Thursday, April 16, 2020

A first Passover in Israel that was one, both of disappointment, but also profound revelation - by James Sinkinson

As devastating as the coronavirus pandemic is, it may bring the benefit—as it seems to have already done in Israel—of inspiring greater appreciation of one’s home country.

James Sinkinson..
14 April '20

My first Passover in Israel was one both of disappointment and profound revelation. This conflicting combination, especially in the throes of the coronavirus crisis, served to underscore the strength of the Jewish people—and that of the world’s only Jewish state.

The coronavirus dampened the traditional excitement around Passover in Israel for everyone here, because each household was for the first time forced by government order to celebrate on its own. Zero visitors—no grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or good friends—were allowed to attend seders outside their own homes.

Think of Thanksgiving dinner with no guests. Bizarre. The sense of isolation here was palpable, for us and everyone we spoke to, as well as on local social media. Remember, too, that Israelis have for the past two weeks been restricted to within 100 meters (328 feet) from our homes, except to buy groceries or medicine, or to get medical attention, under penalty of stiff fines—which are being aggressively dispensed.

On the other hand, my moving Passover revelation was born of the opportunity to see Jewish Israelis pull together in inspiring solidarity, with our people, our story and our nation.

(Continue to Full Column)

James Sinkinson is president of Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.

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