Start of Passover celebrated remotely, as families connect online

PLYMOUTH, Minn. (WCCO/CNN) - For Jews all around the world, Wednesday was different from all other nights. It was the start of Passover, marked by the traditional Seder.

This year’s Seder was certainly different from all other years. Being together while stuck apart, digital dinners with family and friends have helped bridge the physical gap caused by COVID-19.

For those in the Jewish faith, “It is definitely bittersweet,” said Rabbi Jeremy Fine of the Temple of Aaron.

That connection was of utmost importance Wednesday.

“Passover Seders are the most observed Jewish ritual,” Fine said.

“So generally we’ll get together with lots of family, probably around 20 people on average,” Mark Divine said.

That’s still happening for the Divine’s family and relatives - only over Zoom.

Computers and tablets have joined the traditional Seder set up at the dinner table, allowing them to still share in song and readings.

“It’s definitely a weird feeling, but we feel lucky that we can find ways to still connect and have some sort of normalcy,” Allie Divine said.

It’s something many could use right now.

“So I think the Seder will serve as a moment for an opportunity for people to break and forget about what’s going on in the world.” Fine said.

He said meeting virtually will be emotionally tough but “there’ll be funny moments, too.”

Relatives once deemed too far to come visit are now dining together, side by side.

“It actually might impact how we do things moving forward,” Mark Divine said.

Passover ends on April 16.

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