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This interview took place when I noticed that all of our congregants that got back from Pesach hotels put on a lot of weight. Dr. Felsenblum must've put on twenty pounds over the week. I had to interview him.
How was the hotel?
How did you afford it?
I'm getting a second job. We're not sending our kids to summer camp. We're only buying store brand cereal now.
How much was it?
Forty-five thousand for the week. And that was before the kids wanted to leave the hotel to go to Jumpy Palace.
How was the hotel?
It wasn't our home. That was good.
Did you do anything on vacation?
We didn't clean. We got away from our house. That was the goal. To not be at home.
You hate your home that much?
When we have to clean it. I would have given away the place. Let them clean it. The way our kids run around the house... dirty kids. Just the thought of mopping sent my wife to the hospital.
How's your wife doing now?
She's fine. Once I told her we were going away for Pesach, she got better. It was an immediate recovery.
What else did you do at the resort?
Did they have other activities?
Yeah. A buffet.
You seem a lot bigger.
Twenty-eight pounds. I ate as much as I could. I got close to forty-five thousand.
What did you eat?
Lamb chops. Just lamb chops. A lot of lamb chops. I was trying to get my money's worth. Lamb chops was the only way.
Sounds like you were on a mission.
I was. Until I get the paycheck for my second job we can't get groceries.
Your kids also got bigger.
I made them eat lamb chops.
One day they didn't have lamb chops. I had them bring out the lamb chops and I took the lox platter to our room. I told them that lamb chops taste good in the morning too.
How were the Seders?
The Pinkowitz Seder was very nice.
How about yours?
Our table was right next to the Pinkowitzs.
But yours... Your Seder?
We focused on the Pinkowitzs. They were very loud.
We listened to their Seder and we to the brisket before them. Once they started with the Hillel Sandwich, we ran to the buffet.
They didn't have lamb at the Seder. Brisket was the most expensive meat.
Would you go to a hotel next year for Pesach?
We won't stay home.
What are you going to do to pay for the Pesach hotel?
Another mortgage. We're up to three now.
What are the three mortgages for?
No. We stopped sending the kids to camp. They're now in public school. Our money is focused on not having to clean.
Was it a nice hotel at least?
It was a motel.
Forty-five thousand dollars for a motel?
They cleaned it
Then why do they call it a Pesach hotel?
It was forty-five thousand dollars.
People are willing to spend a lot of money to not have to sweep.
As we discussed more, I learned they were mad they had to come back to their house after Pesach. Now they have to do spring cleaning and his wife is back in the hospital. They must get real scared when Purim comes around. I saw it on his face. The worry of cleaning. Flashbacks. Pesach preparation trauma from childhood.
Dr. Felsenblum was not offended that I told him he put on weight. He told me that each pound he put on is worth three thousand dollars to him.
Since they got back, they’ve been eating a lot at Kiddish. The rabbi did a Mishebeyrach for the congregation that Felsenblum's check comes in soon.
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