Danielle V. Minson — Raising the Bar
On Passover, What Will You Remember?
Do you remember when the word plague sounded Biblical?
Now, because of COVID, it’s in our headlines and our lives. It has really been a plague year.
Our lives, our children’s lives, our parents’ and grandparents’ lives have been dominated by this pandemic. Some of you have lost loved ones, lost jobs, or you may have survived COVID but still have symptoms. But we also experienced our community come together in ways we never have before—to talk, console, share resources, experiences, and knowledge, and to find new ways to help the most vulnerable among us. I am so proud of the resilience of the Jewish people.
One of my fondest Passover memories is standing with my dad at an armoire desk located in our living room, on an oriental rug. Getting ready for seder, my sister, my brother and I would practice singing the four questions together. I loved it. This year, because my parents have just gotten both doses of the vaccine, we will be able to be with them. I am grateful, but I look forward to next year, to singing and celebrating with our whole extended family.
This Passover, what will you remember?
Maybe, like me, you will choose to remember the continuity of our people’s resilience. Our community is strong, thanks to you. You have checked in on a neighbor, you have hosted a birthday party over Zoom, you helped deliver meals to vulnerable seniors and taught those unfamiliar with technology. You helped stocked food pantries and delivered PPE to our frontline workers and those they serve. You inspired younger generations to connect with Jewish community virtually. And you continue to help our brothers and sisters in need around the world. You rise up to do good. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will remember the promise of our mission—to assure a vibrant Jewish future.
This Passover our mission seems more literal, more of a real fight, than ever before in my lifetime. COVID has come to each of our doors, and we hope that the vaccine will serve as a mark to designate “passing over” on all our doors.
Those ten plagues pushed Pharaoh to let our people go, to let the enslaved Israelites go free. We seem so distant from the Israelites’ escape from Egypt, but freedom still has a powerful ring, doesn’t it? Freedom for us is the ability to be fully a Jewish people, yet fully a part of the American experiment. We also must continue to demand full freedom and equality for ourselves, and also to demand it for others.
Freedom is an immense gift, but it is also an intimate one. Soon we will feel it as the simple freedom to hug, to touch, to hang out with our friends and neighbors. A freedom too basic to name, before now. It will be sweet.
Next year, Passover will be freely, truly, in person. But for this year, we adapt. Happy Passover, and Chag Pesach Sameach.
Thanks for caring about our community and what we do.
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