Wednesday, July 6th | 7 Tammuz 5782

April 6, 2020 7:52 am

Passover 2020 Will Be the Calm in a Sea of Chaos

avatar by Eli Hecht


Staff members of the Metropolitan Council’s program assisting victims of domestic abuse are seen organizing a Passover food distribution in New York City. Photo: Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty..

Despite these trying times, we have wonderful opportunities.

Some of us wonder whether there will a better tomorrow, while others are denying the enormous impact and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Some are praying, while others, locked in their homes, are evaluating the meaning of life and have a feeling of helplessness.

For some, there is the worry about our health, food, and jobs, even shelter. And some have reduced the ongoing tragedy to hoarding toilet paper.

I believe that we have the opportunity to perform deeds of kindness. The help that we give has never been so demanding and rewarding. People reaching out to the poor, elderly, and infirm have become the norm. First responders and medical care professionals are our ultimate examples of goodness and compassion.

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Governments, armies, world leaders, presidents, kings, clergy — most are finding a way to save our world from this unimaginable horror. Countries are sending medical supplies to the United States, and we pray that other countries will reach out and help each other too.

The Jewish people have a special mitzvah — to help the world. Thousands of years ago, our Father in Heaven took us out of a world that was suffering terribly. That mass exodus from Egypt made us a people — a miracle which we recall at the Passover seder. On Passover, the Jewish people gather to read the story of redemption in the Haggadah. It is a message of hope and freedom.

That message applies to everyone. As the holiday begins Wednesday night, we will remember that we are all in this together. May we all be blessed with good health, salvation, and freedom.

Rabbi Eli Hecht is vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America and past president of the Rabbinical Council of California. He is the director of Chabad of South Bay in Lomita, CA, which houses a synagogue, day school, nursery school, and chaplaincy programs.

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