Readers’ Matzav: Why I Go to a Hotel for Pesach

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pesachDear Editor,

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.


  1. Where do you live? I don’t think there is a way to pass on personal info on a blog, but I would love to have you join my family for our Sedarim, or other Pesach meals. We live in Midwood, Brooklyn. If you are interested please think of a way we can be in touch! If you do end up in a hotel, don’t feel that your Pesach experience is lacking. There are many reasons that a hotel is not the ideal place to spend Pesach, but the main thing is to carefully observe the mitzvot of Pesach, including (but not limited to) drinking 4 cups of wine and eating the required amounts of Matzah and Maror at the Seder, Sippur Yetziat Mitzrayim (telling over the details of the Exodus), and Simchat Yom Tov- feeling joyous on the holiday!

  2. I would like to make a few suggestions that could give you some peace of mind.

    1. Hire some cleaning help and do the minimum necessary to make your home/kitchen Pesach ready. The cost of the help and food would be a lot less than the cost of a hotel.

    2. Accept your community’s invitations to meals. This will allow you to form bonds of friendship that can serve you throughout the year.

  3. My heart breaks at your pain . How could anyone comment or know what you are going through. Some suggestions: A. Maybe it would be a good idea to get involved with these group communal Seders and help them . Giving to others helps bring true Simcha . Another idea, maybe get involved with your family, although not yet religious, maybe they would appreciate if you put together a beautiful Seder for them . Either way, in these troubled times that we live where life can get really difficult , it is always important to get ourselves a Rabbi. A true Rabbi who can give us strength during any difficulties that we have. discuss your concerns and questions with him , only a true gd fearing talmid chocham will give you the consalation that you need. I would love for you to join us in Lakewood New Jersey . u can email [email protected] if you’d like . Best wishes

  4. i m surry about your plight however it is not amatter of depending on otuers even family members depend on each other you should definitely accept invitations from your community you can contribute and enhace their holliday in a far more meaningfull way than you can imagine may H’ send you your bashert speedilly there are many men in your age group who are just as lonely one of them is looking for you yeshuas H’ keheref ayin

  5. Enjoy the holiday. Perhaps you can find a program that caters to Jewish singles. I am sure there are many more people like yourself looking for a suitable program.

  6. I recommend you follow in the footsteps of Sarah Schenirer. She did not have a husband or any children but nevertheless she was a mother to hundreds of thousands. I do not know you so I do not know your specific abilities but I am certain that you have something to offer Klal Yisroel and indirectly yourself! By helping others you help yourself and by adding to others you fill yourself. Yasher Koach

  7. Hotels are the perfect place for you. Lots of activities including sports, debates, shiurim, excerize, swimming, hiking, seminars and lots of seperate gender activities.
    Be true to yourself and do NOT concern yourself with what others say or do. Enjoy and find simchah.

  8. so nu, what’s the problem with her reasoning? why does she have to justify it?
    Wishing her much hatzlocha and maybe one day she’ll be zoche to find a mate.

  9. If you become non-observant than will you not believe in G-d? Your problem in life is that you’re not married, unfortunately,and I don’t see how becoming non observant will make you married. It’s still in the hands of G-d.
    I sympathize with your difficult situation, but religous observance is not conditional on a happy life. Just ask any observant holocaust survivors.
    You should find your zivug quickly, and you should solidify your commitment to yiddishkeit.
    (There are very warm families who would welcome you to their seder. In addition, becoming a “big sister” within a family, even if not your own blood, can be very rewarding)

  10. I feel for you cos I am in a similar situation and being lonely is hard. Maybe going to community members for yom tovim and shabboses would encourage the right influences and connections. Yiddishkeit in general can be hard. but I think this is how H-shem polishes his diamonds;)and what is wrong with being dependant on others? Life can be tough but don’t give up!:)

  11. Please consider contacting me. We love company…especially on Pesach…..Join our family,(we live in Flatbush) you’ll feel like part of us.
    We look forward to hearing from you!!!

    Contact me at [email protected]

  12. I live in Flatbush Bklyn & do the first night all alone, just me & G-D & its great i dont feel sorry at all. i am not interested in being invited,

    it may be a bit depressing but its worth being alone, i am only depressed a bit till after the 2nd cup of wine, as during the small meat that i have, i drink a bit & all my troubles & problems disappear ( by the way i only eat fish )i dont miss anything neither the company nor the food.

    the 2nd night is Gevaldig i sit with my children & grand children. G-D bless lots of Nachas.

    nobody feel sorry for me & pleae dont invite me , as i turn down plenty of invitations.

  13. AS you write, “Despite the many invitations I receive in my community, I don’t have a family” It seems that you have many invitations, I am sure the people who invited you would be thrilled to have you join them for Pesach. It adds so much to the yom tov to have guests! Why don’t you accept their invitation?

  14. I don’t see why you need to justify going to a hotel if you have the funds. It seems like a wonderful option for you.

  15. If this news website is not the right place to find support, you might try BT blogs, there is one that has posts similar to yours. The hotel is probably a good choice for you

  16. Just FYI for those writing about Sarah Schenirer…
    It is true that she was married twice, but at the time that she effected the Bais Yaakov revolution she was not married – she had already divorced but had not yet married her second husband. And she never had children of her own.

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