May 17, 2024
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May 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Other than visiting our family when our children did not have school, which meant driving to the States, we are a family that never experienced anything but a staycation. It basically meant not rushing in the morning, maybe having a more special breakfast, and hanging around either doing special activities around town or staying home and playing with each other. Going up North for tubing and skiing, which everyone really enjoyed, was occasionally an option. Skiing is an expensive sport and it is for that reason that our kids did not go that frequently. We never felt pressure from within the community to go away. There were not many families that would come back after the school break that would make us appear to be totally pale faced and ill in comparison. However, other than Florida, we don’t remember anyone taking a more exotic vacation.

Recently a discussion was held at The Jewish Link office as to what exactly it means to take a “staycation.” It was decided, to our surprise, that a staycation in this community means not going on a cruise or flying somewhere. The official word is that a staycation is going to a place that is easy enough to drive to such as Kalahari, Camelback or Crystal Springs. It does not mean staying at home. Really? As a result we looked it up and found the following definition: “A vacation spent at home or nearby” was what Merriam-Webster had to say, and Oxford said: “A holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.” In actual fact, the definition discussed in our office was indeed not so far from the truth. We were surprised. Yet we are overwhelmed by the number of families that feel the need to go away for the simple reason that they need to do something to entertain their children. It is considered boring to stay at home. We are on the one hand impressed, we guess, by the amount of money that people spend on these family jaunts. Has anyone tried to stay home and just spend quality time with their children at home? Our thinking is that if a family would make the decision to stay at home, only one parent would remain with the children and the other parent would continue to work. How great it would be if an entire family would do all activities, as minimal as they might seem, together.

Overhearing conversations where it is almost considered a burden for parents to have to spend time with their children is devastating to our psyches. What is even more mind-boggling to us is that Pesach is just in another three months, and once again the community empties as destinations such as Crete, Italy, Las Vegas, Quebec and everywhere else are calling. Again it would be difficult for children to be at home because “so many of their friends disappear.” Has anyone ever said to their children we sincerely want to spend time with you? We will all make Pesach together and enjoy it, and even more realistically, “We don’t have enough money to take so many vacations”?

We are constantly reading about the “ludicrous,” which is a quote, tuitions that people are paying here for their children to go to school. It is hard for us to understand the concern when many of the same people complaining are spending this freezing week in Cancun and Israel. Florida is not really considered exotic anymore.

Our kids always laugh at Nina because she always talks about what would happen if she were to win the lottery. Mordechai always reminds her that after she disburses all the money the way she wishes in her mind, there will be nothing left for us. There is, however, the more pressing reason that she will likely not win, and it is because she neglects to buy a ticket.

We hope that next week, when all the tanned or vacationed returnees are getting their children ready for school, they remember not to complain about who is late, how much work is entailed, the expense of tuitions or any other complaint. At least allow your vacation to remain with you for a short amount of time and remember that Pesach is only three months away.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick


Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

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