Menu Washington Hebrew Congregation

Passover

Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is many things.

It is the Festival of Freedom when we recall how God released our ancestors from slavery in Egypt. It is an agricultural festival that reminds us of the Land of Israel in the time of the First and Second Temples when our ancestors were farmers. And Passover is also a pilgrimage festival, which is one of the three times a year when the Israelites went in joyous procession to Jerusalem.


Seders

WHC's Seder "On Demand"

Not used to leading your own seder or want to feel the connection to your WHC community for seder?

Our clergy have you covered! have put together a virtual seder that will help you celebrate the traditions of Passover while practicing social distancing.
Just make yourself a seder meal and click play.

(Please check back soon for a link to the video)

2239's Online Seder

Join Rabbi Fischel for an engaging and participatory pre-meal seder over Zoom. Some supplies you may want to have on hand: wine, matzah, parsley, charoset (apple, wine, and nut mixture), horseradish, orange. What's that you say? You have none of that because you have had to fight people for an avocado at the grocery store and cannot even imagine finding matzah? No worries, just bring yourself! Our people did not have all this with them when they left Egypt either. See you at the Seder table!

The Seder Meal

If you cannot imaging cooking - or even shopping for the items needed for your seder meal - several online caterers can help. Take a look at their menus and options below, and please look for ordering deadlines they've set:

When you place your order, be sure to let the caterer know that you are affiliated with WHC!


Worship

Experience our festival services more fully with the online edition of Mishkan T'filah (Weekdays, Shabbat & Festivals) offered to you free from the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Passover Festival Service

Date: Thursday, April 9
Time: 10:30 am
View our live stream
Watch it live on our Facebook page

Passover Festival and Yizkor Service

Date: Wednesday, April 15
Time:
10:30 am
View our live stream
Watch it live on our Facebook page

Passover While Isolated

How is this Passover different from all other Passovers?

On all other Passovers, we told of the 10 plagues, but on this Passover, an 11th plague – COVID-19 – stopped our world.

Our ancestors were instructed to explain the meaning of Passover to their children, a tradition that has continued in every generation through joyous seders attended by multiple generations of family and friends.

This year, our Passover celebrations may look and feel a little (or a lot!) different, so our WHC clergy have been considering each of our traditions to offer alternatives that will allow us to observe this holiday as fully as possible in these unprecedented times.

First things first

The only people who should be at your seder table are those who already share your living space with you. Large family gatherings and community seders should not take place this year. We understand that this is heartbreaking and will be a significant disruption for many in our community.

However, those over the age of 65 or with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of death from COVID-19. We cannot emphasize enough that our community must prioritize health over family celebrations for the duration of this crisis, even if that means being without loved ones at your seder.

All is not lost!

There are many wonderful ways to celebrate Passover, even as we limit human contact. To paraphrase the Talmud: Better, we should have one less-than-ideal Passover so that we can celebrate many Passovers in the future. (Yoma 85b)

Still craving connection? How about hosting a “zeder” instead of a seder? Free video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and FaceTime can help your family have a seder together even when you are not in the same house. Smaller tables allow you to be more creative and try something that may not have worked with a long-standing family tradition.

Resources

Here are a few links to help deepen your engagement with the holiday this year. Check back this week for additional insight from WHC's clergy.

Creative Ideas For Your Passover Seder
Discover something "new" in the "old" Passover story with this resource from ReformJudaism.org.

Customs and Rituals
Explore the customs and rituals of Passover in this guide from ReformJudaism.org.

Disabilities-Friendly Seder
How can you make your seder friendly for everyone, including those with disabilities? This article from ReformJudaism.org has tips to make your seder accessible for everyone sitting at the table.

Melodies
Songs help connect us to the seder and to our history. Discover some of these beloved melodies with this resource from ReformJudaism.org.

Passover Seder for Interfaith Families
Feeling overwhelmed by all the details of Passover? "Setting the Passover Table" from InterfaithFamily provides the information you need to host a seder, even if you didn't grow up with this tradition.

Passover Seder for Young Children (4-5 Years)
How do you make the holiday meaningful for the youngest members of your family? This resource from ReformJudaism.org outlines ways to help young children understand the importance of Passover.

Recipes
Looking for something delicious to help you and your family observe the holiday? ReformJudasim.org has a wide selection of Passover recipes.

Recipes: The Best of Passover
The Jewish Food Experience has rounded up a list of the best recipes to meet your food needs this Passover.