The Torch explores gender and religion in the Jewish community. Named for Deborah the Prophetess, "the woman of torches," the blog highlights the passion and fiery leadership of Jewish feminists, while evoking the powerful image of feminists "passing the torch" to a new generation. Disclaimer: All posts are contributed by third party authors. JOFA does not assume responsibility for the facts and opinions presented in them.
Gentlemen, as Passover approaches, I thought you would appreciate the following advice:
- To avoid the usual stress of Passover cleaning, spread the workload across the weeks; don’t leave it all to the last minute. I realize this might seem like patronizing advice but male brains are too feeble to work this out all by themselves.
- There is no reason at all why it should all be left to you. Your wife is perfectly capable of taking time out of her busy schedule to help. Ask her to empty the trash once in awhile, for example. She could also take the kids out to the park or zoo on the weekend so you can get stuck cleaning the oven; bliss!
- Your wife could also help out by going to fetch the take-out in the evenings running up to Passover. Obviously, this is a huge help so don’t forget to take a break from scrubbing the sink to thank her profusely.
- If you are one of these modern career men, then this is advice for you. Use up some of your precious annual leave to take time off to cook, clean, bake, and scrub. What better way to utilize a well-earned break from work?
- Take a well-deserved break from cleaning by attending a class about Passover cleaning. This will also give you an opportunity to bond with other men as you chat about the best cleaning products or the many uses for flaked almonds; we know how you enjoy a good gossip!
- There is no need to go mad with your Passover cleaning but if you do want to scrub the walls and wash the ceiling you will surely merit a great reward in Olam Habah, the World to Come.
- Some men feel that their role at this time of year as cook, cleaner, baker, and general slave is demeaning. That is because you are not able to compute the beauty of the mitzvah. As your womenfolk sit down and enjoy their seder (that you are far too tired to enjoy) you should bask in the glow of their learned words and wisdom and the role you played in helping them achieve their potential.
- Remember to be positive and focus on the holiness of your efforts. Never let your wife hear you kvetch about how hard you’re working, how dried out your hands have become, how tired you are, etc. You are doing God’s holy work and you should feel privileged.
- Don’t forget to maintain appropriate levels of modesty at all times when doing your Passover shopping. This includes talking quietly, not laughing, and not being provocative with your peyot (sidecurls worn by many Hasidic men) as such behaviors can be distracting for women and cause an aveirah (sin) against Am Yisroel.
- You should allow some “me-time” into your schedule so you don’t get too stressed. Many synagogues run men’s pampering sessions at this time of year so do take a break and sit back whilst you get your beard massaged, your back waxed and maybe even your nostril hair trimmed; what a treat, and your wife will surely appreciate your efforts to look nice for her.
Wishing Klal Yisoel (all of Israel), and their hard-working menfolk, a kosher Passover.
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.