To my Friends at Sha’arey Shalom,

As Pesach begins, I wanted to check in. We are living in unprecedented times. Every year at Seder, the attempt to recreate the Egypt experience for ourselves. We dip parsley in salt water to symbolize tears and we eat bitter herbs to remind ourselves of the bitterness of slavery.

This year, these symbols serve a different purpose. They are our own suffering. They honor our tears and our suffering. Many of us are scared, or overwhelmed. It does not help that when we need to turn to family and friends, they are a screen away. Many of us will be celebrating Passover with many empty seats around the table.

We know that many of you are hosting the Seder for the first time. Please be kind to yourself. Let yourself off the hook if you do not have the right ritual items, or cannot determine how to use zoom. These are unprecedented times and your health and wellness are most important.

Know that the message of Passover is that we did pass through the dark and narrow place to freedom and light. I know that we are all suffering and living with uncertainty. Remember that we are doing this together. If you would like to speak tomorrow from 10-3, please do. Or call after the first two Seders.

We are all in this together.

Wishing you a meaningful and happy Passover.

Rabbi Renee