The Matzav Shmooze: Why I Go to a Hotel for Pesach


pesachDear readers,

I have been finding the Jewish holidays more painful each year. I am a female, 59-year-old, attractive single, with no children and a small non-religious family (two sisters and a mother), all of whom live out of town. Despite the many invitations I receive in my community, I don’t have a family. Work is becoming more and more stressful and, frankly, I don’t have the mental energy to do all the preparations necessary. Changing over my kitchen has become more difficult…and for what?

I just am depressed and in tears with every holiday. The organized programs offer me a chance not to be dependent on others. I haven’t booked yet, because yes they are expensive and for single people outrageously more. There are no good options for Chol Hamoed if you are alone. And the programs are also family oriented and for someone without a family it is painful.

I have been Torah observant since my late 20’s and never thought I would consider becoming non-observant, but it frequently crosses my mind.

Sally E.


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. Dear Sally
    I’m so sad to hear of your pain. Yom Tov is a very hard time to be with oneself , and Pesach is even more difficult.
    We will have you in our Tifillos over Yom Tov to find a fitting Bashert , to share your life with.
    One thought I had is if you have a friend with young children to adopt them as a Tanta/bubby , this might alleviate your loneliness somewhat.
    Wishing you a personal Geula and Yeshua , and a easy Yom Tov.

  2. When one is feeling so alone and disenfranchised, the best thing to do is find someone needy whom you can help. There are many wonderful chesed organizations that are looking for volunteers. If you get involved helping someone who is needier than you are, you will not only have connected to someone else in a meaningful way, but you will have done it as a giver, not a receiver. That could put you on a high, having contributed in a meaningful way to someone less fortunate than you.

  3. what does your sad life have to do with abandoning torah observance? I’m sorry that ur life is empty, may you be gebentched with all good things, especially finding a wonderful husband!

  4. “I am a female, 59-year-old, attractive single, with no children and a small non-religious family (two sisters and a mother), all of whom live out of town.”

    Nebach, that sums up the whole sad and sorry matter.

  5. Dear Sally E. I also am alone for most of my family are dead but for some straglers, But I do have one family I go to on first night of Pesach who I met on one of my trips to Israel. Most of the holiday I do hold the Pesach tradition and am always excited when Pesach comes. I clean up my kitchen and have an area of it that I have pesach supplies in it only. I have traveled and been in areas where there were no Jews at all, but on pesach I can get things shipped to me and do with what I can with the local shops. So celebrate our exodus and freedom I find the change a pace change as well as exciting, and I do go on the internet with Chabad and other website to read Torah commentary, etc. Happy Pesach celebrate freedom.

  6. I wish the Rebbe was alive to give you some Chizzuk.
    Never leave the community.
    Stay close to your friends who invited you for Seder night.
    You are not alone. Many women feel just like you. both younger and older, married and single. So just stick together, don’t isolate yourself.
    Jews are particularly good at being good friends, and are always there when you need them, so take advantage, enjoy your hosts and your Seder.

  7. Sally, I wish you a chag kasher v’sameach. Every day that you can get up and determine that your day will be G-d-oriented, with your acting in a way with others that will make the shem Shamayim misaheiv al yadeich is a triumph and brings infinite nachas to Hashem. I hope that there are many many more, till 120, and that this not feel like a challenge but a joy, and that you see kol mishalos libeich fulfilled for the obvious good.

  8. My heart aches for you and answers are none. Go to one of the programs and attend lectures, activities, round robin socializing and try to network with relationships.