Another year “passes” and we’ve again reached the Jewish Holiday of Passover. After the catastrophic Coronavirus lockdowns of 2020, this Passover 2021 will we indeed be able follow the traditional Holiday customs. The difference this year, is that we will be able to celebrate together with family and friends. Shelves in the supermarkets and local grocery stores will be covered to hide all the chametz items and kosher bakeries will close for the duration. Nothing with a leavening agent will remain in sight! Cafes and restaurants will serve versions of matzah and adapt their menus to a to a Pesach version. Not only is Passover 2021 like a huge Spring clean, it this year represents freedom from the vile virus.
For all Jewish people, Passover is a very significant festival. Whether we are living in Tel Aviv, or any city in the world, we as one community come together on this ‘holyday”. It’s a holiday for remembrance and thanks. We gratefully acknowledge our liberation from a long slavery in Egypt. As we celebrate our freedom as one nation, we are each gently reminded of who we are and why we exist.
Our homes are usually cleaned more profusely than normal. We ensure that not a breadcrumb is visible, and try to eliminate all traces of forbidden leavened food. Why is this necessary? This is done in order to experience the hardship of eating unleavened bread, as forefathers did. These days this is no great sacrifice, as we have matzot in all the gourmet forms. We even have bread made from matzah meal. However, it does signify our commitment to commemorate and recognize the importance of Passover.
This Passover 2021, the Seder table will be shared with our loved ones, both in close and distant proximity. Either physically or virtually, we will together read and chant through the Haggadah (the “telling”) The text will carry us through the traumatic biblical journey that was so very long ago. It will also remind us of the traumatic journey that we are all suffering today, all over the world.
The traditional Passover rituals & blessings will be performed. Specific foods will be eaten, each representing our lives as they were. Parsley dipped in salted water and vegetable symbolizing our lowly origins. Salted water symbolizing the many tears shed during our imprisonment as slaves. ” Maror”, bitter herbs symbolizing our enslavement. “Haroset” a sweet nutty (delicious) paste symbolizing the mortar the slaves used to build with. Matzah, unleavened bread, which is probably the greatest universal symbol of the Exodus
Passover 2021, for me personally in Tel Aviv will be a time for reflection. Not only shall I celebrate the brave Jews in history and in recent times who suffered but fought with hope and faith, but thank G-d for the determination of all those who keep fighting to develop vaccines to save the world. During Passover 2021 I will give thanks and ask with humility for strength, good health and a speedy recovery for all those suffering from Corona.
During this Passover 2021, let us never forget those who still suffer and fight in these current times. Let us celebrate that we have a safe land which is home to the entire Jewish Nation. Let us celebrate that we still have a wonderful planet which is home to all mankind!
Sweet friends when you celebrate Passover this year, give thanks to our ancestors and to all those that helped the Children of Israel survive. Give thanks too to those that are helping all of us to survive now.
Passover in Israel begins on the evening of Saturday, 27th March & ends on the evening of Saturday 3rd April 2021
♥Enjoy a Sweet and healthy Passover 2021!