Four Questions in the Age of Coronavirus

Mah nishtana HaLeila Hazeh? What is different about this night? On all other Passover nights our home is open and our table is filled with family and friends and guests. Tonight it is just us.

On all other nights we gather together around the table with others, but tonight we are alone and are connected with loved ones via the internet. How can technology be a blessing, but how can it also enslave us and be harmful?

On every other Passover we say we were once slaves, but now we are free. This year when we are locked in our homes it is hard to feel that we are free. What will freedom look like, when will we know we are free, and what will we do when we are?

On all other nights we tell the story of our ancestors and of those who sought to destroy us throughout the ages. This year there is a pestilence that strikes not just, but all people around the world indiscriminately. What can we learn from this most unusual of times?

About the Author
Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt founded Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, Maryland in 1988, a vibrant Conservative synagogue of 620 families. He is president of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America, Director of Israel Policy and Advocacy for the Rabbinical Assembly and member of the National Executive Council of AIPAC. He has taught Jewish history and theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. In recognition of Rabbi Weinblatt’s leadership role in the community and as an outstanding teacher and speaker, he has received many awards from community organizations such as the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Greater Washington Chapter of ORT. He is the author of, “God, Prayer and Spirituality,” a compilation of his sermons, writings and articles.
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