Passover of the year 2020 was completely different from others! Here, I am going to pen down my personal experience of Passover 2020. The whole world was suffering from the coronavirus Pandemic. We were under strict lockdown and not allowed to get together. Therefore, we were left with only one way to celebrate Passover meal i.e. Video calls. Fortunately, we have advanced techniques that had helped us to enjoy our Seder and retell the story of Jew’s Exodus with our families. Though that was a virtual meeting, a light of hope was there. We celebrated this Passover through Zoom video calls.
Coronavirus had taken in New York City and I started getting calls and emails from the rabbi. He was sharing digital Haggadahs and Zoon link for Seders. Video calls were connecting thousands of people, their kitchens, and their meals to re-tell the Passover story together.
The retelling story of Jew’s Exodus is a Passover ritual. Every year, families get together at one place to have a Seder meal and re-tell the story of Exodus through a combination of prayer, recitation, discussion, questions.
Preparing a Seder plate is another important ritual of Passover. This plate is filled with symbolic food items that help in anchoring the story. Salted water reminds us of the tears of ancient Israelites who had gone through tough times. Similarly, charoset — a sweet dish made up of nuts, apples, and nuts is used to symbolize the mortar used by the ancient Jews for the construction of Egyptian buildings.
The Seder plate helps in bringing story to the life. Night of Seder had approached and I was about to call my families to re-tell the story and have a Seder meal. Though this meeting was virtual, emotions were real. This Passover, I really missed my family as I was miles away from them. I was wondering when this pandemic will be over and when I would meet my family again. I was scared at that time because the number of Coronavirus cases and deaths were rising in number. People are dying all around the world, people were sick and people were scared.
I think that coronavirus is the 11th plague by God on this Earth to teach us that we should care for our mother Earth. I wonder when this pandemic will pass away what rituals we will create and what kind of stories we will tell to our children. How we will commemorate this moment to honor those who have lost their lives and warriors who help COVID-19 positive to recover.
The Year 2020 was not easy for anyone. We were told to stay inside our house and we were not allowed to meet our family, even for the Passover celebrations. We were not allowed to do various things that make us happy and complete. As 2020 Passover was not so exciting, therefore, I am planning to book my seat in one of the best Passover programs 2021.
But, somehow we celebrated Passover in a traditional way. We prepared a Seder meal and have kosher meals for the entire Passover holidays. We were not allowed to go outside, but we arranged everything at home. I have placed online orders and received everything at my doorsteps.
Spending the whole time at your home and not allowed to meet your friends and family members was quite disappointing. But, we were helpless at that time. We were connecting with everyone through video calls and we were praying that our family members stay healthy and safe.
It was happening for the first time ever that I was celebrating this Passover with my husband and two kids. I was calling my mom to do the service. Usually, we celebrate Passover with more than 25 to 30 people at a table. We have tried our best to keep the tradition alive. We prepared a complete Seder plate and prepared every important element for this plate all the symbols that go along with the story.
Why is this Passover night is different from other nights?
This year Passover was really different from usual because I really felt what ancient Jews had suffered. We are locked in our house and not allowed to move outside. We were not able to meet our families and we were not really free. This year, I understand the real meaning of freedom.