One year ago, I was comparing the plagues of the Passover story to the plague of Covid-19. But this year, I don’t want to focus on the plagues. Instead, I want to focus on how I can make this seder night different. Mah nishtana halaila hazeh? How I can make this seder night different from all other nights. How I can make this upcoming year different from all other years.
Certainly, different from last year.
So, I’m planting parsley. Today. Not such a radical decision but I often breeze through the dipping of greens on seder night without much thought or care. It is not usually the step that causes me to pause.
But this year, it’s different. In my story, the story I’ll tell at the Passover Seder, there has been much crying. Crying over an immense and unimaginable loss of life. The lives of beautiful souls in our congregation, community and world-wide. Crying over disappointments, loneliness and deep despair. And crying. Crying over engagements, weddings, births, bnai mitzvah. Joyous tears in the of choosing of celebration.
So I’m planting parsley. Parsley that I hope will grow in time to use for the seder. And in dipping the parsley, I’ll be reminded of the blending of tears. Tears over what has been lost and tears over what will be grown. Tears representing mourning. Tears representing rebirth.
At our seders, we teeter on the precipice of freedom. Looking backwards at faces streaked with rivers of pain. Looking forward to a spring filled with possibility, meaning and spiritual connection.
Say a little prayer that my parsley seeds will grow. I pray for my own renewal…and I also, pray for yours.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.