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Communal Sedarims cancelled as many get ready to celebrate Passover at home

PUBLISHED: 15:17 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:42 07 April 2020

This year Passover will be marked at home.

This year Passover will be marked at home.

Archant

A North London interfaith organisation has had to cancel its Seder demonstration this year due to the coronavirus lockdown but Jewish people all over the borough will still be celebrating Passover at home.

The festival of Passover commemorates the exodus of the Israelite tribes from Egypt and is usually celebrated  in family groups or communal groups to mark the holiday with a Seder meal.Last year the CCJ's feast wasHosted by the Salvation Army in Clapton. Picture: Ivor MillmanThe festival of Passover commemorates the exodus of the Israelite tribes from Egypt and is usually celebrated in family groups or communal groups to mark the holiday with a Seder meal.Last year the CCJ's feast wasHosted by the Salvation Army in Clapton. Picture: Ivor Millman

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is one of the oldest interfaith organisations in the country and every year its North London branch puts on a community feast at a Christian church to mark the beginning of the Jewish festival.

The holiday lasts for eight days and will begin on April 8 this year. It’s usually celebrated with family and friends.

Ivor Millman from the CCJ told the Gazette: “Millions of people around the world and I, won’t be able to celebrate the way we usually would – such is life.”

Some orthodox Jewish people won’t be able to use electricity or many of the devices relied upon to stay connected while self-isolating on holy days. Meanwhile, others are permitted to turn devices on before the holiday starts.

But Ivor is also conscious of those who can’t access the internet or who will be alone during Passover - despite the many efforts made to move the experience online.

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“However good and well-intentioned it is, and it is good and well-intentioned, it isn’t quite the same as people being in a group together - it just can’t be,” he said.

Limitations on how many items can be purchased at supermarkets may also affect what goes on the Seder table in many homes like the unleavened, flat Matzah bread that is integral to Passover and eaten every day of the holiday.

Ivor said: “I am pained that this year’s Sedarim and especially the communal ones [won’t] to be taking place as usual.

I think of those times when faced with the murderous Nazis in the Holocaust and the persecution of Jewish people in the Soviet Union who did their best to mark the Passover.

In the current position we find ourselves in I think of the old Yiddish saying ‘Mann Tracht Un Gott Lacht’ [which means] Man plans and God laughs.

I wish you Hag Sameach Pesach and a blessed and peaceful Easter.”

This year the CCJ’s Seder demonstration would have been held in Lower Clapton in St James the Great’s church hall.

To find out more about the CCJ visit: http://www.ccj.org.uk/branches/north_london/


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