Today is Maundy Thursday, the celebration of the Last Supper for Christians. This evening also marks the end of the first full day of Passover, the Jewish holiday that Jesus and his disciples were celebrating. It is important to keep in mind this historical and religious basis for our tradition, and also to remember that the Jewish peoples are co-celebrants in God’s communion with humankind.
Familiarize (or re-familiarize) yourself with Passover and its meaning and practice here. You are also encouraged to reflect on its significance today, when all of us need to maintain physical distance. Like Christians, Jews have had to adapt during the global pandemic. How can one celebrate the freedom that God brings when we are separated by disease?
Poignantly, the first Passover happened during a plague. Read Exodus 12 and then read about how modern-day Jewish families and communities are changing things up to account for new rules. How does this compare to the way we Christians have adapted? How can we continue our ritual and spiritual traditions despite the obstacles we face?
In spite of the challenges of today, we are grateful to still have the gifts of life and love. As is said during the Seder:
Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh.