Friday, April 6, 2012


This morning I went out to the local grocery to get the "last few things" before yom tov begins. 

Last night I woke up at 3:00 am and thought, "HOT CUPS!  SMALL ZIPLOC BAGS!"  and couldn't get back to sleep.  You know, every day during the week before Pesach you say, "I'm NOT going to the store today, I'm just NOT."  And then, there you are in the middle of making matza balls and you realize you forgot the __________ [random ingredient[.  So off you go.  Whip out that credit card.

Today it was the small ziploc bags which were totally essential for Pesach.  I had the hot cups, it turned out.  And I wanted to get a newspaper.  Two good reasons to go to the store.

As I drove out I was unprepared for what I saw.  Nothing monumental, nothing dramatic.  Just groups of people all over the neighborhood burning their chametz.  I probably saw five different groups.  All over the place you saw fathers walking with their children, chametz in hand, to find the neighborhood fire.  And maybe I'm just projecting this, but they had the happiest smiles on their faces.  They were really excited about Pesach.

People were standing together in big and small groups burning chametz - those with kipot, those without, kids running around, all excited.  People were shaking hands and wishing each other a chag sameach.

Now I know this is done in other cities outside of Israel, and I don't know if I can describe this correctly or with enough passion, but many, many of the people I saw were olim like me. That means more than I could even say.  Knowing we had all come here for the same reason, to gather together, literally from around the world, and live as Jews in a Jewish nation - wow.

Double wow.

Chag kasher v'smeach, everyone - and think of me when you make that last trip to the store...

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