How Is This Night Different?

Ima is cleaning.

When I was pregnant, I ate saltine crackers in bed to ward off the morning sickness. When my son was a newborn, I ate hurriedly whenever and wherever I could (kind of like the Hebrews fleeing Egypt), often while hovering over the bassinet or feeding him.

In the five months since he’s been born we’ve slowly adapted to life with a little baby, and things have gradually returned to (a new) normal. We manage to eat, work, and even socialize. But to really, truly, throrougly clean? Not so much.

What does this all amount to? In short–the biggest, most thankless Passover cleaning ever. With my son (the one who does not yet know how to ask) sitting silently at my side.

So what does all this cleaning get us? Am I reliving the harshness of slavery? Scrubbing my soul clean? What if I just packed up and went to Boca?

Then again, the purpose of the seder is to truly take you to another place and time. So maybe all this cleaning is just to prepare me for my journey.


Discover More

How Not to Comfort Mourners

The worst things to say to someone who is grieving.

How The Trouble Began

The Israelites' troubles, and indeed our own troubles, begin when we turn away from God.

Reflections on Liturgy of the High Holy Days

We spent the whole morning of prayers during the High Holidays on our pleas for forgiveness from God, and our ...