Tomorrow night is the first night of Passover, when usually families get together for a large gathering for something called a Seder. This literally means ‘order’. We retell the story of Passover that tells of the Israelites suffering in slavery, Moses leading us through the desert until they receive the ten commandments at which point we eat and then rejoice and sing songs thankful to be free and in the land of Israel. Whether you are religious or not these are traditions that Jews all over the world participate. As every religion there are different amounts of religiosity and strictness. I would say my family is quite lenient although I grew up more traditional.
Even while being abroad we found “family” to do the Seder with- Jews and non Jews alike as an open cultural experience. I have been away from my Israeli family for 5 years now and this feeling of solitude gets harder during the holidays .
This year the solitude takes on a whole new level. I miss my family and I worry about them so far away. I sit here asking myself what will it be like to do it remotely.
Over zoom we will be joining our family in Israel in the evening for them (morning for us) to celebrate. We will eat a traditional morning meal using Matzah while they do the traditional Seder. We will keep our kids as involved as possible until they can't be present anymore.
Instead of thinking of this difficult time, being secluded in our homes, far away from loved ones, living though a pandemic that could change the world as we know it, I will tell you what I am grateful for:
I am grateful that I am with my immediate family and that I have had the opportunity to spend this special time with my kids in a way that life has not permitted! (or my choices haven't permitted).
I am grateful for screens (yes screens!) because without them I would not be able to see my family who lives far away, or join them in a time when families are supposed to be together.
I am grateful for my parents who are my number one cheerleaders, who make me feel like everything I do is worthy. They give me unconditional love, always!
I am grateful that I have everything I need; Food, Shelter, Play, Love and much much more.
I am grateful that I have my health and the rest of my family does too.
I am grateful for my friends near and far who have made an effort to support each other in ways that only show friendships are possible from anywhere.
I am grateful to get to hear my brother sing “chad gadya”. It is so funny! I am also grateful that he is always seeking research proven ideas that support positive development for his children, that he's reflective (makes a great father!)!
I am grateful that my partner and I have a relationship that supports, understands, loves and communicates constantly!
I am especially grateful to all those out there putting themselves on the front lines. The importance of supermarket workers, farmers, nurses, doctors, delivery people and everyone who is still keeping the wheels spinning for the sake of humanity and goodness makes me thankful.
No Plague will bring us down! Humans will survive this but please make sure there are takeaway messages from all this. The environment needs to be a priority to live here. Healthcare for all is not a crazy leftist thought - it's just being a good human. The importance and respect teachers deserve is nowhere near where it should be as is the market employee, the farmer, the delivery person (just to name a few). If you care about others and constantly show it, kindness will persevere.
Read about day 23 here 4.7.20