Passover Remade but As Relevant As Ever
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. This story is even more relevant today due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and as we write this, the bombardment which has robbed the country’s civilians of their freedom.
For those who seek more information about leading a seder and perhaps now tasked with this task for the first time, this webpage will provide resources, such as where to go online for a virtual seder, Passover recipes, how-to host-a-seder directions and books that can provide you with pertinent and user-friendly information. If you cannot enjoy Passover with family and friends this year, think about making your own traditions. Adapt family recipes. Search the web for innovative ones. 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.
Although we have been mainly social distancing for two years, we have found strength in carrying out our traditions and rituals. This April, there are more and more community seders that will take place in-person and welcome guests.
Passover’s story about the lack of freedom and liberation may be even more relevant to many of us due to the world’s ongoing experience with the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a time to remember the sweetness of freedom (from war, from disease, from anxiety) and the selflessness of the many who have worked--despite the risks (health care providers, emergency responders, pharmacists, food industry employees, etc.)--to keep us safe. Like Moses, they have helped lead the way.
Enjoy a new and moving rendition* of the traditional song Chad Gadya sung at Passover!
*The choral presentation is by the Rana Choir. Rana is a unique Arab-Jewish women’s choir operating in Jaffa and comprised of 16 Muslim, Christian, and Jewish women. The choir was founded in 2008 by Mika Danny, who serves as its musical director and conductor, and by Idan Toledano, who serves as the artistic director. Rana has performed successfully throughout Israel and the world. The choir aims to express the female voice, which is not heard enough in our region, to cultivate dialogue and create a cultural and human bridge. The choir’s repertoire includes folk songs and women’s songs in Hebrew, Arabic, and other cultures of the region.