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March 18, 2010 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-03-18

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Refreshing the home for Passover
now a nonsectarian tradition.

Steve Raphael
Special to the Jewish News


assover is fast approach-
ing and that means the

Lichterman home is gearing
up for a thorough spring

cleaning of their Huntington Woods
home. Passover is a family affair for the

family and spring cleaning is a major
part of it.

"A lot of the religious obligation

Even the tiniest crumb of chametz

must be removed and that can only be
done by cleaning the house from top to

Then the fun begins with the tra-
ditional hunt for chametz crumbs by

candlelight on the morning before the
first seder.

To remove the drudgery and burden

of cleaning, make it a family affair say
the experts. Create a checklist of what

has secular implications," says Mark

needs to be done.
On the first warm, sunny weekend

Lichterman, an attorney and fundraiser
for nonprofit organizations. "We enjoy

day, open the windows, let the sunlight
in and jump head first into cleaning

Martin Perrera does spring maintenance on the water wheel at Franklin Cider Mill.

the ritual. The cleaning serves a secular
purpose. We do it because the rabbis

floors, dusting furniture and vacuum-
ing rugs.

and get the kids to clean their rooms.
We clean up surfaces, clean out refrig-

Schedule another day to empty the

erators ... just a lot of things that have

and God tells us that we should, but
also for the real world benefits."

Spring is the time of year when home
ownership doesn't seem like such a

hot idea. The flowers are beginning to

bloom, the days are getting longer and
warmer and the voice of the turtle is
heard in the land again.

But, oh, the cleaning you have to do,
inside and outside, to get your home

home and closets of old, unwanted
clothing, sports equipment, yard equip-

been avoided the rest of the year."
She admits that the "they" in the

ment and furniture; then schedule a
garage sale to sell the goods.

cleanup process is more like "he," as
in Mark. "Mark does most of it," Susan

Perrera primarily is an interior and
exterior painter and works year-round.

says. "He is a very early riser."
Mark says that cleaning the house

Often, he finds that it's not the house
that needs to be cleaned or refreshed,

takes no more than two days and attri-
butes his ability to get things done to
discipline. "It's not rocket science," he

but the homeowner.
"They go through the winter months

ready for the season. Yards, gardens,
gutters, interior and exterior windows,

and no fresh air is coming through the

rooms — so many projects, so little

home.They just want it painted to start
fresh like the spring," he says

"Spring time seems to be when
people are ready to have you in your

Modern paint products have removed
the urgency of annual painting. But

homes to fix things that they've lived

there's still no good way to stop the
freezing and thawing of winter snow

with through the winter," say Ferndale
handyman Martin Perrera, who counts
the Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield

Township as his major client.

Spring cleaning and Jewish history
and traditions are joined at the hip.

Many countries trace spring cleaning
back to their ancient cultures, but with

that plays havoc with roofs, sidewalks

and driveways. When the crocuses
bloom, so do the cracks in concrete.
"The best way to prevent major prob-

lems arising in the spring so your house
can better withstand the winter is to get


Mark's family wasn't as observant as
Susan's. They kept kosher. But keep-

ing kosher as a family is something the
Lichtermans started when they were

married 23 years ago and continue to
do today.

The Lichterman children remain very
much a part of the activity. Yossi, 18,

"helps with the schlepping," Susan says.
Daughters Allie, 15, and Eden, 11, get

more involved with the actual Passover
seders, making the dinners and setting

tables. The couple is hosting both first
two nights of the holiday this year so the
girls will be busier than usual.
"There is a lot of intellectual prepara-

3,500 years of history under their belt,

your house and yard ready in the fall,"
Perrera adds.

Jews can claim they were there first.
We have Passover to thank for that.
We thoroughly cleans our homes,

Meanwhile, the Lichtermans have
rounded up their three children and
have begun their spring cleaning.

change plates and silverware, all in the
name of ensuring that nothing leavened
remains in the home. Exodus 12:15

"We've already started changing dishes
and pots and pans," Mark says.

that happened over the year and assign
parts of the seder" to the guests.

"We try for an overall spring clean-
ing," says Susan. "We clean the carpets

Passover of 1991 remains the
most significant in the lives of the

forbids it.

tion to running a seder," Susan says.
"We like to incorporate relevant things

Perrera works on the finishing touches

to a new PVC drain.

Lichtermans. That year, Passover

ended on a Saturday evening; the next

morning, Susan delivered Yossi, one
month early.
More than anything, Passover to the

Lichtermans is about family. Allie and
Eden are on vacation from day school.
Yossi, now a freshman at the University

of Michigan, is able to come home.
Mark and Susan take time off from
work the first two and last two days of

Passover so the family can be together.
"The family time together is what we

like the most," Susan says.

March 18 = '010


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