#PesachPrep T minus 4 Days: Be Prepared

Be prepared.
Pesach is still a few days away. Erev Pesach is also a few days away,  But there are some things that need to be considered now.  After all, one of the Torah’s hallmarks of greatness and holiness is the level of preparation or prelude required before getting to the thing in question.  See here for more on that.  But today let’s think of ideas but also practical facets as well.
First of all, Pesach has a component of remembering the poor. “Whoever is hungry should come and eat.”  Shulchan Aruch speaks of a “Flour fund” to provide flour for people to bake Matzos. This takes the form of funds and food nowadays.  The structure of today’s communities leaves many people unaware of the poor in their communities.  But people who struggle need help, more so on Pesach.
One amazing organization that deals with this need in Cleveland is “Matan B’Seyser”, which means Anonymous Giving”.  Before reading further, just go the website and make a donation.    http://www.matanbsayser.org/
Now that you’ve done that, let’s continue:
The Talmud engineers the holy status of Chol Hamoed, as a value in and of itself, and also to incentivize being ready for Yom Tov BEFORE Yom Tov, which is the true act of honoring it.
They did this by legislating that we are not allowed to do certain activities on Chol Hamoed.
Haircuts, nail-cutting and laundering may not be done on Chol Hamoed.  Take your suits etc. to the dry cleaners today!  No serious and professional repairs should be done on Chol Hamoed either.  So take that into account as well.
Erev Pesach afternoon is also a Torah festival, though not with the full range of Yom Tov limitations.   Therefore, those preparations that are off limits on Chol Hamoed should ideally be completed by midday on Erev Pesach; around 1pm in Daylight Savings America.
All Chometz has been removed by noon. Haircuts and laundry should also be done by then. This should make Erev Pesach afternoon far more manageable.  But we still need to be smart.
     Don’t be hungry. Make sure that people are well fed throughout the afternoon.  You can’t eat bread or matza.  Don’t let that fool you; there is still plenty to eat.
     In my wife’s home, they made a huge pan of meatballs that people ate all afternoon. We’ve added potatoes to that afternoon menu.
     Have the tables set, hagadas, wine cups and all, in the afternoon.
     If the kids will be up for the Seder, have them take naps or (if they are stubborn [for a change]) at least bedroom rest time in the afternoon.
     If you can make it happen, sneak a nap in yourself.  Even a 15 minute power nap will help the Seder.

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