Passover is here!
by Cindi Sutter, Founder & Editor of Spirited Table®
By the Grace of G-d
Eve of Search of Chametz
At this very moment, while millions of Jews worldwide are finalizing their Passover preparations, scores of Chabad.org's Ask the Rabbi responders and their families are doing the same.
With one important variation:
In between scrubbing their stoves, mopping their floors, grinding their Maror (bitter herbs), setting their tables, and preparing their children's Haggadahs, these men and women are summoned continuously by the buzz of their email:
"My daughter is stuck in Ghana without a seder. Can you help her?"
"I'm looking for a Pesach Seder for my brother in Podgorica, Montenegro."
"I'm alone without family or a seder in Midtown Manhattan.."
"My mother died yesterday. Do I sit shiva during the seder?"
"Can you eat dairy at the seder?"
"Can I kosher my plastic containers for Passover?"
“Are there special requirements this year, when the seder falls out on Shabbat?”
"Quick. I was just chosen to lead my family's seder. Where can I find instructions?"
"What is the lesson from the Simple Son?"
"Are pets allowed at the Seder table?"
"My fiance's family lives in a town with no other Jews and they've never celebrated a real seder. How can I put him at ease about joining my family's seder?"
"What did the Rebbe say about the Fifth Son?"
"We live in ___ and have no money for food for Pesach. Can you help?!"
With their selfless patience and care, our team members painstakingly respond to each individual, helping to ensure that he or she feels connected to and comfortable with his or her Jewish heritage.
Indeed, all year 'round our Ask the Rabbi scholars, along with our editors, designers and programmers, cater to millions of individuals, connecting them to three millennia of timeless, priceless wisdom and guidance, in eight languages. (FYI, during the past two weeks alone more than 2.6 million unique individuals have come to Chabad.org to access these resources!)
Throughout the world, people of all levels of knowledge and observance – all "Four Sons" – know to go to Chabad.org for meaning and answers and for help with the most important of life's questions and challenges.
However, our job has really only begun. As the Rebbe, of righteous memory, taught, we dare not rest until every Jewish child – even the Fifth Son who doesn't know about the seder! – has a Jewish education.
Which, of course, requires serious financial commitment as well.
As you sit down to your seder tomorrow night with family and friends, it will surely be fulfilling to know that you've given most generously to engage the "Fifth Son," the child – or adult – who doesn't know that there is a seder at all.