It had always been our family tradition in Montreal that as soon as we finished putting our Pesach dishes away we immediately headed to the industrial bakery of Kosher Quality in order to fill up on knishes, bread and danish. As soon as we drove away from there, Pizza Pita was our next stop where we would find the line out of the door. There, of course, we would purchase pizza and poutine for our starving grandchildren and children who were waiting at home—the younger ones in their pajamas. Everyone, obviously, had “not eaten” anything for the entire week of Pesach.
This year in Rochester, our only option after Yom Tov was to go to Yolickety, a frozen yogurt establishment. Most of the kosher yogurt stores had already closed, but B”H, one was open. Yum! We all devoured the frozen yogurt. One of our children who attended a kosher Pesach program at a hotel in Florida with her family told us that as soon as the chag was over there was a chometz buffet. (There, especially, where eating most of the day is a well known pasttime.)
We began to wonder what this rushing-for-chometz phenomenon is all about? What if we were not to eat chometz for another few days after Pesach? We heard comments about delicious food left over from a particular meal and the thought was that no one would want to eat it after Pesach. Pesach cookies and cakes following the chag? Never. It’s funny because they certainly tasted delicious during Pesach despite the fact that they were made from potatoes. What makes them inedible just two days or one week later?
We began to wonder at what other time are we as anxious or in as much of a rush to move on to the next step after spending time in one lengthy period. What came to mind is Shabbos. We have watched how some come to Havdallah already holding their smart phones in their hands—can’t miss a text for another second. Others are already wearing their basketball uniforms for the game that is scheduled for one hour after Shabbos, and still others are in the car almost before we say Amen at the end of Havdallah, on the way to the mall. Again, we ask: What is the rush?
Is it something Jewish? We want our children to be first, we need to be at the head of the line, we encourage our children by having them tutored in everything and there doesn’t seem to be a child around these days who is not in some sort of therapy. We encourage programs where a student can go directly into a professional degree before doing his Bachelor’s. In Montreal, there are programs that allow students to go directly into medical school without having to do their Bachelor’s degree. We are sure that similar programs must exist here as well. Once again we ask where are we rushing to? How often have we met parents who insisted that their children were mature enough to go into a kindergarten when the child was in fact just two weeks below the deadline of the cut-off birth date. Eventually the child falters in his school work and it is suggested that he be kept back so that in his grade the following year he would shine. Such determination on the part of the parent is actually to whose benefit?
Time to take a break and have a nosh on some terrific Pesach brownies. We are not in any rush to run out and buy some Entenmann’s!
By Mordechai and Nina Glick