For thousands of years, the Jewish faith has annually celebrated Passover. The holiday is among the holiest in Judaism, commemorating their liberation from slavery in Egypt.
It’s a holiday usually marked by busy synagogues and packed family dinner tables, but not this year.
“On Passover they’d usually be with friends of family whether it’s in Grand Rapids or somewhere around the country,” said Rabbi Michael Schadick of Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids. “This year of course people are at home and so what we’ve tried to do is create a virtual family Seder together.”
Like many other houses of worship across the country – of all faiths – Temple Emanuel has taken their services online.
“We’re trying to hold onto the traditions and do it virtually,” said Rabbi Schadick, “and in a situation like this we think we’re doing the best thing that we can do because people are still able to interact with each other and hold on to the traditions.”
Rabbi Schadick says it’s not traditional, but its safe. And the isolation many are experiencing today, he says, draws parallels to the story of Passover.
“This year when we’re bound at home against our will in essence - we can’t leave our houses for the benefit of our community - we see something new in the story of Passover,” said Rabbi Schadick. "By staying home, we help the health of our neighbors. By staying home we help our community. So though we're home we are doing sacred work."
To connect with Temple Emanuel on Facebook, click here. Temple Emanuel has already uploaded some of their past virtual services and has also made downloadable resources available so families can celebrate Passover at home.