September 28, 2023
September 28, 2023

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

All of us, as a general rule in our community, are accustomed to welcoming guests into our homes.

In most cases they are people that we know from our neighborhood, our shul, our children’s school or whatever possibilities there are of meeting people and wanting to spend time with them.

We as a couple relish having people from many different walks of life visit with us and especially spend a Shabbos or Yom Tov meal with us. Our home was always known to have an open-door policy.

In the last few weeks, especially in the last week and a half, we have experienced guests that we would do anything to get rid of. We have found ants crawling around our upper floor and some on the first floor as well. We are not talking about one or two, which for Nina, would have been disgusting enough. We are talking about what the exterminator found in two bedrooms—hundreds of ants hiding in window shades and various warm, cuddly spaces. There are those who might—we can’t imagine, but who might—tell us what a mitzvah we are doing by protecting these ants from the unpredictable weather we have had in the last few weeks. As the exterminator explained to us, “This winter is driving the ants crazy because of the erratic nature of having one week warm and the other severely cold. As a result they are confused as to where to go.” We are not sure if that meant that we are supposed to feel sorry for them, but quite honestly we do not. We just want them out of this house as quickly as possible. With the hope that the knowledge of what has gone on here does not prevent Yachad or any other organization from sending us Shabbos guests in the future, we have to honestly say that there were even ants in various beds in the house! It is beyond gross. We don’t know of anyone who can tolerate this horrible invasion of their home although some seem to be less queasy than others. Perhaps it is a male-female thing.

Sitting and talking about how this has taken over a good deal of Nina’s life (primarily in her mind) we began to think about the Haggadah and the Pesach story. The Egyptians were saved by Yosef many years prior to when they suddenly began to attempt to annihilate all of the Jewish male children. As a result, the plagues began. Pharoah became more stubborn as each plague was incurred upon the Egyptians. He would lie in order for the Jews to refrain from imposing the particular plague, and as they did so he would change his mind and another plague would be thrown on the Egyptian people.

We are not in any way comparing our unpleasant visitors to the plagues of Egypt but we are beginning to totally empathize with what it must have felt to have a disgusting phenomenon thrust upon them. Now we are wondering what we have done to deserve a plague thrust upon us? Hopefully nothing. It just really makes a good story.

By the time Pesach is over we are hopeful that this disturbance in our home will have subsided and disappeared and we will be able to write about more important and relevant issues that affect our community. We wish everyone a chag kasher v’sameach and when it comes time to recall the makot at your seder we will hopefully be ant free and no longer even considering such a comparison.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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