When I planned out my blog post schedule for the year a few months ago, I never could have imagined the topic for my Passover post would be the Corona Virus. In fact, only a few short weeks ago I had never heard the phrases “social distancing” or “safer at home” and now they are ubiquitous. We live in a crazy time yet it feels like we are living in biblical times and enduring one of the 10 plagues. My daughter’s preschool teacher told me that she she is confident quarantine will be over on April 19th, as initially discussed, because that marks the end of Pesach and we will be led to freedom like the Jews leaving Egypt. I really hope she is right, not just because I CANT WAIT for my 2 young children to be back to school, but because that will mean there is an end in sight to this terrible virus that is plaguing the whole world.
The big Jewish question during quarantine is what do we do for Pesach? If we have all been in quarantine for 2 weeks can we come together? Can we break our social distancing just to be with our closest family in a small group for the Seder? Do we risk our parents’ health and bring their grandkids over? Or do we let grandma make the food, each eat it at our own house while we have a zoom Seder? How to we navigate this? It’s one of the most important holidays of the year and we are instructed to invite others into our home to retell the story of the Jews being let to freedom, it seems unfathomable that a single person will be left to have a Seder at home on their own. This is so hard!
The rabbis in Israel came out with a declaration that you can have Zoom on during your Seder as long as you set it up and connect before the holiday begins (read more). Its not often that the ultra-orthodox bend the rules but in this case, it is Pikuach Nefesh, or saving a soul, which states that preservation of human life overrides virtually any religious rule. This comes after telling people not to kiss the mezuzah, stop visiting the mikvah and attending synagogue. So, I guess the rabbis are encouraging Zoom. (As a side note, who had heard of Zoom before a few weeks ago?)
One thing is sure, the show must go on and one way or another we will have a Seder. With a heavy heart I’m leaning towards a zoom Seder myself, but I’m curious what you are all doing. Please feel free to comment below, we would love to get this conversation going and maybe figure this out together.
We hope you all stay safe and healthy and wish you a Chag Pesach Sameach! Wash your hands, stay home and lets pray we can put this behind us sooner than later.