Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?

Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?

On all other years, you could be tempted to buy pasta on the holiday.  But on this year, the pasta shelves are empty.

On all other years, people host big seders and small seders.  But on this year, everyone will celebrate Passover with their family alone.

On all other years, some Jews celebrate, but others go to work.  But on this year, everyone will be home.

On all other years, Passover is defined by our experience, but on this year, Passover is according to G-d’s plan.

Please let me explain the last one.  

Many people are worrying how they can celebrate without the regular guests and extended family.  Celebrating Passover alone just doesn't seem like a real Passover.  Maybe we should just skip this one and pick up next year? 

There's a story of a rabbi & his brother in a Russian prison for teaching Torah.  One morning, the brother was crying bitterly.  When asked why the saddnes, he responded, "every day I pray, but now there is a chamber pot in our cell, and the Jewish code of law forbids praying where there is a bad smell."

His brother responded, "The Jewish code of law tells us how to serve G-d at every moment in our lives.  On a regular day, the code tells you that you serve G-d by praying, but today, because of our circumstance, the code tells us that we serve G-d by not praying." 

He was so uplifted by this idea, that he started dancing around the chamber pot.  They both continued dancing and uplifting all the prisoners, until the pot was taken away.

Do you see the connection?  Until this year, the seder was defined by our experiences and preconceived notions about what it should be.  This year, the only definition of a seder is G-d's.  Eat matzah, read the haggadah, and review the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

For the past 17 years of my life, I've always wondered about the description in the code of Jewish law about a seder alone.  "The seder is a dialogue where children ask their parents questions, and parents tell their children of the Exodus.  If there are no children, someone asks the questions, and then they are answered.  If someone is alone, ask the question and answer it by yourself."

Isn't that a weird scenario for the code of Jewish law to be discussing?

This year, however, this law is so meaningful.  It's as if it was written for this year!  In some shape or form, everyone is alone this year.  But this year, we can have a seder according to G-d's vision, whether or not anyone will be sharing it with us.

Enjoy this seder, and please contact me to pick up shmurah matzah in the kosher way.

Wishing you a happy and kosher Pesach,

Rabbi Yonasan & Natanya Abrams


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