Top of Mind Thursday April 9, 2020: Different Than All Other Nights

Top of Mind Thursday

Last night was the first night of Passover, the holiday when Jews celebrate leaving Egypt, moving from slavery to freedom, and to the Promised Land of Israel.

Leverage2Market LogoThe Passover Seder, retelling the Exodus story (including the Ten Plagues), is traditionally one of the highlights of the year in many Jewish households. More Jews participate in Seders than any other religious celebration throughout the year. This is traditionally a time when homes are opened to all who are hungry and in need–a time of community bonding and celebration.

Except for this year, when homes are not open at all (not even to family members and close friends), because of the pandemic. Christians will face a similar predicament this weekend for Easter.

Technology has helped us. Last night, there were hundreds of thousands of seders shared through Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype. Participants were able to come together to participate in a community celebration, if not the full Seder meal.

The Passover Haggadah says, “This year we are slaves; next year we will be free.”

In our generation, there has not been a time when this message resonated so strongly. We may feel like slaves in our homes right now–imprisoned by the coronavirus. But to a certain extent, we are slaves to our prior way of life–to expectations of how the world works, to what we can expect makes up our daily existence, and to what constitutes a “normal” life.

This is a good time for all of us to contemplate what freedom really means. When we are able to leave our homes and mingle among others again, how will we celebrate our freedom? What story will we tell next year and the years following?

When the plague of Coronavirus has passed, how will we be free?

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