Why is this night different from all other nights?
מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת
Mah nishtanah ha’lilah hazeh mikol ha’leilot
This may be the most famous question posed at Seder, as it has inspired us to celebrate our beloved Pesach traditions with our youngest to our oldest around the table. This question takes on new meaning, as the present reality of COVID-19 raises concerns about large gatherings in person.
This year for Seder, our Minnesota Rabbinical Association urges people to gather only with those currently under the same roof as we prioritize health and well-being. We acknowledge that may mean being physically alone.
We recognize that many households will choose other, creative ways to connect with family and friends that do not rely on being present in person. Even as we create distance, we must use this moment to draw close in other ways and turn to synagogue, agency, and organizational Pesach resources that promote a wide range of options. The lack of physical contact will save lives, and we also know it is deeply painful to miss the companionship of a holiday celebration filled with loved ones. Please stay home now so we can show up together in the future in good health and peace.
May it be when we ask the question next year, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” that our answers are enriched by joy, laughter, and song overflowing at the same table.