Zoom Over Passover
April 2, 2020
Research shows that the Passover Seder is the most celebrated Jewish ritual every year. When we ask Ma Nishtanah (how is it different) this year we might as well be asking how is it similar. For starters, we will likely celebrate via Zoom in very small and integral family circles - or in some cases alone, in an apartment or a nursing home or a hospital.
There are (of course) new Haggadot already designed for the time of the plague – here is a link to download one
. I personally wonder about how the largest Seder in the world each year - the Chabad Seder in Katmandu where more than 1,000 people celebrate - is going to go this year.
A symptomatic Marjorie Ingall (New York based author) has written for Tablet Magazine , about her family's coronavirus experiences and thoughts on Passover this year in "Plagues 10, Covid-19."
"On Friday, a package I’d ordered weeks ago, containing dozens of tiny Seder frogs, arrived. I burst into tears. I had a plague-related decor vision for the Seder that I’m going to have to let go. I’m so exhausted right now, I can’t imagine even doing a pro forma Zoom Seder, let alone the kind of thoughtful, personalized, bespoke Seder I want to do every year."
Personally I plan to take advantage of this situation. You know what they say, don’t let any crisis go to waste. Since we are celebrating on Zoom anyway, I’m going to start my Passover early on Wednesday at noon with my Israeli friends and family (Zoom hopping may be involved). I will partake in parts of Seders in NY, NJ, RI and FL from 6:00 to 9:00, and close out the night with some Pacific friends. Chances are more than four cups will be involved but absolutely no driving.
Happy Passover to you and yours, be well, wash your hands, and raise a glass or four no matter where you are. It will be fewer than 40 years before we are back to borrowing chairs from the neighbors. I promise.