September 15 is a new record for me, and one I hope is never broken.
A sudden rainstorm (of the monsoon variety) had left me trapped in a suburban mall for the afternoon. I would have rather been in a spa; I was glad I wasn’t at the dentist. It was what it was.
I passed a good chunk of time in Target until the aisles upon aisles of Halloween candy got to me. I mean, really, people… How much advance planning does it take to pick up a few bags of candy? Perhaps Michael Bloomberg or Michelle Obama – or Richard Simmons, for that matter – would like to champion a bill that would ban the sale of bulk candy in fun-size wrappers from the start of school until two weeks before Halloween each year. I’d be on board.
Anyway, in an attempt to escape the Halloween frenzy (little did I know it would only get worse), I walked down a bit to the department store, where – wait for it – a man on a ladder was putting ornaments on a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree. On September 15. A Christmas tree. And then he actually – without a hint of irony, or even a small knowing smile that might have nodded to the absurdity of the timing – wished me “Merry Christmas.”
Jewish tradition instructs us to clean out our entire kitchen, our entire house, to ready ourselves for Passover. The extensive preparations can take weeks. But during that time we are forbidden to eat matzah, waiting instead until we recite its blessing at the Seder, so that we can anticipate that first bite and preserve its uniqueness.
There are few things better than the round raisin-filled challah we dip in honey and enjoy on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year. The New Year is only five days away, but we’ll spread butter on our braided challah this Shabbat and hold out until Wednesday night – because we can.
Because sometimes it’s good to wait.
Because there’s something to be said for preserving a little sense of anticipation.