COVID19: How is this Passover different from other Passovers?

Everyoone must use an abundance of caution when preparing and observing the holiday of Pesach this year.

Rabbi Elchanan Poupko

Judaism Passover Seder
Passover Seder
צילום: PR

As Jews in Israel and America brace for Passover during the worst pandemic in a century, everyone should use an abundance of caution when preparing and observing the holiday.

So how will this Passover be different than all the Passovers?

For before every Passover we huddle in large grocery stores and crowed the aisles with so many others, this Passover we will order everything online (and it’s just as good). 

For before every Passover, we take our new dishes to the Dishes Mikvah, this Passover we will gift them to a non-Jew and use them for less than 30 days as is permitted. 

For before every Passover, we may sell our Chametz in person, this Passover, we will sell it online or over the phone. 

For before every Passover we call family and loved ones before the holiday, this Passover we will also call our neighbor, the elderly, or a forgotten friend to check on them and see that they are okay. 

For on every Passover, many eat handmade Matzah on Sader night, this year if we feel it is unsafe, we will rely on most rabbis who rule that machine matzah is just as good or even better. 

For before every Passover, many people don’t sell actual Chametz, this Passover we will continue, but ask our rabbi what exactly is included or not included under that category. You’ll be surprised. Additionally, some rabbis in Israel have already instructed that those who don’t usually sell actual Chametz on Passover and are concerned they may run out of food this year, may sell actual Chametz.

For before every Passover, we burn our Chametz in large gatherings adhering to fire safety rules, this Passover we will be adhering both to fire safety rules and avoiding large groups. 

For during every Passover, we gather with family and friends in large beautiful Seder, this Passover we will have an intimate, beautiful, and small Seder. 

For before every Passover, we may be in an airport, train station, or other forms of mass transportation, this Passover we will stay local.  

For before every Passover, we don’t need to think of those who are in quarantine, this Passover we are obliged to think of and care for those who are in quarantine, keeping everyone safe. 

For every Passover, we dip our food twice, this Passover we will also dip, just with our own personal dish. No sharing. 

For on every Passover, we have only one U’rchatz and one Rachtzah, on this Passover, we will Purell our hands before every time we eat anything with our hands. 

For on every Passover, we dry our hands with a regular towel, on this Passover we will use disposable paper towels. 

For on every Passover we sit reclining, this Passover we will also recline, just with more of a distance between every person. 

For on every Passover, we think about the soldiers and members of the security forces who put their lives on the line so we can be safe, this Passover we will think of all the doctors and healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line, working in overnight shifts, to make sure they save as many lives as possible.

For on every Passover, we go to synagogue and pray with so many others, on this Passover we will keep everyone safe by staying and praying at home. 

For on every Passover we see our in-laws, this time we will tell them after the holiday how it went. 

For on every Passover, we say “Le’Shana Haba’ah Birushalayim Habenuya”, next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem.

This Passover we will add Le’Shana Haba’ah Birushalayim Habri’ah”, next year in the healthy Jerusalem. 

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Passover! Pesach Kasher Ve’Same’ach!