How We Survived Passover in Quarantine
I certainly cleaned a lot more for Pesach this year. I know this because I found a garlic powder that expired in 2003.
The coronavirus kept us from shul, but it did not keep us from the Seder. Many celebrated with their immediate families, and many celebrated alone. But we all found a way to celebrate. This is how I celebrated, as well as the people in my neighborhood – in quarantine.
We Cleaned a Lot More
We had too much time to clean before the holiday this year. We found stuff to clean that didn’t need cleaning and we cleaned it. I spent two hours on the kitchen sink. I don’t know if enamel absorbs chametz but if it does, I got it out. I hope it’s a Mitzvah to ruin kitchen appliances before Pesach.
I cleaned way beyond the requirement. I know this because I found garlic powder that expired in 2003. To note, garlic can be used around 17 years past expiration date. As long as you are willing to eat kugel that tastes a little off.
Bought a Lot of Matzah Meal
When we heard that they were running out of toilet paper and eggs in Israel, we bought more Matzah meal. For some reason we mistook a worldwide food staple with crushed up Matzah.
Actually, it’s tradition to overstock on Pesach food. That’s how the tradition of eating Matzah balls started. People stocked up on matzah meal and then realized that they needed to do something with it.
Didn’t Have to Come Up with Excuses for Not Accepting the Invite
Passover is a time when we are extremely stringent about kosher laws, and many have a tradition of not eating out on Pesach at all. This year, not breaking Matzah with your fellow Jews was the neighborly thing to do. From now on, when I don’t want to spend time with people, I am going to tell them it’s for their health.
We had a month at home to prepare for Pesach, and we cleaned for ten hours a day. We still had more to clean on Tuesday morning before the holiday.
The most important Jewish lesson of every family: No matter how much you prepare for the holiday, you will have to rush and scream at the kids. Why the shower was still cold when you started showering the night before, will never make sense. It’s all part of tradition.
You thought it was going to be less cooking, without having any guests, but you have kids. Over Pesach the kids started complaining. They’re angry you didn’t make them pizza. Ungrateful little…
OK so you start making the Matzah meal pizza and it takes you three hours. Now you’re regretting that you ever bought the Hadassah Pesach Cook Book.
Stood in the Street
Jews love standing and talking. We do it at the shul Kiddush, we do it at the Bar Mitzvah party. Why not do it at home? Quarantine won’t keep us from this. So we stand on our porches talking to our neighbors, while eating.
We don’t care that our neighbors don’t want to talk to us. Where are they going to go?
Ate Like Royalty at the Seder
We finally had room at the seder table, and people could sit at a distance, like royalty. It’s a tradition that we eat like kings on Passover and lean while we drink the wine. And like a king, there was a lot more room for me this year to stain my shirt. For the first time, I didn’t ruin anybody else’s suit.
Vegetables Were Cleaned More at the Seder
This is the first year the vegetables were cleaned well. The cleaning and disinfecting message got out. I could definitely taste the Clorox in my parsley.
Seder Ended with Crying
What makes the Seder is the focus on the children. And that means crying. Like any good game, the Seder ends with the find the Afikomen game and kids crying. That’s why we force the kids to play a game of hide and go seek with the Matzah at midnight, where there is only one winner who can get the prize, three hours after their bedtime.
Less Questions at Seder
As I was alone I had to ask myself the questions. My answers were not that good.
Hid the Afikomen from Myself
I couldn’t find it. I felt like a fool. Now I can’t get myself the bike I wanted.
Our neighbors were influenced by the videos you saw on social media. Playing the games in the home is a staple of the quarantine.
They took the treadmill M&M game and did it kosher for Pesach style with macaroons. If you could catch more than one macaroon in your mouth and chew it before the next one comes you get five points. Nobody was able to chew and swallow a macaroon in less than three minutes. Nobody got past the first macaroon before choking.
Video of Your Kid Crying
You took away the Matzah pizza and told the kid it was casserole and they cried, and you videotaped it. Now you’re a Jewish Youtube sensation and your friends think you are funny as anything for exploiting your child. Mazal tov.
To end the holiday, we cleaned. We put away the dishes and cleaned up the house of unleavened bread. I am still cleaning. I can’t think of any other activity to do during quarantine.
God willing we’ll be able to celebrate together next year, so that I can stop cleaning, and I will have somebody who can answer my questions and find the Afikomen. Right now, I just need to find somebody to eat my Matzah balls and fake pizza.