Refreshing the home for Passover
now a nonsectarian tradition.
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
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-
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
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,"
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
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
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