"Many Jews will be observing the Passover Seder this year online, gathering with family from across the country," Rabbi Laurence Milder, of Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton, told the Weekly.
"The pandemic has prompted us to consider the plagues of our time: indifference to the welfare of others, and unequal access to healing," he said. "Passover also teaches us to be grateful for our blessings: the way technology has expanded our sense of connection, and the debt we owe to those who have parted a sea of grief and given us hope for the future."
Rabbi Raleigh Resnick, spiritual leader of Chabad of the Tri-Valley in Pleasanton, reflected as well on the significance of Passover this year during the pandemic.
"Indeed, for over three millennia, Jews celebrate Passover by gathering together with their families and faithfully transmitting their heritage, history, and identity to the next generation. More than marking liberation from Egypt, Passover comes along each year to inspire us to strive for a greater measure of self-liberation from all limitations and distractions which impede us from serving our Creator," he told the Weekly.
"This year, volunteers at Chabad of the Tri-Valley have been busy delivering special hand-made matzahs from Israel to hundreds of families in the Tri-Valley. These matzahs are specially made to use at the Passover dinner. Additionally, Chabad is offering 'Passover dinners to-go' as well as in-person Passover options," he added.
"Download our Haggadah and read along around your Seder table," they've told congregants. "Tell us if you would like to read a passage in English or Hebrew, or lead a song; there are plenty of parts to go around. And there will be lots of interactive moments in the Seder, too." Visit www.bethemek.org for more information on all services.
Chabad of the Tri-Valley is coordinating Seder meals to-go as well as in-person options to safely fit members' comfort levels both Saturday and Sunday, according to Rabbi Resnick. "We are creating in-person options in a safe atmosphere to facilitate those who would like to come together for the holiday," he said.
The full Chabad calendar of Passover services and events, including the Passover memorial service and meal of redemption on April 4, is available online at www.JewishTriValley.com.
Passover is observed for seven days by Reform Jews and for eight days by Conservative and Orthodox Jews.
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