Everyone is thinking their feet as to how to deal with a Passover like we have never had before. No synagogue, no family and kids and friends and old and single people being in alone.
I wrote last week how it was not permitted to use Zoom on Passover night, because we don’t use electronics on Shabbat or Yom Tov, but everybody wants to, in order to ease the pain of loneliness..
There are certain leniencies for Yom Tov over Shabbat for using electronics, especially in Sephardic Halakhot, and as result there is not a united front with the rabbis and the newspapers do a wonderful (I am joking of course) of causing pain in the public by making fun of the fact that the rabbis disagree.
It is a big Hillul Hashem (disgrace of G-d’s name) to have knowledgeable rabbis disagree publicly. It makes it look to the layperson that there is no Masorah (tradition) and one can do whatever one wants, no matter if breaks the rules or not.
This is a real tragedy, because Passover, among all the holidays is all about tradition. What are we doing on Passover night but celebrating our 3312 years of tradition of leaving Egypt.
If we don’t keep our traditions on how to do the seder and update everything to modern rules, it loses much of the meaning. People search for meaning and children love tradition. It ties them to Grandpa and Grandma in a way that no people other than the Jewish people have.
Normally grandparents and grandchildren have a little in common. But when it comes to Jewish tradition when a grandchild knows his grandfather did the same thing that he is doing as a child when he was a child, the generations are bridged. There is no generation gap when it comes to Torah.
I have not even argued yet about the fact that it is a sin to break Shabbat or Yom Tov and using electronics will do that under most circumstances.
Those are pretty strong reasons to avoid electronics, but what about the emotional arguments that are raised about everyone not being alone?
Well, I have the perfect compromise. Two days of Passover. I’m not proposing two days of Yom Tov like in chutz la’aretz, I’M JUST PROPOSING TWO SEDERS. One with Zoom one without.
It can be the night before (On Tuesday night) or on Wednesday afternoon for those that can’t stay up late (like most of us seniors and children). We get together on Zoom and do a mock up seder for an hour or two (the real one lasts too long anyway for most people to stay up or even for the kids to start)
Just go easy on the wine, so you will be prepared and don’t any real brachot (so there won’t be any taking of G-d’s name in vain) and we are in business.
There is no problem in using Zoom or Skype on a weekday and all has been accomplished.
Now why has no one proposed this before? Our situation this year is unique. Normally no one is home the day before or during the day because they are driving themselves nuts to get ready.
WELL GUESS WHAT. Everyone is home anyway and no one practically is going to work or classes or anything!! Who cares if we take an extra few hours for a practice Seder!! We used to do this as kids anyway I school to practice!!
Now this year we take lemons and make lemonade. Set up the practice Seder whenever it works best for you and your friends.
Then you can do the real Seder in peace without any guilt and fell comfortable with it.
Write me if you have any questions and Happy Passover.
Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave
Here is another creative solution:
A Friendly Sale
Shmuli Horowitz was having a garage sale and invited some of his neighbors to sell their wares at his place as well. One of Shmuli’s neighbors, Brent Mathews, took four tires over and was asking $30 apiece. Brent needed to leave for a few minutes, so he asked Shmuli to watch the tires for me.
“Sure,” Shmuli said, “but if someone offers less, how low are you willing to go?”
“Try your best for more, but I guess I’d be willing to accept $15,” Brent said, and left.
When Brent returned, his tires were gone. “How much did you get for them?” Brent asked excitedly.
“Fifteen dollars each.”
“Who bought them?”