One of the many names of Passover in Hebrew is Zeman Cherutenu, the “time of our freedom.” How much more meaningful could this name be than this year, when billions of us are under stay-at-home orders? As we come together for our individual or small, intimate seders, we are, perhaps for the first time in our lives, experiencing what a lack of freedom feels like. As I participate in my tiny, subdued home seder on Wednesday night, I will think about how different this night is from all other nights. I miss a crowded and boisterous seder table filled with family and friends. And that makes me think of those who aren’t as fortunate; this year I can truly resonate because of my own situation of being stuck at home.
As a NECHAMA board member, I worry these days about those who are sure to be impacted by the annual natural disasters we usually respond to – the flooding, the tornadoes, the hurricanes. These disasters will continue to happen, and NECHAMA needs to survive as an organization to be there for our communities when disaster strikes. As America’s Jewish disaster response organization, NECHAMA is working to help during this coronavirus situation – finding ways to collaborate and serve as the flagship of Jewish disaster response nationwide.
During this Zeman Cherutenu, this time of our freedom, please help NECHAMA serve those who need our help most.
Wishing you a happy, meaningful, and intimate Passover!
Rabbi Matt Rosenberg
Immediate Past Board President