A Bisl Torah

Four Questions

Why is this night different from all other nights?
We sing this chorus over and over again, listing answers as to how the night is unique. We only eat matzah. We consume bitter herbs. We dip our food twice. We recline. These answers persuade our minds to travel back in time, connecting us to a people enslaved, a people with the taste of liberation barely on their lips.
But this year, the question pervades everything else. 
Why is this night different from all other nights? 
Why will this Passover feel different from all other Pesach celebrations we have experienced thus far?
On all other Passover nights, we gather with loved ones and sing about the freedom of our people. On this Passover, we gather alone, watching smiles through screens and missing sweet embraces. 
On all other Passover nights, we eat elaborate meals, cooking that involves planning and meticulous care. On this Passover, we use ingredients as they come, realizing that “staples” may be scarce, understanding the luxury of food on our plates. 
On all other Passover nights, we sit without much care or concern, letting the songs of the Seder wash away the worries of the outside world. On this Passover, we pray for the well-being of those who are ill. We pray for the safety of medical professionals risking their lives during unprecedented times. 
On all other Passover nights, we dip our pinky in wine, recalling the plagues our ancestors witnessed. On this Passover, we watch as the plagues of sickness, financial distress, social isolation, and perpetual fear permeate the homes of everyone around the world. 
After the four questions, we recite, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, but God took us out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” Meaning, we left Egypt. Yes, this Passover, we recount the ways in which our lives and world have changed. 
But we left Egypt once before…and we must remember, we will leave Egypt again.
Dear God, let redemption come soon. 

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