Marital Meltdown on Seder Night

Marital Meltdown on Seder Night

Ber’ke wasn’t much of a breadwinner, he was even less of a matzah-winner.

The day before Passover Ber’ke came home so excited; he’d bought a new board to cover the table, so it would be extra kosher for Passover.

And Ber’ke wife, Faigy, started yelled at him, “BOARDS?! We don’t need boards! We need matzah! we need wine!”

Finally, Faigy calmed down, and she covered up Berke’s new board with the tablecloth.

And the next day, Faigy was relieved when there was a whole delivery of matzah, wine, eggs. Everything they needed for the seder.

Believe it or not, as Ber’ke was leaving for shul on Seder night, Faigy was even in a good mood, humming to herself as she put some finishing touches on the Seder table.

And then…Faigy’s apron got caught on one of the jagged edges of Berke’s board.

And before she understood what was happening, the whole board slammed down onto the floor, with the matzah, the eggs, the wine.

And Faigy proceeded to shower Ber’ke with every insult she could think of, and then some.

Ber’ke was about to let Faigy have it back: “DON’T YOU SCREAM AT ME!”

But then he stopped, and he whispered to himself, “I’m not going to answer back…” And Ber’ke looked down at all the broken pieces on the floor, and said, ” You’re right, Faigy, I am a shlemazil.” And then he started picking up all the broken pieces.

“What are you doing?” Faigy asked. And he turned to her and said, “We can still make a seder with broken matzah, broken eggs, and you can relight the candles.”

And finally Ber’ke and Faigy calmed down together, and they had a good cry, and they talked. And they made a seder that night that rocked the Heavens.

That year, the Beis Aharon, the Karliner Rebbe told his Chassidim, “It’s true, at my seder this year, I used all the secret mystical intentions of the Arizal, but in Heaven my seder couldn’t hold a candle to Ber’kes seder, with the broken matzahs and eggs. The seder that Ber’ke made together with his wife, Faigy.

[I heard this story from Rabbi Fischel Schachter. You can watch him telling it in this video.]

Every day until seder (3 days to go!) I will be posting a “Meaning-in-the-Cleaning Minute”: a minute-long video or short word of inspiration that made ME smile as I get ready this year for Pesach.


  1. I think this story is beautiful! Beautiful and so apt, with the pre Pesach tension swirling around us all. May we all have a HAPPY and kosher pesach!

  2. I love this story. It gave me a laugh.

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