Dear Temple Emanu-El community,
In the early 1980s I lived in Boston and regularly hosted large seders, which I greatly enjoyed. One year there was a tremendous snow storm on the day of the first seder, preventing any travel in the city. As a result, my roommate and I ended up sharing the ritual with two neighbors. All day I had been out of sorts, disappointed and frustrated by the change of plans, but it turned out to be one of the best seders I ever had.
I’ve been thinking of that experience in these weeks of social distancing and preparing for a Passover unlike any before. While there is, of course, loss and disappointment in not being able to celebrate in person with family and friends, there are unexpected pleasures in this situation as well. For the first time in as long as I can remember I’ll be joining my siblings for a seder and for the first time in their lives all of our children will also share that experience. And there’s a lot less cooking to do!
I hope that our Temple seder will be an unexpected pleasure as well. The videoconferencing format can be surprisingly personal and I’ve been picking up some creative ideas about how to adapt it for the holiday. All the information you need about how to login to the seder, what foods we’ll use, and how to access our Haggadah are posted on our special Passover Resource page, along with recipes, music, and links to help you prepare for the holiday.
If you need some help using Zoom, take a few minutes beforehand to look at this tutorial: https://emanuelrochester.org/how-to-join-an-online-zoom-meeting/.
At a time when all of us are experiencing disrupted routines and anxieties related to the uncertainties of the moment, I hope our Jewish traditions may be a source of wellbeing. Taking time each day for quiet and reflection, appreciating the wonderful gift of creation by going outdoors, reading for inspiration and encouragement, reaching out to others, and joining with our Temple community for prayer and learning are all ways we might find a sense of wholeness in a difficult situation. If there is any way I can support you at this time, please call (716-876-5874) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Zei gusunt – Sano – Be well!
Rabbi Drorah Setel