Dear Mr. President – April 8, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

I won’t be able to watch your performance tonight. You probably already know that tonight begins Pesach (Passover), a very important holiday in the Jewish religion. We hope to be on Zoom for a family and friends Zeder (that’s a Zoom seder). Our daughter and son-in-law will lead this. I worry that the Internet or Zoom will crash because so many people will be on at the same time. Wish us luck.

Did you know that Easter is based on Passover? Passover begins on the first full moon after the Spring equinox. That’s why it’s different date every year. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. There are more connections but you probably already know them. If you don’t, you can look it up.

The number 4 appears over and over again in the course of the Seder (3,000 year old ritual for the first evening of Pesach or the first two evenings outside the land of Israel). There are 4 glasses of wine or grape juice, the story of the 4 different types of sons (now called the 4 children) and, maybe, most famously, the 4 questions. It’s so interesting, informative, important and actually incredible (see, 4 “I” words) that the story of Pesach and its’ rituals are as meaningful today as they always have been.

It’s a night of questions, family, traditions, caring about the poor and the hungry, especially if they are strangers or strangers in a strange land and remembering that we are all in this world together.

Even though this year’s Pesach is weird and challenging, it was even more so at other times of history. The stories of how Jews marked the holiday in the death and slave labor camps are particularly moving.

So, I want to wish your family, Jarod and Ivanka and their children, and all of the Jewish people on your staff and in your administration, a traditional Passover greeting, Chag Kasher v”Sameach. It means have a happy and Kosher Pesach.

Please take a moment and talk with them about the deeper meanings of the holiday. Maybe focus on the parables of the 4 children – The Wise Child, The Wicked Child, The Simple Child and the One Who Does not Even Know How to Ask.

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