Passover Will Have Different Feel for Local Jewish Families During Coronavirus Crisis

Benjamin Abella, 49, and Ursina Teitelbaum, 50, of Ardmore, are married doctors who work at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Like many Jews, the couple and their three teenage children will be celebrating a scaled-down Passover this year because of the coronavirus. Image and caption via Sam Abella and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Passover will have a different feel this year for many local Jewish families who will not be able to invite relatives and friends into their homes for Passover Seders due to the coronavirus crisis, writes Alfred Lubrano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The ritual meals link present and past and children and elders during the eight-day holiday that begins on April 8.

“It’s a very big deal for us that the epidemic is occurring now,” said Benjamin Abella of Ardmore.

Abella is an emergency doctor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and has been fighting the deadly virus daily.

“Passover is one of the most deeply cherished Jewish events,” he said. “But we’ll be lacking in-person connections with people this year.”

Having to forego family gatherings on a holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery will be especially hard for people who already have had their everyday lives disrupted.

“To feel like we can’t easily access one another is incredibly jarring and painful for people,” said Rabbi Eric Yanoff of Adath Israel Synagogue in Lower Merion. “This is going to be an emotional, extraordinary, and, yes, difficult Passover.”

Read more about Passover at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.


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