Do you approve of celebrating Pesach in a hotel?
And the answer is I do not. I definitely disapprove of hotels for Pesach.
Now, some hotels are definitely not kosher lePesach despite the fact that they say so; but I’m not talking about that. And some hotels are kosher lePesach but they provide other kinds of activities that are not in consummate with Pesach spirit; and I’m certainly not talking about that either. I’m talking about a hotel where there are no Broadway shows. There’s not even a television there. There’s nothing there except sefarim in the beis hamedrash and everything is 100% kosher – even better than in your own home. And still I say Pesach is a home celebration. The seder is kodesh kodoshim in your own sanctuary, your own Beis Hamikdash.
It’s an opportunity given by Hakodosh Boruch Hu that is intended to raise the spirit of the home. איש שה לבית אבות שה לבית. Pesach is for a family, that’s what it is. And the father gets together with his children in the hallowed atmosphere of the seder, and he hands over to his children the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim, the birth of our people. Not some official singer or a chazan or even an official rabbi. The father! The father represents the whole background of Jewish tradition; and every child should be able to say, “My own father is handing this over to me like his father handed it over to him; and the chain goes back, link by link, to Har Sinai, link by link to Yetzias Mitzrayim.” That’s what Pesach should be. I definitely disapprove of going away for Pesach. There are no two ways about it.
TAPE # 263 (April 1979)