Medved: Passover in a Pandemic


At festive Passover celebrations, Jewish people traditionally ask: “Why is this night different from all other nights.” Well, this year, we’ll ask: “Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?”

In place of Seder tables packed with family and friends, most of us will dine alone—sitting down only with those who share the same domicile. But Passover in a pandemic does call to mind an often-ignored aspect of the original Exodus story.

The Jewish people didn’t go from slavery to liberation the moment we left Egypt—first we trekked 50 days to Sinai to receive The Law, with 40 more wilderness years after that before entering the promised land.

Today’s Americans face weeks, even months, of continued disruption before resuming normal life. Celebrating Passover alone, my wife and I will recall that true liberation is never instantaneous, but part of a rough, tough, ennobling process.