Pesach is one of the biggest projects we undertake as frum families. One of the most powerful planning tools in my toolkit—one I use for managing projects both at work and at home—is the after-action report. While any project or endeavor I will undertake again in the future is fresh in my mind, I make notes about what worked, what didn’t work, and what could have worked better with a little bit of tweaking. This way, I can reduce, reuse, and refuse my way to a more sustainable, less stressful holiday.
Pesach reminds me that limiting my choices and not having exactly what I want doesn’t have to mean feeling deprived.
One thing that often happens when people get interested in lowering their environmental impact is that they will run into a lot of bloggers, Instagrammers, and ads telling them about products they have to have for their low-waste efforts.
At the beginning of November, I set an intention not to buy anything except food and household necessities that month. I called it a "Mostly No-Buy November Challenge," and it's good that I included the word "mostly," because I mostly accomplished my goal.
When I trimmed the hose to right before the first kink, the remainder was just long enough to water all but a pot of sage and two tomato plants. Was it perfect? No, but it’s a good reminder that “perfect” is the enemy of “good enough.” As Ben Zoma taught, “Who is rich? The one who is happy with what he has.”
“It would have been enough,” we sing each year at the seder table. At our seder, it’s one of the most spirited songs. Probably at your seder, too. But I wonder, have modern Jews, especially those of us in America, where consumption is a national pastime, lost the ability to tell what “enough” looks like?... Continue Reading →