WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The Passover starts tonight, April 8th, and Jews around the world will be celebrating in their homes.
During this eight day holiday, families gather together around the seder table. So how will the Ohio Valley’s Jewish community be celebrating together while apart?
The Passover remembers God’s provision for the Jewish people as He delivered them from slavery out of Egypt. Unleavened bread and bitter herbs accompany this meal, but this spring dinner was prepared in a unique way; food packages were handed out by temple leaders to members via car drive-thru style.
In the past weeks, a lot has changed in the way life works at the temple, with the rabbi now FaceTiming prayer with members in the hospital. The irony in all of this is in these eight days Jews are called by God to unite with each other. And during a time of isolation, certain prayers cannot even be conducted if not in a congregation.
You can’t practice Judaism on your own. We are directed to be a part of something larger than ourselves, to be a part of a community. There are certain prayers we are not able to say unless we are ten people gathered for a worship service. So, that’s impossible to do at this time. Passover reminds us that that’s how we became the Jewish people. Shared struggle, shared suffering, shared redemption. Tune in and be a part of something larger than yourself.Rabbi Joshua Lief, Temple Shalom in Wheeling
In this celebratory isolation, we’re called to maybe value community a little extra; those that stock our groceries or who take care of the sick. Rabbi Lief says give thanks, especially during this trying time, believing that God’s provisions extend to all.
Passover messages will be live-streamed on Facebook at Temple Shalom WV.