This week was not a typical virtual Shabbat. Friday evening was the beginning of Passover. Each time a new person or group joined the meeting they wished each other “Shabbat Shalom” and “Happy Yom Tov” (a peaceful Shabbat and a happy holiday).
Everyone was so excited to see each other and celebrate virtually. Some participants remembered that this was the third virtual Seder. Daniel C. was grateful for the delicious holiday meal provided by JSDD. Stacy C. said the blessings over the holiday and Shabbat candles and all the participants covered their eyes. This is a tradition that allows you focus on the words of the prayer and close yourself off from the other distractions. Daniel Z. and Daniel C. joined together to say the blessing over the grape juice. Everyone joined together to chant the Shehecheyanu, a prayer that is said for the first of something, in this case, the first night of Passover this year.
The traditional dinner for Passover is called a Seder which means “order.” A critical part of the Seder is to discuss the order of the service and the different elements of the meal. Hagit, the Judaic Coordinator taught about the Seder Plate using a clip she found on YouTube. The group ate Matzah and Charoset and Marror. Daniel C. said he loved charoset (a mix of apples, grape juice, and nuts.) Daniel Z. loved making the sandwich! Everyone dipped parsley in salt water and ate a hard-boiled egg.
They group heard the story of Passover and learned about the Jewish people’s journey from slavery to freedom. Jay shared when he was young, he used to celebrate with his parents and his brother. Ralph shared that democracy is freedom and the opposite of slavery. Mark read from the Haggadah and everyone enjoyed singing holiday songs.
Thank you to the Chabad of Montclair, NJ for providing Shmurah Matzah which everyone enjoyed!