Passover (Pesach, the feast of unleavened bread) is coming! It’s about 17 weeks away. How do I know off the top of my head? I’m expecting a baby during the week of Passover, so I have a built in countdown running in my head.
Passover is a wonderful holiday that celebrates the Jewish people’s exodus from slavery and oppression in Egypt thousands of years ago. We remember this and marvel that we were saved. It is a spiritual journey.
Practically, for the Jewish housewife, it is also a physical one. The Israelites were told to go finally, but not given sufficient time to prepare for the arduous journey. They took their dough unleavened and let it bake on their backs in the desert sun. From this, we have been instructed not to have any leaven in our households for the week that Pesach is celebrated. The house needs to be cleaned from top to bottom, the kitchen cleaned, koshered, and almost all every day food products sealed away. Special dishes, reserved for Passover, are brought out, and special foods are purchased and prepared. There are two seder meals, where the exodus is recounted with songs and questions late into the night. Then, for those outside of Israel, there are an additional 6 festive meals to prepare (Israelis only have a total of 3 days of festive meals, with both counts including the Sabbath).
Pesach is more preparation than any other holiday, especially physical preparation. Many people start sometime around Purim, which is approximately one month before. This year has a special challenge, and around that time, I will be 36-37 weeks pregnant (God willing!) Technically, labor could start anytime throughout that month, and so I must be prepared before.
I have a regular 6 week plan that I normally follow. It includes all of the nitty gritty things that need to be done, like checking for candles, scheduling errands, planning the house cleaning, and menu planning. I have been asked in several places to post this plan, and I will, starting in early March, to walk you through it.
My plan is for me, so I might cover different rooms than you have, or talk about pet care when you don’t have one. But please take it and work with it to make it work for you!
I have also been tweaking my plan to fit my needs right now, and I will post this, too. I know I’m not the only person expecting a blessing in April, so I hope some other people will benefit from this version, too! I have scheduled the 6 week planner posts one week at a time starting on March 01, 2011 (that’s about 7 weeks to go until Passover, but it starts the week of March 6-12 to give you a head start.)