I am trying to figure out how it is almost Passover. Again. With everything that has gone on in the past year, it is difficult to fathom how quickly the time has gone. For some it has probably crawled by both painfully and glacially, and for others, the blink of an eye and you are back to seeing how many containers you have to buy since you made last year’s kosher-for-Passover containers all not-kosher-for-Passover. I also like playing the game of, “Hey! I didn’t know that was kosher for Passover!” as you move unopened jars of jelly or pickles to the kosher for Passover section of your kitchen. (And then, of course, after Passover, you move them back to where they were before, and continue to do this until the expiration date passes and they become obsolete.)
Since last year, we were in unchartered territory, with grandparents being alone for the first time, people afraid to leave their houses to go food shopping — and then there was the questions of taking new things to the mikvah. For those not familiar with this concept, it is a strange one. It’s the rabbinical requirement to take silverware or glassware or cookware (we won’t get into specifics because I am not a rabbi, nor do I play one on TV, and I also don’t judge what anyone else does because it isn’t any of my business) to a mikvah. The mikvah being a “ritual bath” commonly used by women. (Women and silverware don’t go “swimming” in the same ritual bath.) Though, funny story, I once took the little girl I babysit for on a field trip to the mikvah, because I needed to dunk something. In that mikvah, there was a picture of the women’s mikvah, and my intelligent, inquisitive, and adorable little friend asked me about the “other” mikvah, and why women go there. My response was, “That is a question for your mother, because it is way above my paygrade.” I thought that was a good answer for a 6 1/2 year old, especially coming from me, a person known to cross the line a time or two… or more. But anyway.
The whole keylim mikvah thing (that’s the mikvah where you dunk stuff instead of humans) became a health issue. We were all so scared about coming in contact with other people, exposing ourselves to friends and strangers alike — do we risk our health to dunk a soup pot? So follow along: A neighbor had said that if you leave the pot in question in front of your house, and tell a few people that you are doing so, and no one steals it, then you no longer have to dunk it, because someone else could have owned it for a brief time. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to me either, but please play along for the purpose of this column — the purpose being that last year, we were able to get away with a whole range of stuff and this year, we are not going to have those same liberties, even though not that much has changed in a year. Yes, I know there is a vaccine, but we are still not even sure what that means. If I have the vaccine and I am exposed to someone with covid, do I not get covid but still have the ability to pass it on to someone who has not had the vaccine? If a tree falls on a bear in the woods, does the bear make any noise? Exactly. Who knows? I think that is what has been the most frustrating thing all along. We just don’t know. And we can’t even the trust the people who are supposed to know, because it doesn’t seem that they know anything either.
But what we do know is that just like the sun rises and sets every single day, the holiday of Passover is right around the corner. And if we learned anything from last year, we learned that it really isn’t such a big deal, and that seders that go until almost 4 in the morning can really be a lot of fun. So try to be organized, make a lot of lists, and buy kosher for Passover Coke and Diet Coke at Stop n Shop because it is only a dollar a bottle. You’re welcome.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is really hoping that they let Son #3 out of Israel. And she still is confused as to why they don’t want to let him out of Israel!!