Passover During Coronavirus: ‘Choosing to See God’s Deliverance’
The Jewish holiday celebrating the exodus out of Egypt begins tonight.
The Passover celebration will be much different for Jewish people starting tonight, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. The once-large gathering of friends and family will now scaled down to include only those in each household. In Israel, a curfew has been put in place. Jewish people may not be more than 100 meters (over 330 feet) away from their homes. It can be isolating to be away from friends and loved ones during what should be a celebration of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from Egypt.
‘Meant to Save Lives’
As of Wednesday afternoon, over 9,400 Israelis have tested positive for COVID-19 and 73 have died. The curfew is in place from 3 p.m. Wednesday until 7 a.m. Thursday. Several thousand police officers and 1,400 IDF soldiers are deployed in neighborhoods and along major highways to make sure Israelis are following the restrictions. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Ynet that the restrictions were meant to save lives. “The main thing that we’re trying to prevent is the holding of seders or joint events. We paid the price of high morbidity after the Purim meals.”
Focus on the Lessons
“There’s a lot of families, a lot of seniors, a lot of singles who will be having Seder alone,” Rabbi Kenneth Brander told ABC News. “And that’s very challenging because this is really the family holiday.”
Rather than focusing on the depressing aspects of observing Passover alone or with few family members, writer and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Yael Eckstein suggests that we reflect on what God may be trying to teach us.
“On that first Passover, God asked the Jewish people to do the unthinkable: not to fight, not to make one last stand against an impossible army,” wrote Eckstein. “He asked them to stay inside and wait. He asked them to pray and to trust. As we prepare to observe Passover in the year of coronavirus pandemic, I hear God calling us once again to stay inside and wait for our deliverance.”
We’ve complained about not having enough time to connect with parents or friends, but now we have time. “Well here we are, stuck in quarantine with all the time in the world. Perhaps this is what God’s deliverance looks like. It is our chance to look at ourselves and decide what kind of life we want to go back to when this is over.”
Passover during the coronavirus is an opportunity for us to “reset our priorities,” to choose godly values and model them in front of our children. “This Passover, I am choosing to see God’s deliverance in this difficult time.”
While it may be hard for some to see God’s hand in the coronavirus, He is there. “I have no doubt that God is working in this midst of crisis, guiding us to something better than we can imagine,” added Eckstein. “Hopefully next time, it won’t take a plague to get our attention.”