April 11, 2016

Missing the Shabbat this Passover

My Sixth Sense by Menachem Lubinsky

As I am accustomed to do at this time of the year, I have been touring many kosher stores to see how the Passover season is progressing. I generally select a given community, which this year was Lakewood. At the same time, I also visit stores in many other locations. By now, the stores are fully stocked with Passover items and shopping carts are full of the Passover products. There seems to be a feeling that the stores will do even better than last year. So it was surprising when one retailer lamented that he missed the additional Shabbat. What?

Here is what he meant. Passover is 8-day holiday with two festive days at the beginning where no work can be done and two at the end with the same restrictions. There are four interim days which this year falls Monday-Thursday. If the calendar were different such as if the holidays fell mid-week instead of Shabbat-Sunday as it does this year, there would be a Shabbat during the interim days which the retailer claimed added significantly to sales. When I asked other retailers whether they felt the same way, one told me: “Look it all adds up in the end.” I agree!