Talmud this Shabbat: Passover in a Pandemic


Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?

All other Passovers we were free. On this Passover we are largely confined to our home.

All other Passovers we read about the plagues God visited upon the Egyptians. On this Passover we are experiencing our own very serious plague.

All other Passovers our seders were big and bustling, 20 people, 30 people, 40 people. On this Passover we are 10 or fewer.

All other Passovers we welcomed the stranger. On this Passover, welcoming the stranger could be dangerous to the stranger and/or to us.

All other Passovers were a multi-generational lovefest. On this Passover, young grandchildren could endanger their older grandparents, and so the generations are wisely kept apart.

All other Passovers took place in the spring, a season of joy. On this Passover, we are in the midst of a season of worry and fear.

Given all that, how do we our seders this year? And we need to do our seders this year—at their appointed time—Wednesday and Thursday night, April 8 and 9. Doing them later—not an option. Not doing them—not an option.

How can we authentically connect to the serious dangers posed by the Coronavirus to health and life, to our economy and our jobs—and do a seder that is uplifting and inspiring and maybe even fun?

Tomorrow morning, Michelle, Aliza, Elias, Dan and I will explore the texts and talk about the perils and possibilities of our Passover Pandemic coming soon to a home near you.

See you virtually on Shabbat morning at 8:30.

We will get through this together.

Shabbat shalom,
Wes