Why do we celebrate a Passover seder? According to the haggadah, it’s because vehigadeta levincha, we are commanded to tell the story of the Exodus to our children.
In our sedarim for the year 5780, this will be easier said than done. How do we tell a story to our children, let alone our grandchildren, when we cannot be in the same room together?
The story of Pesach is a story that contains many truths. But this year, none is more significant than the importance of breaking barriers and leaving comfort zones. Moses was the ever-reluctant leader; but in the end, lead he did. The Israelites did not want to leave Egypt or cross the sea, not because life was good, but because it was what they knew. Such is the power of our comfort zones to restrain us.
As a rabbi, for the sake of preserving a community, I’ve needed to leave my comfort zone when it comes to the use of online technology, even in a time of crisis. To tell the story, many of us will rely on Jewish legal guidance to hold virtual sedarim and connect with our families.
The Midrash famously reinterprets the phrase yitziyat mitzrayim, the exodus from Egypt, using the word mitzarim, meaning “the exodus from that which constrains us.” May we, in this new normal of 5780, have the strength to leave our constraining comfort zones to fulfill the mitzvah of passing this story to our children.”
Rabbi Daniel Dorsch is the senior rabbi at Congregation Etz Chaim. His favorite Passover food is matzah pizza.