I had really promised myself that I am not blogging about pesach cleaning anymore. I already wrote three posts on the topic, and, as my father likes to say, that's your limit. (Well, he really says it about making jokes, and we all know that there is nothing funny about cleaning for pesach, so I guess I am ok.)
But either way, this topic seriously begged a blog post, and so, here I am...blogging about pesach cleaning. It'll most likely be a very short post, cuz I can really sum it all up in one line. Don't worry. I won't.
Our cleaning lady does not work for us full time. She comes to our house once a week. The poor woman gets some awful tasks, which we save all week for her. I can't go into further detail, because I am kinda embarrassed. Anyway, we never really think much about the other days, and where she goes to clean. Not until recently, anyhow. See, she was busy cleaning our kitchen, when I noticed something strange. This Spanish cleaning woman is more machmir than we are! That's when I realized....she must work for someone very strict on the other days. Maria (is that Spanish for cleaning lady?) was taking toothpicks and cleaning the cracks in our fridge. She was scrubbing parts of our kitchen that I never even knew existed!
Funny, but that is how it goes. She sees craziness in one house, brings it over to the other...and next year I'm sure we will consider sticking toothpicks into cracks of the fridge an elte minhag from our elte zaideh...
It's funny though, cuz cleaning ladies have an important roll in cleaning for pesach, and it's not what you think.
As pesach gets closer and we are stuck with things that we never wanted in the first place, such as sparkling peach flavored grape juice (which reminds me that I need to write a blog post about this, someone, please remind me..), decorative boxes of chocolate mints, mini packets of flavored oatmeal, individually wrapped hazelnut flavored wafers, and other assorted junk, we have a problem. We hate to waste food, not to mention the fact that a are bound by the mitzvah of Baal Tashchis. Yet purim is strategically placed just one month before pesach. It is G-d's way of issuing us an ultimatum. Get rid of that junk or spend pesach in a hotel. We chose the former. And that is where the cleaning lady comes in. I can just imagine conversations between various cleaning ladies on erev pesach:
CL1: my employers gave me 3 huge bags stuffed with food!
CL2: huh! You think that is anything? My employers gave me FOUR BOXES of food. And a ride home. [smug]
CL3: ok, listen. I beat you! My employers gave me FIVE boxes of food, a ride home, and an extra dollar per hour!
CL4: I have better employers than any of you! I got 12 boxes of food, a ride home, an extra 2 dollars an hour and THIS tee-shirt! [Proudly holds up ripped tee-shirt with hebrew words that say something along the lines of 'yehudi lo megaresh yehudi' or perhaps 'ani ohev hakadosh baruch hu'. Other cleaning women hang heads in defeat.]
Point is, we don't only need our cleaning ladies to clean. I mean, it's nice that they do, but more importantly, they take home our chometz, and, if we ask really nicely, they even take home the junk that we unearth in our spring cleaning endeavors. But, most important of all, the cleaning ladies are there to spread chumras from one Jewish house to another. Because everyone knows you can never be machmir enough when it comes to pesach.