Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Nissan 5762 - March 20, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
An Ounce of Prevention
by Batya Gimmel

Once, when I was living in Southern California, several women from my community took advantage of the fact that our youngsters were attending day camp and drove to Los Angeles to restock our dwindling supplies of kosher food.

As we left Fairfax Avenue, which was then the main shopping street in Los Angeles, laden with boxes of groceries, fish, frozen meat and fresh baked goods, one of the ladies took out a bag of rugelach and began passing them around. The driver quickly but firmly asked her to put away the pastries, explaining that she had an iron-clad rule: No eating in the car.

After the bag of goodies had been stashed away, our friend went on to clarify, on that hot July afternoon, the reason for her no-eating rule. It simplifies Pesach cleaning. For her, there is no pre-Pesach trip to the car wash: no back seat to remove to get to the pretzels, bagel and wafer crumbs and other sundry chometz: no last minute vacuuming of the children's car seats.

My initial reaction to this idea of keeping Pesach in mind all year, especially while deciding where and how to grab a quick snack on the run, was something along the lines of, "Forget it!" However, I did have the opportunity to give the matter some thought months later, specifically during the first two weeks of Nissan, while I was busy cleaning my car and other places far from my kitchen. As we got closer and closer to the Seder night, the concept began to have more merit. In fact, by the evening of bedikas chometz, the idea seemed downright brilliant!

In preparing for Pesach, as in all other aspects of life, the old adage holds true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why NOT stop eating in the car?

Those of us who do not own cars, and therefore take buses and taxis instead, can also plan ahead to make their lives easier just before Pesach. Here is a simple suggestion:

Right now, while you are in the Pesach mode, designate one roomy, zippered tote bag as your going-on-the-bus bag. Into this bag will go the spare key to your house, your mini-Tehilim and tefilas haderech/siddur, small packages of tissues, a telephone card, some change, and perhaps the children's immunization records. It will be the one bag that goes on all trips outside your immediate vicinity.

Make a firm rule that aside from grocery purchases, all food that goes out of your house or is coming home with you, has to be carried in that one bag. This will eliminate the tedious pre-Pesach search of every coat and raincoat pocket, pocketbook and backpack for any and all of the following treasures: the carefully wrapped slice of cake from the Friedman bris back in December; the roll of candies from your mid-winter bout with laryngitis and the crackers you took to the first prenatal doctor's appointment in case you got carsick in the taxi.

You won't even have to think about the little bag of cookies and toffees that you stuffed into the bottom of your purse on the way to the Megilla reading on Purim: at night for after the fast or in the morning, in case your daughter remembered a last minute shalach monos. All forgotten food items will turn up in one easy-to-clean source -- a bag that can be emptied, turned inside out and brushed or vacuumed in a matter of minutes.

Once we get into the spirit of it, the list of premptive Pesach cleaning tactics can go on: No eating over seforim or books, or storybooks you read to your children; no snacks in the bedrooms etc.

Wouldn't it be great if next year we could confine our Pesach cleaning to the kitchen, pantry and dining room? A person can dream, can't she?


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.