Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter


Zivia Reischer

“No, seriously!” My mind lit up with a thousand ideas. “Rent-a-Bochur. That’s what we’ll call ourselves. I’ll make us T-shirts. We’ll make millions!”

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

 Mishpacha image

GET RICH QUICK “Are you kidding?” I waved some papers in Manny’s face. “We’re going to be rich, man. We’re going to hire other guys to do the actual cleaning, and we can market an original line of Pesach prep products— spray bottles of Davar HaPosel, and Suspender Sacks—”

F irst day of bein hazmanim, my mother was already anxious about my room. “I’m cleaning,” I said. I pointed to the garbage bags piled against the wall.

Her eyes traveled around the room, from the dumped-out drawers to the piles of Stuff. “Doesn’t look very clean to me,” she said in her watch-me-model-staying-calm voice.

Mothers take cleaning so seriously. Seriously.

“Cleaning makes a mess. Like, it gets worse before it gets better. That type of thing.”

“Dovi,” she said warningly.

“The halachah is—”

“The halachah is that you have to listen to your mother!”

As soon as I could, I escaped to Manny’s house. He was doing the same thing as me. His mother was doing the same thing as my mother.

“Oh, hi, Dovi,” she said, in her own stay-calm voice. “I don’t know if Manny’s available right now.” She looked pointedly at Manny.

Manny looked surprised. “I’m not?”

“Manny, Pesach is in two weeks.”


Manny’s mother closed her eyes briefly. “What’s all that Stuff?”

“What Stuff?” Manny followed his mother’s gaze. “Oh, that. Well, it’s not chometz. That’s the main thing. Right?”

When she left the room, Manny shook his head. “What is it with these mothers?”

“It’s the stress,” I explained authoritatively. I had thought about this a lot on the way over. “Their brains release cortisol and it puts them into fight-or-flight mode.”

“Flight sounds good to me. Like a flight to Disneyland.”

“Maybe for Chol Hamoed,” I said. “Hey, Manny!”

Manny looked wary. “What?”

“We should open a Pesach-cleaning service. To help all these overworked, stressed-out mothers!”

“It would be so hard for my husband to go through a whole meal without learning, so I bought him a Pesach Shas…”

“A Pesach Shas?!”

Manny looked at me like I was crazy. “You mean in addition to our own overworked, stressed-out mothers?”

“No, seriously!” My mind lit up with a thousand ideas. “Rent-a-Bochur. That’s what we’ll call ourselves. I’ll make us T-shirts. We’ll make millions!”

“By testimony of our own mothers, neither of us knows how to clean.”

He had a point. “So it can be a reconnaissance mission. Market research. We can do information gathering. Operation How to Clean for Pesach. It’s gonna be great. Believe me.”

Manny groaned. “Do me a favor, Dovi. You want to clean, you can start right here.”

I picked up Manny at 9 a.m. “What’s that in your pocket?”

“A notepad.”

“For what?”

“To take notes. What else?”

I decided not to press the matter.

When we got to the Feinzeigs’, Manny made me ring the bell. “This was your idea,” he said.

“It’s not like they’re going to know who pressed the bell.”

“Exactly, so you do it.”

I rang the bell. There was a box of latex gloves on the ledge near the door. I stared at it. It was just a box someone had left here by mistake, I assured myself. It couldn’t be… (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 536)

Related Stories

Dancing in the Kitchen

Estee Rabinovicz

My mother made a decision: If she wanted a home fueled by love, light, and happiness, no one could c...

Freefall: Chapter 48

Miriam Zakon

It was that last package that had set Lieutenant Pontiac off onto his newest escapade: lighting cand...

Lifetakes: Five Candles

Yudit Green

What does she pray for? Is she saying that tefillah? The one for her children to go on the right pat...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

When Tragedy Strikes
Shoshana Friedman What are we giving and what are we getting?
One Nation, Divisible
Yonoson Rosenblum Israel isn’t yet suffocated by political correctness
What Am I, Chopped Liver?
Eytan Kobre Far more disturbing is the title’s unspoken implication
Not Just Politics
Yisroel Besser We’re fighting over something that means the world to us
Are We There Yet?
Alexandra Fleksher Seeing other models of avodas Hashem enriches our own
Top 5 Yeshivish Business Ventures
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Different answers to “So, what is it you do?”
Work/Life Solutions with Mois Navon
Moe Mernick “When you set a goal, it’s going to take lots of effort”
Were They Orthodox Jews?
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman This is why I asked, “What difference does it make?”
You Get What You Pay For
Jacob L. Freedman “Get me a real doctor from Harvard who speaks Persian!”
Tunes That Take Me Back, with Levy Falkowitz
Riki Goldstein “It’s amazing how strong music memories are”
All Rivers Wind Up in the Sea
Riki Goldstein Your heartbeat will slow down listening to the new album
Faigy Peritzman A name symbolizes the essence inherent within
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Inject positivity into your marriage to counter burnout
The Game of Life
Rebbetzin Suri Gibber Use your competitive spirit to score high in life
The Musician Part II
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer “It’s an integrative therapy approach. Not boot camp”