Monday, April 11, 2022

The Passover Timeline

It’s the week before Passover and I totally messed up. Big time.


When I started hosting Passover, I didn’t exactly know what to do. I mean, I knew I had to clean and cook, but how and when and what? So I bought a book. The book was very helpful—it explained everything and provided a timeline for what to do when. I mean, what’s the point of cleaning your sink if you still need the same sink to clean the other things? I started following the instructions. And then we got to the blowtorch.


The book is written by and for Orthodox families. While I might observe some of the traditions a little more rigorously than some, I am not Orthodox. And if I have to clean my stove with a blowtorch in order to make it Kosher for Passover, then I’m going to have to buy a new house, because there is no way I’ll be able to use a blowtorch without setting my entire house on fire. Therefore, I adapted. Before long, I realized there were too many things in this book that didn’t apply to me or that I wasn’t comfortable with, and I needed something else.


Enter our friend, Lisa. A college friend of my husband’s, she was raised Reform but is now Orthodox, and she’s very helpful. She sent me the most amazing document ever. I mean, it has saved me numerous times. It’s a checklist and a timeline and I don’t even know what else. All I know is that I follow it every year and it is amazing.


This year, however, I messed up. Since Passover follows the lunar calendar, the date changes every year on the regular calendar. Each year I open the document in February, calculate when the holiday is, and adjust her timeline accordingly. For some reason, please don’t ask me why, I looked at the secular calendar to figure out when Passover was this year. 


Now, the secular calendar has always, always, ALWAYS gotten the date wrong. Or rather, labeled the first DAY of Passover. Jewish holidays actually start the night before. So I saw Passover on the secular calendar and made my adjustments based on when the first seder was supposed to me. 


It’s 2022. I should know better. Of course, THIS year, the secular calendar I followed decided it would be more appropriate to label the date of the first seder as Passover, which it is, but maybe they could give people like me a little warning? 


Anyway, I set up my entire timeline based on the wrong date. It wasn’t until I was coordinating with the Princess, finding out when she’d be home, that I realized all my prep was off by a day. After freaking out for a moment, and then being relieved that I was actually early rather than late, I tried to adjust the timeline. 


Apparently, I was still jetlagged. Or coffee deprived. Because once again, I adjusted the wrong way. Instead of one day early, I’m now three days early. Which honestly wouldn’t be a bad thing. It means I’ll be less tired at the actual seder—obviously, whomever decided we needed to finish the crazy amount of cleaning we have to do a couple of hours before making the biggest meal of the year was someone who didn’t have to do the actual cooking and cleaning. However, no one likes having to start eating the Passover food any earlier than necessary. And having to be extra careful where we put ingredients and utensils, watching out for crumbs, and generally being on high alert for an extra few days is not helpful.


So now I’m trying to re-readjust my timeline again, and figure out what I can push off until tomorrow, while battling my “fear of procrastinating” and my “really not in the mood to do anything.” 


Bottom line: once again, Passover is going to last more than eight days in this house. Sorry!


  1. What a snafu! I hope you have a lovely Passover regardless of the fact that it’s an extra day long this year for you and your family. :)

  2. Thanks, Lydia. Something always happens for this holiday. :)