Monday, March 1, 2010

Purim behind, Pesach ahead

I hope all my Jewish readers had a great time celebrating Purim. The beautiful little dress you see below served as Shira's Purim costume this year. It has been hanging in her closet for quite a while, and I have been admiring it, but couldn't imagine an occasion except for Purim when Shira might wear it, as it's so fancy, with many layers and lots of lace, satin and beads. 

Notice the lovely details. I'm going to carefully wash it by hand and put it on its hanger once more, and perhaps one day there will be another little girl to wear it.

With Purim now behind us, the next thing on the agenda is Pesach cleaning (known by the name of Spring cleaning in non-Jewish households). There is a long, long list of things to do, apart from the daily routine which is enough to keep anyone busy - there are meals to cook, laundry to wash and hang and sort and fold and iron, floors to mop, beds to make, and on top of it all, there's one very active, curious, energetic, determined and resourceful little explorer around here.

Strictly speaking, Pesach cleaning is supposed to be about getting rid of the chametz, but there's a powerful instinct that prompts Jewish wives to do a deep clean of their bathrooms and other places where no one ever eats, as well as wash curtains and scrub windows squeaky clean and do a million of other things that have nothing to do with chametz but leave the house cleaner and tidier than it will be at any other point during the year. Of course, many families have guests for Pesach, which gives a motivation to do extra cleaning and re-arranging.

Go figure why, but right before Pesach there's an upsurge of people throwing out perfectly good bookcases, chairs and coffee tables, which can turn a casual drive through a neighborhood into a real treasure hunt for people who don't mind getting second-hand furniture for free.

I have a lot of "extras" on my list as well. Last year, we accomplished but half of it. It was alright, though. God willing, we will get through the necessities and do what we can about the rest.


Deborah said...

What a beautiful little dress! I always smile to see little girls in their finery, although I well remember hating to wear it myself :)

Good luck with your Pesach cleaning--I hope you're able to get it all done this year, at least the most important parts, without driving yourself crazy in the doing.

Anonymous said...

Oh what a pretty dress, I do hope there will be another oportunity to use it in the future - clothes were made for wearing not hanging. I also hope that you get the essentials as well as some of the other things on your lists done before Pesach, it always feels good to feel like you ahve achieved so much.

Mrs. White said...

I just wrote about spring cleaning last night! I plan to work for 20 minutes each day and have it all finished by Passover.

I hope you keep us updated with your progress!

Mrs. White

Sheri said...

Anna, how beautiful! I bet Shira looked lovely in it!

Anonymous said...

The dress is gorgeous, Anna. So dainty & feminine. :o) And oooh!...I hope you decide to take that "casual drive" through some of the neighborhoods you described. Sounds like there are treasures just waiting!


Anonymous said...

Anna, thanks so much for sharing about your Jewish customs. I am not Jewish myself, but I always am interested to learn about your culture and traditions.

messy bessy said...

We live in the upper part of the Midwest in the US, where winter lasts well into March and sometimes we have snow in April. However, the sun is shining more brightly now, and the temps are up around 0-5 degrees Celsius. (Warm compared to winter!) And although there is still plenty of snow on the ground, we are definitely thinking of spring.

And spring cleaning! As Christians we are in the 40-day season of penance and reflection (Lent) and are preparing for Easter, which happens near Passover. I have been in that exact same mindset-- the cleaning which helps to prepare your heart for the great feast. (This year I think I will even require the children to wash the walls, as well as the windows.)

Good luck with yours!