One Passover tradition asking to provide the less fortunate with foods and help

One Passover tradition asks that if people can afford to, they provide those less fortunate with foods that are eaten during the holiday, like matzah, eggs, chicken or wine.

Normally most of our fellow believers are very busy to clean the house (to make it Tahor) and to prepare packages to give away at the time of Pesach Festival.

At Pesach, or Passover, all vestiges of non-Passover food, even crumbs, have to be searched for and removed from cupboards. All dishes have to be changed for Passover dishes.

Yesterday my wife was very busy to clean the kitchen. This year the Spring-cleaning looks totally different from other years. At the moment my wife is also placed on temporary economic unemployment, like more than a million others in Belgium and abroad.
My sister, on the other hand, has to run extra long shifts as a head nurse. At home, she has to take extra safety measures, like leaving the newspaper and mail untouched for a day. When the children visit her, it is with a lot of distancing and their plates and glasses are left outside for one night before they are placed in the dishwasher. Cleanliness is all asset.

This period of CoViD-19 we are reminded how we have to take our responsibility for keeping our surroundings clean and safe. It is an interesting period to consider how much we muddled with nature and how much mankind is at fault to de-regularise nature. Often it is man himself who brings diseases and problems into his own house.

Normally preparations for Passover could be seen and felt everywhere. this year because we for some weeks already did not have personal contact with our fellow brethren and sisters now have no idea how everybody is coping. I do agree, with the social media and message applications we this year seem to have more contact with those who are far away from us. With the family, we arranged some family time on the web, which makes that we do have more interaction than out of this coronavirus period. To be honest I am not such a ‘phone man’. My wife dares to hang at the telephone more than me and much longer. The contacts with our family in Toronto and friends in New York and New Jersey still happens by phone.

Contact wise, the corona pandemic urges for social distancing and makes that we shall not have friends and family at our house, nor shall go to the ecclesia for the memorial meal. None of us shall be able to meet our fellow brethren and sisters, because the synagogues being closed and nobody being allowed to go far distances without reason of providing for food. Spiritual food not included. Such gatherings in these circumstances would be too dangerous. Therefore we all have to protect each other and should have everybody in mind in our prayers.

When preparing for Pesach we ‘attack’ the house with Spring cleaning. In time all of us gather lots of stuff. Some of those things we do not use any more, or we are grown out of it. This is the ultimate opportunity to get rid of excess stuff. Anything that still can be used, which no member of your household uses or doesn’t need, can be given to local shelters or organisations that can use it. You’ll feel so much better and have room for new things. We should check if we can do not a pleasure to someone with those excess pieces of clothes and other things. Giving them away shall make someone happy and shall give life to the space in your house.

For sharing food and financial help, this still can be done. Food can be brought to people in need close to our own house. The money we can contribute by web-banking or by donating to relief organisations.

Let this period of isolation please not be a period of withdrawing of your duties. Certainly, in this time of need, we may not back out of helping others. There is no reason to back out of one’s obligations.

Let us gather with our partner and children, think of all those people in distress and bounded to bed, have prayers for those around us and for those working in difficult and dangerous situations

+

Preceding

At the Shabbat HaChodesh: readings about blood, liberation and purification

Purification and perfection

Search for any remnant of chametz

Why Fuss over a Little Leaven (Yeast)?

Shabbat HaGadol in preparation for Pesach

Sunday, May 19th, 2019 = 14 Iyar 5779

75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder

++

Additional reading

  1. Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past
  2. CoViD-19 warnings
  3. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  4. Coronavirus on March 11 declared a global pandemic on March 31 affecting more than 177 countries
  5. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic
  6. Recrafting our World
  7. Love in the Time of Corona
  8. First month of the year and predictions
  9. Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!
  10. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  11. Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH
  12. Beginning of weeks for the Feasts of deliverance
  13. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  14. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  15. On the first day for matzah
  16. A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
  17. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  18. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  19. Zeman Chereisenu – the time of our freedom
  20. Let’s Think About Redemption Differently
  21. After darkness a moment of life renewal
  22. Your Future
  23. 9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach
  24. Making sure we express kedusha for 14-16 Nisan
  25. Able to celebrate the Passover in all of its prophetic fulfilment
  26. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  27. Soon it shall be Erev Pesach and Passover 2019
  28. A great evening and special days to look forward in 2019
  29. No idea yet for 14 Nisan or April the 8th in 2020 Corona crisis time
  30. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  31. First time since Nazi time no public gathering
  32. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  33. Torah Portion – Pesach B
  34. Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~
  35. Mel Brooks saying “go home” to Max Brooks

+++

Related

  1. Dvir, Devorah and Hamantaschen
    My husband and I recently returned from Portugal where we witnessed the results of the forced conversions and Inquisiton against our people in the 16th century.
  2. The History of Pandemics and the Paralleled Way They Where Fought
    Beginning with early history (about 541 CE), an ominous pandemic struck the earth. It began it’s stretch in Egypt; thriving on the backs of black rats that fed upon grain intended for the celebration of the Emperor Justinian. Fleas they were! Fleas traveling from rat to rat and from person to person; infecting all they came in contact with.
    + The Plague seemingly vanished. Yet, the coast was not clear. The Plague returned in Europe in 1347. This time it was called The Black Plague. As before, The Black Plague traveled aboard ships around the world. It claimed the lives of 200 million people.
    + Every 20 years, this same disease would resurface and claim the lives, of least, 20 percent of the European population. This continued on, into 1665. The last plague killed about 100,000 London citizens.
  3. From the Black Death to coronavirus: what we haven’t learned from history
    Although some media outlets have begun referring to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as a “modern plague”, the threat of COVID-19 remains negligible compared with historic outbreaks of plague. The latest World Health Organization report puts the coronavirus death toll at just over 3,000 globally, whereas the Black Death was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 30-50% of Europe’s population in the mid-14th century. The most disturbing similarity between the two lies not in the diseases themselves but in their social consequences. Then, as now, outbreaks were blamed on certain ethnic groups.
    + if the history of epidemic disease has taught us anything, it is that we must resist the desire to interpret disease within a moral framework. Our seemingly instinctive desire to scapegoat inevitably creates an epidemic of misinformation more potent than the virus itself. As coronavirus continues to spread, lessons from the past remain an important tool for preventing further racist and xenophobic attacks.
  4. המדפים מתחילים להתרוקן   The Shelves Start to Empty Out

    Empty shelves at the supermarket
    Less empty shelves than in our Belgian supermarkets, because of egoistic hoarding frenzy.

    A few days ago, I ordered a delivery of cleaning supplies from the supermarket. Pesach in the doorway and it is desirable to have the right products to clean with.

  5. אקונומיקה, הבושם החדש   Bleach, the New Perfume
    hoping for sanity to return to the supermarket shelves
  6. How to Thoroughly Disinfect Your Home Against the Coronavirus – Vishion
    Clorox spray and wipes, traditional soap and water, bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide are all products that work in destroying harmful germs and bacteria.
  7. Virus 19- Grocery Shopping
    We have been told, advised to wash our hands. After bringing home groceries when we get anything out of the refrigerator, perhaps we should be doing the same.
    Washing our hands thoroughly.
  8. Follow the breadcrumbs: Sponges show how some animals clean up viruses
    These days, hunkered down in our homes (if we are lucky) and washing our hands till they’re raw, it can feel like the outside world is a virus soup. However animals in the ocean go swimming through viruses on a daily basis – in fact viruses are the most abundant beings in the ocean.
    + viruses in the ocean can impact both life underwater and the livelihoods of the people who rely on the sea.
    + Our understanding of how non-host animals interact with viruses in the ocean is still in its infancy, but this study shows that it is something we need to think about. A high presence of non-host animals could potentially slow or stop the spread of viruses in certain ocean environments.
  9. Spring Cleaning
    Now that we are all on lock down its a great time to start deep cleaning your home. The most important thing to do is don’t stress. Cleaning should be a stress reliever. The best way to get rid of anxiety is to clean a room. That’s the most important thing about spring cleaning is a fresh new start. And we could all use a new start right now. So start now, don’t wait, and don’t put a timeline on yourself. If you can do one room a day that would be a great start. and before you know it your entire house is finished.
    + The very first thing that needs to happen is to declutter the room you are starting with. then work from the top of the room to the bottom of the room.
  10. The Glove It Guide to Spring Cleaning
    For whatever reason, each spring as everything becomes a new around us, we feel the need to refresh from our winter slumber too. There is no better feeling than a clean house especially after months of hibernation or just doing the bare minimum.
  11. Spring Cleaning Guide
    Spring is the perfect time to scrub, sweep and store away your winter woes for another year – or in this case help pass the time while you shelter-in-place to avoid COVID-19.
    + Approaching your house room-by-room is the most effective way to deep-clean your home at any time of the year, but especially in spring.
  12. What is Pesach and When Do We Celebrate It?
    the lessons derived from the Egyptian slavery and the resulting redemption provide a powerful base for Jewish faith and ethics.
  13. Shabbat HaGadol
    The Shabbat right before Pesach is called Shabbat HaGadol- The Great Sabbath. One interpretation is that “Moshiach”- the Messiah- will come on Passover, so this is the Great Shabbat, the one before that great redemption.
  14. The Beauty of Pesach (Passover)
    A Passover Seder is the traditional meal taken at the start of the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover. The family prepares a delicious meal and sits down together and step-by-step goes through each event of the Passover in Exodus. A plate with 6 items sits in the center, each item symbolizing something important.
    (Only exception being the egg. In Messianic circles, it’s excluded in the Seder for its pagan origins.)
  15. Donut Versus Matzah: A Passover Lesson On Arrogance
    Matzah represents humility. Humility is a lasting trait. If we leave matzah around for a couple of months, it’s still good. A humble person endures.
  16. Charoset or Haroset
    This year we are preoccupied with the covid-19 virus. Everyone is worried, careful, and wondering how long the anxiety will last. However, covid-19 virus notwithstanding, Pesach will begin on Wednesday night, April 8, 2020. In preparation for that day, I am thinking a lot about charoset. Charoset is one of the fabulous unique flavours we have on that most special night. Maybe it’s an escape, but at least it’s an innocent escape.
  17. More Haroset Recipes
    Pesach is rapidly approaching. Many people are concerned with house cleaning, buying new pots, and unpacking the Pesach dishes.
    + The making, distributing, and eating of haroset is a feature in a number of historical haggadot
  18. Passover Lesson: What is Freedom?
    Freedom is NOT “doing whatever I want”. If you do whatever you want you are a slave to your wants, desires, and addictions. Freedom is rising about doing what you want. To be free we must be able to harness and control our will.
  19. Am I a Slave?
    What is a slave, if not someone who cannot rise from her task long enough to eat a meal? Is that addiction to work, or addiction to mindless wandering on the Internet? Addiction to netflix or addiction to facebook?
  20. Love in the Time of Corona
    We rush, rush, rush from thing to thing never really enjoying or being present for any of it, leaving us breathless and looking for meaning in our lives which seem physically full, but spiritually bereft as we ignore The Power of Now.
    + And what all this is telling us is that the world needs to change, not in some superficial new hairstyle kind of way, but as in a fundamental shift in the way we interact and live, in our interpersonal and business relationships, in the way we treat our families, each other, and ourselves, and since we weren’t able to find the time to get to it, along comes a virus to gives us all the time we need, forcing us into this shift — and that’s all this is, a shift, in our consciousness, our way of thinking and living, of learning, and loving.
    + the biggest threat is not war, it’s a virus. So while all this money is being made and the planet destroyed nothing has been put into preparing for the event we are now witnessing. I see that interestingly in terms of beds per head of pop, the US, the UK, Italy and Spain are down at the bottom of the table. This whole lockdown biz is in place because we have not put that money in and in the absence of equipment, health staff are being faced with making choices and governments are shielding themselves from that basic fact by doing damage limitation. Ironically, certainly here where they have beat the NHS with a big stick for years, they are now spending billions more than they would have on that, to simply keep businesses a float, people afloat in a knee jerk reaction.
  21. Crowdsourced Pesach Tips
    As far as the seders go, go small with small kids.  It’s all great to want to tell the story and get them involved, and you can do that as long as it doesn’t go too late.  I know some families go nearly all night, and that is great, but that NEVER worked for us.  The kids became nightmares.  So do little things that get them involved:  paper bag puppets of the main players, little doodads like plastic frogs in the water glasses, model animals on the table–that kind of thing.
    + Dust is not chometz, and the kids aren’t the Korbon Pesach
  22. To think about: Insignificance
    A sense of emptiness overwhelms me while all around there is nothing of value left to see.

6 thoughts on “One Passover tradition asking to provide the less fortunate with foods and help

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