9 Cheshvan 5781 / Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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All of a Kind Festival

In our home this past Chanuka, we were publicizing the miracle of Purim. Now why would we be doing that you might wonder? Well, really we were celebrating Purim because I was...


In our home this past Chanuka, we were publicizing the miracle of Purim.  Now why would we be doing that you might wonder?  Well, really we were celebrating Purim because I was cleaning for Pesach.  And why in the world would I be cleaning for Pesach in Kislev?
Innocently, I'd called a friend to inquire whether or not she would like to meet us at the Botanical Garden for a fun outing with our kids.  She responded that actually she was hoping to take advantage of the fact that her girls were home from school to go through the closets and “sort of” get a jump start on Pesach.
I could feel myself start to tremble.  What an efficient way to spend the vacation? How could I have thought to spend quality time with my children, pretending that we had no other pressing concerns that needed our attention?  Maybe I, too, should organize the upper closets and give away some of the accumulated junk?
So bright and early Sunday morning I found myself in the boy's room, pulling down piles of clothes that had seen better days.  My four year old wasn't interested in the cute dresses that her three sisters had worn, so they were thrown into the large, purple give-away bag.  No one wanted the perfectly good socks with the threadbare heels and toes. 
We had managed to fill three huge purple bags to the bursting point and were really making progress. Then the girls decided to bring me the boxes that were in their upper closet.  That's how they discovered the Purim costumes.  So now we had a policeman, a bride, a clown and a queen running madly about underfoot, with wigs and crowns, scepters and whistles.  They put on a Purim tape, and instead of singing about Antiochus and the Maccabees, they were singing about Mordecai, Esther and Acheshverosh!
So for most of Chanuka we cleaned for Pesach and pretended it was Purim. After all, what else could we do during our Chanuka vacation, especially since the wind-chill factor made braving the elements a daunting affair? 
Although it seemed a bit ridiculous to be doing spring cleaning in the beginning of the winter, that light happy feeling that accompanies the discarding of clutter is beneficial any time of year – even if it's not erev Pesach!
* * *
(Chava Dumas is a mother, writer, illustrator and doula living in Jerusalem.  She is presently working on an anthology)   

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