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

Spring Has Spr—Oh, It’s Gone

Hey, remember the old days, when between winter and summer there was a season called spring?

I kind of feel like spring used to be this whole major season. When I was growing up, I feel like we had a couple months every year when it was about 60 degrees out. Now we basically go straight from winter to summer, except that sometimes, for a couple of weeks in there, we have about maybe two weeks when it’s 40 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. Though I guess that does average out to 60. But it also means my son goes to school in the morning in a winter coat and comes home without it. I think we just leave a new winter coat at the school every day.

I’m not even sure why this is happening. If there were no winter, I could say, “Global warming,” and if there were no summer, I could say, “Global cooling,” but what do I say if there’s no spring?

We’re also not sure how to turn on the air conditioners for Shabbos, because the nights are freezing and the days are boiling. (We have window air conditioners, because like most of Passaic, our house was built before the discovery of science.) Do we turn them on and freeze through the night, or do we turn them off and spend the afternoon seudah picking at our cholent? Our idea, sometimes, is: What if we turn off the upstairs units and turn on the downstairs ones?

“Yeah,” you say, “but what about afternoon naps?”

We can keep flipping our pillow. It’s just a few hours.

“But what about the Friday night seudah?”

It’s okay; we’ll have soup to counteract them.

My wife isn’t crazy about this lack of springtime either, because she likes to plant a garden in the spring so we can have some surprise vegetables come August on top of the vegetables she’s going to buy at the store either way, and she’s supposed to plant this garden when it’s not too hot or too cold, but last year, for example, she had a doctor’s appointment that day.

And think of all the wonderful things that come with spring: spring flowers, spring vegetables, spring cleaning, spring chicken, spring water, springing things on people… And those are just the ones that spring to mind.

And what about open windows? If there’s no real spring, when can we open our windows and air out our house? If you can’t air out your house from the winter, how are you going to get rid of that unique smell that people are hit with when they come in the front door that everyone smells but you?

Plus, if we actually have temperate weather, we can eat outside! I’m not talking about walking down the street with a plate of spaghetti. I’m talking having a meal in the backyard without shivering or baking.

In fact, spring is supposed to be the season of life! It’s supposed to be a time when you can stop and smell the roses! Unless you’re allergic to pollen. Then you should stay far away from roses.

The only thing I don’t really like about spring is the neither-here-nor-there Shabbos start time. I like mid-winter Shabboses because of the long Friday nights and long Motzei Shabboses, and I like the mid-summer Shabboses because of the long Friday afternoons and long Shabbos afternoons. My perfect Shabbos would have a long Friday afternoon, long Friday night, long Shabbos afternoon and long Motzei Shabbos. And I know that in reality this would amount to a two-day Shabbos, but I’m okay with that.

And people ask, “Then shouldn’t you like the spring, when everything is neither here nor there?” and I say, “I don’t want neither here nor there. I want it long.” I’m never sitting there on a long Friday night, playing a game with my family, saying, “This is too long.” Nor am I ever sitting around on Shabbos afternoon learning with my kids and saying, “Oh my goodness; I can’t believe we’re still learning! When will shalosh seudos come? I only had a three-course lunch!”

But the thing is that time goes back and forth over the course of the year, like the weather does, except that time moves reliably at about one to two minutes per day. It never just suddenly jumps by like an hour.

Well, actually it does. But that’s intentional, twice a year. We put that in there. It’s like the government decided they don’t like the middle-of-the road Shabboses either, where Shabbos slowly inches through the sixes at a rate of like eight minutes a week, so they decided to skip it in the spring and the fall.

Is Hashem doing that with the weather? Has someone been davening for this? Is someone saying, “I like winters and summers, but spring is neither here nor there. I can’t go swimming and I can’t go sledding. I have winter clothes and summer clothes. What do you want from me?”

They probably are. We see people davening for nice weather all the time, and kids keep davening for snow, regardless of the seasons. But no one is davening for anything in between.

Please stop. We’re breaking the environment.

Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He also has seven books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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