Professor Dollinger: Passover in COVID-19 Era Calls for 'Profound Reflection with Everyone We Hold Near and Dear'

Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Photo of a Passover seder plate

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER -- The situation also has some irony because it recalls the 10 plagues of the Passover story, said Marc Dollinger, professor of Jewish Studies and social responsibility at San Francisco State University.

“If Passover is what it’s like to remember what it’s like to have a plague, this year it’s real,” Dollinger said. “The last plague represents slavery to freedom — this year it’s reversed, going from freedom to stuck in our homes.”

Like many this time around, he plans to create a Haggadah — a booklet of prayers — at and hold the Passover meal and celebration through Zoom. The change will mean needing to teach his parents to use Zoom and pass on to his two daughters the Passover traditions. It also means not seeing people in person and reflecting powerfully on the meaning of slavery and freedom, he said.

“This is a time for profound reflection with everyone we hold near and dear,” he said. “With a thousand people dying every day, it gives us pause to reflect what’s important.”