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  • Writer's pictureKayla Rosen

Passover During Corona

I have celebrated Passover my entire life each spring, helped my parents in the yearly deep clean of our house, and enjoyed helping whip up some “hametz” free recipes with my family in the kitchen. I was supposed to go home for Passover last year and enjoy my annual visit to the States. I was excited to spend time with my family (who I only see on a yearly basis), to celebrate my favorite holiday with my favorite people, and to enjoy the comforts of being home!

And then Corona hit.

A porcelain Seder plate listing the 15 steps of the Seder and the 6 items that go on the Seder plate.
Seder plate

It was a shock. It was the first time I ever felt trapped, unable to fly back to the safety of my parents and family. I love living in Israel and have been here for eight years now, but I never thought I would have to do Passover alone!

It wasn’t only the thought of the famous and fun Seder night without family that made me nervous. It was the intense and vast amount of preparation that I definitely was not prepared for!

If you are familiar with Passover prep, then you know how much work it is. It’s cleaning for days, scrubbing, and getting to all of the nooks and crannies. It’s kashering all of your pots and pans, ovens, and fridges (or just buying all new ones!). It’s going to the store and stocking up on anything and everything that is kosher for Passover, because we are always so nervous there will never be enough food!

Thankfully, I was living with a roommate during lockdown, and we decided to put our all into this holiday together. If we couldn’t be with our families, we were going to make it the most elaborate, comfortable, and wonderful holiday. We spent days making menus, adding in our favorite family nostalgic recipes. We learned all of the holiday laws and restrictions, making sure we were keeping everything kosher. We were on our hands and knees cleaning EVERYTHING!

And we made sure we had fun doing it. Our friends all over Israel, and the world, were doing the same thing! We shared recipes, Seder night ideas, and generally just gave each other hope during such a crazy time. Somehow, Passover came and went, and successfully too!

It may not have been a classic Passover, but during such a scary time in the world, I would not have asked to be in a better country.

Israel really made sure to keep the order during a really chaotic time. I felt so safe in a country that made sure every detail was taken care of, a country that made sure every citizen was safe and healthy. Being in a country predominantly populated by Jews made celebrating and preparing for Passover that much easier- I wasn’t doing it alone. I was doing it with everyone else in the country!

Woman with straight blond hair wearing a green, blue, and yellow checked cloth mask over her mouth and nose.

As I sat at my three-person Seder on the first night of Passover, with our five-course meal and hours' worth of prepared Torah and holiday insights, I couldn’t have felt less alone. All around me, throughout the whole country, millions of people were doing the exact same thing. All of Israel was doing it together.


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