Frequently, at work, when drafting a document, we will put in several layers of protetion for our client that in all likelihood aren’t necessary. If scenario A arises, we’ve got X language, and let’s also make sure we get Y guarantee and Z indemity. While it’s redundant and somewhat overprotective, we do it to make sure our client is protected, and because we don’t know, ultimately, what the result would be if X language was challenged and litigated (the vagaries of judges), etc. We call this “belt and suspenders,” the connotation being somewhat obvious, that you really only need one way to hold up your pants, but lets do both anyway.
I realized last night that when it comes to Pesach and chametz, we Jews take “Belt and Suspenders” to a whole new level.
We clean our houses obsessively, making sure every crumb, fleck and speck of dust is meticulously removed, and every bit of chametz is eaten, thrown away, burned or locked up.
Then, just to be sure, we sell our chametz, including everything we can see or not see.
Then, just to be surer than sure, we announce, in serious sounding aramaic, that it’s all hefker and not mine, and it doesn’t exist, whereever it is.
Just to be sure.
But hey, did you ever notice how ridiculous someone who wears both belt and suspenders looks?