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Passover in the days of coronavirus, COVID-19

For people of the Jewish faith, this year there will be no extended family, friends, or neighbors for the usually big celebration due to the coronavirus, COVID-19

MAINE, USA — For people of the Jewish faith, Passover starts tonight. This year, because of the coronavirus, COVID-19, Passover will be celebrated differently. There will be no extended family, friends, or neighbors for the usually big celebration this year.

"The story tells that the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and that when they finally were liberated to leave the word Passover comes from the idea of passing over the home of the Israelites," said Rabbi Lerner.

Many will gather with their immediate families to go over the seder which tells the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt.

Others will use their computers and use Zoom or Skype for virtual seders.

Rabbi Darah Lerner, the Rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Bangor said the congregation will log into Zoom Wednesday night to go over the seder together.

"This year given COVID-19 and we are all being healthy and safe which is a primary value in Jewish life, so we are sheltering at home, we are not visiting our family, we are not gathering in community life and in person, but we are this year...going to celebrate our first Zoom seder," said Rabbi Darah Lerner.

Governor Mills remarked that the ritual of handwashing that the Jewish have now more than ever has a significant meaning.

"Part of the seder is the ritual of handwashing, I think that truly takes on new meaning, this week in this era, in this environment," said Governor Mills.

"And it reminds us that it's all in God's hands...whatever is happening these days," said Rabbi Wilansky.

Rabbi Chaim Wilansky runs Congregation Beth Abraham in Bangor.

Rabbi Wilansky told NEWS CENTER Maine this specific Passover draws many parallels between the Israelites' captivity thousands of years ago and our own quarantine this year.

"Jewish people were not allowed to leave their house, so in a sense, we are doing exactly what the Jewish people did over three thousand years ago."

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