I live in Brooklyn, New York City, where there are many Jews, as well as many Jewish institutions and stores. Shopping for Pesach food is easier than in most parts of the United States. There are service businesses available to make your holiday cleaning and preparation much less onerous than in much of the world. Blessing, huh?

Yet as an adult, and the adult in the family who is tasked with doing the vast bulk of the Passover work, I find that I enjoy the holiday less and less each year. As a child I enjoyed Pesach for many reasons: a week (or more) off from school so that I could wake up late; nice meals with members of the family I had not seen in a while; singing; Afikomen prizes; and the like. I have a cute memory of sitting on a subway train with my brother and my mother, traveling home from a visit to a museum, while we ate kosher for Passover chocolate candy (the Barton's Lollycones, to be more precise).

To be honest, I did not have lengthy conversations with my mother about how she prepared for the holiday, and since she is gone, I do not have the opportunity to do so now. She did gripe about the amount of time it took to do certain things such as cleaning, but I didn't get the sense it was a dreadful burden. Yet as I have gotten older, I find that the work it takes, as well as the anxiety it provokes, is really not enjoyable and not spiritually uplifting.

I read accounts of people who feel so wonderful about cleaning and cooking, of their springtime Passover rituals that bring them in touch with their grandparents' habits, of how wonderful Passover is in general...and I feel guilty that I do not feel more enlightened and overjoyed. Am I really missing something here by being Devorah Downer, or are many (or most!) of these writers putting us on, faking it with extra gloss to toss?

A big part of this grumbling emanates from my children. My older daughter has been griping the past few days about how much she hates Passover food. My younger one is happy for some days off from school but has New York State exams in English Language Arts and Math to come back to (each test covers three days). And this year the added un-bonuses are that my secular birthday is smack-dab in the middle of the holiday, so no treasured ice cream birthday cake (Carvel, for those in the know) and of course, the April 15 deadline to file our federal and state income taxes. Wow, April this year is just loads of fun!

There are some of you are, no doubt, shaking your heads at what you read. You can call me spoiled, assimilated, confused, chip-on-the-shouldered, and so on. But I am just being honest. I know I have a duty, an obligation, to prepare for and observe Pesach in the best way I can. I know I have to set an example for my daughters. I know I should try to learn and grow in this way. But honestly, that joke about "What's the best thing about Nissan? No Tachanun!" is kinda funny, and very frank.

Well, Chag Sameach and all that. And may your car be nice and clean and Hametz-free, and smell like it just rolled out of the car dealership.

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