Passover 2020 begins at sundown on Wednesday, April 8, and lasts till sundown Thursday, April 16.
Despite all of the arduous pre-Seder preparations, for many of us, Passover is one of the most anticipated Jewish holidays and the Seder the most widely observed Jewish holiday rituals.
It is certainly because of our getting together with family members, friends and even a guest who you just met and who had no Seder to go to. It is certainly because of the food, with many recipes curated from those that we have enjoyed since our youth and in many cases carried down for generations. And it is certainly because of the meaningful and emotionally powerful story of liberation—a story as relevant today as decades/centuries ago.
Now, sheltering at home and isolated from many family members and friends due to COVID-19, what should we do? For those now tasked with leading their first Seder and to those who always looked to an older relative or friend to lead the way, this webpage will provide resources, such as where to go online for a virtual Seder, Passover recipes, how-to-lead-a-seder instructions, haggadot, and books that can provide you with pertinent and user-friendly information.
Around the world, many rabbis and cantors are pondering whether to hold virtual seders to which people can “gather” online. If you can’t or don’t wish to join one of them, and even if you can’t get all of the traditional foods that you’ve enjoyed at Seders past, make your own tradition this year. Manhattan resident Efrem Epstein has found sources that say it is okay to ask the Mah Nishtana (The Four Questions) by oneself if you are the only one at the Seder table.
This year Passover’s story about the lack of freedom and liberation may be even more relevant to many of us due to COVID-19. This is a time to remember the sweetness of freedom (from oppression, from disease, from anxiety) and the selflessness of the many who are working despite the risks (health care providers, emergency responders, pharmacists, food industry employees, scientists working on treatments, etc.) to keep us safe. Like Moses, they are helping to lead the way.