Passover was definitely a trip this year, and not in a good way. At the end of the meal, instead of saying "next year in Jerusalem" like we had all the years before, we instead ended with “next year in person.” A somewhat lame attempt to bring humor to this dark situation.
I won’t lie, Passover Seder over Zoom hit different. Instead of being a time of unity and celebration, it was something that just reminded me how much Coronavirus has taken from us.
Passover has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. This is not only because of the good food, but also because it is the one holiday where my entire family comes together to celebrate our culture and tradition. We don’t really get together for other Jewish holidays except for this one, so I always looked forward to Passover as a chance to see my entire family and celebrate with them. But this year we couldn’t do what I loved most about the holiday: be together.
And so, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Passover was completely different this year. Even the food was different. We couldn’t go to the store to get the Manischewitz, and it’s the second day and we are already running low on matza. Matza is a key part to the Passover diet, and I’m not quite sure that I can survive not eating bread without it!
But even with all of these obstacles, we still managed to have a Passover seder. It may have been a little different, but it didn’t stop us. We facetimed our family members, and still sat around the table to read through the Haggadah. It was different, but still a meaningful and loving experience.
On a side note, my mom did make us add an eleventh plague for the Coronavirus, but besides that it was a pretty normal and traditional seder service.
But the point of this post is to not complain about how Passover was different this year, but amplify how it actually united us. Seeing families around the world come together in a different way to celebrate their religion was inspiring. The same thing applies to people celebrating Easter this weekend. Coronavirus is revealing more challenges everyday it progresses, but it just goes to show how strong our communities really are.
We are able to still practice our religion and traditions, even in the face of this adversity. We are all in this together, and it is forcing us to reconsider our commitment to our religion and communities. But if we are able to connect and celebrate even through this dark time, then we are strong enough to face anything.
I hope everyone was able to connect with their families for a "zeder" this year, and like we said earlier: next year in person! Happy Passover and Easter, and happy any other holidays you may be celebrating within the next few weeks! Remember that even through all of this, we can still practice our traditions and holidays, just in a new and creative way.