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April 8, 2020 10:16 am

Israel’s President Rivlin in Passover Message: ‘These Days We All Pray for the Good Days That Will Come’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man wears a face mask for protection from the coronavirus as he burns chametz in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, ahead of the Passover holiday, April 8, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin issued his traditional Passover message on Wednesday, saying he knew that while celebrating the holiday would be difficult this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the spring festival of freedom was “our story, our anchor, what ties us together — even when we’re forced to be apart.”

Israel has gone into complete lockdown for the holiday, which began on Wednesday evening.

“This year, we are celebrating the Seder in unforeseen circumstances, in the shadow of the corona, the modern plague, which is hard on us all,” Rivlin said.

“All of a sudden we realize how precious are the same, simple and living things that make up the day-to-day life of us all, to go outside and breathe the scent of spring — which accompanies Passover every year,” he added.

Due to the pandemic, however, the meaning of Passover was “growing,” Rivlin noted.

“It’s our story, our anchor, what ties us together — even when we’re forced to be apart,” he declared.

“These days we all pray — separately but together — young and old, secular and religious, for the good days that will come,” Rivlin said.

Along with his traditional statement, Rivlin also had a special message for Israel’s children, urging them, “Don’t give up all the special customs and songs of Passover.”

“Don’t forget to pick up a phone, or connect grandparents by Zoom, wish them a happy holiday, and send a big, big hug,” he said.

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