Sunday, April 5

Why is Pesach 2020 Different from Previous Pesachim?

In traditional Pesach (Passover 1) observance, the famous Ma Nishtanah (The Four Questions) are asked or recited in the traditional fashion. These four questions can really be reduced to one question involving one sentence. Perhaps we can use the term Pesach not as “this night is different from all other nights” but rather this period, including Pesach night, is different from all other periods in our history as Jews including our non-Jewish monotheistic brethren all over the world. Christians will be celebrating Easter and a week later, the month-long Ramadan fast will be observed by Muslims.

The traditional 10 plagues recited from the Haggadah are largely irrelevant today. There is only one very relevant plague that afflicts all mankind irrespective of race, colour, and religion - Covid-19! The Angel of Death is the Coronavirus that brings us all into isolation rather than having our doorposts painted with goat’s blood to avoid the slaughter of the firstborn. 

Corona-virus-The Angel of Death
The Coronavirus pandemic does not care about signs to skip people from a deadly fate. Experts on the Coronavirus (if such experts really exist) advise us to avoid exposure to others, who may be carriers of the potentially deadly virus. Their advice is total isolation at home in order to remain free from Covid-19 infection. No contact with family is advised and enacted by the law, especially the seniors above 60 years of age. 

This year there will be no seder. The child's questioning triggers one of the most significant elements of Passover, which is the highlight of the Seder ceremony: reading the Haggadah 2, which tells the story of the Exodus from Egypt 3. It will be illegal to hold any Pesach seder celebration except for the core family inhabiting its dwelling. The rabbis went on to say that in the question under discussion, it was asked merely whether one could turn on the electronic device before the Passover holiday begins and leave the Zoom program running during the Seder to allow family members to connect 4.

The Four Questions and the reciting of the Ten Plagues should be replaced by one question and by the recitation of one plague - CORONA-VIRUS!  

  1.  "Passover - Wikipedia." Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.
  2.  "Haggadah - Wikipedia." Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.
  3. Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.
  4.  25 Mar. 2020, Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.