Dear Zenith Art Lovers,
Passover is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the Israelite being freed from slavery in Egypt. It is observed for seven or eight days (depending on where you are located), and during the first two nights, Passover is celebrated with a home ritual known as the Passover Seder.
The Seder (which means “order” in Hebrew) is celebrated around a dinner table. It includes the retelling of the Passover story – the story of Exodus from the Old Testament (or the Torah in Judaism) – blessings over food and wine, explanations of Passover symbols, discussions of freedom and social justice, and plenty of singing and eating. All of these rituals are performed in an order prescribed by a Passover-specific book known as a Haggadah (which means “telling” in Hebrew).
What can we learn from these times? This Passover we are all trying to avoid the Plague, how timely. This time however Mother Nature (or as I refer to her, G-ds wife) is really upset at humans. We pray that we have not injured our planet beyond repair, but we are close. If this is not a wake-up call then what will it take? Already our air is cleaner, waterways are cleaner and more birds out singing. According to a recent ABC news report the coronavirus pandemic has had an unexpected side effect in Venice, where the normally cloudy canals have transformed into water crystal clear enough to see fish swimming below.
We share this planet with all of the earths ecosystem, we do not dominate it. The earth will survive humanity. The question is will we survive human folly? Science and the arts are about the truth, ignoring both we do at our own peril.
The Jewish people wandered in the desert for 40 years, Why? So everyone that lived in Egypt under slavery would be gone, and no one who came into the land of Israel would know slavery. There are many Biblical stories about the near end of the world, Noah is one of my favorites. I’m sure all of you have yours.
Again, I ask what will it take this time to get our attention? And to treat our planet and all of its wonders with respect.
I’m sharing my grandparents’ Seder Plate with you. (Image below) Tonight it will be filled with Passover ritual foods. Instead of sharing these at the same table with friends and family we will share a virtual (Zoom) Seder. Our Christian brothers and sisters may be doing the same on Easter Sunday. No matter what religion or ethical preference you may embrace, we are all in this together and we must solve it together.
We offer you some inspiration from talented artists. None more appropriate than Bernie Houston’s “Eat My Dust.”