Perhaps unsurprisingly, Passover snuck up on me this year. After a March that came in like a lion and went out with a quarantine, and seemingly went on forever, I lost track of time. (After all, didn’t you hear- we are down to only three days a week: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.) But here it is, and here we are.
One of the most cherished traditions at the Passover Seder is the recitation of The Four Questions, when the youngest child present asks a series of questions to the group about Passover and its rituals- eating matzah, eating bitter herbs, dipping vegetables, and eating while reclining. The beginning line of The Four Questions, which is perhaps the most famous, is traditionally translated as “How is this night different from all other nights?”, from the Hebrew “Mah nishtanah halaylah hazeh mikol halaylot?”
But here’s a little known fact- that first word of The Four Questions- “mah”, is less of a question than a rhetorical exclamation. A better translation of that opening line is “”How different this night is from all other nights!” And that’s not really a question at all, it’s a reminder to the participants that the Passover Seder is far different from any other meal we have during the year.
This year, though, it’s worth adding an element of reflection to the opening line of The Four Questions. This time around, Passover is not just unique among the other nights of the year, but in truth there has never been a Passover like the one we are about to celebrate, where we will attempt to celebrate a holiday so predicated on gathering together by gathering separately. Most years people boast about their Seders and how many people they will be with, but this year I’m ready for photos on Facebook of computer screens filled with face tiles of all of people’s remote Zoom or Skype Seder participants. This Passover will be, for lack of a better expression, differently different. We have literally never tried this before.
Editor’s Note: Today’s update marks one month (and one day) from the start of the Town’s Covid-19 messages. In addition to Bedford’s and Hanscom’s active cases, there is information about the patients now housed in the VA’s new Covid-19 ward. Among today’s other news — Memorial Day is canceled; there are new limits on the number of shoppers allowed in grocery stores at the same time; results of the School Department’s survey about April vacation that will be considered at tomorrow evening’s School Committee meeting (7:30 pm, remotely).
Go to the full story and click this link to read the Town’s update for Wednesday, 8 April 2020
HUZZAH: There’s a New Book in Town! ‘Bedford History for Kids’ by Town Historian Sharon Lawrence McDonald
With a publication date scheduled to coincide with this weekend’s sadly-canceled Pole Capping ceremony, Town Historian Sharon Lawrence McDonald’s new book for elementary and middle school readers, Bedford History for Kids, arrived from the printer on Monday.
It contains fun facts and historic tales—from stone tools to an alleged witch, from trains and trolleys to a new airport. McDonald believes the time is right for younger readers to be able to enjoy learning more about the town where they live. The book is appealingly filled with photos of artifacts, postcards, hand-drawn maps—and pictures of local children.
The Bedford School Committee will meet remotely at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
In addition to other business, the Committee will decide on a proposed change to the 2019-2020 School Calendar and whether to cancel April Vacation.