Have Questions or Comments?
Leave us some feedback and we'll reply back!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Phone Number)

    In Reference to

    Your Message


    Dear Rabbi and Shira,
    Help. I’m not sure what to do, and in traditional avoidant fashion, a=have pushed off till now to ask you. I mean, we knew about the situation after last
    pesach. Oh well. So here’s the story. I’m a lubavicher, who found himself in the modern orthodox world, and keep a non gebrokts pesach. I’m married to a
    moroccan woman. So here’s the problem. When we go to our parent’s homes, there’s nothing to eat. While I would eat gebrokhts, and premade cakes and the
    like. My parents do not. Short of dry matza, potatoes and meat, theres nothing to eat. When we go to my in-laws, they forget that I dont eat kitnios, and put
    them in everything. “Oh you mean you don’t eat corn? What’s wrong? It’s just sesame seed paste? No Chumus? How do you live?”
    What should I do? I get hangry, and then start snapping at my wife, who gets defensive about her parents. Can you help me?
    Nothing to eat.

    Dear Nothing to eat,
    Wow. That’s a big question.
    People are very particular about their Pesach customs. Since
    Pesach is one of the foundations of Judaisms, everything about
    it becomes part of that structure. Understanding what they
    to your family members is part of untangling this complicated
    While there are so many parts that people find triggering
    and difficult, with proper guidance from a Rav, Pesach should
    not be a cause for suffering. Hashem gave us the mitzvos as
    a blessing.With specific advice, we can navigate these issues.
    The first part is to understand how this topic is affecting you.
    You might be feeling so limited with food choices, and maybe
    neglected and not taken care of. In your mind, just eating
    matza and potatoes is very limiting and it feels overwhelming
    to you. You wonder how you will be able to last the full

    eight days. The difficulty feels like it will not end. When we
    start to feel this way, we begin to feel like we are fighting an
    actual enemy. Our body reacts to this as well. We enter a
    hyper vigilance searching for stressors. In this way we take
    our stressors and build towers of foreboding, avoidance and
    anxiety around them.
    Once we enter this way of thinking/feeling, we lose the ability
    to think and speak rationally. Of course we end up lashing out
    at people closest to us; we are seeking to defend ourselves.
    However, in our case, there is no aggressor, and there are
    some easy steps to take, to plan ahead.
    First let’s accept. 1) recognize Your parents are not changing
    their Pesach food minhagim. Your inlaws may forget yours.
    This is a fact. What it means is up to you. You can choose to
    interpret as an affront to you or simply well-meaning people
    “just doing themselves.” If you choose to interpret it in the
    second way, you go on with life, as opposed to experiencing
    outrage and neglect.

    Second, if you find yourself getting upset, take a walk outside.
    Breathe deeply. Pay attention to each breath. Instead of getting
    caught up in feelings of neglect, self pitty, and indignation,
    change the topic in your head.
    Third, let’s problem solve. What do you need? How many
    meals are you eating at each home? Are you staying the entire
    yomtov? Are you returning home? How many meals are you
    eating with each family? Is there somewhere else you can go to
    eat? Is there a place at either home to stash emergency food?
    Finally, remember, the yomtov is only 8 days long. As
    overwhelming as that can feel, it will pass before you know
    it. Take each day as it comes. You need to make it through
    the next meal, not all 24 or so all at once. If you practice these
    strategies and plan ahead, it will reduce your stress and help
    you navigate these days so it will be an enjoyable yom tov.

    Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack