The Pesach Embrace

Preparing For the Seder

It’s that time again, the annual Seder gathering. While many look forward to Passover with great anticipation, others may not feel the same or be able to celebrate in the way that they would like to. The first law codified in the Jewish Code of Law regarding Passover is called Maot Chittim – distributing wheat money for Jews who need assistance with purchasing Matzoh and other accouterments for the holiday. What can we do to take care of those who are not set up for the Seders of Passover?

Here are a few things that all of us can do to bring Passover joy to people who otherwise may miss out:
1. Ma’ot Chittim – Consider giving Tzedakah to JFund or another righteous organization who will distribute funds to help Jews celebrate Passover.
2. Invite friends, neighbors, and colleagues who would otherwise be alone this Passover. Not everyone will be able to attend, but EVERYONE will appreciate the invitation.
3. Holiday greeting calls – Even if we won’t see people who live far away, a heartfelt phone call wishing people well can bring a smile to their faces and lift their Passover spirit.

While the urgency of the recent pandemic begins to dissipate from our consciousnesses, the lessons we learned from it must stay with us for good. One of the most important lessons to remember is how painful and damaging isolation can be for some people. While diseases can injure and kill, so can loneliness. Therefore, before we reach for our own wine, matzoh, bitter herbs and Charoset this Pesach, let’s reach out to those who would treasure our doing so.

May G-d bless you with good health, strength, and the opportunity to continue doing all the good that you do.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Kasher Vesomayach!

Rabbi Ephraim Epstein
Community Scholar in Residence