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At Zoom seder, you can 'mute the table’s inevitable kvetch'

Boris Johnson wishes British Jews a happy Passover in Yiddish-flecked message

UK prime minister welcomes holiday, acknowledges coronavirus restrictions keeping family members apart for 2nd straight year

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished Jewish Britons a Happy Passover in a video message on Friday. (Screenshot: Twitter)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished Jewish Britons a Happy Passover in a video message on Friday. (Screenshot: Twitter)

JTA — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished UK Jews a happy Passover in a video message shared Friday on social media that noted with some Yiddish at least one advantage to the Zoom seder.

Johnson acknowledged that the holiday would be celebrated again in isolation for many with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, even as the UK outpaces much of the world in vaccinating its population.

“Sadly for the second year in a row, this most sociable of festivals is taking place at a time when families and friends and neighbors are unable to come together as they usually would,” he said.

More than a year after the pandemic began, Passover arrives as 44% of the UK population has received a first dose of coronavirus vaccine and infections have plummeted across the country.

While many restrictions remain in place, some are beginning to lift, and starting Monday, Britons will be allowed to gather outdoors in groups of six from a maximum of two households.

But that comes too late for Passover seders, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday nights, and still largely be confined to one household or take place over Zoom.

“Even second time around, it’s not quite what everyone is used to, but the haroset will be just as sweet and the matzah just as meaningful,” Johnson said. “And you get something generations of Jews have dreamed of for millennia: the ability to mute the table’s inevitable kvetch.”

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