Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chag weekend wrap-up, home-from-hospital edition


The Punster had thought that he might be admitted for kidney-stone-removal surgery, but was tossed out of the hospital for being too healthy. Until he passes that stone, my husband's health will be a bit unpredictable, but, aside from his Saturday Afternoon Fever, you should pardon the expression (see comments to linked post), so far, so good.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch house . . .

Having lost a good few hours of Pesach prep to the Punster's kidney stone attack, we're still finding items of debatable Pesach kashrut status around the apartment and tossing them into a closet. (Thank goodness for the prayer nullifying any chametz that got missed!) This morning, I finally realized that I'd never put away the household-cleaning bucket. Yep, that's what I said. I may not be particularly good at recycling, but I do try to protect the environment by minimizing my use of polluting household cleaners, so I prefer to use hydrogen peroxide (kills germs and is biodegrable), baking soda, and cheap white vinegar. Guess what, folks? White vinegar is made from grain. Am I the only person in the world whose bathroom-cleaning sponge is chametz?

A Shabbat picnic at the Salamone-Punster Palace

My husband has dubbed it the "hot box."

That's what our apartment feels like on the Shalosh R'galim/Pilgrimage Festivals, when one is permitted to cook only on a pre-lit stove. We have absolutely no cross-ventilation in our apartment, so, with the urn, hot tray (or "blech" with one burner turned on under it, for Pesach), at least two stove burners, and, if necessary, the oven left on for two days straight, the place gets unbearably hot, even with the air conditioners likewise left on.

Therefore, in the interest of not roasting ourselves along with the shank bone, and given that we would be at the home of friends for the first seder and at the synagogue for the second, we decided to have a picnic--i.e., cold--dinner on Erev Shabbat/Sabbath Eve/Friday night. That way, we could make do with just one burner left on for heating water for tea on Sunday and Monday.

I hope that all of you managed to keep your cool :) last weekend, and will do so again next weekend.

Seder One

My girlfriend's new husband (yay!) may never have experienced a seder quite like this one. It doesn't happen every year, but some years, my good friend ends up with not only my husband and me, but also another couple, whom she and we have known for over two decades, at the same seder. Every seder, we really get into great conversations about the maggid (the part of the seder in which one discusses most directly the exodus from Egypt), but that's even truer when we're all together at the same seder. My girlfriend said, of her new husband, "We'll bring him up to speed." :) No doubt.

Seder Two (for Galut Jew)

We had a good crew at our table at our congregational seder. This made up, to a large extent, for the overly-salty food and for the rabbi, in desperate need of reliable readers, getting one poor man to read all three pages of Arami Oved Avi.

Missing-members Monday

Ten. That's exactly what we got for Monday morning's Yom Tov service. Not ten men and ten women. Ten, period (including the rabbi and the cantor). Were it not for the fact that our synagogue has long resigned itself, however reluctantly for the majority of our members, to counting women for a minyan, we wouldn't have had one. There will come a time when women get aliyot for the same reason--we barely had enough men for the five aliyot plus maftir. If our synagogue is going to go egalitarian, I would vastly prefer that we do so on principle rather than out of desperation. But who asked me?

Oops--I forgot to report on the resolution of the Siyum and the Sabbath-Day meals questions

For the record:

A) My husband ended up leading a study session concerning Sefirat HaOmer.

B) The rabbi decided, at the last possible minute (meaning that very Shabbat morning, just before the service started), that it wouldn't be possible for us to eat two meals with bread and birkat ha-mazon/grace after meals within the roughly one-half hour between the end of the Silent Amidah and 10:30 AM, so he ruled that we would have just kiddush in the synagogue after the Silent Amidah, and make s'udah shlishit at home with neither bread nor matzah.


Blogger Leora said...

bathroom-cleaning sponge is chametz? I've never heard of anyone eating their bathroom sponge. Don't worry about it.

Refuah Shlayma to the kidney stone patient (I previously thought it was you). I've heard those things are very painful. My friend who has suffered those says always drink a lot of water, especially during stressful periods (like tax time).

Tue Apr 22, 11:26:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

True, the bathroom sponge would not make a particularly tasty treat (eww, gross!!!), but I've heard that one is not supposed to own, see, or profit from chametz during Pesach. Maybe I'm being a bit too machmir (strict) in my interpretation of the rules.

Sorry about the confusion over the identity of the patient. My husband's trying to drink plenty of water. He doesn't get any particular jollies from having a pain in the side. :( Thanks for your good wishes.

Tue Apr 22, 11:49:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

Phhhpptt. A sponge is nothing.

This morning I put on a nice black velvet coat I hadn't worn in a week or two and found a bulging pocket. Apparently, THAT'S what happened to the rest of my sandwich when I had to leave work in a rush one day.

I don't know that I benefited from it, though, so I'm not going to worry about it. :)

Wed Apr 23, 05:53:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...


Ya know, the ArtScroll Siddur quotes Rabbi Chanania as having said, "A person is required to examine his clothing on the eve of the Sabbath just before dark, for he may forget himself and go out." (See end of Bameh Madlikin in that prayerbook--it's not in all of them.) There's definitely something to be said for checking one's pockets every Friday afternoon. I, too, have found the occasional "surprise package."

Wed Apr 23, 10:02:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

I always go with the traditional...if a dog wouldn't eat it and sadly, mine would most likely at least lick that sponge so yeah...chametz :)

Thu Apr 24, 09:14:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Your dog's not much of a gourmet, eh?

Thu Apr 24, 09:55:00 AM 2008  

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