Lockdown, “shelter in place,” isolation.  This is frequent vocabulary today as we, humanity, face an unprecedented global situation with COVID-19.  

Many Jewish families must cancel plans to spend their Pesach by relatives, friends, a hotel or vacation program, and instead prepare their holiday at home. 

DID YOU KNOW?  Our ancestors also spent their very first Passover (Pesach) Seder, the night before leaving Egypt, in quarantine.

As G-d’s Tenth Plague swept through Egypt and took our captors’ firstborn, G-d commanded the Jewish People, ensconced in our own homes, to slaughter and eat our Pesach offering (according to its detailed laws). 

There have been a few rare cases when elevated individuals (like our Patriarchs) brought G-d an offering in a specific place befitting His presence, outside of an established place.  However, the first Pesach in Egypt was the first and only time in Jewish history when we brought korbanos (offerings) in our individual homes, and not in the Holy Temple!

This gives us a vital CTA for now: As G-d sends us the current coronavirus disease worldwide, we are restricted from pre-planned activities, gatherings, and even communal prayer-services.  However, the true signal here is that G-d is redirecting us to turn inward!  

It is not just the synagogue or Holy Temple where we can connect with Him and where His presence can shine:  Hashem wishes to dwell within every single one of us; also, that we should transform our homes into a mini-Sanctuary for Him; and that we reveal Him within this situation, as well!  This year, Hashem desires to be our honored Pesach guest.  And so we need to be present where we are, right here, right now.  Let’s make sure we are ready for the celebration, and to be the most welcoming hosts and hostesses.  

This is not just a matter of self-preservation, or even to repel the darkness; this is truly a matter of increasing the light, the light of truth, holiness and joy. 

May we be blessed with the light of Ultimate Redemption, and merit to all spend together THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

Wishing you and your loved ones a kosher and joyous Pesach, from Jewish Girls Unite!