I love Pesach.
It was one of five holidays I grew up with and I always thought that it was rather fun.
I grew up celebrating Pesach, Chanukkah, お正月, Purim (sometimes), and Sukkot (until I was about 9).
Every year on Pesach my mom would read the Passover issue of the Tokyo Jewish Community Center Newsletter and tell me something new that she found out Passover that year–it usually concerned some new Kashrut rule that either she had forgotten about (I find it impossible to remember all the intricacies from year to year) or had learned new that year and she would ask me, “Do you want to do this?” Invariably I would say “Yes!”
So I fondly remember the year when we boiled all our silverwear for the first time to properly kasher them for Passover, eventhough they were unused all year.
Pesach is a crazy time of the year.
In fact, I confess that I go a little nuts during Pesach.
It’s fun for me. I get to be as machmir (strict in ritual observance) as I want in terms of Kashut in a way I usually find hard to be. Pesach gives me a great excuse.
Misha, who tends to think that I take things overboard (I disagree) thinks that it’s a bit ridiculous. But I don’t care as long as he gives me the freedom to do what I want.
I love all the matzah eating and the lack of rice (since I don’t eat kitniyot on Pesach) and all those familiar soy foods (like しょう油、味噌、豆腐) replaced with delicious matzo balls in vegetable broth. Matzah brie is something that my mother made only a few times during Passover, but I am lucky this year that that is one of the things Misha makes a lot of. I have already had savory and delicious matzo brie five times this Pesach!!
The sad thing is that Pesach is already on its way out. Sure, I am happy that my familiar Japanese and Korean foods can re-enter my life again, but I am also sad that that little craziness of Pesach is also almost over.
The three day break (two yom tovim plus Shabbat) at the beginning of Pesach this year really did me some good. It helped me to completely relax and re-focus like nothing else worked for me in the past.