Sunday, March 17, 2013

Can They Move Seven Mile Market Here? Please?

I have never appreciated Seven Mile Market's approach to Pesach preparation more.  True, last year I complained about preparing for Pesach in Israel, but somehow this year it really got to me.

Last year, my attitude was, "Oh!  Things are so different in Israel!  Isn't that interesting!"

This year, my attitude is, "Sheesh."

You see, when you do pre-Pesach shopping in Israel, you...don't.  You know how before Purim, when you walk into Seven Mile Market, you see the staff stealthily cleaning off certain sections, and all the women shoppers looking at each other with faces marked by stark fear? 

Yeah, you don't get that here.  For example: TODAY I went shopping, one week before Pesach.  One week, people.  Do you know how SMM looks one week before Pesach? With the lines going down the aisles and people shlepping two carts, each of them overflowing?

Well, in my neighborhood store today, it was empty. Why? Because it's not time for Pesach shopping yet - it's too early.  I am not kidding. They'll go on Thursday.

And last week when I went into a supermarket armed with my list, I couldn't find Pesach products.  Seriously.  I walked around and around.  So they just merge Pesach products with the regular stuff and you stand there checking to see if what you just picked up is Kosher l'Pesach. And what they did have for Pesach was pitiful.

And let's not even get into the kitniyot problem (for those of you who don't know, kitniyot are things like beans and rice which Ashkenazim don't eat on Pesach and Sephardim do eat on Pesach).  I got a headache today inspecting each package for those holy words, "B'li Chashash Kitniyot" meaning that there is no chance of any kitniyot being contained in the product.  Then I know I can buy it.  And do you know how many products like that I found?  Two! So come on by if you want butter or a box of matzah.

I came back from the store disgruntled and nervous. 

So, to summarize - no Pesach section, very few products we can actually buy. 

It reminds me of when I was little and my mother brought home "Nyafat" (remember that?  you're gagging a little bit now, aren't you?) and we were all so excited because there was something we could use for frying!

Now, aside from all of this, the emotional preparation for Pesach in Israel is all-consuming.  The billboards, the malls, the radio announcements, the newspapers - every other word is about the upcoming chag and wishing everyone a chag Pesach sameach.  Everyone you see is excited and talking about their preparation - and not just the religious community.  It's everyone. The very non-religious security guy in the supermarket with a shaved head and an earring looked me in the eye as I left, with a huge smile, and said, "Gveret, chag pesach sameach lach!" [Ma'am, Happy Pesach to you!]

It's the whole country.  It is our country, and we are all getting ready together. And really, as long as we have matzah and butter, what else do we need?


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