The Times of Israel published my new article “The Passover Seder in the Coronavirus Era: A Means for Spiritual Connection”
How are we going to spend our first Passover under the social distancing conditions brought about by the coronavirus?
What will the Passover Seder look like?
As a first, many families will be using the Zoom video conference tool to connect virtually over the Seder. Yet, while the coronavirus detaches us physically from each other, we have a unique opportunity to not only connect virtually, but to exercise what it means to be in more spiritual connection.
What Is Spiritual Connection?
Spiritual connection is when we want to feel each other in our hearts. It is when I accept the desire of the other person as my being my own, wishing to fulfill it as if it were my own desire, and the other person does the same to me.
Therefore, while feeling physically distant from each other, internally, in our common attitude to each other, we can feel ourselves as one.
If we had a broader view on why certain events befall our world, we would then see that the coronavirus pandemic—in how it has brought the world to a halt and physically isolated us all from each other—has come precisely so that we revise our attitudes to each other, and ultimately realize more positive and spiritual connections.
If we fail to actualize more spiritual connections to each other during this crisis, then we can expect worse problems to transpire, whether more elaborate mutations of the coronavirus or others.
Why? It is because our positive connections bring us into balance with nature’s interconnected and interdependent form, and the more we develop, the more there is an expectation on us from nature to make conscious steps toward our positive connection.
Our incongruence with nature, on the other hand, brings about the many forms of inconvenience and suffering that we experience, in order that we eventually positively and spiritually connect.
A New Dimension of Perception and Sensation Where We All Exist as One
We would do wisely to welcome the conditions that the coronavirus brings us, and actualize the spiritual closeness that nature wants us to wake up to, feeling each other in a new dimension of perception and sensation where we all exist as one.
By doing so, we would then feel no craving for the usual Passover Seder that we became used to, where we see each other sitting close by around the same table. In our spiritual closeness, we would feel a whole new kind of energy as if illuminating and filling the space between us—a new sensation of joy revealing itself in our common effort to overcome physical distances with attitudes of mutual consideration, love, support and encouragement.
Moreover, if we connect spiritually, we will also feel no need for virtual connection through our computer screens or mobile devices. We would have a much deeper and more genuine sensation of each other. It is as my teacher, Rabash, writes in his 8th letter:
“Once I have acquired this above-mentioned clothing, sparks of love promptly begin to shine within me. The heart begins to long to unite with my friends, and it seems to me that my eyes see my friends, my ears hear their voices, my mouth speaks to them, the hands embrace, the feet dance in a circle, in love and joy together with them, and I transcend my corporeal boundaries. I forget the vast distance between my friends and me, and the outstretched land for many miles will not stand between us. It is as though my friends are standing right within my heart.”
I thus hope that we make optimal use of the special conditions we find ourselves in, that we will realize our connection as a single system, “as one man with one heart,” above the social distancing.
We would then see the coronavirus not as a crisis, but as an opportunity and a loving gift from nature in order to let us realize a whole new, more positive and spiritual connection to each other.