Celebrations While Sheltering in Place and New Found Meaning in the Spring Holidays

Spring is now fully upon us.  The sun is shining more, the temperature is rising, and the sleepiness of winter hibernation is starting to shake off.  As we begin to let the magic light in and smell the blooms of fruit-bearing trees, it helps to ease the darkness that looms.

We have all more or less submitted to the fact that life has changed for now.  We are settling into new versions of routines, at-home workouts, and exploratory baking.  We are learning how to celebrate things like birthdays and anniversaries in the confines of home.  This week, we learn what it feels like when traditions are uprooted.

Passover and Easter are the first major holidays that we will celebrate in quarantine, perhaps sharing a meal with our loved ones through a screen.

Passover is a holiday of rituals and also of storytelling.  The story itself reminds us to embrace the difficult times, remember them, and persevere.  We ask four questions that remind us of the power of simplicity, adaptability, freedom, and rest.

Easter ultimately asks us to celebrate love — and to have hope for rebirth and renewal.  It reminds us that love will always be greater than fear.

Both holidays, despite the differing origins, remind us that perseverance in face of incredibly difficult circumstances can make us stronger.  Hope is more important than ever.   And accepting that the world has changed leads us to one of our greatest achievements: adaptation.

All of our Seders, Easter dinners, egg and matzah hunts will be different this year.  It won’t necessarily be easy, but we encourage you to be creative, to embrace this moment to create a new tradition, try a new recipe, reach out to an old friend you have lost touch with, find a unique way to celebrate, and be thankful for what we still have.

We have added a few special options to the HANDBASKET menu this week in an effort to help you find your new tradition and perhaps remind you a bit of the old.  Someday we will be able to break bread together again, and it will be beyond wonderful.  But until then, we hope that this service can help bring a little more joy to your life.