April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been paying attention lately to the timing of my cyclical cleaning jags. Sometimes the urge to purge intersects with impending
visitors and other times with different dates on the calendar.
As someone who was raised with a traditional Jewish upbringing, I’ve often fallen victim to the near hysterical house cleaning that generally accompanies Passover, which begins at sunset on Friday.
Though most frequently associated with the shunning of all things leavened (with pasta, bread & bagels topping the list) and eating of matzoh, the holiday that heralds spring also has a subset of rules and regulations. Some that have been passed down over the generations include the reading of the Hagaddah which recounts the Jews exodus from Egypt and the tyrannical Pharoah (10 plagues and all); drinking four glasses of wine; asking the four questions and generally celebrating the Jews’ escape from slavery to freedom complete with a huge meal and quest for gifts. Or as Good for the Jews puts it “They tried to kills us. We Survived. Let’s Eat.”
For Jews like myself of Eastern European heritage, the holiday also involves a generally frenzied top/down house cleaning and subsequent disposal of any offending bread-like or even remotely near leavened products. Also clothes that you no longer wear, shoes that have fallen out of favor, kitchen gadgets bought in a weak moment, shampoos that are barely used, unread magazines- well, you get the picture.
I’ve been busy lately. Really (wonderfully) busy and (please don’t read this, mom) haven’t really given the holiday much thought. And yet without paying attention to the calendar, the pre-holiday abstersion submersion has crept into my life. I find myself feverishly throwing out half used boxes of quinoa, divesting myself of bedding bought in a weak moment and questioning my need for 11 pairs of sneakers. (No, really. 11. And I’m not even a runner).
In other words, be it nature or nurture, sometimes you really do have to take a long, hard look in your closet and kitchen and just eliminate. Without remorse. Without nostalgia. Without wondering if you can re-purpose that skirt into a pillowcase.
Now is that time.