Places of worship looking for other ways to celebrate traditional Passover, Easter services

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 6:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Sunset on Wednesday marks the beginning of a major holiday, but just like everything else, major changes can be expected.

“Please celebrate the Seder only with those you live with or in a virtual Seder, not in a large setting,” Governor Ralph Northam said.

Wednesday is the start of the Jewish holiday Passover. Traditionally, people gather for Seder service but an executive order by Northam bans gatherings of more than 10 people.

“Do not give in to despair, do not give in to anger and not to give in to fear,” Rabbi Michael Knopf said.

Instead of encouraging his congregation at Temple Beth-El in person, his words are spread by the video conference site Zoom.

“It’s funny because in some ways our Zoom services have been way better attended that our in-person services,” Knopf said.

Knopf admits it’s been an adjustment but most people understand it’s what’s needed.

“There’s no higher Jewish value than saving lives and the reason we are doing what we are doing is to save ourselves and to help other people,” Knopf said.

Sunday marks another major holiday for those in the Christian community with Easter. Worship services have switched to online streaming services all across the country.

No matter your beliefs, Rabbi Knopf says now is the time to come together.

“Community for us means showing up for each other,” Knopf said.

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