By Larry Gordon –
So where are you going for Pesach? Israel? Miami? San Diego? Brooklyn? It’s an oft asked question whose frequency and rate of inquiry will be accelerated over the next few weeks. That is just the way we do things—habitually, customarily, traditionally and so on. So where are you for this and where are you for that is essentially the way the refrain goes.
For our part this year we are trying something new for a combination of reasons and circumstances that just like everyone else, I will take a few moments to share with the reader or listener or whomever is out there. Put it this way, we already have 15 pounds of Shmura Matzoh sitting in our basement and for the first time in a few years we are staying home for Pesach and I have to admit that I am excited about it.
In no particular order here are some of the things that I am looking forward to about the coming yom tov of Pesach. The first is no suitcases or packing. Now if nothing else that is a cause for celebration. And then there is packing up the car or going to the airport of which I have done both for Peaach a considerable amount of times.
I don’t know if any of the readers who regularly go somewhere or anywhere for Pesach, but there was at least one time—and it was only about five years ago–that I split my Pesach, that is half of the chag at a hotel on Long Island and the balance in Florida at another hotel. Frankly I don’t know if I would do that again. Actually maybe I would but then again perhaps not, I’m still thinking about that one.
So why travel all the way to Florida for Pesach after all is said and done. Well, first and foremost is that at least at this time of year the weather in Miami Beach or Fort Lauderdale or even Orlando is usually spectacular. And with all this climate change or global warming which manifests itself as global cooling until August when it is going to be hot no matter what atmospheric philosophy you subscribe to. South Florida is the right place in April.
I mean just look back a few days ago at Purim, it was March 15th and it was freezing outside. Now what exactly is up with that? Well what is up is that if you stick around long enough or have already done so at least in part, then you will recall the erev Pesach snow storm which occurred in early April and the mid April heat wave that once had temperatures in the 90’s over chol hamoed. It might be that what I am trying to say here is that at least meteorologically things as you know are rather unpredictable.
So what is it that we at least have the illusion of controlling? I believe that perhaps the only thing that is left within our domain to determine or in some fashion exercise our free choice is what we do or where we go for Pesach.