Wednesday, April 20, 2005

When I Threw In The Towel

At the beginning of each year I gingerly turn the pages of the calendar for the coming year to see when and how the 'Yomim Tovim' fall. The primary purpose of this ritual is to determine any occurrence of a 'Three Day Yom Tov'.

There are lots of things that make a Three-Day-Yom-Tov an uncomfortable experience; for me though it is the horror of facing three days of festivities, where showering or taking a proper bath is considered sinful.

I have to shower each evening. If I don't I cant sleep. By the time morning comes I am already feeling awful. The only thing I can think of is having a bath. Things get progressively worse until I can barely function. I feel like a soul that has somehow been placed in the wrong body.

Till recently I was pretty pedantic about keeping Halocho. Taking a proper bath on a Three-Day-Yom-Tov was just out of the question. I can only describe it as hell; dragging around my greasy body from one meal to the next and from one Tefillah to the next. Any spirituality I had felt on the first day of Yom Tov was more than cancelled out by my feelings on the next couple of days. How could G-d allow this I asked myself. I was a comforted somewhat by being pretty certain that soon when Moshiach comes he would permit it.( Chazal in Roman times outlawed bathing on Yom Tov. The Torah itself is more liberal.)

Over the last couple of years I have been going through a metamorphosis. I do not treat Halocho like I once did. Slowly but surely the repertoire of sinful acts that I commit grows. The first big really bad sin I committed was showering on a Yom Tov; hot water yes but not my hair and only liquid soap. The next time I was even more daring and washed my hair.

Over this coming Yom Tov I shall be really bad and very sinful. I shall take a bath whenever I need. I will wash my hair properly and I will even use a bar-of-soap. If I must I might even switch on the boiler.

Wishing you all a clean and hygienic three-day-marathon of a Yom Tov.