Rabbi Dayle's April 2020 Letter to the Congregation

posted Mar 1, 2020, 10:26 AM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Apr 1, 2020, 6:47 AM ]
Dear Leyv Ha-Ir hevre (friends),

It is hard to believe that Pesach is coming so soon. In this time of quarantine and social isolation, with Coronavirus hovering menacingly around us and our dear ones, it certainly feels like we are in Mitzrayim/Egypt/the narrow place. It is a bit challenging to imagine that we will be leaving Egypt together, at least ritually, on April 9, with our Virtual Community Seder.

It is likely that the externals of our reality will not have greatly changed by then. We will undoubtedly still be on lockdown in our homes, unable to do so many things we had previously taken for granted, and still be watching the grip of Coronavirus intensifying on our nation and the world. But…we will nonetheless leave Egypt together.

Like our ancestors who found themselves celebrating Pesach in shtetls besieged by pogroms, in urban ghettos immersed in poverty and want, in concentration camps as well as in times of plenty and ease, we will go forth from Egypt. We will commemorate enslavement and redemption, suffering and relief. We will sing and eat and remember. We’ll remember that at our people’s moment of hopeless despair, with Pharoah’s army behind us and the wide sea ahead, a way opened, and we were saved.

We will treasure our freedom, which is great even when restricted, our tradition, and our community. We will take comfort and hope from this narrative of hope. And we will sing Dayenu: it will be enough.

I look forward to dancing out of Egypt with you as we join virtually for our congregational Seder, and I wish you a zissen Pesach, a sweet and liberating and healthy Passover.

In blessing and affection,

Rabbi Dayle