1. Thou shall not bash yourself for “cutting corners” on the seder menu. Pesach is a time to enjoy being together as a family. It is a time for reflection and a time for gratitude. Break out the slow cooker. Make things ahead of time. But most importantly, take time to actually enjoy the holiday.
2. Thou shall not engage in the argument of kitniyot. Ashkenazi Jews do not eat rice, corn, legumes, etc. in addition to chametz (bread, grains, etc.) during Passover. However, what you eat during the holidays and how you choose to observe is up to YOU! So take a breath and the next time someone gives you “the eye” as you’re putting mustard on your food just smile and ignore.
3. Thou shall relax a little on letting the children consumes sweets during Pesach. Now I’m not saying let the kids get a “sugar high” until their tummies ache. Certainly not! But a healthy sweet (think: dark chocolate matzo) each day during Passover won’t hurt, will it?
4. Thou shall take time to sing, dance, and play with your children. Yes, you may already be tired of hearing The Maccabeats on repeat, but you know what? Hearing your child sing “Dayenu” for the millionth time is actually teaching them a traditional song. They are learning. So sing, dance, and be merry!
5. Thou shall enlist help when you are feeling overwhelmed. You have scrubbed your pots to ensure they are Kosher. You have shined a light to get rid of chametz. You have cooked, cleaned, and set the seder table. What happens afterward? It’s time to clean everything up! You are only one person. If you need help, speak up. Ask loved ones to help in the kitchen. Perhaps they can bring a dish to make it a potluck seder and save you cooking time! Whatever you need to do, minimize your stress and elevate your fun.
6. Thou shall not get irritated at little attention spans. The seder can be a long, process for the littlest bodies at the table. Beyond plenty of Passover arts and crafts available to keep children occupied, enter the seder with a relaxed mind and heart. Understand that it is okay if children need to get up and move, (especially if you are having a more traditional seder!).
7. Thou shall tell stories of Passover when you were young to your children. Kids want to hear about what life was like when you were a child. They want to feel connected to something bigger. They want to hear those stories that are in the back of your mind. So tell them about Pesach as you remember it as a child. I’m sure they will love it as much as you will love telling it to them.
8. Thou shall be ready to change plans at a moments notice. There is the old saying, “people plan, and G-d laughs”. Passover is one of those holidays where is much planning and preparation. Allow yourself a break and a moment to laugh when your child messes their diaper at the table. Or perhaps little fingers spill grape juice on their formal clothes. Smile, and let yourself laugh at the beauty of life. Expect the unexpected and you will never be disappointed.
9. Thou shall not count calories at the seder table. With all the calorie counting and carb-cutting that we do on an average day, Passover is a time to enjoy yourself. We are commanded to recline on pillows, drink wine, and be merry! There is not time to count calories. (Save it for tomorrow 😉 ).
10. Thou shall have a sense of humor. What a beautiful thing it is that our people have lived and persevered throughout history. What a miracle that after so many tragic events in Jewish history, here we stand to be able to still celebrate Pesach with our children and their children. Laugh… let joy fill your heart, mind, and soul… and laugh!
Chag Sameach Everyone! Happy Passover!