December 20, 2010

The Pesach of 2010 Would not be Recognized by Your Grandparents

There is a good chance that several of your neighbors may be heading to one of the many “Pesach programs” in major hotels throughout the country. In fact, you might be one of those headed to a 5-star resort somewhere in Florida, California or Arizona. 20,000 American and Canadian Jews will be there as well. The menu will most likely look like the elegant cuisine that you’ve come to expect from an upscale dining experience throughout the year, save for the Matzohs. The chances are that your grandparents or great grandparents would never have dreamt of such a possibility. They would say: “Pesach”?

If you are one of the “unlucky” ones to stay home, you should not fret. You will have so many foods to choose from that you won’t really deprive yourself. If you’re addicted to bagels, pizza, bread crumbs, croutons and the like, do not despair since they are all available this Pesach. In fact, one distributor told me his list of Pesach items exceeds 21,000. And he admits that he does not have the entire list. You might remember a Pesach that was virtually all made at home, devoid of potato chips and other snacks (a bar of chocolate was just fine to be washed down with Saratoga Geyser and Kedem syrup) and the daily diet usually consisting of matzoh, hard boiled eggs and potato this or potato that, especially if you were going on the obligatory Chol Hamoed (interim days) trip.

The purists amongst us are quite disappointed with the transition. In fact, many homes try very hard to emulate the Pesach home of old. To them, the ultimate guarantee of kashrus is when they are in control over the menu and then there is the concept of the mesorah (tradition) that they wish to impart on their children. Others are grateful for technology and the increased hashgacha that has made eating on Pesach not such a challenge anymore. Even they remind us that it wasn’t like that at all in Bobby and Zaidie’s home.