qualified to speak about any lack of "kedusha" in the hotels.

I know some wonderful people who are, in their communities, "mehadrin min ha'mehadrin." They go away for Pesach. I simply don't have any way to comment on their Pesach activities.

Have you been away in a hotel for Pesach? Are there aspects of what goes on that you can personally comment on, based on your own experiences, that are less than "Pesachdik"?

It would seem that everyone commenting so far would like me to take a stand other than the one I did. So fine, I think that Pesach at home is better for a million different reasons, and yes kashrut is one of them. And yes, making Pesach central in the way I want it to be is one of them. And I let everyone else make their own decisions.

We don't happen to eat gebrokts. Others do. The arguments and diatribes and vitriol over this minhag has led me to decide to keep out of everyone else's Pesach, just so long as they keep out of mine.

concernedjewgirl said...

I understand that there is a lot to be said for this posting. As for me, you have triggered a reaction that I my self did not expect. I actually got teary eyed with the comment about the red pot your daughters fight about. I too am very sentimental and this post is great! My husband and I tossed around the idea about a hotel but this post made me realize how much I would want to stay home. How much I WILL TOIL...and how hard it will be and I look forward to all the hard work because it will be worth it for me and my family.
Thank you.

Devoiry said...

My family has always gone away for Pesach starting with my parents many years ago. From what I'm reading in the comments here and elsewhere no one is an expert on hotels and no one has any real basis for their comments. My father was the mashgiach and I know firsthand that everything was done to meet his exacting standards. We have a private room for our sedorim and my children have minhagim they will be able to take into their own homes. We are no less Pesachdik then anyone else is. At least the writer of this post attempted to show that there are good reasons for hotels and for homes. And at least her comments are identified as her personal opinion, not some barely disguised sinah under cover of halacha. I'll agree with the writer on one thing--it's my business where I spend Pesach. It's not your business.

G said...

I honestly don't know what goes on at "Pesach Hotels" or at hotels that people go to for Yom Tov.

My comment was not intended to cast the practice in either a negative or positive light but merely to make the point.

--my only "opinion" on the subject can be found here

Matt said...

Prof K,

I do not understand your answer to my question. I asked you: “What are your criteria for classifying something as "family business" and "everbody's business"? On what basis do you determine whether it is appropriate to point fingers and make comments about the way other people live their lives?”

The majority of your response was more examples, not precisely defined criteria. I could only find two clear criteria in your response. The first criterion is in the first full paragraph. You express several times the principle that if something has never been the subject of criticism, then it is not the public’s business and should not be criticized (“have never been public business,” “has also never been public business,” “I’ve never seen anyone rail at,” “No one to my knowledge has ever said,”).

The second criterion is that if something is identified publicly as “Jewish,” that makes it the business of all Jews, and should not be a private matter ( “If an organization does something wrong, it is not only that organization which suffers public comment--it is all Jews who are pointed to,” “That puts it squarely in my court, because "Jewish" includes me too”).

Aren’t these criteria contradictory? For instance, what would you do if a situation came up that (a) had never been considered public business, and (b) was publicly identified as “a Jewish thing”? Would you consider it a valid subject for criticism, since it is identified as “Jewish,” or would you say – as you said in the case of the Pesach programs – that since it had never been criticized, then it is nobody’s business to criticize it? Which criterion is primary?

Also, you mention that certain issues – such as shidduchim – are “the Klal’s business” because “Kol Yisroel ahrayvim zeh loh zeh” (“All Jews are responsible for each other”). That statement sounds nice, but doesn’t it beg the question? All Jews are responsible for each other for what? To what extent am I responsible for my fellow Jew, and when is his business? Moreover, isn’t the principle of Kol Yisroel ahrayvim zeh loh zeh from the Torah? Shouldn’t we look to the Torah for the parameters of Kol Yisroel ahrayvim zeh loh zeh instead of acting on our own personal ideas of responsibility?

Please clarify your answer. What are your criteria for determining what is considered private business and public business?

queeniesmom said...

Mom decided to treat us to Pesach away. This is a 1st for all of us. She decided that just once she wanted to experience being catered to and wanted to enjoy her family too. Usually we make Pesach together at my house. As you correctly said there's no right or wrong reason, just personal reasons. I'm sure we'll miss somethings about enjoy other things. Ultimately, it makes her happy to do this and is something she has wanted to do, so who am I or some other ..... to tell her no; it's her money that she has worked hard for. So away we will go.

Ella said...

I was talking about this topic with my mom and she mentioned one thing no one else has brought up. There is some jealousy at work here. People who go away for Pesdach no matter where they go are not killing themselves for weeks before the holiday. The worse thing they have to do is go shopping for some clothes to wear.It's hard to be objective when you are so tired that you would give everything for even 4 hours of sleep. So maybe my mom is right, that there is some jealousy of people who get to have the same yom tov as we do without having to work for it. And maybe we are a little jealous that they can afford to treat themselves this good while we can't. Maybe we would still choose to stay at home for Pesach but we don't now have the choice.

Elitzur said...

devoiry, who was in the kitchen while your husband was with you at the seder?

Tuli said...

Elitsur--I can't speak for Devoiry but I do have experience in working as a mashgiach in a hotel. It's not correct to talk about there being only one mashgiach. When I worked there were six of us plus the head mashgiach. We alternated in and out of the kitchen so that we could all be able to have a seder and have meals. Each of us had a particular area we were in charge of. With almost 600 people in the hotel for Pesach there was no way one mashgiach could take care of everything for 8 days.

Anonymous said...

"People who go away for Pesach no matter where they go are not killing themselves for weeks before the holiday."

Well, it would take me 5-6 weeks of work to earn enough to go away for Pesach. It takes us less than 5-6 weeks to prepare for Pesach at home and to purchase all the necessities for Pesach at home. So, it seems to me that I would be "killing myself" more by going away. :-)

"When I worked there were six of us plus the head mashgiach."

Oy Vey, 7 mashgichim for one hotel kitchen!!! If a kitchen needs that much supervision, I don't think I want to eat there. :-)

Finally, a story about my sister. She got engaged at a young age and her chosons parents invited her to a meal with them on Pesach at the Central Hotel in Yerushalaim. All was well until the soup was served, and my sister broke some matzah into it to use as croutons (like we did for our entire childhood). A minute goes by, someone exclaims "Chometz, Chometz", and the server takes her bowl away and brings her a new one. A few more minutes go by and she automatically breaks some more matzah into her soup. Oy, what an outcry there was! She just automatically didn't give a thought to gebrochts because our entire family always ate gebrochts for generations.

Abbi said...

Elitsur- not sure it matters where Devoiry's husband was during the seder, because her father was the mashgiach.

Elitzur said...

Tuli, thank you for the qualification... I do not doubt the sincerity or capabilites of any of the mashgichim. I am merely surprised that on Pesach of all times people willing to eat at a hotel when who knows how many people have access to the kitchen and which, despite the best efforts of the mashgichim, could easily be 'traifed' (those of us with roots in Monsey are easily traumatized by such thoughts).

ProfK - I think your numbers are off. Someone not paying full school tuition should not be spending $2000 for Pesach at home or at a hotel (all which cost a lot more anyway). Even Machmirim matza is only $20 a pound. See Orthonomics' Pesach tips is you're spending that much.

Also, a community can be hurt even if it still has a minyan left. If a shul has 200 families and 100 go away for Pesach how crowded is the shul for Yom Tov? What if among the 100 gone are many of the competent ba'alei tefilla and ba'alei kriah?

Abbi - my mistake, please edit appropriately...

But my main point is not the kashrus issue. It's that where everyone goes for Pesach is a communal issue.

ProfK said...

Elitsur,
And if 100 people go to their family for Pesach and not to a hotel, is there not the same problem in the shul? Are we going to say that you cannot go to family either? One of my nephews davens in a shul that is basically all young married couples. And for the yomim tovim there is only a handful of people left in the shul. They daven at one of the neighboring shuls over yom tov. Are we going to tell these young marrieds that they cannot go to their parents, that their children cannot be with their grandparents for over yom tov? Which parents are you going to sell on that idea? Which married children? Are we really willing to say that community trumps family on this issue?

Just out of curiosity, why does a shul have to be crowded to have it be "kosher" or acceptable? When we lived out of town we davened in a shul that had 15 families on a good day. There was only one baal kriah and somehow we managed.

Re the matzah, we use only matzah shmura on Pesach for the whole yom tov. Figuring at "only" 2 lbs per person for the whole Pesach--and it's more then 2 pounds--and figuring in only the 5 of us, that's $200. Now do the figuring if we are 13 for Pesach. That's $520 just for matzahs. How about wine? How about that the prices for food go up for Pesach? And yes, I get cleaning help for Pesach, as much as I feel I need; I work full time. And just for the record, I'm a "bargain hunter" with lots of experience. There's one rule for Pesach: Pesach costs and costs and costs.

Allen said...

ProfK and Elitzur, you are both not figuring accurately. If no one goes to a hotel but does go to family for Pesach, and 100 people from a shul go to their family that doesn't leave 100 people in the shul. Presumably some of the people of those 100 are going to have family coming to them. Even conservatively saying only 50 of them get company, that is 150 people/families in the shul for Pesach, a net loss of only 50. Think of it as a game of musical chairs.

Where there is a net loss that is higher is if those 100 people go to a hotel for Pesach and those 50 also go to a hotel. Then Elitzur your shul has a loss of 100.

What no one has answered, and maybe can't answer is how many people actually go to hotels for Pesach? What percentage of all frum people are they? Let's make the number fairly large--10,000-15,000 people who go to hotels for Pesach. Those people are drawn from around the country. Let's estimate the number of frum Jews in the US. Let's say we are only 10% of the Jewish population of about 6 million. That makes about 600,000. 12,000 people would be 2% of all frum Jews. Are we really making a big deal about hotels for Pesach when 2% of the population goes to them? Even if we doubled or tripled the number of people going to hotels we still would not be getting a very large number.
Unless we have the actual numbers to talk about then we are making a big tumult about something unknown.

ProfK, is there a rav in the shul where your nephew davens? What does he do for yom tov if none of his mispallelim are there?

Elitzur said...

ProfK - what would've happened had your one ba'al koreh left for Pesach? Is it really nice for yom tov when you generally have 200 people in shul and now you have 100? My relatives in a young married community sometimes stay in order to help the community.

And so you'll take your 13 people to a hotel for how much money? $2000? No matter how you slice it a hotel is more expensive. And if you're on tuition assistance and eat two pounds of matza per person over Pesach you should eat machine shmura at $4 a pound.

ProfK said...

Allen,
Ironically, my nephew's rav goes to a hotel for Pesach where he leads the sedorim. You're right, I didn't think of the number of people who go to a hotel and what percentage they are of the total number of frum Jews. If the percentage is as small as you estimate it might be, then arguing about going to hotels and how that might affect the community is a tempest in a teapot. Of course, it could be that some communities have larger numbers of people going to a hotel so they might be affected more than others.

Elitsur,
When I lived in Portland no one went away for yom tov. There were not yet any married children in the shul so that wasn't a question.

I'm not being argumentative but really curious. Why should a larger number of people make the davening any better? I've davened in small shuls and in huge shuls and I honestly don't see the difference.

I'm not touching the recommendation to go from hand shmurah matzah to machine shmurah with a ten foot pole. Now you are messing around with minhagim and I don't go there, because where would one stop?

Re the baal korei--how is it that a shul of 200 people only has one baal korei? I've got two living in my house alone. My husband's shabbos mincha/maariv minyan is about 45 men and there are 7 baalei korei. Maybe the shul needs to prepare more men to lein? Forget yom tov, what would your shul do if the baal korei got ill and couldn't lein?

Dena said...

There's one reason for going to a hotel that no one else brought up. My husband's family is traditional but not frum. We can't go to them for a Pesach and they accept that but still want to spend yom tov with us. The compromise is that every other year when it is their turn for us to be together they take us to one of the hotels. And before anyone else jumps on the price issue, they can afford it. In the hotels we have met other people in our situation.

Abbi said...

"Now you are messing around with minhagim and I don't go there, because where would one stop?"

Slipping into my flameproof suit: I think, when money is an issue, (as in, you don't have enough to cover your needs) then expensive minhagim need to be examined.

Someone just advertised on our local email bulletin board for a milchik oven for a poor family. I just looked at this ad in wonder, because 2 ovens is a very modern chumra invention. Since I follow Rav Moshe on this one, I really felt no sympathy for this plea. If you can afford two ovens, hand shmura, $1000 etrogim with ease, kol hakavod. But if money is tight, then even minhagim need to be examined. (basically, a more literal understanding of "Don't be a tzadik on my platzes")

Btw, I think rabbonim should be the ones to lead this reexamination, I'm not holding my breath on that.

ProfK said...

Abbi,
Thanks for that last comment because it was more or less what I meant when I said I'm not touching minhagim--a rav needs to do so.

We also don't have a milchig oven although I'll be honest and admit that if ever I should be lucky enough to find myself with a bigger kitchen then what I have now and the funds to do it with, I would put in that oven, if only to avoid the heat generated with all the self cleaning for kashering.

$1000 for an esrog?!!!! Please tell me that was a typo.

The hand shmura for us is a trade off. A friend won't pay the prices asked because she considers them outrageous. On the other hand, she bought two suits for yom tov that would not only pay for 13 to eat hand shmura matzah for the week of Pesach but would easily cover two weeks. The lifetime has not yet arrived for me in which I will pay that kind of money for a "shmateh."

What to do with those of limited means who insist on living beyond those means is a real problem and has not been adequately addressed by rabbanim. I think they have avoided the issue because if you bring up any part of it you're going to have to also ask why they have such limited means and that opens up a whole different discussion.

A freilachen Purim!

Abbi said...

The problem is that it takes a rav who is really tuned into his community to say "Actually, if the chumra is going to cost you a lot of money, it's not necessary, you can do it this way, that's still halachic, but less expensive"

SephardiLady said...

I'm willing to touch minhagim and the costs of Pesach and more, although it really takes some Rabbonim with strong shoulders to step in here. Just give me some time.