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We need perspective when it comes to Pesach

  • MichaelSieff
By the time this column hits the streets there will be only 24 hours until the arrival of Pesach 2016. For the past several weeks we have seen harassed shoppers rushing around everywhere, planning, purchasing and complaining about the costs of Pesach goods and the amount of work involved in Pesach preparation.
by MICHAEL SIEFF | Apr 20, 2016

It’s a crazy time of year with the chag always top of mind, consuming us with details about guest lists, menus, products and prices. While major chain stores compete for Jewish business, the community grapevine is alive with who is selling what and where the best deals can be found.   

I am offering the gift of perspective as a gesture of comfort by telling you about the massive scope of work being done in the Chev’s huge kitchens which are kashered so that 3 000 Pesachdic meals can be prepared for our residents every day. 

Imagine, if you can, the range and quantity of products that were ordered to fulfil that objective, and what the numbers on those accounts might look like!    

And it doesn’t end there. Invitations were extended to community members to join us for sederim at Sandringham Gardens, Our Parents Home and the Capri. 

In the weeks leading up to Pesach, Matzah Man visited all the Jewish day schools collecting product donations from the children and there was a collection point outside Pick n Pay too. 

On Sunday morning all those donations were packed into boxes for distribution to people in need. As always, the packing was an inspiring community effort. I was there with my family and was delighted to see so many other families present as well as the huge group of students who came along to assist.

Ultimately almost 700 boxes were packed containing 2 000 chickens and other staples like matzah, grape juice, oil, sugar, etc.

I don’t know of any two families who observe Pesach in exactly the same way. Some eat local matzah and others only imported, hand-made matzah.

Sephardi and Ashkenazi customs differ and traditions, passed down through generations, vary from one household to another. But, there is one thing on which our community all agree: Pesach is a time of caring about our fellow Jews and ensuring that their needs are met and that they have a place at a seder table.

What makes our community so special is that although we may get lost in the detail, we never fail to see the bigger picture and to celebrate the true spirit of Pesach.  

May our partnership continue to thrive.

Best wishes for a chag kasher v’sameach.

 

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