Ok, so being on your own isn’t what you had in mind when you made your Pesach plans a couple of months ago. It is a harsh reality and it is unfortunate.
So, what comes next?
The way I see it, we don’t really have a choice. Moaning and groaning won’t help change the situation. What’s the alternative?
Like every other moment of life, it is an opportunity.
“Really?” You’re probably wondering, “What is Rabbi Stewart talking about?”
I have an idea. The normal “והגדת לבנך” – “And you shall tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt to your children and grandchildren,” is not going to happen this year.
Let’s come up with a different plan.
Pesach night is a time of Mesorah. It is a time to hand down our traditions, our history, to our children and grandchildren. It is a time to bridge the gap between my grandparents and my grandchildren.
Do we really have to be there to do that? Does it have to happen at a shared Seder?
What if we wrote a letter to them?
What if we shared the same lessons and stories we would want to share if we were there in person?
I know that if my parents and grandparents wrote these sorts of letters, they would be priceless.
If our children and grandchildren were here with us, what would we say to them? What messages can we share that will be a lasting legacy of faith, hope and perseverance for them? What messages do we hope for them to treasure?
Perhaps we can share our vision and understanding of what it means to have a relationship with G-d; or to share what it means to us be a part of G-d’s chosen nation.
My suggestion is simple. Send letters to your children and grandchildren to be read at the Seder. Take advantage of the opportunity to take paper and pen [or a computer] and use some time to formulate your thoughts.
This would be the greatest [akifomen] gift you can ever give your progeny.