Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Pesach hotels

As the ads for Pesach hotels have already started appearing in Jewish publications and the parshios we're reading touch on the original Pesach story, I thought it's time to share this little piece from  the introduction of Nor the Moon by Night by Devora Gliksman Feldheim 1997 pp. xx-xxi

On a fundraisng trip for the yeshiva, R' Shliomele visited R' Shimon Wolf Rotschild, of the wealthy and famous Rotschild family. R' Shimon Wolf showed R; Shloimele around his beautiful estate, finally pausing beside a house built of the main house.

  "And this," R' Shimon Wolf gestured proudly, "this is  my Pesach house. I built it jut to be used on Pesach. The rest of the year it is kept locked."

R' Shloimele just shrugged his shoulders. R' Shimon wondered why he wasn't impressed.
R' Shloimele explained that his holy grandfather -- the Sanzer Rav - though not a wealthy man would have spent anything any amount of money to perform a mitzvah properly. Had he felt hat keeping Pesach properly necessitated building a separate house, he would have done so. Therefore, if he feels he needs it, why shouldn't Baron Rothschild?"

Thinking on the matter further, R' Shloimele saw a downside to a Pesach house:
"The gemara says that chumetz can be interpreted as to the yetzer hu'reh. Our searching for chumetz and destroying it is a mushol for searching out and destroying the  yetzer hu'reh, thereby doing teshivah.  We know that the only way to do complete teshivah is to put ourselves again in the same situation where we have done an aveirah and, when the opportunity presents itself, not repeat that aveirah. Therefore, it is only fitting that the house where had eaten chumetz be cleaned out and used for mitzvos -- the mitzvos we perform at the seider, the mitzvos we perform during Pesach. having a separate house set aside for Pesach does not accomplish that purpose."