Andrew Parise, former mayor of Cedarhurst, speaks at the 2014 Memorial Day parade. Photo Credit: Josh Justic

Every Memorial Day, a quick parade rolls its way up Central Avenue through Lawrence and Cedarhurst as a tribute to those who lost their lives defending the United States in hard-fought wars over the last many years.

Penina (Paris) Popack, president of the Lawrence Association, along with Alex Edelman and Ben Weinstock, the mayors of villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst, respectively and the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Volunteer Fire Department are working to reinvigorate the local tribute to those fallen.

The parade will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 26, the day before Memorial Day.

Over the years, the Five Towns parade has been too often neglected and seen only as an event that closes down the main shopping avenue on a holiday weekend. Through her vision and dynamic leadership, Mrs. Popack is looking to change all that, with our main thoroughfare and sidewalks crowded with families and spectators, students from our local schools, and even those from surrounding areas to view a great spectacle of a colorful Memorial Day Parade with pomp and glamour.

But most important is that this is an event to pay tribute to the local men and women who served our country.

“This is an outstanding idea,” said a Cedarhurst retail store owner, “It brings us all together, and that is the most important thing on a day and time like this.”

Turning Over

Hmm … Purim is over and it is kind of quiet out there. Some of the shelves in the supermarkets look bare, but not because there is any shortage of products. Rather, the store owners are doing one of the things that is best described by an intriguing phrase—and I have to say it’s one of my favorite terms in the English language that can only really be understood by another observant Jew — and that is: “turning over.”

I have always had an affinity for those two words, perhaps because I personally have very limited use for them. It’s not that I’ve never turned over per se; I really haven’t, but over the decades I have observed this turning-over business from various vantage points.

Back to the supermarket imagery for a moment. No, the food shops and emporiums are not running out of inventory — they are just turning over.

The stores that sell chametz all year long are now setting up for the shopping for foodstuffs frenzy that is a big part of the observance of Pesach. For the next week or so, while you are not yet shopping for Pesach food, you will have to sharpen your focus and absorb the messages on the display cases that tell you what is for Passover use and what is not. This will be important right up to the last day before the chag.

And then there is the matter of turning over your home, or your kitchen at home. The best advice about that is if you are not doing the actual turning over, just stand clear and stay out of the way. This is not a matter of simply relocating yourself to a different room or floor in your home. Be aware that if you are not directly involved in the process, you are definitely in the way.

These two words — “turning over” — have exclusive meaning to our club, tribe, our people. Listen closely over the next several weeks to people chatting at lunch, after shul, and in our supermarkets, and you will hear the question: “When are you turning over?”

Once a home is turned over, chametz or anything that even resembles chametz is strictly forbidden in the home. While most people seem to wait until the night before Pesach to turn over, others cannot wait and turn over at least their kitchen several days, and sometimes even weeks prior to Pesach. If you are staying home for Pesach, you are probably eating only kosher for Pesach food for at least a week before the chag.

Turning over is a gargantuan, even life-altering seasonal task that takes a lot of focus and effort. And as you know, after turning over, there is the matter of turning back after the chag. It could be that turning back is less complicated than turning over, but that is subject to lively debate. Both are a big deal with their own challenges.

If you are traveling for Pesach, this may have flown over your head. If you have never been home for Pesach, you may not even know what I am referring to here. Either way, rest assured these are real and very intense matters. There is no turning back, only turning over. 

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