The Pesach of 2010 Would not be Recognized by Your Grandparents


menachem-lubinskyBy Menachem Lubinsky

There is a good chance that several of your neighbors may be heading to one of the many “Pesach programs” in major hotels throughout the country. In fact, you might be one of those headed to a 5-star resort somewhere in Florida, California or Arizona. 20,000 American and Canadian Jews will be there as well. The menu will most likely look like the elegant cuisine that you’ve come to expect from an upscale dining experience throughout the year, save for the Matzohs. The chances are that your grandparents or great grandparents would never have dreamt of such a possibility. They would say: “Pesach”?If you are one of the “unlucky” ones to stay home, you should not fret. You will have so many foods to choose from that you won’t really deprive yourself. If you’re addicted to bagels, pizza, bread crumbs, croutons and the like, do not despair since they are all available this Pesach. In fact, one distributor told me his list of Pesach items exceeds 21,000. And he admits that he does not have the entire list. You might remember a Pesach that was virtually all made at home, devoid of potato chips and other snacks (a bar of chocolate was just fine to be washed down with Saratoga Geyser and Kedem syrup) and the daily diet usually consisting of matzoh, hard boiled eggs and potato this or potato that, especially if you were going on the obligatory Chol Hamoed (interim days) trip.

The purists amongst us are quite disappointed with the transition. In fact, many homes try very hard to emulate the Pesach home of old. To them, the ultimate guarantee of kashrus is when they are in control over the menu and then there is the concept of the mesorah (tradition) that they wish to impart on their children. Others are grateful for technology and the increased hashgacha that has made eating on Pesach not such a challenge anymore. Even they remind us that it wasn’t like that at all in Bobby and Zaidie’s home.

{KosherToday/ Newscenter}


  1. I am proud to say that my Great-Grandparents would recognize and feel comfortable spending PEsach in my home.

    They would faint in horror seeing the “elegant cuisine” at these “Pesach” resorts, or some of these “Pesach” products which might amaze you, but disgust many of us “purists” as you call us.

  2. I’m sickened by the waste of money and utter bal tashchis of yiddish gelt that goes on every Pesach (and other yomim tovim) by people who go to these hotels. How many of these people when it comes to tuition plead poverty? What about when it comes to giving Tzedaka? Florida for Purim?
    Our grandparents knew the value of yiddish gelt! We are a self centered dor that our grandparents would be ashamed of.

    Matzav please post. It has to be said!

  3. Several years ago at the bris of one of my grandchildren which took place on the Sunday after Pesach (he was born Chol Hamoed) my Rav in addressing the simcha noted the irony that b”h many of us live in nice homes and we have nice furniture and nice dishes and tableware which if we used and enjoyed in celebrating yom tov,would show hakoras hatov to the Ribono Shel Oilam.Instead many of us close up the nice house with the nice furniture and leave ths nice dishes and tabkeware and sell the whole chad gadyah to the oorel and go off to a hotel.
    He was not addressing those who had no choice due health or other reasons,but rather the majority of the 20,000 going to 5 star hotels.
    Yes my children still make do with a chocolate bar seltzer and Kedem syrup.

  4. I understand that there are many people who need to go away for Pesach to these hotels due to health reasons, or certain other difficulties. Having rhe option of going to a hotel is wonderful for these people. But what about the majority of people who go away either because they are from rhe “Besserah Mentchen” oe to keep up with the “Cohens” W
    B.T.W. I know from my own experience in my own little kitchen, whereI and only I am incharge, how many things could go wrong,
    There are so many workers, who can make a mistake, or even do something “L’hachis” when noone is watching

  5. We also make do with the old fashioned stuff. My kids learn that you don’t need the world to be satisfied. And, no, my great-grandparents probably would not recognize my home this Pesach. They worried where they would come up with basic food for Pesach (eggs, chicken, potatoes, wine, etc.) – without Tomchai Shabbos to rely on. So when you are complaining about the hard work Pesach entails, just remember, at least you will have what to serve your family at the end of it. (Even if you only eat eggs, potatoes, meat and borsht!)

  6. I think that running to hotels for Pesach comes precisely become our 21st century generation is enslaved by all the materialistic stuff that we have, our big houses, 2 freezers ,etc. and it’s too much of a pressure to make all that Pesachdig, so people are running away.
    What I don’t understand is how so many people have so much money to spend in this recesion when everybody’s groaning there is no money for tuition or for paying the grocery bill. Unless people are just swiping the credit card without thinking how they’ll pay it all.
    One thing is for sure , those kids who are growing up having their seders in hotels will not focus on the Jews’ redemption from Egypt and slavery and the ultimate leading up to Matan Torah, rather their focus is on Mickey Mouse and other narishe entertainment. We are losing sight of what Pesach is all about.

  7. In olden days our zeidas were the breadwinners, and our bubbes were homemakers.
    Today it’s a farkerte velt where women are the breadwinners, so they need hotels because they have no time to make pessach.

  8. So happy to see this addressed. But I think it is coming a bit late…what has happened to the chinuch we are supposed to impart to the childdren? What about teaching them that Pesach is DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER TIME OF THE YEAR. THAT’S WHY WE ASK THE QUESTIONS…BECAUSE IT IS. What about teaching the children discipline…imagine? Just imagine…going without ketchup,chips and every other item you can pick up in the stores today? For one, it certainly would make it much easier on the Mother if her selection would be limited and she would tell her children…this is the way of old. Pesach is a special Yom Tov, unlike the others where everything is available. That is the beauty of Pesach! yes…eggs, matzoh, apples…that’s what we took along on our Chol Hamoid excursions. Of course, going local and visiting family was the order of the day. It was a time to visit cousins we didn’t get a chance to connect to..It was NOT a time of looking where we could spend that extra hard earned dollar…lavishing the kids with toys, trips….and who knows what.
    I feel sorry for the parents…no…I feel sorry for the kids whose parents don’t have the forsight to teach their children the time honored values we grew up with. The more you shower your kids with gashmias…the less they are able to cope when they get married and have children of their own. Just look around, how easy it is for woman to fall is a disposable generation..they have all the convenience, but just let their goita not show up and …wew!!!! how can I manage? well, we managed…thank you… we used the two hentelech Hashem gave us and got down and dirty and did the work..Taught us a lot about the value of hard work!!!!!
    Pity on the children. They don’t know real joy. The joy one has when one goes beyond oneself…when one learns an inner sense of joy, thru mastering the art of real discipline.
    What will the next generation look like? To just think about opening a paper and looking thru it to find that every advertisement…and there are …well, everything is about leaving for Pesach… very disturbing.
    well, parents….don’t blame anyone later…if things don’t work the way you thought they should.
    You build character by building character….that’s just the way it is…
    Nothing good….comes easy.
    Happy cleaning mothers…
    Feel good about yourselves…you..who stay home and prepare a heimish delicious yomtov…and sit by the seder with your family and friends in an atmosphere of….ROYALTY…..YES..ROYALTY….THAT’S WHAT A SEDER FEELS LIKE….WHEN YOU ARE THE QUEEN AFTER FINALLY SITTING DOWN AND ENJOYING THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR…

  9. looking forward to seeing the many advertisements for SHABBOSIM away from home….for sure…this has to be the next step…
    fish, chicken soup, kugel,farfel….and all the shabbos machulim…please.
    just make a reservation, pack up…and wala….we ARE OUT OF HERE!!!!!

  10. Jealous, jealous, jealous! Don’t be J! As my grandmother always says, “People are jealous of, but they don’t know what they’re jealous for!”

    People who bash others SIMPLY b/c they go away to a hotel for pesach are JEALOUS!!!

    VERY MANY of these people do indeed have R”L sick children, no parents, or unfortunate family circumstances that force them to go away for Pesach. Many of them do not have fancy dishes or ka’aras; many of them hate the hotel atmosphere and wish they could spend it somewhere else.

    Many of these people save up all year and never take vacations because they need to use their vacation time for the chagim, so they splurge around pesach.

    Many of these people have rachmanus on their wives or elderly parents and treat them to a much-needed break.

    AND I can guarantee you, had pesach programs been fashionable in Europe, MANY of your grandparents would have been there!!!

    Would your grandparents be happy with the loshon hora you speak in your homes about the “fancy people” that go away for pesach?! Probably not!

    Get a life, admit you’re J, and move on!

  11. Like everything else…once you make a minhag out of it…and trust me, the “rich” love minhagim like becomes part of the culture. Unfortunately, the average Joe looks on..thinking they are missing out on something…and…before you know it..minhug hador…or almost.
    Sorry state of affairs…
    Add this to many others we are struggling with…

  12. From my experience as a head counselor at one of these programs, I would also like to pass on the message that the counselors selected to look after the children are unfortunately not screened appropriately and many are not suitable for the task. This seems to be a widespread phenomenon and parents should please watch out for their children.

  13. to #12 we who are posting against going away for vacation are talking about the average person and not including the sick or those who really need a Pesach in a hotel for various reasons.
    We are not jealous for if we really wanted to we could go away ourselves.

    One of the reasons you listed for going away is if you don’t have parents. Well I didn’t have parents to go to when I got married. For the first year my husband and I went to some relatives, but I felt like a beggar, so for the ensuing years we made the seder ourselves. Was it hard? You bet. But I wouldn’t go to a hotel even now with my kids, even though I hate cleaning and abhor cooking.

    I think Pesach in a hotel is shallow and the true meaning of the holy Yom Tov Pesach gets lost in all the hullaboo.

    Pesach is not a time for vacation. It is a time to reflect on what Metzias Mitrayim.

  14. I dont think that this is a debatable issue considering that many people who go away go away for reasons we might not know about, but it is worth investigating who will be supervising our children but to rant and rave about an issue which might be a savior for some is just irresponsable noone knows whats going on in someone elses life how dare anybody judge somebody on this when they dont know what yene needs and to claim that the wealthy go away and its become a minhag well its just utter stupidity to say such a thing as long as you dont know what someone elses needs are

  15. My zeyde and bubby would be shocked at the abundance of food at our shabbos seudahs. We start with yummy honey whole wheat challahs, chicken soup with knaidelach, large pieces of geftile fish, southern fried/lemon honey chicken and sometimes brisket. Besides the salt/pepper, yerushalmi and potato kugel, we serve broccli, sweet potato pie, mandarin salad, beet salad and garlic green beans. Doubt if Rabi Akiva, Chasam Sofer or our European mishpachas ate anything like this……yet SO WHAT!!!
    The Mesorah that needs to be passed on is bein adam l’chavaro and kedushas shem shamayim. If hard boiled eggs and boiled potatoes is your thing, glorious do it but why complain about others?