Sisterhood Blog

A Holiday From the Holidays

By Allison Kaplan Sommer

  • Print
  • Share Share

For the first time in months, I am actually sitting down to work and I am able to actually think about work.

There are no Hanukkah candles to light, no Purim costumes or mishloach manot gift baskets to prepare, no campfires to plan for Lag B’Omer, no Passover cleaning. I don’t have to take the morning off to watch and videotape my kid are taking part in Yom HaShoah or Yom HaZikaron ceremonies, I don’t have to purchase the meat for grilling on Israel Independence Day, nor bake a cheesecake and assemble a fruit basket for Shavuot.

Any mother who moves to Israel seeking a more intense and involved form of Jewish life for themselves and their children has little idea of what she’s in for.

Indeed, the experience of the entire society taking part in Jewish rituals and celebrations, with the addition of national holidays, is meaningful, and fulfilling and it’s what having a Jewish state is all about.

It is also incredibly exhausting and time-consuming.

In the U.S., the intensity and pressure of the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year’s holiday season can get to you, but we are talking about a maximum of a month and a half of distraction, and then one can basically buckle down until summer vacation hits.

But think about this: The Jewish/Israeli holiday season begins with the High Holidays in September, and then — with the exception of a brief respite between the High Holidays and Hanukkah — hurtles till June in a non-stop cavalcade of activity. The activities include everyone - from secular to Orthodox.

The constant celebrations and commemorations add another layer of pressure to parents who are already juggling career and day-to-day child care and household maintenance. And parental burdens, as we know, fall disproportionately on mothers.

That is why, finally, this week, the holiday roller coaster screeches to a halt, and we can heave a sigh of relief — more than three months lie ahead without a holiday to gear up for or festive meals to plan and prepare.

They tried to kill us; they failed. We ate; now it’s time to burn off the calories —hopefully before we hit the beach.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Motherhood, Israel, Holidays

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.