Global pandemic or not, Passover is still happening, and a virtual seder just might be the way to celebrate without sacrificing safety.
Andy Cohen, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Idina Menzel, Henry Winkler, Josh Groban, Billy Eichner, and more will be streaming a “Saturday Night Seder” on the fourth night of Passover. In keeping with Jewish tradition, they will tell the biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt in order to raise money for first responders on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.
The group will all be participating from their individual homes, in keeping with the spirit of social distancing.
“In a time of confinement and uncertainty, a rag-tag team of Jews and non-Jewish Passover enthusiasts felt it was more important than ever to channel creative energies and gather community,” said the head writer of the project Alex Edelman in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be reinterpreting the timeless story of liberation and renewal while raising money for those on the front lines enduring — and fighting — an actual plague.”
For those who are separated from their families, or just want to see a group of wonderful and entertaining personalities celebrate the traditions of Passover, this seems like an excellent way to safely participate in an important religious tradition. The virtual seder will stream this Saturday for free at 8 pm ET.
A New Normal
Celebrities aren’t the only people hosting virtual seders. In a time where many major world religions have significant holidays, people are turning to video chat to maintain traditions with community and family. This doesn’t just apply to the Jewish community, and not only in the United States either.
This year is bound to bring anything from a virtual seder to a Zoom Easter Sunday to a Ramadan that’s reliant on technology. As physical gatherings become increasingly dangerous, and sometimes even illegal around the world, people have no choice but to get creative with religious services.