Passover Night, Corona and the Universal faith

  • Jews will begin to celebrate the holiday of Passover on Wednesday night.
  • The holiday of Passover is also the holiday of freedom.
  • Corona virus has united the world in the cause of health, happiness and to discover the Universal faith.

This week the Jewish people throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Passover. The holiday of Passover begins with the Passover night meal which is in memory of the last plague which passed over the houses in Egypt called the plague of the smiting of the first born. This was the tenth plague and initiated Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt.  In all of the ten plagues Pharaoh the king of Egypt considered releasing the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt but later changed his mind. Now on this night he finally gave the Jews his permission. The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt 210 years.

The Notre Dame Cathedral after the fire. Churches throughout the world will be closed this year for Easter services because of Corona virus.

The tenth plague was called the plague of the smiting of the first born. Traditionally in each family there is a first born the oldest male child. On the day before Passover is a tradition for the first born Jews of each family to redeem themselves through a fast or through charity and completion of a Tractate of Mishna or Gemora. The Torah has both a simple meaning for children, women, and young adults and a deeper meaning for those that are ready to study esoteric meaning hidden within the Torah. In Jewish communities the study of esoteric meanings of the Torah are considered dangerous to the unity of the Jewish people because within the esoteric mysticism are universal spiritual lights.

Judaism is primarily a national religion.  Jewish law separates the Jewish people from other nations of the world.  Jews maintain a lineage to their forefathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob through not intermarrying.  Only the Torah Jewish law protects the Jewish nation from dissolving into the world. Also even today Jewish faith separates itself from World faith which includes in it Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.  The way Jews remain a separate nation and religion is through strict observance of the laws and statutes of the Torah.

Religious Jews prepare for Passover through cleaning their homes thoroughly and removing from their homes all leaven bread products.  Before Passover is purchased food with special Kosher for Passover approval stamped on the packages. Special vessels pots, pans, plates, silverware are used for Passover only. These vessels are stored from year to year in a special place in the home for Passover use only. On the night before Passover the father of the house searches his home to see if there are any remaining places that have in them Chometz or leavened bread pollution.

The main search is in the heart of the Jew to know that he has continued this year the Jewish tradition which includes in it Sabbath, Tefillin, and holiday observance. The family gathers together on Passover night to perform four major commandments which are to eat matzos or unleavened bread, eat bitter herbs called Maror, drink four cups of wine symbolizing redemption, and to tell their children the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt on Passover night from a book called the Hagada. In the middle of the ceremony is served a meal with fish, salads, and meat.

The Lubavitcher headquarters in Brooklyn has been closed since the outbreak of Corona virus.

Unleavened bread called Matzos are eaten because when the Jews left Egypt quickly on this night they did not have time to bake bread. Matzos are baked within 18 minutes according to Jewish law. The Maror also called bitter herbs symbolizes the suffering of the life of Jews as slaves in Egypt. In Judaism education of children is of primary importance.  The children are encouraged to ask questions to their elders at the Seder night Passover meal.

Usually the families gather together for the Passover meal also inviting guests. This year because of Corona pandemic Jews in Israel and America Jews have been ordered to make the meal each family individually without inviting guests. This order from the Ministry of Health approved also by the Rabbinate will protect the spread of the disease.

Corona carries with it death.  Already over 63,000 people throughout the world have died from corona. On the Passover night the angel of death passed over the houses in Egypt and chose those homes to kill the first born of this home.  The Jews protected themselves from the angel of death by smearing blood of the Paschal lamb on their doorposts mixed with Hyssops extract.

Traditionally first born is taken literally as first born young or old.  In the esoteric meaning of first born, these are the elders of Egypt and Israel.  First born can also mean elders.  Elders as those born before the younger generation. In this way the plague of smiting the first born is very similar to the damage which is done by Corona killing primarily the elders and saving the young.  Pharaoh the King of Egypt was also one of the elders of his land.  His brothers and sisters were elders. There is a great fear in the plague of smiting exclusively the first born, which scared Pharaoh more than the other plagues. Corona is frightening to the whole world.

Corona is not as deadly as the Spanish flu. The Spanish flu in 1918 struck the young and the old equally.  It infected 500 million people killing up to 100 million. Corona death percentages are much lower.  Nevertheless Corona has closed down the world and crippled world economy. Corona attacks not only the body it also hits people emotionally.  It is similar to the plague called the Smiting of the First Born.

Pharaoh the king of Egypt throughout the other nine plagues hardened his heart and did not accept the decree of Moses “Let my people go.”  More people may have died in the other nine plagues but it did not have the effect on Pharaoh like this the tenth plague. The tenth plague was specific to Egypt and for the purpose of releasing specifically the Jews from bondage. Corona is a Pandemic a world plague. It’s purpose is to unite the world in one universal faith.

For Christians Passover night is celebrated on Easter as the Last Supper. On this night Jesus was executed and crucified. Christians claim that Jesus is in the place of the Passover sacrifice. Jews continue their traditions. Judaism has not changed and will never change. Judaism is primarily a national religion specific for the Jewish people with a connection to universal faith. Christianity began a new Universal light of faith. The new universal light of faith did not replace national faith. Even though the church at the Vatican is called the Universal Church, Christianity is a religion with its own law and customs. Mohammed received the message of Jesus but chose for his followers to begin a new national religion called Islam with new scriptures Koran and a new law Sharia.

Christianity and Islam became the two major religions in the world connected to the revelation of Moses at Mount Sinai but independent from Judaism. Jerimiah the prophet in chapter 31 speaks about the resurrection of the dead at the end of time with the coming of the Messiah which is the belief in Judaism .  He rebukes the Jewish people for sinning and destroying the hope of World Salvation before the end of time. In chapter 29, Jerimiah speaks of the hope of new covenant where all people will connect to God directly not necessarily through scriptures. He says, “Everyone will know God from young to old.  It will no longer be necessary for one person to teach the other.”

The Al-Aska mosque on the temple mount the third holiest site is closed due to Corona.

Corona is the plague of the 20th century with the purpose of Exodus like the plague of the smiting of the first born on Passover night. God placed religion in the world beginning with Judaism.  Each religion claimed to be not only national but also universal. Judaism still has this claim but their claim is not accepted by the other religious faiths or by atheists and agnostics.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe of Chabad Chassidism made this claim that Judaism is not only a national religion but also universal when he instituted the spreading to the world of the seven commandments of the children of Noah. He spread these teaching to the White House and in many nations in the world where there are Chabad representative.  Islam and Chrisitianity also claim to be universal religions.  Corona has closed down synagogues, churches, and mosques throughout the world. Corona is bringing a new universal light into the world of religion and faith which does not require to build a temple but lives in the temple of the heart of every human being. The Jewish people built two temples that were destroyed.  The remainder of the second temple is called the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Esoteric Judaism teaches that the third temple will be built by God and be eternal.

In back of the Western Wall is Al-Aksa considered holy by Islam.  There are churches throughout Jerusalem and Israel which are also closed. This year the church Notre Dame in Paris France went up in flames. The new Universal light of God revealed today through Corona the plague of the smiting of the first born the elders of all lands, is connected to the prophecy of Moses the Old Testament and all the religions which came after.  In Israel during the Ottoman Empire was a prophet who initiated a new universal spiritual light called Baha”i. He was imprisoned by the authorities but his teaching live today.  Baha”i recognizes all these three religions as being authentic but adds a fourth universal light which includes them.

The Zohar the last esoteric text in Judaism recognized that Judaism was not the only spiritual light and gave credence to other ways without weakening Judaism.  The Zohar calls Judaism the most complete truth but there are also other truths. The perfection of religion is the combination of all these faiths.  Corona is the initiator of this new universal faith. The new universal faith includes in it the resurrection of Moses and the Lubavitcher Rebbe as the Messiah of the Jewish people. Judaism opposes freedom but the new universal faith that includes in it Judaism accepts freedom and the importance of World faith. This new way for Jews accepts Orthodox Judaism but is at the same time progressive. Corona is a world plague initiating a new world universal faith, its purpose for everyone to be able to connect to God as a son to a father with love.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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