Category Archives: Passover
I want to wish everyone a safe and meaningful Pesach during this challenging time. Finding meaning in comfort at the Seder this year will be hard for us all, myself included. I look forward to better days together, and hope you are all doing well!
Love, Rabbi Ruz
Join us Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 4:30 PM Israel time (9:30 AM on the U.S. East Coast; 11:30 PM in Australia; 2:30 PM in the U.K.), as Student-Rabbi Naomi Efrat of Kehilat Ha Lev (part of the Daniel Center for Progressive Judaism) will be conducting a virtual Seder in English hosted here on our Facebook Page, Reform Judaism in Israel!
“שָׁמוֹר֙ אֶת־חֹ֣דֶשׁ הָֽאָבִ֔יב וְעָשִׂ֣יתָ פֶּ֔סַח לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ כִּ֞י בְּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָֽאָבִ֗יב הוֹצִ֨יאֲךָ֜ יְהֹוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ מִמִּצְרַ֖יִם לָֽיְלָה”: (דברים, ט”ז; א)
“Keep the month of spring, and make the Passover offering to the Lord your G-d, for in the month of spring, the Lord, your G-d, brought you out of Egypt at night.” (Deuteronomy, 16; 1)
Each year, at the core of celebrating the holiday of Pesach, we are commanded to recall and retell the saga of our peoples’ Exodus from Egypt. It is auspiciously fitting that Pesach falls this week, as the world finds itself grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic. Here in Israel, shops and streets that would normally be bustling with activity in preparation for the holiday are empty and bare. On its surface, it may seem odd – to be preparing for such a celebratory holiday during a time of deep uncertainty and trepidation. However, there is a significant parallel between the Biblical story of Pesach and the times we find ourselves in today.
The night of Pesach, when we hold the Seder and recount the story of the Exodus, is a night that appears to focus on the past. It is, after all, an old story that recounts an event that took place thousands of years ago. But it is also an opportunity for perspective on the present and the future.
Matzah, the unleavened bread we eat each year at the Seder and throughout Pesach, has several names. The most common is “lechem oni” – the” bread of affliction” (Deuteronomy, 16; 3). This seems appropriate, as is says: “For in haste you went out of the land of Egypt, so that you shall remember the day when you went out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life” (Deuteronomy, 16; 1). There are two other translations, however: the “bread of healing” and the “bread of faith” (Zohar II, 41a. Ibid, 183b).
Healing and faith? These seem to be contrary to affliction, what we remind ourselves that we suffered of so long ago. On the contrary, these two seemingly out-of-place elements remind us that Pesach is not just about the past: it is about the past, the present and the future. We need healing right now – at present, the world is in a state of near upheaval, with no corner of the globe left untouched. We need faith right now – that the future will stabilize, for ourselves, for our children and for our children’s children.
This past Shabbat, we had two joint Kabbalot Shabbat between congregations in Israel and around the world: the first between the Sha’ar HaNegev congregation and the Reform congregations in San-Diego, California; and the second between Kehilat Brit Olam in Kiryat Ono and Temple Israel in Johannesburg, South Africa. Other congregations in Israel, such as Ramot Shalom in Be’er Shava, Kehilat Ramot Negev and Kehillat Tzur Hadassah, are holding joint sessions with their DOMIM partners abroad, for both adults and teens.
Now more than ever, it is vital that we stay connected to each other by whatever means are available to us. We send a prayer of Refuah Shelemah to communities around the world who are grappling with this pandemic and to all those who are in need of healing and comfort.
Wishing you all a Chag Pesach Sameach,
Keren b’Kavod, the Israeli Reform Movement’s Center for Social and Communal Activity, continues to assist disadvantaged populations in Israel, including new Olim, immigrants from the Ethiopian community, the elderly, lone soldiers and deprived women.
The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism
13 King David Street
Jerusalem, Israel, 94101
Will We Be Having Our Seder?
To the tune of “Will you still love me tomorrow” by Carole King and Jerry Goffin
I’m feeling grumpy and grouchy
So tell me please, Dr. Fauci,
Can my friends come for matzah and maror?
Will we be having our Seder?
Is there a Pesach exemption
So we can mark our redemption?
And must Elijah stay outside my door?
Will we be having our Seder?
I should be shopping for brisket.
I should clean up my dining room.
But I’m not sure I should risk it.
Would a night with my crowd spell doom?
I know we have to be wary
In times so scrambled and scary.
So tell me now what April has in store.
Will we be having our Seder?
Lyrics by Barbara Sarshik, Copyright 2020
You’ll find many more songs, along with a complete Seder songbook, at http://www.passoversongparodies.com. All of these songs are freely available. Share them with your family, friends, and religious congregations. Make copies for everyone at your Seder and post them on social media. Happy Pesach, everyone! Barbara Sarshik
How do you solve a problem like the seder plate?
Whether you’re replacing the shank bone or adding some new foods, we’ve got plenty of ideas – including ginger, spices & more.
Favorite Content for 2020:
The Wandering is Over Haggadah
An updated version of Jewish Boston’s family-friendly and thought provoking seder
Because we need a laugh…
2020 Favorites Haggadah
An ongoing compilation of what’s new & relevant for your seder tables this year
Get right to the point with a Haggadah that’s short & simple, yet filled with wisdom.
Coloring Book Haggadah
It’s a coloring book! It’s a haggadah!
Passover In The Time Of Covid-19
Because we had to…
Building Your Mental Health Seder Plate
Women’s Seder Favorites Activities, games, and songs for kids and teens.
A Seder for Young Children Videos, activities, and simple blessings for young children.
Friends Seder Haggadah A short, fun Haggadah for a friendly gathering.
EDITOR’S NOTE: These days everything has gone virtual so that we may practice social distancing and flatten the curve of the COVID19 Coronavirus pandemic that has (temporarily, we hope) changed the way we interact with each other. You can probably pick your favorite place on the globe and they will have a virtual service streaming for the benefit of their local congregation. We have had to find creative ways to stay connected and keep our faith and traditions alive and well during this time of uncertainty. But we have survived many other times of trial, and working together to strengthen the ties that bind us together, we will survive this one stronger than ever.
Here is a suggestion from an email to Don and Helen Cherry from their daughter Karen.
… there are a number of virtual passover celebrations you can join on your computer. this is one from the Palo Alto JCC you can join. it is 4-5:15 on April 8th. Or maybe your local congregation wants to find one to do together. It seems a lot of the JCC’s and synagogues are offering these…
Submitted by Helen Cherry
Editor’s note: AN IMPORTANT message from Aitz Chaim Congregation President, Laura Weiss:
All our gatherings will be canceled until further notice.
This is unfortunate but an appropriate and responsible response to the crisis at hand.
The first Friday Shabbat gatherings and also the community Passover Seder will be canceled.
Shalom CBA Members and friends,
There will be some more emails going out in the coming days from the Board and myself regarding how CBA will be operating going forward in the face of issues related to COVID-19. For now:
– Adult Education on Monday and Wednesday will continue. This week, you may come to the synagogue, but are highly encouraged to join us online. Beginning next week, classes will be held ONLINE ONLY. If you need assistance setting up for this, please contact me and I will do my best to help. All classes are accessible through this link
Later on in the week we will hopefully have a plan in place for future services and events, including Shabbats, Passover, and the Centennial. Many synagogues across all streams of Judaism have been shutting down public gatherings out of a sense of caution, and we are evaluating how this might work for us.
– We are evaluating how best we can help and support each other in the coming days or weeks. Several of our members have already reached out to me to see how they can assist with things like basic grocery delivery, and other support to our members who have less mobility or who must remain homebound. Watch for an email later this week about what is needed and how you can help.
– If you need or want to talk to me for any reason at all, whether to just check in, to “vent”, or for moral, emotional, or spiritual support, please do not hesitate to contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (406-413-5367) 24/7. I can’t promise that I’ll always pick up immediately, but I will absolutely get back to you as soon as I’m able. Out of an abundance of caution, I won’t be meeting in person for longer than a minute or two, but I’ll definitely make sure that we can talk.
– Stay Safe. Be prepared. Help Each Other. We will get through this.
Erik L Uriarte, MAHL
Student Rabbi and Director of Religious Programming
Congregation Beth Aaron – Billings, MT
Cell: (406) 413-5367