How is this Passover Different from other Passovers?

By Wendy Jackler

Online Seder

This year has been weird. A couple of months ago, most of us had never heard the phrase “social distancing.” Now, it describes our common lifestyle. The current pandemic has changed the way we work, study, play, communicate, and do pretty much everything. How is it going to change Passover?

This year, we can ask a different set of 4 questions:
(Which, by the way, has always been a single question with four different answers.)

How is this year different from all other years?

  • In  all other Passovers we sit around the table with our extended family.  This year, we sit at the computer zooming with our extended family, trying to sing together despite the one-second delay.
  • In all other Passovers, we eat all the vegetables, or brisket, or matzo ball soup.  This year, we eat whatever Passover food is left on the grocery store shelves.
  • In all other Passovers we commemorate the plagues by taking wine from our cup.  This year, we have our own plague, so we need all our wine.
  • In all other Passovers we say “Next year in Jerusalem!” This year, we say “Next year, let’s hope this is a faint memory.”

Passover is the story of the Israelites being enslaved in Egypt. But it is also the story of our redemption.  Like so many other Jewish holidays, we commemorate our hardships, but we also celebrate surviving, sometimes even triumphing.  As struggles go, this Passover might be the most Jewish Passover in our lifetimes. So far, we’re still in the hardship phase. Let’s hope that we get to the triumphing part soon.

And in our seders this year, whether they are actual or virtual, let’s take inspiration from the Israelites’ journey and remember that eventually they made it to the other side of the desert.

Wendy Jackler is the director of operations for Hebrew Helpers.

Online Passover Resources

Need some ideas to help you through Passover this year?  Here are some resources that might make Passover more meaningful and healing this year:

For a two minute video on each part of the seder, visit Virtual Seder on Youtube!

Lab Shul has something for everyone and posts a schedule for the week on their site. Check out all of their wonderful happenings!

Cool Shul is having a community seder on April 10th at 6PM. Join the seder via ZOOM.

A lot of synagogues have banded together to find a space for people to JEW IT AT HOME. There is something for everyone!

Love Nashuva? Check out these special prayers to get us through this time.
Add some social justice to your seder with these resources.

Looking for a third seder? Check out’s first ever virtual seder on Sunday, April 12 @ 2-4 EST!

Find many resources on how to make your seder special even in quarantine!

Make your own Haggadah!!!

These 2 sites make it easy:

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