Hotels for Pesach #CRDSYAC

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    MAILBAG: Why I Am Thrilled That People Are Stranded In Airports Heading To Pesach Hotels


    Please refrain from any personal attacks in this discussion. Let’s keep this a civil discussion, not an argument.

    Mod-29 will close this thread at the first sign of any Nazis or terrorists.

    (My position will follow; don’t want to ruin the thread by placing it in the OP.)

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    There are two things getting confused in this article:

    1. A theoretical philosophical discussion about the pros and cons of going to hotels for Pesach.

    2. Our obligation to judge other Jews favorably.

    As you yourself have pointed out elsewhere, there is a big difference between a theoretical philosophical discussion and a discussion that revolves around real people.

    I’m sure the writer of the article had good intentions and meant his words as a philosophical discussion. However, l’maaseh, there are real people involved here and I think we have an obligation to judge them favorably.

    Even if someone thinks that going to hotels for Pesach is inappropriate and a waste of money, etc, you can’t really judge other people who are doing so because you have no idea of all their factors and considerations.

    This past Shabbos we actually had a discussion about this. Someone in my family started talking about how she thinks it’s a good idea. Others were very surprised since it’s not the kind of thing that anyone in my family has ever remotely considered, since it’s not something that is remotely in any of our budgets. However, the person pointed out that there are people who HAVE to do this even if they don’t have money. For example, someone who has severe OCD might have no choice and might HAVE to go away for Pesach even if they have to beg, borrow, or steal in order to do so.

    None of us really knows why this family borrowed $80,OOO to go to a hotel for Pesach. They obviously felt they needed to do so. Maybe they all have severe cases of OCD or some other health issue (whether physical, emotional, or spiritual) that necessitated doing this. And if it really was OCD or something similar, can you imagine how horrible they will feel when they read this article and how much psychological damage it can do to them?


    i spent many years working in Pesach hotels & watching all the lavish food with all the entertainment that comes with it for the price you pay to join.

    but today they are just pushing it, there is almost no sign of kedushas yom tov, people are just partying, is that the way to spend 10 days of yom tov when its really set aside for Hashem?

    after many years of working in hotels the most important thing i learnt is “THERE IS STILL NOTHING LIKE MAKING & SPENDING PESACH AT HOME WITH YUOR FAMILY”

    looking forward to doing it again this year

    have a chag kasher v’sameach everyone

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Yekke – my above post (which might turn out to be below) was not meant in any way as a criticism of you. I understand that you are davka trying to separate between the two (theoretical discussion vs. personal attack), which I am very impressed by.

    I am a bit concerned about how a thread like this will turn out though. I would be thrilled if there does not end up being anything remotely critical of judgmental of others. However, I find it hard to see how that could happen. Unless the plan is for your final post to somehow counteract any possible preceding negativity or judgmentalmess 🙂

    Well, hopefully the moderators will delete/close the thread if it gets negative/judgmental.


    Saying that some people are overdoing it is a far cry from being thrilled that people were stranded and programs had to close (which means the management probably lost significant amounts of money).

    LU, OCD doesn’t require a high end program.


    Ive never gone to a Hotel, beyond my budget, but it is not my place to decide how someone else spends their money.

    for many people Pesach has become too complicated with the OCD cleaning and the food being super expensive. I understand why people would want to go away.

    BTW I do not belive people spent $80,000 unless it was a huge family. Ive seen the price on this things and they are about $2500 a person

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    I just looked through the comments on the article of the main site, and I realize that there are two potential pitfalls to this thread:

    1. People being judgmental of and speaking motzi shem ra on those who go to hotels for Pesach.

    2. People being judgmental of and speaking motzi shem ra on the writer of the article.

    Posters, please view this thread as an opportunity to bring zchusim to Am Yisrael by exercising your abilities to judge everyone favorably (both those going to hotels and the writer of the article).

    Perhaps in this zchus, we will zoche to actually bring the Karban Pesach in Yerushalayim this year and no one will have to decide between spending Pesach at home or going to a hotel!

    Maybe we should have a contest to see who can do the best job of defending both sides.

    (in any case, please, I beg you, don’t use this as an opportunity to c”v speak badly of anyone. Thank you in advance!).

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    DY – I realized afterwards that I might not have been clear about what I meant.

    My point was that cleaning for Pesach is gehinom for people with OCD, and for some of them it is probably just completely impossible so they have no choice but to go away.

    Was your point that they could go away without going to a high end program? I thought the discussion was about going away for Pesach in general, not about the specifics of where people go. I figured that going to any hotel for Pesach is going to be a fortune, and that’s what the discussion was about.

    I have no idea what these things usually cost, but maybe the reason it was $80,000 was because they have a large family, and there were reasons why it was super-important that they all be together for Pesach. Maybe they knew that someone in the family was dying and it was going to be their last Pesach together. Maybe someone had a severe case of depression and it was pikuach nefesh. Maybe there were a lot of expenses because of the care that was needed for someone’s physical or emotional problmes. Maybe some of the people going were kids at risk and it was the only way to keep them on the Derech. Maybe some of them were tinok shenishba and it was the only way to be mekarev them. Maybe they lived somewhere that was very far away from any kosher hotels so a lot of the money was going for the flights. Maybe there was some reason that they had to go to this particular hotel.

    The point is that there can be so many reasons and factors that we know nothing about. These things are all relative. I’m sure there are people who can look at the way that I spend money and find what to criticize too, since I also spend money on things that others may not view as necessities and might not understand why I do. And so does EVERYONE!!! It might be a different quantity, but so what?

    The 100 shekalim that I spend on something that seems unnecessary might not seem comparable to $80,000, but maybe $80,000 to that person (relative to both their income and the standard of living they are surrounded by and/or used to) is like 100 shekalim to me (relative to my income and the standard of living I am surrounded by and used to).

    There are reasons why people do things. If people are borrowing money for something like that, obviously there is some reason they feel they need to.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    ZD – if they have 16 kids and 4 grandparents, that’s 22 people. At $2500 a person, that’s already $55,000. Add in airfare, sons-in-law or daughters-in-law if any kids are married (which is likely if they have 16 kids) and some grandchildren, plus whatever things they have to buy for the trip, and you can easily get up to $80,000 (or more).

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    DY – regarding your first point, you’re right but I think we can find ways to be dan l’kaf zchus why he felt that way. I can understand it, but I’ve written enough already, so I’ll let someone else try to be dan l’kaf zchus his article without being critical of the hotel-goers.


    Spending about $25-30,000 port family for Pesach at a 10 day hotel/airfare is pretty typical for these folks.


    in place of $30,000 the RICH family can …

    hire a professional cleaning crew to do the house for $3,000 max

    food for 10 for pesach including matza $8,000-10,000

    full time pesach family cleaning lady to help cook also $2000 or even less

    chol hamoed trips & entertainment for family $1000


    & if you think its all about time we can have all this ordered & delivered & house service cleaned in a matter of an hour or 2 which is shorter them all the pesach hotel planning with which programs plus flights etc….


    i wish everyone a wonderful chag kasher v’sameach

    been on both sides of the Pesach coin (Hotels-but working not partying-& home)


    personally, I can’t imagine having Pesach anywhere but home, even though it is difficult. There is nothing like sitting down at the Seder in your clean house, kids’ eyes shining with excitement, and being able to enjoy it with the satisfaction that the hard work all paid off for this wonderful moment; the cheirus is palpable.
    Yet, for some, it may not be possible. Not everyone is going away because they have money to burn and want to live a life of extravagance. There are families who really want to spend yom tov together with all the marrieds and grandkids, but can’t fit everyone in, so they take the whole extended family away. If they can afford it, and it brings them simchas yom tov to be with their families, then great for them. It does not necessarily have to contradict the spirit and meaning of Pesach.
    One year I was expecting right before Pesach and was on bed-rest for most of the pregnancy. Our options were to go to family, which meant traveling with a newborn, hire help to do all the cleaning and cooking, which would still have been stressful and difficult, or go to a hotel. In the end we chose the first option, but I don’t think out priorities would have been skewed if we had chosen the third.


    LU, the article said high end. That means there are less expensive ones, no matter how you do the math.

    ZD, they’re not all priced the same. I just randomly looked one up online, and it was $4200-$7000 per person, depending on the room.


    There are numerous issues which need discussing:

    1) Spending Pesach at home or at a hotel is a matter of personal taste. Some people may find it more meaningful at home, some don’t need the privacy to find spirituality in Pesach, others may not have a meaningful seder at home; not every family is as perfect as your own. Not every father is up to directing a seder to satisfaction, listening to Rabbi X. Ploni (who we follow on TorahAnytime, his shiurim are fantastic) would be so inspirational.

    As far as “connecting to Yom Tov” is concerned, it’s each to his own.

    2) The minute circumstances are different to your family – there is an elderly parent, the mother has a bad back, there are disabled children, mother is expectant during the months before Pesach, it is totally justifiable not to want or be able to make Pesach at home.

    And I don’t think you need to dream up ridiculous scenarios. There are plenty of day to day excuses that may not force a family to go away, but can be much more convenient. All the kids are married and at the inlaws, with just one kid at home who is bored and kvetches, and Mom can’t face the Empty Nest over Pesach. Mom is getting older, and just can’t be bothered making Pesach. Her parents always went to hotels for Pesach, and she can’t think of a Pesach with all the stress of cleaning and cooking. They went once when the mother was highly pregnant, and had such an uplifting Yom Tov that they wanted to go back. Yes, the pressure and effort involved is a Matanah from Hashem etc. etc., but there is no Issur in not being in the mood. It isn’t ‘obscene and disgusting’ to want to relax a bit. (I’ve never heard of anyone disgusted with those who hire cleaning help before Pesach because of this precious Matanah of cleaning yourself). Throw in a working Mom or any other mild inconvenience – what aveirah is there in wanting to take it easy?

    You can easily justify the motives to go away for Pesach, even if it doesn’t suit your personal taste. So what remains is simply jealousy, spite and self-righteousness which prevails. You just don’t fargin. (No real word for that in English. What’s the opposite of Begrudge?)

    The anger, disdain and contempt directed to those who go away for Yom Tov is totally disproportionate. It makes me wonder whether the motive to talk against is just old school jealousy.



    Part two may take a little more sensitivity to feel. I don’t expect everybody to understand it.

    My first post was basically explaining why in many cases, it could be a necessity, not just a luxury. Depending on your financial status is how much צורך you need before you decide to go ahead with making your lives easier.

    Here’s a different point. There are people who can’t afford it. While they once lived life in a lap of luxury, they have unfortunately fallen upon hard times, and money is tighter than it was. So when they struggle to continue living the luxuries they always had, you get upset. They don’t need this, why can’t they live like the rest of us?

    If you look at Hilchos Tzdakah, you’ll find an interesting thing. The obligation of Tzdakah is די מחסורו אשר יחסר לו. If you look here, you’ll find that you are equally obligated to provide basic necessities to a pauper as you are to provide luxuries to a man who was once rich. You must provide a horse for him to ride upon, and a slave to run in front honouring him. Surely he doesn’t need a horse? The slave running in front is just his own Ga’avah; it doesn’t make his journey any more comfortable? Why don’t we tell him to tone down his lifestyle now, he’s living off tzdakah – he doesn’t need such a fancy car!

    The Halachah is not like that. The luxuries of a man who once could affort these things are necessities. Just because you don’t need it, and just because he once upon a time didn’t need it – suddenly, when he doesn’t have the money any more, the upperclass lifestyle is something he desperately needs.

    The Torah doesn’t tell him that such an upperclass lifestyle is assur when there are others struggling to put food on the table. The VERY SAME chiyuv you have to feed those struggling with food obligates you to support his extravagantly luxurious lifestyle.

    So to judge a family who borrowed money to make this possible is not so simple.



    The OP starts this topic with a link to a harsh screed and then requests a civil discussion? There is no point to Pesach hotel discussions as nothing gets resolved.
    I don’t go to hotels because of the expense involved, but I do not begrudge those who do.

    To me, everyone should mind their own business. If you want/need to go to a hotel , then go. If you want/need to stay home, then do so. Both should enjoy their Chag and not get worked up over what someone else is doing


    The piece made me sad.

    Hotels for pesach aren’t my thing and I enjoy tom gov at home.
    The writer sounds miserable at home but sadly can’t afford going away for pesach. Which is why he is so happy that others who planned on going away are forced to be home much like he is.

    Truly a rachmanos


    Again I cannot afford such a trip, but for those who say Pesach at home is the best, For them that might be true, but for other people its the worse

    Some people have bets, How long will it take for Uncle Mordy and Uncle Shmulei to have the first argument

    Others are taking options on the first “dispute” between Malkie and Raizie

    Others have pools on how long it will take for all the kinderlach to say the Mah Nishtana and who goes first

    And of course Bubbie and Zaydie love all their anielach, All 30 of them K’H but Mommy and Tatie consider a trip to Bubble and Zaydie a “vacation” and expect Bubbie and Zaydie (especially Bubbie) to watch all the kinderlach.

    And by the first Kadaish Urchatz of the first sedar half the people already got cabin fever for being 50 people in a 3 bedroom house

    In other words for some people Pesach at home isnt so Leybidic


    Yekke, do you see a difference between stam going to a hotel for Pesach… and flying the extended family to a hotel halfway around the world during Pesach, spending $80,000 for those 10 days lined up with entertainers, babysitting, swimming, sightseeing, shows and luxurious wine tasting on yom tov?


    Joseph, he addressed that in his discussion of די מחסורו


    What does that hashtag mean?


    I read the original article and many of the comments. LU came up with a number of scenarios that if they were true the author would not have mentioned it. He stated “he knows of a family that borrowed $80,000”. It seems the author knows the family and their circumstances and in his mind cannot understand why they borrowed the money.

    I have never been away from home for pesach (and I include in that the years I went to my in-laws) as we helped as if we were home (cooking and cleaning both prior to and on Pesach). I cannot criticize those who can afford it and go to a hotel.


    I am vehemently opposed to the pesach hotel situation as a very general rule, but this thread isn’t working for me either….

    (No offense to the OP and his intentions)

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