Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Since You Shop on Passover and Succot Chol HaMoed, We Work
In Israel the schools made a "bridge" from Yom Kippur to the end of Succot/Simchat Torah giving the children and teachers a two week break. For the teachers it's a paid vacation. They (I was once a teacher, too) get paid by the month, whether they teach or not, whether there's a vacation or cancelled lesson for whatever reason.
Parents of the students who don't have the same vacation schedule are forced to either take unpaid vacation or pay babysitters or "camps" so their young kids won't be left alone. And sometimes they take their kids to work.
I work in a low paying job with bare minimum benefits and almost no paid vacation days. Chol Hamo'ed (the "interim" days of) Passover and Succot are busy days at work, because shopping for clothes is a necessary and productive activity for families. That's especially because the Jewish Holidays are season changers. Passover is the beginning of spring/summer and Succot is the beginning for fall/winter.
So it's good news/bad news that I've been working. Good news is that I'm getting paid, and bad news is that I don't have many opportunities to enjoy the holiday.
I'm not writing this for sympathy, but it is important for those who get paid vacations to realize how lucky they are. And when they go to places, like stores, the bank, the museum, a bus etc. please be especially appreciative to the people who make it possible, those who are working while you're on vacation.