Monday, April 12, 2010
Passover at Lake Las Vegas: Grateful for the Liberation
Passover in a hotel program is a vacation from the required tasks of cleaning the kitchen pristine, locking up or dumping all the "chumetz" (leavened foods--mostly anything baked or made with flour--that make up most of a normal diet) and diligently ridding the rest of the house of crushed granola bars, stray Cheerios, and other doughy contraband. "Turning over" the house for Pesach, clearing out the puffy products that symbolically represent arrogance and egotism, allowing submission to a higher authority, has a cathartic effect for a saintly few, but in my less-than-uplifted state, hold only the threat of chapped hands. Even when the chumetz is cleared out, Passover dishes, cutlery, and specially-certified foods must come in, and the cooking begins. Preparation for the holiday takes most families about a month, more than enough time to contemplate and crave the transition from slavery to liberation.
My husband and I have been fortunate to be invited to speak at Passover hotel getaways for many years now, replacing a cleaning-buying-cooking frenzy with anticipation of a warmer location, lavish buffets, thought-provoking classes, enjoyable outings, and, best, a week of family time together. My husband's brother and his delightful wife and daughters joined the five of us in the group of 650 people, all observing milleniums-old traditions and fulfilling biblical commandments.