Passover 5780 – Differently Different

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.

Win-Win Initiative Supports Frontline Hospital Staff and Bedford Restaurants

A motivated network of hundreds of Bedford residents and donors is working daily with local restaurants to prepare and deliver meals and snacks to workers at hospitals in the area as well as Boston, the Merrimack Valley and the North Shore.

“We each take at least five hospitals and make sure we get something to them at least once a day,” said local realtor Suzanne Koller. “We raised more than $14,000 in a very short time. It’s the most beautiful thing.”

Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Editor’s Note: In today’s update, Town Manager Sarah Stanton announces that plans for Bedford’s second Summer Solstice Festival have been scrapped because, “the Covid-19 crisis may require focused attention to public health and safety well beyond stay at home orders and advisories. Social distancing measures may be required for several months.”

Click the link in the full story to read the Town’s full update for Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Social Services Offer a Variety of Support for Bedford Residents

Bedford feels like a ghost town – which is a good thing. There are only 20 confirmed cases of  Covid-19, according to the most recent report relayed by town officials from the state.

But there is also a price to pay for many people engaged in disciplined social distancing and disconnection from normal activities, events, and culture.

Professionals in government and private practice who are trained to address issues like isolation, insecurity and information overload have a handle on who is most vulnerable, and what steps can be taken to mitigate the mental health impact.

A Plethora of Online Museums and Activities from Around the Wold

During a pandemic, few people will be able to explore a new or favorite museum. Most museums are closed and we are asked to stay at home. However, using your computer you can still see and learn about the collections of many museums large or small all over the world.  Over the years many museums have made their collections accessible online and that investment is especially valuable now in our current situation.

Helping Bedford Businesses During the Lockdown

As the Covid-19 mandatory business lockdown continues, our local Bedford businesses are making do the best they can, but it is not easy.  I reached out to officials and Bedford businesses to see how they are doing and how Bedford residents can help them through this tough time.

Resources for Businesses

Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Saturday, 4 April 2020

Editor’s note: In addition to a correction about the number of coronavirus cases in Bedford, a reassuring message about overdue fines from the Bedford Free Public Library.

Click the link in the article to read the Town’s full update for Saturday, April 4, 2020

How the Business Shutdown is Affecting … Doing Your Business

Covid-19 has changed everyone’s life, it’s scary and very disruptive.  A pandemic is not something most households really ever plan for.  One of the rather strange things happening is the run on toilet paper.  Toilet paper?  Really?  Soap, Purell, Food, Masks… these all make sense. But toilet paper?!?

Apparently the “run” (pun intended) on TP is not completely without justification.  The current scarcity of toilet paper is a residential scarcity. There seems to be a glut in the commercial market, specifically the 15 inch rolls.