April 12, 2024
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April 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

This is the most glorious time of year. The time of year when husbands and wives come together to build another home, a home of canvas walls and charming decorations, a home that if you aren’t careful, your neighbors could hear you arguing and report you to the police. This time of year becomes even more enjoyable when it is a three-day holiday–three beautiful, memorable days. Twice in 10 days. If you are reading this, I have survived the last three days of yom tov before, well, before the next one. There always seems to be a next one. Three days. It really isn’t that long. The holidays are a time where we are supposed to come together with family, with friends; we have relaxing meals filled with enjoyable conversation and words of Torah, filled with delicacies we don’t normally treat ourselves to…for some it could be a single cookie that you have waited six months to nibble on for an hour, for others it could be an entire crumb challah (which is just a little bigger than a cookie) drenched in honey, and for others it could just be a piece of jicama. I don’t judge, especially since I am the one eating the challah.

We all get dressed to go to synagogue day in and day out. This year I experiment wearing the same thing every day with a different jacket and different accessories, so that was kind of exciting for me. And though some men do not approve, I have given up the hat for the much more versatile doily…comfort is key for a middle-aged woman. So we go through this ritual of a three-day holiday. That would be three days, with three meals a day, unless you don’t believe in breakfast, which I do not…so then it is down to six meals in three days. Should they be meat? Should they be dairy? Should we have company? Which company goes well with other company? So many questions, so much time…THREE WHOLE DAYS.

Someone asked me to speak to some rabbis about changing this around. If we now know when exactly the holidays begin, why do we have to have an extra day? In Israel they don’t have an extra day. That just doesn’t seem fair. So now the folks that cannot afford to go to Israel for the holidays should be punished by having to keep an extra day, two to three extra meals, an extra outfit, and an extra fight with one’s spouse for not doing anything to help with all of the extras. It just doesn’t seem fair.

What can we do? How can we make a change? Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter to me. I am at the stage in life where everything is moving way too quickly, so even though I am having lots of company and I don’t have anyone to help me with the cleaning or the preparations (paid help, or just help that I gave birth to or married, hint, hint) I am secretly enjoying the 46 trips to eight different supermarkets, and then the trips back to buy all of the things I forgot. I secretly enjoy making all of the beds, and then having to do all of the laundry, because, really, what else is life about: working like a dog so you can complain to your spouse and then, subsequently, blame it on his mother for how she raised him? Ah, the cycle of life…Now I am not speaking of anyone in particular…this could be about my spouse, but it could also be about your spouse…these are general statements. I think the rabbis should get rid of this three-day thing because it might be just a tad better for shalom bayit…I am just saying. I can’t imagine that every rabbi and rebbetzin get along swimmingly this time of year when the rabbi wants to have 50 seven-year-old boys in his sukkah…good intentions, but, perhaps, not the best idea.

So, in conclusion, let us have a meeting of the minds, or just a meeting of the women who are really, really tired of all the cooking, shopping, cleaning, and post-holiday laundry and see what we can do to help bring Moshiach just a little bit closer. I hope you all survived your three days in good health and happiness, and may your year be filled with as little stress and bickering as possible. And let us say, AMEN!

Banji Latkin Ganchrow is so happy when people like her column. She is hoping this will lead to a book deal and her own talk show. Ah, a girl can dream!

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

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