The Ohio Valley Jewish community will celebrate Passover in an unorthodox way

West Virginia

Families will be gathering for tonight's feast virtually with others.

WHEELING, WV (WTRF) – The Passover starts tonight, April 8, and Jews around the world will be celebrating in their homes.

During this eight-day holiday, families gather together around the seder table.​ So how will the Ohio Valley’s Jewish community be celebrating together while apart?

The Passover remembers God’s provision for the Jewish people as He delivered them from slavery out of Egypt.​ Unleavened bread and bitter herbs accompany this meal, but this spring dinner was prepared in a unique way; food packages were handed out by temple leaders to members via car drive-thru style.​

In the past weeks, a lot has changed in the way life works at the temple, with the rabbi now FaceTiming prayer with members in the hospital.​ The irony in all of this is in these eight days Jews are called by God to unite with each other. And during a time of isolation, certain prayers cannot even be conducted if not in a congregation.​ ​ ​

You can’t practice Judaism on your own. We are directed to be a part of something larger than ourselves, to be a part of a community. There are certain prayers we are not able to say unless we are ten people gathered for a worship service.​ So, that’s impossible to do at this time. Passover reminds us that that’s how we became the Jewish people. Shared struggle, shared suffering, shared redemption. Tune in and be a part of something larger than yourself.

Rabbi Joshua Lief, Temple Shalom in Wheeling

In this celebratory isolation, we’re called to maybe value community a little extra; those that stock our groceries or who take care of the sick. ​ Rabbi Lief says give thanks, especially during this trying time, believing that God’s provisions extend to all.​

Passover messages will be live-streamed on Facebook at Temple Shalom.

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