Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder shares her Passover thoughts with you.

Does it matter if we wear sweatpants every day?

Does it matter if the sink piles up with dishes?

If we are sheltering in, does time really matter?

If I’m honest, time has lost some of its meaning in these days of sheltering in. Doctors, nurses and food supply workers are laboring seven days a week because each day is as precious as the next, while the rest of us sit at home where the days monotonously run into each other.

Starting on the second night of Passover, Jews are meant to count the Omer, the 49 days that separate Passover and Shavuot. Every evening we are meant to welcome the opportunity to count down from the liberation to the moment of revelation.

This year, I have a renewed understanding of this tradition. Like the Israelites wandering in the desert with the promise of great things ahead, we are without a clear sense of where we are going or when we will get there.

When we count the days of the Omer, we precede the counting with verses that recognize that the counting is a positive commandment. Each day matters. Each day is an important step in this journey. It is not about the dishes, the sweatpants, or the Zoom classes. It was hard for our ancestors and it is hard for us. But it is not without meaning. It is about being in a community together in which it is a positive to be on an uncertain path together because if we stay the course, every day does matter, and we will reach the moment of celebration together.

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder is the director of education at Be’chol Lashon, an organization dedicated to racial diversity in Jewish life.

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