This year, Nomi and I have joined her parents and the extended Feld family to spend the entire holiday with Mendy Vim's Holidays at the Cliff House Resort & Spa in Ogunquit, Maine. Nomi and I also spent the first few days of Passover in 2006 at the resort, but then we returned home during the second part of the holiday to go back to work and to head to Ravencon as soon as the holiday ended.
There are some significant advantages to spending all of Passover at a resort. If, like us, you normally clean your apartment thoroughly to eliminate all traces of chametz for the holiday, going to a resort makes your life a lot easier. Because of the religious ritual of selling one's chametz, we were able to "sell" the contents of our apartment for the week, with a minimum amount of cleaning required. And, of course, we don't have to do any cooking or washing of dishes for Pesach, as all our meals are provided.
On Monday we drove up to the resort, following Nomi's parents on the road, and we checked in that afternoon. There's been little for us to do while here. The seders were Monday and Tuesday night, with yom tov on Tuesday and Wednesday. While there are a variety of planned activities on the schedule, I find that I'm not very interested in them. I've gone to the talks by members of the Feld family, but other than that, I've mostly been catching up on my reading. Nomi and some of the family went to Kittery yesterday to do some shopping, and she brought me back a new belt, which I very much appreciated. But for the most part, she, too, has simply been taking it easy.
Since I am spending the week completely ensconced within a Jewish community, I'm experiencing a heightened emotional response to the recitation of Mourner's Kaddish for my mother. Back at my home shul, everyone knows the score. Here, we know a few of the folks, but most are strangers to us. So when I recite the Kaddish at davening, I'm making a much more public statement to the world about my status as a mourner. Because of my heightened awareness of this, I've been making a point of reciting it as clearly as possible. I'm one of only about two or three people reciting the Mourner's Kaddish, so we've all been doing our best to recite in unison as well.
Anyway, yesterday and today was chol hamoed, the non-yom tov days of the holiday, meaning I've been able to go back on line again. But shabbat starts tonight, and Monday and Tuesday of next week are the last two yom tov days. I may pop up again on Sunday, but if not, I'll see you all after Passover is complete. For those of you observing any holiday this week, I wish you a joyous one.