This has always been one of my favorite times of the year. The sun is out later in the day, the temperatures start to climb, the start of the baseball season is right around the corner, and Passover will begin this weekend. Growing up, Passover was always my favorite holiday. Since we lived within a 1-hour drive from both sets of my grandparents and my aunts and uncles, our seders were filled with family and friends. Plus, I took matzah with me to school and continued my love of sharing Judaism and Jewish traditions with my school friends as I handed them pieces.
Although this will be our second Passover during COVID, I am still looking forward to this holiday. I feel my deepest connection to our history and faith after I take that first bite of matzah. Yes, this year’s seders will be different than most, it does not mean that we cannot still enjoy it and celebrate our freedom.
Maybe we cannot “welcome the stranger” to this year’s seders, but we can still make it special. In fact, I would encourage all of us to take this unique opportunity and try to add something different and unique for this year’s Passover. Over the last few years, I have started our family seder with some of the incredible Passover song parodies that have popped up like the Maccabeats’ Les Miserables, Six13’s A Lion King Passover, and Y-Studs’ The Greatest Passover to name just a few.
Last week, the Jewish Federation prepared and sent out this year’s version of the Passover Resource Guide. Below is a link to it so you can explore it again to find something special to add to this year’s celebration.
Maybe this is the year that you try a series of new recipes or even take your seders outdoors, do them al fresco. However, you decide to celebrate this year, make it special, even if it takes a little bit more work to do so. As the adage goes… the more effort you put into something, the more you get out of it.
And one final thought… Passover is a time when we remember and reflect on our journey from years of oppression and slavery in Egypt to our freedom and the emergence as a new people, influenced by our experiences under Egyptian tyranny. This same idea can and will soon happen as we come out on the other side of COVID. We are so close. With more and more of us getting vaccinated, and life slowly moving forward, we are approaching the Sea of Reeds and soon we will cross through it and be able to dance on the other side.
From my family to yours, and on behalf of the Jewish Federation’s Board of Governors and Staff, we hope you and your family have a sweet Passover. And next year may we all be able to gather around our seder tables with our family and friends.