OTTAWA – "Today marks the start of Passover, the Festival of Freedom. In the Jewish faith, Passover is one of the most important holidays. It commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery and the “passing over”, or sparing, of Jews from a devastating plague. Jews around the world gather on the first night of Passover to hold a seder which includes a feast and a retelling of the story of the Exodus.
Passover takes on special significance this year. It is the second Passover blighted by the plague of the COVID-19 pandemic – a plague which tragically has not passed over any community. It is also the second Passover that Jews around the world, including my family, are obliged to spend separated from loved ones with whom we normally gather to celebrate.
Yet Passover tells a story of resiliency and during the pandemic that resiliency has shone through again. Families have found ways to gather virtually to celebrate and even managed to extend their celebrations to include loved ones half a world away. People are supporting each other.
Passover is a reminder that we have seen plagues before, and we have overcome them together. As we contemplate our liberation from COVID-19, this is a very comforting thought to take into this year’s Passover celebration, and which can offer even further meaning to seders. "Chag Pesach Sameach" .”
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