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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Chol Hamoed Trip

OK - we're pulling around the end corner of of cleaning into the home stretch of cooking. Soon, the distaff members will go catatonic and we men will in turn start getting hypertension about gebrokts crumbs and dinim and kavana at the seder.

And then . . . ta da! Chol Hamoed.

With memories of past chol hamoeds wasted deciding what to do, and yielding neither spiritual fruits nor quality time with the family, I tried to go pre-emptive this year.

I asked my children what they wanted to do - and promptly got a list which I knew in advance would be prohibited by the yeshiva. My kids are good kids, not interested in forbidden fruits - but everything except learning is prohibited, and I'm not one to instill defiance to authority.

And indeed, several days later, I got the list of forbidden activities. Everything my children and I discussed. No positive suggestions, though, except learning.
My sons learn 10+ hours a day, barely leaving the class room. My girls study for tests until unearthly hours, and get high 90's plus. My married children are all in learning. I'm proud of them all.
But isn't learning as a diversion after learning a recipe for repulsion to Torah? (Reference the famous gemora about the foolish Babylonians who ate bread after eating bread - Nedarim 39b)

So, in the meantime, I know Tuesday morning we'll all start scratching our heads, wondering what to do chol hamoed.

And another unmemorable chol hamoed will come and go.

But never fear - by Thursday the females will be cleaning and cooking for Yom Tov after cleaning and cooking for Yom Tov.


Anonymous kendall deerson said...

although your latest piece is smacks of the mundane. not very far below the surface is the edgy question which pervades this entire blog----is this what Hashem had in Mind?

the whole thing is kind of absurd. amongst the new york grittines the urban peaseantry boro park is a step back in time to a recreation of the european shtetel existence.

but this is not europe. there is certain kind of idyllic decadent feel to the lifestyle we have concocted as we play out our lives. It sort of evokes a Herman Hesse bourgoise motif. Steppenwolf Redux. And yet can we ever transcend our middle class sensibilities.

perhaps we our haunted by the not too distant past of barb wires and growling german sheperds. The pawnbroker impaling himself upon the bill spike. The camera zooms up to capture the excruciating pain of Rod Steiger a riveting moment in cinematic reality. how's that for an oxymoron.

We are looking questing for freedom out of the prison-golus mentality. For the vast majority of American Jews Pesach is the Festival of Freedom. So what its all about if not for enjoying the wholesome family interplay of chol HaMoed. And for those lucky enough to realize there is no real freedom in this world except for Bnei Torah.

6:10 PM  
Blogger kishmech said...

oh live dangerously, visit a theme park, go to the zoo, go for a picnic in the country, the kids will thank you for it later on. Childhood is not cooking and cleaning, neither is Judaism.....there are rabbonim who always went on tiyulim chol hamoed to show their families the NIflaos haboreh and/or recharge batteries...are the principals of the schools better than them??

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

note to aol users:for the latest on bobov story come

4:33 PM  

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