Chag Sameach. Happy Passover
What a strange time to be living in when there is an actual plague happening during the time of Pesach. Over the last month, our lives have been upended and we have been forced to adjust over and over again as the guidelines keep changing on how to deal with COVID-19 and keeping ourselves safe. The normalcy of our lives which many of us took for granted has morphed into a normal of not knowing what comes next, an unknown and possibly the fear of what is to come.
Like everyone else, I have gone through this range of emotions and have tried to help my two girls do the same as they are missing their classmates in second and third grade. I have adjusted to being their teacher for homeschooling and it is not always going well. But, we persist and we find new ways of adjusting.
Tonight begins the holiday of Passover and we are finding creative ways to celebrate while still being socially distanced from those who would normally gather around our table. We will do a Zoom Seder with loved ones and pray that next year we will all be together in person. I hosted a virtual Seder last night with Hillel and Church Relations and want to share with you one of the prayers that Rabbi Naomi Levy has written for this particular Pesach.
Let It Pass Over
On this sacred night
Divided in space
United in voice
As we start our Seder
We cry out for You, God,
From our place of confinement and worry.
Hear our Passover prayer:
Let it Pass Over, God
Let this plague Pass Over us
Let it Pass Over every nation, every people,
The young and the old.
Let it Pass Over every city and village
All across Your world.
Let it Pass Over,
Heal those stricken
In every hospital bed
And in every home.
Let this night of Liberation
Mark the birth of a great healing.
Give all souls the wisdom and strength
To sacrifice their freedom of movement
For the sake of life.
Send healing to all those who are ill.
Fill doctors and nurses and all those in the front lines
With the full force of their sacred healing powers.
Watch over them, God.
Enlighten scientists all across the world
With insight and discoveries
That will lead to effective treatments,
And some day soon,
Free us, God,
From this plague.
Shelter us with Your comforting presence.
On this Passover Night
We pray to You, God,
Let it Pass Over us.
Hear us, God.
Heal us, God.
My prayer for all of us this holiday is that we embrace the journey that we are on and embrace what we can not control. We have control over how we deal with this challenging time in our lives. How ironic that this holiday celebrates the Exodus of our people and yet, for now, we are prohibited from that wandering to escape the narrow place of Egypt.
What if instead of focusing on the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians, what if instead, this year, we focused on ten things that we are grateful for in this time of quarantine? We have been forced to slow down and spend more time with our families. Hopefully for most of us that is a good thing! Personally, I am choosing to focus on some of the positives, while still balancing my fears of all the unknown negatives of the future.
I Am Grateful For:
Time to make breakfast for my kids that requires some cooking.
Time to organize closets that have unused clothes to be donated.
Time to finish writing the book I have been working on for over a year.
Time to write letters and emails that have been ignored for too long.
Time to experiment in the kitchen and try new recipes.
Time to go bike riding with my girls when they ask.
Time to learn new technology that overwhelms me.
Time to explore various online classes and tours that I would have ignored previously.
Time to appreciate and adjust and give in to fears and then breathe again.
I wish each and every one of you a Healthy and Happy Passover. Chag Sameach!
Rabbi Corie Yutkin
Director of Jewish Life, Fish Interfaith Center
(If you require individual support from Rabbi Corie Yutkin, please contact her at email@example.com)