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Passover 2020

Key Passover Information on this page:

  • From Rabbi Mina: Passover During COVID-19
  • Passover Services Online: Links and Related Downloads
    (PLEASE NOTE: While we are observing Chag for Passover days 1-2 and 7-8, we will not hold formal services on days 2 & 8. Yizkor will be said at the morning service on Wednesday, April 15 and also the same evening during our regular minyan.)
  • More Passover Resources

Passover Message from Rabbi Mina

Passover During COVID-19

My Dearest Congregants,

Each year at the Passover seder, the youngest person present and able asks: “Mah Nishtanah ha-lailah ha-zeh?” “Why is this night different from all other nights?” This year, as we are all under orders to stay at home and not gather in large groups, we all will be asking ourselves, “How is this Passover” different than all other Passovers?

While much will look the same this year, in light of government and health regulations, there will be changes. In order to help you navigate it all, let me go over the many changes step-by-step.

Step One: Kashering/Cleaning your home. To the best of your ability you should clean and prepare your home as you always do prior to Pesach, emphasizing especially the separation/removal of hametz items such as wheat, oats, spelt, barley, and rye. If you have questions about kashering your home for Passover, this link has all the information you could ever want or need.

Step Two: Shopping for Passover. Shopping for Passover is always a challenge when you live in an area without many kosher markets. It is even more complicated now, as we have been given “stay-at-home” orders, making it more difficult to observe our normal shopping behaviors. Here are the recommendations from the Rabbinical Assembly in light of COVID-19 this year.

Step Three: Selling your hametz. Due to the fact that our building is closed, and am unable to sell our hametz to James in the normal manner, I encourage everyone to sell their hametzusing this link from the Rabbinical Assembly.

Step Four: Biyur Hametz/Search for the Hametz and Bittul Hametz/Renouncing Hametz.The night before the seder it is a mitzvah to recite the blessing v’tzivanu al biyur hametz, to search one’s home for stray pieces of hametz, to collect them, and then to recite a phrase “renouncing” any additional hametz in the home. The following morning you should either burn or discard the “collected” hametz. Please note that this does NOT mean throwing away all of your hametz. Rather you strategically place a few symbolic pieces of hametz around the home, collect, and then discard those symbolic pieces. My family always makes a game of it.

Step Five: Attending/Conducting/Hosting a Seder. While attending a seder with one’s friends and family is one of the highlights of the Jewish calendar year, this year we are all being urged to stay in our homes for Passover. The preservation of life overrules almost all other Jewish imperatives, so this year we will not be gathering in large sedarim. While our physical health is paramount, our spiritual health is also important. One way to maintain spiritual health is to remain connected to our families and communities. This year in order to do that, just as we are participating in religious services on Zoom, so too will many of us be hosting or participating in a seder that will take place via Zoom. I know that many people are uncomfortable using electronics on Shabbat and holidays. However, so important is the concept of being “together” for the seder that I believe, as do the authorities of the Rabbinical Assembly, that it is preferable to use the technology available to us today, than to sit in our homes, all alone for seder.

If you are planning on participating in or leading a virtual seder, here are some quick tips:

  • Encourage everyone to use the same haggadah. If you are the “host,” let your guests know which haggadah you will be using. If you are hosting your first ever seder and need a haggadah, you can fill out a form here and receive a pdf of The Feast of Freedom.
  • Each location should have their own seder plate. If it seems impossible for each person to get all the necessary items together for a seder plate, please note that: (i) any vegetable (celery, potatoes) can serve as karpas, (ii) any bitter vegetable such as romaine lettuce, endive, or horseradish can serve as maror, and (iii) if you don’t have a shankbone, a beet is an acceptable substitute.
  • Remember to make sure that relatives or friends in a different time zone, know exactly when to log in to your video seder!
  • Please note that there are challenges to using a video-conferencing program such as Zoom for a large group. You might need someone whose sole job is to mute and unmute guests during certain parts of the seder.
  • While we are using Zoom, please note that it is still forbidden to record on Shabbat or a holiday, so please refrain from using the recording option on Zoom.

Finally, if you are still too nervous to host your own seder or don’t know where to log-on for an easy to understand, fun, and relaxed seder, please email me at rabbimina@bethemeth.organd you can join me and my family for our seder. Once you email me, I will send you the Zoom link and the material we will use during the seder.

Step Five: Siyyum Bechorim. If you are a first-born child, I encourage you to participate in this wonderful opportunity for an online siyyum with Rabbi Mordechai Schwartz.

Six: Attending Services and Yizkor. Our Ritual Committee has decided that due to the unusual circumstances this year, we will be following the custom of the land of Israel, and only having Yom Tov (holiday) services via Zoom on the first and seventh days of Passover (and of course on Shabbat and Sunday). Yizkor will take place on the seventh day of Passover rather than as traditionally on the eighth day. Please take note of these changes.Services will be at 9:00 AM on April 9th (first day) and April 15th (seventh day and Yizkor). Here is the Zoom link for our Passover services: bit.ly/cbe-passover-service-online.

Please feel free to call or e-mail me with any other questions. Wishing you and your family ahag kasher v’sameach – a happy, healthy, and kosher Passover!

Rabbi Michelle "Mina" Goldsmith


Passover Services at Beth Emeth

PLEASE NOTE: While we are observing Chag for Passover days 1-2 and 7-8, we will not hold formal services on days 2 & 8. Yizkor will be said at the morning service on Wednesday, April 15 and also the same evening during our regular minyan.

A Word about the Siddur: If you don't have the Lev Shalem Siddur (or the Sim Shalom for weekdays), you can download sections that include additional Passover & Yizkor sections at https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/form-download-pesah-publications. Torah readings in the Etz Hayim Chumash during Passover are also available for download at the same link.

More Passover Resources

Beth Emeth Children's Programs ​

(Note: these programs will be held remotely; stay tuned for alternate plans and links.)

  • Thursday, April 2, BEECC Community Passover Event
  • Early April, Passover celebrations by class during regular Religious School hours

Sell Your Hametz

Update: Due to the fact that our building is closed, and Rabbi Mina is unable to sell our hametz to James in the normal manner, she encourages everyone to sell their hametz using this link from the Rabbinical Assembly.

Download the Hametz sale form and send it to CBE with a check for a donation to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund. There is an ancient custom to collect funds before Passover to help those in need. In the past, our Ma'ot Chitim Fund has been distributed to groups such as Mazon and the American Jewish World Service. This year we shall also distribute money to local food banks.

MORE FROM THE rABBINICAL ASSEMBLY

The Rabbinical Assembly (the organization for Conservative Rabbis), has published a new page about Preparing for Pesah During a Time of Pandemic with many resources, including seder advice, special readings and many other links.

Rabbinical Assembly's Passover Guide — Explains the holiday, Conservative observance, "Kosher for Passover" and much more. 

Passover Items 20% Off During April!

While the building is closed, contact gift-shop@bethemeth.org for assistance locating and ordering for your Passover needs!

Stop by the Marilyn Rosenberg Sisterhood Giftshop in the CBE lobby for all your Passover table and ritual needs. All regularly-priced Passover items will be 20% off during the months of March and April. New merchandise continues to arrive. Stop in when at CBE to purchase these wonderful products! We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Don’t see it? We will order it especially for you!

Open Sundays 9:00 AM to 12 Noon & Wednesdays 4:30-7:00PM (when Religious School is in session). See the Gift Shop page for more info and regular hours. For special requests and appointments at other times, please contact: gift-shop@bethemeth.org.

Shop “The Shop” not the NET -- Support your Shul!

Passover Recipe Exchange

Let's add to our collection!

CBE Passover Recipe Exchange! Have a great Passover recipe or 2 to share with fellow CBEers? Send them to cybermaven@bethemeth.org. Include source, brief comments, link if from an online site, photo if available.

Want to try a new dish (that's recommended by a friend?) Check out www.bethemeth.org/passover-recipe-exchange.  And keep coming back as we post more! A Happy and Tasty Passover to all!

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Sat, August 8 2020 18 Av 5780