Last night was the first evening of the seven day celebration of Passover. From my limited understanding—it is a celebration of Jews marching to freedom or Exodus–out of slavery from the Egyptians. The story is retold and passed on at the first night’s (Wednesday night this year) seder meal, so that each generation connects to this history thus renewing and strengthening family and community bonds. Family, friends, festivity and food bring these concepts of freedom and flight to the table in real time. All cultures come together in much the same fashion simply varying traditions.
There is a lot of sadness this year, because the virus is keeping families (safely) apart. The all important gathering around the family table is being celebrated and replaced, in 2020, by gathering around the computer or cell phone in virtual togetherness and sharing a meal. Matzah and wine may or may not be present.
Soon, Easter, and the Resurrection, will be celebrated by Christians in much the same manner. In place of matzah and brisket, Easter eggs and lamb are among the traditional foods shared and enjoyed.
Humans live in a continuum much as we tend to forget or disregard. Holidays and seasons are ticklers. What we are experiencing now through this pandemic is but one more “plague” or flight to freedom. Even for those loved ones passing on to the next life, there is renewal. Our sadness and grief (which may be very acute) for our loss at not being able to gather together in person with family for the holiday, or for death, will also pass-over. We may never be quite the same afterward, but isn’t that the point? We are history/herstory. We are marching toward freedom and growth every day, only with such incrementally small and slow steps that we hardly notice. There will be more viruses, grief and wars, (in the form of automated intelligence in my opinion), that challenge us and demand that we rise and renew in unprecedented ways. We are blessed in that humankind also has the gift of offering us narratives of past communities showing us the way.