Spring cleaning:  Jews around the world prepare their homes for this holiday. 

Passover, also called Pesach ( פֶּסַח) is a major Jewish holiday that culturally incorporates memories of survival and triumph.  Pesach is a spring festival associated with cleaning,  followed by a ritualistic Passover Seder celebration that symbolizes the rush of the Israelites in fleeing Egypt, (as the Jews could not wait for their bread dough to rise leaven), beginning a course of eight days of eating unleavened bread (known as matzah).  Inside the home, Pesach marks a time that alas, the house is so clean, so as not to find one breadcrumb!  And a well-designed home can make a difference when it comes to keeping it clean.

Jews celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.  It commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Bible.  In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that G-d helped the Children of Israel escape from their slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born.

The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the English name of the holiday.  Today, mezuzzahs are placed on the upper frame of entry doors, as a reminder of this event.

kitchen closet dish rack Small kosher kitchen by Menachem Melavsky of Sea Gate, Brooklyn, NY.

The Jewish Home Design:  Shelves for Books Near the Kitchen

Right after Purim, the Pesach cleaning panic begins. There is a lot of scrubbing kitchens, where chometz is always lurking. Houses are ripped apart on the hunt for stray crumbs. Chandeliers are pulled apart. Every pocket of every garment in the house is turned inside out.  And thousands of dollars are spent on new kitchen towels, dish racks and more.

Considering the penchant of Jewish people to become obsessive compulsive about Pesach cleaning to kasher the house, many feel like drained slaves by the time they get to the Seder table and wonder when they will be freed.

Everyone knows the comfort of a clean home. Once it is done, there’s time to enjoy the seder with family.  Only by feeling relaxed and alert at the Seder table, can we fulfill all the Torah and rabbinic obligations and follow the Haggadah with the rest of the family.

cabinet dish drying rack An organized and easy to clean kitchen design with the DripDry insert.

How many kitchens should a Jewish home have?

If money is no object, then the ideal number of kitchens would be six: a year-round one for pareve, a year-round one for dairy, and a year-round one for meat, along with three more for Pesach use.
However, some follow the concepts explained by the Rebbe of Bobov, who said that Baron Rothschild was actually missing the point when he kept a separate home for Pesach that was not used year-round, rather than cleaning his home for Pesach, since the process of cleaning is part of the ritual purification process that we undergo in preparation for Pesach.  In fact, even though many people today keep separate dishes, etc. just for Pesach, they still kasher a few things just for Pesach, again, so that they can undergo the ritual purification process.  (See Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, Judi Dick, A Taste of Nostalgia: Tales and Recipes to Nourish Body and Soul, page 253.)
People who follow this way of thinking may wish to have only three kitchens, so that they can purify them for Pesach.  Alternatively, they may have six kitchens but kasher some of the utensils from the “year-round” kitchens for Pesach.
Whether you have one kitchen, or six, or any number in between, you will face the age-old problem of quickly getting your dishes from the sink to the dish drier to the cabinet. (This problem will be particularly significant if you are contending with more than one kitchen.)
The Drip Dry cabinet dish rackRacks are anti-microbial that help dry produce quickly. Water drips dry above the sink.

The solution? Install an Israeli-style dish rack.

A 2016 article explored a trend in Orthodox communities in New York, where new home developers are bringing tradition and common sense from Israel, such as drip dry racks for kitchen cabinets, to make the upper cabinet into a drain system, for wet storage. Developers love easy-to-install items, and those who know Heimishe products, use them to create beautiful and functional floor plans.

As the communities are expanding, B”H, heavily-populated areas are prompting developers to make home construction particularly economical to meet the diversified needs of the Orthodox communities.

To accommodate a population growing geometrically, homes are thickly clustered together and crowded within. Eli Kleinman, a carpenter in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, says it makes sense to install a cabinet dish rack above the sink, and he is particularly impressed with the Drip Dry kit because it provides all the pieces to mount drying racks into standard or custom cabinets. Mr. Kleinman explains in a house full of children with mouths to feed, the family is always washing dishes and baby bottles and pre-washing fruits and vegetables that need to dry above the sink, so homes need to have smart design.

Rachel N., a homeowner in Monsey, NY, says “I remember my mother’s dish rack in Bnei Brak and she brought back to here, 2 sets for us 30 years ago when we moved to a new apartment. Yes, 2 for Kashrus, of course. It is still in great condition! It really makes it so much easier to do the dishes! As my older and younger siblings got married, they also got Israeli dishracks. 2 years ago I made a new Pesach kitchen so I got one for the meat area. (for the dairy area I still kasher that part of chumetz kitchen for MUST have dish racks for each the Dairy and Meat sides). My uncle is a kitchen maker and he installed it for me. I have 7 girls aged 3 to 15. The 5 big ones are very involved in doing dishes. They can’t wait to use the dish racks in new kitchen, with Hashem’s help. Not just Pesach!”

Heshy Kallus of Mike’s Dinettes in Borough Park, Brooklyn says “We are always eating and entertaining friends and family around the kitchen, efficient designs are aesthetic and practical.” He further says that when he goes to a customer’s house, and he sees the racks, his customers are always speaking very highly of them.

So just imagine your family coming over for Yom Tov and having no embarrassing clutter in your kitchen. That is what the Drip Dry can give you, along with the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting the people of Eretz Yisrael by purchasing and installing this 100% Israeli-made product.

Wishing you a Chag Kasher v’Sameach

The Balabuste

Kosher kitchen using cabinet dish rack, The DripDryJewinthecity.com presents cleaning tips.

Pre-Passover cleaning to remove all chometz need not be excessively time consuming. Here are some ideas to help make cleaning a bit faster:

– Immerse household utensils in boiling water.
– Shake books outdoors with air to help blow away chometz.
– Use a pillow case for small items that can be placed in a washing machine.
– Vacuum corner to corner before cleaning surfaces.
– Use household cleaners that dissolve grease and quickly wipe off non-porous surfaces.
– Take old food out of the refrigerator, sweep out crumbs, remove shelves. Wash the inside with a rag soaked in a household cleaner. Dry the shelves and replace, lined with wax paper that can easily be replaced during the year.
– Use boiling water over countertops and around sinks, before wiping off with a household cleaning product.
– Stoves require washing of the top and side surfaces with a strong household cleaner. The burner tops should be koshered by first cleaning them, putting them back, lighting all the burners to the maximum heat and putting on a blech while the burners are on and left for five to ten minutes. Then cover the stove-top with aluminum foil but do not block the air inlets around the burners or on the back of the stove.
– Ovens should be checked for chometz but only need to be cleaned if they are to be used and a common cleaner such as Easy-off can be used. Turn the oven on to its highest temperature for about an hour. If the oven has a glass door cover the inside of it with aluminum foil. The oven racks can be koshered in the same procedure as the oven putting them as close to the heating element as possible.
– Dish towels can be washed and used if there isn’t a separate set for Passover.

dish rack in kitchen closet

The DripDry fits any cabinet in the world and creates an open bottom. Watch Video