The celebration of Passover and especially the Seder meal connects us over time and space. The purpose of the Seder is to help us, and especially our children, experience the Exodus from Egypt as powerfully as possible. That is why the most important sentence of the Seder is, “In every generation we need to view ourselves has having left Egypt.” When we re-experience the Exodus, leaving slavery behind, we can be changed by that experience and connect to Jewish tradition, community, and God.
This Passover we also are overcoming physical distance, as we spread across the community, the country, and the world. And, like the Israelites on the night of the tenth plague, we remain sequestered in our homes, praying that all remain safe and healthy.
We should always remember that the freedom delivered through the Exodus is only the first of many challenges faced by the Jewish People. We also had to choose to bind ourselves together as a people, rather than as a collection of individuals. We might face similar challenges in our society as the days proceed. It is more important than ever that we tend to the yarn that knits our society together. It is more important than ever to know your neighbors and to reaffirm our commitment to our mutual well-being.
We will be connecting with other TAE neighbors through TAEngage, but please remember that it was not Jews alone who left Egypt. We left with a “mixed multitude” that also accompanied us. We need to strengthen our bonds with those within our community and those without because it is only through our focused, intentional effort that we will weather this COVID storm and come out stronger on the other side.
I wish you a joyous Passover and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Chag Sameach, Happy Holiday,
Rabbi Barry Diamond