Sunday, April 12, 2009

A thoroughly disorganized Pesach

What with me still being slightly disabled as a result of having broken both wrists last mid-December and my husband being behind in his tax-return preparation because he had to spend so much time helping me, we were really both pretty out of it this year. We ended up buying things for Pesach (Passover) that we knew we already had, just because we didn't have time to look for them. We now have enough dental floss to restring the Brooklyn Bridge. :)

To make matters even more interesting, my kavvanah (focus, concentration when praying) has gone down the proverbial tube. If I hadn't decided, at the last minute, to go to synagogue on Friday night instead of praying at home as usual, I would have forgotten to do Sefirat HaOmer completely, and would have had to count without the blessing from now until Shavuot. (If one forgets to count the Omer in the evening, one may count in the morning without the blessing, but if one forgets to count in the morning, too, one must count without saying the blessing for the rest of the Sefirat HaOmer period.) That would have been a major bummer, as I've managed to complete the count with the blessing for, I think, the past two years. (I strongly recommend that you click on that link and sign up for the Orthodox Union's daily Sefirat HaOmer reminder e-mails.) I also managed to have to repeat the silent Amidah prayer twice (thus far), once because I said "chag haSukkot" (the Festival of Booths) instead of "chag haMatzot" (Festival of Unleavened Bread) during the Yaaleh V'Yavo paragraph, and the other time because I forgot to say "Yaaleh V'Yavo" completely. Not to mention that I forgot to remove my tefillin (which I wear in accordance with my husband's minhag/custom, which is to lay tefillin on Chol HaMoed, but without saying the brachah/blessing) before Hallel.

Worst of all, I realized, in the middle of Shacharit (Morning Service) today that we'd never made a Maot Chittim donation to help pay for food for people who couldn't afford to make a Seder and/or buy kosher for Passover food for the entire festival (eight days in the Galut/Diaspora, seven days in Israel--long story). In this rotten economy, with so many people in need, I feel like a real heel. :(

Update: So I got on the Internet and tried to make a donation to our usual folks, the New York Board of Rabbis Passover Appeal, but their donation link has already been disabled (presumably until next March). Then I tried to donate to the neighborhood Jewish social-services organization--the one that provides Kosher Meals on Wheels, among other forms of assistance--but those dinosaurs have a website without a "donate here" link! Oh, well, all else having failed, UJA-Federation of New York was happy to accept our Passover 2009 Donation, late as it was. Sigh. We'll try to time it to be more helpful next year.


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